Government Bytes


Obama's "Debt Failsafe Trigger" Just Code for Tax Hikes

by Brandon Greife / /

Apple’s now-ubiquitous catchphrase, “there’s an app for that,”is one of the truer advertising pitches I’ve heard in a long time. There reallyis an app for literally everything, from the useful, like Shazam which allowsyou to identify any song that’s playing, to the addictive (I’m looking at youAngry Birds), to the downright absurd, does anyone really need PocketGirlfriend? Now the Obama Administration has decided to follow much themarketing strategy as Apple. Problem? There’s a commission for that!

Yes, in Washington there is simply no problem that cannot besolved by talking about it…a lot. This has become no clearer than in PresidentObama’s “attempt” to eliminate our deficit. First, he created a bipartisandeficit commission to identify savings in the budget and come up with a plan toachieve fiscal sustainability. They came up with a plan. Obama promptly puttogether a budget that completely ignored it. Fast forward six months and we’refacing the same problems. Obama’s solution? A commission, this time to bechaired by Vice President Joe Biden.

Apparently when President Obama doesn’t like his hand hesimply demands that the deck be reshuffled and dealt again.

The new commission is off to an ominous start. TheHill reports

“Assistant House Minority Leader JamesClyburn (D-SC), who will participate in debt-reduction talks with VicePresident Joe Biden Thursday, said Wednesday that a debt failsafe trigger is a “goodstarting point” for a compromise over the raising of the nation’s debt ceiling.”

The abstrusely-named “debt failsafe trigger” is a clevermaneuver to raise taxes, even for Washington’s standards. The provision wouldspecify certain targets for deficit reduction, which if not met, would triggerspending cuts and tax increases. What’s especially clever is that it will allowtaxes to be raised automatically, without a vote!

Dick Morris cleverly labeledit “the immaculate conception tax increase.” And it could be just the miracleDemocrats need to institute higher taxes without having to answer toalready-overburdened taxpayers.

If you haven’t noticed Washington has not exactly been aparagon of fiscal conservatism over the past several decades. Every year theysay they’ll spend less yet deficits and debt have steadily grown. Given thatreality, a scheme that automatically raises taxes if Washington continue itsspending spree seems like a surefire way to take the burden off politicians andplace it squarely on the backs of taxpayers.

Not only is it a direct path to higher taxes, it preventstaxpayers from knowing who to blame. Since taxes will be raised automatically,and not by vote, legislators are protected from having to explain why theychose to raise taxes. As the anger of taxpayers shoots through the roof,Washington can collectively throw its hands in the air and chant “who me?”

Yes you! Americans won’t be fooled by this blatant attemptto appear concerned about the deficit while simultaneously funding increases inthe size of government. The “debt failsafe trigger” may sound like asophisticated silver-bullet that can cure all of Washington’s ills, but I’m notbuying. Not even if it was only 99 cents in the App Store.