December 14, 2012

IBD: There Are No Spending Cuts, Just Increases

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:46 am

In a Thursday evening editorial (bolds are mine):

President Obama has said repeatedly that any deal struck to avoid the fiscal cliff must be “fair and balanced.” But his proposals so far have been neither, and in fact do nothing to alter our suicidal fiscal course.

With help from the media, this White House and Democrats in Congress have focused relentlessly on raising taxes on the so-called rich — though doing so will yield only $40 billion a year. Compared to annual deficits topping $1 trillion, that’s chump change.

Republicans have encouraged them by first agreeing to look for “additional” revenue and then agreeing to raise taxes on higher-income Americans to get Democrats to go along with a deal.

But the more they offer, the more Democrats want. They smell weakness. That’s why Obama has offered virtually no cuts over the next 10 years — despite a campaign in which he vowed to cut $2.50 in spending for every $1 raised with higher taxes.

Instead, in one of the great switcheroos of all time, Obama now proposes $4 in spending increases for every dollar of extra tax revenue. Call us simplistic, but shouldn’t “balance” include spending cuts?

In fact, the main reason we have a “fiscal cliff” at all is that the government has spent wildly for four years, premised on the long-discredited idea that more government spending creates economic growth.

New data from GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee show just how bad it will get in the future — and how unserious Obama’s proposals have been.

Over the next 10 years, Obama’s plan would tack $8.6 trillion onto our nation’s debt — despite a $1.6 trillion tax hike coupled with a handful of “cuts.” And those cuts are little better than doing nothing.

Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office says that if we did nothing at all, U.S. debt would reach an unsustainable $25.8 trillion by 2022. Sound bad? Under the president’s sketchy plan, that falls to — drum roll, please — $25.4 trillion.

President Obama is turning the fiscal cliff into the system-collapsing Cloward-Piven cliff. It’s becoming virtually impossible to believe that it’s not deliberate.

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Ruben of all people sees the problem:

    Boehner is trying, Obama is not
    Posted by Jennifer Rubin on December 14, 2012 at 8:45 a.m.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2012/12/14/boehner-is-trying-obama-is-not/?hpid=z5

    This has become a farce. The Post editorial board takes the president to task because ”there’s no way to fix America’s problem without doing something on entitlements. If the Democrats — and Mr. Obama, in particular — don’t get more seriously into that discussion, they have no standing to complain about the Republicans’ lack of balance.”

    It also seems the GOP may have finally grown a pair:

    With Gap Wide and Time Short, Obama and Boehner Meet

    If no deal is reached, Republicans are increasingly talking about a more hostile outcome in which the House passes legislation that extends tax cuts for the middle class, sets relatively low tax rates on dividends, capital gains and inherited estates, and cancels the across-the-board defense cuts, but leaves in place across-the-board domestic cuts. Then House Republicans would engage in what Mr. Boehner, in a private meeting last week, called “trench warfare,” a running battle with the president on spending, first as the government approaches its statutory borrowing limit early next year, then in late March, when a stopgap government spending bill runs out. But such legislation might not be able to pass the Senate, leaving the country no closer to a resolution.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/us/politics/obama-and-boehner-to-meet-again-on-fiscal-talks.html?_r=0

    same NYT story cited in Post article.

    Comment by dscott — December 14, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

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