January 15, 2013: President Obama delivered another speech, another set of ultimatums about what Congress needs to do for his agenda. Assuming the posture of winner because of reelection, based on fewer votes and lower turnout, Obama is taking the initiative with three more fights to come in Congress: the sequester, the debt ceiling, and the funding of the government. President Obama has declared that a fiscal emergency is awaiting this country should the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Some of his comments were so striking and startling for their ignorance or their arrogance, any discerning ear would deduce that the President is unserious, or just plain lying.
This President has been about nothing but politics. He pushed through Obamacare by buying votes, an illegal practice in California. From the Cornhusker Kick-back to the Louisiana Purchase to Cadillac handouts to union leaders, President Obama is all politics, no integrity. He planted the notion that he wanted responsible deficit reduction. Yet borrowing from the unbalanced playbook of Governor Jerry Brown, the President claims massive revenue increases which have not yet accrued, then he counts not-yet-accounted military cuts for armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Magical accounting abounds with President Obama.
Still barking about the rich who must "pay their fair share", still going on and on about cutting loopholes and making sure that the middle class does not bear a burden, Obama relates the biggest whopper of all:
"The American people never heard of the Debt ceiling before two years ago. Not a question of authorizing more spending, but to pay for spending that Congress is committed to."
This is an outright lie. The fiscal cliff deal "cut" $200 billion from the outset in order to delay the debt ceiling deadline in the first place. There is plenty of money to cut. Like a true progressive, he presumes that the government must stimulate the economy and fund education and pay for everything else. The federal government and our economy is paying a price for all of this paying.
Obama then retreads the same fear and trembling from 2011. Checks will be delayed. Our troops may not get paid. Entitlement recipients may not get their funding. . .
No! Our debts will still be paid, since the federal government takes in more tax revenue per month than the nation pays out for the debt. There will be a money crunch, granted, but the country will pay off its current debt. Veterans and Social Security recipients can receive their checks, if the President is willing to spread the pain to non-essentials, like the excessive number of bureaucrats and administrative offices which have opened during his term in office.
To confirm this revelation, consider two previous government shut-downs in late 1995 and early 1996. Federal workers were furloughed. President Clinton's popularity dipped. If the Republicans in the House and the Senate had been united, then they would have prospered in pushing for more reductions. Social Security recipients still got their checks, and the debt was still paid. The world did not end then, and the world will not end should the government shut down again this year.
For the past four years, the United States has been in a state of emergency because of the President's reckless spending practices. Four straight years of trillion dollar deficits. In 2011, the United States Congress stalled on the debt ceiling because they demanding that the President sign off on significant cuts. The President harps that this country has to "pay our bills". After four years of spending money that this country does not have on programs and policies that most Americans do not support, and for candidates and causes who do not respect neither the Constitution nor the constituencies throughout the country, the President should put away the charade and come clean: He is not interested in cutting spending. Not one bit.
The gridlock in Congress exists for a reason, and it's not the fault of Republicans. The United States government has a spending problem. President Obama is spending time and political capital to wait out the clock while hoping that Republicans scramble because President Obama is not playing fair. The fact is that President Obama is not playing at all. Like an impetuous home buyer who offers one dollar to purchase a McMansion, President Obama offers unserious compromises, then laughably assumes that he can just get more money.
One famous National Lampoon cover pictured a spotted dog with a gun held to its head. "Buy this magazine, or we will shoot this dog." President Obama has attempted to frame the Republicans as the hostage-takers. The truth is that Obama is the one holding the dog, and he's the one who has been threatening to shoot. Perhaps a better analogy would be that he has a needle threaded with poison already stuck in the canine's vein, since the President's spending spree is already killing the nation's currency and shrugging away meaningful growth.
If President Obama enacts no cuts, and the Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, there will be no default. A government shut-down would be just fine, and President Obama will have himself to blame for it.