In 2006, Senator Obama wisely said, “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” Amen!
But as President, working with the Democrat-controlled Senate, he’s toying with a government shut down over the House’s responsible $40 billion cut in a proposed $3.83 trillion 2011 federal budget. That’s just over a one percent cut in spending! This comical political display from the party that failed to pass a timely budget before the last election assumes that Americans will blame “mean-spirited” Republicans for trying to cut spending. If Americans punish Republicans for acting like adults in facing an unpleasant reality, they deserve the economic disaster that will occur if this out-of-control spending is not stopped.
Democrat Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of Obama’s Deficit Commission, reinforces that concern: “I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us…didn’t see this last crisis as it came upon us, but this one is really easy to see. This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis are like a cancer. They are truly going to destroy this country from within unless we have the common sense to do something about it.”
Unfortunately, in establishing his deficit-exploding 2012 budget, President Obama thanked the commission but totally disregarded the dire warnings and austere recommendations of his bipartisan deficit commission. He didn’t lead; he punted!
In contrast to the Democrats’ Washington-as-usual, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, head of the House Budget Committee, has presented a bold budget that promises to decrease our spending by over $6 trillion over 10 years. No more budget tricks; no more empty promises and accounting gimmicks. With courage and clarity, Ryan has taken the lead in Washington and established the starting point for discussions between now and the Fall when the budget will need to be approved.