fiscal cliff

Honesty is the Best Policy, Right?

“We need to be honest on our side of the aisle… put everything on the table,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Words have meaning, but how you say those words can obscure the actual meaning.  That’s why when someone testifies in court they take an oath that they’ll tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God.

Shouldn’t we hold our elected officials to the same level of scrutiny whenever they speak?  After all, the future of our country is at stake.  No biggie.

If Senator Durbin really cares about honesty, he should tell the whole truth, which is that he, and many other liberals like him, think that Congress should put everything on the table except the things they don’t want on the table.  That important little detail is part of the “whole truth.” Let’s be honest…

He even had Soledad O’Brien a little exasperated this morning on CNN.

She asked him, specifically, what entitlements he’d be willing to put on the table.  “Short-term, what’s on the table?”

He replied:

“What we need to put on the table in short-term is actual deficit reduction. We can do that through mandatory spending cuts in other areas. We can do it through the tax revenue that the president has called for. I think for instance, Speaker of the House decided today to call the measure passed by the bipartisan senate to protect all families making $250,000 or less from any income tax increase December 31s, that would put enough revenue on the front end of this conversation to move us toward a solution.”

Oh! Thank you, for clarifying.  “Actual deficit reduction.”  Yes.

O’Brien replied, “So far I hear from you, in the short-term, no entitlements are on the table.”

Skillfully evading the question again, he went on to attack Paul Ryan’s budget and spew some malarkey about how it “made a mess” of Medicare.

Actually, Paul Ryan derived a meticulously crafted plan that Heritage’s Bill Beech was duly impressed with and that would offer “transformative changes in Medicare,” according to Heritage’s Alison Fraser.  She added that his plan “guarantees cost control through a cap on the growth rate of Medicare spending.”

O’Brien followed up that the left’s “track record is not so great,” to which Durbin responded, “You have a right to be skeptical.”

Yes, she does, and so do we.  We’d appreciate it if politicians would be honest about their intentions.  On Tuesday, Senator Durbin said entitlement reforms should not be in a short-term budget deal negotiated in the lame-duck session.  How dare we pushy constituents expect lawmakers to consider reform now?!

Well, we’ve only been warning them for years that if entitlements are not reformed, our country will go bankrupt.  Back in 2010, Heritage warned that every American owed $200,000 to pay off the massive debt the U.S. had already accumulated.  Back then, Heritage explained that “every year, Washington is spending money that will have to be repaid with interest by our children and grandchildren.  In addition, Washington has promised future benefits for which there is no money.”

What this amounts to is stealing from our children.  You’d be hard pressed to argue that such actions are not morally bankrupt, but that’s a conversation for another day.  We can argue, just as easily, though, that numbers don’t lie, and when you’re drowning in $16 trillion debt, it’s time to stop spending.

The fact that liberals in Congress can even entertain the idea of not vigorously pursuing entitlement reform seriously makes their sanity questionable.  It’s equally laughable that they think if Washington lawmakers reach deep enough into “rich” people’s pockets, they’ll be able to scrounge up enough money to pay back our debt and fix our deficits.

Want to know how unrealistic that is?  Forbes explains just how ridiculous this notion is:

“If you confiscate all the earnings of people who make above $66,000 a year, plus all of the corporate taxable income at the height of an economic bubble, the U.S. is still shy $1.3 trillion per year to fund the growth of its future obligations.”

And those “future obligations” are comprised of “the actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits” which “already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP.”

So here’s a message to Senator Durbin and his liberal friends in Congress: entitlement reform is not optional and, honestly, there’s never been a more pressing need to reverse course than today.  But the need will become greater every day lawmakers waste.  Then it will be too late, because our country will collapse under the weight of its own debt.

Recall, it would be just like the liberals to ask for increased revenues now, and never give in on spending cuts later.  To demonstrate just how obstinate liberals can be, Senator Durbin even surpassed President Obama on one liberal litmus test.  When President Obama proposed and entitlement reform last year that would raise the Medicare eligibility age, Durbin said “the emphasis should instead be put on raising taxes and cutting defense and security programs.”

Great!  We can make ourselves as weak as possible economically from the inside and then weaken our national defense!  Splendid!

Honestly.  Wake up, Senator Durbin.  Wake up.

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Senator Dick Durbin just can't be honest about entitlement reform.

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The liberals in Congress are digging their heels in on entitlement reform, even if they claim everything is "on the table"

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