To: Republican U.S. Senate Candidates
From: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), NRSC Chairman
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Re: The Democrats’ Disingenuous Attacks
The National Democrats’ 2012 election strategy is clear: First, ignore America’s impending financial crisis; and second, mislead Americans on entitlement reform. Indeed, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently admitted on the record that the focus on Medicare is a “tactical” political ploy by the Democrats. Independent fact-checkers have repeatedly shown Democrats’ assertions and attacks are flatly false – but “political tactics” trump facts for Democrats.
Obviously, Washington Democrats are not going to hold back on their misleading tactics – and it’s becoming clear that they are willing to use the full resources of the Executive Branch to help them execute it.
In fact, the Obama Administration may go so far as to send letters to Social Security and Medicare recipients, or to federal employees, including members of our armed forces, in the days ahead claiming that they may not receive their due compensation and benefits.
All of this would be done under the guise of official government business — and a cost of tens of thousands of tax dollars — but with a very clear political purpose.
Look no further than what President Obama himself said during an interview with CBS News last night:
- President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks. ’I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,’ Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.
You will also recall that this sort of rhetoric and scare tactics are a disturbing pattern by this White House. Just as with the $787 billion “stimulus” in 2009 and their massive health care overhaul in 2010, the process begins with secret, closed-door negotiations, coupled with a White House-imposed deadline – real or claimed – and warnings of disaster if that deadline is not met and the secret negotiations are not embraced. And ending with an all-out effort to ram it through Congress with little to no public review.
If the Democrats choose this same path, remember: the decision to stop sending Social Security checks, or other benefits lies solely with the Obama Administration.
As the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes today:
- The reality is that Mr. Obama is trying to present Republicans with a Hobson’s choice: Either repudiate their campaign pledge by raising taxes, or take the blame for any economic turmoil and government shutdown as the U.S. nears a debt default. In the former case Mr. Obama takes the tax issue off the table and demoralizes the tea party for 2012, and in the latter he makes Republicans share the blame for 9.2% unemployment.
Billions of dollars in revenue still comes into the government’s coffers each day – a fact even acknowledged by Treasure Secretary Geithner. The Obama Administration would have more than needed to keep sending checks to Social Security recipients, or Medicare patients, or to our soldiers serving abroad. But as the President indicated last night, they may choose not to, in order to attempt to exert political pressure on Republicans to agree to Democrats’ tax hikes.
This would be nothing more than the Democrats playing with Americans’ lives, and particularly seniors, purely for political gain.
So why is this context important to you and your campaigns? Because as negotiations between the two parties moves forward, we would not be surprised to see Democrats continue to use any and every tool such as this to increase our country’s credit card limit, while passing job-killing tax hikes on to American families and small businesses.
We certainly hope it never reaches the point where the Democrats choose to hold our seniors or service members hostage to their big-spending political agenda, but as we move forward, here are several key points that you and other Republican candidates should be reminding voters in your states:
- Over the past two and a half years President Obama and the Democrats in Washington have driven our national debt to a record-high $14.3 trillion with their failed tax-spend-and-borrow economic agenda. Policies like their failed stimulus and ObamaCare are making the worst economic downturn in generations even worse:
o America has lost nearly 1.9 million jobs in the wake of the Democrats’ failed $787 billion stimulus, and now the Democrats want to repeat that same mistake by borrowing more money on the backs of our children and grandchildren.
o The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that – in addition to raising taxes by $570 billion and cutting Medicare by $500 billion in order to expand government – the Democrats’ massive health care overhaul will increase federal deficits by $260 billion through 2019.
- It has been more than 800 days since Senate Democrats have even passed a budget, and since that time, our national debt has grown by more than $3.1 trillion.
- A recent report by the CBO shows that the Democrats’ unsustainable policies are causing our national debt to overtake our entire economy and “increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis.”
- The CBO projects that by the end of this year, the federal debt will reach roughly 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—the highest percentage since shortly after World War II. Taxes are projected to rise to the historical average in the years ahead, yet the unprecedented growth in government spending is projected to rise much faster, driving an unsustainable explosion in debt
- The federal government’s interest payments alone are projected to consume 9 percent of our entire economy by 2035, up from about 1 percent today. The CBO report states that “Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates.Americans want Washington to tax, spend and borrow less money – not more – on the backs of families and job-creators. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll confirmed that “[t]he large majority of Americans say spending too much money on unneeded or wasteful federal programs is to blame for the federal budget deficit.
o The survey showed that 73 percent of American adults responded that “spending too much money on federal programs that are either not needed or wasteful” is to blame for the federal budget deficit.
o The survey also showed that “overall, 85% of Americans explicitly favor spending cuts as at least part of the solution to reducing the federal deficit, with more than half of these favoring only or mostly using cuts.”
Americans have watched with increasing dismay over that last two-and-a-half years as President Obama and the Democrats in Washington have ignored both the facts and the public’s will in pursuing their failed liberal agenda. Republican candidates like you have both the facts and the American people on your side. Our opponents continue to advocate harmful policies and parrot their Washington party bosses’ misleading attacks, and it is vital that Republicans are aggressive in making our case and setting the record straight.