As you may recall, our trillon-dollar government does not actually have a budget at the moment. Its funding is managed with a huge Etch-A-Sketch, which Congress shakes furiously every few weeks by passing another “continuing resolution.” The most recent resolution runs out on April 8 – just one short week before Tax Day, by a delightful coincidence.
Resistance to improvised mega-government has been building with each new resolution, and a few Republicans have reached the breaking point. One of them is freshman Florida senator Marco Rubio, who declares in a Wall Street Journal editorial today that he will “vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit unless it is the last one we ever authorize and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
Since none of those things is going to happen in the next two weeks – let alone all of them – it sounds like that’s going to be a “no” vote from Rubio. He’s got some optimistic suggestions for how to accomplish his goals, but the cold fact is that Democrats have absolutely no helpful input to offer whatsoever. Not only are they intellectually bankrupt and completely determined to ride the deficit bomb all the way down to ground zero, but they’re salivating over the thought of a government shutdown.
Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and head of the Democratic National Committee, told a National Journal panel he’s “quietly rooting” for a shutdown, because “all these tea party people who are dependent on Social Security and Medicare and all these other things, when those checks stop coming, believe me, their constituency’s going to go even lower than it has been after the fiasco in Wisconsin.”
Let me get this straight: Social Security and Medicare are completely solvent, nothing to worry about, give Harry Reid a call in 20 years if you still think there might be a problem… but if we don’t raise the debt ceiling again on April 8, they’re going to instantly crash and stop generating checks?
The Democrats have nothing to contribute except the mindless chants they’ve been caught rehearsing. Their gamble is that Americans have become too weak and dependent to confront the threat of government bankruptcy before it actually blows up in their faces. We can’t think further ahead than next week, so they won’t bother pretending to plan any further ahead than that.
Remarking on Democrat Chuck Schumer’s open-mike gaffe in a Fox News interview, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky said the true “extremist” position is “having a nearly two trillion dollar deficit in one year,” and paying “hundreds of billions of dollars in interest” on the national debt. It has become sadly clear that sanity will never return to Congress unless the debt ceiling remains in place. The extremists are the ones who think $14 trillion in debt is not extreme. Marco Rubio is the latest Republican, and among the most eloquent, to make it clear that unless there are permanent systemic changes to compel the Democrats and their President to act responsibly, last time was the last time Congress would receive a fresh crate of rubber checks.