Republican leaders in Congress have just negotiated a fiscal deal that can best be described as unconditional fiscal surrender. It is the worst budget deal to be negotiated by the GOP since George H.W. Bush agreed to violate his "no new taxes" pledge in 1990 at Andrews Air Force Base.
The result of that capitulation was to make Bush a one-term president and to split the Republican party right down the middle. By raising spending, canceling budget caps, ending the sequester and raising the debt ceiling by nearly $1 trillion this deal has the same catastrophic potential.
Every presidential candidate should be asked where they stand on this deal. Anyone of them that supports it is no friend of taxpayers or balanced budgets.
Here are some of the fiscal facts that make this such a betrayal. A Heritage Foundation analysis finds that federal spending in 2016 was already expected to climb by more than $200 billion. This was to be a 5 percent rise in outlays in a year when inflation is running at slightly less than 2 percent.
Under the budget deal to end the caps spending rises by anextra $80 billion over two years plus another $35 billion for the military. So now we are going to see a $300 billion hike in spending in 2016 which is close to an 8 percent spending orgy.
If this goes through, the caps and sequester are dead. All fiscal discipline is tossed out the window. John Boehner negotiated away his greatest legacy: the 2011 Budget Control Act. He said he was going to "clean out the stables" but he left a big pile of manure for incoming speaker Paul Ryan.
Obama says this will mean entitlement reforms, but those are long term and minor.
They are worth doing but not in exchange for giving up fiscal discipline and $300 billion added spending.
So we get a short term spending blow out paid for by some obscure promises of future cuts in entitlements and the sale from oil in the petroleum reserves, which makes no sense because the price of oil is so low. They are going to buy high and sell low.
Worst of all is the rise in the debt ceiling with NO conditions attached. There are no spending reforms, no program eliminations, no new caps to stop the blizzard of borrowing that has lifted the debt ceiling into the near $20 trillion stratosphere. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged this outcome saying it is a way to "honor our financial obligations." but he doesn't get it: Washington incurs too many financial obligations which is how this crisis has led us to the edge of a fiscal abyss.
Nancy Pelosi is a happy camper today and so are almost all the Democrats. They won a big victory and Republicans who back it are fiscal frauds. It should be killed and Paul Ryan should start over.