Tag Archives: debt ceiling

Defending the TEA Party

From NRO’s The Corner:

Sen. John McCain defended the Tea Party against Sen. John Kerry’s “tea party downgrade” remark on Meet the Press this morning.

“We could have reached an agreement a lot earlier, but the members of the House of Representatives had a mandate last November, and it was jobs and the economy and it was spending. And for them to then agree to tax increases and spending increases was obviously a repudiation of the mandate they felt they had from last November,” McCain said.

He said that much of the “dysfunction” in the current political system could be attributed to “the failure of the president of the United States to lead.”…

Some times John McCain can be infuriating, other times he’s just so right.  And gutsy – right now, the MSM/DNC drumbeat is that the TEA Party caused the problem.  Here is a chance for “moderate” GOPers to flee and mumble their agreement.  Not for John McCain – he just told it like it is:  the TEA Party is about cutting government spending.  To have agreed to tax hikes in lieu of serious spending cuts (and what we got in the deal was no where near “serious” enough to warrant signing off on revenue increases) would have been a rank betrayal.

To be sure, Democrats are all about that – in fact, over the past 40 years Democrats have mostly managed to advance their cause by gift of GOPers betraying principle and go along with whatever liberal flapdoodle is the fashion of the moment.  Remember Arlen Specter – that was the sort of “Republican” who was forever cutting the GOP off at the knees.  And that is precisely the sort of Republican the TEA Party people will not be.

Ultimately, we may have to obtain higher revenues in order to get out of this mess – but the fact of the matter is that Democrats will just lie about the spending cuts and greedily spend any increased revenue on their special interests.  In a very real sense, the Democrat leadership in the United States doesn’t care about the United States.  If they did, they would have proposed a real cut in next year’s spending – even if it were a symbolic cut of 10 or 20 billion.  I mean, of course, real cuts – not reductions in the rate of growth, but an actual spending of less money next year than we did this year.  Until Democrats show a real change of heart – show that they care more about America than they do about their own power and wealth – then we simply cannot go along with them…and thus the TEA Party standing firm against any tax hikes was an act of sublime patriotism.  It took away from those who are destroying the United States part of their ability to keep doing it.

McCain sees it; I see it, too.  Eventually, the whole country will see it – and I do believe that this growing understanding of what is really happening will destroy liberalism in 2012.

UPDATE:  In Canada, Saskatchewan gets a “TEA Party upgrade” to it’s bond rating:

…Rather than quickly spending its newly-earned wealth, the provincial government has put its tax revenue toward paying the bills. S&P gave special credit to Saskatchewan for its “low-and-declining debt burden.” As of March 31, the province’s fiscal year-end, Saskatchewan’s debt totalled $4.6-billion, representing 38 per cent of this year’s projected operating revenues and only 8 per cent of its gross domestic product. Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio sits at around 35 per cent…

Rational tax and regulatory policies, a pro-business environment, fiscal responsibility which puts a premium on living within means and paying debt.  This isn’t rocket science, people…

Understanding the President

Joseph Rago of the Wall Street Journal talks things over with House Majority Leader Cantor, and comes out with this:

Like Mr. Cantor, President Obama is also a man of deep and strong convictions, and perhaps that’s why they seem to dislike each other so much. Call it, to adapt Freud, the narcissism of big differences. Mr. Cantor cautions that he isn’t a “psychoanalyst”—before politics, he was a real-estate lawyer and small businessman—but he says, “It’s almost as if someone cannot have another opinion that is different from his. He becomes visibly agitated. . . . He does not like to be challenged on policy grounds.”

In a meeting with the Journal’s editorial board Wednesday, Mr. Cantor, 48, gives his side of one of his more infamous altercations with the president. In a mid-July Cabinet Room meeting, Mr. Cantor made a suggestion that Mr. Obama and other Democrats took as impertinent. “How dare I,” Mr. Cantor recalls of the liberal sentiment in the room. He was sitting between Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, “and they were in absolute agreement that [the president] was such a saint for having endured all this.”

“No president has sat here like I have, in these kinds of meetings, with congressional leaders, in this detail,” Mr. Obama said in Mr. Cantor’s recollection, which Democrats dispute. Mr. Cantor says the president also invoked Ronald Reagan “to be a little patronizing of us, because he assumed that anything Reagan did we like.” Mr. Obama then told Mr. Cantor, “Eric, don’t call my bluff,” and walked out…

Maybe this is why Obama has a desire to appoint Czars…it was Czar Nicholas I who stated, at the start of his reign, “I cannot permit that someone should disagree with my views, once he knows what they are”.  Might be that my little joke about His Majesty, Barry I actually hits close to home.  President Obama might be one of those sad political specimens who are driven bonkers by contradiction.  Equally telling, if Cantor has it completely right, is the servility of Pelosi and Hoyer…The One was defied by a Republican, and that was offensive…where does that little worm get off talking like that to Dear Leader?  I wonder if Obama still has the Democrat Congressional leadership enthralled like that?  Is the mere fact that he is black something which will continue to blind them to the facts?  To put it differently, is the election of  a black man so important, to liberals, that the results will be resolutely ignored?

I guess we’ll find out as the next year unfolds.  But if Cantor has read Obama correctly – and other evidence out there indicates he’s at least in the ball park – then Obama will just rigidly adhere to his view and keep bulling ahead, regardless of what happens.  This works out bad for America, because the President should be a man with the courage to admit he has been wrong and then change course.  On the other hand, it works out great for conservatism because it means Obama will just keep driving liberalism over the cliff.

It is a pity that our final wake up from liberalism should have to come like this, but it also might have been inevitable.  So seductive is the idea that you can have it all for nothing that once you fall for liberalism, it would take a complete catastrophe to get you cured of it.  The catastrophe is coming (though the very worst won’t get here until 2015…and not then if we toss Obama in 2012)…but that means the liberation is, too.

GOP Wants Open Debt Committee Hearings

From Newsmax:

Much of Washington’s attention is now focused on the bipartisan congressional committee that will soon be formed to recommend how to reduce the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion. And Republicans are working hard to ensure that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction holds all its meetings in public, The Hill reports.

Six GOP senators sent a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday urging that the committee’s business be “done in a transparent manner through advanced public notification, public attendance and live television broadcasts, . . . not behind closed doors.”

The signers include Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, David Vitter of Louisiana, Mike Lee of Utah, John Boozman of Arkansas, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin…

Good for them and I entirely agree…let us call witnesses who can explain exactly what we’re spending money on and what we can cut without touching a single social security, medicare, medicaid or military pay check.  Hundreds of billions are being spent each year on perfectly worthless activities (including activities hidden within otherwise worthy programs), and the more exposure we can get, the better our chances of a popular demand for cuts.

The people are on our side in the debt battle – we know it must be cut, all we have to do is show where and how much.  Open committee hearings will give us our best chance.

Boehner: “The Best We Could Get”

From NRO’s The Corner:

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told GOP members on a conference call Sunday evening that he had reached a deal with congressional leaders and the White House, but that it wouldn’t happen “unless we have membership on board.” It remains to be seen how many House Republicans will end up supporting the final package, but members on the call told National Review Online they thought it would ultimately pass with bipartisan support. “I’m not sure I’m going to support it but I think it will probably pass,” said freshman Rep. Dennis Ross (R., Fla.). Members described the tone of the call as overwhelmingly positive, with many praising Boehner’s efforts in the negotiations. Despite his concerns about the final deal, Ross said “leadership has done a very good job of getting it to this point,” and described a sense of relief among members, many of whom may not love the deal, but are nonetheless happy to be moving on to the next fight.

According to sources, Boehner said the deal was “the best that we could get.” In particular, he thanked the 87 freshmen members for their input, without which “we wouldn’t have gotten this far.” Ross concurred. “I think the freshman class has been very valuable to this process,” he said…

That last bit is really best translated as, “goodness, we didn’t fully realize until now that these TEA Party people are serious!”.  But, all in all, it is a good thing – this is the first time since the glory days of 1995 that a GOP House Speaker can count on a solid, conservative GOP caucus…one which won’t go all soft on him in return for campaign cash and other DC blandishments.  But it is not the best we could get – it is the best that the GOP could get using this strategy.

We need to think carefully not just about what we want, but how we want to get there.  We did not do a good enough job of forcing the Democrats to defend their disgusting Big Government liberalism – they were defensive, to be sure, but they were still defending the concept of using government money to be nice to people…we need tactics which will expose the fact that they really want to use government to reward liberal cronies.

A relentless drumbeat of just who among the rich and powerful are getting government money and just who they donate to (and speak and write in favor of) should be used in the next battle.  Show the American people that “food for the starving” really works out to “Cadillac for Nancy Pelosi’s crony-capitalist”.  These people on the left have been looting the Treasury for decades.  Sweat heart deals for government contracts, special tax and regulatory breaks:  things like that and the pols get, in return, campaign cash, investment tips and well paid corporate sinecures once out of office.  Show this to the American people…force the liberals away from defending charity and in to defending their greed for wealth and power.

We also need to win the class war – and my idea of a “wealth tax” is the best way to end that battle once and for all.  Democrats are endlessly harping on how we GOPers want to steal food out of granny’s mouth so we can give tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  Do them one better – propose a tax which will won’t hit anyone except a millionaire or billionaire and watch the Democrats try to stop it…force them to reveal that their “tax the rich” rhetoric is really “tax the middle class, leave our rich donors alone”.

Still and all a good effort.  Big Government liberalism is firmly on the defensive – and Obama and his Democrats will have to defend their worthless, wasteful, immoral and un-American welfare State all through 2012.  We have them on the run – now, let’s push them over the edge, and take back our country.

Debt Deal Done, Fake Crisis Averted

Hot Air has the details - it mostly works out to a defeat for the left as it looks like they didn’t get tax hikes, didn’t get as much new debt ceiling as they wanted and were prevented from gutting defense.  The deal was done because, in the end, Obama saw his approval rating cratering and wanted to stop the bleeding – some times you do have to let a crisis go to waste.  Especially when you made one up out of whole cloth.

The real budget crisis comes in 2015 or so if we don’t significantly cut spending by then.  While Obama is President, we won’t be able to do that – so the whole solution to our real budget crisis is to get Obama out of the White House in 2012.

Budget Deal in the Works

From the AP:

Officials say the White House and Republican leaders in Congress are making significant progress toward a last-minute agreement to avoid a default threatened for next week.

These officials say the two sides are discussing a plan to raise the debt limit by about $2.4 trillion and enact spending cuts of a slightly larger amount in two stages.

The deal under discussion would also require Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but not require its approval.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the discussions.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air surmises that, finally, Obama is actually willing to state what he wants – what he will sign.  In other words, we’re finally getting a White House plan for the debt.  All this time we’ve been pretty much working in a void because Obama never indicated what was actually acceptable to him…and it seems that Reid had actually  signed on to the GOP plan, at Obama’s behest, only to be told at the last minute by Obama that he wouldn’t sign it.

My feeling is that Obama was hoping that the looming crisis (which is entirely fake, by the way) would force the GOP to cave and they’d go ahead and either give him a “clean” debt ceiling increase through 2013 or, at least, go along with some tax hikes.  As it became clear that GOP would give him neither of these things – and as Obama’s approval rating has cratered through this mess – I think that someone finally got Obama to realize that he had to defuse this manufactured crisis…make it go away before the worst of all things happened:  Tuesday arrived and the world didn’t end.

For our side, we’ve done well – we’ve laid down the marker for future budget negotiations and demonstrated conclusively that the GOP – at least in its TEA Party element – will not back down from a fight.

“Never let a crisis go to waste” was Obama’s watchword from day one…even if he had to make up a crisis.  But now Obama has learned that dishonesty can only carry you so far.

A Fight to the Debt

I’ve just got to put a “wow” in here – never thought it would come out quite like this.

Here we are at the (fake) 11th hour and the whole thing is turning on just how much conservatism/libertarianism the TEA Party can squeeze in to the Boehner plan before he presents it to the House.  Oh, that is not what the MSM narrative is?  Also not what RINOs are saying?  You mean it isn’t what well paid, insider pundits (right and left) are saying?  Of course its not – because all of these simply don’t understand the nature of a  revolutionary political epoch.   That is what this is, good people…and remember that it is a truism of revolutionary movements that they usually appear a second away from defeat right before their overwhelming triumph.

Some version of the Boehner plan will pass the House – later today or tomorrow.  This is because something has to pass…and if Reid and his Democrats then carry out their threat and vote it down, then it puts the ball squarely in their corner.  If Reid kills it a couple days before the Democrats’ manufactured deadline, then it will be up to them to come up with an alternative which can pass the House.  (UPDATE:  I caught of bit of Reid on the Senate floor…”come on, Republicans, come in to my office and tell what parts of my bill you’ll sign on to, then I’ll bring it to a vote”…he is very much afraid of having a vote on a revised Boehner plan) And the House GOP is right now indicating just how conservative/libertarian the final result had better be, or it won’t be the final result.

Some say they are worried – worried that this horrific, inhuman and un-American standing on constitutional principals will weaken the GOP in 2012 and hand victory to Obama.  As far as absurd political prognostication goes, I’ve never heard anything worse.  For goodness sake, has anyone been paying attention to Obama’s “Strongly Disapprove” number?

43% “strongly disapprove” of how he’s doing his job.  This is not a man who is carefully threading his way through political crisis and making his opponents look bad.  The TEA Party cannot hand Obama the White House in 2012…every time the TEA Party acts up, Obama’s favorability craters.  The only thing which can save Obama now – other than a miraculous turn-around in the economy – is a GOP cave-in on spending.  If that happens, the TEA Party goes home or votes Third Party. As long as the GOP doesn’t cave, the TEA Party remains with it.  If the Boehner plan is not good enough for the TEA Party, it means Boehner had better make it so – it most emphatically does not mean make it least acceptable.

As I said yesterday, I think we should just pass the Boehner bill – it is good enough for me.  Clearly, though, a strong part of the GOP is not pleased with it.  So, make ‘em pleased.  Remember what they are ultimately after – cuts significant enough to stave off national bankruptcy.  It isn’t TEA Party firmness which is threatening us with default, but Democrat profligacy and RINO wobbliness…it isn’t less spending which will push us over the edge, but more spending.  The TEA Party is 100% right, even if a little unrealistic about what can be accomplished while Obama is in the White House and Reid runs the Senate.

So, let’s have this fight – keep going; shout it out, TEA Partiers.  Don’t let the SOBs grind you down.  Get more conservatism/libertarianism in that bill…whatever amount it takes to get Boehner to 217 votes.  And then just watch our liberals fall apart as they are starkly forced to either pass the TEA Party-supported bill, or fail to avert the “default” they say is coming next Tuesday.

UPDATE:  Iowahawk has some Twittable thoughts on what will happen if we don’t raise the debt ceiling:

Beltway policy experts begin living by own wits; after 45 minutes there are no survivors…

…Breadlines teeming with jobless Outreach Coordinators, Diversity Liaisons, and Sustainability Facilitators…

…Without college loan program, America loses an entire generation of Marxist Dance Theorists…

Boehner Makes the Case

The man is rising in my estimation by the day:

…What we told the president in January was this: the American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit without significant spending cuts and reforms.

And over the last six months, we’ve done our best to convince the president to partner with us to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country. . .something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our government, and help small businesses get back on track.

Last week, the House passed such a plan, and with bipartisan support. It’s called the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Act. It CUTS and CAPS government spending and paves the way for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which we believe is the best way to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have. Before we even passed the bill in the House, the President said he would veto it.

I want you to know I made a sincere effort to work with the president to identify a path forward that would implement the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance in a manner that could secure bipartisan support and be signed into law. I gave it my all.

Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.

The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.

The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won’t be there for them and their kids unless significant action is taken now.

The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.

Because there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.

I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.

Not much else needs to be said – this is the common sense, rational approach to our problem.  It is the statement of a man sincerely trying to do best by the people of the United States of America.  Not a man who is 100% right; not a man who must get 100% of his way…simply a man who wants to do what is right and is willing to compromise.

Trouble is, Obama and his Democrats don’t want compromise – the reason we have a “crisis” right now is because that is what Obama intended.  He (and his Democrats) kept putting off any action until we got close to a false dead line…they trusted that the phonied up crisis atmosphere would get the GOP to cave in.  In Speaker Boehner and the House GOP, they found people who will not cave.

Truth be told, even if they wanted to cave, they really can’t.  Obama and his Democrats refuse to see it, but we have reached journey’s end for Big Government.  There is no more money to spend – we can, perhaps, keep going as we are for three or four more years, but even that is dicey.  It might only be a year or two.  Regardless, we can’t go on – we have bankrupted ourselves.  It isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, just the fault of Obama and the current crop of Democrats.  This is a bi-partisan bankruptcy that really got on track 40 years ago…with a few temporary halts under Reagan and (GOP-dominated) Clinton, we’ve been careening down this road to insolvency for decades.  But what is Obama’s fault is the failure to see things as they are – either out of complete blindness, or a simple lack of concern for the fate of the American people, Obama and his Democrats refuse to face facts.

But the facts must, at the end of the day, be faced.  Boehner sees this – sees that even if he caves for the sake of political peace, the price to be paid will be gigantic.  It simply isn’t worth it – at the cost of hostile MSM commentary; at the cost of even losing the 2012 election, we GOPers simply cannot agree to anything which puts the United States at risk.  If we get punished by the American people for this stance, then so be it – if, in the end, they choose to re-elect Obama next year and complete the process of bankruptcy, then that is their right…but we on our side will not participate in it.  Folly with majority votes does not become wisdom.

But, also, I think the American people see it our way.  We know we spend too much and that spending must be cut.  Sure you can find support for higher taxes out there, but the primary culprit in out problem is not lack of revenues, but surfeit of spending.  No one trusts a Democrat who says give me tax hikes now and I promise to cut spending  over ten years…we know we’ll get the hikes all right, but we’re sure to be screwed out of the spending cuts.  Cut now, and then we’ll talk about revenues…until Obama and his Democrats agree to this, there is really nothing to discuss.  And on this issue, if the Democrats want, we’ll fight in 2012 – and I believe we will win, and win very big.

UPDATE:  Obama still refuses to release any written plan – grossly irresponsible of our President, but entirely in character.

UPDATE II:  A lot of House GOPers are showing resistance to the Boehner plan…the MSM will play this up as a problem, but it is actually a strength.  I means that Boehner will have the power to back up his position.

UPDATE III:  Obama will veto the Boehner plan.  This is called “balance” by liberals…you know, where they get everything we want while we get nothing.  Still:  go for it, Mr. President.  We’re ready for the fight.

Obama/Boehner Cage Match!

One might think that the dueling addresses might lay out the differences – except we already know what they are, and we further know that the only reason we don’t have resolution is because Obama and the Democrats won’t give up Big Government.  Whether there will be a shift in Obama’s position remains to be seen – I highly doubt it, but I bet they’ve crafted some poll-tested sound bites to try and move the debate Obama’s way.  Trouble is, I doubt that most people are really paying attention to Obama at this point.

As for Boehner, we can expect he’ll just re-state the obvious:  the GOP won’t go for tax hikes and insists upon real spending reductions.  This is core, GOP belief and it is backed by the majority of the American people.

How does this end?  Beats me – but unless the GOP caves, we’re going to come out on top.

UPDATE: Allen West backs Boehner:

I will support the new debt deal- it has enough of what I need including no tax hikes, spending caps and a step toward a balanced budget.

That should help Boehner with the TEA Party wing.

UPDATE II:  And we’ll see if Obama’s speech changes this

Boehner Takes Charge

If Obama and his Democrats simply won’t govern, then someone has to – from Politico:

House Speaker John Boehner hopes to have a framework for a debt-limit plan in place by Sunday afternoon to avoid roiling the Asian markets, he told colleagues on a Saturday conference call.

An immediate deal would raise the debt ceiling and cut spending, Boehner said, and there are still options on the table for more comprehensive deficit reduction of $3 trillion to $5 trillion, according to GOP sources on the call. He is also aiming for a framework in the form of Cut, Cap and Balance — the plan that has failed in the Senate, Obama has threatened to veto but House Republicans passed overwhelmingly…

The linked article reports that Boehner advised the President that, at the end of the day, Congress writes the laws and the President decides to sign or veto.  As Obama keeps messing around with negotiations – probably in hopes that the GOP would just get scared and go along with a debt increase without significant spending reform – there is really no need to bring him in to the discussion.  Work out a bill which can avoid any problems starting Monday – make it something which can pass the House and Senate regardless of what Reid or Obama might want…and then just leave it up to them.  Reid, as Majority Leader, could refuse to hold a vote…or Obama can veto the result.  In either case, it would be Democrats blocking the necessary action.

Remember what we’re up against in Obama and his Democrats:  people who’s only goal is to retain power for themselves, and that means keeping Big Government alive and ever growing.  But the time for that is past – we’re broke and we’ll default in a few years if we don’t start getting our house in order.  Fundamental reforms cannot be done while Obama has the ability to obstruct, but we can get something together which bridges the gap between now and January, 2013.  At that time it is hoped we’ll have a new President and a new Senate Majority Leader…perhaps even of a type which cares more about America than personal power.