From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
President Warns Congress He Won’t Pay ‘Ransom’; GOP Insists on Spending CutsWASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, facing a battle over raising the U.S. borrowing limit, made clear Monday that he sees no alternative to Congress voting for an increase and said that not doing so would be “irresponsible” and “absurd.”
By Carol E Lee and Janet Hook
Mr. Obama’s confrontational message—that a debate over the debt limit was already harming the economy and could push the U.S. into a recession—was primarily aimed at Republicans, who plan to use the debt-limit vote as leverage to extract cuts in federal spending. But it also served as a warning to Democrats who have pressed him to increase the borrowing limit unilaterally by invoking executive powers.
Mr. Obama’s tone suggested that battle lines already have hardened ahead of the next budget fight. Republicans showed no signs of backing away from their push to reduce the federal deficit. “The president and his allies need to get serious about spending, and the debt-limit debate is the perfect time for it,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
As always, much more at the link.
This was just the straight news story, and it continued to note that the President has said that he is willing to work with the Republicans on spending cuts, including “modest adjustments to programs like Medicare,” but that he was unwilling to do so in connection with the debt ceiling increase. Your Editor recognized the typical Democratic tactic: a promise to cut spending — or, in this case, to talk about cutting spending — at some point in the future, as long as the Republicans concede the Democratic program in the present.
Also in the JOURNAL, though not a straight news piece, is this editorial:
The new tax hike is barely law and Obama already wants more.
In case you missed it, President Obama held a press conference Monday to make essentially two points: He won’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the federal debt limit, and if Republicans want any spending cuts at any time in the next four years they’ll have to raise taxes along with it. He won, so get used to it, chumps.
We’ll elaborate on the debt-ceiling fight another day, but let’s focus today on the President’s demand to raise taxes—again. Millions of Americans, rich and middle class, are still recovering from the shock of the income and payroll tax hikes in their first 2013 paychecks, while ObamaCare’s new taxes have also just kicked in. These are the biggest tax increases in at least 20 years, yet Mr. Obama is already stumping for another revenue raid.
The President even invoked the American people to support his third huge tax hike, saying Monday that “They don’t think it’s smart to protect endless corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans rather than rebuild our roads and our schools . . .” You already know the rest.
But wait. It was President Obama who insisted that the recent tax bill be loaded with tens of billions of dollars worth of additional “corporate loopholes,” including for his billionaire buddies in the green-energy business. Too bad no one in the White House press corps asked about that contradiction. Maybe next Presidency.
More at the link; emphases in the original.
I am using my standard four paragraph quotation limit, to remain within “fair use” guidelines on copyrighted articles, but the editorial continues to note that the fiscal cliff deal, described as the largest tax increase in twenty years, is still woefully insufficient to address the huge spending crisis we have, and that the Democrats want more, more, more!
For Donald Douglas, I’ll embed the Billy Idol song, Rebel Yell, that epitomizes the Democrats when it comes to their desire for taxes:
I’d sell my soul for you babe
For money to burn with you
I’d give you all, and have none, babe
Just, just, justa, justa to have you here by me
In the midnight hour she cried- “more, more, more!”
With a rebel yell she cried- “more, more, more!”
In the midniight hour babe- “more, more, more”
With a rebel yell she cried “more, more, more”
More, more, more!
Oh yeah little baby
she want more
More, more, more, more, more!
Oh yeah little baby
she want more
More, more, more, more!
The JOURNAL editorial continues to note some of the statements by Democrats who aren’t running for office concerning their tax increase thoughts and goals, but, despite President Obama’s reported claim that “we don’t have a spending problem,” we most certainly do have a spending problem. In our entire history, regardless of who was President and regardless of which party controlled the Congress, in only three fiscal years have we ever reached or exceeded 20% of GDP in total federal taxes, and two of those years were during World War II. The federal government’s record take in total taxes was 20.9% of GDP, in FY1944. Yet, President Obama projected total federal spending well in excess of 22% of GDP for every year of his miserable presidency, even in years in which he projected strong economic growth, and, thus far, his projections for our economic expansion have come nowhere close to being met. The President, of course, blames that on the evil George Bush, but his policies have done nothing to improve things.
It’s very simple: we cannot hope to ever restore fiscal sanity when we are spending so much more than we have ever taken in in taxes. Government spending has to be cut, and cut drastically, for the United States to thrive again.
If you look at the President’s own estimates of tax receipts, with the estimates being based on the complete expiration of the 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts — what we did not do due to the fiscal cliff bill — the federal government would have seen total receipts of 17.8%, 18.7%, 19.0%, 19.1% and 19.2% of GDP, for fiscal years 2013 through 2017, respectively, had the projections been met; none of those numbers comes close to what the President wanted to spend.
Spending has to be cut, period, and the Republicans should never agree to Mr Obama’s skillfully-worded, politically savvy, but nevertheless completely irresponsible “offer” to discuss spending cuts, later, after the debt ceiling is raised.