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National Debt

A Contrast in Leadership

  • April 17, 2011

    On Friday afternoon House Republicans passed Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's budget resolution. It would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade, much of it by reforming and preserving Medicare. Those over 55 would be unaffected by any of the changes. Ryan would cut taxes on individuals and corporations, to the tune of about $4.2 trillion over 10 years. In all, his plan would result in $1.649 trillion less in net spending than is currently projected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office between now and 2021. This has been the first real proposal by any member of our government - Republican or Democrat - which offers a pathway to ending the culture of reckless spending in Washington.
    Meanwhile, our President saw fit to try and change the conversation when it comes to budget proposals. Just a month ago his proposed budget wasn't regarded as serious, much less one which would even begin to brighten the future of our nation's finances. Instead he used his Wednesday speech on debt and spending to trash Ryan's plan, and counter with an offer of higher taxes. Just what our fragile economy does not need at this moment. Don't believe what we have to say about this? Here's what the Wall Street Journal wrote the next day:
    "The immediate political goal was to inoculate the White House from criticism that it is not serious about the fiscal crisis, after ignoring its own deficit commission last year and tossing off a $3.73 trillion budget in February that increased spending amid a record deficit of $1.65 trillion. Mr. Obama was chased to George Washington University yesterday because Mr. Ryan and the Republicans outflanked him on fiscal discipline and are now setting the national political agenda....
    “Mr. Obama rallied the left with a summons for major tax increases on ‘the rich.’ Every U.S. fiscal trouble, he claimed, flows from the Bush tax cuts … conveniently passing over what he euphemistically called his own 'series of emergency steps that saved millions of jobs.' Apparently he means the $814 billion stimulus that failed and a new multitrillion-dollar entitlement in ObamaCare that harmed job creation …
    "According to Internal Revenue Service data, the entire taxable income of everyone earning over $100,000 in 2008 was about $1.582 trillion. Even if all these Americans—most of whom are far from wealthy—were taxed at 100%, it wouldn't cover Mr. Obama's deficit for this year."

    That's quite a damning critique of our Debtor-in-Chief. Clearly there is a leadership gap in Washington. House Republicans, newly swept into office by an electorate clamoring for an end to the deficits and mounting federal debt, have made a serious stab at getting our fiscal house in order. Meanwhile, the president sees this as an opportunity to kick-off his next campaign. America can't wait for leadership in two more years after the next election, we need leadership on this issue today.

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