Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday's Budget Homilies

Boehner, speaking on the current state of the negotiations, asserts the President is demanding revenues with no specific cuts

  A lot of people know that the President and I met on Sunday. It was a nice meeting, it was cordial; but we're still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the President is willing to make as part of the ``balanced approach'' that he promised the American people. Where are the President's spending cuts? The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff. 
  But here's what we do know: we know that the President wants more stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. That's not fixing our problem. Frankly, it's making it worse. On top of that, the President wants to raise tax rates on many small business owners. Now, even if we did exactly what the President wants, we would see red ink for as far as the eye can see. That's not fixing our problem either; it's making it worse and it's hurting our economy.
 Pelosi asserts the GOP are demanding cuts with no specific revenue:
The fact is that the President has, and Democrats agree with him, agreed to around $1.6 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act and other acts of Congress in this particular
Congress, $1.6 trillion in cuts. Where are the cuts? They're in bills that you, Mr. Speaker, have voted for. 
 Secondly, on the issue of the entitlements with the Affordable Care Act and with legislation, suggestions and provisions in the President's budget, it amounts to over $1 trillion in savings in Medicare, over $1 trillion in savings which have been redirected to prolonging the life of Medicare, making it stronger for nearly a decade while increasing
benefits for our seniors and those who depend on Medicare--not reducing but increasing benefits. There's been a massive misrepresentation about what that is, so I want to set the record straight. So in terms of spending cuts, we are on the record having voted for about $1.6 trillion.
  In terms of entitlement reform, there is over $1 trillion already and more savings to be gained in further discussions on the subject by a strong down payment. 
  What is missing are two elements that the President has put forth in his budget: growth, investments in infrastructure--yes, the President has called for investments in infrastructure to build the infrastructure of America and to create jobs to grow our economy; and, where are the revenues? Where are the revenues? Regardless of the cuts
or the changes in entitlements, more is demanded in terms of what seniors would have to pay into Medicare and at what age that would happen, while the Republicans refuse to touch one hair on the head of the wealthiest people in our country.
 Well, surely we can all agree with this homily:
We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer he consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation. We're paying the price for this budget right now.
 President Obama, are you listening? After all, you do like the sound of your own voice.

(The wisdom of President Obama was brought to you by Austin Scott, Representative from Georgia, and a man in a futile search of ideological consistency from a practicing politician)


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