I Was Told That What House Dems Are Mulling Against Trump Was an...
Why a Catholic Bishop Said This MSNBC Segment Was One of the Most...
Red State Governors Compete to Cut Taxes, Blue States Fall Further Behind
Hey, Biden! Brennan! Wanna See Some GENUINE Russian Colluders? Look in the Mirror
If Non Citizens May Vote, What Is the Point of Being a U.S....
Biden Associate James Galanis: Hunter's Value 'Was His Family Name and His Access...
The Problem With Pride
Why Did the Threat of an EMP From Space Throw DC Into a...
The Border and the Debt
Don’t Want to Pay for Health Care or Groceries? Then Don’t. Pretend to...
How China Went From Famine to Economic Miracle
Despite Biden Admin Promises of Keeping New Drug Prices Down, Big Pharma Sees...
There Are More Illegal Migrants in the U.S. Than the Population of 36...
Jury Finds Former NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Guilty In Civil Corruption Trial
Woke Google AI Erases U.S. History
OPINION

Extortionist In Chief

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

At the end of 1995 and stretching into January 1996, the federal government "shut down" because of an impasse between President Bill Clinton and House Republicans led by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The issue was increased taxes vs. less spending. Sound familiar? The government re-opened when a bipartisan agreement was reached to balance the budget by 2003. It wasn't for reasons that included, but were not limited to, two wars. Now the national debt is racing toward an unsustainable $17 trillion.

Advertisement

This time around it isn't about closing government. It's about "sequestration," which President Obama, the Democrats and their big media toadies are styling as economic Armageddon.

On Tuesday, following another vacation and a round of golf with the disgraced Tiger Woods, President Obama appeared in the Eisenhower Executive Office building next to the White House. Behind him on risers, looking like a church choir but without the robes, were his usual Greek chorus of potential victims should Republicans cut spending by a single dollar.

The president said the cuts from sequestration would be "brutal" if lawmakers allow "this meat cleaver approach to take place." Sounds like a bloody horror movie, doesn't it?

Military readiness would be hurt, he claimed, if these cuts were allowed to happen. Investments in energy curtailed, medical research impaired, teacher layoffs (I wasn't aware the federal government paid teacher salaries) and emergency responders couldn't respond.

Once again, the president offered up the old bait and switch: "targeted spending cuts" along with "closing tax loopholes." As has happened before, if Republicans agree to this (which they had better not if the party is to survive) they'll likely get inconsequential "cuts," if they get any at all, but tax hikes will occur right away. More importantly, any new revenue will likely not reduce the debt because Democrats in Congress are noted for spending new revenue and they won't deal with the major reason for the debt: entitlements.

Advertisement

Last Sunday's New York Times was a kind of preview of Obama's Tuesday remarks. An editorial running more than half the page offered a litany of gloom and doom if Republicans forced the administration to start behaving more responsibly with our money.

The president is again betting that playing to people's emotions, along with envy of "the rich" and calls for "fair share" in taxes will produce a win for him. But if it does, it won't be a win for the country. Can there be any doubt that the president's goal is to marginalize the Republican Party and make them ineffective now and in the next two elections?

The major media can be relied on -- with help from the administration -- to find people who will be laid off work, or a "homeless" person, or a crying woman with her baby down to the last drop of milk. They did during the government shutdown, obscuring the real issue, which is overspending.

As John Makin of the American Enterprise Institute wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal, the sequester "...amounts to $2 of spending cuts for every dollar of the president's tax increases enacted on Jan. 2." The looming cuts, Makin notes, are "minuscule" when compared to the overall debt.

The president got his tax hike in the fiscal cliff debate. To ask for more now without significant spending cuts, entitlement reform and a re-written tax code aligns him with the extortionists who ruled Chicago during the Roaring '20s.

Advertisement

In his oath of office, the president promised to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Instead, he appears to be shredding it.

Whatever the short-term political price, Republicans must stand for the Constitution, the country and the future. Allowing the president to have his way again risks harming all three.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos