Ranking Republican on the Budget Committee Paul Ryan released this statement on Obama's record $3.8 trillion 2011 budget and record $1.6 trillion 2011 deficit today:
"Over the past few weeks, President Obama has sounded ready to moderate his agenda - and has trumped his ostensible plans for fiscal discipline.
"Regrettably, the budget the Administration today submitted to Congress is nothing more than a plan for more of the same - a very aggressive agenda of more government spending, more taxes, more deficits, and more debt - with just a few cosmetic budget maneuvers to give the illusion of restraint.
"Despite my hope that the President would alter his course, his budget will make an already unsustainable budget outlook much worse.
"For the duration of the Administration's 10-year budget, the deficit never falls below $700 billion, and never falls below 3.6 percent of GDP - a level the Administration's own budget director has called 'unsustainable.' Debt held by the public doubles over 5 years, triples over 10, and exceeds 60 percent of GDP as a share of the economy this year - surpassing last year's 50-year high. Debt continues to rise to consume 77.2 percent of our economy by the end of the budget window. Even the countries of the European Union, hardly exemplars of fiscal rectitude, are required to keep their debt levels below 60 percent of GDP.
"The Administration will attempt to focus attention on a handful of proposals supposedly aimed at tempering the Federal Government's explosive growth. But these have far more to do with calming Americans' concerns than with doing anything to address them. His pay-as-you-go proposal has been waived or circumvented and only locks in deficits at their current high levels. His non-binding commission simply punts on the critical budget decisions that Members of Congress got elected to make. Finally, his so-called 'freeze' on some discretionary spending follows an 84-percent increase - and has no clear means of enforcement.
"The President has contended that many of our nation's problems - fiscal and otherwise - lie in petty bickering and partisanship in Washington. I agree that we should avoid the politics of personal destruction. But, we also should not get lulled into avoiding rigorous debate on policies that will increase spending, deficits, taxes, and debt and hasten our nation's march down a disastrous economic and fiscal course - which, regrettably, is just what this budget would do."
After Friday's exchange between Ryan and Obama, it would be interesting to watch the two of them exclusively debate the budget.