Gingrich: GOP can’t sustain threats on debt ceiling

posted at 11:31 am on January 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Newt Gingrich thinks that the House Republican caucus is gearing up for the wrong fight. On CBS This Morning, the former Speaker noted the danger of fighting over US credit, which would prompt the business community to oppose the GOP and end up isolating Republicans on the overall budget fight.  Gingrich insists that Republicans have much firmer ground in March, when the sequesters hit and the continuing resolution expires:

Republicans in Congress have picked the wrong fight in threatening default on the government’s loans if President Obama continues to push raising the debt ceiling, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., said today on “CBS This Morning,” arguing, “in the end, it’s a fight they can’t sustain.”

“No one is going to default,” he said. “No one is going to allow the United States to not pay its bills. No one is going to accept the economic costs. It rallies the entire business community to the president’s side.

“And the fact is,” Gingrich continued, “the Republicans have two much better arenas in which to fight over spending: They have a continuing resolution which funds government, which comes up at the end of March. And they have the sequester, which automatically cuts spending unless it’s dealt with. And those two fronts they can fight, and they have much less resistance from the average American, and it’s much harder for the president to oppose them.”

Gingrich makes the same point here as I do in my column today for The Week.  Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling is simply not it.  If a showdown is in order, a government shutdown makes more sense — as it attacks the actual driver of deficits and debt, federal overspending:

By contrast, a government shutdown — or at least the threat of one — makes more sense. For one thing, it actually addresses the problem of government spending by refusing to allocate any more funding, rather than refusing to authorize borrowing for spending already approved. The current continuing resolution runs out on March 27, at which point most functions of the federal government have to stop without approved funding from Congress. John Boehner promised his caucus that he would insist on a return to normal order in the budget process; this would be a perfect time to demand a budget from the Senate instead of getting caught up in White House negotiations intended to bypass the normal budget process yet again. A refusal by Harry Reid would give House Republicans an opportunity to pass a budget without the Senate — and then insist that it’s Reid who shut down the government by violating the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

Of course, Republicans remember all too well that they attempted to force a budget victory in 1995 over Bill Clinton with a government shutdown, and ended up losing the political war. That case, however, differed from today in a couple of significant ways. The deficit was much smaller, although still politically potent, and Clinton had already started to triangulate after the 1994 midterm fiasco for Democrats. The budget standoff looked much less like a crisis than a public-relations stunt for the new Contract with America majority. In this case, the crisis is obvious and very potent politically, although not certain by any means to favor Republicans. It will take a great deal of effort to get the messaging started immediately for a March 27 standoff over budgeting for the rest of FY2013, an effort that Republicans haven’t done much in the last two weeks to push.

The GOP should forget the ghosts of 1995 and force the showdown over the real issue — out-of-control spending. At this point, after the beating Republicans took in November and the disarray after the New Years Day fiscal-cliff deal, they don’t have much to lose, especially by fighting on the high ground and forcing Democrats to defend inflated spending.

The House should get as much in concessions as possible in return for a debt-ceiling increase to take the US through the end of the year.  After all, Congress already authorized the spending — and that’s the actual problem.  Republicans can tackle that problem directly when the continuing resolution expires by passing a full budget to complete FY2012 and dare Harry Reid to refuse to do the same.  That will also point out the other real problem: a lack of normal order on budgets since April 2009.

Matt Lewis also has concerns over holding the debt ceiling hostage, on the basis of public relations alone:

1. A good political fight pits Republicans against Democrats. When Republicans win, Democrats lose (and vice versa.) Either way, the American public wins when both sides compete for their favor (as I’ve noted before, the GOP should be engaged in transactional leadership — but the transaction should appeal to the public’s better angels.)

But in this scenario, the potential victim in this game of chicken over the debt ceiling would be The American Public. And it would be done ostensibly by the hands of Republicans. That would surely be the perception at least. (Note: I realize continuing to ignore the debt crisis also hurts the American public — but, fair or not, that seems less immediate. I’m also aware of the nuances regarding the term, “default.”)

2. As Thatcher’s maxim goes, “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.” By using the debt ceiling to pressure Obama to cut spending, Republicans are — even in the unlikely circumstance that they should “win” — depriving the country of a national conversation about debt and spending.

Given the choice, the media will always focus on the political aspects of the “government shutdown” over the substantive points.

On the other hand, David Frum argues that I’ve picked the right battleground, but the wrong time:

The time to begin the budget cuts is after the United States resumes full employment and normal economic growth, not before.

And the means to do so is via the normal budget process, after a successful election. Forcing spending cuts by shutting down government services is not only a breach of the “rules of the game,” it is also tactically reckless. The Republican party made a case for a vision of government in November. That case was rejected, and painfully. A Democratic president was elected. A Democratic Senate was returned. And while the Republicans held the House, they lost seats and received fewer total votes. This is not a mandate for anything big and bold. This is the time for defensive play, for rethinking, rebuilding and retooling.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had a normal budget process in over 1350 days, thanks to the Democratic Senate leadership’s refusal to engage in it.  If Republicans have to wait for that to have a budget fight, it simply will never occur.

Update: Guy Benson has a lengthy column at Townhall staking out the same ground as Newt, Matt, and me on the issue, which should be read in full.  Here’s his advice:

(1) Give the president a sizable, no-strings-attached debt limit increase.  Sooner rather than later.  (I recognize this is a very bitter pill to swallow).  In doing so, repeatedly emphasize two points.  First, that Republicans went along with Obama’s frivolous and counter-productive tax-hike-on-the-rich scheme to avoid the fiscal cliff, receiving virtually nothing in return.  Considering the stakes for tens of millions of middle class Americans, this was the responsible choice — even though it was an extremely unpleasant ideological concession.  (Lesson: “Revenues” and “fairness” are now on the books, and thus off the table in upcoming debates).  Second, that the president’s last request for a $2.1 Trillion debt ceiling increase came just a year-and-a-half ago, yet Washington’s rapacious spending habits have already exhausted every last dime of those funds.  (Lesson: Spending is the problem).  Yes, this would essentially constitute two consecutive episodes of Republicans acquiescing to Obama’s demands, with little to show in return.  Yes, this would anger some in the base, and it could prompt threats of primary challenges, etc.   But it’s only act one.

(2) Allow the $1.2 trillion sequester to go into effect in early March.  Don’t negotiate over it, despite its very troubling defense cuts.  Remember, it’s the delayed byproduct of 2011′s debt deal, and Democrats should not be allowed to pretend that it’s part of a “new” agreement on spending reductions.  The Super Committee failed.  The White House suggested these automatic cuts, assuming that they’d never happen.  They are imperfect, real, and overdue reductions in spending.  ”Shoot” that “hostage” of the president’s own making.

(3) Throw down over the expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) in late March.  The CR is the latest in an interminable string of temporary measures to fund the federal government in the absence of “normal order” — ie, passing budgets and appropriations bills.  This is the way things are supposed to work, but haven’t for nearly four years.  At this stage, Republicans will have cooperated with President Obama by reluctantly indulging his tax “fairness” fetish and by staving off “default” by ignoring Senator Obama’s 2006 advice on the debt ceiling.  Sure, the possibility of a partial government shutdown would still be in the air, but that’s a “hostage” that could also plausibly be “shot.”  Republicans could aggressively point to their previous concessions while drawing their line in the sand at this lower-stakes, but still meaningful, crossroads.  The expiration of yet another stop-gap federal funding gimmick would present an ideal opportunity to enter a full court press on the Democrats’ serial budget abdications, with budget season fast approaching.  This effort would be advanced against the backdrop of the president’s recent and wholly inadequate “soak the rich” tax package, while another high profile and unsettling increase of the national debt limit would remain fresh in the public’s collective mind.

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They should raise the Debt Ceiling by small increments and have the fight EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

astonerii on January 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The House should pass a new set of debt ceilings .. not just one.

There should be a a debt ceiling for every 3 months for the next two years.
Of course, they could set the ceilings so as to slowly reign in the debt.

J_Crater on January 15, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Cut spending, FIRST.

listens2glenn on January 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Bruce Krasting:

Republicans have everything to lose if they force the country to functionally default on the debt. If they did that, they would get murdered. Kiss-off the Republican party for another eight years. The Reds would probably lose the House bi-elections, and their majority; and they know this.

The Debt Limit is not the only line in the sand for Republicans. They have the Sequestered Amounts they can fight over, but even that is a sideshow. The real issue that will trip up the Administration is the need for a Continuing Resolution. The CR is required by law, if there is no budget approved by the House. It is now 1,350+days since the US has had a budget. There is no way in hell we are going to have one in the next 90 days.

If the Republicans want to shut down the government, they have a much better issue to do it over than the Debt Limit. (The CR will do the “job” ) So watch for what appears to be a “concession” from some Republicans this week. Don’t cheer too loudly if this happens (the markets will – at first). It doesn’t change the fact that a showdown is coming, and it’s coming pretty quick. The chance for a big brawl, that ends up shutting the government down, is still very much in the cards.

http://brucekrasting.com/ben-b-nixed-the-coin-what-does-that-mean/

GCM on January 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Not raising the debt limit, does not lead to default.

Not raising the debt limit, does not lead to default.

Not raising the debt limit, does not lead to default.

How many times does it need to be said? Stop adopting the lies of the left.

Rebar on January 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Part of developing a winning strategy

Ed

What pray-tell makes you suspect the republicans want to win?

lm10001 on January 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

GOP can’t sustain threats on debt ceiling

Uh, that’s because they are empty threats (and everyone knows it). The GOP is the party of surrender.

Pork-Chop on January 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Newt makes sense…for a change, but Boner and company don’t have what it takes to get it done. They are all geldings posing as studs.

belad on January 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Gingrich makes the same point here as I do in my column today for The Week. Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling is simply not it.

Of course, Ed thinks amnesty is the right ground to pick a fight…

with the base.

sauldalinsky on January 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I’m fine with the GOP picking the fight over the budget instead of the debt ceiling, but they have to be willing to go to the mat. Force a government shutdown if necessary. Take the inevitable PR hit if it means getting real spending cuts enacted.

The problem with the debt ceiling showdown(aside from the obvious demagoguery that’ll ensue) is that Obama would likely avoid the entire issue by invoking the 14th amendment. It may be unconstitutional, but the Senate will never do anything about that and the Supreme Court likely won’t rule against him either(can you imagine the retroactive budget mess that would create?).

Refusing to pass another CR on the other hand gives the GOP serious leverage. Without a CR or budget, there’s no money for Obama and Dems to spend. And last time I checked, there’s no executive order Obama can pull out of his ass to circumvent the budget process. They’ll have to come to the table and deal with Boehner and McConnell. But again, it all depends on how far the GOP is willing to go.

Doughboy on January 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thanks Newt, for assuring democrats that they can go back to the brinksmanship well forever and win.

If not now when? Who’s responsibility is it to control spending?

Speakup on January 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Ha ha ha ha… you have to hand it to the Republican establishment, they certainly know how to play conservatives for suckers.

Didn’t they know that this was a wrong hill to die on before promising so in order to extract concessions for the fiscal cliff deal?

The problem with the current RINO-led GOP is that no current battle is worth fighting… it is always “Let us conserve our capital for the next battle… and that we will REALLY REALLY fight.”

In the meantime, the country continues to sink down that hole that will require pain on all to extract us from. The day is fast approaching when there will be steep cuts not by choice but because there will be no more money. And then what happens? I guess Boehner et al would be living it big somewhere sheltered from the massive social unrest. Or will they?

TheRightMan on January 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I would pass a debt ceiling increase with the only thing attached is that the if the house or senate doesn’t pass a budget or accompanying appropriations bill, the members of that body is fined $1,000 a day until it is passed. Force the Senate to do it’s job. Then tackle cuts in the CR.

dforston on January 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Why does the GOP have to ‘focus’ their fights when Obama gets to dust up, and usually does, on any topic that suits his pea-brain at the time?

I think the GOP needs to bring out the whoop-a$$. Block his nominees. Demand a budget before any talks on debt or CR. Threaten to de-fund any executive orders dealing with immigration that don’t go through Congress. Fight him on all fronts. Continue to expose Obamacare failures and rising costs while reminding people he said he would cut the deficit in half and has no credibility in the financial arena.

HopeHeFails on January 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

One thing is becoming crystal clear . . . none of the “great minds” in the GOP have the slightest idea what to do or when to do it, therefore, the next confrontation will end exactly like the last one . . . complete capitulation.

rplat on January 15, 2013 at 11:49 AM

L.I.B

Deano1952 on January 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Raise the debt ceiling, but redefine it to be only budgeted dollars.

meci on January 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling is simply not it.

Amazing, isn’t it? Somehow *every* fight “is simply not it”, and waiting for some other fight just over the horizon is the prescription.

Fiscal cliff? Nope, bad fight to have.
Debt ceiling? OMG, no, not that one.
Immigration? Yikes, are you kidding – no!

Honestly – sick to f*cking death of this.

EVERY ONE OF THOSE ARE FIGHTS TO HAVE. EVERY. F*CKING. ONE.

Midas on January 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

One thing is becoming crystal clear . . . none of the “great minds” in the GOP have the slightest idea what to do or when to do it, therefore, the next confrontation will end exactly like the last one . . . complete capitulation.

rplat on January 15, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The problem is there are political realities they have to deal with. Namely that the Dems control 2/3 of the government. Like I said earlier, unless the Republicans are willing to go all the way with the budget negotiations and force a government shutdown, this is all for show and we’ll continue down the road to fiscal insolvency.

Doughboy on January 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Where is the ANNUAL BUDGET (IAW w/the LAW) from the Administration?
Where are the budget(S) over the last THREE YEARS (and we’re still WAITING) from the SENATE?
Will the Republicans PLEASE point out the fact that Federal income was about to overtake expenditures (tought to comprehend I know) towards the end of FY 2006 when ‘wamo-bamo’ the Dhimmicraps took control of both the House (Pay as you go Pelosi) and Senate (Reid) and it all started to turn to shiite. And has been shiite EVER SINCE!
Educating the LIV (Low Information Voters) in simple economic principles is NOT THAT HARD. Just tell everyone to LOOK at their last PAYCHECK! And ask them “Do you see a difference?”
Dr. Gingrich failed in his encounter with William Jefferson Bly (I didn’t have sex with THAT woman.) Clinton because he FAILED TO COMMUNICATE his ideas. The best communicator wins. Get it?

Missilengr on January 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

How can they force a budget showdown?

They’ve passed a budget every year and the Senate have done squat what makes this year any different?

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I think the GOP needs to bring out the whoop-a$$. Block his nominees. Demand a budget before any talks on debt or CR. Threaten to de-fund any executive orders dealing with immigration that don’t go through Congress. Fight him on all fronts. Continue to expose Obamacare failures and rising costs while reminding people he said he would cut the deficit in half and has no credibility in the financial arena.

HopeHeFails on January 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Totally agree. Also, keep hammering on F&F and Benghazi. This is the most corrupt, most Socialist administration in US history.

sauldalinsky on January 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I’m seeing the same article linked again with a Matt Lewis AND David Frum topper thrown in. If I didn’t know any better I’d say we’re being steered to accept more go along to get along from our betters at Hot Air. hmmmm

DanMan on January 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling is simply not it.

I absolutely agree with that for a couple of reasons. Getting spending under control and getting the economy growing means the debt grows at a much slower pace anyway. I would like to see a spending bill that actually cuts the size of the federal government and repeals Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. Those two pieces of legislation, while well-intentioned, have done considerable damage to our economic growth. Dodd-Frank in particular. Overall, those two pieces of legislation have been completely ineffective in what they were intended to do and instead have hamstrung business growth for the past several years.

The other problem is that the “True Conservatives” will go totally bonkers if the Boehner doesn’t fight the debt ceiling issue and more deeply spit the Republican Party.

crosspatch on January 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The House should get as much in concessions as possible in return for a debt-ceiling increase to take the US through the end of the year.

I swear to God – You become more laughable by the day.

Tim_CA on January 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

How can they force a budget showdown?

They’ve passed a budget every year and the Senate have done squat what makes this year any different?

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Because every year the GOP has caved and passed a continuing resolution. If they refuse to do that, then the money runs out in February or March and the government shuts down. This isn’t like the debt ceiling where there’s some alleged gray area with the 14th amendment which allows Obama some wiggle room. If there’s no CR or budget, there’s no money. Period.

Doughboy on January 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The GOP are useless…

President Obama to be arrested and Impeached.

SWalker on January 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Give Obama a no strings attached debt ceiling hike? Are you crazy? This is why we lose again and again.

The government is like a spendaholic and the advice is to give it a new credit card?

$16T debt is enough, hell ask Barack Obama from 2006 what he thinks about the $9T in debt (or so) we had then.

But the establish Republicans have no more interest in cutting spending then the Democrats do – so we can expect them to take your advice.

Not upping the limit? Instant balanced budget. Uping the limit? More of the same tax and spending for ever.

This is not the hill to die on – every Republican leader since 2004.

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

“they have much less resistance from the average American, and it’s much harder for the president to oppose them.”

The average American wants to go further into debt? Then what is the point of even expecting any future whatsoever for the Republicans? If Newt is right, then get your 30% together and carve out a new country with a new and legitimate currency and let the old America crash and burn in debt.

Buddahpundit on January 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

The problem is there are political realities they have to deal with. Namely that the Dems control 2/3 of the government.

Yes, but in the area of spending they control enough.

What they should do is pass a budget in the $2.5T range tied to a $300B debt ceiling increase and go home.

Let the Democrats either pass it or not and shut the government down.

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I think the time to pick the fight is NOW, use the budget that, by law, he’s supposed to submit and do all of this, the debt ceiling and the CR through the normal budget process. If they don’t stand tough now, Obama will just play with them and they’ll cave for the CR also.

This is the House and it’s 2 years before the next election. Each one of these Representatives should have a relationship with his district, unlike Senators and would be a lot harder for the press and Obama to demonize. They need to pass a bill and go back to their districts and tell the voters what they did and why they did it. They need to do it personally and not rely on Pravda and Izvestia to tell the truth about what’s going on. I think Newt’s a little gun-shy because of how Clinton did him in, in 1996, but knowing Obama is going to try the same stunt should have Republicans ready for it.

The longer they wait, the worse off the country is going to be.

bflat879 on January 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM

If I thought that the GOP would ever fight one of these battles, I would agree with you, Ed.

They clearly have no intention of opposing this.

The GOP is doing to conservatives what the Democrats did to them: give us something now, and we’ll give you something later.

Why are you falling for it just like they did? You have less excuse than they, because you saw what happened to them.

Scott H on January 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Not raising the debt limit, does not lead to default.

Yep.

2012

Revenue ~ $2.5T
Spending ~ $3.8T
Interest on the debt ~$.3T

So the government will take in about $2.2T more then it needs to pay the interest on the debt. Which would fund the government at the same levels as the 1990s.

Now, it would force the government to either reverse Obama’s spending orgy since 2008 OR cut other things. But neither of these options is default.

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

this country is being plundered, the Republicans/Democrat thing is theatre…

equanimous on January 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Why is the gOP at all concverned about appearance over sound fiscal responsibility. The condoms R us crowd will be against responsibility no matter how much good will is sacrificed anyway. Unless they think the leftist controlled media will call them fair….
Face it, Evil reigns and the bipartisan GOP compromisers have fed the monster for decades while they fought their own social cons as the enemy.

Don L on January 15, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Simple – extend the ceiling through the end of April and roll a longer debt-ceiling hike, the second half of FY2013 non-defense discretionary spending (roughly $300 billion at current spending levels) and the entirety of the FY2014 budget/discretionary spending (roughly $1,300 billion at inflation-adjusted spending levels) into one big furball. We’re getting beaten piecemeal; we may as well try the grand approach.

Steve Eggleston on January 15, 2013 at 12:19 PM

this country is being plundered, the Republicans/Democrat thing is theatre…

equanimous on January 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Kabuki, even.

Steve Eggleston on January 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

But how else will we ever control our spending unless we tie it to our borrowing?

Paul-Cincy on January 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Play hard ball, pubs. This is the time to do that.

tommy71 on January 15, 2013 at 12:22 PM

But Ed, you’re the same person who told us back in 2011 that the debt ceiling wasn’t the hill to die on, the “fiscal cliff” scenario (although it wasnt called that then) was when we’d really make our stand.

Then during the fiscal cliff negotiations, you told us we had to suck it up and accept a deal (plan B, then eventually the obama deal), because the REAL fight would be the debt ceiling. Now that the debt ceiling is approaching, you’re telling everyone to stand down, because the republicans will REALLY bring it to the democrats when it’s time to pass another CR.

Whos side are you on, dude? If the republicans are going to cave and never make a stand, and if you’re going to adopt the language of the left… I mean, why even vote republican? At least the democrats are semi-honest about what their plans are. The Republicans talk a tough game during election season, and now all the establishment and wanna be establishment types are telling us basically that its more important for republicans to get their committee chairmanships then it is for us to solve this debt crisis that you yourself were saying as of 4 months ago was going to crash our economy.

Timin203 on January 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Well, if we can’t use the debt-ceiling debate to at least begin to talk about getting the deficit reined in, then why do we bother having a debt-ceiling at all? If we always have to increase it everytime we bump up against it, what’t the point of even having one?

Bitter Clinger on January 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Obviously, Republicans love being a loyal opposition. So they don’t get a few choice pieces of the pie, but as long as corporate lobbies keep pumping money and red-district rubes reliably send them to DC, who cares if everybody hates them?

Archivarix on January 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

If we always have to increase it everytime we bump up against it, what’t the point of even having one?

So if the Republicans ever achieve a majority that the Democrats can use it as a weapon, as Obama and co did in 2006-8.

But the Republicans don’t want to cut spending anyway, so expect them to cave.

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

By Jedediah Bila

Perhaps GOP leadership is asleep once again. Maybe Boehner and McConnell didn’t hear our President put the blame on them in yesterday’s press conference.
Let’s recall what President Obama said:

And Republicans in Congress have two choices here: They can act responsibly and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis.  But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The financial well-being of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip.

GOP leadership, this is the part where you hold a press conference setting the record straight on the debt ceiling. Own the arguments by being on offense, not defense. Haven’t you learned that it’s a bad idea to let the President win public opinion on an issue by allowing him to repeat false information over and over unchallenged?
On his radio show last night, Mark Levin emphasized the key point:

We, as a nation, will not go into default anytime soon because our revenue exceeds our debt payments. So the full faith and credit of the United States is not in danger unless the President puts it in danger.

See what Levin did there? He told the truth, then put the debt ball right back in Obama’s court. In other words, Mr. President, we’re not giving you a limitless credit card to steal from future generations. And we’re not going to let you lie about the consequences of not hiking the ceiling, either.
In a recent segment with Levin, Sen. Ted Cruz articulated a similar point:

Not raising the debt ceiling does not mean we default on the debt. And President Obama saying that is just fear mongering and deliberately deceiving people. The average tax revenues for the federal government are roughly $200 billion a month. Service on the debt is between thirty and forty billion dollars a month. There is ample revenue to ensure that we service the debt…

What is the purpose of a debt ceiling if you’re going to hike it up on a constant basis? If I gave myself a monthly spending allowance in order to save money, but then hiked up the spending limit every few months in order to spend more and more, what would be the point?
There would be no point whatsoever. I know that. Obama knows that. GOP leadership knows that. And every American family living on a budget knows that.
This is not rocket science. It’s something that families everywhere can understand. Hence why Obama turns to scare tactics, the blame game, and misinformation. And he will get away with it over and over if the GOP doesn’t smarten up and realize the importance of publicly–and repeatedly–setting the record straight on these issues.
GOP leadership: If you don’t combat deception, it sticks. Two Obama election victories later, isn’t it time to wake up?

idesign on January 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

C’mon the Republicans are going to raise the debt limit…lets move on to something else they can cave-in on …..

albill on January 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Forcing spending cuts by shutting down government services Raising taxes is not only a breach of the “rules of the game,” it is also tactically reckless.

lea on January 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM

As usual, everyone thinks they are speaking the same language, but they are not. There are differences between, debt, debt ceiling (limit), default and debt ratings. Newt is right, there should not be any arguing about default…..they got suckered into even talking about it! We default if we don’t pay interest on our debt, or fail to redeem(pay off debt per term of the indenture) when scheduled! That has not and should not ever happen!

We can stop funding non-strategic expenditures without getting close to default. We should begin with a halt in funding of Obamacare for starters. That and defunding Energy, Commerce, Transportation, Interior, Ethanol and other farm subsidies. Education, WIC program, etc… too many others before ever having to consider “default.”

Spending is the real problem, but our reluctant, cowardly leadership, at every level of our government has looked the other way while building this incredible mountain of debt obligation, with only token resistance the past 4-years!

tomshup on January 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM

One more point. During the election, Democrats made hay by claiming any difference in Romney’s budgets and Romney’s tax plans were tax increases.

This is something new, that Obama was not held to, but we should be using it now too.

So Obama raised taxes by about $.1T with his recent tax increase.

That still leaves a deficit in the range of $1.3T.

So the Republicans should call Obama’s plans an addition $1.3T tax increase. Because it is. Someone will be paying that $1.3T either in additional taxes or in inflation.

Ask the American people if they want a $1.3T spending cut and they will say no. Ask them if they would rather have a $1.3T spending cut or a $1.3T tax increase and the answer will be differen.t

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM

It doesn’t matter. The republicans are such pu**ies and won’t do jack diddly squat. What a waste of my time, your time, etc.

This fight if for nothing but to keep you locked into each twist/turn that will result in 1 outcome, and you all know what that outcome will be. The republicans will cave.

bbordwell on January 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Newt is exactly right and what too many of you geniuses fail to see that public policy is influenced by voters and playing politics and Obama has been cleaning the floor with Republicans because he (really David Axelrod) is clearly more competent at politics that our idiot Repub leaders.

Obama is dunce and/or bad guy when it comes to policy…;BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT.

Repubs need to get smart about politics…that is the business they have chosen.. good public policy can only be accomplished if you win at the political game and clearly we have been LOSING big time at that

Why is this so difficult for your geniuses to understand???

georgealbert on January 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I see the RINO caucus is in full flight here. GIngrich and Morrissey are all for surrender.

For the love of God, we are in an existential battle for the country and all these morons can council is weakness and surrender. In battles like this you fight over every inch of ground. When you fight progtards you fight for every inch. You fight ruthlessly and without let up.

Instead, we get surrender. Then the surrender monkeys try to purge the only ones that are willing to take a stand. The GOP must die.

Quartermaster on January 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I can’t shake the feeling that when the GOP leadership goes to bed at night faeries come and sprinkle “stupid dust” on their pillows.

Bruno Strozek on January 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Why is this so difficult for your geniuses to understand???

The Republicans have been consistently surrendering as you suggested since 2006. How well has that worked out?

18-1 on January 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Frum would presumably argue, just as stupidly, that the time to end communism wouldn’t be until after communist economies rebounded to full productive capacity and employment. Guy is a complete tool.

EddieC on January 15, 2013 at 1:03 PM

To sum up, Ed, once again the collective advice you have presented is to …

RUN AWAY !!!

While resolutely resolving to make a stand later at the Continuing Resolution … right up until the collective hive mind of the GOPe once again yells,

RUN AWAY !!!

Might I poliely suggest you and the others join the Democratic Party and provide them with the benefits of your guidance?

PolAgnostic on January 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM

A Democratic president was elected. A Democratic Senate was returned. And while the Republicans held the House, they lost seats and received fewer total votes. This is not a mandate for anything big and bold. This is the time for defensive play, for rethinking, rebuilding and retooling.

Why can’t the GOP and the readership here grasp this simple fact?

libfreeordie on January 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Why can’t the GOP and the readership here grasp this simple fact?

libfreeordie on January 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Problem is the GOP hasn’t defended jack squat, or even really TRIED.

We get that we’re not going to override most of your god-king’s whims; you’ve got almost 50% of the populace on your welfare-for-votes scheme and most of the gov’t. But when the GOP never does a thing but backstab and surrender…

MelonCollie on January 15, 2013 at 2:12 PM

The problem is there are political realities they have to deal with. Namely that the Dems control 2/3 of the government.

Which 2/3 is that, pray tell?

From here they seem to hold the Presidency and half of the Legislative branch, and the Supreme Court is ostensibly impartial, though practically a toss-up. So it seems to me that the Dems control about half of the government – AND THE GOP CONTROLS THE PURSE STRINGS IN THE HOUSE – why is it again that the Republicans keep proffering up their spotted backsides for the Dems to do with as they wish?

Midas on January 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I’ll concede these are good arguments here for the strategy outlined. I’d just add one point for consideration.

The House GOP should put the Dems and the President on notice that they will negotiate a bill for raising the debt ceiling that will carry the government through the remainder of the year, but will not submit it for a vote until the House has determined President Obama has fulfilled his obligation to submit his 2013-14 budget to Congress for fiscal year 2013-2014, as prescribed by Title 31, Subtitle II – The Budget Process.

The purpose for doing this is to reestablish the need for regular order in the budgeting process for the next fiscal year, as defined in Subtitle II.

The House GOP should also put the Dems and the President on notice that until such time as the President submits his budget and it is determined to be complete as prescribed by Title 31, Subtitle II – The Budget Process, the House will not submit any other bills for a vote except one, daily, to fund the government for the following day.

Dusty on January 15, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling is simply not it.

Ahhh yes, the clarion call of the squish….the battle at hand is NEVER the one to fight, it’s always some other battle, until that battle arrives. I bet I can even write part of the article you’ll put out when the CR debate arrives. It will probably go something like this:

Part of developing a winning strategy is picking the right ground for a fight, and the debt ceiling continuing rsolution is simply not it.

That sound about right?

Why can’t the GOP and the readership here grasp this simple fact?

libfreeordie

For the same reason we reject the “fact” that bigfoot is real.

xblade on January 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Newt? LOLZ
How’s that Moon base coming along. Doofus schmuck he is.

Mr. Arrogant on January 15, 2013 at 2:41 PM

For the same reason we reject the “fact” that bigfoot is real.

xblade on January 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Good God you are in DENIAL.

We can’t even get the Rethuglican CINOs to fight when they’re on DEFENSE and half the population is Democrat welfare slaves.

MelonCollie on January 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM

xblade on January 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

.
The GOPe-media will betray you!

(paraphasing Dire’s oft used quote)

Even more to the point and ripped copy/pasted from the Headlines

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2013/63_of_gop_voters_think_republicans_in_congress_out_of_touch

Do you like apples, Ed?

PolAgnostic on January 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Newt, you know the Constitution. Raise some h*ll over Obysmal’s slander of Republicans in that news conference.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/337729/obama-slanders-conservatives-and-constitution-loses-again-mario-loyola

onlineanalyst on January 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Instead, we get surrender. Then the surrender monkeys try to purge the only ones that are willing to take a stand.

Quartermaster on January 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Perfect.

Tim_CA on January 15, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Contract with America was a very Conservative Message.

But the GOP quickly abandoned it after they won the 94 elections using it. The American People saw this an punished the Republicans for abandoning the Contract. That is what hurt the GOP it had nothing to do with the Debt Celling Debate.

Conservative messaging always works. GOPe message always loses that is what lost.

The result of this fight though was an actual balanced budget. America actually took in more than it paid out for four years. Only GOPe reactionaries would consider this a political loss. It proves smaller spending is possible with great results. It is a political loss because the GOPe made it thus. The GOPe hated the Contract and did all in their power to make it a loser so Conservatives would not win in 1996 they cared less that meant Clinton would get a second term. They eventually forced Newt out of Congress a complete disgrace after he gave us the House. The GOPe is the problem.

Steveangell on January 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Midas on January 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

You said it. I am sick to death of being told “this is not the right fight” every single time any sort of confrontation whatsoever is required. And so the left wins by default every single goddamn time, and the country goes further and further down the toilet.

Oh, and Ed? When Frum is on your side, that’s usually a sign that you need to rethink your position.

Cylor on January 16, 2013 at 3:59 AM