Democrats in Deficit Denial

February 4, 2011

White House Chief of Staff Richard Daley previewed the Democrat playbook yesterday indicating that Democrats have no plans to cut spending, and instead will throw taxpayer money at additional “stimulus.”

“Still, Daley said, ‘you cannot cut your way out’ of the nation’s financial problems without damaging the prospects for a robust economic recovery. So, the president’s budget will include additional spending in education, transportation and technology, which Obama identified in his State of the Union address as areas vital to giving the recovery momentum.”(Jeanne Cummings, “Daley: Shutdown Would Be ‘Chaos,’” Politico, 2/2/11)

Congressional Democrats are playing right along, fighting to maintain their wasteful government spending habit:

Democrats have decided that federal spending levels should remain the same for the rest of the year and steps should be taken to reduce the federal cost curve in 2012 and beyond.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Dems, Not Republicans,” The Hill, 2/4/11)

Senate Democrats went so far as to call upon an army of 400 lobbyists to defend their big government agenda of the last two years and to attack Republicans for cutting spending:

“In an e-mail obtained by ABC News, a top staffer for the key Senate Appropriations subcommittee called for a meeting of lobbyists and interest groups that would be affected by expected cuts to the Labor and Health and Human Services budget. The Jan. 24 meeting was attended by approximately 400 people, sources told ABC, and served as a “call to arms” for those determined to fight Republican budget cuts

“Another source familiar with the meeting said Democrats used the meeting as ‘an attack on House Republicans’

‘They said these evil House Republicans are here and they’re going to kill all these programs that support little kids, senior citizens, and health care,’ the source said. ‘They’re trying to instill the fear of God that Republicans are basically going to blow up all these programs, kill these programs, defund them.’ ” (Jonathan Karl and Matthew Jaffe, “Lawmakers Rally Lobbyists in ‘Call to Arms’ for Upcoming Spending Fight,” ABC News, 2/4/2011)

Democrats are resorting to “scare tactics” and “hype” to distract from their opposition to genuine spending cuts. Leading Democrats are even accusing Republicans of planning a government “shutdown,” an outright lie for which there is “no evidence.” 

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Republican proposals for deep spending cuts this year ‘unworkable’ and warned them against shutting down the government to get their way.” (Steven T. Dennis, “Senate Democrats: GOP Spending Plan ‘Unworkable,” Roll Call, 2/3/2011)

“So, as Republicans debate among themselves about how deeply to cut federal spending,Democrats are talking up a shutdown again, warning that Republicans will be responsible if they insist on ‘draconian’ cuts and block an increase to the debt ceiling…

“‘The only people talking about shutting down the government are a handful of Senate Democrats at a press conference today,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saidin a statement…

But Democrats believe that shutdown talk makes for good politics…. Democrats in 2011 are still relying on a 1995 boogeyman

“Economist Brian Riedl, research fellow for federal budget affairs at the conservative Heritage Foundation, dismissed the Democrats’ warnings as ‘scare tactics,’ saying he’s seen no evidence Republicans leaders are angling to shut down the government…’” (Scott Wong, “Democrats Hype Government Shutdown,” Politico, 2/3/2011)

No wonder former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), Co-Chair of President Obama’s Debt Commission said this morning that the “president doesn’t have a plan” to cut spending:

SIMPSON: I respectfully say the president doesn’t have a plan. The only time he spoke on this issue was at the State of the Union address. and he said this is just very small stuff. We have to do a lot bigger stuff but it’s not been presented.” (Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson Interview,CNBC’s The Call, 2/4/2011)