Last night’s State of the Union address by President Obama created more questions than it answered. As many expected, the biggest question was “Where’s all the money coming from to fund these ideas?”
The reality is the president hasn’t governed a single year with a budget. Yet his ideas for infrastructure projects, more monies to the inner-cities, raising the minimum wage, etc. go without any specific information on what phantom funds are available. Grandiose projects while the Obama administration, not George W. Bush, increases the debt by over $1 trillion per year.
Amid countless standing ovations and thunderous applause from the Democrat’s side of the aisle, America’s spending binge was barely glossed over. The most important subject at hand is the economy, not more spending.
One could have mistaken the speech as time warp back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society mega-spending. The entitlement society taxpayers are now responsible and a leader proving no real leadership.
Here’s something for every American to ponder. The president is actually on the defensive for the first time since Election Day. It’s called sequestration, or better defined as automatic spending cuts.
As of March 1, those cuts, $1.2 trillion over 10 years, go into effect by law. Half will be domestic cuts while the other half falls on national defense.
The military portion of the cuts, now make the president’s nomination of former Nebraska Senator and Republican Chuck Hagel make sense. The operative word is Republican, as in “blame the Republicans for the coming mandatory defense cuts, not the president and his mythical national shopping spree.
The entire idea of mandatory sequestration had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. Their thinking was the Republicans would eventually buckle under the pressure and make concessions.
Making that calculation, the White House forgot the huge gains the Republicans made in the midterm elections and their pledge to cut costs.
The Republicans have offered no concessions. The White House scheme was rejected by which now brings the country to the March 1 deadline. The results will be catastrophic if the sequestration stands. Indiscriminate Pentagon cuts will greatly lower the bar on the nation’s defense capabilities.
Is that really what the president had planned all along? If so, why the State of the Union address offering projects which add up to trillions?
It is now in Obama’s best political interest to negotiate a deal with the Republicans. His “Get out jail free” card has hit its max with the American people. The George Bush excuse has run its course and this is now Obama’s responsibility.
The president got his fiscal-cliff deal with major increases in taxes with no corresponding spending cuts. Republicans are now in a position to discuss the $16 trillion debt to cut spending.
Obama didn’t mention this at all in his address.
If nothing is resolved, $1.2 trillion in cuts go into effect. This will be the one time Republicans can bargain from strength to achieve actual cuts as a balance to Obama’s wild spending.
The president must be taught that lowering tax rates is the answer for making up lost
revenue. The complications are intricate and cannot be explained in a few paragraphs.
The country needs tax reform. It’s also obvious out-of-control spending must be corralled.
All the Republicans should demand by March 1 is cuts with no new taxes.
Otherwise the Republicans should sequester until the cows come home. The American people are not stupid and this is not political. It affects us all from top to bottom.
If the president and his party, that includes a Democratic Senate that has not passed a budget in Obama’s tenure, then offer the Simpson-Bowles commission’s recommendations as an alternative.
After all, it was President Obama’s hand-picked commission, correct?
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