TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Say 'No!' to Obama's extortion

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Cal Thomas
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

At the end of 1995 and stretching into January 1996, the federal government “shut down” because of an impasse between President Clinton and House Republicans led by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The issue was increased taxes vs. less spending. Sound familiar? The government reopened when a bipartisan agreement was reached to balance the budget by 2003. It wasn't — for reasons that included, but were not limited to, two wars. Now the national debt is racing toward an unsustainable $17 trillion.

This time around it isn't about closing government. It's about “sequestration,” which President Obama, the Democrats and their big media toadies are styling as economic Armageddon.

On Tuesday, after another vacation and a round of golf with Tiger Woods, President Obama appeared in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. Behind him on risers, looking like a church choir but without the robes, were his usual Greek chorus of potential victims should Republicans cut spending by a single dollar.

The president said the cuts from sequestration would be “brutal” if lawmakers allow “this meat cleaver approach to take place.”

Military readiness would be hurt, he claimed. Investments in energy curtailed, medical research impaired, teachers laid off (I wasn't aware the federal government paid teacher salaries) and emergency responders idled.

Once again, the president offered up the old bait and switch: “targeted spending cuts” along with “closing tax loopholes.”

As has happened before, if Republicans agree to this (which they had better not if the party is to survive), they'll likely get inconsequential “cuts,” if they get any at all, but tax hikes will occur right away. More importantly, any new revenue will likely not reduce the debt because Democrats in Congress are noted for spending new revenue and they won't deal with the major reason for the debt: entitlements.

The president is again betting that playing to people's emotions, along with envy of “the rich” and calls for “fair share” in taxes will produce a win for him. But if it does, it won't be a win for the country. Can there be any doubt that the president's goal is to marginalize the Republican Party and make it ineffective now and in the next two elections?

The major media can be relied on — with help from the administration — to find people who will be laid off, or a “homeless” person, or a crying woman with her baby down to the last drop of milk. They did during the government shutdown, obscuring the real issue, which is overspending.

As John Makin of the American Enterprise Institute wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal, the looming cuts are “minuscule” when compared to the overall debt.

The president got his tax hike in the fiscal cliff debate. To ask for more now without significant spending cuts, entitlement reform and a rewritten tax code aligns him with the extortionists who ruled Chicago during the Roaring '20s.

In his oath of office, Obama promised to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Instead, he appears to be shredding it.

Whatever the short-term political price, Republicans must stand for the Constitution, the country and the future. Allowing the president to have his way again risks harming all three.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for USA Today.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. McCutchen, Pirates cruise past Twins
  2. Steelers unfazed by Brady suspension saga
  3. Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
  4. Housing Authority to treat Brookline senior complex for bedbugs
  5. Police: Scottdale man had child porn on computer
  6. Judge adds 2 years to sentence of Baldwin Borough man acquitted of murder
  7. Power out at UPMC Mercy, hospital operating on backup generators
  8. Gibsonia’s Saad shows off Stanley Cup at 911th Airlift Wing
  9. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  10. Plum High School teacher held for court on charges of intimidation
  11. Sewickley Twp. man who received food stamps didn’t disclose gas royalties