If preliminary rumblings from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's upcoming report are accurate, I'm afraid the conservative agenda -- though overwhelmingly victorious in last week's elections -- might be against the ropes again, especially with GOP congressmen praising the report.
Our astronomical deficits are the result not of low taxes, but of profligate spending. So why do we accept the premise that the starting point for deficit and debt reduction discussions must be various tax hikes, tolerating unacceptably high levels of spending, and seeming to take off the table the eradication of programs the government was never intended or constitutionally authorized to establish in the first place?
The deficit commission appears to have adopted the flawed notion that taxes and revenues are a zero-sum game -- that tax increases produce higher revenues, when more often the opposite is true. For example, does anyone doubt that the commission's proposal to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction would detrimentally impact the housing (and possibly financial) market?
Equally important, how can this commission be taken seriously if it sanctions Obamacare, which not only is wildly unpopular with the American people but also greatly burdens the federal fiscal equation?
Many are praising the commission's "boldness" in proposing to reduce the growth of the federal deficit by $3.8 trillion by 2020 from its projected growth of $7.7 trillion. That's like an alcoholic promising to cut down his liquor consumption from two bottles of bourbon a day to one. Obama, who initiated (and stacked) this commission as an Alinskyite strategy to turn the tables on Republicans on the spending issue, must be laughing all the way to the statist bank.
Do you realize that just three years ago -- 2007 -- our federal budget deficit was just $161 billion? So why are we congratulating ourselves as prudent stewards of our grandchildren's money for planning half-trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see? Besides, no one can honestly believe these reduction projections are realistic. One thing you can bank on is that government-spending projections are always understated.
Without doubt, there will be the inevitable upward pressure on deficits and debt from the increased interest on the debt as a result of Obama's reckless spending orgy. But that's hardly the only explanation for the nearly exponential increases in the projected growth of the deficit.