By Tom Quiner
Liberals, the media, and even some moderates and conservatives are beginning to pile on the Republicans for the debt limit crisis. They are falling for the liberal mantra that we’ve got a tax problem, not a spending problem.
A quick recap is in order.
Democrats controlled both houses of Congress from 2006 until last year. During that time, they increased government spending to record levels.
During that time, they added a new health insurance entitlement which will increase America’s debt load over the decades to come according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Republicans unanimously voted against the new entitlement. Democrats bear full responsibility (or credit, depending on your perspective) for the consequences (benefits) of this expansion in government.
Fearful of the consequences of out-of-control government spending, voters threw Democrats out of office in record numbers in last Fall’s midterm elections.
Sensing voter concern on this issue, President Obama tried to dodge the issue by forming a bi-partisan “Deficit Commission” to come up with solutions to fix the spending mess.
Guess what? The commission said we need to cut spending and implement tax reform. They were adamant:
“The era of debt denial is over, and there can be no turning back. We keep kicking the can down the road and splashing the soup all over our grandchildren.”
The President’s response? He ignored them.
Nancy Pelosi’s response? “Simply unacceptable.” End of story.
Republican’s response? “This is a provocative proposal, and while we have concerns with some of their specifics, we commend the co-chairs for advancing the debate.”
Republicans took the commission seriously, Democrats didn’t.
Since the midterm elections, one would have thought Congress and the President would take the voter’s mandate for fiscal sustainability seriously.
The President didn’t. His budget in February didn’t begin to address the structural cracks in our entitlement programs. The Democratically-controlled Senate voted it down 97-0. That’s how serious his budget was.
But the Senate didn’t take the mandate seriously either. Democrats there haven’t produced a budget in two years.
The Republican-controlled House did take it seriously and passed a detailed budget that would get us back on track. There’s something in the Republican budget for everyone to hate, but they did the job they were elected to do by taking the political heat with a serious budget.
The Deficit Commission characterized the Republican budget as “a serious, honest, straight-forward approach.” On the other hand, they said the President’s budget “goes nowhere close.”
Now the President is talking about “budget frameworks.” His office is leaking possible fixes for Medicare. So what does the CBO have to say about it?
“We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”
Republicans have laid their plan out there for all the world to see.
Now it’s time for the President and his party to get serious with a specific plan of their own to fix the structural flaws in our entitlement programs and national indebtedness.