Supposedly there are grand negotiations ongoing in Washington in search of a grand bargain to avoid a grand calamity - pushing the nation over the fiscal cliff. It appears, however, that whatever discussion is really happening is focused on how much additional "revenue" to extract from taxpayers' pockets instead of how strict of a diet to impose on the federal government.
The Democrats are obsessing about raising tax rates, while the GOP talks about closing loopholes. Either option takes more out of the private economy and puts it into the government's pocket resulting in a bigger government and smaller economy.
Memo to Congress: America's problem is not that government is too small. It's the spending, stupid!
For far too long, government has been growing (spending) faster than the total economy. Over just the last five years, government spending has increased by 29.6 percent while the total economy has grown barely 8 percent.
Obama maintains that there are only two options available for Congress:
- push the nation over the fiscal cliff by raising taxes on everyone on January 1, 2013, or
- Obama's "plan" that includes $1.6 trillion of immediate tax increases over the next decade and a wink-and-nod promise to talk about spending cuts later.
Essentially, he has put a gun to the head of Congress making a threat of "higher taxes now-talk of spending cuts later, or fiscal Armageddon."
The President would have us – and Congress – believe that "his plan" includes as much as $3 in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases.
This claim, however, comes from the same President that said ObamaCare would reduce the federal deficit. We now know that instead of saving money, his health care bill will cost taxpayers more than $2 trillion over the next decade.
Obama's latest "spending cuts" fantasy is based largely on the double counting of already programmed spending reductions from the 2011 debt-ceiling deal struck with the House GOP, accounting for money he wasn't going to spend anyway fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after 2014, and more than $600 billion of supposed savings on interest expense on phantom debt that hasn't even been created.