U.S. President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have agreed on the framework of a deal that would raise the federal debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion – assuming that roughly the same amount in deficit spending is cut over the coming decade.
The deal includes no cap on future government growth, and no balanced budget requirement – although Congress would be compelled to vote this year on whether to send a balanced budget measure to the states.
The initial $900 billion in new debt authorization would be approved immediately contingent on a promise to cut $917 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. Another $1.5 trillion in new deficit spending would be approved if a bipartisan task force identifies an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the coming decade.
Obama hailed the deal as a “victory for bipartisan compromise, for the economy and for the American people.”
Meanwhile, Boehner claimed political victory for his party.
“It’s all spending cuts,” Boehner told fellow Republicans on Sunday evening. “The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down.”
“We fought, they caved,” Boehner added.
Maybe so, but this latest deal is very similar to Boehner’s so-called “Budget Control Act,” which passed the House by a narrow margin before being rejected by the U.S. Senate.
Basically, both “deals” permit the federal government to continue running trillion dollar deficits without requiring immediate cuts, future caps on growth or a long-overdue requirement to spend only what it takes in. Given the explosion of deficit spending before, during and after the recent recession – that’s simply unacceptable.
Think about it … this $2.4 trillion will be spent in seventeen months, at which point our government’s debt will be approaching $17 trillion. And while it’s nice that government is finally acknowledging that there must be something to offset such recklessness, this plan falls woefully short of actually offsetting the recklessness.
It’s essentially an agreement to slow government growth from “ludicrous” to “ridiculous” over the coming decade.
While we objected to the lack of immediate cuts included in the “cut cap and balance” plan offered by fiscal conservatives, that plan at least provided for the enforcement of some fiscal discipline moving forward.
This “deal” doesn’t … which is why we believe it should be rejected.