Obama said that, because he won the presidential election, he deserves the $80 billion tax hike without taking any steps to cut the spending that adds a staggering $1,100 billion ($1.1 trillion) a year to the federal debt.
$1 trillion deficits. And why aren’t the Republicans reminding Americans how dangerously large the last four years’ deficits are? More than $1 trillion a year. More than one million million dollars a year. Except for 2008, when the emergency bank bailout brought the deficit to a record $1.4 trillion, George W. Bush didn't have deficits even close to that.
(Not counting the $700 billion bank bailout ((TARP)) in 2008, most of which has been paid back, the average Bush deficit was about $360 billion a year. By the way, when that TARP bailout was paid back, did Obama count that as income? If so, his spending has been even higher than the statistics show.)
Why aren’t the Republicans alerting Americans that, if we become accustomed to a $1.1 trillion deficit in each $3.7 trillion annual budget, there soon will be nowhere left to borrow more money, and one morning we'll wake up to a catastrophic shock folloed by rioting followed by decades of misery and poverty?
Why aren’t Republicans pointing out more clearly that Obama’s plan for $80 billion taxes more would take care of less than 8 percent of Obama’s annual deficits?
Obama's non-plan. Boehner said that, in negotiations, he offered to accept $80 billion in new taxes (which they always report as $800 billion over 10 years), and Obama offered no concession in return.
As Boehner recalled, Boehner put the $80 billion on the table and asked Obama, “What do I get for that?”
Obama replied, “You get nothing. I get that for free.”
With that free pass, Obama would have a deficit next year of “only” $1.02 trillion. With another $40 billion in annual cuts that Obama has occasionally considered, his deficit next year would be about $980 billion. Still mighty close to a $1 trillion deficit. In other words, the unsustainable borrowing would continue unchecked.
'Kick the can' again? This would be “kicking the can down the road,” which Obama promised in 2008 and 2009 he would not do. This would be putting off any serious attempt get rein in the federal deficit spending, which is destroying the U.S. economy.
Obama also has asked for the permanent lifting of the federal debt ceiling. The Congress must never agree to that. Over the last three years, the cowards in the Democratic Senate have failed to even pass a budget, and that illegal inaction has killed each House budget.
With no budget, federal spending has gone wild with almost nothing to check it and no one accountable for overspending. The debt limit is the only thing the House has left to hold spending close to the spending approved by the House.
Economy's last chance. Today, the impending “fiscal cliff” isn’t our biggest economic threat. The biggest problem is that this week -- or possibly the next month -- probably is the last chance the federal government has to reform entitlements and control spending before the ticking debt-time-bomb goes off. We have bipartisan plans for those reforms, and they can be adopted immediately to defuse the bomb. But no one is touching those plans.
The Republicans -– and the Democrats –- should be making it clear that this is he moment to act. Start by implementing Obama's 2009 promise to cut the annual deficit to $700 billion by 2012. If they can’t set a serious path toward a balanced budget when an election campaign is over, they can’t expect to do anything more when the next campaign begins. Then it will be too late.
At this point, “kicking the can” on deficit spending is an irresponsible and immoral choice. Why isn’t Boehner making that case? Does economic reality evaporate when he gets in a room with Obama?