At This Point in Our History We Need Leadership on the Big Problems
I think it misses in 3 ways. First of all a lot of the spending reductions are the presumed roll down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that’s going to happen anyways so that’s not really a new proposal and he’s counting it anyway. Second is on the tax front. The President’s been quite eloquent about the need for tax reform and those words are the right words but the proposals he’s put out, proposals for more targeted tax benefits, more temporary tax breaks, the Buffet Rule are all things that complicate the tax code and move us away from tax reform. It would be nice to see proposals that matched his words but the real failing in this plan is that it doesn’t take on in a serious way the future growth of and the entitlement programs. Those entitlement programs are broken right now social securities running red ink. Medicare’s borrowing 80 billion dollars a year from the general treasury. Medicaid is entirely deficit financed. We need a social safety net that is durable for the future. We can’t afford the red ink that those programs are generating. The President took a pass on fixing them in any substantial way. His proposals on Medicare are all waste, fraud, and abuse and we know that’s not what it takes so at this point in our history we need the leadership on the big problem and that is the potential for a debt crisis and those entitlement programs.