Mr. Obama publicly and accurately defined the essence of our entitlement/fiscal problems in his speech of April 12, 2011. It is clear that he fully understands the issues. In this speech Mr. Obama demagogues the Ryan entitlement reform plan, while claiming the power of government will squeeze suppliers to reduce health care spending, proposing to reduce military spending, and insisting on increased tax rates on high incomes while reducing tax deductions, all resulting in what he claimed then would result in a $4 trillion reduction in the national debt over 12 years. This assertion is a semantic convenience, or lie, as Mr. Obama’s own 2013 budget projects the national debt rising from over $16 trillion in 2013 to over $25 trillion in 2022. (See page 64 here.) Mr. Obama never offers specifics on spending reductions. Mr. Obama never once mentions the fiscal benefits of economic growth in this speech, while he repeatedly associates only government spending with the term “investment.”
Now that he has his tax increase and reduction in tax deductions in hand, the only way to force Mr. Obama to engage in entitlement reform is for the House of Representatives to refuse an increase in the debt ceiling and be prepared to shut down the government until Mr. Obama and the Senate agree to specific entitlement changes that will, at a minimum, eliminate unfunded entitlement liabilities over time, and preferably, result in immediate and long lasting reductions in such spending.
The only way to support such a course of action with the American people is on moral grounds, superior in substance to the righteous unsupported morality and lack of specifics continuously offered by Mr. Obama.
That superior moral substance lies in the reality that Mr. Obama’s words are inconsistent with the fact that his only tangible achievements in office to date are limited to giving away free stuff paid for with trillions of dollars in debt that our children will have to repay.
Republicans need to make a broad public effort beginning now stating clearly why Mr. Obama has been wrong on the moral arguments and needs to agree to structural entitlement reforms to secure a future of opportunity and not debt for our children and our nation.
Republican leaders need to get their bull dogs in front the network cameras, editors, and political blogs now and keep them there until Mr. Obama accepts a meaningful compromise that leads us to fiscal sanity.
If Republicans cannot effectively make the superior moral argument to put public pressure on Mr. Obama they deserve what they get in return, which will be both nothing now and lost elections in 2014.
Regards, Pete Weldon