President Obama is demanding a big long-term budget deal. He won’t sign anything less, he warns, asking, “If not now, when?” How about last December, when he ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations? How about February, when he presented a budget that increases debt by $10 trillion over the next decade? How about April, when he sought a debt-ceiling increase with zero debt reduction attached?The rest of the column is very much worth reading.
All of a sudden he’s a born-again budget balancer prepared to bravely take on his own party by making deep cuts in entitlements. Really? Name one. He’s been saying forever that he’s prepared to discuss, engage, converse about entitlement cuts. But never once has he publicly proposed a single structural change to any entitlement. Hasn’t the White House leaked that he’s prepared to raise the Medicare age or change the cost-of-living calculation?
Anonymous talk is cheap. Leaks are designed to manipulate. Offers are floated and disappear.
Say it, Mr. President. Give us one single structural change in entitlements. In public.
Continually raising the debt ceiling is foolish. It just puts us deeper in debt and ties a heavy weight around our children's necks as they embark on their swim across the lake of life. The reason the debt ceiling needs to be raised is because we've spent much more than we have. We're like an unemployed man maxing out his credit cards and asking for his credit limit to be raised.
Given these realities the obvious course of action is to tear up the credit cards and sharply reduce our spending, which is what the Republicans want to do, but which the president refuses to do, at least in any meaningful way.
Instead, his solution is to require the top 5% of wage earners, people and small businesses who are already bearing about 55% of the federal income tax burden in this country, to pay even more.
The Republicans lack the power to impose the common sense solution on our spending addiction, but Krauthammer offers some suggestions:
It's time to call Obama’s bluff.What do the Republicans have to lose?
The Republican House should immediately pass a short-term debt-ceiling hike of $500 billion containing $500 billion in budget cuts. That would give us about five months to work on something larger.
The fat-cat tax breaks (those corporate jets) that Obama’s talking points endlessly recycle? Republicans should call for urgent negotiations on tax reform along the lines of the Simpson-Bowles commission that, in one option, strips out annually $1.1 trillion of deductions, credits and loopholes while lowering tax rates across the board to a top rate of 23 percent. The president says he wants tax reform, doesn’t he? Well, Mr. President, here are five months to do so.
Will the Democratic Senate or the Democratic president refuse this offer and allow the country to default — with all the cataclysmic consequences that the Democrats have been warning about for months — because Obama insists on a deal that is 10 months and seven days longer?
That’s indefensible and transparently self-serving. Dare the president to make that case. Dare him to veto — or the Democratic Senate to block — a short-term debt-limit increase.