If I was a “moderate” by my definition of "moderate" that could very well have been the pressing question on my mind last night after having watched the President speak, and the Speaker respond. I assume that the vast majority of those we call moderate are are simply those people not overly concerned with politics, and whose opinions on the issues of the day have an elasticity to the left or the right regardless of their starting point. I don’t define moderates as mythical creatures that would vote Republican if it weren’t for their strong convictions in favor of gay marriage. I assume these are people that may recognize bias in the network anchors, but don’t see it on Good Morning America, Newsweek, or in the movies and TV shows they watch. Many of them supported Obamacare as described by Obama, but turned against it once the reality of Obama care filtered through the sources they pay attention to.
These are the vast middle of America, which would lean right if they ever cared enough to get the honest facts, but often poll left without those facts. These are the ones, “the narrative” is written for. There are few opportunities to sway the moderates against “the narrative” in the short term, because they don’t watch Fox, listen to Rush, or read RedState. These are the people that Reagan spoke directly to, circumventing the leftist media.
Speaker Boehner has had at least two opportunities in the last week to speak to many of these people – and he has done very little to challenge the narrative. His words have been good as far as they went, but it has been as if there is very little being said on the left that is worth challenging.
How can we entirely blame the media, when we squander opportunities to get the truth to those who need it most? Was there a doubt that Obama’s speech would blame President Bush for the debt crisis? Has he ever, ever, ever, opened a national address without blaming President Bush? Was it a brilliant sneak attack that Republicans would be accused of putting out old ladies in favor of jet setting billionaires? Is anybody surprised that tea partiers and the house republicans in general were characterized as extreme and juvenile, while Obama was balanced and responsible?
I may be a little off in interpreting some of the numbers; I may be a little too disrespectful of the President for Primetime, but here is the gist of what I would have said in response to the President last night -
The last time the United States of America risked losing its AAA, top notch credit rating – was not under George Bush, it was never. Yet we are going to lose our AAA rating under this President, even if the debt ceiling is raised. So far the only plan that can save our rating is the bill that raises the debt ceiling, averts default, and has already been passed by the house and tabled by the Senate. The President has already promised to veto this bill while accusing republicans of being the party of no - because it doesn’t raise taxes.
The last time our gross public debt exceeded 100% of our gross domestic product was not under George Bush, it was 1949. Yet the President’s debt exceeded gross domestic product in 2009 and 2010, and is projected to do so every year of his Presidency if we don’t change course. By 2016 the debt is expected to be over 24 trillion dollars, which will exceed our GDP by nearly 5 billion dollars. By the end of 2011, only his 3rd year in Office this President will have increased the debt by nearly 6 trillion dollars. More than President Bush did in his entire 8 year term, while fighting 2 wars, dealing the the affects of 911, providing one of the largest tax cuts to all Americans, and providing prescription drug care for Seniors.
2011 is also projected for another distinction, the highest federal budget deficit in history at 1.5 trillion dollars.
I don't lay out these facts to defend President Bush's past actions, or to blame President Obama for his past actions. I lay out these facts to request the presence of the President in this crisis, in the here and now. That is where we must do our work, it can not be accomplished pushing the blame to the president of three years ago, and it cannot be done in some utopia of the future where government efficiently provides all things to all people and punishes the prosperous for daring to prosper. It is the here and now where we are spending ourselves into oblivion that must be addressed. If you cannot join us Mr. President, please get out of the way.
It was not useful in a debt crisis that President Obama proposed in February a $3.69 trillion dollar budget, the highest proposed budget ever, and one that was so outrageous it was voted down in the Democratic controlled Senate 97-0. Not a single vote. There is no sudden concern for balanced approach; there is no concern for balance at all. Even under the rosiest of predictions, unfettered, President Obama will have added over 6 trillion dollars to the national debt by the end of 1 term as President. We don’t think there is anything unbalanced about cutting that number in half, as a good start. Balance to the President means promising to cut 2 to 4 trillion of spending over the next 5-10 years, while at the same time adding 10-20 trillion in spending during the same time frame. But it’s a different story for taxes – those just go up under the Presidents balanced approach and not just for jet setting billionaires either.
Now, the only branch of government controlled by Republicans has passed the only bill that not only increases the debt ceiling, but that likely preserves our credit rating – and the President all but refuses to acknowledge the bill even exists – because it doesn’t raise taxes. In other words, he will risk the full faith and credit of the United States if can’t take more money from the very people who already pay 80% the taxes, and who employ much of the nation.
If the President would like to agree on a permanent basis to reduce his assets to those of the middle class by donating them all the federal government, then he could donate every dime over $250,000.00 that he makes every year to the government, then give another 40% on top of that to the federal government. At least then he could state his opinions on what each person’s “fair share” is based on experience. But even if he were willing to put himself in those shoes, his pronouncements gain nothing more than the avoidance of the hypocrisy he now lives and breathes. The President of the United States does not sit in judgment on what each person’s fair share is. We collect taxes to run the government and there is no shame in that – we do not collect taxes to divvy the fruits of the American People’s labor according to one man’s notion of everyone else’s “fair share.”
Keep in mind; this is the same president who informed the country that a recession was no time to raise taxes when he extended the Bush tax cuts last year. The Bush tax cuts which benefit nearly all tax-paying Americans – but which this President liked to claim only benefited millionaires and billionaires before he decided a recession wasn’t a good time to raise taxes. But that was when he could both spend more and leave the tax rates alone. He doesn’t control the whole government anymore, and so he has flip-flopped about the prudence of raising taxes during a recession.
Now he is back to accusing our plan of benefiting Billionaires at the expense of senior citizens. Apparently you are supposed to forget that before Obama was for seniors, he was blaming President Bush for providing them prescription drugs. And that is just in the same speech, only a few minutes apart. Lest we forget it was only a few days ago that he threatened to stop paying seniors their social security even though we could pay all of our social security obligations for decades even without a debt increase. Lest we forget it was only a few months ago he stripped billions of dollars out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Those are specifics – how it is our plan is supposed to hurt seniors has never been stated with specificity.
Remember, there is one plan in writing, which has also passed with b-partisan support in the House of Representatives. There is no Obama plan; there is no Democrat plan from any branch of government to compare it with. It may be good rhetoric to pretend you can get the trillions of dollars we need from the handful of jet-setting billionaires in this country, but it simply isn’t reality. Or to pretend our plan is extreme when 5 democrats voted for it. I guess those are extreme tea-party democrats according to the President. Mr. President, produce a real plan with actual cuts and actual increases, so we can really see whose plan truly affects American’s the most. If not, get out of the way.
It may be good rhetoric to quote Reagan as if Ronald Reagan would have ever allowed us to get into this position in the first place, but sound bites cannot hide the fact that Reagan left office with the gross national debt 1/5 the size of the national debt today. President Clinton left office with a national debt nearly 1/3 the size of what it is today.
I should not have to waste the American people’s time with these facts. I should not have to waste time responding to a President who takes to the airwaves every day to create a false narrative about our plan, his non-plan, and the nature of this crisis - for political gain. We moved beyond that months ago, and we ask that the President join us, or get out of the way. The House has already passed a bi-partisan bill that could increase the debt ceiling at anytime. The house and the Senate are working together on alternative measures. We certainly have fundamental disagreements, we certainly use strong rhetoric from time to time – but we have done and are doing the work Mr. President. Our plan is straightforward. We don’t use words to confuse the American people like referring to tax increases as “reduced spending in the tax code.” It’s called Cut, Cap and Balance. Just like it sounds it’s about cutting spending, capping spending, and balancing the budget. If the people want to review the details of the only plan to have been written down, passed by congress, and tat has the support of democrats and republicans, they should go to ???CCB.ORG where the plan can be found in its entirety. Unfortunately, I am placed in the position of asking that the American people do NOT take the President’s word for it.