Sen. Jim DeMint’s “Cut, Cap and Balance” Qualifier

posted at 11:45 am on June 18, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) yesterday pledged his support for the Republican Study Committee’s preferred method to deal with the debt limit. In a speech Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the quintessential conservative senator announced his support for the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge.

But DeMint did more than that: He also made the pledge a presidential litmus test. Any candidate who wants his presidential endorsement will have to agree to the RSC’s three-pronged mantra, he says.

“I’m telling every presidential candidate, if your name isn’t on this list, don’t come see me,” DeMint said.

Michael O’Brien at The Hill explains why DeMint’s statement bears significance:

Support from the South Carolina senator will be especially coveted by White House contenders, both for the boost in a key primary state and because of his status as a conservative icon within the GOP. DeMint challenged House and Senate candidates to sign the pledge, too.

DeMint’s website already lists the names of some House and Senate lawmakers and a pair of congressional candidates who’ve signed. But he appears poised to push the pledge on Republican presidential candidates in such a way that it could become a litmus test for not only conservatives, but also Democrats who may want to use the pledge against GOP contenders.

Earlier in the week, on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) reiterated the importance of the plan DeMint so strongly favors.

“We have to use the leverage associated with this debt ceiling vote to put the country on a path that makes sense, one that’s actually sustainable,” Jordan said. “The fiscal path we’re on will lead to a debt crisis. … If we’re going to just kick it down the road, you’re going to see conservative members not support increasing the debt ceiling. We have to do bold, dramatic things – cut spending, cap spending and we believe a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.”

Jordan pretty roundly defeated his debate opponent on the show, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who seemed not to remember that, in 2004, he opposed a debt limit increase to force “a serious debate on fiscal policy.” Today, Sherman says the debt ceiling debate is not the time to “deal with spending.” In 2004, the debt stood at $7.4 trillion. Today, it’s more than $14 trillion. Surely Sherman sees the irony.

As I’ve written before, “Cut, Cap and Balance” makes an immense amount of sense. It seems like a long shot, but maybe DeMint’s considerable weight — and Jordan’s sound defense of the strategy — will make it happen.

 


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CCB: I’m all for it…

Khun Joe on June 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

It makes eminently good sense except for one small problem: They’re lying. Nothing will be cut, capped, or balanced as a result of this pledge.

Bugler on June 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I don’t want more pledges, I want actions.

amazingmets on June 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I don’t like the Balanced Budget Amendment at all. It will merely permit Congress to raise taxes and hide behind the BBA.

“We have to balance the budget, so we must raise taxes.”

ladyingray on June 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I support Cut, Cap & Balance. Let’s put everybody on the record.

Go DeMint!

knob on June 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Candidates shouldn’t be everywhere signing pledges, while the undistinguished Senator from South Carolina may have a point none candidate should make promises he could no keep.

Falz on June 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Candidates shouldn’t be everywhere signing pledges, while the undistinguished Senator from South Carolina may have a point none candidate should make promises he could no keep.
Falz on June 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Says you. he could no keep. Is that even English?

VegasRick on June 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Less promises, more delivery.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I don’t like the Balanced Budget Amendment at all. It will merely permit Congress to raise taxes and hide behind the BBA.

“We have to balance the budget, so we must raise taxes.”

ladyingray on June 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Let me guess you don’t know what the BBA actually is, do you?

clement on June 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

I bet Bachmann will be the first to sign it … if Palin doesn’t jump in soon and sign it first ;)

MeatHeadinCA on June 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Says you. he could no keep. Is that even English?

VegasRick on June 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

“none candidate” Anyway, DeMint is pretty good at his word. I wonder if the rest are.

MeatHeadinCA on June 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM

He said he read the health care bill… so he’s the one.
-
Video of the Week: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”
-
Just because one or two dems were on the inside track and read that twisted 2,000+ page messed up theft of liberty means nothing to me… They rammed it through because they had to ram it through… It was a POS bill and they know it.
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Cut spending… You guys had no problem passing the bill that Nancy made the above quote about… Pass a real spending cut budget… Quit lying about the damage that your ‘we can spend it better than you’ mentality is causing.
-

RalphyBoy on June 18, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Cut spending… You guys had no problem passing the bill that Nancy made the above quote about… Pass a real spending cut budget… Quit lying about the damage that your ‘we can spend it better than you’ mentality is causing.
-

RalphyBoy on June 18, 2011 at 12:17 PM

While I don’t support this approach, it would be funny if Republicans said, “We have to cut spending so you can find out how much it saves you!”

MeatHeadinCA on June 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Meanwhile Boehner is out golfing with the goofball in chief.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Meanwhile Boehner is out golfing with the goofball in chief.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Yep, terrible optics. Makes Speaker Boehner look like a lazy slacker too, and gives little Bammie cover.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I’m more interested in massive cuts rather than pledges and promises about the future actions from a bunch of lying politicians.

Will Boehner take the CCB pledge? If so, so what? His promise to cut $100 billion was a blatant lie, and instead of admitting it he and the entire R establishment compounded it with another lie, a fraudulent CR they claimed would cut $100 billion but didn’t. Boehner is a worm that can’t be trusted and so are most of the rest of the establishment. I don’t care about pledges they make or what they say, I care about what they’re record in the past and what they actually do in the future.

And are they talking about cutting a trillion dollars? I could go along with that if it were true, but it’s not really, they’re talking about spreading it out over a decade but they can’t bind future congresses. The only number I’m interested in is, how much are they going to cut right now.

Just cut spending already, and if they won’t, then don’t increase the debt limit. Then the Democrats will have to make a choice. Do nothing and suffer the wrath of the American people, who will be lucky to limit their anger to tarring and feathering, or else stop lying and playing politics and get serious, immediately, about cutting spending.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

notice how the decision has already been made to raise the debt ceiling?

equanimous on June 18, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Meanwhile Boehner is out golfing with the goofball in chief.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Give Boehner a break, it’s the only place he could catch up to him to have a meeting. And yes, I hope Boehner uses that comment.

VegasRick on June 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I guarantee you: Unions, Democrat lobbying groups, and liberal execs will find a way to get their exemptions — and the White House will find a way to distribute their crony waivers by another name.

Conservative pressure drove Obamacare favor-dispensers underground. Let’s make sure conservative pressure drives them out of power and deprives them of their selective enforcement authority once and for all.

Give Boehner a break, it’s the only place he could catch up to him to have a meeting. And yes, I hope Boehner uses that comment.

VegasRick on June 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM

…and both have a smoke…don’t count on Boehner to cover your back.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:58 PM

If we don’t raise the debt ceiling then these guys will have no choice but to balance the budget, right now. No increase in the debt ceiling means the ’12 budget will have to be balanced. Of course the establishment doesn’t want to balance the budget, so they would rather make promises than to use the tools at their disposal to get the job done now.

This is an emergency, balance the budget now.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Brinkmanship over the debt ceiling vote is irresponsible.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

WH accountability in full bloom

Responding to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s comment that Democrats “own” the economy, Carney offered: “We all own the economy. We all work together in Washington to devise policies to improve the economic situation.”

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Give Boehner a break, it’s the only place he could catch up to him to have a meeting. And yes, I hope Boehner uses that comment.

VegasRick on June 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Agreed Rick. Just because Boehner had to hit the links once doesn’t even equate to all the time Obama spends there. Sometimes I swear we do more damage that the media and Donks do.

hawkdriver on June 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Responding to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s comment that Democrats “own” the economy, Carney offered: “We all own the economy. We all work together in Washington to devise policies to improve the economic situation.”

‘cept for when it’s GWB’s fault.

People, wake up and see – these are malicious thugs of the first degree. Impertinence is indignant.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Lots of BIG TALK from the GOP…………not so much walk though.

GOP gets blame if debt ceiling isn’t raised in 5……4……3…..

PappyD61 on June 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

It makes eminently good sense except for one small problem: They’re lying. Nothing will be cut, capped, or balanced as a result of this pledge.

Bugler on June 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM


THIS
x 14,000,000,000,000

PappyD61 on June 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Boehner is a worm that can’t be trusted and so are most of the rest of the establishment.

THIS also x 14,000,000,000,000

PappyD61 on June 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Brinkmanship over the debt ceiling vote is irresponsible.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

They you should be able to explain why.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Candidates shouldn’t be everywhere signing pledges, while the undistinguished Senator from South Carolina may have a point none candidate should make promises he could no keep.

Falz on June 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I agreee, Falz: last thing me want is candidate that keep promise. They need freedom to break promise not kept!

Rod on June 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I fear that one day DeMint will realize that the only real way to influence the next President is to become the next President.

While Senators rarely make good chief executives, I think DeMint could have been the exception.

rwenger43 on June 18, 2011 at 1:10 PM

NOOOOOOOOOH! Here we go again with these fracking my-way-or- the-highway pledges. I don’t believe in a balanced budget amendment, not because I’m a RINO but because Dems can turn around and use it as an excuse to raise taxes. It’s all about the unintended consequences and people like Sen. DeMint should have the wisdom to see that.

Buy Danish on June 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Brinkmanship over the debt ceiling vote is irresponsible.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

-
Agreed… The dems and especially Obama must back down and allow real spending cuts… to do otherwise is irresponsible x 14,000,000,000,000………….
-

RalphyBoy on June 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

You will know it’s way too late when Congress takes action. You can rejoice that some Reps. and Senators are finally starting to wake up, but I’m afraid that only means that the end draws near.

DFCtomm on June 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Ha!! Speaking of pledges, Obama is now claiming

a pledge he signed in 1996 is a forgery. (H/T Memeorandum).

Donald Trump and/or World Net Daily to enter the fray 3…2…1…

Buy Danish on June 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Brinkmanship over the debt ceiling vote is irresponsible.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

They you should be able to explain why.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

The proper place for debate and politics is at the budget stage and not at the stage where you determine whether or not to pay obligations arising out of agreed budgets.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I agreee, Falz: last thing me want is candidate that keep promise. They need freedom to break promise not kept!

Rod on June 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Good point. There’s nothing wrong with candidates taking pledges if their intention and track record shows that they actually honor the pledges they’ve taken.

So while Bachmann taking a pledge that is consistent with her track record may actually mean something, if Romney takes a pledge it is essentially meaningless, as evidenced by history.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

As another example, if Boehner took a pledge to cut $100 billion dollars in actuality it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Now if Boehner took a pledge to increase spending by $100 billion dollars, then it might be credible. There is a good chance that he would fulfill that promise in spades.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 2:13 PM

The proper place for debate and politics is at the budget stage and not at the stage where you determine whether or not to pay obligations arising out of agreed budgets.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

except for the fact that money has already been spent. This isn’t skipping out on the bill it is cutting up the credit card

clement on June 18, 2011 at 3:17 PM

The proper place for debate and politics is at the budget stage and not at the stage where you determine whether or not to pay obligations arising out of agreed budgets.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Except for another fact – they haven’t passed a budget for the last two years and have added well over $3 trillion to the debt because of it.

Sporty1946 on June 18, 2011 at 3:51 PM

FYI, Jim DeMint did start and heads Senate Conservative Caucus. And he worked to get conservatives elected to Senate in 2010. If he wants to have a budget pledge, I say good. He’s earned some leadership.

Caststeel on June 18, 2011 at 4:15 PM

1.Cut – Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.

I don’t want to “reduce the deficit” I want actual year to year spending cuts.

RJL on June 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Bugler on June 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

DeMint answered this two days ago. He described the “cuts” Boehner and co. are planning to compromise on, and made it clear that those are not cuts, merely decreases in the expected annual increases on social programs. His plan is REAL Cuts, REAL Caps, and REAL Balance, starting with a Balanced Budget Amendment, including a Supermajority requirement for tax increases, and a cap on spending at a fixed percentage of GDP.

Freelancer on June 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

FloatingRock on June 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Romney turned a 3 billion dollar deficit into a 700 million dollar surplus without raising taxes.

scotash on June 18, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Obama made lots of pledges. They are only as good as the man. Vote for talent and track record not promises.

KW64 on June 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Brinkmanship over the tea tax debt ceiling vote is irresponsible.

lexhamfox on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

AshleyTKing on June 19, 2011 at 2:00 AM