The latest on extending the debt limit is going pretty much as you might expect. Obama says he’s not going to negotiate and that not raising our credit limit will keep us from paying our bills. The Republicans are currently talking tough, but we’ve seen them fold on the debt ceiling fight before. This time, defunding Obamacare is in play, and the House seems to have passed it in order to…embarrass Cruz?
It’s going to be another rough ride regardless.
Safe money says it’s going to be more sound and fury signifying nothing from the Republicans after they fold again and claim ‘symbolic victory’ or some such. Still, if the House is actually passing defunding measure for any reason and you’re getting talk like this on amnesty it might be some of them are realizing the same old song and dance won’t fly any longer. Wishful thinking, possibly, but take any good news you can get. It doesn’t last long in the Obama era.
Well it looks like we’re going to avoid “default” on the 2nd and get a deal on the debt ceiling after all. Let’s go through some points in the tentative agreement to date and see how badly Boehner blew it.
- Yet another commission will be set up to propose cuts. If Congress doesn’t approve them, both Medicare and defense get cut, though some reports currently say cuts will be across the board and not specific to them. There’s no guarantee the commission will not propose a tax increase. Enough Tea Party freshmen and conservative Congressmen fell into line, and if the commission that is supposed to avoid tax hikes raises taxes anyway, all they’ve bought themselves is another nasty choice. Tax hikes have not reduced deficits or debt in the past.
- There was no need to produce the Boehner plan because the House had passed Cut, Cap, and Balance. I don’t agree with CCB, but it was a heck of a lot better than the Boehner plan. After passing CCB, he could have just said “We produced a plan, now come up with your own and we can go to conference” but was successfully terrified in the 11th hour by Reid who had absolutely nothing at the time. While Reid’s plan didn’t go to plan (his eventual bill was defeated in both the House and Senate in a bipartisan fashion), the second Boehner proposed his new plan he gave Reid the room to call it the new Republican baseline and threw CCB out the window.
- $2+ trillion debt ceiling increase now, cuts across ten years. There is no real likelihood that the cuts will happen.
- Boehner’s plan was drafted by Reid and McConnell aides. All the acrimony, armtwisting, and establishment angst against conservatives who were rightfully skeptical was for nothing of worth. Those who voted for it burned capital for nothing of worth.
- He proved once again that the people he’ll most viciously attack are his own caucus. Not only did they co-opt the Democrats’ panic default rhetoric to use against their own rank and file, there’s also that whole “grow up” meme going around in the establishment ranks. It’s not as though they can point to their merits because the status quo is their fault too, so what else do they have?
I’m back to my original assertion with a small modification. If we have to choose between building a Republican majority and making the Republicans a real opposition party, make them a real opposition party first. Yes, it would be great if we could do both at once and I’ll be happy if this turns out to be the case. I submit however that this farce has proven that with the establishment Republicans in power, numbers will make no difference. Until the establishment is minimized to insignificance or better, business as usual will continue, and that consideration should come first.
News link credits: Daily Caller, Hot Air, and RedState
Boehner came out with a new plan today and to realize it’s bad, you only need to look at two things:
- Cuts are over ten years, alternatively pronounced “will never happen.”
- “Debt Commission.” We had one of those recently with Simpson-Bowles. They came up with something of substance to everyone’s surprise (though not necessarily agreement), and were promptly tossed by Obama for it.
The House already had a plan called Cut, Cap, and Balance. It’s the only plan that could help us avoid a drop in our bond rating. But the Senate won’t pass it, and now the Republicans are so terrified that they’ll be blamed for a default that their panic is ensuring no one will go through great pains to elect them come next year.
In other news, Reid put forth his own plan which runs along the same lines. Big debt ceiling increase paired with a “bigger” set of cuts across ten years. Include some accounting gimmicks, and you have exactly the kind of smoke and mirrors Obama can use to blunt the Republican debt ceiling offensive against him when McConnell and Boehner aren’t doing it for him.
I’m not about to defend the Republicans when they fold like this, but I am going to make one point. They’re not all this way now. Some are exactly the kinds of conservatives we wanted to represent us, though those sorts are still in the minority. So come next year, instead of helping to deliver an electoral carpet bombing to the Republicans, be a little more thoughtful about your RINO hunting. Angry as you might be at all of this, be sure the politician you want to pink slip deserves it first. The small but growing group of truly conservative representatives should be supported and not thrown out with the garbage.
News links to Talking Points Memo and Hot Air. Commentary link to RedState.
Still more going on in the news about the debt ceiling, and here’s a quick roundup for today.
1.) The Senate voted down the House’s Cut, Cap, and Balance bill. Technically it was a motion to table, but that’s a distinction without a difference. Regardless of the name you give it, every Democrat in the Senate voted to kill the bill, which makes every one of them an Obama clone for all practical intents and purposes. Their protestations to the contrary are just words and should be ignored.
Seriously, they’re the ones that keep thinking everyone is stupid. Do they really believe a parliamentary parlor trick is going to absolve them? It’s obvious that the bill was voted down to anyone paying attention.
2.) Boehner walked out on dealing with the White House again. I don’t agree that any compromise with the White House would be productive, and even less so considering that there’s no presidential plan beyond tax and spend. At the moment, it seems that in exchange for Boehner giving Obama a debt ceiling increase, Obama would agree to raise taxes and piss off the GOP voters just in time for the 2012 elections. And you thought Obama was an unreasonable guy.
It seems Boehner actually agreed to put $800 billion in “revenue raisers” on the table but that wasn’t enough for Obama. Perhaps President Petulant should consider his options. If the House does nothing, he gets to cut the budget about 40% whether he likes it or not because the borrowing will be over. If something massive goes wrong when that occurs, he’s the President and it’ll be his fault. As much as the media will try and shift the blame for him, that’s the way it always works.
This isn’t a joke anymore. Spending is out of control and one way or the other, that has to stop. If that means smacking up against the debt ceiling and inflicting a fiscal cold turkey treatment in D.C., let’s have it done.
News links to reports at Michelle Malkin’s blog and Hot Air.