“I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up…”
“Does the country have a spending problem? The country has a paying for problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought, we haven’t paid for our tax cuts, we haven’t paid for war.”
“It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem.”
These three comments represent the mindset of Democrats with respect to fiscal responsibility. This sounds a little like a story I remember from several years ago where a woman’s sister applied for a bunch of credit cards in her sister’s name and then lavished presents on her. When she got caught and was prosecuted, the bad sister claimed that it was the good sister’s fault because she wanted and accepted the gifts and she should have known that the bad one couldn’t possibly afford to give those gifts in the first place.
Who has had our national credit card for the longest?
The fact is that Democrats held Congress for 40 years until 1994 and held it again from 2006 to 2010. Democrats have held the House for 44 years out of the last 57 (since 1955) and also the Senate for 43 years out of 57. Even including the idiotic drug benefit entitlement enacted under Bush, entitlement creation and expansion has been the exclusive province of the Democratic party since FDR.
Today’s Democrats are just rationalizing their historically bad fiscal behavior.
Is it any wonder that we can’t get control of our federal finances?
The first quote is sadly typical of the President. He never gets out of the Alfred E. Neumann “What, me worry?”/not my fault approach. He spends his entire first term working to get Obamacare and its tax increases passed and then blames Congress for passing his pet program when the costs hit.
Utah once suggested that Obama exhibits the symptoms of hypengyophobia – the irrational fear of responsibility. I think he is right…and the Democrat leadership has it, too.
Steny Hoyer sure seems to have it. Hoyer singles out “paying for” tax cuts and war when economist Arnold Laffer has clearly shown how the initially lower levels of tax receipts are offset with economic growth when taxes are cut, resulting in HIGHER tax receipts. Perhaps the lower tax receipts at the federal level have more to do with 8.5 million taxpaying people exiting the workforce since 2008 than “paying for” tax cuts.
He talks about not paying for war as if the military spending is the only budget issue when it is dwarfed by entitlement spending as noted in US News in December of 2012:
Spending on entitlements is the highest in American history. In 2010, entitlement spending had grown to be almost 100 times higher than it was in 1960; it has increased by an explosive 9.5 percent per year for 50 straight years. Entitlement transfer payments to individuals (such as for income, healthcare, age, and unemployment) have been growing twice as fast as per capita income for 20 years, totaling $2.2 trillion in 2010 alone—which was greater than the entire gross domestic product of Italy and roughly the same as the GDP of Great Britain.
In 1960, entitlement spending accounted for less than a third of all federal spending; in 2010, it was just about two thirds of government outlays, with everything else—defense, justice, all the other duties of government—making up less than one third. Over the last half-century, income-related assistance (which we used to call “welfare”) multiplied more than thirtyfold after adjusting for inflation. The most shocking growth has been in Medicare and Medicaid. In the early 1960s, neither program existed; by 2010, these two programs cost more than $900 billion a year.
Entitlement spending is 2/3 of the federal budget. Actually, the Defense Department budget is less than 20% of the total federal spend – and much of that spending goes to defense contractors who actually provide jobs. Defense spending is one of the legitimate Constitutional priorities of the federal government and only the Democrat’s loathing of the military keeps them from recognizing that this is no different than one of their beloved jobs programs – with the exception that this one actually has a legitimate Constitutional basis.
Blaming “war” spending is like saying that I have a $3,000 mortgage payment but buying an ice cream cone is the reason that I have so little money in the bank.
Pelosi’s statement is just a deflection of reality. Deficits are caused by one thing – spending more than you take in. When families lose income, they cut spending. Government does not – it prints just money.
These statements from a leadership that has not produced a legally mandated budget in four years indicate their belief that government is sacrosanct – a perpetual entity, designed to continue to grow without regard to economic circumstances or the will of the people.
I’m not ready to climb on the Marco Rubio bandwagon but I did think that he made some very salient points in the GOP response to the SOTU and he got at the heart of the issue when he said:
Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.
But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
If socialist, Marxist, communist and Keynesian economic policies are the answer, why did the socialist states in the EU crash faster and farther than those with more capitalistic governments?
More than ever, Reagan’s quote from his first inaugural address explains the problem:
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.