A few reminders for Republicans for the debt limit fight
There has been much debate about the looming debt limit confronting the federal government.Not only are the Republicans and Democrats offering up different solutions but even among conservatives the debate seems to range among a wide variety of options being considered. And the enormity of the problem seems to be a subject of disagreement as well. I am offering up no new solutions here but I think a few reminders are in order.
The first thing to remember is that the Republicans control the House where all spending is authorized by the Constitution. Yes President Obama won re-election in November. But the Republicans won re-election too. They should act like the victors that they are because they were rewarded by the American people to control the purse strings of the government.This is no time to be in prevent defense mode. The Republicans can go on offense and should not hesitate to do so.
Obama says that the Congress should pay for things that they have already spent and that he should be given a clean debt ceiling increase to avoid default. But here he is just being disingenuous. The money we owe is an obligation to repay a debt but until that payment is made it is not money spent. It becomes spending when the payment is made.
Consider if you had a debt to your credit card company and had a payment due. Would you insist on a credit limit increase in order to pay your payment? The card company is under no obligation to raise your limit just because you owe them money. And we don't need to raise the debt ceiling in order to make our payments either. Do you need to borrow more? That's because your spending is too high. And that's the problem in Washington. The spending needs to come down. If you can make your payment with your existing income, you won't go into default. And the federal government has enough income to pay its' obligations. It won't default either.Only Obama can send us into default by not paying the debts which he is by law obliged to do. So if we default it will be Obama's fault not the congress.
Obama also offers up the fear of a downgrade by the credit agencies. But they may downgrade the government even if the debt ceiling is raised. They will take seriously a plan to reduce spending. That is the only way to get the ratings up again.
The Republicans need to pass another budget for 2013 which reduces spending before they allow any increase in the debt limit. This is the only responsible way to deal with the spending. Republicans should force Harry Reid and the Senate to pass a budget which they are statutorily obligated to do. Yes force them to do their job. If they don't the fault lies at their door as well.
Recent polling shows that the American people are most concerned about the economy. But right on the heels of that concern is a concern for the federal debt. The debt is not going to go away unless we decrease spending. It has been said that Obama told John Boehner that we don't have a spending problem. If he is that naïve he needs to be shown reality the hard way. Boehner is also rumored to have said that he is through negotiating with Obama. Let's hope so. The president has not negotiated in good faith. And if he doesn't think spending is a problem he's not going to offer any cuts anyway.
The Republicans should not fear shutting down the government. There is a perception that they were hurt by the shutdown in the 90's but the reality is that spending went down after the shutdown. That's the only thing that will get the attention of the folks in Washington who believe that they can spend ad infinitum. The spending has to go down.
Now is the time to make it happen. If Republicans don't do it now they never will. Call your congressman. Tell him that you support hardball tactics. And that the spending has to come down now.