“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mitch McConnell's Sensible Debt Limit Recommendation

I read yesterday's lead staff editorial in the Wall Street Journal describing GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell's idea for Congress to allow Wonderboy to unilaterally increase the debt limit in three steps through 2012.

According to the editorial, many conservatives think McConnell is bailing out on the GOP and Tea Partiers. But I found myself agreeing with the piece's position, i.e., the Republicans, controlling only the House, and not the Senate nor White House, were not ever guaranteed of being able to force the president to compromise on the debt limit issue.

Nobody will want to be responsible for a default, so even the GOP House will eventually have to vote for the increase. McConnell sensibly sees that Wonderboy has played the 'Grandma's going to lose her Social Security because the Republicans won't make the rich pay their fair share of taxes.' Whatever fair share means in that context.

But it's a good idea to simply cut to the chase, end the faux-negotiations, and offer the Democrats an option for Wonderboy to increase the limit on his own, with no GOP votes in support.

It's impossible for a party holding only one house of Congress to make the president of the other party knuckle under on something like this. And as the Journal's editorial noted, the longer the GOP waits to relent, the worse it will look, and perhaps even be.

The piece quoted former Texas Republican Senator Phil Gramm as having said, to paraphrase,

'Don't take any hostages you aren't prepared to shoot.'

Clearly, the GOP isn't truly prepared to have the US default on its debt interest payments.

But as soon as Wonderboy went to the fear card, rather than working with Geithner to figure out how to meet the most important obligations without a debt limit increase, the GOP gambit was basically over. It's not going to shoot that hostage.

It's enough, for now, that most intelligent observers have seen that the president was never serious about cutting spending. He only wants to tax and spend some more.

Point taken.

Now the Republicans can offer a means by which the First Rookie can cement his big spending image on his own, or with House and Senate Democrats, and let the GOP continue their refinement of their spending reduction and tax reform messages for 2012.

No comments: