Taxpayers group says SOTU spending 'freeze' could add $70 billion new spending 

Analysts at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation did a line-by-line analysis of President Obama's State of the Union address and found, among much else, that even with the proposed spending freeze, enactment of all the chief executive's proposals would billions of new spending to the federal budget.

The taxpayers group said:

"President Obama outlined items whose enactment would increase federal spending by a net of $70.46 billion per year. Since 1999, when NTUF began tracking presidential addresses, the lowest recorded total was President Bush’s address in 2006, coming in under $1 billion in new spending; the highest was President Clinton’s 1999 speech, which proposed $305 billion in new outlays. Obama’s speech Wednesday night amounted to $36 billion less than the $106 billion that George W. Bush offered in his first State of the Union speech in 2002.

"Obama outlined 21 proposals with a fiscal impact Wednesday night, eight of which would boost spending, three of which would cut them, and 10 of which had costs or savings that could not be pinpointed. The single largest item Obama mentioned was a call to pass cap-and-trade national energy tax legislation, with an outlay cost of $51.5 billion (not including revenue increases or price hikes in energy bills). Other large initiatives included immigration reform ($9.8 billion) and subsidies for retirement savings among low-income Americans. Major undertakings with unquantifiable costs included a student loan forgiveness program and a new round of mortgage refinancing subsidies."

Demian Brady, the NTUF analyst who did the study, points out the essential flaw in the Obama spending freeze:

“Presidents often give laundry lists of proposals designed to please political constituencies in their State of the Union Addresses, and President Obama’s speech was no exception. But regardless of what’s in the laundry bag, the people left holding the bill for it all are the nation’s taxpayers," Brady said.

"While the President should be commended for his newfound support of a spending freeze on one-eighth of the federal budget, Americans won’t be happy to learn that his other proposals would far outweigh any savings the freeze might provide.”

For more of the NTU analysis, go here.

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Mark Tapscott

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