If they are a great team and know how to maximize their resources it means they need less money than the top teams to do just as good, not more. And this season they probably have a bigger budget with all the new sponsors and the better points and position in the standings last year.
Hardly. Lotus being great and able to maximize their resources does not exclude other teams from doing the same. Lotus is better than Williams and possibly Sauber and Merc in this department, but that only gets them so far.
Even after the new sponsors and extra price money, Lotus will have significantly less than RBR, McLaren, and Ferrari, and possibly even Mercedes.
Lotus owed ~ $30 Million in debt in 2011 - they aren't going to be splashing cash on a championship push to out-develop those other teams who have more freedom with their earnings.
For the last couple of years Lotus are close to where their budget says they should be - In fact they underperformed in 2011 and slightly over performed in 2012, relative to their budget.