Let’s be perfectly frank, when it comes to the so-called debt-ceiling “deal” I’m not exactly a fan. I don’t think it goes far enough when it comes to making spending cuts. That being said it does seem that thanks to the stand by many freshman Republicans and the Tea Party things are better than they could have been when the debate started. And the Republicans have presented a budget which is more than President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate have done. As Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) points out:
Nevertheless, 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.
In short it’s been nothing but rhetoric instead of leadership coming from the Oval Office.
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.
While this so-called “deal” is far from perfect there is a silver lining:
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.
The question is when will President Obama and the Democrats be willing to have meaningful debate when it comes to a “real” budget plan?