In the end President Obama proved this had nothing to do with the "middle-class" and everything to do with punishing the Republicans who had dared to oppose him. Late last night the Senate compromise fiscal cliff bill passed via a "bipartisan" 257-167 vote. Republicans voted "no" by an overwhelming margin 151-85, those 85 yeas combined with the 172 Democrats who voted for the bill enabled its passage.
As soon as the bill was passed the Divider-in-Chief stood before the Cameras with the SHMOTUS Joe Biden and took the opportunity to stick it to the GOP and lie to the American People:
But we are continuing to chip away at this problem, step by step. Last year I signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. Tonight’s agreement further reduces the deficit by raising $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in America. And there will be more deficit reduction as Congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we have now delayed for two months.Sorry Mr. President...according to the CBO it INCREASES the national debt by $4 trillion:
I want to make this point: As I've demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, I am very open to compromise. I agree with Democrats and Republicans that the aging population and the rising cost of health care makes Medicare the biggest contributor to our deficit. I believe we've got to find ways to reform that program without hurting seniors who count on it to survive. And I believe that there’s further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate.The President refused to compromise much, he didn't even consider Boehner's tax plan which would have raised more revenue without increasing the debt because he wanted to be able to say he raised taxes on the rich.
But we can't simply cut our way to prosperity. Cutting spending has to go hand-in-hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans. And we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy. So we're going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending.Another misstatement. We SPENT ourselves into this situation, therefore to get out of it we need to CUT our way out if it. And increasing the debt is not "moving forward in deficit reduction." To the President a "balanced approach" is simply class war fare. Then he throws down the gauntlet to the GOP.
Now, one last point I want to make — while I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed. Let me repeat: We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic — far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff.He is warning the GOP, "I beat you up on this--don't mess with me on the debt ceiling." Smack! Here's the truth. Even if the debt ceiling is not raised, constitutionally America has to pay its obligations....the difference is they can't make NEW obligations. For example, Constitutionally we have to pay federal employees for the work they have already done...but we can stop them from doing more work. Constitutionally we have to pay the interest on our loans, but we can't borrow more money. That would be a great way to decide which programs are essential or not.
The GOP is planning to use the debt ceiling debate to extract budget cuts from the progressives who run the government, including entitlement reform. As of last night the President is telling Congress that he will not entertain entitlement reform and based on last night he knows the Speaker will cave.
This all comes on top of his Monday statement where, at a critical time in the negotiations Obama invited "middle class" Americans to the White House and spewed:
"If Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone," he said, "that's not how it's going to work."In other words, you gave in now and you will give in later--because I am the boss.
"Revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester, in eliminating these automatic spending cuts," he said.
"If we're going to be serious about deficit reduction and debt reduction, then it's going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice — at least as long as I'm president."
A true leader would have thanked Congress for their hard work, said something like "I hope this is a first step toward us working closer in my second term" and returned to his family vacation in Hawaii. Instead Obama Smacked the GOP by saying, "I won and from now on you will do it my way" and lied to the American people by saying the deal cut the deficit.
The real question is tomorrow, when the new Congress gets sworn in, will the GOP-controlled House have a backbone to answer the President or will they remain on their knees and say "Please Sir, Can I have another?"