I nearly fell out of my chair as I read this New York Times headline: "Democrats Push for Plan to Cut Deficit." From the headline alone, I couldn't tell whether this was before, during or after they supported President Barack Obama's intentional, exponential escalation of the deficit to $1.4 trillion.
That's simply immeasurable chutzpah. But just in case you're ready to be taken in yet again by these fair-weather deficit watchdogs, the first sentence of the Times article reveals their true -- and true to form -- motive.
"Faced with anxiety in financial markets about the huge federal deficit and the potential for it to become an electoral liability for Democrats, the White House and Congressional leaders are weighing options for narrowing the gap, including a bipartisan commission that could force tax increases and spending cuts."
Those elections have a stubborn habit of forcing even drunken sailor politicians to pretend to care about other people's money they otherwise have an unlimited appetite for squandering.
But wait; I thought concern about runaway federal spending was the concern only of those "tea party" protestors the administration has dubbed "potential domestic terrorists" who were carrying "political paraphernalia" -- copies of the U.S. Constitution -- and engaging in "right-wing extremist chatter" focused "on the economy."
No, we're supposed to believe the Democrats care about deficits again, the ones Obama is planning on expanding to between $9 trillion and $13 trillion over the next decade.
We've seen this pattern of deception before. Democrats railed against President George W. Bush's deficits as if they would have curbed federal spending if they had been in power. (We happen to know the rest of that story, don't we?) When Bush fulfilled ahead of time his 2004 campaign promise of cutting the deficit in half in five years, Democrats mocked his achievement as a temporary blip.
Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, hands wringing, said: "Only a president with such a historically bad economic record would be this excited about a $248 billion deficit. Under his watch ... record surpluses turned into record deficits as far as the eye can see." It gets even more amusing. The same Associated Press story that contained that quote reported that fueling this Democratic concern over the budget was the Congressional Budget Office projection that the deficit could total $1.76 trillion over the next decade.
You heard correctly. The Dems, just a few short years ago, were savaging Bush, despite his dramatic progress in cutting the budget, because his annual deficit was at the astronomical figure of $248 billion -- less than 18 percent of Obama's intentionally inflated budget of $1.4 trillion this year -- and his projected 10-year deficits totaled $1.76 trillion, barely more than Obama's budget for this one current year and only a small fraction of Obama's planned cumulative 10-year deficit projections of between $9 trillion and $13 trillion.
A more prominent Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Kent Conrad, piled on Bush, saying: "The fact that some are trumpeting this year's deficit number as good news shows just how far we've fallen. Our budget picture is extremely serious by any measure." This, by the way, is the same Sen. Conrad who, after threatening not to support President Obama's pseudo-stimulus package, did support it enthusiastically, without, it should be noted, talking about "just how far we've fallen."
It's also the same Sen. Conrad mentioned in the above-cited New York Times article as now saying "it is imperative we act" to bring federal spending under control.
Can you fathom how these people can even masquerade as having the slightest credibility on fiscal issues? And they want us to endorse their ingenious ploy to form a "bipartisan commission" to shrink the deficit?
It's awfully convenient to make this proposed commission "bipartisan," which would have the effect of suckering Republicans into ratifying Obama's deliberate profligacy -- just in time for the next election cycle.
Commissions are what politicians form when they need cover and want to avoid accountability. I thought Democrats owned Obama's spending agenda. I thought he was elected to bring fiscal prudence to our system -- to exercise prudence and responsibility -- not to farm out his primary duties to some unaccountable commission of experts.
Democrats have always wanted to grow government with revenues from our society's producers. They aren't sincere about reducing the deficit, because they will not abandon their addiction to spending other people's money.
They cannot be taken seriously on this issue. Their only solution is to raise taxes, forcing hardworking American taxpayers to bail them out yet again and still refusing to restrict their spending. Their talk of cutting spending is just that -- talk. Given their current premeditated scheme to spend this nation into bankruptcy, their feint toward fiscal responsibility reveals them as nothing short of cynical, Machiavellian frauds.
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