Republicans are focused on restoring the nation's financial health by promoting economic growth and reducing our horrendous deficits and debt. President Obama's primary aim is to complete his project of fundamentally transforming America.
I ask you loyal Democrats to please consider these things. Obama has demonstrated almost no concern for our crushing debt or deficits -- at least not since calling President George W. Bush unpatriotic for presiding over deficits and debt dramatically smaller than his own.
Obama's treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, showed a casual indifference to our debt when responding to questions from Rep. Paul Ryan during budget hearings. He flippantly admitted the administration had no long-term plan for bringing our debt under control and was unapologetic for having failed to submit any plan to restructure our entitlements.
When David Letterman asked Obama about the size of the national debt, Obama couldn't even make a guess. It seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind.
But Obama's cynicism about the debt doesn't change the fact that it is a looming national crisis. It's undeniable that our entitlement obligations are growing at an unsustainable pace and that our national debt and the annual mandatory interest payments on it are reaching alarming heights.
The budget debates essentially boil down to the Republicans' desire to return the nation to financial health vs. Obama's desire to use the government's taxing and spending powers as tools to remake America in his image rather than to facilitate economic growth or balance the budget.
Before you write off my comments as unfairly partisan, I ask you to ponder Obama's major negotiating demands. He is insistent, is he not, on increasing tax rates and reducing deductions for higher-income earners, even though it's an objective fact that Obama's plan to raise taxes on just a small percentage of Americans would not generate enough revenue to make a significant dent in our nation's deficits or debt. He has to be demanding this change, then, for other reasons. I can think of none, other than his idea of fairness, by which he means punishing the rich, even if it won't improve the economy or our fiscal picture.
Further, he has stubbornly resisted meaningful spending cuts and has absolutely continued to dig his heels in over GOP efforts to reform entitlements to avoid our nation's impending financial meltdown.