Monday, July 25, 2011

Obama's Shameful Debt Crisis

As members of Congress race to try and beat the August 2nd deadline, the chief obstacle is proving to be none other than President Barack Obama. After having spent the country into near bankruptcy and avoided the whole subject for most of his presidency,it's obvious that he now seeks to make politics out of this situation, regardless of the cost to the country.

The president gave a press conference late Friday at around 6PM local time, and informed a servile press that Speaker John Boehner had called a half hour ago and informed him he was 'walking out of negotiations'. The president, not to put to fine a point on it, was simply lying. As I pointed out earlier that day, the reason for the so-called walk out was that President Obama had crafted a deal with the Speaker that would have allowed the raise in the debt ceiling the president wants, cut spending by up to $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years and increased tax revenues by $800 billion, largely by reforming the tax code. Cantor and Boehner were prepared to accept that as a compromise.

The president flat out 'misstated when he said, “You had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they've been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues.”

The White House and the House Republicans had already agreed to accept $800 billion in new revenues, AKA tax increases. The talks broke down when the deal was almost completed and President Obama demanded an additional $400 billion in tax increases - a 50% upping of the ante he knew the House Republicans weren't going to accept.

Boehner had exactly right in his own press conference. “The White House moved the goalpost. There was an agreement, some additional revenues, until yesterday, when the president demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people.”

In other words, the current occupant of the White House deliberately torpedoed a deal to solve this problem at the last minute, one he'd already agreed to.

As Boehner put it in his letter to the House Republicans, explaining his decision to pull out of the talks:

"It has become evident that the White House is not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering our children's future. A deal was never reached, and was never really close."

"The president is emphatic that taxes have to be raised. ... The president is emphatic that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs....
For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders in the Senate in an effort to find a path forward."

If an e-mail from Jennifer's Rubin's inside source is correct, Boehner was able to exactly that over the weekend..until President Obama once again quashed it:

“The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no.”

At that point, during a short meeting on Saturday, Speaker Boehner reportedly told the president, “Congress writes the laws and you get to decide what you want to sign.”

Let's recap briefly here. The House Republicans and every Republican in the Senate have voted for one fix, cut cap and balance' that would not only have solve the immediate problem but put the country on the road to fiscal responsibility. The president said he would veto it, and the Senate Democrats voted it down in a straight party line vote.

Speaker Boehner and Majority leader Eric Cantor then went to the president and worked out a compromise bill that the House Republicans agreed would be acceptable and the White House agreed to - only to have the president deliberately destroy it at the last minute by asking for $400 billion in additional tax increases.

And now, we apparently have a bipartisan bill crafted over the weekend by Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, only to have the president again refuse to accept it.

This should make clear that every time the president refers to 'Republican obstructionism' or comes up with cute quotes about how the Republicans don't know the meaning of yes, he's simply lying on a grand scale.

It's pretty obvious where the president is going on this one. This entire masquerade is being played out because he either wants the debt ceiling raised with no concessions on his part so it looks like a political victory for him or a government shutdown, during which he'll deliberately refuse to prioritize spending so he can make political fodder and talking points while those Social Security checks, military paychecks and Medicare payments don't go out and the American people suffer to make sacrifices at his altar.

It's simply despicable that he's doing it, disgraceful that his own party is enabling him and especially obscene that the mainstream press is pretty much giving him a pass on it.

What we have here is a president who puts his ego, his self-aggrandizement and his political agenda above the good of the country to a degree never before seen in our history. He is simply unworthy of his office.

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