Yesterday the House passed H.R. 1363, which funds our Department of Defense and our military for the rest of the year at their current levels. It allows for the continuation of current military operations, which is pretty important when you’re fighting three wars. It also funds the government for another week and cuts $12 billion in wasteful spending. So why would the Commander in Chief declare that he will veto this? Why would he play politics at the expense of our troops who are putting everything on the line to protect us? Memo to the President: I doubt the insurgents will stop and wait for a government shutdown to end before resuming actions. You need to fund our troops, sir.
Like me, you might be asking yourself: Why on earth would he threaten to veto funding for the troops? What is his game plan? Basically, he’ll veto military funding because he wants the rest of the government funded too. And by the rest of the government, he means things like Harry Reid’s “Cowboy Poetry.” Essentially, he’s holding military funding hostage to NPR funding. This is a perfect analogy for what is wrong with this entire budget showdown. Our federal government has strayed so far from what is constitutionally mandated that they are blind to the fact that NPR funding is not a constitutional duty. Funding our military at a time of war is!
The House GOP does not want a shut down. They just want legitimate cuts (and I would argue not even enough!). If we can’t agree to cut a billion here and a billion there, we’ll never close this $1.5 trillion deficit.
Let’s look at the numbers. We have a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. We’re paying $200 billion a year on our interest alone. That’s half a billion dollars per day on interest. And our $1.5 trillion deficit means that we’re borrowing $4 billion per day just to keep afloat. So, we pat ourselves on the back if we cut a billion dollars here or a billion there in discretionary spending, as we borrow $4 billion a day and pay half a billion a day in interest. The deficit for the month of February alone was the highest in our history at $223 billion. That’s more than the entire deficit for the year 2007. And there’s no end in sight. We’re not heading towards the iceberg. We’ve already hit it. Now we’re taking on water. We must find a way to get back to harbor to repair our ship of state before it’s too late.
Where is President Obama in all of this? He just doesn’t get it. His 2012 budget was a signal of that. The President’s proposed budget offered higher taxes and higher spending. A budget is supposed to be more than just numbers crunched on a spreadsheet. It’s supposed to be a credible blueprint of a nation’s priorities and direction. The President’s budget was a political document. It was designed not to ruffle any feathers or take any decisive moves to deal with the deficit problem. Instead of cutting spending, he’s moving us in the opposite direction. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the White House was not telling the truth when they claimed that their 2012 budget reduces the deficit. It actually increases it. Instead of dealing with the hard realities we face, he just kicked the can down the road. That’s not leadership. That’s politics.
Real leadership means leading by example. It means showing an “all-in” commitment to tackling complex issues and putting in the time and effort to educate the American public. Right now the American people have not been educated about this major challenge we face. Keep in mind that perception often becomes reality, and the perception President Obama has repeatedly given off is that he can’t be bothered to deal with our debt crisis.
This is profoundly unfair to the American people. Throughout our history, we have proven again and again that we are strong enough and wise enough to do the right thing when we are properly informed. We can judge and make the tough choices when we are not spun by the media or the financial class or the political class. We the People can decide – if our leaders level with us honestly.
It’s about time the President step up to the plate and lead responsibly. Our troops who are putting themselves in harm’s way deserve a Commander in Chief who is not AWOL from the debt debate. The American people deserve a president who will take on the tough challenges and understand that funding “Car Talk” is not as crucial as funding our troops at a time of three wars.
2008 seems like such a long time ago, but 2012 is just around the corner. There is a leadership vacuum in the White House right now, but that’s nothing that another good old-fashioned election can’t fix.
- Sarah Palin