Even Democratic lawmakers are beginning to look askance at President Barack Obama’s plan to push an ambitious domestic agenda while at the same time dealing with the financial crisis.
There is “rising doubt” among Democrats that “either Obama or Washington have enough bandwidth this year to stimulate the economy, overhaul the failed financial sector and move on to a far-reaching domestic agenda,” Politico.com observed.
One prominent Democrat, Sen. Evan Bayh — a leader of a 15-member caucus of conservative and centrist Democrats — said: “Until we’re through this crisis and growth has resumed, there’s going to be some belt-tightening that’s necessary.”
Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat and chairman of the Appropriations Committee — told Politico: “To maintain a schedule like the one we’ve got at this moment, throughout the year, I don’t know if it will be healthy.”
And Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska said: “There will be sacrifices in the sense that the growth in the budget won’t be at the level that some people would like.”
According to the Heritage Foundation, the 2008 federal budget tallied about $2.9 trillion. Spending this year is projected to be around $3.9 trillion. The national debt hit $11 trillion this week and could double in the next 10 years.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said significant “adjustments” are needed in the White House’s spending plans as the House and Senate Budget Committees prepare to take up Obama’s proposals next week.
Chris Edwards, a former senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee who is now director of tax policy for the Cato Institute, said federal spending is “out of hand. It’s completely unbelievable what is going on in Washington.”
Edwards told Newsmax that with increased federal spending “money is sucked out of the private economy. It creates damage to the private economy … and that lowers our standard of living.”
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