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The 2011 Budget Fiasco. Where is the Leadership Mr. President?

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I have been overly busy with things lately and have not had a chance to pay as much attention to politics as I would like. Especially this Washington spending fiasco which looks more and more like it’s going to turn out bad for everyone. I just wanted to take a few minutes and jot down some observations and opinions about this whole absurd situation and where I think it should go.

First observation, President Obama is certainly no leader (obvious before this event) and it once again leaves me wondering why we are paying the man $579,000 a year. After all, this problem didn’t just pop out of nowhere. Not to mention Mr. President, about a year ago the ceiling was raised by 1.9 Trillion. Now you want 2 Trillion more about a year later?

The president has had quite a few months to step up to the plate on this matter. But between vacations, weekly parties, campaigning, and fun times golfing the past few months I am sure it’s been hard to fit leadership on this issue into the schedule. I have a feeling if you or I were president and getting paid a half million dollars a year plus benefits. We would be a little more serious about the job. President Obama’s only solution thus far seems to be the usual rhetoric and shameless politics. Perhaps instead of pointing the finger at Republicans you should be leading your side in the drafting of an actual solution that contains more than hot air.

Second observation, the only side taking this seriously seems to be the Republicans. If only they would have done this year’s ago (time to get rid of some more bad seeds in 2012). While they could be doing a better job at least they had some legislation. This “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan is an actual bill that was passed in the House and subsequently scoffed at by the President and Senate Democrats. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced his “Back in Black” plan this last week. While it appears both bills have some merit, from a common sense perspective, Back in Black seems to be lacking in my opinion. My biggest complaint being that it does nothing to actually limit government spending which is something this administration over all others loves to do. We can listen to these spending cut promises but that does not mean they will ever be reality. After all in 1913 when the Woodrow Wilson administration created the personal income tax rates, promises were made that the public rates would never be greater than 7% for anyone. Four years later the top rate was 73% and the country was in sorry shape. This is where Cut, Cap, and Balance gains the lead. It proposes limiting government spending to 18% of GDP while requiring a balanced budget each year. Also, instead of arbitrarily requiring directed spending cuts 10 years into the future like Back in Black. It would be up to each session of Congress to determine where the cuts for the year should be made.

Back in Black has a couple of major flaws in its actual worth. Its real meat is based on projections which are almost always wrong. Also, the tax increases in this bill and those favored by the President won’t actually reduce any deficit. History has shown us that for each $1 in new revenue the federal government receives, it spends $1.3 on average. Due to the fact our elected leaders are irresponsible children. New taxes cannot be a key to solving this problem. The quote rich people, those making over $159,000 a year already pay 70% of the total tax collected. $159,000 sounds like a lot but depending on where you live it may be just enough to get by each day. Raising taxes will not reduce the deficit, but reducing spending will.

Third observation. What to do now? How about a merger of these two plans? Each plan proposes large cuts, President Obama and the Democrats love Back in Black. It’s time to see if they are serious about fiscal responsibility by calling the bluff. Let us then add a restriction on spending and a balanced budget requirement to Back in Black. I will go so far as to say let’s keep the tax increases in Back in Black. But not because they will generate any useful revenue, the Democrats need them. My suspicion however, is that Obama and the Democrats only claim to like this plan solely because of the tax increases (they want to tag Republicans as breaking a tax promise in the next election).
Should the Republicans allow this? Yes, but ONLY if President Obama and the Democrats are serious about reform. If they are they should accept responsible measures such as an 18% spending cap and a balanced budget requirement in the form of a Constitutional Amendment to be added to the Coburn bill. This could be passed relatively quickly and before any supposed default would occur as long as the treasury is directed by law to pay debts before any other expenditure.
To sum it up, I doubt that the President would be all in for making the government a little more responsible with the people’s money. Add the spending limits and he will be out along with his party. More likely is the case that support for Sen. Coburn’s plan lies strictly in politics as usual. The President knows the Republicans would probably not support the Coburn plan. Although they should if spending caps and a balanced budget requirement could be added to the Constitution. I suspect President Obama has thrown support behind Back in Black for the simple reason of tax increases and the 2012 elections.

Now I challenge the Republican leadership to merge these two plans into something still responsible. I believe this will help cement a majority victory in 2012. Not only does this country need leadership but leadership in the right direction. Call the bluff. Support the Coburn plan but with the responsible addendums. The Democrats then flinch and vote yes on the new plan, leading to another big win for new Republicans based on leadership. Thus giving Republicans the ability to reduce tax increases and reform all sorts of other programs. Or, in the worst case we will see that Democrats really are not serious about this whole issue. This would lead to a fiscal debacle that will have to be cleaned up in 2012 with a Republican victory and subsequent reforms including a spending cap being added to the Constitution. It’s a win for responsibility either way with one being much better for the people of the country. Republicans right now have a chance to create a more responsible federal government, while adding a little more stability and prosperity to our future as well as for our children. But don’t vote for them in 2012 based on what happens here. There are still some Republicans who have lost their way that need to retire in 2012. Be vigilant, pay attention as much as you can, and vote for those who have more interest in seeing their country succeed than their political careers. Remember the problem isn’t revenue, the problem is spending. This country is bringing in more revenue than it ever has and any more will never be enough.

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This post was submitted by American_Innovation.

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