The Bipartisan Dog and Pony Show
As more details from the 2011 budget agreement are becoming available, it looks as if President Obama and the Democratic Party may have gotten their way. Most of the $38 billion dollar reductions are a product of creative book keeping based on money left over from previous years. Furthermore, much of the cuts are to programs that Obama had targeted in the first place, such as earmarks, unspent census money, and leftover federal construction money. Meanwhile, programs such as Pell Grants and health research, in addition to Planned Parenthood and the EPA will remain safe for now.
In the 2012 budget fight, it is widely believed that Obama will go after tax cuts; he is expected to revive his recommendations that the Bush tax cuts for households making $250,000 or more a year come to an end. Overall, he will be seeking a tax increase on the wealthy from Bush’s 25% tax rate to 35%, which would restore the tax code to the level that existed during the Clinton administration. In my opinion, Obama’s tax hike proposal will be nothing more than a paper tiger. After all, the Democrats have their hands out to big business every bit as much as the Republicans.
If we are going to get this $14.3 trillion dollar debt under control, raising taxes for the rich is going to have to come hand in hand with cutting spending. While Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal would supposedly trim more that $5 trillion from our deficit over the next decade, it does nothing to generate more revenue (read taxes) from the highest income brackets. Ryan’s proposal follows the Tea Bagger’s playbook on spending; force the poor, middle class, and elderly to tighten their belts even further by cutting spending on needed programs for their health and well being, while reducing even further the taxes paid out by the top 1% of our country.
The Republican’s 2011 budget is looking more and more like it’s nothing but smoke and mirrors; the 2012 budget plan looks even worse. While Obama seems to have won a temporary victory by protecting many of the programs that actually benefit the public, he needs to step up his game and demand an end to the generous tax cuts to the rich.
A successful business plan is a simple one: Spend wisely while generating revenue. Our government does not do this. I’m surprised we’re still in business. If the government were a legitimate business, it would have been forced to shut its doors permanently during the Bush administration. If both parties can’t get their greed under control and formulate a balanced fiscal plan that actually works, the business that is the government will soon operate under a new credo; “open under new management.” Look for that sign to be written in Chinese.