The GOP presidential candidates are not happy that the congressional super committee is almost certain to fail in its goal of cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit — and they’re blaming President Barack Obama.
But congressional Republicans wanted Obama to stay out of the Super Committee negotiations in August — after his talks with Speaker of the House John Boehner for a “grand bargain” spectacularly collapsed.
Obama disregarded their objections and introduced his own deficit cutting plan in September, that was never really acted on by anyone.
Here’s what the candidates have to say:
RICK PERRY: “Ultimately, responsibility for this failure lays at President Obama’s feet. The whole reason a supercommittee was created was because the President wasn’t willing to lead, wasn’t willing to even put on paper his plans for cutting spending. It’s amazing to what lengths he will go to avoid making tough decisions. And who pays the price for Washington’s failure? The American people and our military personnel, who will now be subjected to a half trillion dollars in national defence cuts?
“The President and Congress should work through the Thanksgiving holidays, work through weekends and recesses to cut federal spending, undo the damage being done to our military personnel and fix the budget mess. Our military gets the job done in life-threatening conditions every day, it’s time the President and Congress get serious about cutting federal spending and balancing the federal budget.
“The supercommittee’s failure is the perfect illustration of how Washington is broken and needs to be seriously overhauled. As President, I will demand a complete overhaul of Washington, D.C. starting with a Balanced Budget Amendment, a part-time citizen Congress, and major tax and spending cuts to jump-start our economy and create good American jobs. We can fix the system with my flat tax and serious reforms cutting taxes to a flat 20 per cent, ending earmarks and corporate tax loopholes, and balancing the federal budget by 2020.”
HERMAN CAIN: “President Obama and his ultraliberal, anti-job creating comrades in the Democrat Party are apoplectic because Republicans are standing strong with the American people, refusing to hike their taxes during Obama’s Great Recession. Obama, again, is failing Americans, providing no leadership, and exacerbating our national debt to more than $15 trillion – over $48,000 for every American man, woman and child.
“We must immediately cut spending – for real, not the Obama way – and dismantle the barriers to growth. We must simplify the tax code, which my ‘9-9-9 Plan’ does. According to former Reagan Treasury official Gary Robbins, of Fiscal Associates, 9-9-9 will expand our GDP by $2 trillion, create 6 million new jobs, increase business investment by one-third, and increase wages by 10 per cent.
New leadership in Washington after Nov. 6, 2012 will unleash the American spirit of prosperity once again and toss Obama’s failed economic leadership into the history books.”
JON HUNTSMAN: “Today I empathise with Americans who are overly frustrated with our government’s inability to accomplish anything,” said Governor Huntsman. “We face a historic debt, and people cannot trust their elected leaders to agree on even a modest level of spending reductions. The fact that the president’s utter abandonment of leadership on our debt crisis necessitated a super committee signals his failure and Washington’s dysfunction. It’s time to get serious. We need bold solutions and principled leadership to renew and rebuild America.”
RON PAUL: “This week marks the deadline for the so-called congressional Super Committee to meet its goal of cutting a laughably small amount of federal spending over the next decade. In fact the Committee merely needs to cut about $120 billion annually from the federal budget over the next 10 years to meet its modest goals, but even this paltry amount has produced hand-wringing and hysteria on Capitol Hill. This is only cutting proposed increases. It has nothing to do with actually cutting anything. This shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems.
“To be fair, however, in one sense members of the Super Committee face an impossible task. They must, in effect, cut government spending without first addressing the role of government in our society. They must continue to insist the federal government can provide Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits in the future as promised, while maintaining our wildly interventionist foreign policy. Yet everyone knows this is a lie.
“Keep in mind that the 2011 federal deficit alone was about $1.3 trillion, which means the Super Committee needs to cut that much PER YEAR rather than over a 10 year period. If Congress ever hopes to address its debt problem, it must first stop accumulating any new debt immediately, in 2012.
“Federal revenue likely will be about $2.3 trillion in fiscal 2012. The 2004 federal budget was about $2.3 trillion. So Congress simply needs to adopt the 2004 budget next year and the federal government will balance outlays and revenue. That’s all it would take to produce a balanced budget right now. Was the federal government really too small just 7 years ago, in 2004? Of course not. Only Washington hysteria would have us believe otherwise.
“Yet our Republican and Democrat friends on the Super Committee want to take 10 years, or even 30 years, to produce a balanced budget.
“Government spending isn’t just wasteful; it is often actively harmful to stated goals. The Super Committee could simply apply 2004 spending levels across the board and a tremendous victory for fiscal sanity would be accomplished.
“What seems more likely, however, is a rearrangement of the tax code in an attempt to bring in more revenue. Deductions and credits will be taken away, and the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire. As a result, less money will remain in the private sector to create jobs and produce economic growth. The Super Committee has an opportunity to take a small baby step in the right direction. Instead, they no doubt will take this opportunity to raise taxes and make everything worse. But increasing taxes will only diminish freedom and deepen the recession. Instead of looking for ways to hike taxes under the guise of “raising revenue,” the Super Committee should put forth a plan of real spending cuts to put America back on the path to liberty and prosperity.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.