Budget Battle Made Simple
James Carafano / Alison Acosta Fraser /
Understanding what Washington is up to is as simple as one-two-three:
1. Unacceptable Choices
Under President Obama’s leadership, Americans have been presented two unacceptable choices. For Washington to continue to pay its bills under the limitations of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), which the President signed into law, the White House demands that Congress make a false choice between either gutting defense—undermining the security of America by sapping the readiness of the armed forces and reducing military capabilities—or imposing tax hikes that will crush America’s economic security and throw the nation back into recession.
Forcing Americans to make a choice between military insecurity and economic insecurity is completely unacceptable. This Congress has the power to make a different choice. It can send the President a spending bill now that offsets the BCA’s crippling defense cuts with other federal spending reductions and prevents the scheduled tax increases known as Taxmageddon.
2. Playing Politics
The President has vowed to veto any attempt to avoid sequestration, believing that under the pressure of upcoming national elections he can force Congress to compromise on either national security or economic security. The President is equally willing to see the Congress locked in partisan bickering and do nothing. Compromising on vital interests or inaction gives the President something to run against in the national elections. In short, the White House is playing politics with the nation’s security.
3. Time to Act Is Short
If Congress waits to act until lame duck, the grave damage will already be done. National security will already be compromised long before any lame duck Congress can meet. Contracts will be curtailed; pink slips sent out; training, maintenance, and operations cancelled. The economy, already slowing in the face of massive tax uncertainty, will slide further and faster as Taxmageddon becomes more likely.
Further, in any lame duck, Congress would face the same tough choices it does now. Caving after the election would be like operating after the patient has already died.
Congress should act now—fully funding defense and delaying Taxmageddon’s automatic tax increases. New taxes are, of course, verboten.
If this Congress fails to act before November, it will have failed. By then, Americans will see for themselves the consequences of what Washington has done to our national and economic security.