You may notice a smaller total in your first paycheck for 2013, because the “fiscal cliff” deal allowed a tax break for working people to end, and Social Security taxes to rise. It was part of the $620 billion in increased taxes Barack Obama was given by Congress just last week.
Critics warned at the time he’d be back for a lot more of your paycheck.
Now Obama’s party has confirmed that, with several members explaining their demands for another $1 trillion in tax increases on Americans.
“We’ve done about $2 trillion. I thought $4 trillion is the goal we should reach. I think we’re about halfway there. We need another $2 trillion,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a member of the Finance Committee, in a report in The Hill.
He explained what already was done, claiming a $917 billion cut in spending under the Budget Control Act from 2011, and last week’s $620 billion in new tax revenue. He said the interest and related numbers affected makes that package add up to about $2 trillion.
He said another $2 trillion is needed, of which $1 trillion needs to be in additional taxes.
The report said Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana who won a close re-election in November, has called for similar numbers.
In a report in Politico, ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., noted Americans simply aren’t paying enough. The $600 billion-plus “is not enough on the revenue side.”
Republicans have taken the position that tax reform should be revenue-neutral – that whatever results from closing loopholes or changing requirements should be used to lower overall rates. They say the budget deficit should be fixed through cutting spending programs.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said bluntly that the problem is not that the government gets too little – it just spends too much.
“We spend way, way too much,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
On ABC’s “This Week,” McConnell said, “The tax issue is, finished, over, completed. That’s behind us now.”
Democrats in the majority in the U.S. Senate have failed for years to even establish a U.S. budget, operating on a variety of temporary resolutions and the like. Even the “fiscal cliff” solution that was created to avoid a simultaneous huge hike in taxes under Obama, and mandatory spending cuts, didn’t address all of the pending problems.
For example, it only delayed the planned automatic across-the-board spending cuts.
On “Meet the Press,” Obama suggested he’s going to demand Americans pay more taxes in order to avoid those in the coming weeks.
“Revenues have to be part of the equation,” he warned.
Those in the U.S. House who are part of the tea party movement say Obama’s “fiscal cliff” solution didn’t even begin to address the nation’s debt or job problems.
In fact, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., , told WND “without a doubt” the economic crisis will grow worse, because the “solution” adds $4 trillion to the debt in just 10 years, permanently raises taxes for families and small businesses, and fails utterly to curb spending.
He said the U.S. could look to Greece to foreshadow its future.
“Unless this Congress, administration, and president get serious about cutting spending we’ll very soon be in the same position as Greece,” he said. “We’ll be taxing everyone in the country at maximum rates but still spending so much that we will no longer be able to meet our obligations or provide the government services that we promised those who paid into them.
“That’s when we’ll reach the real fiscal cliff, and as a consequence the United States will no longer be the global leader and economic powerhouse that it once was,” he warned.
The dark forecast continued, with the suggestion that other nations soon will figure out that it’s less than wise to lend to a debtor nation with no real plans to address its bills, he said.
“China has stopped buying up our debt because they can see the writing on the wall – we’re never going to be able to repay it. Without deep, targeted spending cuts we’re only delaying the inevitable. Eventually, the United States will be borrowing and spending so much that the federal government will no longer be able to meet its obligations and our nation’s status as a global powerhouse will slowly fade away,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., head of the House Tea Party Caucus, said right after the “fiscal cliff” vote, in which Congress gave Obama another $600 billion-plus in tax revenue while virtually ignoring spending cuts, “Washington politicians have engineered a last minute backroom deal that does not address America’s jobs and debt crisis.”
She said her opposition rested on the fact that, “Rather than a deficit reduction plan, the Senate sent us a grow government plan. I cannot support a plan that has billions in tax increases with no meaningful cuts in spending. It’s time to solve problems rather than delay them.”
And observers have pointed out that the real fight over spending is just now developing – because the House Republican majority will be asked soon to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
Obama has said he won’t negotiate over it, but without approval from Republicans, the nation’s spending would be limited to the essentials, such as Social Security payments, national defense and border patrol.
Obama’s spending packages such as Obamacare may not be funded without the increase, which gives the GOP considerable negotiating power in requiring spending cuts to accompany any debt ceiling increase, according to observers.
Recently, more than 100 conservative leaders from across the nation sent a letter to GOP members in Congress encouraging them to “negotiate from a position of strength” with Democrats regarding the trillions of dollars in tax increases Barack Obama is demanding.
“It’s in the interest of the country and in your personal interest for you to use the power you unquestionably have now to stand firm and not surrender your conservative principles, no matter how loud the clamor of people whose central interests is to advance the left’s agenda,” says the letter.
The letter was signed by Morton Blackwell, chairman of the Weyrich Lunch, Colin Hann of Let Freedom Ring, Ed Meese of the Conservative Action Project, Jim Martin of the 60 Plus Association and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, among others.
A separate “No More Red Ink” campaign explains what authority the GOP currently holds as the majority party of the U.S. House, where all national spending bills must originate.
The GOP can decline to authorize an increase in the national debt limit and force billions of dollars in spending cuts, because programs would not legally have money available to run.
Joseph Farah, CEO of WND and originator of the campaign, noted that House Republicans can take such action unilaterally. They wouldn’t need a single Democrat vote, he said.
“It will take only 218 House Republican votes to stop the borrowing next year. And I’m pretty certain Republicans will maintain control of the House and possibly gain control of the Senate next year. That’s why I’m optimistic about the success of this powerful, nation-changing plan,” he wrote.
“Just think what it will mean if, following this campaign of relentless, grass-roots lobbying, Republicans actually live up to their rhetoric about the Constitution and limited government and balanced budgets next year. We can have a balanced budget overnight!”
He also said “unconstitutional and destructive bureaucracies” could be eliminated, such as the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency, Planned Parenthood funding and obscene artwork sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The letter from conservative leaders isn’t as specific but addresses GOP members of both the House and Senate, warning that they will be tested.
“In the House, the nation elected in 2012 one of the largest Republican majorities in the past 100 years. You have a mandate to fight for conservative principles that is arguably much broader than the one that narrowly reelected President Barack Obama claims to have for his leftist agenda,” the letter continues.
“Of course, House Republicans alone cannot pass a law, but united you can stop any bill which violates the principles you publicly committed to support. In the Senate you have more than enough Republicans to prevent the passage of anything truly harmful to our country.”
While there is building pressure for the GOP to give in to the White House, the letter warns of the results.
“They want to increase federal power, federal spending, federal taxes, federal deficits, and federal debt. They want to give more advantages to their liberal allies and put more federal money into the pockets of their political cronies. They want to undermine further traditional values and to surrender more of our national sovereignty to international bodies. They want to weaken our country militarily and move America more rapidly in the direction of European socialism.”