When it comes to balancing a government budget, there are really only two variables: Spending and taxes. Our political leaders have two options to eliminate deficits. They can either take more from us by raising taxes, or they can spend less.
Rep. Mike Pence pointed out on the floor of the House today that President Obama’s deficit reduction commission (which replaces the failed push for similar commission that was demanded by “deficit hawk” Kent Conrad in exchange for his vote in favor of raising the national debt ceiling) bans discretionary spending cuts and seems designed to make spending cuts in general harder and tax hikes easier.
Well, if you are concerned about runaway federal spending and a rising national debt, you won’t find a lot of comfort in today’s headlines. After passing a government takeover of health care costing over a trillion dollars and budget that will triple the national debt in the next ten years, Democrat leaders are now talking about actually bringing legislation that will raise our debt limit by $1.9 trillion. But we are told by the same Democratic leadership that they are going to get serious in 2010 about fiscal discipline. I guess along those lines, President Obama is expected to announce a bipartisan commission that will look for ways to reduce deficits in the future. Sounds like an appealing idea, but the devil’s always in the details in Washington, D.C.
The president’s commission, on close examination, actually looks like a guard dog with no bite. Looks like fiscal discipline but it could easily be ignored by Congress. Remarkably, the president’s proposal, as I have heard about it, is prohibited from recommending cuts in any discretionary spending. That will be about $1.4 trillion, and the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ that’s completely off limits. And as many of us know, with the partisan bias and the structure of it, as reported, it’s likely this commission would just be an excuse to raise taxes.
The American people don’t want more government, more taxes and more political posturing about spending. They want this Congress to show the character and the strength to make the hard choices to put our fiscal house in order.”
As I’ve pointed out before, bolting another level of bureaucracy onto the already complicated and arduous budgeting process isn’t going to fix anything.
But then, the goal here isn’t so much fixing a broken process as it is providing political cover for politicians who have every intention to continue their out-of-control spending while only considering more taxation as a solution to deficit problems.