"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats’s Failure To Address Fiscal Crisis Getting Noticed

May 31st, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Last week, Democrats made it clear to Americans that they are failing to address the nation’s fiscal crisis.

After Democrats spent weeks demagoguing House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, they voted against every single budget proposal in the Senate this week, and many in the press pointed out that Democrats have offered no solutions of their own. Politico wrote in its daily Huddle briefing yesterday, “[T]here’s another unresolved question after yesterday’s votes: Where do Democrats, with their party in control of the White House and Senate, stand on the budget. They were unable to produce one last year, when they held both chambers of Congress and it’s not clear that any of their divisions over spending and taxing have been bridged. The Senate’s answer to not having a budget: Vote no on every other plan.” National Journal noted that “Senate Democrats have almost no legislative agenda of their own” and The Washington Post agreed, writing, “The Democrats . . . are not proposing major, new ideas of their own.”

Even former President Bill Clinton and The New York Times editorial board find Democrats’ refusal to act troubling. At a fiscal summit earlier this week, President Clinton said, “I’m afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion . . . that we shouldn’t do anything. And I completely disagree with that. . . . We’ve got to deal with these things.” The NYT editors agreed, writing that “Bill Clinton was right on Wednesday to warn his party . . . .”

In her Wall Street Journal column, Kimberley Strassel argues that “Republicans are forcing Democrats to acknowledge that voters want spending reform.” She writes, “Here’s the Washington headline of the week that nobody in America got to read: Paul Ryan, 40. Barack Obama, 0. Forty is the number of Senate votes that went in favor of Mr. Ryan’s reformist budget, a tally that included nearly every Senate Republican. Zero is the number of votes President Obama got for his own tax-and-spend budget, a blueprint that not one of his own party had the backbone to support. It went down, 97-0.

“Washington is in a game of high-stakes chicken over raising the debt limit, though so far only one side is flinching. According to the headlines (and Democrats), Republicans are on defense over Mr. Ryan’s plan, are risking America’s creditworthiness, and are delaying sensible compromise by refusing tax increases. It is only a matter of time, goes the betting, before the party swerves.

“This has little relation to reality, in which it is Democrats who keep calling their own bluffs. It was Mr. Obama who first swerved, submitting a ‘do-over’ of his initial, embarrassing budget. It is Democrats who have since swerved on the debt-limit debate, agreeing to spending-cut negotiations, then continuing to up the size of a package. By refusing to blink, Republicans keep forcing Democrats to acknowledge a very simple political reality: Voters do want spending reform, and do not want tax hikes. That’s why this debate has so far moved in the GOP’s direction.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, “Six weeks after the Democrat co-chairman of the President’s own debt commission told us that our nation’s deficits and debt are like a cancer that threatens to destroy America from within, Democrats are ready to call it a work period without supporting any of the proposals that have been made. Without producing anything of their own. Nothing: that’s their answer to this crisis. 

“At a moment when our debts and deficits threaten the very future of our nation, Democrats have no excuse for proposing no vision of their own. There’s no defense. Washington is currently on pace to spend about $1.6 trillion dollars more than it takes in this year — three times the biggest deficit we ever had before President Obama took office. Members of the President’s own cabinet admitted last week that Medicare is in need of urgent reform if we want to preserve it for future generations. Congressman Ryan has shown courage by proposing a budget that would tackle these problems. Democrats are showing none by ignoring our problems altogether. . . . More than two years have passed since Democrats have produced a budget of their own. This is a complete and total abdication of their responsibilities. And there is no excuse for it.”

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