Yet another Democrat: Nope, we don’t have a spending problem
posted at 4:07 pm on February 14, 2013 by Guy Benson
First of all, I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem. Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem. And when they talk about that, it’s like there’s an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke. We can’t afford these things any longer. We’re too broke to invest in education and housing and things like that. Well look at it this way, we’re the richest nation in the history of the world. We are now the richest nation in the world. We have the highest per capita income of any major nation. That kind of begs the question, doesn’t it? If we’re so rich, why are we so broke? Is it a spending problem? No.”
If you’re interested in facts and figures, I’ve meticulously debunked this fallacy for the umpteenth time over at Townhall. But let’s set aside economic arguments for a moment. In order to justify their endless “investments,” Democrats have evidently decided to embrace a virulent and deeply unpopular strain of fiscal denialism. How unpopular?
During recent budget negotiations, Obama reportedly said he doesn’t believe the government has a spending problem. Most voters — 83 percent — disagree. That includes most Republicans (97 percent), independents (87 percent) and Democrats (69 percent). In addition, out of 13 issues tested, more voters are “extremely” concerned about government spending than any other issue. Moreover, nearly all voters are either extremely (32 percent) or very concerned (52 percent) about spending.
Refusing to acknowledge this patently obvious problem is risky business for the Left. The president extracted his pound of flesh on tax increases in the fiscal cliff resolution; the public is now strongly behind the idea of prioritizing spending cuts. With a gross national debt that exceeds our GDP, Americans intuitively understand that the government is spending too much and that the debt is getting out of hand. Democrats are brazenly telling the public not to believe their own lying eyes. Republicans should jump all over this with aggressive counter-messaging: Basically, “if they can’t even see the problem, how can they be trusted to fix it?” Run ads featuring a short montage of all these Democrats serially denying a problem that 83 percent of the public recognizes as real. Embed the dizzying national debt clock at the bottom of the screen. Point out that the debt was $8.6 trillion when Democrats took over Congress in 2007, and that it’s approaching $16.6 trillion today. The president is already in a precarious position on deficit-related issues. Why not turn up the heat by exploiting that vulnerability and laying the groundwork for a central theme of the 2014 campaign? It’s good politics and good policy.
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