|Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:58 am
|Obama's Deficit Commission Won't Help Fiscal Crisis
Friday, 12 Nov 2010 10:16 AM
By David Limbaugh (The Other Limbaugh)
If preliminary rumblings from the National Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform's upcoming report are accurate, I'm afraid
the conservative agenda — though overwhelmingly victorious in last
week's elections — might be against the ropes again, especially with
GOP congressmen praising the report.
Our astronomical deficits are the result not of low taxes, but of
profligate spending. So why do we accept the premise that the starting
point for deficit and debt reduction discussions must be various tax
hikes, tolerating unacceptably high levels of spending, and seeming to
take off the table the eradication of programs the government was
never intended or constitutionally authorized to establish in the
The deficit commission appears to have adopted the flawed notion that
taxes and revenues are a zero-sum game — that tax increases produce
higher revenues, when more often the opposite is true.
For example, does anyone doubt that the commission's proposal to
eliminate the mortgage interest deduction would detrimentally impact
the housing (and possibly financial) market?
Equally important, how can this commission be taken seriously if it
sanctions Obamacare, which not only is wildly unpopular with the
American people but also greatly burdens the federal fiscal equation?
Many are praising the commission's "boldness" in proposing to reduce
the growth of the federal deficit by $3.8 trillion by 2020 from its
projected growth of $7.7 trillion. That's like an alcoholic promising
to cut down his liquor consumption from two bottles of bourbon a day
Obama, who initiated (and stacked) this commission as an Alinskyite
strategy to turn the tables on Republicans on the spending issue, must
be laughing all the way to the statist bank.
Do you realize that just three years ago — 2007 — our federal budget
deficit was just $161 billion? So why are we congratulating ourselves
as prudent stewards of our grandchildren's money for planning half-
trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see?
Besides, no one can honestly believe these reduction projections are
realistic. One thing you can bank on is that government-spending
projections are always understated.
Without doubt, there will be the inevitable upward pressure on
deficits and debt from the increased interest on the debt as a result
of Obama's reckless spending orgy. But that's hardly the only
explanation for the nearly exponential increases in the projected
growth of the deficit.
If we are going to be serious about tackling this fiscal crisis, which
threatens the long-term survival of the republic, at some point we're
going to have to have a debate on the ever-expanding dependency cycle
to which we've addicted ourselves.
If the elections told us anything, it was that people want this nation
to radically reverse its current fiscal course. Nibbling around the
edges is neither what the people have demanded nor what will alleviate
Those who think Obama is completely incompetent ought to reconsider.
The one thing he's not incompetent at is getting his way — shoving his
agenda down our throats.
There was a method to Obama's madness in shoving Obamacare through,
folding new spending programs into his "stimulus" bill that will
persist in perpetuity, and otherwise reversing welfare reform en route
to re-expanding the welfare state.
He knew that no matter how much the public objected, it would be very
hard to roll back his new initiatives once in place and that he would
be establishing a new set point from which any debate on spending and
taxes would have to begin.
We don't have to accept this state of affairs as the inevitable status
quo, and we shouldn't give too much credence to a deficit commission
that accepts, apparently without much question, that Obamacare is here
Nor should we casually swallow the commission's implied message that
we will be fiscal heroes if we merely aspire to roll back federal
spending to 22 percent — and later 21 percent — of gross domestic
A few short years ago, such spending levels would have been met with
uniform horror by all but the most brainwashed Marxists. As Steve
Manacek wrote at Ricochet.com, such excessive spending levels have
been relatively rare in our history.
Yet we now have a commission whose charter purpose is to reduce the
deficit advocating these levels as just a starting point? Can you
imagine what the ending point would be?
Sanguine reactions to the commission's tax-related solutions are
equally suspect. It recommends capping revenues at 21 percent of GDP,
as if that is Grover Norquist's dream. But Manacek points out that
federal revenues have never reached 21 percent of GDP, so there is
nothing comforting here for those who recognize excessive taxes as
enemies of freedom and economic growth.
It's not that there aren't attractive features in the preliminary
commission reports. But to paraphrase Obama, conservatives just "won,"
and they mustn't accede to Obama's misguided approach to deficit
David Limbaugh is a writer, author, and attorney. His new book,
"Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller
list for nonfiction for its first two weeks.
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