I love this quote from my senator, Jim DeMint:
“Instead of serious reforms, both punt the hard decisions,” DeMint said in a statement. “By competing with Democrats to create a better political debt deal, instead of a debt solution, Republicans are playing a lose-lose game. This is bad policy and bad politics.”
As far as I’m concerned, and I said as much on WTMA-AM this morning, there are only two acceptable plans that I want to see come from the Republicans:
- A long-term fix with significant cuts and binding reforms such as future spending caps, like the Spending Limit Amendment proposed in 2009 by Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling, and a Balanced Budget Amendment like proposed in the House-passed Cut, Cap & Balance plan; or
- A short-term fix with significant cuts that GUARANTEES that this entire debate to be revisited next year prior to the presidential election.
GOP approval or endorsement of a debt ceiling increase that does not fall into either of the above two categories would be a total loss. Unfortunately, despite talking tough over the past few days when squared off, mano-e-mano, against the president of the United States, that’s exactly what House Speaker John Boehner seems likely to settle for. The plan that Speaker Boehner has been outlining, to Rush Limbaugh among other people, would feature $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over ten years and a $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, and the creation of a commission to examine the issue further. Excuse me for not being excited for $120 billion in cuts yearly, and what amounts to a punt in the formation of yet another commission, which would allow for the debt ceiling debate to be delayed pending commission findings past the 2012 election, and which the president is just going to ignore anyway.
I don’t get it. The Democrats still have yet to put out a single plan or idea of their own, and they are on the completely wrong end of public opinion on this one. Yet, when push comes to shove, the GOP fails to understand what it means to be dealing from a position of strength.
While tabled, Cut, Cap & Balance is still alive in the U.S. Senate. The Republican Party needs to embark on a record-breaking PR and public awareness campaign, with Cut, Cap & Balance as its centerpiece. Such a campaign would inform the people, and would not only serve the GOP well in next year’s election but would allow them to frame the ongoing debt debate presently and in years to come in the manner in which they see fit. I realize that there is an entire segment of the population that will listen to and abide by whatever this president says, but now more than ever in this nation’s recent history we have a political, social and financial climate in which people feel an enormous disconnect between the government and the governed, and feel increasingly helpless as a fiscal firestorm rapidly approaches everything that they hold dear.
If not now, when? In the words of my fantastic senator — we don’t need a debt “deal,” we need a debt “solution.”