All the fear-mongering and hyperbole of the past few months boils down to this: a milquetoast bill currently being debated in the House to reduce (drum roll, please)...the projected future rate of growth in spending. By a modest amount. Over a decade. And most of the supposed "reductions" are scheduled in the later years (of course).
The Boehner bill has no spending cuts in the customary sense of the word. No elimination of a single program, department, or subsidy. No reigning in or evening dampening of runaway entitlements. And no plan, not even a ten-year one, to reduce the debt from its current level. Quite the opposite.
Under the Boehner plan, rather than $24 or $25 trillion in debt in ten years, we'd have $23 or $24 trillion, leaving aside the $60+ trillion in unfunded liabilities. And that assumes the Speaker's numbers stick, which is highly unlikely since the 2012 and 2013 budgets are the only ones that this Congress can actually control.
You're not buying it? Well, Mr. or Mrs. Taxpayer, as part of the legislation there would also be a 12-member Congressional committee, which could include Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and the like, which would convene at a future date to recommend further though still modest "deficit reduction" (not debt reduction) measures that would take effect between 2012 and 2021. Their efforts could result in real cuts. Or tax increases. Or more gimmickry. Or worse: tax increases and more gimmickry. (Want to bet which one it will be?)
Still don't like the proposed bill? For reasons that say much about how far the Democratic Party has devolved, neither do Democrats. But for opposite reasons. It's too extreme, you see. Just like those kooks -- 66% of Americans -- who support a balanced budget amendment.
Liberals and other members of the ruling class would have us believe the federal government is somehow immune to the fundamental laws of economics. You see, unlike households, businesses, and local and state governments, the federal government can spend more than it collects ad infinitum. Like magic. Never mind the crowding out of the private sector, never mind an ever higher percentage of every tax dollar going to service the debt, never mind the debasing of our national currency. Now that's "voodoo economics."
Liberals would also have us believe this problem is too complicated for most Americans to understand. Freezing spending at current levels? You simpleton. Going back to 2008 spending levels? Draconian. Cutting everything across the board by 10 or 20%? Crazy town.
No, only "professional politicians" can possibly grasp and grapple with this issue. It was they, after all, who put is in this predicament so rest assured they can fix it.
Sen. Harry Reid and White House spokesperson Jay Carney claim the Boehner bill is D.O.A. in the Senate. If that's true, why on earth is the Speaker coercing so many of his GOP colleagues into going on record as supporting this stinker of a bill? (update: Boehner just pulled the bill, for now, as he doesn't have the votes)
The bottom line is that most Americans don't want a "deal" for deal's sake or some temporary politician's sake, especially when the "deal" is being made with their money and at the cost of their liberty while they have no seat at the negotiating table. And we're not buying the August 2 drop-dead date.
We want a solution, one that will save our country. And the bill before the House does nothing to address the core problems: out of control spending and a federal government unmoored from the Constitution. At best, such a bill only slows our pace on the road to socialist Europe from 100 miles per hour to 75 MPH. Either way we're over the speed limit and headed in the wrong direction.
What's the right direction or at least a turn toward a better one? One based on conservative constitutional principles: cut, cap and balance or Paul Ryan's plan or the Mack Penny Plan or Sen. Coburn's $9 trillion deficit reduction plan.
If the Boehner bill passes, it's not crisis averted. It's crisis delayed. And exacerbated. Like delaying necessary and urgent surgery, delaying the inevitable only worsens the patient's condition, requiring more severe and invasive measures and procedures, lessening the chance of success or cure, and making recovery all the tougher.