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Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Fiscal Cliff returns Washington to ‘insults’ as Rand Paul challenges the narrative

The national election is over and Republicans and Democrats appear to have returned to their pre-election stances: blame one another.

House Speaker John Boehner declared himself disappointed that “no substantive progress” has occurred in two weeks of talks, saying Republicans were waiting for the White House to propose significant spending cuts.

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid responded to Boehner by telling reporters: “I don’t understand his brain.”

Automatic tax increases and spending cuts, nicknamed the “Fiscal Cliff,” has replaced the “debt ceiling” as the political buzzword to take center stage in Washington.

Many Republicans have flipped on tax hikes from their campaign narrative and Grover Norquist anti-tax commitments. Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, told Fox News he’s standing firm.

“I’m a huge fan of the pledge,” Paul said on Fox News. “And I think it does hold people’s feet to the fire and they’ve essentially signed their signature and said they’re not going to raise taxes so if they go back on their word, I think they’ll suffer the repercussions in their next election.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Paul challenges some of the presumptions from the fiscal cliff debate.

“The fiscal-cliff narrative assumes that spending cuts are bad for the economy. It follows, then, that more spending (and therefore more government debt) are good for the economy.

Didn’t we try that with President Obama’s trillion-dollar deficit-spending spree? You remember the stimulus—the one that created or “saved” American jobs at a cost of $400,000 per job. The one that left the unemployment rate over 8% for 43 consecutive months, the longest span since the Great Depression.”

The very point that Mitt Romney and other Republicans attacked President Obama for during the campaign have quickly been muddled in this fiscal cliff debate.

The Kentucky Senator then offers some examples of some needed spending cuts.

“Apologists for big government say that we must raise taxes, that there simply isn’t enough spending to cut. Maybe these legislators ought to look at the $100,000 that the State Department spent this year to send comedians to spread American culture in India (part of a $600 million program). Or the $2.6 million spent by the National Institutes of Health to teach Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly. Or the $947,000 spent by NASA studying what type of food we should serve on Mars. Or the $100 billion ($115 billion last year) that is improperly spent across the federal government each year, according to the White House Office of Federal Financial Management.”

Obama “has to get serious,” Boehner told reporters following his discussion with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “It’s very clear what kind of spending cuts need to occur, but we have no idea what the White House is willing to do.”

A Republican congressional aide familiar with the proposal said it calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases.

“All of that upfront — in exchange for only $400 billion in spending cuts that come later,” said the aide, calling the offer “completely unbalanced and unrealistic.”

The election may be over, but the political ravings in Washington is far from ending.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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