“Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve . . . a budget surplus.” John F. Kennedy


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Jul 23 2011

The Party of No, Stop Now!

C.M. Phippen

Does anyone remember how just a few months back, the Democrats and the media kept referring to the Republicans as the “Party of No”? Democrats had been frustrated with the conservative ideal of limited government, translating into less government spending and fewer regulations. Now, frustrated with John Boehner’s unwillingness to continue the out-of-control spending of this administration that would increase the debt $4.9 trillion between 2010 and 2016, the president asked just yesterday if they (Republicans) can “say yes to anything?”

Of course, we all know that what everybody really wants is “new programs or the NFL season getting resolved,” but unfortunately for this president, somebody has to grow up and do the things that no one really wants – stop spending money we don’t have and can’t afford to borrow. That requires a whole lot of saying, “No!” to politicians who are accustomed to winning reelection by the very act of spending our money foolishly.

In 2009, 51% of American households paid no income tax; one out of every three dollars earned in the US goes to “pay for or comply with federal laws or regulations,” and this is before the implementation of new health care and financial services regulations; and “social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960.”

Maybe Steve Wynn has it right when he complains that Obama keeps making speeches about redistribution and punishing successful businesses that don’t do what he wants them to do. Maybe we need to slow down entitlement spending to a sustainable level, like that advocated in 2009 by Obama, when he said that long-term economic recovery couldn’t be attained without reforming costly entitlement programs.

Just last week Moody’s acknowledged that having access to more money by raising the debt ceiling will not assure a continuation of the AAA rating for the US; the deficit must also be reduced. In order to just get transfer payments down to pre-recession levels, “wages and salaries would have to increase $2.3 trillion, or 35 percent, to $8.8 trillion, or social welfare benefits would have to decline $500 billion, or 23 percent, to $1.7 trillion.”

The key is job growth and reduced spending. The party of Obama would like to raise taxes, thus stunting growth, and keep spending at record levels. It should be obvious at this point that the stimulus did nothing to change our fortunes or, as an economist at a liberal think tank claimed in 2009, to have “caused a sharp change in the path of the economy, which had been in steep decline.”

All we’ve done is to have kicked the can a little further down the road, something our president claimed would end with him. So yes, if the options are between supporting the Party of No Solutions or the Party of No More Spending, sign me up for the latter, along with the rest of the 49% who are paying the bill.