“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
This is the oath that our elected officials swear to when entering office. NOTE: It does not say that I will discharge my duties in favor of my political party while sacrificing my country. But this is what the Debt Reduction Super Committee has done. They threw in the towel on reducing America’s $15 Trillion Nightmare. But I expected it.
The problem, it seems, is the Democrats want to raise taxes by a cool trillion dollars. The Republicans have said nothing doing. The Republicans want to cut spending by a cool 1.2 trillion dollars. The Democrats have said nothing doing. Stalemate, bottleneck, deadlock, gridlock, standoff, face-off? Washington is at it again.
The appointment of the Committee was designed to fool us into thinking that something was going to be done about our massive debt. But how could they succeed? It’s an ideological impasse. Left-wing vs. Right-wing. These terms have historically been used to identify political parties, political positions or political ideologies.
Here’s the difference. Left wingers (Democrats, Progressives, Unions) believe that governments should focus on social justice and social equality and should intervene in individual’s lives to ensure that social justice and equality is achieved, no matter what it costs or who has to pay for it. They state that since every individual is not the same, government policy needs to be aimed at creating substantial equity for everyone. To the Left, substantial equity includes things like affirmative action, social rights, social programs, cultural parity, and unlimited government funding to achieve these objectives.
Right Wingers (Republicans and Conservatives) believe that governments are too big and inefficient, that governments are unwieldy, cumbersome and onerous, and governments should not interfere with people’s lives. Right Wingers believe that government interference impedes an individual’s right to liberty. They believe that the government and the law should treat everyone equally. To the Right, equality includes equal pay for equal work, the same civil rights for all citizens, limited government and limited government spending.
Hence, Left Wingers have historically favored “big” government and more spending while Right Wingers have historically favored “small” government and less spending, not to say there haven’t been “pretenders” in both camps.
The Democrats on the DSC were not willing to address much needed reform in social programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) without at least $1 trillion in job-killing tax increases. These programs comprise 40% of all federal spending and suck up more of the federal budget every year. There is no possibility of balancing the federal budget without reforming these social programs and cutting thousands of other useless departments and programs throughout government. But the Dems said no to any changes and/or cuts.
The Republicans were not willing to agree to revenue increases of $1 trillion but they put $300 billion in revenue increases on the table, achieved through tax reform. This was a huge compromise for the Republicans, but the Democrats said no, they wanted a trillion dollars in revenue without agreeing to spending cuts.
So if the job of the DSC was to “cut spending” why were tax increases and revenue enhancements on the table at all? Constitutionally the Debt Super Committee should never have existed. The Constitution clearly gives the House the power of the purse. Creation of the DSC strips the House of that power. It was unconstitutional and was designed to fail.
Here’s what the failure means for Americans. It adds to the uncertainty that’s stifling businesses. It reinforces the fear that Washington can’t resolve our debt problem. Our $15 trillion fiscal crisis is increasing daily. Future generations will financially suffocate thanks to this generation of politicians who are putting their party first and the country second. Congressional action is now effectively dead. Mr. Obama will blame Republicans as he continues his run for reelection. The Bush tax cuts will be a major issue in December 2012. And fundamental differences between the two political parties will become even more important.
Obama promised to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. He didn’t. Factually, the three largest deficits in American history (each over $1 trillion) have happened in the 3 years of Obama’s first term. He has spent the country into bankruptcy. He is responsible for the first economic downgrade EVER. We’re sinking into a financial abyss and all Obama can say is “It’s not my fault.” “The Republicans are to blame.” “It’s Congress’s fault.” If Obama really wanted the DSC to succeed why was he missing in action throughout their negotiations?
The most depressing thing, though, is that the $1.2 trillion target of the DSC should have been easy to achieve. It’s less than 3% of projected spending over the next decade. But this cut in spending would have had little effect on our debt. $1.2 trillion in spending cuts will amount to only about 12% of the projected debt INCREASE over the next 10 years. In other words, the $1.2 trillion in cuts are not real cuts at all. That figure is ONLY a cut in the projected spending increases. It’s all smoke and mirrors and lies.
I am grateful to the Republicans who held the line on tax increases and said nothing doing. Their numbers are small. Their only voice is in the House, but it’s a powerful voice. They did what they were elected to do. But unless they control the White House and the Senate, their ability to hold the line on tax increases and cut spending is limited.
If you want increased spending, increased government regulation and more federal programs, and ever ballooning debt you can vote Left in 2012. If you want to slash spending, slash programs, balance our budget, decrease our debt and restore fiscal sanity to our government, vote Right in 2012. There are 15 trillion reasons to seriously consider which direction you cast your 2012 vote.
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