During the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, President Obama reportedly warned Republican leaders not to call his bluff by sending him a bill without tax increases. Republicans in Congress ignored this threat and passed a bill that cuts more than a dollar in spending for every dollar it increases the debt limit, without raising taxes.
Yesterday, Mr. Obama signed this bill into law. He was, as he said, bluffing.
That's a creative way of selling the crap sandwich, sir. Obama called YOUR bluff by getting the Senate to veto CutCapBalance and all of Boehner's halfway decent plans. He got you and the House boys to kowtow to accounting gimmicks and a commission that puts taxes on the table. Don't try to sell us this bill of goods.
However, Ryan does hit his stride here:
the president still hasn't shown us his cards. He still hasn't put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and his evasiveness is emblematic of the party he leads.
Ever since they abused the budget process to jam their health-care takeover through Congress last year, the Democrats have simply done away with serious budgeting altogether. The simplest explanation—and the president's real bluff—is that they don't want to commit publicly to the kind of tax increases and health-care rationing that would be required to sustain their archaic vision of government.
The president's February budget deliberately dodged the tough choices necessary to confront the threat of runaway federal spending. It was rejected unanimously in a Senate controlled by his own party. Since then he has offered a lot of rhetoric but no real plan to avoid a spending-driven debt crisis. His speeches and press conferences are no substitutes for actual budgets with specific numbers and independently verified projections of future deficits and debt. Meanwhile, it has been over two years since the Democrat-controlled Senate passed any budget at all. This is a historic failure to fulfill one of the most basic responsibilities of governing.
This leadership deficit has thrown the federal budget process into chaos at the worst possible time. Even though Congress has cut spending by a significant amount, it still hasn't dealt with the drivers of our debt—primarily federal spending on health care.
Mr. Ryan, the House hasn't led. Boehner got led, played, fooled, bamboozled and so did you. This deal doesn't do a damn thing to address our serious problems. You let Obama off the hook by letting the deal run past the election. You and B**ch McConnell and the sheep in the Senate took debt off the table. Nice work, thanks for making Obama's reelection campaign easier. But, you are right. THERE IS NO LEADERSHIP IN WASHINGTON, save Jim DeMint. But your buddies in the Senate won't listen to him, and you guys in the House have showed you don't have much of a spine, either.
And the situation is dire:
The math is scary, yet simple: In the years ahead, spending on programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Democrats' new health-care entitlements is projected to skyrocket relative to the size of the economy, even as federal spending on everything else is projected to decline....
Even the president seems to understand that the status quo of these programs is unsustainable. As he put it during a press conference on July 11, "If you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up."
On this point, Mr. Obama and I couldn't agree more. Where we disagree is over how best to confront this problem.
No, Paul, you allowed your speaker to do this with Barry O and B**ch McConnell:
Rep. Ryan goes on to talk about the seriousness of Medicare and how we are failing. Then he ends his editorial with a big lie that Boehner and Co. tried to get us to believe:
The president tried to use the debt-ceiling negotiations to secure the first of many tax increases that his party needs to pay for its legacy of unfunded promises. He failed. Instead, Republicans won the policy debate by securing the first of many spending restraints we need to avoid a debt-driven economic calamity.
Much hard work remains. But this work will be harder still if leading Democrats remain unwilling to lay their cards on the table and give the American people the debate they deserve.
Taxes are still on the table with this deal, Paul. If you and leadership didn't see that, then you are blind and stupid. If you did see it, then you are being duplicitous. Either way, it is not a bright spot for Speaker Boehner's and Ldr Cantor's leadership.