- Posted November 30, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The President's Idea of 'Balanced'
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
Today we are learning what President Barack Obama defines as a "balanced approach" to fixing the nation's economic woes and averting a plunge over the fiscal cliff.
The plan presented Thursday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Republican leaders in Congress to avoid the nightmare that awaits come January calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Those new taxes are not just a rise in the rate for those individuals making over $200,000 per year or couples making over $250,000 per year, but also includes a rise in the capital gains tax, the dividend tax rate by about double and the estate tax rate. Of course there is also the new taxes that will come into play in January from the Affordable Care Act as well.
In addition, the Administration is now also asking to extend the payroll tax cuts which have already taken millions from both Medicare and Social Security over the last two years.
The plan calls for another $50 billion in stimulus spending. We all know how well the previous stimulous spending has done.
In response to calls from Republican lawmakers to cap deductions or do away with loopholes in the tax code, the plan does allow for and call that those be enacted next year when reforming the tax code. This is nothing more than a token to say the plan is bipartisan.
As to any cuts in spending, the President is agreeing to $400 million in cuts to Medicare to be worked out during talks next year. Nothing definitive, but spending cuts to be discussed with the new Congress.
A poke in the eye of the GOP is a call to make raising the debt ceiling automatic and avoid the Administration from having to seek congressional approval to borrow more money. The idea is to avoid another confrontation like last year's that set up a large chunk of the fiscal cliff - sequestration, which calls for across the board cuts in spending.
It would seem that what the President is calling as a "balanced approach" is more of the same trite line of tax and spend. The President is upping the amount of taxes by double what was proposed last year when the President and House Speaker John Boehner attempted to reach a "grand bargain". At that time, what was on the table was $800 billion in tax increases. When the Administration attempted to up that amount to $1 trillion is when negotiations fell apart. Now the President thinks he can get a better deal asking for double the tax increase.
While cuts in Medicare spending are part of the plan, it is not set in stone. The cuts would be part of negotiations with the new Congress. In other words, all lip and no action.
How can the President call this balanced?
In an op-ed piece for CNN today, David Gergen wonders if the President may overplay his hand. Gergen agrees the public has made it clear that it wants the "rich" to pay more in taxes. But Gergen points out that the President may be trying to push the envelop too far.
I agree with Gergen. The plan put out by the White House appears to me to show that the President and Democrats are trying to be too greedy.
Where are the real spending cuts?
Where is the real balance?
Where is there a real effort to find compromise?
From the Cornfield, if the President really thinks this is balanced, then I believe he is living in a land of fantasy.
As I have said before, I am not against the "rich" paying more, but there must also be concrete cuts in spending in every corner of the federal government, including defense. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security reform must be part of the equation.
The plan proposed by Geithner for the President is anything, but balanced.