Fiscal Policy: In discussing the debt talks Monday, President Obama repeatedly stressed the need for "compromise." Funny, since it's his refusal to budge on his big-government vision that caused the talks to break down.
Republicans seemed warily confident that they might get a deal over the weekend on cutting future spending without raising taxes — a deal that would likely lead to smaller future deficits, the possibility of badly needed tax reforms and the resumption of economic and jobs growth.
No such luck. Not only did Obama not really put any specific major cuts on the table, he reportedly surprised negotiators by asking them to agree to a "balanced approach" to deficit-cutting by including a job-killing $1.7 trillion in potential new tax hikes.
This is part of a "Grand Bargain" to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years in exchange for Republicans agreeing to raise the debt ceiling from the $14.3 trillion. But what kind of "bargain" contains $1.7 trillion in tax hikes plus at least $500 billion in new taxes to pay for ObamaCare?
Even the Associated Press notes that, while Obama talks a lot about taxing the rich, "proposals under consideration include raising taxes on small business owners and potentially low- and middle-income families."
As a new Heritage Foundation study shows, the government's tax take under Obama's current budget plans,will "increase rapidly" from its long-term average of about 18% of GDP to a ruinous 26% of GDP in coming decades. That's why he seemed desperate, saying we need to "tear the Band-Aid" off and "eat our peas" to get a deal done by Aug. 2, the phony deadline established by Democrats for fiscal Armageddon.
Sorry, but contrary to the White House's assertions, this is not a "balanced approach." Nor is it a "compromise." It's just more of the same.
During the press conference Monday in which he made his case for "revenue increases" — that is, tax hikes — in deficit talks, Obama suggested why: He wants to spend even more in the future.
He's not shy about airing his many ideas for this, among them what he calls "investments" in Head Start and student loan programs, more government funding of medical research, and even an "infrastructure bank."
Such programs aren't possible, Obama said, "if we haven't gotten our fiscal house in order."
This almost defies belief. This is how we got into the problem in the first place. Too much government, too much spending, too many regulations, too many taxes.
Is Obama really that out of touch with Americans? It seems so. In the latest IBD/TIPP Poll completed Sunday night, our proprietary Confidence in Federal Economic Policies Index plunged 13.2% to 33.4 — only the third time this gauge has been below 35 since its inception. The last was during the 2008 financial meltdown.
Our poll also shows that a solid 58% majority do not want the debt ceiling raised at all. Americans want their bloated federal government to cut both spending and deficits. This is far closer to the GOP's position than the Democrats'. So who really needs to "compromise"?