Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Principled Opposition to "The Deal"

Andrew McCarthy joins Rush, Levin, and Erickson. He makes the point that this should NOT be political; that it is only so because the Party In Government makes it so. To McCarthy, the cave-in is craven, and precisely counter to the will of the people.

He's right, of course, no matter the pundits (here in Milwaukee) who get their talking points from the usual suspects.

...Ask any rational person: “When a government is so addicted to reckless spending that it has run up a crushing $14.3 trillion debt that it has no plan to pay back — when it is borrowing $180 million per hour because it has taken on more obligations than it could ever hope to satisfy — would it be better to extend that government’s credit line another $2.5 trillion so it can continue heedlessly along, or to take every available opportunity to force it to alter course dramatically?” There is only one right answer to that question.

Yet, try to fashion a policy position around that right answer, and what do you find? None less than the Dr. Sowell, as fine a mind as there is, warning that we can’t do the right thing because we’ll be wrongly blamed for the consequences. None less than the eminent Charles Krauthammer spouting the lamest of GOP talking points: Because Republicans only control one-half of one-third of the government, it is constitutionally problematic for House conservatives to continue demanding deeper spending cuts, to refuse to allow the nation to be driven trillions deeper in debt, and to treat an existential threat to our country as an existential threat to our country.

...The only sure thing here is that there will be consequences. With due respect to Dr. Sowell and the Republican establishment that breathlessly cites him, there is no chance of sparing the country. The major economic disruption is already happening, and it stands to get far worse. Millions are unemployed, millions more are on public assistance, at unsustainable levels. The government has sharply devalued the dollar, and is gearing up for a third round of “quantitative easing” (more money created out of thin air). Like private-fund managers, our sovereign creditors, including China, Japan, and Great Britain, are showing increasingly less interest in buying our debt, so Treasury “borrows” (prints) mostly from the Fed — whose swelling $2.7 trillion balance sheet is reportedly leveraged 55-to-1. That’s twice what Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were leveraged when they failed. To entice real lenders, interest rates will have to be raised. That will add hundreds of billions to our debt service, wiping out the paltry “savings” the Boehner plan purports to achieve.

(Bill Buckley proudly 'stood athwart History yelling "STOP!"'.)

We return to the Party-In-Government (PIG) meme:

...But today’s Republican establishment shoulders plenty of the blame. In the first six years of the George W. Bush administration — when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, with Speaker Boehner then among the GOP’s House leaders — the debt ceiling went from $5.95 trillion to $8.97 trillion. It had taken a decade (from 1987 to 1997) to increase the ceiling by the $3 trillion it took to get to $5.95 trillion. Republicans took only six years to do it again. Under President Bush, who has reportedly whipped GOP lawmakers to vote for the Boehner plan, the national debt rose by almost $5 trillion, to $10.6 trillion — i.e., it nearly doubled.

Paul Ryan--who actually DOES know better--was part of that cabal. By no co-incidence, he still is part of that cabal today, along with Sensenbrenner, Ribble, Duffy, and Whats-his-name from Wherever. Paul likes that "one-half-of-one-third-of-Gummint" line a lot, you know.

Bush’s profligacy pales by Obama standards. The current president is spending the nation into oblivion. He has taken less than three years to run up almost $4 trillion in debt.

To the fundamentals:

While every issue has political overtones and consequences, that does not make every issue political in its essence. The debt-ceiling controversy is not, as Republican leadership and its cheerleaders maintain, about politics. It is not a matter of, “If we don’t handle this correctly, if we push this too far, if Americans think we’re too extreme, President Obama will be reelected.” The debt ceiling is about the debt, not about how politicians can optimally position themselves to evade accountability for the inevitable consequences of the debt.

As to Ryan's bleating over "half of.......":

The people, quite emphatically, want out-of-control spending dealt with. Their representatives have the power to effectuate that desire. The president can try to insist on borrowing and spending more, but the House gets to say no — and, on this matter, it is the president who should yield. That is not a constitutional problem; it is the Constitution in action.

But hey! There's an election coming up, you know.....but the real question is this: will that election really matter?

HT: ColdFury

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"...but the real question is this: will that election really matter?"

Obama will be reelected, and 30-35 frosh GOP might hold their seats...the rest are one and done.