2012 Budget Cheat Sheet

As the deadline to pass the 2012 budget looms, Congress and the President continue to find themselves at an impasse.   This cheat sheet is designed to give you the facts you need to know about the entire process:


  • Current debt stands at $14.3 trillion
  • August 2, 2011 is the deadline to raise the debt ceiling (authorization to borrow more money to pay for current expenses in the U.S. government)
  • Although it is customary for the President to produce a budget proposal to Congress, all budget bills originate out of the House and must pass Congress.  They can be signed or vetoed by the President.  Once a budget is signed, it is up to the President to administer the budget.
  • Unemployment was at 8.8% in March, then 9.0% in April, 9.1% in May, and then 9.2% in June.


  • Bush took the U.S. into 2 wars (Iraq & Afghanistan) and signed TARP into law
  • Bush borrowed $1.6 billion per day during his Presidency
  • In 2006, the Senate narrowly approved raising the limit along partisan lines, 52-48, with all Democrats opposed.
  • Bush added $4 trillion to the debt over 8 years


  • Obama added 4 new wars (Libya, Yemen, Pakistan & Somalia) and signed into law Obamacare and the $787 billion stimulus bill
  • Obama is borrowing $4 billion per day during his Presidency
  • In 2006, Obama voted AGAINST raising the debt limit and issued the following statement, “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
  • In 2010, Obama created a Presidential Commission called the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (also called Bowles-Simpson) which called for $4 trillion in deficit reduction cuts over the next 10 years
  • Obama has added $3.7 trillion to the debt over 2.5 years
  • Obama promised to veto Cut, Cap & Balance


  • Democrat Obama produced a budget for 2012.  It was a $3.73 trillion budget that included the end to IRS deductions for charitable contributions and interest on mortgage payments.  The plan would place the federal government’s deficit next year at $1.1 trillion (down from $1.6 trillion this year).  It suggests reducing the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years
  • Republican Budget Committee Chairman’s Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget would cut spending by $6 trillion over the next 10 years
  • Republican Cut, Cap & Balance Act is designed cut the amount of federal government spending, cap the amount of future spending as a percentage of the GDP, require Congress to pass a Balanced Budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and raise the national debt ceiling to allow the federal government to borrow more money.
  • No Democrats in Congress have submitted a budget for vote
  • In July 2011, a “Gang of Six” (three Democrats and three Republicans) proposed a solution to the US debt ceiling crisis. The compromise would reduce future increases in the deficit by $3.7 trillion over 10 years and was praised by Obama.  However, the figure quoted represents only an estimated reduction in the continued growth of the debt, not an actual reduction compared to the current 2011 deficit level.
  • Currently, there are talks of two possible debt deals.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner has a plan to raise the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by about $900 billion, along with commensurate spending cuts and caps. That would require lawmakers to go through the painful process again next spring with an even larger debt and deficit package.  And Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans on unveiling a $2.7 trillion package of spending cuts to accompany a debt hike big enough to avoid another vote before the 2012 election.


  • It’s been over 820 days since the Senate, controlled by Democrat Harry Reid, passed a budget
  • Congress may not bind future Congresses to their budget.  They can only do the budget for the following year.   So, when one hears that the budget plan will “eliminate the debt in ten years,” that would only happen if all future Congresses maintained the same budget proposal.  Most Congresses ignore past budget proposals and increase spending… rendering any prior budget impotent.
  • On May 25, 2011, the Senate rejected Obama’s budget by a vote of 0-97
  • On April 15, 2011, the House passed the Ryan plan 235-193
  • On May 25, 2011, the Senate rejected the Ryan plan 40-57
  • On July 19, 2011, the House passed Cut, Cap & Balance by a vote of 234-190
  • On July 22, 2011, the Senate voted to table the Cut, Cap & Balance bill 51-46 down party lines


  • Obama’s plan was approved by 44% of the country (Gallup 4/27)
  • The Ryan plan was approved by 43% of the country (Gallup 4/27)
  • Cut, Cap & Balance was approved by 66% of the country (CNN 7/21)
  • Congress’ approval rating was 21% (NBC/WSJ 5/10)
  • Congress’ approval rating is currently 18% (Gallup 7/11)
  • Congress’ approval rating has dropped 3 points in 62 days
  • Obama’s approval rating was 60% (Associated Press 5/09)
  • Obama’s approval rating is currently 42% (Gallup 7/23)
  • Obama’s approval rating has dropped 18 points in 75 days
  • Obama’s disapproval rating near a record high at 55% (Rasmussen 7/25)


  • Obama Lie: “… you have 80% of the American people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts.”
    Truth: At best, Obama can refer to July 7-10 Gallup poll in which 69% of the people support spending cuts together with new taxes; however, that same poll shows that Americans do not want to increase the debt limit by a 2 to 1 margin.  A Rasmussen poll taken the same week showed that only 34% believe a tax hike should be included in a debt-ceiling agreement.
  • Obama Lie: “You had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they’ve been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues.”
    Truth: The negotiations just before breakdown called for $800 billion in new taxes (not $1.2 trillion), but after the Gang of Six plan came out, Obama demanded another $400 billion in new taxes: a 50% increase.
  • Obama Lie: “I’m not pointing the finger at anyone.”  Then, remarkably, in the next breath stated that Democrats have bent over backward and Republicans were not working toward a solution.
  • Obama Lie: “businesses that are trying to make payroll, all of them could end up being impacted as a consequence of a default.”
    Truth: Obama is arguing that a default will cause increased interest rates, which will have “adverse consequences.” Putting aside the fact that failing to increase the debt limit will not result in a default unless Obama chooses to default, even a default and the increased interest rates will have little if any effect on most “businesses that are trying to make payroll.” Unlike the US government, the vast majority of businesses do not borrow money to pay their employees. Even if interest rates did rise, payroll payments for most businesses would stay the same.
  • “We could end up with a situation, for example, where interest rates rise for everybody all throughout the country, effectively a tax increase on everybody.”
    Truth: Raising the debt limit increases the national debt which Americans will have to pay back directly through taxes.  Obama’s budget proposes $1.1 trillion in deficit spending.  So, he borrowing now for future generations to pay back through taxes and is scaring the current population with the risk of higher interest rates… which is NOT a tax.
  • Obama lie: “I cannot guarantee that those [social security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
    Truth: The federal government takes in about $170 billion each month in revenues, but pays less than $29 billion each month in interest on the debt. The Bipartisan Policy Center has laid out a plan where the Treasury could pay: all debt interest, all Social Security obligations, all Medicare and Medicaid obligations, all Defense contractor bills, all Veterans payments, all active duty troops; and still have almost $7 billion left over every month for other items.
  • Obama Lie: “All the congressional leaders have reiterated the desire to make sure that the United States does not default on our obligations and that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved”
    Truth: There is zero risk of a default to the creditors of US debt, unless Obama chooses not to pay the interest on our debt with the $170 billion in revenue that comes in monthly.
  • On May 14, 2009, Obama said, “We can’t keep on just borrowing from China. We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt… It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”
    Truth: Obama’s 2012 budget proposed more borrowing… $1.1 trillion worth
  • In August 2009, Obama said, “Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott [Ferguson] is – his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession.”
    Truth: Obama’s 2012 budget called for $1.2 trillion in new taxes
  • Oh, just one more time… Obama voted AGAINST raising the debt limit and issued the following statement, “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Obama is right when he said that our debt problem is a failure of leadership and America deserves better.  So, by his own words and standards, Obama is a failure.

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17 Responses to "2012 Budget Cheat Sheet"

  1. Nice work… Not sure who the guy who posted before me is, but I can tell from his evaluation of your education that he operates on emotions, not facts. That makes me sad for him. Happy for you, and our nation, that people like you take the time to evaluate the situation and articulate it in a way anyone (even those who really only have a crummy community college education) can understand.

    Keep up the good work! Everyone who is concerned about the issues will get their info from an article — yours or another. I know of precious few who will go to the trouble of referencing primary sources (Congressional Record, OMB reports, CBO reports, etc.) for their info. Would that it were, but it ain’t…

  2. Hey No. 1 – you do not have to read these if you are so upset – but the liberal temper tantrums, sans facts just does not fly. This is good and true information. You would wonder why more of the public is not jumping although I am sure over 1/2 of us are jumping mad – Change – Vote them Out – local levels and up! Good effort for us – Thanks for writing this!
    Jeany Rush aka sparklestheclown aka Gammy Sparkles Ranting granny at large! PS I wrote the White House line last night and told the Pres. I was totally ashamed of him – Told him Dems had total control for 5 years, and played the Kid in the Candy Store to the total detriment of this nation. Further 2 1/2 years and no budget – also told them not play Alinsky games on me – It is treasonous what they are doing in the name of control! The speech was sick and twisted! Shameful!

  3. Tim, I hate to break this to you, but your numbers are wrong and your facts very selective. Since Bush’s average budget was $2.55 trillion, and President Obama’s average budget is $3.7 trillion, I am fairly certain that Obama is not “spending” 4 times as much per day as Bush! You also seem to have omitted a few sorta important facts attributed to Bush that were not paid for and added to the debt, like TARP which was originally pegged at hundreds of billions, prescription drug benefit $400 billion, the tax cuts $1 trillion so far and $3 trillion over the next decade, the first wars in our history not paid for $1 trillion so far. Also, President Obama clearly inherited a deep recession that has added $1 trillion to the debt in 3 years just due to lower tax receipts. Finally, I find your comments about Senator Obama’s vote in 2006 against raising the debt ceiling to be very misleading. The debt ceiling has been raised every time since it was first insanely enacted in 1917, including 17 times under Reagan and 7 times under Bush. There have always been those who cast “conscience” votes against it, like Senator Obama did in 2006, but no Senator has ever filibustered it and no majority party has ever blocked it in the history of the nation. That is because every sane American knows it must be passed. Otherwise, in spite of what some delusional members of the House are saying, it won’t just be some study about dancing shrimp that doesn’t get funded, it will be something like Social Security checks, or military pay, or federal prisons, or the FBI, or air traffic controllers, that doesn’t get funded…because the numbers dictate that even if we eliminate the entire US government, and only try to pay 5 things (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, Interest) there simply isn’t enough revenue to even cover those 5 things. This is primarily because, between the “Bush tax cuts” and the deep recession, our tax revenues are at the lowest level as a percentage of GDP than they have been since 1950. Are we spending too much? Most certainly, let’s deal with it when the economy has recovered. Are we taxed too little? Absolutely, compared to any other nation on earth and our own history. There is no doubt there has been bad behavior by both political parties for a long time. The current debate may be healthy as we seek sensible solutions going forward. But it is unwise to say, as some have, that “everything is on the table” when “everything” apparently means “some things but not other things.”

    1. Revised and included a link to Real Clear Politics. Bush borrowed $1.6 billion a day… Obama is borrowing $4 billion a day.

      Candidate Obama wanted TARP and was instrumental in its passing. He then expanded TARP within the first couple months of his presidency.

      Bush also clearly inherited a recession, not to mention the 9/11 terrorist attack, but managed to get out of it by uniting the U.S. and cutting taxes.

      I don’t know what your point about Obama’s voting NO on the debt limit is. It was okay to vote no in 2006, but okay now because it’s happened so much in the past? You’re using circular logic.

      There is enough revenue to pay the five things. You are wrong about that. It’s simple math. You take in $170 billion a month and those five things cost less than that. If you have real numbers that such otherwise, present them. Platitudes and DNC talking points won’t get you very far in here.

      I am not interested in comparing the US taxation to every other country on earth. In our history of low taxation, we grew the most rapidly. We innovated and became a powerhouse in such a short time. It’s a fact. Besides, most of those other countries you are talking about are either going bankrupt as we speak or we’re probably sending them billions in foreign aid. Your argument is lame. Look at Hong Kong as a very low taxed, very successful city for a long, long, long time.

      Your argument that we should tax more because others do is lame and, frankly, stupid.

      If that’s all you have, then I would say that out of all the info I presented, your argument that I was selective and wrong is, well, broken.

      1. Hmm…you almost made it to the end, then had to go and say “stupid.” Discussion is not enhanced by use of such words. I am pretty sure I am not stupid, but don’t have to prove it to you. I am also pretty sure I did not direct such language at you. Although I reserve the right to disagree with your points, I choose to do so with words my mother would be proud of.

        One of my points, which I thought was clear, was that in 94 years no member of Congress, or party in power, has failed to raise the debt ceiling. Some have voted no, but only when they had the luxury of knowing it would pass without their vote. It may be argued that such a vote is not admirable, it may even not be honorable, but those votes have not caused the country economic catastrophe. This is the first time, if it happens, that a party in power has “pulled the plug.” That was my point.

        One other thing to consider is what the effect would be if we suddenly stopped, cold turkey, spending the $100 billion per month we are currently borrowing. Those borrowed funds come from somewhere else, not from the pocketbooks of Americans or small business owners or large corporations. I assume you might think that if those funds were not borrowed by the US, they would somehow be otherwise available to the US economy. I think it is more likely that to abruptly stop spending $100 billion per month would have a disasterous effect on the US economy that would far outweigh any short-term positive effects.

        1. I didn’t call you stupid. I called your argument stupid… because it was. That was pretty clear. Here, I’ll say it again:

          “Your argument that we should tax more because others do is lame and, frankly, stupid.”

          Yet you took it as me calling you stupid. “I am pretty sure I am not stupid, but don’t have to prove it to you”

          Know the difference.

          In the last 94 years, has there ever been a Congressman who voted NO to raise the debt ceiling only to become President begging Congress to raise the debt ceiling?! Or is Obama the first?

          We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The Constitution never called on the federal government to spend the money it does on entitlement programs. Never. If a state wants to implement such plans, then it can. But not the federal government. But here we are, the feds spending us into oblivion.

          Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut…

          1. I don’t know if you are married, but if you are, I suggest the next time you have a discussion with your spouse that you don’t say their arguments are “stupid.” They will probably take it as I did, as a crude insult.

            I think we can agree that we have a fundamentally different vision for America. I believe that the Interstate Highway system, the Hoover Dam, and putting a man on the moon were admirable endeavors that enrich our civilization. I suspect that you and your like-minded associates would only believe in paving the road in front of your own house and not taxing and paying for anything else that might benefit our society, but not you personally. The greatness and wealth we experience today all came about since the “social welfare state” was established in the 1930’s. What do you plan to do about the crumbling bridges and roads, the failing power grid, the sewer systems that need to be renovated or replaced? We built the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression. The Smoky Mountain National Park was established in 1940 at the end of a decade of despair. We could do great things then, but not now? 30% of the adults in Glynn County Georgia are illiterate. What are your thoughts about that? Give up on them? Create two even more disparate societies within our borders. Build gated communities with armed soldiers at the gates as I have seen so often in my world travels. 300 million people cannot exist in one country as 300 million mini-nations. There has to be a Government to pave the roads in front of your neighbor’s house. Remember, the Government is us.

          2. So you want me to treat you like a wife? Sorry, I am just going to be a straight shooter and call ’em like I see ’em. For example, you make more stupid arguments:

            “The greatness and wealth we experience today all came about since the ‘social welfare state’ was established in the 1930′s.” – That is absurd. I don’t know if you heard, but the 1920s was “roaring.” We were wealthy before the social welfare state. This period of time is exactly when the U.S. gained dominance in world finance. Prior to President Harding taking office in 1921, the highest fed tax rate was a restrictive 77% (1916) and the national economy was in the depths of a depression with an unemployment rate of 20% and runaway inflation. Harding proposed to reduce the national debt, reduce taxes, protect farming interests, and cut back on immigration. What came next was the “boom” during the Coolidge years. The automobile, movie, radio, and chemical industries skyrocketed during the 1920’s. And believe it or not, most road construction (roads, highways, expressways) occurred in the 1920’s before the birth of the nanny state. And it wasn’t your beloved socialist FDR that approved the Hoover Dam, in 1928 President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the dam…. again, before the birth of the nanny state. Quite simply, there was a boom of wealth in the 1920’s and it was perfectly fine with the exception of fear which led to a “speculative bubble” which caused the crash of 1929. It wasn’t policies, it was just plain old simple fear.

            Look… you want to raise taxes during a recession. Bad idea. Hurts business more. Hurts unemployment more. People don’t want to be unemployed and collect checks. They want the dignity of working and earning a living. Lowering taxes in this economic climate will provide the opportunity for businesses to hire… and then we have people no longer collecting checks from the gov’t, but rather sending tax revenue to the gov’t. You want the opposite. You like those high tax rates in 1916 and 1931-1938 and the 1970s and the high unemployment rate to match. More people in line waiting for a handout means more Democrat voters.

            And I want America to reduce our wasteful spending. No Republican is talking about cutting funds to grandma and grandpa as Obama want you to believe. We want to see the billions sent to China as foreign aid, or Africa, or the UN, or PBS, or the NEA, or NPR, or defense spending sent to Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, etc. And so on. Nobody is talking about stopping road construction or anything else that would disrupt commerce.

            Clearly, you have a fundamental different vision of what I believe in than me.

  4. I am just about done with you, since my core belief is to debate people while showing respect, and you seem to enjoy ridiculing your debate partners. I don’t believe in questioning people’s patriotism, or calling their arguments “stupid.” Apparently you think it is more important to come up with some cute retort like “you want me to treat you like a wife.” Last chance…I don’t believe in raising taxes during a economic downturn, nor do I believe in cutting spending. Both seem to have produced the opposite of intended results. My facts are that our real income is 415% higher today than it was in 1929. My facts are that the highway infrastructure relating to miles paved is 10 times higher today than it was in 1929. My facts are that Hoover said we should have a dam, but FDR figured out how to do it during the toughest economic period our nation has ever faced.

    I believe in a balanced approach to solving our problems. I don’t side with the far left that we should spend wrecklessly, nor do I side with the far right that we should never raise a tax even if it was to save the world from an asteroid. My understanding is that the scoring of the Ryan plan would have shifted the healthcare burden on seniors to where they were spending $6K more per year by 2023 out of pocket. Since many seniors live solely on SS of $1,500 per month, taking $500 per month from their meager income would be hurting “grandma and grandpa.”

    I believe you have some good ideas, but you do not have the market on good ideas. It seems you feel the need to attack every idea I have. That gets us nowhere since you won’t get your way 100% of the time in a democracy, although apparently some on the right believe that. John Bolton said, “if you win an election by one vote, you get everything and the other side gets nothing.” That is a relatively new and destructive philosophy that has no place in our democracy.

    If you call my ideas stupid one more time, I am gonna tell mom and have you sent to timeout.

    1. “I don’t believe in questioning people’s patriotism” – This is the second time you are putting words in my mouth. You have a serious problem reading what is actually there and reading what you want to believe.

      “I don’t believe in raising taxes during a economic downturn, nor do I believe in cutting spending.” – So let me get this straight, you want to keep it status quo? Keep spending more than we take in?

      “our real income is 415% higher today than it was in 1929.” – Could possibly be the most misleading statement ever written. Yes, compare 1929 to today.

      “…FDR figured out how to [build the Hoover Dam] during the toughest economic period our nation has ever faced.” – This comment really shows that you have no clue what you are talking. You should just do a quick research check before you allow your fingers to type. The bill was signed by Coolidge, the appropriations came from 1928… it was only built during FDR’s presidency.

      “the Ryan plan would have shifted the healthcare burden on seniors to where they were spending $6K more per year by 2023 out of pocket. Since many seniors live solely on SS of $1,500 per month, taking $500 per month from their meager income would be hurting “grandma and grandpa.”” – More Left wing talking points and misinformation. What it proposed was starting in 2021, the fed gov’t would pay part of the cost of private medical insurance for individuals turning 65. It would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10% of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 and 25% on any remaining income. In essence, Those now younger than 55 would get a voucher to buy private insurance when they become eligible. It’s just like the health insurance program for federal employees – including members of Congress – who can choose from a menu of federally certified health plans. Voucher amounts would vary depending on an individual’s income and health status. The higher the income, the lower the subsidy. Low-income people, he said, would pay little if anything, and those in the center of the middle class would fare about the same as they do now. If a person became ill and needed more medical care, more financial help would become available. And those who are currently 55 or older by giving them Medicare exactly as it exists today. Gallup found that 48% of seniors (those 65 and over) supported Ryan’s plan over President Obama’s plan, while 42% backed the president. Even the seniors were receptive to the plan.

      “I am just about done with you…” – Yes, please be done with me.

  5. Tim, Tim, Tim…I don’t have to be Freud to figure out what your problem is, and I am sorry, I cannot fix it. Your problem is you only want like-minded folks to affirm and agree with you, you don’t want debate with those who may have a different perspective. I gather this from the fact that you are so willing to call the ideas of someone who was trying to have a rational conversation with you “stupid” disregarding whether that person has two Master’s degrees, 35 years of financial expertise, and a list of professional awards that would fill a book. You see, I am from the South, and in the South we call strangers “sir” even if we disagree with them. We certainly don’t call the ideas of strangers “stupid.” I guess it was just the way we were raised. I hope that you, like most “conservatives” I know find what you want and need…a group of people to walk in lock-step with you, to reinforce, not challenge, what you say. Unfortunately that is the only way that wrong-minded folks can try to convince themselves that they are right…by repeating wrong ideas over and over again. Well let me go try to find a “conservative” blog interested in debating ideas rather than chasing folks away with insults. Good luck…to you and me!

    1. “I gather this from the fact that you are so willing to call the ideas of someone who was trying to have a rational conversation with you “stupid” disregarding whether that person has [blah, blah, blah]…” – I didn’t call your ideas stupid, I called your arguments stupid. For a guy who boasts all those credentials, you sure do have a reading comprehension problem (and that’s not when you are busy putting words in my mouth… like insults). But I shouldn’t be too hard on you, give me a chance and I will probably tell you that your ideas are stupid too.


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