President Barack Obama, champion of Washington comity and national
unity, just sent out this message to the American people:
Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how
to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a
single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected,
they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and
women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire
burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle
In reality, both
Democrats and Republicans had plans on the table — and both
failed. Senate Democrats, to the surprise of no one, proposed a
minimum 30 percent tax on millionaires with some small cuts to defense
and agriculture spending.
Republicans offered the president more authority (the kind he asked
for when it came to the debt ceiling) over implementing the supposed
$85 billion in cuts in any way he saw fit. So rather than slashing
vital services for children, seniors, men, women, the poor, those in
uniform and their families, the president would have had the power to
cut back on an array of ???investments???
we keep funding for no discernible reason or other government waste.
He had the opportunity to spare many the imaginary hardship of a 2
percent cut, and he could have kept America???s unsuspecting
children completely out of harm???s way. If anyone chose to target the
most vulnerable, he has, and for political purposes.
(Story continues below)
He goes one:
I believe we should do better. We should work together to
reduce our deficit in a balanced way ??? by making smart spending cuts
and closing special interest tax loopholes. That???s exactly the kind of
plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority
of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow
it an up-or-down vote ??? threatening our economy with a series of
arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our
Today we learned that the economy grew 0.1
% in the fourth quarter last year so, really, how much more can
the recovery slow down? Two recent studies ??? one by International
Monetary Fund another by the National Bureau of Economic (via
the Heritage Foundation) ??? find that when nation’s reach higher
debt status, subsequently they see depressed growth. So maybe a little
trimming would help? Spending clearly hasn???t.
And there???s no need to rehash how little we???re actually cutting here,
anyway. There is around $85 billion (or as Nick Gillespie has
been pointing out, really only $44 billion) this year. The total
sequester ???cut??? means that the federal government will be spending
over two trillion dollars more in 10 years than it does now.
And by the way, the Democrat plan ???to reduce our deficit in a balanced
way??? the Democrats plan
adds $7.2 billion to the debt according to the
Congressional Budget Office.
I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss
a path forward. As a nation, we can???t keep lurching from one
manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can???t keep
paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the
over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we???ve already achieved, but
doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That???s how our
democracy works, and that???s what the American people
Sure, after informing America that Republicans have chosen the Koch
Brothers over our children, seniors, military, families, mentally ill,
the poor and apple pie, why wouldn’t Republicans want to meet up and
hug it out?
Maybe someone at this meeting can ask Obama why he continues to
falsely claim that Washington has cut the federal deficit by $2.5
trillion when it fact its added $5.9 trillion to the debt? Even more
importantly, as I’ve
argued, Republicans should simply tell the president, thank you,
and move on. Once you sign a bill, it’s the law. That’s how democracy
Follow David Harsanyi @davidharsanyi.