After an agreement was reached to avert the fiscal cliff, some might’ve hoped the Republican capitulation on tax increases would lead to some compromises on spending cuts from the Democratic Party.
Also, as Republicans made concessions this time around, they’d hoped to make up some ground in the coming debate on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, which hit the limit on Monday.
Not so, says President Obama.
After the late-night deal on Tuesday, the President said, “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.”
So the hopes that the fiscal cliff deal might’ve sparked some willingness for bipartisanship this year were quickly ended.
Still, the President casting all the blame on Congress for “the laws that they passed” seems to neglect the fact that the President very much wanted many of those bills – from bailouts and the stimulus, to healthcare reform. And he shouldn’t forget that he was a part of that Congress from 2005 to 2008, a period over which the federal government spent $11,884,000,000,000, and a combined $2,280 trillion in deficit spending.
The picture becomes quite clear – the President fought aggressively for tax increases, but won’t want to hear anything about spending cuts, deficit reduction, or paying down the national debt. In fact, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff deal will increase the federal deficit by $4,000,000,000,000 over the next ten years, compared to if larger tax hikes and spending cuts were to go through.
With taxes already increased, and the President refusing any talk on spending cuts, how will we reduce the deficit?
Raise taxes some more, says the President.
Following Tuesday’s fiscal cliff deal, the President released a “fact sheet” saying, “The agreement leaves substantial scope for reducing tax expenditures for high-income households.”
That’s a cute way of saying President Obama plans to cut spending by closing loopholes and deductions on the wealthy – a plan Republicans had already offered in the fiscal cliff deal. However, rather than counting it as another tax increase, Obama is pawning it as a “spending cut”.
The President said, “Cutting spending has to go hand in hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans.”
So the President clearly doesn’t want to talk about spending cuts, the debt ceiling or the deficit. He just wants more taxes on the wealthy, this time claiming the tax increases are actually spending cuts.
Give a mouse a cookie, and he’ll ask for a glass of milk.