Political Chicken: The Game Republicans Must Win
Everyone knows about the classic game of chicken, usually in the form of two cars driving towards each other until one side turns and loses. That situation is a perfect analogy to the current debt limit negotiations in congress. Usually a game of chicken is for fun or reputation, but in this case the future of the country may be at stake. Our country is facing a financial catastrophe due in large part to the enormous debt we have accumulated. Just a few days ago the Congressional Budget Office released a report predicting a debt explosion whereby the national debt will exceed our whole economy by 2021. This debt will lead to more joblessness, devaluation of the dollar and higher poverty. That is the realistic path we are on and the path from which Democrats refuse to change course. Instead during negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, Democrats are suggestingmore spending and more debt. In most other professions, someone that disconnected from reality would likely be sent to see a psychiatrist, but in politics this is just another day at the office. These politicians refuse to accept basic economic facts and obviously did not learn from the first failed stimulus that they forced on America.
Yesterday, news came out that the main Republican negotiators withdrew from talks because they refuse to compromise on the idea of raising taxes during a recession. This was clearly the right move. Even the head of the non-partisan CBO admitted that raising tax rates would slow economic growth, at a time of already lagging growth and high unemployment. The Democrat plan is increased debt, slower growth and more taxes. It is a plan that America and Americans cannot afford right now. For that reason, the Republicans are doing the right thing by not negotiating with false choices. The Democrats are hoping Republicans will get scared of being blamed for the issues that will arise with the debt ceiling not being raised and thus cave to their demands. Republicans must realize that turning of the road first might be the safer short term political play (though in the current climate that may not even be true), but it will ensure disaster for the country and constituents they serve. We can compromise about the size of cuts or exactly how to reform certain programs, but we cannot compromise on the fact that we need cuts and limited taxes. Furthermore, as the election of 2010 showed, the American people are on the Republican side of this issue as long as they are able to explain their position. In this game of chicken, Republicans are essentially driving a hummer and the Democrats are coming at them with a tiny hybrid (likely one of the ones we are forcing GM to make and no one wants to actually buy). There is no reason to fear them, instead Republicans should stay the course and get something done on behalf of the people they represent. Make Obama (who has been too pre-occupied with improving his handicap to directly participate in negotiations) and the Democrats decide whether they are going to turn or risk crashing into our hummer. The Democrats and President Obama have made it obvious that they have no intention of doing the right thing by themselves in the debt crisis, so the Republicans must force them into it. If Republicans hold firm and stay the course, they will not only win this game of chicken, but they will also save America in the process.
Cross Posted on Chris of Rights: http://www.chrisofrights.com/2011/06/political-chicken-game-republicans-must.html