Let’s look at the offers. The Democratic Party Senate hasn’t offered a budget in nearly three years. The last budget proposal proposed by President Obama, last winter, was laughed out of the Senate 97-0. Not even the do-nothing Democrats took it seriously.
On the other hand, the newly elected Republican House of Representatives, flush with modern Conservatives, passed a budget largely developed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R, WI) in their first month in office. It’s lain dormant in that Democrat’s Senate, where the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D, NV), has steadfastly refused even to let it come to the floor for debate, much less be voted up or down—or a counter proposal made.
What have the President and his fellow ProgressivesDemocrats offered in response? Straw men attempting to deflect the discussion away from the issues: “We should not be in a race to the bottom where we take pride in having the cheapest labor and the most polluted air and the least protected consumers,” President Obama said from the campaign trail at a recent San Francisco fund raiser. Of course, modern Conservatives, and Republicans, agree with him. Who, indeed, has proposed such a thing? This is simply an attempt to change the subject, driven by the fact that the Obama team has nothing to offer beyond their mantra of more spendinginvestment and more taxes.
Another straw man is this chestnut: “Despite what some Republicans have argued, I believe that we have to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions.” He doesn’t consider that the top 10% paying 70% of the nation’s income taxes to be their fair share. He also carefully elides the fact that his proposals go far beyond eliminating deductions and loopholes—they include outright rate increases. He does consider the bottom 50% paying 3% to be paying their fair share.
On the other hand, President Obama did offer, last month, a $447 billion Jobs Bill, and he insisted “Pass this bill now.” Never minding that the proposal had little that would generate jobs, but it did have considerable spending and the requisite tax increase, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) agreed that it should be debated and voted on, and he attempted to honor Obama’s “request.” The White House, though, promptly objected, claiming that an actual vote was just a “political stunt,” followed by Reid refusing to allow the vote. Only later did Reid bring the bill to the floor, and it was promptly voted down, with Democrats agreeing with the Republicans that the bill was a bad idea.
The Democrats also insist, especially in the aftermath of their “Jobs” Bill failure, that the Republicans are the Party of No, and they have no ideas—only obstruction. But this ignores the fact that the (Republican) House of Representatives has already passed at least seven jobs and jobs-related bills, of which exactly zero have been taken up by Reid’s Democratic Party Senate. This also ignores the fact mentioned above that that same Senate hasn’t even troubled itself to propose any kind of budget, much less one that might do some jobs creation good.
And there’s the simply inane. We have Reid, in a speech on the Senate floor saying with an absolutely straight face, “it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers.” Reid said this after the August jobs report had come in with zero private sector jobs created for that month, and with a national unemployment rate over 9% and 14 million Americans without any employment, much less in the private sector. Additionally, from the start the Obama administration has been more interested in fixing blame (it’s all Bush’s fault, even now, three years later) than they have been in fixing the problem.
And there are the plain ad hominem attacks, which aside from their dishonesty, simply demonstrate the lack of solutions, the absence even of ideas. For instance, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have called black conservatives like Herman Cain and Allen West (R, FL) oreos, they have accused the Tea Party of being racist, and one member consistently referred to the Tea Partiers as tea baggers. And there’s the plain race-baiting of the Progressives: Rep Elijah Cummings (D, MD) said in a recent Press Pass interview, “I think when [Tea Party members] can vote for a Herman Cain and hear him say the things that he says they feel like, ‘Well, you know, I can, I support this guy and… so it shows that I’m not racist and I’m supportive.'”
In sum, one of these groups emphasizes class warfare divisiveness and evasion of the problems facing us, and the other group offers unification and solutions. For one group, it’s the rich vs. the rest of us. Only the definition of “rich” floats at convenience: it’s those who make more than $250 thousand one day, it’s the fat cat millionaires and billionaires another. For another group, it’s a matter of all of us being in this together, with solutions that affect all of us and that benefit us all. One example of this is in Ryan’s speech on “Saving The American Idea” at The Heritage Foundation: “Rather than raising taxes and making it more difficult for Americans to become wealthy, let’s lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive[,]” and “…true sources of inequity in this country – corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.” And this is that budget bill and those jobs bills that have been passed out of the House of Representatives and that the Senate refuses to consider.