I received this comment from drugsandotherthings.
“Umm- are you even paying attention? Obama does not want to end the Bush era tax cuts. He wants to end the Bush era tax cuts for those making more then $250K a year.
And no- raising the debt ceiling does not mean higher spending. There is such a thing as interest due on the existing debt. So even if the agreement he offered last time- ending the bush tax cuts on the highest bracket, Closing some tax loopholes for the wealthiest, while instituting serious cuts to numerous “entitlement programs”- the debt ceilng still would need to be raised at least one more time.”
According to The Fact Checker of the Washington Post, “With a torpid job market and a fragile economy …, President Obama is …, calling for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000. “ A one year extension means temporary so in 2014 the middle class would lose the Bush tax cuts and pay higher taxes.
Here is another take on this issue by Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit Free Press. “Tax cuts are like candy in political campaigns: Candidates toss them out to voters who vote their pocketbooks, trying to keep their attention and support.
So it’s not surprising, given the sluggish economic recovery and months of anemic job growth, that President Obama now wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for a year for everyone earning less than $250,000 a year.” Again, if Obama never wanted the middle class to pay higher taxes, why did he only give a one year extension?
The reason for a one year extension was reported by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal, “The American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis reports that Obama’s budget also calls for some $577 billion in spending cuts. ‘That’s $3 of tax hikes for every $1 of spending cuts. Even if you include interest savings, 60% of the debt reduction comes from tax hikes.’” The wealthy cannot, according to the Congressional Budget Office, cover all that is in the Obama budget. This is why the extension is temporary.
The present negotiations are not about paying the interest on the debt but REDUCING the debt. The interest can be paid without raising the debt ceiling.
Both parties agree that there is a need to close tax loop holes for the wealthy.
Moreover, the problem with “entitlement programs” is that they are money pits. Significant reforms are needed to keep the program solvent. With 47% of US citizens not paying any tax at all, the middle class cannot escape having their taxes raised. The alternative is, as you said, “serious cuts” to entitlements. So it is higher taxes for all to cover the costs or serious cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare.
Unfortunately, history has shown that the federal government under both parties continues to spend 58 cents more for every dollar it collects in revenue. Obama is guilty of claiming he would be different and cut the debt and deficit when he was elected in 2008. He reneged on that promise. His trillion dollars a year for 4 straight years is a new record for spending and debt. So it is reasonable to assume that Geithner’s remark about raising the debt ceiling is part of the pattern of raising the debt ceiling in order to spend more. After all, Obama refused to follow the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations to cut the debt which would have lessened the interest payments. So why would Obama act differently in 2013?