I have been saying for several months that tying budget and policy initiatives to the debt ceiling was a bad idea. Why? Because at the end of the day I felt the debt ceiling was going to get raised and that threatening not to raise it was not going to be enough of a lever for Conservatives in Congress to get things they wanted passed. Unfortunately, the Congress of the United States has dug itself such a deep fiscal hole that not raising the debt ceiling isn’t even a viable option at this point in our history. Shame on them.
So, have we lost this debate? No. There is still a chance for us to move our Conservative revolution forward if we play our cards smart. How Boehner and McConnell navigate the next 15 months is absolutely crucial to the long term health of our country. Do I wish we had better leadership? Yes, but these are our guys for the time being. I think even McConnell wishes he could take back the idiotic proposal he made this AM. On a positive note, at least he will get some credit for trying to move the ball forward. And, if nothing else, at least people are starting to get visibility into how deep the problems are that Congress has created. The question is this. Where do we go from here?
First, the debt ceiling is going up. Maybe if we were borrowing 10 cents of every Fedral dollar instead of 40 you really could hold the line on the debt limit but the fact that things have gotten so out of control doesn’t allow that to be an option. Given that reality, I would suggest voting out today an increase of $1.5T with no strings attached. That’s going to sound like a heckuva lot of money to most folks. What you and I know is that is about 10-12 months worth of credit on current course and speed. Then, I would start passing legislation every day that actually starts doing something about the real problem which is runaway entitlement spending. Tax reform. Medicare reform. Medicaid reform. Balanced Budget Amendment. Real spending cuts. Let the democrats be the ones who are standing in the way of doing the things that the American people want. If they choose not to go along then they will have to come with their tin cup out next summer when the elections are really heating up. Give Obama nothing. If Barack Obama wants to run on a platform of tax increases since that seems to be his only plan, I say get out of his way.
Then there is this. Why have the Republicans(other than Michelle Bachman) forgotten about how unpopular Obamacare is? The issue is jobs, right? Anybody beside me think that Obamacare is just one of the (many)things keeping businesses from hiring? Why not pass a new repeal of Obamacare every day until the Senate does something about it? They should go on the floor of the house and declare that unemployment will not improve until Obamacare is repealed. I would do the same thing on every issue. Unemployment is the GOP lever, not the debt ceiling. That way, as things start to improve they can take credit for it. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Stop using the word “Cuts”. It has a negative connotation.
All in all, this is a unique moment in our history. People are startting to see that the the slow drift to Socialism that we have been on for 75 years is the wrong path. Will the GOP leadership seize the day and put our country on the right path? I hope so. Or we will need new leaders.