The United States is over $14 trillion in debt.
The AP reported in March that, “The federal government’s budget deficit grew by $222.5 billion in February, the largest one-month increase in history. Economists are forecasting the deficit for the year will be the biggest imbalance on record.”
So, am I popping the cork on the champagne to celebrate a budget deal that delivers $38.5 billion in cuts and does nothing to prevent funding the implementation of Obamacare? That would be a big, fat no.
To provide some additional perspective, CNSNews.com reported that, “The federal debt increased $54.1 billion in the eight days preceding the deal made by President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) to cut $38.5 billion in federal spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which runs through September.”
In addition, Mark R. Levin wrote the following on April 9: “What if $10 billion of the $38.5 billion actually is from the prior two CRs? And what if another $12 billion of the remaining $28.5 billion actually comes from a change in the budget baseline that would have occurred anyway? I cannot personally vouch for this, but this is what I am being told from certain Capitol Hill sources. I will know more in the hours and days ahead. And I will get to the bottom of this.”
Bottom line: Whether we’re talking about a mere $38.5 billion in cuts or an even more preposterous lesser number, the GOP “dealmakers” in D.C. have missed the boat by about a hundred miles. Are they the folks we’re supposed to be confident will fight tooth and nail for Paul Ryan’s fantastic Path to Prosperity, a FY2012 budget resolution that proposes to cut “$6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget” and offers sound solutions to save Medicare, repair Medicaid, simplify the tax code, and more? And how exactly does Boehner intend to have the upper hand in further dealings, as he has taken the notion of a “shutdown” off the table and compromised on an already watered-down $61 billion in cuts?
As Dick Morris asked, “Having failed to stand firm for just $61 billion in cuts in a budget of $3.7 trillion, how can we expect him to stand firm over the debt limit extension or the 2012 budget?” As of right now, my assumption is that we can’t.
I know that John Boehner has a tough job, but I also know that we can no longer afford to play around with pale pastels. It’s time for bold colors to take the lead.
Never lose sight of one thing: Those running the show in D.C. have power only because we continue to give it to them. It is we who hold the ultimate power in our hands — that of our votes. And the same votes that sent a slew of Democrats packing in November of 2010 can send business-as-usual Republicans packing in 2012.
And as far as our campaigner-in-chief, Barack Obama, whose senior adviser David Plouffe is still arguing the tired, out-of-touch absurdity that “we have to use a scalpel, not a machete” to tackle our massive debt and deficit, well — I wouldn’t worry about him too much. After all, as Sarah Palin accurately reminds us, “There is a leadership vacuum in the White House right now, but that’s nothing that another good old-fashioned election can’t fix.”