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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Are Conservatives Ready For The Good News Now? Obama Shot His Whole Wad

By Susan Duclos

Now that conservatives, including myself, have lamented on the lousy fiscal cliff deal Congress passed, we can look forward to the good news.... Obama has shot his whole wad and now the media, just a day later, is already pointing it out and highlighting what conservatives have been saying since before the election.

Raising taxes on the so-called rich... isn't even near enough to sustain the debt, deficit, entitlements and spending that Obama and Democrats are responsible for. Neither is the increase in taxes for 77 percent of Americans.

Quick recap from the previous post:

 The so-called fiscal cliff deal has passed Congress and Speaker John Boehner was one of 85 Republicans to vote in favor of the bill along with all but 16 Democrats in the House. The bill, which Obama has pledged to sign, has a 10-to-1 ratio of tax increases over spending cuts. 151 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against the deal.

The deal raises taxes by four percent on anyone making $400,000 or filing as a couple $450,000. The payroll tax holiday has ended so taxes are also increased on the rest of Americans workers. The bill also increases government spending by $330 billion. . The death tax has been raised to 40 percent on any amount over $5 million. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the deal will add $4 trillion to the nation's deficit over the next decade.

 Obama's one trick pony show is now over.

Lo and behold, the media, who has carried Obama's water this whole time pushing for the tax increases that Obama campaigned on, as the be all end all of the nation's problems, now reports that... omg, GASP..... the problems are still there and are even worse now that every American's taxes have been raised because absolutely nothing was done to reform spending or entitlements.


Washington Post headline: "Fiscal cliff’ deal does little to tame threats from debt ceiling, high unemployment rates."

The agreement, which the Senate approved only hours after the government hit the limit on federal borrowing, fails to defuse the prospect of a catastrophic national default two months from now. The deal does not raise the debt ceiling, leaving the Treasury to use what it calls “extraordinary measures” as long as it can to pay the government’s bills.

Nor does the package do anything to address stubbornly high levels of unemployment, with 12 million Americans out of work. Instead, the deal could aggravate the problem. By allowing the payroll tax cut to expire, the deal takes money out of the hands of many Americans, sucking it out of the economy and slowing economic activity.
And, finally, the deal is too modest to fundamentally tame the government’s soaring debt. The nation’s long-term finances remain in peril, with federal spending projected to rise dramatically as a wave of retiring baby boomers turns to the government for help in paying for ever-more-costly health care.

Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Chase, cautioned that the deal is a stopgap measure at most.

“What’s challenging is that we’re still going to have some slowing in growth because of the tax hikes,” said Feroli, who estimated Tuesday that the deal will subtract 1 percentage point from already meager growth. “What’s not good is that deficits are still going to be large and it doesn’t begin to touch the longer-term horizon

In other words, Obama got exactly what he campaigned on, exactly what he fought for and the media is finally getting around to kicking Americans in the face with the truth.... it doesn't even begin to help.

Yuval Levinover at NRO makes a very relevant point then asks the question of the day:

.......Their bluff has been called. The welfare state they want to retain and expand cannot be funded, and they apparently have no way to do anything about that.
That surely doesn’t simply come as a shock to some on the left, including the president.
In a press conference in 2011, when for a moment his arrogance — in the form of his unending desire to inform the universe that he is its most reasonable inhabitant — overtook his cynicism, Obama said the following about his fellow Democrats:
the vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements; would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems. And I’m sympathetic to their concerns, because they’re looking after folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable, and there are a lot of families out there and seniors who are dependent on some of these programs. And what I’ve tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing.
Right. The fiscal trajectory of our welfare state is not sustainable, no matter how much taxes go up. That is the truth at the heart of our budget crisis. The fiscal-cliff debate ignored that truth from start to finish, and so has achieved nothing worthwhile for anyone. The Republicans know why they got nothing out of this: The expiration of the tax rates meant they could only contain their losses here. But what about the Democrats? Now they have gotten their tax increase, and what has it gained them but the prospect of an even slower economy? What’s their game plan?

Now what? Obama's wad is gone, ball sac is empty. Lights went off and the one trick pony is left with a need to raise the debt limit, something he once called  a "leadership failure," and without spending cuts equal to the amount he is going to ask for, it will only increase the debt and deficit.

Power Line gets the last word:

All of this is another way of saying that, with the Democrats’ BS about raising taxes on the rich out of the way, we can have a rational debate about the country’s fiscal future. And that is a debate the GOP can win, as most voters continue to believe that it is better to cut spending than to raise taxes on them. So let’s not despair: the post-cliff landscape may well prove favorable to the sorts of reforms that have been impossible for the last four years.