Bayh: Opposition to Obama’s Budget Isn’t Personal

Posted April 12, 2009 at 10:48am

One of the two Democratic Senators to reject President Barack Obama’s budget explained on Sunday why the president’s $3.6 trillion fiscal blueprint doesn’t measure up.“It’s nothing personal,— Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) said on “Fox News Sunday.— “I’ve been a fiscal conservative all my career.—Bayh, a moderate who is recently started a centrist Senate Democratic group, said he agrees with Obama’s proposal in the short run, in terms of spending money to stimulate the economy and having the government step in to stabilize ailing financial institutions.But in the longer run, Bayh said: “I think the deficits and debt need to be under control.—Meanwhile, conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who also appeared on the program, criticized Obama’s budget for expanding the size of government, which means spending more money.“We’re very inefficient as a government in accomplishing anything,— Coburn said. People need to be more willing to make spending cuts and eliminate government programs, he said. Otherwise, Coburn said the level of debt falling on the next generation would be “unsurvivable.—In particular, Coburn noted that Obama’s budget would increase the percentage of gross domestic product from 17 percent to 19 percent on health care spending.“We don’t need more money in health care … we need true markets that will allocate these resources in a creative way,— Coburn said. He warned that making health care a public system would “ultimately result in a Medicare program for everybody.—Weighing in on the economy, Bayh said there are signs that “perhaps the worst is almost behind us.— Retail sales are picking up and banks are starting to report making money, he said.This doesn’t mean there is “any reason to stop acting aggressively,— Bayh added. “It’s going to take longer than we would like.— Bayh and Coburn agreed that Obama is making progress on the foreign policy front, in terms of his recent meetings with global leaders and by reaching out for help in response to the recent pirate hijacking of an American cargo ship off the coast of Somalia. “This is one area where I would compliment the president,— said Coburn. “His outreach … has been tremendously positive.—