The shutdown/debt ceiling fight in a nutshell
Contrary to what some people think, I believe John Boehner is doing a good job in this fight. Today he made a great strategic negotiating move taking away Obama’s talking point of the GOP pushing the nation to default by offering a six-week clean debt ceiling increase. First Jay Carney stated that the President would sign on to this but then some time later Obama stated he wouldn’t sign it, or then was undecided. Irregardless, this big blame card of Obama’s has been rendered moot. If any “default” happens, then it’s on Obama. For all the stupid theatrics and brinkmanship, everyone should keep in mind these are all simply negotiating tactics and this is all a negotiation. Obama and Reid’s way of trying to strengthen their negotiation stance by increasing the pain of the shutdown and then pointing the finger at the GOP is childish yet sadistic. What is really stupid is both sides procrastinate and get the country all stressed out with their posturing for political advantage to affect the next upcoming election. It’s no small wonder that people are fed up.
The piecemeal approach strategy adopted by the GOP has been excellent. Passing 11 funding bills thus far, funding Washington, D.C., government; national parks; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the National Institutes of Health; the National Guard and reservists; the Women, Infants and Children program; the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Head Start, the “death grutuity” program for military widows and kids, and the Food and Drug Administration. Of these 12, the Senate has passed one (though Harry Reid said the Senate wouldn’t negotiate on anything), the military death grutuity. The reason why it was passed quietly was to give the appearance that Harry Reid will not negotiate unless the House passes a clean CR opening up the government and raising the debt ceiling. Reid’s negotiating posture has already been compromised by passing this bill and Jay Carney. This is not going to look good on Reid as this plays out longer. The House should continue to pass funding bills to further clarify Reid’s obstinate stance showing just how unwilling he is to come to any solution. There is another thing that will really amp up the pressure on Reid in which I will elaborate on later.
Even though Obama and Reid claim they will not negotiate, in reality the negotiation started a long time ago. Here is what the shutdown fight has been about summarized in a nugget:
- The House wanted to defund Obamacare and for every dollar the debt ceiling is raised, there should be a dollar cut in spending (The Boehner Rule). Reid and Obama said no negotiation unless they get a clean debt ceiling raise and government opens back up. These were the opening negotiating stakes that were planted by both sides and the government shut down.
- The House then withdrew their defund Obamacare stance, instead wanting a one year delay on the individual mandate like business employers got and Congress along with their aides had to enroll like the American people have to. Reid and Obama said no negotiation unless they get a clean debt ceiling raise and government opens back up. The House made a concession, but Obama and Reid have not moved from their opening position. There is no reason for the House to move any further toward them by making more concessions unless Obama and Reid reciprocate. The next move should come from Obama and Reid. I believe the reason why Reid and other government loving Congressmen hate Ted Cruz so much is not for only what he stands for, but created a stronger opening negotiating position for Boehner by pushing to defund Obamacare so when Boehner made his first concession, it put them in a reciprocating position they are not happy with. It also makes the House’s current position look very reasonable to the people who are overwhelmingly in favor of compromise. The longer Reid remains obstinate, the worse it is going to get for him.
- The House came down from their initial debt ceiling demand and offered a six week short term debt ceiling increase. Once again, Reid and Obama remain at their original negotiating stake making no movement to come to a middle ground. The House moves in the direction of compromise, Obama and Reid don’t. No reason for the House to move any further toward Obama and Reid.
There are a couple of very important factors which should come into play here if they are not already. One is that the 17% of government that is shut down are departments/enforcement wings of the Obama adminstration like the EPA, the IRS, etc. The shutdown of these departments have to be a welcome relief to businesses and people in general. However, the vast majority of the government workers that work in those departments are Democratic voters. Do not be surprised if they start bringing the heat on Obama and Reid to come to an agreement with Boehner the longer they go without a paycheck.
The other factor is one I have not seen talked about lately. Maybe I am wrong but…with 17% of the government shut down which mean lesser cash outflow going to government worker paychecks, isn’t the government saving money and thus pushing the debt ceiling date further down the road already? The government could stay partially shut down thus ensuring payment to all the U.S. creditors with much money to spare. It’s just a thought but I can just hear the liberal screams “You’re mean!!” The brutal truth that this is eventually going to happen. The sooner we start making fiscal corrections, the less painful the adjustments will be but ultimately, freedom will be preserved and strengthened.
This leads to a final point. I really wish the GOP would get out and say that they are trying to confront our long-term fiscal problems now more often in their messaging. Kicking the can down the road perpetually until we come to the point where what played out in Detroit becomes a real-life motion picture repeat on a national scale, where social security recipients are going to be told that they can no longer receive any more checks and all hell breaks loose.
It amazes me that the other side believes that money is infinite and has no limit. In reality, there is no such thing as a no limit credit card anywhere. Detroit showed that. I hope we never have to be taught that lesson of reckoning as a country.