If Don King was promoting this heavyweight bout, he undoubtedly would bill it The Deficit Brawl for It All.
Indeed, I would have Michael Buffer delivering this blog audibly to you if I weren’t too cheap to pay him.
In one corner we have the defending champion, Barack Obama, proposing lowering the nation’s future deficits by $4 trillion over a dozen years with a package that includes reducing spending on politically sensitive health care programs and raising taxes on high-earning Americans. The president today recommended trimming the growth of Medicare spending, cuts in defense, an overhaul of the tax system to eliminate many loopholes enjoyed by individuals and corporations and an end to Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans.
In the other corner we have the GOP, whose plan wants to cut about $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade without raising taxes and which the White House says unfairly singles out middle-class taxpayers, older adults and the poor.
Indeed, an epic of tug of war. Whoever wins this titanic tussle, I just hope they have a sense of shared sacrifice. Don’t know about you, but I simply hate being a sacrificial lamb.
Obama came out slugging in a combative mood today by laying the blame for the rising debt on the spending increases and tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush and the recession that struck in late 2007.
Hot damn, those heavy punches hit Republicans so hard their shoestrings had to be vibrating like violin strings.
“We have to live within our means, we have to reduce our deficit, and we have to get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt,” Obama proclaimed. “We lost our way.”
Of the Republicans, Obama said “their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.”
There is some merit in that latter observation. Some Republicans and Tea Partiers are advocates of the philosopher Ayn Rand, who viewed the capitalists, not the workers, as the producers of all wealth and the workers, not the capitalists, as useless parasites.
Which makes me wonder why I work so hard if I’m a useless parasite.