January 15, 2013 4 Comments
President Obama held a press conference yesterday. Not surprisingly the upcoming debt ceiling issue provided the bulk of the meeting. The president acts like raising the debt ceiling is about paying future obligations on past loans. It really is no such thing. It’s about the government not being able to pay more than it takes in unless or until the debt ceiling is raised. If the debt ceiling is reached, there is nothing stopping the Federal government from continuing to pay interest on debt already accumulated so long as the government brings in tax revenue in an equal amount. It’s completely disingenuous for the President to act like reaching the debt ceiling equals default.
Senator Obama made this argument in 2006 when he opposed raising the Debt ceiling. He said:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
In 2006 Senator Obama wanted to force cuts in funding to the military for the Iraq War. Today Republicans want to force cuts to government programs generally. Sen. Obama circa 2006 is making the very same arguments that the Republicans are making today. Yet today the President basically calls the GOP petulant teenagers figuring we won’t notice his threat to take his marbles and go home.
In 2006 the Republicans should have joined with Sen. Obama and opposed an increase in the debt ceiling. They should have demanded cuts to entitlement programs and an elimination of earmarks. Republican reasons for opposing a debt ceiling increase may have been different, Obama was trying to derail a war and then blame Republicans for defeat. But had Republicans behaved like conservatives in 2006 they would have supported cuts in Federal spending.
One is left wondering what Obama’s purpose here is. Once again the President is faced with a major problem and once again he doesn’t offer a solution. His entire 2012 campaign was based on painting the Republicans as the “enemy” while not offering any solutions himself. Now that his second term is about to begin, he’s continuing forward with this strategy. We have a major debt problem and the President doesn’t care to address it at all. He offers nothing while he paints the opposition party as the Devil trying to destroy the nation. The arrogance is incredible, especially when you consider this President won’t even involve himself in actual debt ceiling negotiations and won’t get half of what he wants in the final bill.
Obama is going to spend the next four years getting very little of what he wants passed through Congress while he demonizes the Republican Party. He will lose any chance he had at retaking the House by pushing gun control legislation and/or gun control via executive action. He will forever be portrayed by Democrats as the second coming of Lincoln when in reality he has thus far been a mediocre President. Obama’s mediocrity isn’t going to change during his second term absent a major crisis internationally. Obama doesn’t want to have an honest debate about government spending which is why he has to fall back on demonizing the “enemy.” His refusal to address problems is the cause of his mediocrity.