The Budget Can is Running Out of Road
“If not now, then when? If not me, then who?”
At the end of the proverbial road down which the proverbial can has been kicked is the proverbial cliff.
And we are there.
We are facing a debt crisis that – if not addressed – threatens to throw away over two centuries of blood, sweat, and toil that made this country the greatest on the planet. With the nation on the edge of that cliff staring into the abyss, let’s turn our eyes toward Washington:
The President is hiding under his desk not wanting to get his hands dirty or throw himself into the unfamiliar role of a leader. 535 elected representatives sent to Washington by the people to solve this damm problem once and for all are tied up in a knot because Harry Reid refuses to give up funding for the Nevada Cowboy Poetry Festival. Cutting a measly $61 billion from a deficit of $1.5 trillion is labeled “draconian” and “mean-spirited.”
Watching live Congressional budget debates on C-Span is more akin to watching reruns of the Three Stooges than adult statesmen working to avert a coming disaster.
Democrats appear totally oblivious to the dangers of routine $1.5 trillion annual deficits. Ask a Democrat if they believe we have a spending problem, and he/she will tell you why we can’t cut funding for Planned Parenthood or NPR. Ask one how we are going to pay off the debt and get lectured about starting two wars without a means to pay for them. Ask a Democrat what they are willing to cut and stand by for another babbling diatribe about tax giveaways to the wealthy.
Getting Democrats to even acknowledge we have a major crisis in the making is beyond the skills of TV’s best political commentators and news anchors – including the always-pushy, seldom-diplomatic Bill O’Reilly.
We expect the Democrats to resist efforts to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. We expect them to fight like a wounded grizzly bear to protect their decades’ worth of ever-expanding giveaways to those they’ve taught to go through life with their hand out. We expect Democrats to punt their duty as responsible stewards of the people’s money.
But we don’t expect it from Republicans.
This time that poor, battered can has the Republicans’ toe prints all over it. We’ve heard lots of tough talk – including Boehner’s “read my lips” moment – but words and lip service won’t save us from financial Armageddon. Nor will scoring “symbolic” victories over Harry Reid by getting a piddly $2B spending cut through the Senate.
This time the Republicans will actually have to do something. If the Democrats want a fight, then give ’em one. If the Dems bring a knife to the fight, then let Republicans bring a machete. If Dems bring a gun, then give the Republicans a bazooka.
It is a foregone conclusion that the Dems will never concede that deep spending cuts are necessary to save our future. They will never willingly support the kinds of cuts that must be made if we are to avert a financial catastrophe.
Since Obama won’t take the lead, it will be up to Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor to carry the ball. They will never reach the end zone by playing nice. They will never score a victory for America by worrying about what happened in 1995. The time is now to stop playing defense and bring the offense onto the field. The time is now to get serious, get tough, and get it done.
“If not now, then when?”