So it begins. As we discuss our menu of options in dealing with our ever-expanding budget deficit and public debt, we really have no good options. Boehner and McConnell seem ready to cave to the Dems, as usual. That will mean increased taxes without the necessary spending cuts. The result will be continued economic decline (possibly collapse) while the debt continues to grow out of control.
So that’s option #1: cave to the Democrats and let disastrous policies take effect. Some of us have expressed the view that this is the more desirable outcome. They won the election. Let them implement their policies, and in the process bring us to the brink of disaster. Honestly, I don’t think this is a palatable option. It will cripple our economy and plunge us into debt that we will never be able to repay. While letting the consequences of the Democrats’ policies teach the country a lesson is appealing—especially in the bitterness of our defeat—I really do think this option may be so damaging to our country that it will be difficult or impossible to rebuild.
Next, we have option #2: use our majority in the House and the filibuster in the Senate (if necessary) to torpedo any efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff. This is the “Keyser Soze option” or the “nuclear option.” And it might be a good one from a policy standpoint. While the deep spending cuts might cause temporary economic problems, it will necessarily force the government to cut some of its bloat. This might also be convenient timing politically: sequestration could cause economic problems for the next four years or so, prompting another lurch back to the right in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Here’s the problem: the Democrats have done a good job of indoctrinating and brainwashing a significant portion of the country. A poll released today reveals that most Americans expect us to tumble over the fiscal cliff, by a margin of 51% to 38%. Ok. But here’s the problem: if that happens, 53% will blame Republicans in Congress while only 29% will blame Obama. Ten percent would blame both. Obama and the Dems milked the “blame Bush for the economy” narrative for all it was worth during the 2012 cycle. And it worked.
This poll indicates that, unbelievably, it will continue to work for the next four years. Most of the country will continue to blame us for our own intransigence. But that refusal to bow to the Marxists is the only way to prevent policies that will be economically disastrous to our country.
So we’re stuck between a rock and hard place. The only path to prevent disastrous policy will doom us politically. We need, somehow, to convince the electorate that standing up for our beliefs is a patriotic effort to employ the very checks and balances that define our democracy, and not a futile effort from a dying party to spoil the Dems’ plans. I wish I knew how to do that. I really do. Someone come up with a brilliant idea to cheer me up.