McConnell Labels the Obama Cuts a Sham
12:20 PM, Jul 12, 2011 • By FRED BARNES
“In my view, that was the saddest commentary on the status of the leadership at the White House.
“And I’m proud of the fact that Republicans refused to play along.
“We stood our ground. We know that what Americans need right now is for government to make job creation easier, not harder. And we said so. At a time when 14 million Americans are looking for work, we refused to support a tax hike. We supported jobs and economic growth instead.
“When Democrats saw that we wouldn’t budge, they proposed one last offer to craft a deal.
“They asked us to join them in another Washington effort to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. They offered us the opportunity to participate in the kind of deliberate deception of the public that has given public service such a bad name in recent years.
“We all saw how it worked. The Administration carefully leaked to the media, without any details, the idea that it was willing to go along with trillions of dollars in spending cuts.
“The lack of detail concealed the fact that the savings they were supposedly willing to support was at best smoke and mirrors. The hope here was that the budget gimmicks and deferred decision-making they actually supported would have the appearance of serious belt-tightening.
“But the practical effect would have been at most about a couple of billion dollars in cuts up front with empty promises of more to follow. We've seen this kind of thing before. It’s just this kind of sleight of hand governing that’s put our nation more than $14 trillion in debt. And I will not associate myself with it. I refuse to join in an effort to fool the American people.
“Republicans have told the President we're not interested in business as usual in Washington. We mean it. We will not be party to something that claims to save trillions but leaves it to future generations to pick up the tab, and to future Congresses to reverse it with a simple vote.
“We will not pretend that a bad deal is a good one. Which brings me to a larger point.
“The suggestion has been made that this debate has hinged on the question of whether or not the two parties could find a solution to our economic problems without raising taxes.
“We could have done that without breaking a sweat.
“The truth is, the Democrats saw this debate as a unique opportunity to impose the type of tax hikes they want so badly but couldn’t pass even in a Democrat-controlled Senate last year.
“So let’s not be fooled by a false choice.
“This was not, in the end, a debate about whether taxes needed to be raised.
“It was a debate about the kind of government we want. This was a debate between those who believe that Washington doesn’t have enough money to spend, and those, like me, who believe that Washington has become too big, too expensive, and too burdensome already.
“If you think that the federal government isn’t big enough, then the only responsible thing to do is to support higher taxes. For those who are honest about that, I appreciate their candor.
“But for those of us who don’t think the federal government should be in charge of banks, the auto industry, the housing business, the student loan business, health care, and regulating everything else under the sun, we’re not about to further enable that model of government by shaking down the American people for more money at a time when they can least afford it.
“That’s what this debate is about. It’s about saying Washington has gotten too big, and that if it can’t afford its commitments, then it needs to find a way to cut back on them. But don’t demand that the American people pay more so Washington can make its bad habits permanent.
“I read an article yesterday that said two out of every ten dollars Americans spend right now comes from the federal government. Is this really the model we want?
“Mr. President, I have a lot of meetings with constituents and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say, `The problem with Washington is that they don’t have enough money to spend.’