In case you haven't checked lately, the U.S. National Debt has hit a whopping $16.8 trillion and is climbing higher by the second. To make matters worse, President Obama recently proposed another increase in spending for his 2014 budget. Why? He doesn't think Washingon has a spending problem and neither do many of his fellow Democrats helping to push his agenda.
Call them the debt crisis dissenters.
The two parties are miles apart on how to cut the deficit and national debt: Republicans want to slash spending even more. Democrats want to raise revenue.
And then there are the other Democrats — the ones who reject the entire premise of the current high-stakes fiscal fight. There’s no short-term deficit problem, they say, and there isn’t even an urgent debt crisis that requires immediate attention.
POLITICO suggests these "debt crisis dissenters" will actually hurt President Obama when it comes to striking a grand bargain on taxes and spending cuts, but the fact is, Obama isn't interested in real reductions in spending in exchange for tax cuts as part of a grand bargain in the first place. This is clear with his calls for $1.1 trillion in tax hikes not to pay down the deficit, but to pay for new spending.
Despite near-universal support (88 percent) for spending cuts, Obama's budget increases spending significantly. Over a ten year window, it spends more than the already-unsustainable current path...by hundreds of billions of dollars -- basically matching the rate of Senate Democrats' accelerated spending. The Ryan budget calls for $41 trillion in spending over ten years. The current trajectory calls for $46 trillion. Obama's plan wants to spend $46.5 trillion over that time horizon. This includes more than $200 billion in new spending over the next two years alone, wiping out the scheduled sequester reductions, and then some. When push comes to shove, there are zero genuine deficit reductions in this budget, due to nearly $1 trillion in additional spending. There are only higher taxes to (partially) fund ever-ballooning Washington spending.
And as a reminder, the federal government is expected to collect a record number of taxes this year and still can't pay for runaway spending.
The federal Treasury expects to collect a record $2.712 trillion in taxes on Americans and U.S. business this year, shattering the 2007 high of $2.5 trillion in taxes.
Despite the sputtering economy and sustained high unemployment, the fine print in President Obama's budget belatedly presented Wednesday revealed that the administration expects to take more in taxes than the Congressional Budget Office projects. CBO put the 2013 estimate at $2.708 trillion.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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