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Pricing Obama's State of the Union Wish List

Comment

President Barack Obama outlined a litany of proposals in his State of the Union address that he said would have a positive economic impact on the United States. As expected, his approaches would require substantial government spending and the commitment of taxpayer dollars. If Obama were successful in implementing all the programs he proposed last week, just how much would it cost taxpayers?

The National Taxpayer Union Foundation estimates that the president proposed $20.7 billion in new federal discretionary spending. NTUF, the research affiliate of the National Taxpayers Union, an advocacy organization for lower taxes, small government, government accountability and economic freedom, has been conducting these State of the Union economic impact reports since 1999 and has been tracking the fiscal impact of proposed legislation more broadly since 1991.

The taxpayer group highlighted the following from Obama's address:

— He proposed 18 items with a potential impact on federal expenditures: three that would reduce the federal budget, eight that would increase it, and seven whose effect was too vague to be estimated.

— The largest single cost was the president's infrastructure proposal.

Based on his plans outlined in the American Jobs Act, the projects in this initiative cost more than $11 billion annually.

— In short, for every dollar he hopes to save in domestic programs, Obama is counting on saving $128 on defense.

According to the NTUF, it is "a price tag that could only be offset by substantial defense reductions and major tax hikes." NTUF analysis concluded the president called for $48.7 billion in cuts to defense and homeland security.

In this year's State of the Union, President Obama's called for less new spending than last year. In 2011, he called for $21.35 billion in outlays, the foundation said. By comparison, President George W. Bush called in 2006 for less than $1 billion in new discretionary spending and no new military spending that year. In 2008, Bush used his State of the Union message to propose $24.75 billion in discretionary spending and $109.89 billion in defense and homeland security expenditures.

REPRINTED FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

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