You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

MILLER: Obama’s massive spending spree

Budget cuts conspicuously absent from ‘balanced approach’ to debt crisis

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

President Obama meets with congressional leaders at the White House Friday to start negotiating a resolution to the "fiscal cliff." He's expected to continue insisting that tax increases can solve the debt crisis. Republicans are right to hold to the line that the trillion-dollar-plus deficits on Mr. Obama's watch will never shrink unless outlays are reduced.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, broker of last year's debt deal, gets it. "We don't happen to think the government needs more revenue. Government spends too much as it is," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Thursday. "But if Democrats are willing to reduce spending and strengthen entitlement programs -- which we all know are on an unsustainable path that threatens their own long-term viability and the economic well-being of our children and grandchildren -- then we'll be there."

For his part, Mr. Obama indicated Wednesday that he's willing to expend his second-term capital to win those tax increases. In his press conference, the president mentioned the word taxes 30 times and revenue three times. He only referred to spending once and entitlements twice.

It's not that Mr. Obama doesn't understand the problem. He'll say, "I believe that we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our entitlements because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits." Yet his lack of action on entitlement reform proves he doesn't really mean it. In four years, he hasn't put forward a single legislative proposal on the subject.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report last week underscoring the depth of the problem and suggesting the serious consequences of doing nothing about it. CBO found outlays for the federal government's major health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and subsidies offered through Obamacare) will total 6.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in just seven years. That's 133 percent more than has been spent, on average, in the past 40 years on such programs.

Costs are spiraling upward as the oldest baby boomers hit retirement. People also are living longer -- the number of those older than 65 is projected to spike by one-third over the next 10 years. Combine this with the rising costs of health care in general and the increasing demands of the Obamacare mandate, and it's easy to see the situation is unsustainable.

Mr. Obama also has been mum recently about the half of the fiscal cliff that is the mandatory sequestration of funds. In the final campaign debate, Mr. Obama said it just "will not happen," but he has yet to give an alternative way to repay the trillions he has been borrowing. The problem isn't cutting off funds to Uncle Sam, it's the way Democrats skewed the hit to come disproportionately from our national defense.

In the Oval Office meeting, Republicans need to stick to their principles and only offer a do-over that ends up giving the entire government an across-the-board nip-and-tuck. The last thing Washington needs is more revenue. The economy can't grow unless Americans are able to keep and invest more of what they earn.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts