Given our national debt of more than $14 trillion - and a current federal budget that is expected to add $1.5 trillion in red ink - the president's new proposal to raise already too-high taxes and impose too-small spending reductions offers no realistic solution.
In a speech Wednesday at George Washington University, the president said, "We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt."
Right! But Obama won't get us on that path with his plan to raise taxes. And he would reduce out-of-control spending far less than a competing GOP plan would.
While Obama did not cause all our financial problems, he has contributed to them. Too many presidents and members of Congress have created the huge debt. There is no quick or easy solution, or even alleviation. But the Obama plan to raise taxes would surely make our problems much worse by removing more money from the job-producing private sector - in a time when unemployment is already nearly 9 percent!
Obama went along with cutting spending by $38 billion this year, to avoid a government shutdown. But later analysis has shown even those undersized cuts are largely budget gimmicks.
And in proposing to reduce long-term deficits by $4 trillion, Obama suggests reducing spending, slowly, by only $2 trillion - and adding $1 trillion in higher taxes on "the wealthy," while hoping for lower interest costs on our staggering national debt to make up the difference.
Administration spokesmen say the president wants to reduce military spending $400 billion - through 2023, a long time from now. Obama reportedly hopes to reduce some domestic spending by $770 billion, plus save $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.
He says he would consider limiting a homeowner tax deduction which, The Associated Press notes, "can currently be claimed by filers at all income levels" - not just "the rich." And then Obama wants to raise taxes on the people who already pay the highest tax rates!
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pointed out that the Obama administration has asked for an increase in the debt limit, and predicted that "the American people will not stand for that unless it is accompanied by serious action to reduce our deficit."
Nor should they!
It is, of course, impossible even to begin to address debt, deficit and over-spending problems of many years without pain. But the president's plan for some spending cuts - plus tax increases - does not offer the kind of financial leadership that most Americans want to follow.