I am all for making cuts.
I am all for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget — but only because Congress is more often than not a bunch of gutless wonders that vote the party line and don’t have the cojones to really perform their constitutional duty.
Seldom do I criticize Democrats, other than to point out that they don’t really have a plan about anything. Why criticize folks that prove Will Rogers right almost daily: “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”
However, it is the Republicans that are in disarray at the moment — and it is because raising the debt ceiling is a backwards argument.
They are making their arguments largely based upon principle. To hear them, you might think that they are saving the country by trying to block any increase in the debt ceiling and to avoid anything which takes a penny of their tax money.
They are trying to starve the beast one last time. They are trying to do it on principle. But which one?
Congress and very specifically the House of Representatives has the ability to make cuts by directly cutting specific programs.
Raising the Debt Ceiling only pays for what Congress has already approved. The money cannot be used for new stuff.
THE BEAST & THE PROBLEM
The problem is that Republicans do not want to step forward and to specifically cut Social Security, Medicare, et cetera. They do not want their fingerprints all over the crime scene, which is certainly how the American public would see it once the law of unintended consequences kicked in … which should take no more than 30 days after cuts are made.
On principle, the Republicans and the Tea Partyers want to pass the buck: we will save you and the future but only if you hold this gun to your foot and pull the trigger by yourself.
They want to force a bankruptcy and then tell the president: Hey, bud, you are running short of cash. YOU need to make cuts to programs that WE approved expenses for — whether it was this Congress or prior congresses.
On principle and as an option, we are willing to let you make these painful cuts right before a major presidential election by only agreeing to give you enough money to allow you to run out of money just about primary time — assuming that we can even come to some agreement as to how many hoops we want you to jump through so that we can rant at you for 6-8 months before November 2012.
Bottomline: I didn’t vote for President Obama. Am still not crazy about him now. He probably will not get my vote in 2012. But here is what I do know: President Obama should tell the Republicans to go to hell!
If the Republicans want to sit down and to make specific cuts then Congress should take a vote on the programs that they want to cut. The 2012 budget is in their hands. They could block a debt ceiling increase easily if THEY slashed Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, and maybe a few tanks, planes and drones.
What say ye Congress, and specifically Republicans? How about really acting on your principles?