Krauthammer On Obama's Fiscal Cliff Campaign: "It's All About Politics; It's Nothing About Economics"
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I heard what the Congressman (van Hollen) said and it is clear they are (Democrats) not serious at all about entitlements. which, as the president himself said, that is where the money is. On Social Security he denied that there's any effect on the deficit at all.
In fact, Dick Durbin said earlier last week that Social Security hasn't added a dime to the deficit. In fact, in 2012, it adds $160 billion of debt. That's more than a dime. And they pretend -- you heard van Hollen say there is $2.5 trillion in the trust fund of Social Security and that will take care of it for 20, 25 more years.
That means there are pieces of paper in the trust fund where the Treasury says we will pay you. But it doesn't have the money. It's spent the surpluses in the past. That is simply a promise, from a Treasury which is bankrupt and has to borrow a trillion dollars a year from the Chinese simply to pay its bills today. So that's a fiction and they know it, but they won't touch Social Security. Why? Because of political implications.
The Republicans are bad guys and they are the good guys. Same on Medicare. He said, 'We don't want to balance it on back of the seniors.' As if you are going to reform this, which is killing the budget -- everybody agrees that's the one area where the treasury is hemorrhaging. By anyway impacting seniors, we're going to get out of the drug companies. Which is absurd. The only way to attack this is to actually slow down the growth of healthcare. And the one area that you could really do that, tort reform where a quarter of all spending in medicine is spent on defensive maneuvers which are unneeded. That $600 billion a year. There's not a word of that in ObamaCare. They have no interest in that and the reason is that would offend the trial lawyers. On every entitlement they have shown zero seriousness.
KRAUTHAMMER: It's surprising to me that the president, essentially, who could get revenues he wants from the deductions and exclusions, but insists on rates not for economic reasons but political. He wants to break the backs of Republicans. This is a continuation of his campaign. He thinks he is won it and now he wants to drive a stake through the Republicans. It's all about the politics; it's nothing about the economics.