Al Cardenas, chairman of the influential American Conservative Union, declared to Newsmax TV on Friday that President Barack Obama’s proposed $3.8 trillion budget proves that “I don’t think he gets it after five years.”
“He continues to propose $850 billion in deficits per year in this new budget,” Cardenas told Newsmax at the Free Enterprise Leadership Summit in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., sponsored by the Job Creators Alliance. “The so-called cuts that he prescribes are really a play on numbers.
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“They’re not real cuts. They’re a diminution of programs as opposed to savings in programs — and these savings are not something that his administration has ever accomplished in five years. It’s a waste of time.”
Obama earlier this week unveiled a budget proposal for fiscal 2014 that would limit tax deductions for top-earners, increase the estate tax, raise taxes for many lower-income households — and even lift taxes on tobacco. It would make modest cuts in Social Security by linking annual cost-of-living adjustments to a “chained” Consumer Price Index.
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Now that the Senate has proposed its first budget in five years, “at least we have a set of numbers to work from — but unless the administration is willing to significantly move with Congress, it looks like it’s dead on arrival,” Cardenas said of the Obama proposal.
Cardenas said the gun-control debate also reflected the president’s inability to “get it.”
“We do have a crisis in crime in America, but the reason for crime rates and violence has nothing to do with gun ownership,” Cardenas told Newsmax. “They have to do with low enforcement. They have to do with mental attitudes. They have to do with the breakdown of the American family. They have to do with runaway drug consumption.
“These are the basic societal ills that lead to violent crime, and those are the ills that need to be discussed. This administration is not willing to do that because they consider a number of the impacted folks part of their constituency — and frankly, for their sake and the sake of America, we need to uncover and discuss the real reasons for crime — and they’re not gun ownership.”
While Cardenas reserved judgment on whether super PACs should be selecting political candidates, he predicted the “unfathomable” reality that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist would win the Democratic nomination to challenge GOP Gov. Rick Scott next year.
Crist has switched parties from Republican to independent to Democrat since 2010.
“Here’s a man who said he was a Ronald Reagan Republican in a Fox News debate with Marco Rubio just two years ago — and now he’s gone from a Ronald Reagan conservative to somebody who’s pro everything that Nancy Pelosi is for,” Cardenas said.
He was referring to Rubio, the junior Florida GOP senator who beat Crist for the Senate seat, and Pelosi, a Democrat and the current U.S. House Minority Leader.
“How can one make such an evolution in their lives other than for political opportunity is beyond me,” Cardenas observed to Newsmax. “Whether Floridians, when it comes time to make a choice, will see through it or not, I hope they do.
“Rick Scott’s been doing a good job through the difficult times,” he added. “His slogan of ‘Let’s Get to Work’ seems to be working — and he deserves a second chance.
“Charlie Crist is not going to be underestimated in my opinion,” Cardenas said.
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