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.
Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, explains why he voted in favor of the "fiscal cliff" deal last night in the House of Representatives:
“We’ll never get our debt under control unless we tackle its main drivers: too little economic growth and too much spending. Without presidential leadership, it will be difficult to forge bipartisan solutions to our debt and economic challenges.
After Congress agreed temporarily to avert the "fiscal cliff" last night, President Barack Obama hailed the deal in brief remarks delivered from the White House, and then headed to Air Force One to take a midnight flight to Hawaii. Obama had left his family days earlier to return to Washington to deal with the "fiscal cliff."
A Democratic member of Congress is moving to block President Barack Obama's congressional pay increase. The move, led by John Barrow of Georgia, is to prevent the pay increase that Obama issued through an executive order from going into effect.
The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of American companies in world markets. No matter what deal is cut, whether before or after the new year, it will at best nibble at the edges of the trillion-dollar annual deficits that are being piled up.