President Obama was in Ohio Wednesday to raise cash and enlarge the cloud of smoke he’s blowing to distract from his record. In a speech on the economy, he tried to discredit the House-passed Republican budget authored by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the Budget Committee. This is a mark of desperation. Mr. Obama has to try to turn the public against the House budget because he has nothing to offer as an alternative.
White House propaganda aside, Washington liberals are the real obstacle to progress in restoring fiscal discipline. Mr. Obama’s budget was late this year, earning him an ignominious place in history for breaking the budget-delivery-deadline law more times than any other president. Once the White House proposal finally arrived, there was nothing for legislators to work with as his plan increased the debt by at least $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The spending proposal was so bloated that it didn’t even receive support from the president’s own party, going down in flames in a 414-0 vote in the House last month.
The Democratic-controlled Senate continues to refuse to take up anybody’s budget as it has for the past 1,086 days. This obstructionism is designed to help Mr. Obama depict a “Do Nothing Congress” as not moving to address the nation’s ills. “This president is more interested in looking like he’s solving problems than actually solving them,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Washington Times. House Speaker John Boehner hit a similar note. “The president checked out last Labor Day,” he told CBS News. “All he’s done is campaign full-time for the last six months. He’s not been engaged in the legislative process at all.”
While Mr. Obama showboated in the Buckeye State, the House Ways and Means Committee led by Michigan Rep. Dave Camp spent the day marking up reconciliation recommendations required by the House-passed budget. Though no version is likely to see the light of day in this Senate, the exercise helps expose deceptive White House spin. “It’s hard to compete with somebody who’s not anchored to the truth,” Mr. Ryan explained at an American Spectator forum on Wednesday. “What just astounds me is this comes from the president of the United States. It’s very unpresidential to talk in these terms and to use this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric and these kind of faulty assumptions.”
Apparently, the House GOP has become wise to the Democrats’ election-year play: Do nothing, wait for Republicans to do something, and then delay, distort and deceive in order to distract from Mr. Obama’s abysmal record.
Anneke E. Green is assistant editorial page editor of The Washington Times.