No Meaningful Entitlement Reform

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 09:52 AM

By David Limbaugh

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One of the most striking facts about the course of the Barack Obama presidency so far is that Obama has no constructive solutions for anything, which is one reason he campaigned on vague promises. It's why he established bogus metrics, such as "saved or created jobs."

It's also why he's always pointing the finger of blame on others for his policy failures. Everyone knows by now that Obama's reckless and corrupt stimulus package failed to restrain unemployment as he had promised and that instead of accepting responsibility for it, he blamed Bush.

He also played another familiar liberal card: He insisted his stimulus bill would have worked if he had been allowed to spend more money. So he started pushing for a second stimulus, all while increasing the government's regulatory stranglehold on business and cramming Obamacare down our throats.

All of which is to say — with added emphasis — that Obama is fresh out of ideas. Worse, he's the immovable force standing in the way of those who do have constructive proposals.

He didn't even submit a plan during the debt-ceiling negotiations, and his party's Senate majority hasn't presented a budget for more than 800 days.

We have a spending and entitlement problem, but Obama's ideology precludes him from addressing either. It drives him, instead, to insist on increasing taxes on the rich. But raising rates would further smother the economy and not significantly increase revenues.

The GOP is far from perfect, but it has presented serious proposals to address the debt crisis, which include capping discretionary spending, restructuring entitlements, passing a balanced budget amendment, and reforming the tax code.

These plans could work, but the Democrats have steadfastly and shamelessly opposed them and ridiculed their proponents, such as Rep. Paul Ryan.

During the debt-ceiling negotiations, we've seen more of the same. Obama's Democrats are refusing to sign on to real cuts (only reductions on the rate of spending increases) and even more resistant to meaningful entitlement reform.

If a compromise passes, it will only be because Republicans have concluded, accurately or not, that it's the best they can get in their effort to reduce the bleeding until 2012, when they hope to regain firm control of both political branches. No matter how they spin it, it will not be a good deal; the only question is how bad it will be.

Republicans fear that if they don't take the deal and the budget ceiling is not lifted, disastrous economic and political consequences will ensue: Our economy will collapse and Republicans will be blamed and lose the 2012 elections, and then any chance of saving the nation from financial catastrophe will be lost.

I am not convinced that a debt-ceiling impasse would result in the predicted Armageddon or that signing on to a dubious bill would enhance the GOP's 2012 electoral prospects. But I am convinced that if we don't start working this debt down — as opposed to whittling away at the rates of increase while the debt continues to expand — we will experience real financial collapse, and sooner than we may think.

I'm also concerned that if this deal goes through, Obama will try to make the case that Republicans own the compromise bill as if they wrote it (because in part they did) and thereafter the terrible economy and the continuously exploding debt.

If Republicans are so worried that Obama would successfully blame them for fallout from a ceiling impasse, why aren't they worried about being blamed if the compromise doesn't stop the growth of the debt, which it won't?

Indeed, no matter how inept Obama is at many things, he is a master at propaganda and negative campaigning. That's all he's got. The only policies he can bring himself to support cannot work. So as 2012 approaches, don't look for Obama to emphasize his record. Look for more deflection and scapegoating.

There is a historical parallel to Obama's approach. History professors agree that during his rise to power, Hitler built a coalition based on a negative assault on the Weimar Republic instead of a positive set of ideas or programs. His propaganda gurus introduced the idea of perpetual campaigning, in which they would focus on technique, not content.

In no other way am I comparing Obama to Nazis, but I am struck by the propaganda and campaigning parallels. Obama has no ideas except to foment phony crises, exploit real ones and demonize and scapegoat business, corporations, "the wealthy," insurance companies, oil companies, Republicans in general and — President Bush.

Unlike some conservatives, I am confident that most people now see through Obama and are prepared to reject him as divisive, destructive, and wholly without any solutions to our very serious problems.

Republicans need to overcome the fear that now appears to be paralyzing them.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author, and attorney. His latest book, "Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.DavidLimbaugh.com.








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