This week Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee is set to release its fiscal year 2014 budget, which promises to balance Uncle Sam’s books in 10 years. Ryan’s offering will elicit lamentations from the usual quarters of the mainstream media: House Republicans have lurched sharply to the right, they have abandoned the pragmatic principles of their forebears, they are now totally unfit to govern.
When it comes to deficit reduction, President Obama and the mainstream press seem to have a fascination with the figure of $4 trillion. During last year’s first presidential debate, Obama falsely claimed, “I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan,” even though he’d done nothing of the sort.
Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, blasts President Barack Obama in a statement for breaking the law by refusing to submit an annual budget. "President Obama is required by law to submit his budget request for Fiscal Year 2014. For the fourth time in five years, however, he will miss the statutory deadline," Ryan's office explains.
President Barack Obama used his second inaugural address Monday to offer an aggressive, unapologetic defense of activist government and to call for a new spirit of unity even as he seeks to move the country even further left.
At his press conference today, President Obama showed that he either thinks he can pull the wool over Americans’ eyes through the sheer force of his own outrageous rhetoric, or else he really believes his own rhetoric and is living in a fantasyland. The guess here is that it’s a roughly even mix of the two.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that "deficit reduction is not a worthy goal unto itself":
"Most importantly because deficit reduction is not a worthy goal unto itself," said Carney, talking about government spending. "This is all about making our economy stronger, making it more productive and allowing it to create even more jobs. That is the most important thing when it comes to economic policy as far as the President is concerned."
Having avoided the "fiscal cliff," we will now be in jeopardy of breaking our necks when we collide with the "debt ceiling." The responsible thing to do, we are already being told by the New York Times is ... to raise the ceiling:
Among the many items bundled into the fiscal cliff fix there was another delay in implementing cuts to physician payments for Medicare services. It wasn't hard, though. Congress has had plenty of practice handling what is called the "doc fix," since it has been doing it almost routinely for the last decade.