Why Won’t Democrats Put Their Spending Cut Plans On The Table?

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Today Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly “slammed the door” on tax rate increases, though he left the door wide open for tax increases by way of ending deductions. I’m not necessarily against simplifying the tax code by ending some deductions (though I’d prefer it in a revenue-neutral way), I honestly have no idea why we’re even talking about the revenue side of the equation, other than Democrats just want higher taxes as a matter of principle. Federal tax revenues have risen 19% since 2009, and we’re nearly back to 2007 levels of revenue.

But I digress. What’s interesting is that while Republicans haven’t taken revenue off the table, President Obama and Democrats have so far refused to talk spending cuts.

As the president and Congress hurtle toward a reckoning on the highest federal budget deficit in generations, Mr. Obama says he wants a “balanced” approach to restoring the nation’s fiscal order. But the high-profile public campaign he has been waging in recent days has focused almost entirely on the tax side of the equation, with scant talk about his priorities when it comes to curbing spending. …

In public statements since his re-election, he has barely discussed how he would pare back federal spending, focusing instead on the aspect of his plan that plays to his liberal base and involves all gain and no pain for 98 percent of taxpayers.

Republicans and even some Democrats have expressed frustration that Mr. Obama has avoided a serious public discussion on spending with barely a month until deep automatic budget cuts and tax increases are scheduled to take effect. While the president’s aides said it was important to engage the public on taxes, others say he has not prepared the country for the sacrifice that would come with lower spending.

“The problem is real,” said Erskine B. Bowles, who was co-chairman of Mr. Obama’s deficit reduction commission. “The solutions are painful, and there’s not going to be an easy way out of this.”

Spending is what is driving the nation’s debt problem. Federal revenues have gone up and down since the 1990’s, but not as a result of lowered tax rates so much as in reaction to economic conditions. Note that tax revenues continued to climb after the Bush tax cuts circa 2001 and 2003, but the major dips in tax revenues took place in 2001 (post 9/11 recession) and 2008 – 2009 (housing melt down).

We’ve ran up huge deficits during that time because, when revenues were growing, spending grew faster. And when revenues dropped, spending kept growing.

The only way to fix this problem is to stop spending so much money. We need dramatic, painful cuts in federal spending. There is no way around it.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • yy4u2

    That is the only way to fix it, and we’d have a better chance of seeing God than it actually happening.

    Listen to what Paul Harvey was thinking back in the 60’s: http://stg.do/9LDc

  • Deficit Hawk

    Because they are not going to happen. The next spending cut will be the first spending cut.

  • HG

    We need to keep pointing out that Obama ran on a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction and so far hasn’t even offered any remotely balanced.

  • Harold

    Democrats don’t want to put their spending cuts plans on the table because they want to blame the republicans for everything that fails in the next 4 years of Obama rule. Put a plan of your own out there people might get wise and blame Obama for some of what is happening even if the major media outlets never report what he’s done already to derail this country and its economy. If they had a plan they would be open to scrutiny from the public hence we’ll never see a plan from the democrats or Obama.

  • SigFan

    Simple answer – they don’t have any spending cut plans nor do they intend to make any. It’s the same old bait and switch they’ve always used – and the Republicans are probably dumb enough to fall for it again.

    • brain trust

      Exactly what I was going to say. Just more wealth redistribution and pushing more people under the bondage of entitlements. I hope the Republicans will just walk away. The problem is that the MSM will blame it all on the Republicans.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    Tax increases allow politicians to claim they will affect only the “greedy rich.” This is so amorphous and general that nobody cares. When politicians suggest cuts, there is always a specific interest group.

    Military cuts: many Republicans are up in arms

    Social Security Cuts: old people and Democrats (and even many Republicans)

    Farm Subsidies: Farmers (many of whom are Republicans)

    Education Cuts: NEA and Democrats scream we’re destroying education

    By not cutting anything, nobody gets their toes stepped on and the problem gets kicked a little further down the road.

  • sbark

    For sure………they could at least outright Lie to the American people like previous Dem’cats like Tip O’Neal and HWBush advarsaries.
    Another Lie from the ObamaFree Stuff bunch would at least make people “feel good”

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