By Reince Priebus
President Barack Obama was in Florida Friday at a campaign-style event. He's not campaigning for himself, of course, but he is trying to save his party ahead of November's midterms. His party's policies — from reckless spending to Obamacare — are unpopular across Florida and the United States. So the president is doing the best he can to distract from them and prop up his fellow Democrats by energizing his political base.
Indeed, the president and the White House are in campaign mode. And that much was clear in the fiscal year 2015 budget they released on Tuesday. There were no hard choices. There was no serious attempt at deficit reduction. There was just more government spending. (For the full run down, read "Obama's Budget By the Numbers" from RNC Research.)
The president knows his budget won't pass Congress, but it still matters because it tells us where his priorities are. And there are at least three things we can learn from it.
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First, Obama still isn't serious about tackling our nation's spending problem. In fact, he's calling for $56 billion in new government spending programs. The national debt is over $17 trillion, but TIME reports that for the White House, the national debt is "on the backburner." How can we ever pay off that debt if the president keeps increasing spending — and racking up more bills for our children to pay off?
Second, we've learned that the president has given up on entitlement reform. Entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — are a looming threat to the national's fiscal future and the health and wellbeing of younger generations because we're running out of money to pay for them.
In the past, the president has said he wants to work together to address entitlement reform. He even pledged to tackle entitlements in his first term in office. One way to show he was serious, said the White House, was to include "chained CPI" — a modest proposal for controlling Social Security costs — in the budget. It was, they used to say, a "good faith" offer by the White House.
They took that "good faith" offer out of this budget. In other words, they've given up on working with Republicans, and they've given up on protecting Social Security for the next generation in their budget.
Third, we've learned from this budget that Obama and Democrats still care more about their jobs than the American people's jobs.
Cutting wasteful spending would help the economy by showing that the government is serious about getting its fiscal house in order and giving businesses greater confidence about the future. That, in turn, could create jobs.
But instead of sitting down to do that hard work, the president would rather spend his time on the campaign trail. He wants to save the jobs of his fellow Democrats more than he wants to create jobs for the American people.
None of this is fair. Obama used to talk about how it was wrong to kick the "can down the road." But that's exactly what this budget proposal does. He refuses to take on the most pressing issues of the day.
That's unfair to younger generations who are left wondering if Social Security will exist for them. And it's unfair for Americans who want their government to spend their hard-earned tax dollars wisely and responsibly.
Americans understand that a president can't spend all his time in Washington. But it would be nice if the president would offer some ideas to solve these problems before skipping town.
Reince Priebus is chair of the Republican National Committee.