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Betty Arenson: With job title comes responsibility

Right Here, Right now

Posted: November 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Democrats prevailed on Nov. 6 and you won’t forget that. The media dishes daily doses from all sorts of pundits and yahoos spewing their claptraps on how Republicans were and are wrong. As is typical of Democrats getting the job, they reject the responsibility that goes with it. The media supports the duplicity on every level.

Locally we’ve gotten such gems as calling Mitt Romney a “serial liar”; a statement that four years ago, pre-Obama, “America was losing 800,000 jobs per month”; and an erroneous assessment of the looming “fiscal cliff,” referencing Simpson-Bowles and the supercommittee as the full responsibility of Republicans.

No supporting source can be found for the concoction of an 800,000 per month job loss for 2008. That year’s total would have been 9.6 million.

Next, Democrats campaigned that Mitt Romney had no (fiscal) plan while in the same breath said his plan would not work. After mopping the floor with Obama in the first debate, Romney was quickly called “a liar.” That’s rich coming from maligning Democrats like Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee and Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager. Cutter was exposed as an unadulterated fabricator with the exposure of the truth behind the manufactured Joe Soptic cancer-death tape and calling Romney a felon regarding his financial life. The mass media gave her a big pass. Lying is a garb that Cutter wears handsomely.

Fiscal can-kicking was a political necessity for the election. The cliff is now reality because this president is not a leader. His historic promises to unite ring hollow.

In keeping with the usual accept-no-responsibly mindset, a recent commentary in The Signal tried to blame Republicans for the hot-button topics of debt ceiling, sequestration, expiration of Bush tax cuts and the famed fiscal cliff. Republicans were accused of rejecting the Simpson-Bowles recommendations. That accusation is far less than even a half-truth.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (aka Simpson-Bowles) was originally a bipartisan bill to propose forming a commission. In January 2010, it failed in the Democrat-dominated Senate by 53-46; 23 of the 53 (43 percent) against it were Democrats. In light of the legislative failure, Obama established the commission via Executive Order 13531 and then appointed 18 members and an executive director. There were six members each from the House and Senate along with others like Andy Stern, the then-head of the powerful SEIU. Ultimately of the 19, eight were Republicans and 11 were Democrats. On Dec. 3, 2010, the commission couldn’t even get out of its own way when it failed to get 14 of the 18 needed votes to move forward. Voting for it were six Democrats and five Republicans; voting against it were four Democrats, including Stern, and three Republicans.

Most glaringly, Barack Obama never acted on his committee’s recommendations, thus rejecting Simpson-Bowles. Obama never explained his lack of action but later Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would offer that the Obama administration “did not feel” (note: “feel” not “believe”) it could embrace the recommendations. Uh, that would be an administration comprised of all Democrats.

Eric Pianin of The Fiscal Times (Nov. 22, 2011) would say “President Obama’s refusal to get behind his commission’s plan in a timely fashion led to the debt ceiling debacle last summer and the sorry and ultimately unsuccessful deliberations of the 12-member Super Committee.”

Barack Obama further failed in 2011 when his own budget plan was rejected by the Senate 97-0 and by the House 414-0. Overwhelmingly, Democrats voted against him.

Social Security is broke. All of the trillions of dollars paid into it have been spent by all politicians since Lyndon B. Johnson put Social Security “on budget” in 1968. Irrespective of swiftly accelerating debt and borrowing and lack of funds, President Obama gave workers a 2 percent “tax holiday” (not paying into the fund). Any correction of that will be deemed a “tax increase”. This and the expiring Bush tax cuts drive Obama to preach how Republicans must work with him to bar the fiscal cliff. However, negotiations seem doomed considering on Nov. 15 this president essentially said that his exaction of a tax increase on those households making $250,000 and more is concrete and absent that, there will be no talks.

Now we have transparency. Barack Obama gets his demands first or there will be no dialogue.

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident.


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