Morici: Spendthrift Democrats Reneging on Sequester Cuts
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If congressional negotiators fail to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, voters will blame House Republicans, but it's the president and fellow Democrats that are behaving like teenagers by wanting to spend irresponsibly.
Studies by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and Medicare and Medicaid actuaries indicate if Washington continues spending and borrowing as current law requires, then all Americans, and not just the wealthy, will be paying higher taxes and more on private health care.
Federal spending on Social Security and medical care will squeeze out spending on roads, education and other activities necessary to support the economy and protect public safety. Budget deficits and the national debt will jump to unbearable levels.
Like Italy, economic growth will slow to a snail's pace, unemployment will become unbearable and working Americans will become much poorer. In the end, Uncle Sam will default on its bonds and obligations to the elderly, and many Americans will be deprived of decent health care.Since winning control of the House, Republicans have sought to focus the president and his allies in Congress on those challenges but Democrats have resisted any meaningful changes to entitlements programs. With Americans living longer, the Social Security retirement age must be raised, or benefits checks slashed when the program's trust funds run out of cash. Yet, the president refuses to embrace even the most modest increase in the qualifying age for full benefits advocated by the Simpson-Bowles Commission he created. Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling in 2011 without genuine spending reforms. With Speaker John Boehner, the president crafted the Budget Control Act, which sets goals for deficit reductions over the next decade. If those are not accomplished, mandatory annual "sequester" cuts kick in, mostly from defense and non-entitlement spending. Now in negotiations, congressional Democrats want to renege on those cuts, and the president has resorted to retribution and fear mongering. The Administration has selectively applied the concept of "essential activities" to impose pain, blame Republicans and reward its political allies. In Washington, the Administration closed roads around the national mall -- essentially a green space where tourists park and walk to view national monuments.
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