President Obama likes to say that a strong America abroad rests on a strong America at home. What he and his administration continue to ignore, however, is that a prosperous America at home has in no small way rested for decades on America’s global military preeminence.
In response to a question about whether now would be a good time for the president to present his own debt ceiling budget plan, White House spokesman Jay Carney had this to say: "Leadership is not proposing a plan for the sake of having it voted up or down and likely voted down..."
President Obama repeatedly insists that the debt ceiling must be raised by at least $2.4 trillion. Why this particular amount, rather than, say, an even $1 trillion or $2 trillion? Because $2.4 trillion is Obama’s estimate for what it would take to get him through the next election without needing to deal with another debt ceiling battle. In other words, $2.4 trillion is a politically generated figure.
There are many reasons to be skeptical that any likely budget deal would be worth supporting. And it’s long past time for Republicans to be planning strategically, and laying the groundwork legislatively and politically, for an outcome of no deal (or possibly a mini-deal that doesn’t sacrifice conservative principles).
Much has been made of the Paul Ryan-authored House budget’s proposal to make Medicare more solvent through increased competition and choice — and rightly so. But that proposal is hardly the sole difference between the respective budgets authored by Ryan and President Obama.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will vote against increasing the debt limit unless President Obama agrees to spending cuts and long term reforms that satisfy the bond market, as well as foreign investors, and “astonish the American people.”
Ever since President Obama gave his speech on deficit reduction last month, in response to the Paul Ryan-authored 2012 House Republican budget, press accounts have suggested that he has released an actual budget that would reduce deficit spending by $4 trillion. This claim is wrong on both counts: Obama has not released a second budget, and the proposals he outlined in his speech and its corresponding "framework" would not reduce deficit spending by anywhere near $4 trillion.
Lately, I’ve been staying up late at night because I’m just too stressed over the state of the union. Unable to sleep, I often find myself toggling between scores of Excel spreadsheets, crunching all sorts of numbers to get my mind around the gaping budget deficit that is threatening the country. It isn’t pretty, as we all know, and unfortunately my computations have only made me feel worse.