Our Opinion: Trillions of ways to avoid ‘tough choices’

President Obama’s budget proposes procrastination.

Our chief executive sent Congress a $3.73 trillion budget projected to increase the deficit this year, but with a promise of future reductions.

He characterized his budget as a blueprint containing “tough choices and sacrifices,” but few will be made right away — perhaps after his expected 2012 re-election bid.

Obama’s budget blueprint projects a budget deficit this year of $1.65 trillion, an all-time high. The national debt now stands at about $14.1 trillion. Estimates are necessary because it increases continually (see www. usdebtclock.org/).

Ignored by the president are the recommendations of the deficit commission he created, which called for cuts in the huge entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare.

Elected officials — the president and many lawmakers — are unwilling to implement real “tough choice and sacrifices” because they are politically unpopular.

Even after Democrats suffered resounding defeats in November elections — indicating the public is serious about cutting spending — the president responds with lip service.

Will balanced budgets and deficit reductions cause public pain? Absolutely, but we only magnify the anguish by heaping more government largesse into the pubic trough while promising to diet later.

Compare federal reluctance to actual “tough choices and sacrifices” made at the state level, where the Missouri Constitution requires a balanced budget.

Although we may lament some of the state government programs and services being cut, we respect our governor and legislators for doing the jobs we elected them to do.

Procrastination and promises only compound problems now in the trillions of dollars and postpone the inevitable day of fiscal reckoning.

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