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Jewish World Review
July 15, 2011
/ 13Tamuz, 5771
One president left behind: McConnell schools Obama on debt
Democrats don't want to cut any government spending programs, not now, not ever. The country is on a high-speed bullet train to bankruptcy (the only kind of bullets liberals approve of), and the Democrats' motto is: Spend! Spend! Spend!
Democrats are at an advantage in the "should the U.S. go bankrupt or not?" debate because, based on their economic policies so far, they obviously favor bankruptcy.
This allows them to sit back and demand that Republicans propose all the spending cuts and then turn around and scream that Republicans have declared war on the poor and disadvantaged.
It's a nice trick, especially considering Republicans control only the House.
Meanwhile, the Democrats control all other branches of our government: the Senate, the White House, and The New York Times op/ed page. What's their plan?
Their plan is to keep spending, while blaming tax breaks for corporate jets for the entire $14.3 trillion deficit. The Democrats will never suggest any cuts to a budget that has put the country another $4 trillion in debt only since Obama became president.
So Republicans keep proposing cuts and Democrats keep riling up the increasingly large number of people who get checks from the government.
Nothing ever gets cut, but more people hate Republicans for having proposed any cuts at all. If you've never worked for the government, you have no idea of the vicious campaigns of vilification that will be brought by the recipients of government largesse against the smallest reduction in that largesse.
Ask Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose governorship was finished when he put a series of initiatives on the ballot to make the tiniest reductions in government workers' benefits.
Ask Scott Walker and all elected Republicans in Wisconsin who brought on Greek-style riots by suggesting that government employees start paying 6 percent of their own pension contributions and 12 percent of their health care insurance.
Ask Rep. Paul Ryan, whose modest proposal to reduce Social Security payments -- starting 15 years from now -- has turned him into a national pariah.
Ask the next president of the United States, New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie. (And ask him nicely -- I hear the guy's got a temper!)
The problem isn't with elected Republicans; the problem is that the people want their treats. According to a Gallup poll in January, more than 60 percent of Americans want no cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which currently consume more than one-third of the entire federal budget.
Obama and the rest of his party are determined to keep increasing the size of our massively bloated government, on and on, year after year, without end in sight, until everyone with a job works exclusively to pay taxes to the government. Plan B is for everyone to move to Greece.
Republicans can't cut anything as long as they control only one-half of one branch of government. If purist conservatives on the outside want serious spending cuts, they'd better give the GOP a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress first.
Meanwhile the nation sinks deeper into debt.
Republicans tried using the expiring debt ceiling to force the Democrats to agree to budget cuts. But the Democrats still refused to propose any.
Obama's big idea for taming a government with a $3.83 trillion budget and a $14.3 trillion debt is to collect -- in the best-case scenario -- another $300 million a year from corporate jet owners. That would cover .007 percent of the federal budget or .002 percent of the national debt. Is it happy hour yet?
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Instead, Democrats demagogued the issue, with Obama flying around the country on Air Force One, claiming that if the debt ceiling is not raised, America will default on its debts and the entire economy will collapse.
If Republicans cut government spending, recipients of government checks come after them with pitchforks. If the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling to force spending cuts, the economy collapses.
In general, the trend seems to be in the direction of higher spending and endless debt.
The government will just keep spending and spending until we're all on bread lines. But there won't be any bread because within 10 years, nearly the entire federal budget will go to pay Social Security and Medicare recipients. (On the plus side, a lot of us will be speaking Greek by then.)
But now, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has checkmated the Democrats. He has proposed a bill that will allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling three times, up to $2.4 trillion, over the next 18 months, but only provided Obama proposes equivalent cuts in spending each time.
Finally, the Democrats will be forced to pony up spending cuts -- or default on the debt and crash the economy.
Contrary to some hysterical Republicans, McConnell's bill does not forfeit any of Congress' authority: The House and Senate will still have to decide whether to accept Obama's proposed cuts when they write their appropriations bills.
But we will finally get some proposed cuts to federal programs from Obama, and not more nonsense about theoretical savings from "investing" in our children's future with additional spending on Pell grants and prenatal counseling.
McConnell's deal cleanly takes the debt ceiling issue off the Republicans' back and puts it on the president's back. Either the Democrats tell us what they'll cut or they'll have to admit: "We will never cut anything. Everything Ann Coulter says about us is true!"
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