Federal expansion the real issue in debt ceiling debate

Michael Barone
Washington Examiner

It’s hard to keep up with all the arguments and proposals in the debt limit struggle. But what’s at stake is fundamental.

The bedrock issue is whether we should have a larger and more expensive federal government. Over many years federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of gross domestic product.

The Obama Democrats have raised that to 24 or 25 percent. And the president’s budget projects that that percentage will stay the same or increase far into the future.

In the process the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product has increased from a manageable 40 percent in 2008 to 62 percent this year and an estimated 72 percent in 2012. And it’s headed to the 90 percent level that economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have identified as the danger point, when governments face fiscal collapse.

This is a level of spending as a share of the economy Americans haven’t seen since World War II. It seems more like Europe than like the America we have known.

President Obama insisted in his somber press conference Friday that he is willing to reduce federal spending from these levels. But he remained vague on specifics and intransigent in his demand that any debt limit deal include “revenue,” which translated into English means tax increases.

Mainstream media has pummeled Republicans for pushing spending cuts and refusing to support tax increases in connection with raising the debt limit.

But Republicans had a mandate from the voters in November 2010 to advance such policies…

The article continues at the Washington Examiner.

Related:  Beck shreds Obama’s tax hike policy

…while the President calls for the rich to start paying even more, 49% of the population pays no taxes! “When you have 50% of Americans not paying their fair tax, somebody is paying their fair share, in fact, quite a bit more than their fair share and that is the wealthiest Americans. 1% of the country pay 40% of the tax burden,” Pat explained. “And then you’ll say, well, yeah, but they have all the wealth. No, they have about 24% of the wealth. So they are still paying more than their fair share.”…

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