In typical Washington fashion, hyperbole regarding the challenges coming for the lame-duck Congress is heating up, while actual solutions remain slim. Talk of averting the $50 billion defense sequester coming on January of 2013 and replacing the cuts with tax hikes stand to upend the gains taxpayers have made this year as we edge closer to the “Fiscal Cliff.”
The timing of the speech is perhaps what makes the President most vulnerable of all: when the President takes to the podium on Tuesday he will be marking the thousandth day since Senate Democrats have passed a budget.
The debt limit deal that tasked a new “Super Committee” with finding major savings is about to hit its first important deadline, with the committee required to report a proposal by next week. The chance of the committee agreeing to a plan that produces the requisite $1.2 trillion in savings is becoming increasingly slim, which will lead to an across-the-board cut to federal spending.
Since President Obama has been in office, the 'Cost of Government Day' has fallen halfway into August. This is fueled largely by explosive federal spending—taxpayers now work 103 days, nearly half of the total cost of government, just to pay for federal spending.
After compelling the President to axe almost $80 billion from his desired spending levels for the fiscal year, House Republicans are once again faced with the prospect of negotiating with a recalcitrant President on the next spending battle: the approaching debt ceiling.