Obama’s Real Fiscal Cliff Strategy
December 10, 2012
By Tom Barrett
First, let me put this Fiscal Cliff stuff in context. In a way, it might be best that Romney didn’t get elected. I know that sounds like sacrilege, but think about it. It was obvious there was to be a major financial meltdown in this term, no matter who was elected. There’s just too much debt and too few people in either party willing to address it to have any other result.
So, this begs the real question: Who will get the blame? Obama has been blaming his predecessor for everything from the Fiscal Cliff to super storm Sandy. Now he has become his own predecessor. Any U.S. citizen with a modicum of intelligence will blame him for the coming crash (which will make the Crash of 2008 look tame). However, had Romney won the election, even if the crash occurred two weeks after his inauguration, the finger of blame would have been squarely pointed at him by Liberals and the mainstream media.
I know people who have been wearing black since the election. But there is a silver lining to the black cloud that descended on America when Obama’s measly two per cent lead won him a second term. That silver lining is that Obama is going to mess up so badly in Term Two that we will probably not see another Democrat-Liberal-Socialist in the White House for decades.
Remember that the man has not governed for the past four years. The day he was elected he started his re-election campaign. Sure, he has taken a little time off from campaign appearances and golf vacations to make a presidential noise here and there. But he has not submitted a budget to Congress (as he is required by law to do) in the last three years. He has kept none of his campaign promises, including the two most important: 1) reforming Social Security and Medicare; and 2) Becoming the most “non-partisan President in history” working with both parties to get Washington moving.
Even during his first two years, when he controlled the Big Three – the White House, the Senate and the House – he made zero attempt to deal with the two main debt generators, Social Security and Medicare, both of which play a major role in driving us over the cliff. He tackled neither and failed to propose even one piece of legislation. As far as the promise of working together, as I predicted four years ago, the “Great Uniter” became the “Great Divider.” With being at the helm with complete control, the good he could have accomplished would have been astonishing. Instead, he chose to ram Obamacare down our throats, giving Republicans no opportunity for input.
Let me correct myself. He has kept some of his promises. To appease the Far Left, he has already weakened our military considerably (remember when he promised to reduce it by 50% in his first campaign?). The Fiscal Cliff promises further irreparable damage to our ability to respond to foreign and terrorist threats. He has promoted an anti-family agenda in response to his promises to homosexuals, lesbians, and “transgender individuals.” And, as I also predicted four years ago, he has proven to be the bloodiest president in history, supporting the wholesale murder of unborn babies.
Now, what is this Fiscal Cliff we keep hearing about? First of all, it comes as no surprise. Obama and the Congress have known that it was coming for over two years (in reality, much longer than that). It is a confluence of events centering around two main problems:
- The expiration of the Bush tax cuts that have helped the economy so much.
- The kicking in of imprudent Obama-inspired spending cuts that everyone agrees the country cannot live with.
As far as the tax cuts, Obama himself said two years ago that it would be foolish as well as dangerous to raise taxes in the midst of a financial slowdown. We’re still in that slump, with nearly 8% unemployment and no growth, but suddenly what was obtuse and harmful has become his policy.
Obama wants to blame Congress for the nonsensical cuts that were negotiated a year ago, but it was his own plan! Otherwise the Democrat leadership would never have agreed to it. In a nutshell, Congress refused to pass Obama’s fourth debt-ceiling increase without some meaningful move towards reducing debt. That made sense. You can’t just keep on raising the limit on the national credit card indefinitely. The Treasury can only juggle the books so long before the point in time comes in which you actually must begin to pay your bills. This made sense, but Congress couldn’t agree on how to start the process of reducing the National Debt.
So Obama and the fiscally challenged Democrat leadership came up with a plan that they knew would fail, and the Republicans foolishly agreed to it. You will remember that I wrote in these pages that there was no way a panel of six Republicans and six Democrats would come up with anything meaningful. I hate to say it, but (as occasionally happens) I was right. They raised the debt limit, and in exchange the American people got – nothing.
It was all political smoke and mirrors, this current stalemate, which began two years ago. While locked in the partisan battle dealing with the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. This produced a “fish or cut bait” scenario giving Congress until the end of 2012 to resolve its spending battles. Knowing there was no mutual compromise in sight, the panel said that unless Congress agreed with certain spending cuts, two of these draconian across-the-board “sequester cuts” would automatically kick in at the end of this year (at the same time, please note, as the Bush tax cuts expire). Massive cuts would come from the military budget, which the Democrat Secretary of Defense has stated would decimate our military capabilities. Other cuts would come out of Medicare and Medicaid, something that would be political suicide for every sitting Senator and Congressman
Taken together, this would combine the largest tax increase in our nation’s history with huge cuts to military spending that would destroy readiness and cause additional harm to the economy. And Obama’s latest plan would add even more taxes to an already disastrous equation!
How do we decipher all the flip-flops Obama has made in his “negotiations” regarding the Fiscal Cliff? As I mentioned, he promised to keep the Bush tax cuts in place as long as the economy was in bad shape. Now he wants to extend part of them, and he also wants to add new taxes and increase existing ones. A year ago he agreed that the necessary increased revenues could be achieved through limiting deductions and loopholes, with no tax increases needed. Today his story is that the only way to achieve the revenue increases is by increasing taxes. Obama stands by Geithner’s mantra that there is no prospect of an agreement that does not involve tax increases on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest in the country.
His most famous flip-flop was his vote against raising the debt limit in 2006 when he was Senator Obama. He loudly proclaimed, "America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit." He went on to say that George Bush was unpatriotic to shackle our nation’s children and grandchildren with our debt. Of course, as president, he has asked for and received four increases in the National Debt limit.
The bottom line? Obama’s strategy has nothing to do with balancing the budget and everything to do with his purely Liberal political agenda of humiliating Conservatives. How else can we explain the master of chicanery contradicting his own positions in the “negotiations” over the past two years? First we need to maintain all the current tax cuts status quo and others need to be increased. Obama initially agreed that reducing deductions and closing loopholes would get the government the money it needed. Suddenly only tax increases will do the job. (I’m sure this decision was influenced by his wealthy contributors who don’t care how high the tax rates are, as long as they can use loopholes to assure they don’t see any increase over what they’re paying now. Those of us who can’t afford expensive accountants and tax lawyers will pay the increased rates.)
Last year on July 22 Obama said that “$1.2 trillion in additional revenues could be ac-complished without hiking tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax re¬form process.” This is precisely what House Speaker John Boehner recently offered on behalf of the Republican Party. Obama scoffed at the offer.
Charles Krauthammer did an excellent job of analyzing the (in my opinion) overly generous offers the Republicans have made to the White House, while getting practically nothing in return. I won’t go into all of that; instead I will refer you to his excellent article (see LINK below).
What I want you to understand is that regardless of Obama’s lies to the contrary, every American will pay if Obama gets his way.
This is what Obama is demanding:
- Higher taxes on the “wealthy.” Forget about the fact that if he gets his way, these tax increases would pay exactly eight and a half days of the current cost of running Obama’s massive tax-and-spend criminal government enterprise. But remember that the “wealthy” people who will pay higher taxes are likely your employers. As a result of this and Obamacare, many of them will reduce benefits, insurance plans – and possibly your job.
- Another huge “stimulus” plan. Remember how well the last one worked? Every job produced (most of them temporary jobs) cost millions of dollars. The average cost of creating a high-paying job in the private sector is $22,000. Of course, after paying Obama’s new taxes, employers won’t have the necessary $22,000 with which to create the job.
- The worst is that he has demanded the unconstitutional authority to increase the National Debt at his whim. According to the Constitution, only the Congress has authority over the budget. This was enshrined in our most important document by the Founders to keep the Executive Branch in check – to keep it from spending capriciously, whenever it wanted. Is it coincidental that what Obama is demanding smacks of similarity to what the dictatorial power of Egypt’s president, Muslin Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi recently granted to himself?
Remember that these are not negotiating positions. These are, according to Obama’s administration, non-negotiable demands. This man does not want a solution to the Fiscal Cliff. He wants America to go over the cliff so that he can blame Republicans for it. Never mind the lives that will be ruined, the bankruptcies that will result, and the people who may commit suicide as a result of losing everything. Obama believes he will gain political points, and that is all that matters to this conscienceless man.
I have heard many Republicans make foolish statements such as “I’m sure the president is a nice guy. He just has the wrong policies.” I beg to differ.
“Nice guys” don’t put the security of the nation they claim to love in jeopardy for political gain. A former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been quoted as saying, “The major national security threat to the United States is our National Debt.”
“Nice guys” don’t attend churches for 22 years where the “minister” screams, “Don’t say God BLESS America. It’s God DAMN America,” and outrageously claims that the U.S. got what it deserved on 9/11.
“Nice guys” don’t enslave our children and grandchildren by creating debt that we cannot repay, with the debt holder our greatest enemy, Communist China. Don’t ever forget that the Bible says that the debtor is SLAVE to the lender. Don’t let their fake smiles and the fact that they sell us their shoddy merchandise through Wal-Mart fool you. China is still Communist, and they still hate us. Bringing us down economically is their fondest goal, and Obama is helping them reach it.
Anyone who believes that Obama’s negotiations are about reducing the National Debt is smoking something that is illegal in most states. This is a power grab, pure and simple. He is obviously learning from his philosophical brother, the new president of Egypt (who, by the way, Obama supported and still refuses to criticize).
In the first 225 years of our nation’s existence, its first 42 presidents managed to amass $6 trillion in debt. Obama has added that much in the past four years. He blames that on Bush. But the Congressional Budget Office has stated that he will add at least another $6 trillion in the next four (and other authorities say it could be as much as $8 to $10 trillion). He can’t blame that on old George!
If Obama had sincere concerns about reducing the debt, he would do something about it. He would submit a budget to Congress as Federal law requires him to do. He wouldn’t make new demands for trillions of dollars in spending that will increase the debt. And he certainly wouldn’t demand the authority to increase the National Debt without approval of the Congress.
Obama has allowed this to fester for two years. Now he purports that the Republicans plan to “ruin Christmas” by not magically coming up with a plan in two weeks. The man had control of both houses of Congress for two years, but couldn’t get his own party to go along with much of his Socialist garbage. In fact, not one Democrat voted in favor of the first (and only) budget he submitted to Congress. The man is a master campaigner, but he is certainly no leader. He knows how to use the internet to get elected, but he doesn’t know how to negotiate in good faith with the people with whom he is bound to deal by law.
Don’t be fooled. If we go over the Fiscal Cliff, it will be the fault of one man, and one man only: Barrack Hussein Obama.
INTERNET RESEARCH LINKS:
Charles Krauthammer Column
5 Ways the Fiscal Cliff Drama Could Play Out
Looming Spending Cuts Would Hit Hard All Over
Obama Regrets 2006 Vote Against Raising the Debt Limit
Obama’s Tax Increases Would Fund Government for Eight Days