NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 20, 2013

Obama offers only tax, spend and borrow

As I See It
Richard Astukewicz

---- — From the lips of our president in his State of the Union speech came his clarion call, tax-spend-borrow; his reasonable compromise, tax the wealthy, close the loopholes, spend more for equality while creating the biggest divide in our nation’s history between the haves and have-nots. If I did not know better, I would believe an American revolution is being run from inside the White House.

Out in the political world there is talk about taxes on haircuts, soda, candy, groceries, health insurance policies and the much talked about VAT (value added tax). What’s next, bottled water?

Does anyone out there really see our nation’s problem?

As I write these words, sequester looms on the horizon and I read and listen as the White House, the Democrats warn us of the dire consequences. Sequestration will cut health care, national security, global and national growth as millions will lose jobs. Teachers, airport personnel, police, firefighters, military personnel will lose their jobs. Children will go hungry, people will die in our streets and rancid food will be on our supermarket shelves.

Let’s see: The sequester will cut $85 billion from a budget of $3.7 trillion. That’s bout 4.2 percent of the budget.

There’s talk in Washington that we need to do something about our national debt and our spending, taxing and borrowing. Under President Obama, our national debt has gone from $10 trillion to $16 trillion and the Office of Management and Budget projects the debt to rise to $22-$23 trillion in the president’s second term.

Economists warn that under this scenario when interest rates come back to normal, we will be facing a $500 billion payment of interest only on our debt. Five hundred billion just to pay for the interest on our debt!

Now in the elite towers of Washington, there is talk and much praise for the Simpson/Bowles Bill. This bill if it were come to pass projects a $4 trillion cut in our budget/deficit over 10 years. Let’s be clear, it does not lower our deficit, it lowers the rate of increase. The projected budget deficit over those 10 years is $16 trillion, so under Simpson/Bowles that would be lowered to $12 trillion.

Simpson/Bowles would cut $400 billion a year from our budget for 10 years. Now if the sequester cut of $85 billion will lead to a crashed economy, what will a cut of $400 billion lead to — depression?

President Obama’s plan is quite clear — create a huge government that will tax, spend and borrow, creating a socialist government that the nation will be forced to depend on. You’re living in “make believe” if you cannot see and understand his goal.

His continued tax, spend and borrow cannot continue regardless of what leading economists and leaders tell us. All the solutions to our problem of fiscal responsibility are just temporary solutions to forestall falling off the cliff. The inevitable is around the corner, truth be told, and it’s not good.

With all the tax increases already in motion by federal, state and city governments, with added taxes coming with Obamacare in 2014, the American worker and family will have all they can do to pay the rent, buy the food and pay for the bare needs of life to live at a lower standard of life.

We have in Washington two different ideologies and they do not lend themselves to a compromise with beneficial solution for the nation.

President Obama claims his second-term election has given him a mandate, but when you get elected by those who vote for a living, that is not a mandate.

If this nation is to continue to be a beacon of democracy, we had better come to a permanent truthful solution. The mathematics of President Obama’s plans do not add up to continuing on this path. I call it the path of mutual self-destruction. It cannot sustain us and continue to give Americans a standard of life as we have come to know and demand.

In 1770, John Adams wrote, “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Tax, spend and borrow can only fail us all.

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Richard Astukewicz lives in Salisbury.