PHOENIX, December 3, 2012- Last week, President Obama declared that the fiscal cliff discussions were taking a ‘balanced approach,’ as some Republicans are now agreeing to raise taxes on the top earners.
Despite Obama’s declaration, the fiscal cliff discussions are taking more of a hypocritical approach.
The Republicans, trying to reach a balanced approach, have already agreed to raise revenues. The Democrats on the other hand have declared Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid off the negotiation table, despite that they are the biggest drivers by far of our rapidly expanding federal budget. They are also heading rapidly towards insolvency.
So, who really has the ‘balanced approach’?
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner even threw down the gauntlet Sunday, when he declared that no fiscal cliff deal would be reached without the Bush tax cuts expiring for top earners.
When President Obama announced last week that congress should raise taxes this year and hold off on spending cuts till next year, Republicans should have called him on his bluff and blatantly state that raising taxes isn’t going to solve the issues that come with the fiscal cliff.
Plus if Republicans think that they will be getting the adequate spending cuts by waiting till next year, they’ve got another thing coming. Even in Obama’s latest proposal, the president calls for a $50 billion stimulus package, showing that he isn’t ready to end reckless spending.
Republicans have given Obama something to work with: raising revenues. The president has given nothing to Republicans. If Obama and congressional Democrats truly want a so-called ‘balanced approach,’ they will put aside their partisan differences and allow deep, arduous spending cuts and entitlement reforms to happen.
As I wrote last week, if Republicans want to retain any support in the coming elections, entitlement reforms and spending cuts must be on the table or the Republicans have already lost. Supporters aren’t going to have much faith in a party that can’t even stand on their principles in face of polarizing latitude.
Besides, there are numerous studies showing that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans would cost the economy nearly 710,000 jobs and much lower wages for those with jobs. Yet, the Democrats are still adamant on putting the economic punishments on the wealthiest Americans.
Withal, if the country goes off the fiscal cliff it will raise taxes on all Americans and likely usher in another recession with unemployment above 9 percent. An idea that isn’t good for either party going forward.
Going off the cliff will also continue to show the partisan gridlock that has trapped Washington into being a wasteful, do-nothing entity.
In theory, the economic issues are not hard to solve, though in politics, it’s World War III. Partisanship has engrossed a large part of the American government in the past decades, making George Washington’s idea of no political parties sound attractive. Though it is unlikely we’ll see them dissolve in the near future.
So, while President Obama declares that the fiscal cliff negotiations have taken a balanced approach, his actions speak louder than words. Obamas’ actions have shown that he isn’t willing to look at entitlement or spending reform. He’s displayed that he’d rather take the hypocritical approach rather the balanced one.
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