As the country heads again toward the “fiscal cliff,” President Obama refuses to tell the truth to the American people about the critical need for real entitlement reform. This is a continuation of the class warfare theme that President Obama ran on, and he wants tax increases at any cost, even if it pushes America over the “cliff.”
Any deal that leaves entitlement programs untouched is a failure and a dereliction of duty by both the executive and legislative branches. President Obama of course knows that entitlement programs drive our out-of-control national debt but he has yet to offer a serious proposal that includes any entitlement reform or long-term debt reduction. Does he really want a Greece-type meltdown to happen on his watch because of partisanship or is this newly minted second-termer ready to become an elder statesman who is capable of real leadership?
If past is prologue, Obama will continue his divide and conquer campaign. The Obama Administration has basically admitted that it doesn’t care to feign a realistic attempt at crafting a long term budget, all it cares about is tearing down its opponents. Earlier this year, when House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan hammered the Administration for not having a plan to get the debt under control, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted, “You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.”
This rare moment of honesty was surprising, but Geithner was simply following President Obama’s lead. President Obama has shirked any leadership responsibilities, saying that it was not his place to offer a plan to bring down America’s debt and deficit: “If you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically it’s not because there’s an Obama plan out there.” His lack of seriousness led to his most recent budget being unanimously rejected in the Senate 99-0 and the House 414-0.
Sequestration is set to take effect on January 2, 2013, cutting a total of $109 billion from both domestic and defense spending in the first year. If the defense cuts are fully realized, then $500 billion would be cut over the next decade – and that is on top of the $487 billion in cuts already planned. These massive cuts send the wrong signals to our adversaries.
A better target for cutting is Obamacare. This unpopular piece of legislation forced upon the American people against their wishes is turning out to be a crushing behemoth. Surprise, surprise, the savings President Obama promised are not materializing. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said that it will add $109 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, instead of saving $143 billion as the President said it would. The CBO has also said it will cost $1.93 trillion over the 10 years after it is implemented in 2014, instead of the $940 billion President Obama said it would.
All President Obama has offered is tax increases on Americans making $250,000 and up, which will do very little to get us out of this fiscal hole we are in. The tax revenue realized by that increase would only generate $850 billion over ten years. That comes to $85 billion a year which would only run the government for eight and a half days.
Americans are still struggling and one of the ways to help our economy is to guarantee our citizens and businesses that their taxes aren’t going up. It’s common sense that economic uncertainty discourages investment and growth and a strong economy will go a long way towards slowing the growth of the deficit. However, real entitlement reform also must be on the table or our unsustainable debt will only get worse.