While the budget drama in Washington, D.C. went back and forth last week over the federal fiscal year 2011 budget, lawmakers and the mainstream media missed the real opportunity. It’s not whether President Obama or House Speaker John Boehner won on the deal, or the paltry savings they agreed on.
It’s also not whether the real savings are $352 million as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, or the $38 billion in savings claimed by Obama and Boehner, or the $100 billion expected by Tea Party-minded people.
No! It’s the $1,000 billion (that would be $1 trillion) they did not even talk about.
One trillion dollars in foreign profits is what could have come back into our economy if the tax on repatriated profits were zero. Multi-national companies could have redeployed those dollars at no cost to anybody.
It makes no sense to leave $1 trillion on the table!
Now that fiscal year 2011 is more than half over, I wonder what we can expect when they try to reach an agreement on a fiscal year budget for 2012, which starts on October 1 of this year. Maybe those negotiations will become “Let’s make a Deal — The Movie.”
The sad part through all of this is that the taxpayers are the biggest losers. We lost out on some truly substantive spending cuts. We lost out on potentially $1 trillion being put into the economy. Some very valuable time our president and members of Congress could have used on a real economic stimulus plan was lost, and we lost the opportunity to solve the many other real crises we face.
President Obama’s $1 trillion plan to stimulate the economy has not worked, even though he and the liberals are still in denial about that.
They are also in denial that raising taxes and disguising it as “ending the Bush-era tax cuts” will not work. Just look at history! The president and the liberals can’t seem to get past blaming Bush for Obama’s economic failures. The Bush-era tax rates have helped to stabilize the economy, along with the massive productivity blitz by the business sector.
Raising taxes will slow down our anemic economic growth even more.
In addition to raising taxes, the president also proposed last week the idea of an automatic tax-increase trigger and automatic cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits if his proposed spending targets are not met. This idea is economic suicide for the country. It must have been concocted in a classroom.
In the two-plus years President Obama has been in office, the national debt has increased by as much as it increased under the watch of President George W. Bush in eight years. And he wants Congress to agree to some automatic tax increases!
This idea is coming from a president who said in December 2008 after he was elected that “deficits don’t matter.” The spending in the last two years and three months has certainly shown that deficits don’t matter to him. And now he wants us to believe that he will do something differently. We are supposed to believe that he and the Democrats have “gotten religion, and will not spend no mo.”
We ain’t that stupid! And I hope Congress is not that stupid either!
Economic common sense left D.C. a long time ago, and it didn’t show up when the Obama administration arrived in town. This president has repeatedly broken promises and is spending this nation into financial collapse. And now we are supposed to trust this president with a tax-increase trigger?
That’s like giving a kid a loaded gun.
That’s drama we don’t need when there’s $1 trillion just sitting there.
Herman Cain is a former CEO, a radio talk show host on AM 750 and 95.5 FM WSB in Atlanta, and a FOX News contributor.