House to raise debt ceiling on time rather than value

posted at 1:51 pm on January 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Eric Cantor told CBS News that voters want Congress and the White House to start solving problems.  House Republicans will make an offer to open a window for that purpose. In a kind of side-step around the debt-ceiling issue, the GOP will pass a bill that will suspend rather than raise the debt ceiling for a short period of time — and press Senate Democrats to produce a budget before the window closes.  They are now confident in their ability to pass this proposal within the GOP majority, at least:

The fact that House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote on the controversial bill in less than a week since the idea surfaced signifies that they have an unusual amount of confidence in their 233 members. That’s despite the fact that Republicans have hardly been able to pass a single piece of important legislation without Democratic support.

GOP leaders feel confident they will be able to pass the bill, which suspends the debt ceiling until May 19, while trying to force the Senate to pass its budget. The legislation doesn’t specify the amount by which the debt ceiling will be raised, a tactic that might be aimed at shielding lawmakers from the criticism that they’re accruing billions of dollars in new debt.

The bill also attempts to force both chambers to pass a budget by April 15. If they don’t, members of Congress will not be paid.

The measure — a mere 4½ pages long — is an attempt to sweep away the debt ceiling as a legislative issue until Washington resolves two other thorny problems: government funding and automatic spending cuts dubbed the sequester.

The goal, according to lawmakers, is to use the three months after the debt ceiling is lifted to tangle over long-term fiscal policy with the Senate and the White House. But it’s unclear whether President Barack Obama would ever agree to a short-term debt ceiling hike, something he has previously fiercely opposed.

Well, the GOP probably isn’t terribly concerned about a presidential veto.  If the Senate passes the suspension, then Obama will be isolated in opposition, and the resultant “default” will be blamed on him.  If Democrats don’t pass it, the blame falls to Harry Reid.  Bear in mind, too, that Obama has issued very few vetoes, which comes from the fact that his Senate has blocked nearly everything that he might dislike.  If it passes the Senate, it will get the autopen treatment, plus a couple of signing statements, but it will get signed nonetheless.

There is still some risk in this political maneuver. Democrats have demanded that Republicanspermanently suspend the debt ceiling as a drive of artificial crises.  Never mind that some Democrats in the current Senate voted against debt-ceiling increases during the Bush years (as well as then-Senator Barack Obama), and threatened to do so in 2009 over a legislative fight.  They will float this demand again, arguing that Congress sets the spending levels and Treasury should be automatically authorized to borrow funds to meet them — but that’s an argument that works only when normal-order budget processes are followed, and doesn’t address the rapidly-increasing problem of mandatory spending that is outside of budget-process control.  By offering a temporary suspension rather than a hard-limit raise to take us to the middle of May, Republicans will offer more legitimacy for that demand — and so they’d better get a budget with some entitlement reforms out of the bid.

Will it work?  In my column today for The Week, I argue that it at least offers an opening to Democrats to find some middle ground that benefits both parties and the country:

On the other hand, there have been some recent signs that both sides want to get some of these long-running debates off the table.  Republicans want a normal-order budget with real spending cuts, and preferably some significant start to entitlement reform. Democrats want more revenue, despite winning the fight on the high-earner tax rates, to cushion the blow on entitlement reform.  There is room to have both parties succeed in their goals and still make progress on greatly reducing deficit spending and unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs, two of the greatest long-term threats to American prosperity. …

Democrats want to pass comprehensive tax reform to increase revenues, for which they need normal-order budgeting, for political if not parliamentary reasons. Republicans have an interest in reforming the tax code as well: Broadening the tax base and removing the distortions that come from social engineering in the tax code. With revenue increases from a broadened tax base that will result from real tax-code reform, Democrats should be able to marry that to entitlement reforms that at least begin to reduce the juggernaut of future unfunded liabilities for the federal government. That would produce enough mutual benefit to find a middle ground for both parties that can easily be projected in principle from almost any vantage point on the political spectrum.

This will only happen when both sides see short-term political advantage in consolidating some gains and backing off of all-or-nothing demands, through cooperation and normal order, over obstructionism and brinksmanship. Republicans, who had hoped to have increased leverage after the November elections, appear to have seen the reality of having control of only one lever of power in Washington (the House) while Democrats have the other two (the Senate and White House), and have accordingly adjusted their approach. Will Democrats adjust theirs now that they realize they can’t dictate outcomes either, and return to the normal-order budgeting needed to end the Age of Cliffs? That is the question, and it remains to be seen whether Cantor’s optimism is an artifact of a sunny day or the acknowledgment of a changed Washington.

So far, I’m leaning toward the “sunny day” conclusion, but this might be the first real sign of actual progress in the last two years for responsible budgeting.  Let’s hope it pans out.

Update: Well, this is interesting.  Via e-mail from the fiscal-conservative Club for Growth:

“The Club for Growth will not oppose tomorrow’s vote on the debt ceiling,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “The Club for Growth will, on the other hand, strongly oppose any efforts during the upcoming debate over the continuing resolution and sequester that fail to arrest out-of-control spending and put sensible limits on the growth of government.”


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May all the House Fools lose their seats in 2014.

The land can no longer afford them.

The problems are the maggots among the people.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

The Boehner rule is dead.

May all the weasels lose their seats in 2014, incl. Boehner.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Stupid. If the Republicans weren’t stupid, they’d be nothing at all. Well, except for spineless surrender monkeys.

besser tot als rot on January 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Let’s face it, Congress is good only for passing continuing resolutions at this point.

and if you look back and decades the gop in D.C. has ALWAYS BEEN COWARDLY and been owned by Democrat Presidents.

Look at how FDR owned them. Truman. Kennedy. LBJ. Carter even. Clinton. and now Obama.

And then when they do get the majority they are TOLD they must share power and be generous……….and they do it.

Cowards, and UNFIT TO LEAD.

PappyD61 on January 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I don’t trust this slimeball (Cantor).

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

GOP gop leaders feel confident they will be able to…..

the gop………the LOWERCASE PARTY.

PappyD61 on January 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I don’t trust this slimeball (Cantor).

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

He knew the truth about Benghazi, ahead of the election, and said nothing at all.

He and Boehner are the biggest weasels in the land.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

And if the Senate blocks this or votes it down, then what? Will the House GOP stand firm or will they cave? What if the Senate goes along with it but refuses to pass a budget in 3 months? Will the GOP refuse to cave then as well? They better dig in because if they roll over on tax hikes, the debt ceiling(twice), and spending, then they could very well lose the House in 2014. And while that would place the blame for the impending economic collapse squarely on the Dems’ shoulders, it’s not like that would suddenly usher in a new wave of support for the Republican Party.

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I’m participating in a mass letter signing(one letter with LOTS of signatures) directed at Neugebauer tonight. Hell no-he’d better vote NO!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Suspend eh? Suspend what, the Debt ceiling or the Constitution?…

Gohawgs on January 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The answer to the perennial question “how do we manage to reelect this dreck every two years” is, unfortunately, “because those who come to replace them aren’t any better”. The Representative Republic regime might be supreme to all others ever to exist, but it is still inherently flawed.

Archivarix on January 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Establishment bloggers backpatting establishment and its decisions.

Dog bites man.

Dante on January 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Sam Birdwater: [in a press conference] God knows I am a patriot. I loaned the country 400 Billion. And I want my 400 Billion back. Does that make me a bad guy? I’ve got to eat too, you know! So I’m giving the President until the end of September this year to pay me back, or I’ll be forced to foreclose. What can I do? I’ve got to eat too, you know! Does that make me a bad guy?

50sGuy on January 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I am so disgusted with all of them. There is no strategy, there is no messaging, they haven’t figured out Social Media and 21st Century technology, etc.

They’ve had 4 yrs of this and this is what they come up with???? Pathetic.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Why does everyone worry about who gets the blame? Why not just do what’s right for nation? Isn’t that true leadership, think Reagan and Thatcher cared who got the blame/credit?

Cowards the lot of them.

Jabez01 on January 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

All blame falls on gop
-lsm memo

No ifs ands or buts

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Dante on January 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

There goes the neighborhood…

annoyinglittletwerp on January 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

In a kind of side-step around the debt-ceiling issue, the GOP will pass a bill that will suspend rather than raise the debt ceiling for a short period of time — and press Senate Democrats to produce a budget before the window closes.

Great, just great: NO debt ceiling rather than an illusory, fake debt floor.

/That won’t be exploited by the spending-drunk fools in the Legislative and Executive branches …

Fixed for me; from the Politico article:

The fact that House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote on the controversial bill in less than a week since the idea surfaced signifies that they have an unusual amount of confidence in traitorous moronic bastards among their 233 members.

ShainS on January 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I would take them seriously if they would go to the American people, like The One, and urge them to call their reps and demand a budget.

Instead…crickets.

PattyJ on January 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

As if Justice Roberts’ decision on ObamaCare wasn’t *enough* of an Enabling Act (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933),
now Republicans want to “suspend” the debt ceiling.

Does that work sorta like “suspending” a PREGNANCY, a MARRIAGE…or a HEARTBEAT?!?
Either there IS a limit or there ISN’T.

Barring further clarification, “suspending” it has the same effect as raising – or ELIMINATING – the debt ceiling.

BAD precedent.

Czar of Defenestration on January 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

ShainS on January 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

You’re great!

p.s. I saw your note the other day, on living up/down to my nom :)

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Why does everyone worry about who gets the blame? Why not just do what’s right for nation? Isn’t that true leadership, think Reagan and Thatcher cared who got the blame/credit?

Cowards the lot of them.

Jabez01 on January 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I find this blame thing to be a new norm for our society. Everyone wins/no accountability/everyone out for themselves/short term v long term thinking and actions, et.al.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

I am so disgusted with all of them. There is no strategy, there is no messaging, they haven’t figured out Social Media and 21st Century technology, etc.

They’ve had 4 yrs of this and this is what they come up with???? Pathetic.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

There is a strategery that would force the Dems’ hand, but they refuse to go there. It’s called refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Or failing that(or should Obama ignore it which is a likely scenario), don’t pass anymore continuing resolutions. There’s no executive workaround for when the money runs out. The problem there is the Republicans don’t have the stones to initiate a government shutdown. So instead we’re stuck playing kick the can down the road until the end of Obama’s Presidency. $20 trillion in debt, here we come.

BTW, can anyone tell me this? If they extend the debt ceiling til late May, but the current continuing resolution is reportedly going to expire in the next month or two, how exactly is the government going to function without any funding after that? Wouldn’t they need to pass a budget well before May 19 under that scenario?

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Democrats have demanded that Republicans permanently suspend the debt ceiling as a drive of artificial crises

the country is broke with virtually no way to payoff the debt and this is an “artifical crisis”…good grief, the libs can’t even recognize reality any more…let it burn…

RedInMD on January 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Yesterday might as well have been this.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

“The Club for Growth will not oppose tomorrow’s vote on the debt ceiling,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola.

Why do I get a sudden strong urge for a Hershey’s bar every time I see this guy’s name?

UltimateBob on January 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

OT: another shooting, Lone Star college Houston, in progress

can_con on January 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I find this blame thing to be a new norm for our society. Everyone wins/no accountability/everyone out for themselves/short term v long term thinking and actions, et.al.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Thank Dear Leader for that. He basically won reelection in large part by convincing a slight majority of the electorate that everything is still Bush’s fault. Needless to say, that has the GOP scared sh-tless of being victim’s of the blame game going forward.

Part of me gets that. The job of a political party first and foremost is to win elections. It’s kinda difficult to get any legislation passed or enact your agenda if you don’t accomplish that task. So I understand that the Republicans are trying to walk a fine line here where they’re not blamed for any economic or deficit woes(foreign policy can’t realistically be pinned on them, so no worries there), but the danger if they’re not careful is that they’ll go so far out of their way to avoid any confrontation with Obama that the base will turn on them completely and sit 2014 out. After all, why even have them there if they’re just gonna rubber stamp the Obama agenda? May as well hand the reigns back to Pelosi and let the Dems have total ownership of this clusterfark.

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

At the risk of inviting an attack from the harpies, I would like to paraphrase Sarah Palin: If the GOP didn’t have low standards, it wouldn’t have any standards at all.

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

+1 doughboy @2;03

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

BAD precedent.

Czar of Defenestration on January 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I’d say that you are a couple years too late with that. Bad precedent was allowing the Senate to no pass budgets. They should have rejected any move at continuing resolutions at some point instead of just kicking the can.

The debt ceiling is largely an artificial crisis designed so that the filthy rat-eared Kenyan go out in front of cameras and make the claim that the House GOP isn’t willing to pay the debts it already accrued. There is some logic in forcing the hand on a budget as opposed to conflating the debt ceiling, sequestration, and government funding of entitlement programs.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Why even pretend anymore…?

… Raise it to $100 Trillion and then just step back.

It would be like a ring side seat to a volcanic eruption…

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

This is Smoke and Mirrors for the GOP. I’m predicting that the GOP will only have less than 100 members in the House after the 2014 midterms. We have No One to blame but ourselves, we elected these clowns!

Mr. Cantor, just grow some balls and embrace Big Government in public for a change!

jjnco73 on January 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

“The Club for Growth will not oppose tomorrow’s vote on the debt ceiling,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola

Why do I get a sudden strong urge for a Hershey’s bar every time I see this guy’s name?

UltimateBob on January 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Perhaps for the same reason I think of Count Chocula ceral.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

There is a strategery that would force the Dems’ hand, but they refuse to go there. It’s called refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Or failing that(or should Obama ignore it which is a likely scenario), don’t pass anymore continuing resolutions. There’s no executive workaround for when the money runs out. The problem there is the Republicans don’t have the stones to initiate a government shutdown. So instead we’re stuck playing kick the can down the road until the end of Obama’s Presidency. $20 trillion in debt, here we come.Doughboy

I would do this in a heartbeat, however, I follow it. Politically it would be a nightmare since they have not gotten MSM and the low info voters to report let alone explain why they did it. The MSM has been telling everyone things are improving. The govt. manipulates numbers every week and month then revises and no one reports it.

The video pre inauguration showing all those people thinking it was already done proves that way too many people are oblivious.

Can you just see the coverage of a government shutdown today with this Administration and slobbering MSM! It is not the same as when Gingrich did it.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

If they’re smart they’ll add a caveat, “Not to exceed $500 billion.” or something along those lines. The Democrats can not be trusted with money.

bflat879 on January 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Aren’t you happy that conservatives – especially the Tea Party – worked so hard to recapture the House in 2010?

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM

*clink *7%

Get the marshmallows ready

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

great points but I am hoping since ’14 is mid-terms, those of us who do vote and follow this stuff will make more inroads. At least that is what I hope. (I am not counting on it though unless the markets and/or foreign affairs rears its ugly head and forces it.)

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

More days than not, I am in the LIB camp.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

I would do this in a heartbeat, however, I follow it. Politically it would be a nightmare since they have not gotten MSM and the low info voters to report let alone explain why they did it. The MSM has been telling everyone things are improving. The govt. manipulates numbers every week and month then revises and no one reports it.

The video pre inauguration showing all those people thinking it was already done proves that way too many people are oblivious.

Can you just see the coverage of a government shutdown today with this Administration and slobbering MSM! It is not the same as when Gingrich did it.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I’m not gonna deny that this is a far more toxic environment than in the mid-90′s. Clinton had solid approval ratings(mostly due to the economy being good during most of his tenure), but he was never worshiped in the manner Obama is by his base and the media(but I repeat myself). So forcing a government shutdown would undoubtedly bring down an unimaginable sh-tstorm on the GOP.

But at the same time, it’s really the only card they have to play unless they truly believe they can retain the House and retake the Senate in 2014. And no offense to the Republican leadership in Congress, but I ain’t exactly banking on that given their recent track record.

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

The GOP is dead to me. Dead.

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

All blame falls on gop
-lsm memo

No ifs ands or buts

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

+1…

The only difference between the gop and the French is that they are not “cheese eating”… the “surrender monkey” part applies…

Khun Joe on January 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Doughboy you are exactly right he is adored and worshipped! I think they thought they’d make advances in ’12 in House and Senate and that they’d have the WH. I agree with you — unless and until they address the points I mentioned above, I don’t see it changing. Unless O forces their hand to shut it down, I don’t think that is the strategy/tactic they are using. I may be wrong.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Democrats can not be trusted with money.

bflat879 on January 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Between Bush43 and the 2001-06 Congress, Republicans couldn’t be trusted with money either.

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Pre-emptive surrender.

blue13326 on January 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Khun Joe
Heh :)

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Doughboy you are exactly right he is adored and worshipped! I think they thought they’d make advances in ’12 in House and Senate and that they’d have the WH. I agree with you — unless and until they address the points I mentioned above, I don’t see it changing. Unless O forces their hand to shut it down, I don’t think that is the strategy/tactic they are using. I may be wrong.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

We all thought they’d make advances in the Senate in 2012. Seriously, did anyone even on the left predict the Dems would pick up 2 seats? For all the crap people still give Angle and O’Donnell for their 2010 defeats, the GOP still gained 7 seats that year(if you include Scott Brown).

If you look at the landscape for 2014, it would seem to favor the Republicans. Gerrymandering should theoretically keep the House in their hands. The Dems have to defend a crapload of red Senate seats. And Obama won’t be on the ballot and could be very unpopular with a majority of the electorate by next November if the economy continues to sputter and the health care law is as bad as we anticipate.

But on the flip side, I still don’t understand how so many vulnerable Dem incumbents survived 2012 or how a state like Indiana went heavily for Romney while the Senate race wound up going solidly for the Dem. That tells me that the GOP nationally doesn’t have its collective you-know-what together and unlike 2010, the Tea Party enthusiasm that handed them the House will be far less prevalent.

Doughboy on January 22, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Why does everyone worry about who gets the blame? Why not just do what’s right for nation? Isn’t that true leadership, think Reagan and Thatcher cared who got the blame/credit?

Cowards the lot of them.

Jabez01 on January 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Agreed.
The “going in” assumption should be that GOP gets blamed for any adverse outcome and DEMs get credit for any favorable outcome. I’m sure it’s difficult to do, but screw it. Just press forward with what is best for the country and let the chips fall. Make it work. Forget the blame/credit.

freedomfirst on January 22, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Did you idiots get Horseshit Harry to “feel like” presenting a budget yet?

mojo on January 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I think some are missing the point. What the GOP is saying, in effect is, they are going with the automatic sequester – defense cuts and all…. $1.1 trillion over 10 years. That may be the extent of all spending cuts, at least for the FY 14.

There is zero faith in Senate Dems, Obama, or the media to trust any other approach. Rightly so.

matthew8787 on January 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Why is Darth Vader standing in the background, over Cantor’s right shoulder? This can’t be a good sign …

M240H on January 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

If the Senate passes the suspension, then Obama will be isolated in opposition, and the resultant “default” will be blamed on him

In your wildest dreams Ed.

chemman on January 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

The Boehner rule is dead.

May all the weasels lose their seats in 2014, incl. Boehner.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

BOHICA won reelection with 100% of the vote. Plus his district was redrawn to favor him heavily.

In 2014, he won’t lose, but he definitely won’t win virtually unopposed.

Myron Falwell on January 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

If the Senate passes the suspension, then Obama will be isolated in opposition, and the resultant “default” will be blamed on him

The actual blame, such as it is, really should be placed on every living American for having failed their civic duty. The Dems need to be blamed for merely existing, the GOP needs to be blamed for not articulating anything to compel people that there is a better course of action than the Socialist way, and the Conservatives need to be blamed for having placed any sort of trust in the GOP to convey a message of limited government and personal responsibility.

Only one group out of the three will be blamed, and it won’t be the Dems or the GOP.

Myron Falwell on January 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

…suckers.

equanimous on January 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

==============================================================

Telegram to all departments:

After suspension, spend as much as possible, since if any deal will be reached, these spenditures will be automatically rolled into the new debt ceiling limit.

Yes, this as stupid as the cridit card company telling the dead beat who overextended his his credit that for the next months no limit will exist.

Stupidity does not know bounderaries.

huntingmoose on January 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Yesterday, Eric Cantor told CBS News that voters want Congress and the White House to start solving problems.

These would be the same problems that these problem solvers created in the first place?

Good luck with that.

Socratease on January 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

In my column today for The Week, I argue that it at least offers an opening to Democrats to find some middle ground that benefits both parties and the country:

You presume they give a f*ck about either. They don’t.

Midas on January 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM

… and we all know that this is beyond stupidity, right? Why not put that in this week’s article, Ed?

Seriously, Ed – are you guys getting pressured to write more favorably about crap that you’d have roundly denounced as insanity not so long ago? Things have certainly changed of late.

Midas on January 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

This is in fact the most IDIOTIC idea that I have EVER HEARD!

WHO the HELL thinks this is a good idea?

EVERY Representative that votes for this has voted to ABDICATE their congressional responsibility and should be REMOVED from office!

I cannot think of ANY individual action that Republicans could take that could END their existance as a political party as quickly as this one.

Freddy on January 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Pfft! Republicans aren’t serious about the national budget. Cantor posted this photo on his Facebook page after this story was posted on Hot Air.

Can we say talking out of both sides of his mouth?

madmonkphotog on January 22, 2013 at 5:15 PM

One of the problems is that the Dems refuse to stake out a position in the form of a public budget, demogogue the GOP budget and force the GOP to negotiate against itself.

This short term suspension of the debt ceiling solves that problem by forcing a Democrat Senate up for reelection in 2014 to take a position for the first time since 2009 and forces them to either vote up or down the tax increases that will be in a Dem budget. This gets the battle back to the favorable ground of spending cuts v. tax increases.

Additionally, a suspension rather than an increases in the debt ceiling is going to put the government way over the debt ceiling in three months and turn a fiscal cliff into a canyon.

Bart DePalma on January 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Republicans – and conservatives – are in a tough spot.

Before the election, based upon Obama favorable / unfavorable and other poll results, we were convinced the electorate “couldn’t” look like 2008. We weren’t talking about “low information voters” so much (if at all) … we all “knew” the electorate would be more favorably disposed toward our viewpoints.

Because any “normal” candidate with Obama’s economic record would’ve been run out of town on a rail.

And we … were … wrong. Early voting, motor voter, all that stuff helped the Obama machine get its vote out. And, as it turned out, our side didn’t do a good job of motivating our folks to get out – too many voters bought the “Republicans don’t care about ‘normal’ people” line.

Off topic here – - – while I understand why we support entrepreneurs, etc. and agree they create jobs, we need to keep something in mind …. most voters have no aspiration to “be one.” They don’t care if their bosses do well, they want to know that they’re going to do well themselves. “Taking care of the boss” doesn’t guarantee that the boss is going to take care of them – given the “anti-wealth” mentality that’s so central to the Democrat platform these days, I think it’s fair to say the “average schmo” thinks the boss is far more likely to keep the extra $$$ for himself than reward his employees for their contribution to success.

So we’re not winning the argument and saying voters are ‘too stupid’ to understand isn’t a winning strategy. Arguing that we should just “let it burn” isn’t a strategy either – we can’t be complicit in it if we eventually want the responsibility of rebuilding it.

Senate Democrats (and Democrats in general) haven’t had to pay any price for refusing to budget. Obviously, House Republicans discharging their duty to adopt a budget hasn’t won any brownie points – - – Dems just demagogue whatever budget the House passes.

Sounds like House Republicans are trying to compel Democrats to produce a budget. Given the only alternative would be for them to also refuse to adopt a budget – which wouldn’t “play” well – seems like a reasonable approach.

I don’t like the trajectory we’re on either …. but THAT’S WHAT THE ELECTORATE VOTED FOR.

BD57 on January 22, 2013 at 8:02 PM

May all the House Fools lose their seats in 2014.

The land can no longer afford them.

The problems are the maggots among the people.

May all the House and Senate Fools lose their seats in 2014, or 2016 or 2018. I have preached for years that those in Washington are too stupid or too lazy to earn a living anywhere else. The only way that we will get the changes we need in Washington (or at any other level of government for that fact) is to vote out all incumbents until we get the government we should have, those willing to display Public Virtue as called for by Madison and the founding fathers, something we have lost sight of.

georgeofthedesert on January 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM