The president’s deficit commission held its first meeting Tuesday at the White House, and Barack Obama heralded its mission with hollow rhetoric reminiscent of his campaign.
“For years, folks in Washington deferred politically difficult decisions and avoided telling hard truths about the nature of the problem,” the Democrat said, as though his own administration and his tenure in the Senate weren’t part of the problem.
Reining in out-of-control deficit spending “will require that we put politics aside — that we think more about the next generation than the next election,” Mr. Obama said — after blaming George W. Bush for forcing a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion on him “the day I walked into this door.”
There is no putting politics aside when it comes to federal spending — ever. That’s precisely why Washington has run up the national debt to nearly $13 trillion, with the country’s credit card balance expected to approach $25 trillion by 2020. To say nothing of the $56.4 trillion in promised entitlement benefits there’s no money for.
The members of his bipartisan commission could recommend raising the Social Security and Medicare eligibility ages to 75, means-testing benefits, shuttering one-third of the federal bureaucracy, cutting military spending in half, creating a 10 percent national sales tax and slashing the salary of every federal employee by 15 percent and Washington would still have trillions of dollars in debt and unfunded liabilities.
The federal government’s deficit spending is that bad.
And the most politically palatable way to deal with such an imminent threat to the economy is job-crushing tax hikes?
It’s the spending, stupid.