It is amazing that the American people would continue to elect Democratic politicians to national office, considering Democrats’ cynical disregard for the federal budget crisis. They aren’t even slightly serious about becoming part of the solution.
Consider the Senate Democrats’ most recent proposal for budget cuts to avert a government shutdown. Senate Republicans, following the House plan, proposed $61 billion in cuts for the current year, while Senate Democrats proposed a paltry $6.5 billion. (The Congressional Budget Office says it’s actually only $4.7 billion.) Though Obama seems to be hiding in the bushes on this one, he is said to support the Democratic plan.
Did you hear that: $6.5/$4.7 billion? This is nothing. It’s an outrage. This from the clowns who say the Republican cuts, which themselves wouldn’t be enough, are “Draconian.” No, it’s their attitude that is Draconian — to the republic.
There’s no hope from the left side of the aisle when these people are irreversibly tied to the fiction that the economy simply can’t function without an ongoing federal spending explosion. And they always get their charlatan economists to enable their profligacy.
The fact that their reckless spending hasn’t worked as advertised doesn’t faze them. Never does it occur to them that the borrowed money they spend to “grow the economy” smothers private-sector spending and is necessarily less efficient and less capable of generating a multiplier effect than private-sector spending. Private-sector spending is actually driven by what people want and need rather than by what dictatorial federal politicians tell us we should want or need.
When you consider that just four years ago — as I’ve written many times — President George W. Bush’s deficit was $161 billion, it is amazing we have to begin with Obama’s newly established base line of some $1.5 trillion and start our “cuts” from there. We all knew that when he imposed his “stimulus-porkulus” monstrosity, it would not be a one-time affair and that these new levels of spending would find a way to become permanent. And so they have. Under the president’s proposed 2012 budget, federal spending would remain well above the 2008 level — and above pre-recession levels by an obscene amount.
Then there’s the matter of entitlements. Everyone who has looked into this knows that we have $88 trillion in unfunded liabilities, which will bankrupt us in a couple of decades even if Obama’s discretionary spending orgy does not. We also know that the longer we delay the more amplified the problem will become. According to Rep. Paul Ryan, the amount was $76.4 trillion just last year, and every additional year we delay, it will cost us another $10 trillion. Yet Democrats are obstructing entitlement reform, too. Sheer madness. Suicidal madness.
Ryan says that we cannot sit back and expect to grow ourselves out of this debt. He has run the numbers, and even at 3.5 percent growth — the long-term growth rate since World War II — we wouldn’t solve the problem without major reform. “The more you pay in the more you get out,” Ryan told Larry Kudlow. “I’ve run those numbers with the actuaries. You do need to make some changes in Social Security benefits for the future generations to make this program solvent.”
Despite these realities, Democrats insist — on grounds of compassion — that we can’t cut anyone’s benefits. Yet if we don’t reform the benefit structure, the entire fiscal ship of state will sink. That’s their kind of compassion.
Making matters worse, Heritage Foundation budget guru Brian Riedl has just published his detailed analysis of President Obama’s 2012 budget, which further underscores Obama’s intractable determination to lead us off the fiscal cliff.
Please pay close attention, and do not take this lightly. This budget would permanently expand the federal government by 3 percent of gross domestic product above 2007 pre-recession levels, raise taxes by $1.6 trillion over the next decade, borrow 43 cents for every dollar spent in 2011, double the national debt from what it was before the recession, and dump an additional $66,000 per household of debt onto our future generations. Infuriatingly, of the $2.2 trillion this sham budget fraudulently promises to cut from the deficit over the next decade, “$1.7 trillion consists of empty gimmicks and ‘magic asterisks,'” according to Riedl. And this budget does not contemplate any significant reforms to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
Ryan says that he and his team will submit their budget in April and that it will not only lay out a plan to get us back on a sound fiscal track but also seriously tackle entitlement reform. This is encouraging, but it’s not enough.
It’s time for the GOP leadership to take the gloves off, quit pretending the other side is in good faith, acknowledge we’re in a war and lead us into battle. This includes aggressively marketing its plan and abandoning this new-tone nonsense that just provides irresponsible, recalcitrant Democrats cover to continue their fiscal sabotage.