7/16/2011

Obama Acts Like A Spectator In Debt Talks

Posted by Brian

Obama:  80% Of Americans Want Higher Taxes
"Americans support a 'balanced' approach" to debt ceiling solution

The President, once again, went before the cameras to address the contentious nature of the negotiations regarding the looming debt ceiling.  I find it amazing that Obama behaves as if he is a complete outsider in all of this.  This is not an issue that snuck up on anybody.  Back in January there were stories that this was something that the President and Congress were going to have to address.  Instead, this President has stories written about him about how the July 4th weekend marked the end of a 13 week streak of golf outings for the Putter-in-Chief.  If you are the CEO of a company that is on the verge of being unable to meet it's debt obligations, are you spending every free moment sitting down with your board of directors to come up with a plan to meet those obligations, or are you spending weekends at the 19th hole?


His "plan" is that Congress bring him a plan.  In other words, "I am not going to have my fingerprints on anything to do with any plan".  He accuses the GOP of being ideological for the very reason that they were swept into office back in November - to cut spending and not to raise taxes. He is attempting to do the very thing that the Democrats did to Bush I, when they got him to agree to a tax hike after his "Read my lips. No new taxes" pledge.  As soon as he signed the bill, passed by a Democrat Congress, they immediately pointed out that he had broken his campaign pledge.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Where is the President's plan?  It has been over 800 days since Congress has passed a budget - April 2009.   The budget that the President submitted this year was not even viewed as serious.  It was defeated 97-0 in the Senate.  Not even his own party wanted anything to do with it. This fact alone should have had the press asking Obama if he was even marginally engaged with the office that he's been elected to.  If this had been any other president (especially a Republican), and their budget proposal hadn't garnered even one vote, they would have been like sharks circling at feeding time.  But with this President it was barely newsworthy.
Congress has had spending bills - in spades.  Bills that this President has signed. Spending that has increased the national debt by $5 trillion since this President has taken office. So, how is it, that time and again, he goes before the press and the American public and acts as if he is a mere spectator in this whole debt ceiling debacle? He throws about platitudes that the GOP needs to come up with a "big deal".  Have we heard one concrete idea from this President about what he thinks will work? No.  And we won't. He accused the Republicans of being ideologically rigid, yet this whole dog-and-pony show is about maneuvering the GOP into a corner, getting them to accept tax hikes and then use that against them in the 2012 election campaign.  He could care less about the debt ceiling, in the abstract.  If we raise it, he will run the debt up to the next one in record time.  His frustration comes from his inability to get the GOP to bend over and grab their ankles.  His latest obfuscation is to avoid the word "taxes" and instead speak of new ways to "raise revenue", a term now being echoed by all of the media.
The Republicans should know that it is not they, but the President who has been backed into a corner.  There is only one choice: Reduce spending by a minimum of $1.7 trillion, and not over a 10-year period. It needs to be done over the next 18 months.  All items should be on the table, including the one thing which not even been raised - Obamacare.  Congress should vote to defund this monstrosity as soon as possible.  Hold the votes and get them on the record.  Let those who want to hold the line on the status quo run on their voting record. If they think that the American public is satisfied with the amount the government is spending, and are satisfied with the state of the economy, let them run on that.  The Dems won't do this because they know this is a losing issue, and are thus scared to death of what the results would be in next years' election.  Their only move is to get the GOP to capitulate on tax hikes.
Boehner, McConnell, and the GOP have the winning hand here.  They need to realize that, hold firm, and get Obama and the Dems to cut spending.  If they do, the American people will be behind them.
Oh, and press Obama on this issue.  Put him on the defensive so he can't continue to act as if he is some neutral spectator, or the referree of a boxing match. It's his policies which have brought us to this point. Obama and the Dems are the ones who should come out of this politically bloodied.

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