It’s Republicans versus Obama. It’s the House versus the Senate. It’s the good, old boys versus the grassroots. The debate on whether to raise America’s borrowing limit and the stipulations that would come with doing so is consuming Washington. It is the ONLY issue on the table, and it’s important for people to understand what’s going on. If you care about cutting spending and doing something about our growing budget deficits, this is the issue for you.
Ok, here’s what’s going on. America keeps spending and spending and spending. And guess what? The country doesn’t have enough money (and hasn’t for a long time) to pay it’s bills. Imagine one year when you go on a spending spree and break out the credit card in order to do so. Then, the next year, rather than focusing on paying off your credit card bill, you think, “Wow, I bought some really cool stuff! I want more!” And so you go back to the store, and buy and buy and buy, each time laying down your credit card that by now is getting worn on the edges.
Now, the money you do earn on your own starts to go to different places. You aren’t just buying food and clothing and paying bills. You also having this huge credit card bill and the interest that was plopped on there. The only way you can figure out how to pay for this stuff is to get another credit card. And so you do.
This is what our “leaders” in Washington led by Barack Obama have done. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that there are tons of OBVIOUS problems that come from living outside your means, but the immediate one they are facing is what is known as the “debt ceiling.” In just a few weeks, the country will reach the limit on the amount of debt it can carry, and the immediate solution is to raise that limit. Essentially, they have basically “maxed out” their credit cards, and they want to get a new one to pay the bills.
However, this is 2011, and the country is tuned in more than ever on what’s been going on in Washington with OUR money. Spending, spending, and more spending on bogus liberal programs is NOT the answer, and the American people are sick of it. So, although raising the debt ceiling might be necessary in the short term, there is a core group of conservatives in Washington who know that this time, there must be changes made to how America does business.
On the House side, Republicans are proposing the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. It’s requirements are straigthforward, and they make sense. Republican House Leader Eric Cantor is pushing the plan as a condition for voting to raise the debt ceiling. The plan calls for the following:
Cut – We must make discretionary and mandatory spending reductions that would cut the deficit in half next year. Cap – We need statutory, enforceable caps to align federal spending with average revenues at 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with automatic spending reductions if the caps are breached.
Balance – We must send to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) with strong protections against federal tax increases and a Spending Limitation Amendment (SLA) that aligns spending with average revenues as described above.
That’s where the action is on the House side. On the Senate side, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Mitch McConnell are trying to hammer out a deal known as McConnell’s “fall back” plan. As reported by The Hill, conservatives are balking at the plan. Here are some details:
McConnell has proposed legislation that would authorize President Obama to increase the debt limit by $2.5 trillion in three tranches. Congress could block the action only by passing a resolution of disapproval but the president could veto such a measure and it would require two-thirds of both chambers to override him.
Senate Republican Whip John Kyl (Ariz.) defended the plan on ABC’s “This Week” as potentially necessary to avoid a national default.
“If there’s no other way to reach some kind of savings agreement, then at the end of the day, Republican leaders have made it clear that we will not be the ones who put the government into default,” Kyl said.
This is crazy. I can understand the politics of it, but that’s ALL it is: politics. The plan basically says, “Hey… we can’t solve this problem, so let’s give Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling himself, then when he does, American anger will be focused only on him.” That’s not leadership!
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the Senate’s most outspoken advocates for deficit reduction, aired his misgivings over the McConnell plan.
“I am only going to support something that actually solves the problem, and if we don’t solve the problem — and not the political problem,” he said on “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. “If it doesn’t solve the policy problem for this country, I am not going to support it.”
“I think the McConnell plan is more of Washington not taking responsibility, it is a great political plan, it takes the pressure off all of the politicians, but allows us to pass a debt limit without making the hard choices that this country has to make,” he said.
As this is going on, Obama and his White House team appear stymied. They just don’t get it. Obama continues to call for higher taxes. Doesn’t he realize that he could take ALL the money from ALL the “rich” people, and it wouldn’t solve the problem? Our spending keeps going UP. We need to solve the problem by cutting spending.
The deadline for raising the debt ceiling is August 2. There is a lot of work to be done. Republicans MUST show that they are willing to make the tough choices and not hide under a rock. This is why we had the elections in 2010. It’s crunch time, and it’s time to lead.