Five (Fairly) Short Points
(1) House Republicans are walking into an enormous trap. The Boehner plan is sufficiently similar to the Reid plan, in virtually all important respects, that its passage will lead to the following compromise:
- The adoption of Boehner’s ten years of sham cuts,which will be ephemeral beyond fiscal year 2012. Even John McCain said tonight that Gramm-Rudman (whose “sequestration” provisions are the enforcement mechanism for Boehner) became worthless because Congress just started declaring emergencies.
- A commission which will report out large tax increases which cannot be filibustered. The “deciders” on the commission will be six Pelosi/Reid people and one squish Republican, who will be corralled into submission by:
- A “trigger” which will make the pressure currently being applied to Congress seem small by comparison.
(2) Unless you can guarantee that it will go to the states, a guarantee of a losing vote on the balanced budget amendment is worthless.
(3) Dick Morris is correct that if Tuesday comes and goes, with only a shut-down of unessential government agencies, the American people will see Obama’s fear-mongering for what it is.
(4) Furthermore, as 2008 taught us, the GOP can sell all of its principles and spend the better part of a trillion dollars and the stock market will still continue to fall –- particularly since Standard & Poor’s is about to downgrade the U.S. for being too timid in debt reduction.
(5) Finally, Obama is currently reeling from his poor stewardship. For Republicans to capitulate and give him a “compromise” will reset him on a glide path to reelection. The liberal media is currently “spinning” that Republicans have won, but, after they lose, their surrender will be reported for what it was.
by Michael E. Hammond, former General Counsel Senate Steering Committee 1978-89.