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  • Morning Bell: Liberals Invoke Reagan to Sell Debt Deal

    Desperate to sell the American people on a yet-to-be-determined plan to raise the debt ceiling, increase taxes, and avoid necessary reforms to rein in government, liberals are turning to an unlikely ally to make their case—former President Ronald Reagan. Their utterly transparent tactic reveals a larger truth: Despite all the rhetoric, liberals have failed to convince America that their way is the best way to move Washington forward.

    The offending invocation of Reagan’s legacy comes from the House Democrats in the form of a 54-second video featuring audio from a September 1987 radio address in which the former President called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling, warning that the United States “has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations.” The House Democrats fashioned those words into a bludgeon aimed at Republicans, attempting to lay the blame for Washington’s failure to reach a debt limit deal squarely at their feet.

    Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank parroted that message in a column this morning, calling Democrats “The new party of Reagan” and claiming that conservatives’ demands for restraining the growth of government is at odds with the policies enacted under Reagan’s tenure.

    All of the clever rhetoric and recasting of history is designed to distract from the reality on the ground. The U.S. government has racked up $14 trillion in debt. For more than 800 days, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget. President Obama continues his calls for “compromise” and “shared sacrifice,” all while insisting on tax increases to fund spending—a philosophy that was roundly rejected at the polls last November. That is not a manner of governance that President Reagan would have endorsed.

    It’s also a line of argument that has no grounding in reality. Last night, the U.S. House passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan, which would impose a cap on federal spending and allows for an increase in the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion on the condition that the House and Senate approve a balanced budget amendment. To date, it is the only plan to raise the debt limit that has passed either chamber, and it is the only plan whose details can be seen in the light of day.

    But amid the good news last night, another plan emerged from the shadows promising to answer the nation’s budget woes. Its authors are a group of U.S. Senators known as the Gang of Six, and their plan offers to 1) make unspecified spending cuts and unspecified tax increases to yield a $500 billion reduction in the federal deficit and 2) impose spending caps on discretionary spending but not on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare programs that are the main cause of out-of-control spending.

    The Heritage Foundation’s David Addington explains how the back-room strategy behind the Gang of Six plan paves the way for a debt limit hike and why the American people lose out:

    Under the Gang of Six Plan, Congress will pass some easy stuff now, but punt the hard stuff to the future, promising that Congress will pass it some time within the next six months. There’s plenty in the Gang of Six Plan for President Obama — he gets his tax hikes and, in reality, he gets to borrow lots more money. But the American people don’t really get much of anything, except the usual empty promise of action in the future.

    That’s not the only plan floating around Washington this week, though. There’s the McConnell Plan and the McConnell-Reid “just borrow more” plan, neither of which does the work that the American people have elected Congress to do—get spending under control right now without raising taxes, without raising spending, and without punting tough decisions on spending down the road for future Congresses and Presidents to cope with.

    That path should be one in which Congress doesn’t raise taxes, preserves our ability to protect America, and gets spending and borrowing under control before raising the debt limit. Getting there will take strong leadership and an ability to clearly communicate a message to the American people—both of which are lacking among the left in the debt limit debate today. No wonder they’re looking to Reagan for help.

    Quick Hits:

    • President Obama will support a bill to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Senate is holding hearings on a repeal of the law this week.
    • Minnesota’s 19-day government shutdown is near an end. The governor and legislature have reached a budget agreement that cuts spending without raising taxes but “relies on one-time accounting tricks. . . to eliminate the state’s $5 billion deficit.”
    • Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has stabilized four months after the earthquake and tsunami that provoked partial meltdowns in the facility. A cold shutdown is expected within six months.
    • More mandates from Obamacare? A panel advising the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that health insurance plans offer women all forms of approved contraception without charging out-of-pocket fees.
    • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) spoke to Heritage yesterday in an exclusive interview in which he called the McConnell-Reid debt plan a “cover-up.” Watch the video on Foundry.org.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    48 Responses to Morning Bell: Liberals Invoke Reagan to Sell Debt Deal

    1. I just ran across a blog that suggested if Reagan could increase the debt limit then Obama should also have the same right, however as Mike has pointed out so eloquently Reagan would not govern in such a way as to increase our debt to over 14 trillion without cuts. As I recall Reagan's policy called for cutting two dollars for every one spent. He also gained public support by taking his argument to the American people over the heads of the Democraticaly controlled congress of that time. Obama by contrast does not have the trust or support of the public to increase taxes nor the debt ceiling, so it is a non leading argument for anyone who pays attention so imply history favors his demand of the peoples money. That still will not prevent the Main Stream Media from spinning it as Obama has the right based on his Republican predessessor.

    2. Alex says:

      "Despite all the rhetoric, liberals have failed to convince America that their way is the best way to move Washington forward."

      Straight up wrong: 66 percent of Americans say that debt ceiling deal should include tax cuts and revenue increases. I.e. they are rejecting the GOP hard line of no revenue increases and prefer Obama's plan of spending cuts and revenue increases.
      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/18/p

      • Andy says:

        Of course you would be citing a CBS poll (liberal media) cited by CNN (liberal media). Neither are objective measures of what American's truly want. Besides, last I saw we lived in a constitutional republic where laws are created by the people's representatives, not by popular polls, and the people's representatives just passed a cut, cap, and balance bill. As far as I'm concerned, the 'gang of 6' or 12 or 15 or however many jump on that bandwagon can stop spinning their wheels, the House of Representatives has done their job, now act on it.

      • John says:

        I would tend to agree with you as most polls do say what you claim, but most over represent Dems claiming they represent about 40%, while Republicans are in the mid-to-high 20s. This doesn't seem like the real world, but 66% is a lot of people in any poll, and some even say Republicans want tax increases. However some polls do disagree. And the important poll for Democrats, Obama's approval rating has been trending down. The important one for Republicans, generic ballot has not, though congress is, as always, hated. If I were a Dem, I'd be worried. If I were a Republican I'd be worried. America hates both of you.

    3. Richard says:

      Unfortunately Reagan is more like the Democrats than the Republicans. When he realized what a disaster his tax cuts were he passed the largest tax increase in USA history. Reagan took the debt from $900 billion to $2.8 trillion.

    4. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Am I missing something among all the rhetoric?? I have yet to hear anything that I can say,means an honest attempt to control spending. Where are the offers to repeal all the pay increases that have been given in all three branches of the Gov't. the last 2 years, when older people, dependent on Soc.sec. got none??. Then where are the promises to audit all dept's and get rid of the dead wood?? There are a lot of people who could retire soon, why not an early out?? Anf final but not last, Where is the fact by fact attack on Obama Care??, this needs to be done so ALL AMERICANS can see why this is bab for them. While I don't hear any of the above I sure hear a lot about new bailouts and such.

      • Alex says:

        Let me get this straight: you complain about "older people dependent on social security" not getting money, and your solution is a series of comprehensive cuts to social security as in every GOP proposal?

    5. Rick says:

      Well the first problem we have here most if not all who put us in this mess are trying to get us out. This one good reason for term limits so as to limit the corupt doings these politians do with our money. The next is do we really think this group will even consder doing what is right or do what will gain them re election. Again it is pass the buck let somone else worry about it. The sad part is our wanna. Be president asks us to scarifice while his spending is out of control. Besides does this goverment show how we as people should run our lives while they spend beyond there means and we pick up the tab. It is time to say NO and vote them all out begin new. But the corruption is so deep in goverment so deep in unions we already know the answers. Higher taxes. Higher debt. And less for the people. Well except the president and hgis flock of crooks more spending higher salaries and the greed goes on. So sad to listen to all there lies that do nothing but destroy this country

    6. Willis says:

      I saw a picture of President Harry Truman with a sign on his desk that "The "Buck Stops Here". If the Liberals are going to bring up Reagan, shouldn't Harry Trauman be brought up also. Wasn't Harry Truman a Democrat?

    7. Robert says:

      They might as well quote James Madison or John Adams, they know neither. Sounds more like gang rape to me. Now is the time for any of our real, Tea Party Senators to stand up and be counted. If Rand Paul can shut down the Senate for four days by himself, imagine what seven Senators could accomplish. Where are you Rubio? DeMint? Paul? Coburn? Funny, I can't seem to get to seven.

    8. Glynnda says:

      Hmmmmm……looks like it's time to do some housecleaning in the Senate…..yes?

    9. Jim Patterson says:

      Ok, so let's just go back to the debt limit ceiling that Reagan asked for and say that is now our "new" debt ceiling. Not so sure the Dems would like that! LOL

    10. Stephen Peters says:

      I really feel sorry for the Speaker of the House. Now that he must appease the Tea Party Group and teach them reality of the deadline approaching. Possibly the words of "The Gipper" will knock some sense into these new members of the house.

    11. Scott says:

      Not to mention the fact that Reagan would know from experience that when you make a deal to raise taxes if spending is also cut, Dems will fail to hold up their end of the bargain (spending cuts) 100% of the time

    12. charleslabounty says:

      National Debt went up during Reagan's two terms by about $1.7T, according to the numbers I see.
      He desparately wanted to reduce government and government spending.
      However, the Democratic House for both his terms held his defense programs hostage and debt continued to grow. The ad does not explain that.
      So typical of liberals, while Reagan was trying to beat the Soviets with his defense spending, the libs kept spending more on their social engineering agenda.

    13. KC - NM says:

      The liberals and our current democrat administration are the key issue. They have not developed a viable plan that addresses the causes of the debt issue. All we get from the liberal and Obama are threats and talk. It is time to walk the talk! So the conservative side has produced a 2nd plan that is workable. The pain from this plan will hit all Americans, but bottom line this is needed if we are to protect our economy and way of life. Obama and his team of out-of-touch liberals need to get in line with the American thought process on the debt issue and the out of control spending. Make government smaller, stop the foreign aid, drive business growth that is internal to America and fix the infrastructure. Then we will start seeing real growth again.

    14. Bob Godwin says:

      Let's go House! The only specifics and the only hope.

    15. Mike the Bike says:

      I call the Democrats' economic plans the "J. Wellington Wimpy style". Of course, J.Wellington Wimpy was the character from "Popeye the Sailorman" comics. "If you will lend me 5 cents for a hamburger, I will gladly pay you on Tuesday". He was never shown to have ever paid Popeye back and I don't remember if Popeye kept on giving him money or not, sort of like the predicament in our country right now.

    16. Carol says:

      What most don't know and I believe to be true. That the Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation/Center have been working all along on this un/holy 6 or7 (just like the 57 States) magical budget. He goaded the GOP to come up with a budget he had no intentions of signing. Because he promissed to VETO! it. That mant any thing the GOP came up with. The Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation/Center are money laundering groups for the Government and they are TAX exempt. Hence the raise in Taxes that Obama wants. the Caviat in all of this is these two and some others are owned and operated (in the shadows) by none other than George Soros. And huge contributors to the Obama regime.

    17. Pat Finch says:

      No New taxes SSI is not an intitlementit is being paid for out of mine and your taxes every week mandatory urinal. testing for welfare congress gov. employees and senators. no more spending budget amendment. That'sit cut spending period

    18. Amazed American says:

      Too bad Harrison K Bounell didn't know that when he was on the senate and voted NO to raising the debt limit.

    19. Bobbie says:

      In regard to the dems love to distort, show their incompetence that led us here and tell why Reagan used the exact words Obama did and the results then compared to what will happen tomorrow with obama. Dems use the actions of the past thinking it's always their right (because they can't think for themselves,) without considering circumstance and facts of the current time and future thereof.

    20. herbie54 says:

      Any rep. that votes to increase the debt:"VOTE THEM OUT"

    21. jeff says:

      I just ran across a blog that suggested if Reagan could increase the debt limit then Obama should also have the same right, however as you have pointed out so eloquently Reagan would not govern in such a way as to increase our debt to over 14 trillion without cuts. As I recall Reagan's policy called for cutting two dollars for every one spent. He also gained public support by taking his argument to the American people over the heads of the Democraticaly controlled congress of that time. Obama by contrast does not have the trust or support of the public to increase taxes nor the debt ceiling, so it is a non leading argument for anyone who pays attention so imply history favors his demand of the peoples money. That still will not prevent the Main Stream Media from spinning it as Obama has the right based on his Republican predessessor.

    22. paul collins says:

      The debt ceiling should not be raised under any circumstance.As long as the government can borrow they
      will continue to do so.Force Obama to stop.He said that he will veto a balanced budget , but there is no way he will. By time it is raified,he will have his increased limit and be reelected.Mcconnel's statement he considers what is good for the party should be enough to vote him out of office.He was elected to serve the people not his party. If it comes up for a vote it must be a voice vote so that we know who is responsible for the result. All these meetings should have been on TVso they can't blame each other.

    23. I just ran across a blog that suggested if Reagan could increase the debt limit then Obama should also have the same right, however as Mike has pointed out so eloquently Reagan would not govern in such a way as to increase our debt to over 14 trillion without cuts. As I recall Reagan's policy called for cutting two dollars for every one spent. He also gained public support by taking his argument to the American people over the heads of the Democraticaly controlled congress of that time. Obama by contrast does not have the trust or support of the public to increase taxes nor the debt ceiling, so it is a non leading argument for anyone who pays attention so imply history favors his demand of the peoples money. That still will not prevent the Main Stream Media from spinning it as Obama has the right based on his Republican predessessor.

    24. Russell Errett says:

      All of our elected official talk about is social security, medicare and medicaid but leave out unnecessary and inept government agency's, welfare and subsidies. What does the constitution say about property (money) taken. The Supreme Court has already struck down (nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.) Isn't money property? So money (taxes) taken should only be used for public use (Gov. employees). So should taxes be taken for private use without any compensation?

    25. Donald DaCosta says:

      "Getting there will take strong leadership and an ability to clearly communicate a message to the American people—both of which are lacking among the left in the debt limit debate today."

      And therein lies the rub.

    26. The Farmer says:

      Most of the folks on either side of the isle in DC will use any trick they can to fool the folks, and to get and retain power. The more we see of our past Presidents the more plain it is that we haven't had one since Ike that cared more about the Nation then themselves, but ofcourse he didn't want the job.
      I know, I thought alot of Reagan, but I need to admit I was hoodwinked along with with alot of others; if the man really cared about the Nation, why didn't he use the debt limit to defund programs he claimed to be for getting rid of, him and others who followed him? Why? Because they weren't who they pretended to be!

    27. Dwana Townsend says:

      I read through the "Plan". It is only an outline of a Plan and does not adress specific cuts to spending or where additional revenue will come from. It does not lay out a specific plan for reform to our current Tax system nor does it address Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Wellfare Reform specifics.

      It does not address specific job creation. It also gives the current President additional spending power and the ability to continue to pick and choose winners and losers!!!

      I am sceptical at the 500B in cuts as well. No where in the plan is it spelled out where these "Real" cuts will come from. Until the American Public has had a chance to see specifics I say to all of you CALL your REPs!!! If they sign onto this plan, it is the same thing as signing a bill that has "Not" been read. "You have to sign it to find out what's in it" type of thing. There is nothing in it!!! It is only an outline of a plan that will be interepeted at a later date!!!

      Smoke and Mirrors, Smoke and Mirrors!!!

    28. Todd says:

      What does anyone expect. Reagan was the last truly great president we have had. The liberals cannot hold up the current one as an example of anything but incompetence and self-serving.

    29. Gregory Norton says:

      Growth in Federal outlays averaged 3.4% per year during the 1990s. Because receipts were growing slightly faster, the decade ended with a budget surplus.

      But, beginning in FY 2002 (the first budget after Bush 43 took office) expenditure growth doubled to 6.8% per year. Hence, the current budget crisis.

      Had the 3.4% growth continued, the budget in 2012 would be within $100 billion of being balanced.

      Out-of-control spending growth began under the Republican Congress, and continued after Democrats took control in 2007 (FY 2008). If spending (outlays) were to be cut by $1 trillion next year – meaning an actual reduction, not what Congress usually calls a "cut" but spend $2.7 trillion rather than the projected $3.7 trillion – spending would be back on track with the trend established during the Bush 41 and Clinton administrations. How awful would that be? Was Clinton such a heartless ogre? Was the Democrat-controlled House pushing the elderly off cliffs from 1991 until 1995, when expenditures were growing 3.4% per year?

      Were the debt ceiling increased by $100 billion, the House could limit FY2012 spending to $2.7 trillion; Speaker Boehner doesn't need anybody other than House members to agree – Republicans in the House are in a unique position to limit spending. The House can force the budget to be balanced if they refuse to increase the debt limit. No need for an amendment. If they have the courage.

      The "stimulus" spending didn't go to increasing Social Security and other retirement benefits. Cutting back should be comparable to the stimulus growth. Speaker Boehner might want to point that out.

      Source: Economic Report of the President, 2010

    30. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      The lifer politicians will vote to raise the debt limit. It's a done deal, just like Obamacare is a done deal. Keep supporting the lifer Republicans. Get a life Heritage, you may dine with them, play golf with them and as long as you keep propping them up…get a small donation from them. But when push comes to re-election, they will seek to make deals, regardless of their constituents. It's a game…keep playing.

      Get on to the next subject…the debt limit is old news…it's over…

    31. Victor Barney says:

      Ronald Reagan might have been a grade B actor, but in politics, he was the best ever! Why? Because he told the truth! The Democrats, sponsored for eternity by "the mob" in fact have never been truthful, not even John Kennedy! However, women are in the majority and "Eve" was not a good start for them, so they(women), who control our elections scare me! No? Watch!

    32. Lendawg says:

      In a Democrat's mind, Republican obstruction to the Gang-of-Six plan is hypocrisy. "Tax increases, like Reagan's, and debt-limit increases, like Reagan's, are what President Obama is proposing" is what I hear from the left. However, as you have alluded to here, the two do not compare. The financial environment is vastly different and the outlook for the future is so much dimmer than it was then. Until businesses and innovators feel like they have some grasp on what to expect in the future, the economy will continue to be stifled and deficits will continue to mount.

      • infidel4ever says:

        The big difference is Ronald Reagan loved this country…..BO does not!!! Why does he want to fundamentally transform America? Sounds like a typical anti-American despot!

    33. 1ConservativeUSA says:

      Now, we will find out if the politicians, and more importantly, the voters understand what we voted for in November 2010.
      True conservatives should stand strong and continue to offer real solutions to the real problems, which are profligate government spending and overreaching regulation.

    34. Ron W. Smith says:

      Using Ronald Reagan for their purposes is an interesting if somewhat transparent ploy for the Democrats. However isn't it ironic that neither party seems interested in demonstrating that our out-of-control spending on National Security has a very big role in why our national debt is now pushing $14.5 trillion? And given that fact, isn't it further ironic that Heritage Foundation's Brownstein points only to spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and "welfare programs" as responsible for the out-of-control spending?
      What is called for is a full frontal inspection of our foreign policy decisions over the years, decisions that have us, even in lean times, spending more every year than the rest of the world COMBINED on National Security. Justifying such extravagance, these days on borrowed money, seems never to occur to our elected folks in Washington, D.C., and it certainly hasn't occurred to Brownstein that it's high time to begin a systematic, comprehensive look at why we seem so compelled to make foreign policy decisions that end up in more than a trillion dollars a year spent on National Security and in our running annual deficits over a trillion dollars a year.
      Sure, Social Security and Medicare–both of which have at least SOME incoming, earmarked revenue in their favor–have to be seriously involved in discussions of where to cut spending. With that I have no problem. But simply to assume that the $1 trillion annually spent on National Security should be exempt is pretty feeble stuff. China gets by spending less than 20% of what we do on National Defense. Great Britain spends a tiny fraction of what we do on Intelligence. And what countries have anything resembling the expenditures we do on Nation Building, Foreign Aid designed to gain the cooperation of other countries, and Homeland Security?
      As I said, what is called for is full frontal inspection of the foreign policy decisions behind our extravagance in projecting our power everywhere on earth (700+ military installations large and small) when it's apparent we can't afford being SuperPower on call at a time when the national debt is almost $14.5 trillion. Domestic needs ought not alone be on the cutting table. National Security expenditures far in excess of any anywhere else are prime for that table, too. And if we think we look good hacking away at Medicaid and other social safety net programs while pouring so much into National Security, think again. We look like we're bound and determined at all costs to support a questionable habit. That, for all the world to see, what we look like.

    35. Andy says:

      I'm tired of feeling like I dont matter and subject to what others determine for me. Liberty my friends is the only answer – read debate and discuss. Be honest without being assailing verbally. We need to come together as a nation.

      By God, now is our chance. It will be too late soon.

    36. Jim S says:

      What everyone seem to be missing is if the Constitution gives the government the power to issue money. Why do we continue to use the Federal Reserve system. There would be not increase in debt if we printed the money as per the provision of the Constitution. Why there is a debt to begin with that is needed to be paid by the American taxpayer is ludicrous. Let's start get agry about the real culprit here, the Fed and alter or abolish it. For real solutions to our very real problems see Optinomics "A Better Way" at mybetterway.com

    37. Pingback: Los progres invocan a Reagan para convencernos sobre la deuda | Heritage Libertad

    38. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Desperate people do desperate things.

    39. kaydell bowles says:

      For Congress: You must do your duty and pass a budget that cuts the nonsense spending, and an admendment to balance the budget. Shame on all the Congressmen who have ignored the problems and are hiding behind the strings of their party but to go 800 days or 2 plus years without a budget. This is wrong; dead wrong.

    40. dan says:

      it just baffles me to no end that the dems and libs just sit there and point fingers and act like playground children. and then turn around and basically call the public stupid. and even more baffling are their supporters who take this garbage. it's pretty simple people. give your child your check book and see what he/she does with the money. like the dems they will spend to no end. dollar in dollar out. NOT dollar in 50 dollars out. THERE IS NO UTOPIA! get over it!

    41. Doc Hilliard says:

      ObamaCare(Not) got through on Pelosi's infamous "you've got to pass it to see what's in it", and now the same anti-Americans are trying to again stick it to Americans. They ought to all move to Greece,

    42. Denver says:

      Dumbocrats always at a loss for legitimacy have to have established regular crises to make a great pretense at fixing them. Otherwise they'd have to deal with real problems that require real solutions, like the wandering droughts and regional floods that have devastated the nation forever. The congress and the Pres. might even find common objectives in an intelligent solution….well, they could consult someone with the intelligence to come up with the real fix. Think of the jobs a project on that scale would generate and for years. If they don't get serious about fixing this disaster THEY CREATED we'll be stuck with more than drought and floods FOREVER

    43. @rfobama says:

      How is what the Democrats are saying a recasting of history? Reagan did warn of the dangers of default– as part of an argument to raise the debt ceiling, not cut the deficit.

      I give the Republicans no credit for voting for something that they knew had zero chance of becoming law. Sorry.

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