Tags: obama | budget | scary

Holtz-Eakin: Obama Budget is Very Scary

Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009 02:25 PM

By Gene J. Koprowski

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A conservative economist who advised Sen. John McCain's failed presidential bid last year is calling President Obama's proposed federal budget "very scary."

As a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who also served as an economic advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, Holtz-Eakin was candidate McCain's director of domestic policy, as well as his economic point man.

"The Obama administration is being disingenuous when it says the U.S. has to make big investments in green energy and healthcare in order to achieve sustained economic growth," Holtz-Eakin told Barron’s.

"These programs are not about economic growth, but simply about energy and healthcare policy changes, and should be argued on their own merits as such, not as agents of job growth."

Indeed, other economists argue that the economy is in no shape for such political games.

"In my view, we are in the early stages of a secular bear market that began in 2007," writes Mike Markowski, founder of Bear Market Navigator, on CBS MoneyWatch.

“By that, I mean that it will take between eight and 20 years before the major market indices including the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 will get back to their all-time 2007 highs. The latest figures indicate that there is approximately $4 trillion of cash on the sidelines. But that number is minuscule when compared to total U.S. debt of $56 trillion, which includes $15 trillion of U.S. government debt."

Putting this into perspective, $4 trillion would barely cover a one-year payment of interest on the debt, Markowski opines.

"In a contracting economy, available cash is likely to be kept in reserve so that it can be used to pay down debt or to make interest payments; this is especially true for the millions of people who are losing their jobs. Little of this money will therefore be used to buy stock," the analyst said.

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