It’s no secret that President Obama is unwilling to make any significant cuts to the federal budget, and GOP’s governors are beyond frustrated about it.
“He is determined to raise taxes on the American people,” Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal told reporters yesterday following a meeting a Republican Governors Association meeting at the White House. “Enough is enough.”
Time is running out, however, and at the end of the week, a mandatory $83 billion in federal spending cuts are set to take effect unless negotiations stop the sequestration. Among other things, the cuts would hit states’ education funding as well as federal employees, who could be furloughed one day a week.
Jindal in particular expressed his desire for the “flexible federalism” so that cuts can be tailored to meet the needs of individual states. He said the $83 billion in cuts could be made by eliminating waste, rather than through shrinking more significant federal programs.
Obama asked the governors to lobby their congressional delegations while they were in town. Democratic and Republican plans to avoid the sequestration will be voted on in the Senate this week, but neither is expected to pass.
The governors yesterday said are required by their states’ constitutions to pass a budget each year, and so they are frustrated by the federal government’s inability to do the same. They argued that they have seen the effects of Obama’s fiscal policies, as citizens in their states see higher taxes for the sake of “raising revenues.”
Coming directly from a meeting with Obama at the White House, Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.) said she could not be more frustrated. “We [as governors] made the hard decisions,” she said. The answer from the Obama administration in regard to proposed cuts, she said, was “a whole lot of ‘no.’”
Haley called out legislators for playing “the blame game” and for “finger pointing.”
Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.) said that the current administration defines success as “how many people are dependent on government.” Republican governors, he said, view success as just the opposite, and the way to overcome the crushing debt and outlandish spending is to abolish “waste, fraud, and abuse” in Washington.
“It has become clear to me that this president, this administration, has an insatiable appetite for new revenues,” Jindal said. Charging Obama with “non-stop campaigning,” Jindal added, “It’s time for the president to show some real leadership.”
Citing the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff, and sequestration as examples, Jindal said the president relies on “some new manufactured crisis” to “scare the American people.”
“Every governor here has had to balance their budget during tough economic times, every family has to balance their budget,” Jindal concluded. “The reality is it can be done. It can be done without jeopardizing the economy; it can be done without jeopardizing critical services.”