Feature:Opinion

Obama’s only solution is to spend

Photo of Sen. Jim DeMint
Sen. Jim DeMint
Contributor

President Obama’s speech Wednesday is no different than any of the speeches that came before it.

The teleprompter always says spend. Higher taxes are the heart of every plan.

President Obama has never, and will never, provide clear and specific plans to reduce government spending. To do so would go against everything Democrats represent. Government spending is the lifeblood of their party. The free, easy, and uninterrupted flow of taxpayer money to their favored constituencies is necessary for their political survival.

A Democrat without government favors to hand out is like Santa Claus without a big bag of toys to give away. It’s central to their identity. It’s what they do. The Democrats’ strongest allies — the unions, environmentalists, trial lawyers, and abortion activists — demand tax dollars and favors as a condition of their political support. If the Democrats don’t deliver the goods, they lose their backing and risk losing their elections.

The teleprompter is permanently stuck on spend. More spending, more borrowing, and more government are the basis of every one of Obama’s causes and his answer to all of the nation’s problems.

As a result, more people are dependent on government funding than ever before. The government has grown so large that there are nearly twice as many people working for the government than all of manufacturing. More than 64 million Americans rely on the government to provide their daily housing, food, and health care needs. Yet, 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes. And American companies pay the second-highest corporate tax rates in the world.

If the trend continues, the takers will overtake the makers. A nation of dependents cannot maintain its independence for long.

It is encouraging that the 2010 elections have shifted the debate in Washington from spending to saving, but budget gimmicks cannot close gaping, trillion-dollar deficits. The supposedly “historic” budget cuts Obama recently agreed to pale in comparison to the cost of his historic spending spree.

Over the last few decades federal spending has grown much faster than American earning power. Yet, the answer in Washington is always more spending, not less. Middle-income Americans’ earnings have increased by 29 percent since 1970 but government spending has risen by a whopping 242 percent.

A nation that owes more than it can ever produce is destined for bankruptcy. Drastic measures are needed to reverse course.

Fundamental budget reforms and fixed spending caps must be installed to counter the mounting debt that threatens the country’s credit ratings and fiscal standing.

A constitutional, balanced budget amendment that limits government spending to 18 percent of the gross domestic product (the average rate of tax receipts since World War II) and requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes is the best solution. Such a measure would force members of Congress, by law, to work together to find ways to trim the budget rather than come up with excuses to increase it.

President Obama has promised, ever since he was a presidential candidate, to lead the way towards deficit reduction. Since he was inaugurated, $3.6 trillion has been added to the debt. Those who call for the president to exercise “leadership” on budget measures haven’t been watching where he is going. Obama is clearly leading. But, he’s leading in the wrong direction.

A $1.6 trillion annual deficit doesn’t happen by accident or because Washington is doing something right.

  • Swen

    Senator DeMint is quite correct in his assessment of the fiscal problems we face. But passing the buck to the states, who must ratify a balanced budget amendment? We simply don’t have time for that before the whole shakey fiscal house of cards comes crashing down. Congress has the authority to balance the budget, so Just Do. It.

    And consider for a moment the implications of the balanced budget amendment. Must we *amend the Constitution* to force Congress to act like responsible adults? Only a Constitutional amendment can force them to man-up and do their jobs? How sad is that? Maybe what we really need is a new Congress….

  • notalone

    Good for Senator DeMint. An honest and decent politician that we can believe and trust. Wish obama would take the teleprompter and put it where the sun does not shine – he would then be speechless.

  • brbnizgud

    Typical liberal position. Point out what a CEO makes of a private corporation as some sort of justification for the Gov’t to take more and more. Let’s keep in mind that the Gov’t produces ZERO revenue and Corps produce profit based on revenue minus overhead. It’s not rocket science to see that if the Gov’t takes more profit from Corps, they have less to spend on expansion. What’s not “hyperbole” is the recent 1099 expansion which hits small business’s right in the pocket book. Sure, it was dumped yesterday by the stroke of a pen but only because the insidious nature of this $17B money grab came to light. Small business employs over half of the private workforce yet the 1099EXP was an direct assault on these companies. One final point, these big corps you seem to find distasteful keeps my small business in business.

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  • emem

    Dear Mr. DeMint,

    Overlooking the narrow minded social agenda you support, much of what you say is correct.

    However, To claim that american corps are unfairly taxed is hyperbole. Just today there is list on CNBC, perhaps you saw it, that lists the top earning CEO’s in the US. These corporate titans earned mored than my local county in 2010. Further, many represent corps that have layed off 1000′s. Surely, they could have forgone $10 million of the $60M annual comp to save a few jobs being the good, but victimezed, corporate citizens you have portrayed them to be.

    Isn’t it ironic that both government and corps share similar predatory traits.
    Each of you will take whatever you can, from whomever you can.