July 6, 2011 | Commentary on Budget and Spending
If President Obama’s soft socialism prevails, this country will be vastly different over the next few years. America will move toward bigger government, less individual freedom and hostility to free-market capitalism. In Barack Obama’s America, the federal government will use another $2.4 trillion in borrowing authority to give to Big Labor and government bureaucrats. Your taxes will go up. Gay “marriage” will be forced down your throat. You will lose your guns and rely on bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., to protect you from harm.
Debt Limit Increase
Secretive negotiations continue among President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and leaders of both parties in Congress this week on increasing the nation’s debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has demanded $2.4 trillion in new spending authority. Liberals in Washington want a blank check to raise your taxes and increase federal spending.
Sen. Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.) is pushing a budget plan that would increase taxes on the oil and gas industry, the owners of corporate jets and other wealthy Americans. The President’s plan, meanwhile, pushes the idea of a “Debt Failsafe Trigger” that would empower government bureaucrats to increase your taxes if politicians can’t balance the budget. Don’t be surprised if they also manage to sneak in an increased gas tax or some other economically destructive idea to fund bigger and bigger government.
According to Reuters, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) announced that liberals will demand more money for government-funded construction jobs. This would transfer wealth from average Americans to the President’s labor union pals. In Obama’s America, trillions in new borrowing for new programs would be paid for with higher taxes.
The New York legislature’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage is, according to the President, “a good thing.” Obama said in his press conference last week that “gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our co-workers, and they’ve got to be treated like every other American.” President Obama needs to come clean with the public and finally admit that he fully supports the idea of gay marriage.
The Left wants to use New York’s new law and federal court cases to force gay marriage on states that don’t want it and whose citizens have even voted against it. In Obama’s America, gay marriage would be decreed a civil right by the Supreme Court and forced on states such as Alabama and Utah, two of the many states that would never vote to allow government-sanctioned same-sex marriages.
ATF Gun Scandal
The House Oversight Committee hearings on Project Gunrunner conducted by Chairman Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) have exposed a plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to sell assault weapons to Mexican drug runners. This plan, “Fast and Furious,” has led to the killing of at least one federal border patrol agent, Brian Terry.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D.-Md.) conducted a fake hearing last week and released a report calling for more gun laws. The U.S. government sold thousands of guns to Mexican drug rings, yet the solution offered by Cummings and other gun grabbers is more gun laws. Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, meanwhile, still has yet to be fired for overseeing Fast and Furious.
The Obama administration had planned to funnel guns to Mexican drug cartels, then prove that American-sold guns were being used in violent border incidents, and then use the evidence of the flow of guns from America to Mexico as a reason to change gun laws so that law-abiding citizens would have a harder time buying firearms.
Balanced Budget Amendment
The House and Senate are scheduled to debate differing versions of a balanced budget amendment (BBA) in the middle of this month. The Senate is scheduled to begin debate the week of July 18, and the House is scheduled to debate the week of July 25. Both BBAs require supermajorities to increase taxes or the debt ceiling and to pass unbalanced budgets during peacetime.
The House and Senate versions are similar, but there is one dramatic difference: The House version contains a wholesale waiver so that the BBA does not apply during times of “military conflict.” This would allow the budget to be out of balance for any purpose during hostilities. The Senate version allows the budget to be in breach only for the amount being spent on the conflict. Also, the Senate version imposes a two-thirds vote to increase taxes at any time. The House version would allow tax increases by two-thirds vote in peacetime and by majority vote during military conflict or war.
Brian Darling is a fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
First appeared in Human Events