It has been said that politics is the art of compromise. The Republicans hold the House, but the Democrats control the Senate, and a Democrat holds the veto pen. Even if the GOP runs the tables in 2012 and takes control of the entire government, they would not want to fall victim to arrogance, as the Democrats did in 2010. All that talk of the other side “not doing a lot of talking right now” and “riding in the back of the bus” led to a Republican landslide.
And yet… what good does it do America, in an hour of momentous decisions, to make a compromise with ruin?
The path to insolvency was a long one. The political class did not make a single decision to run up $14 trillion in debt. It was the product of an attitude that said bigger government meant caring, compassion, and “progress.” It was a cascade of “emergencies,” each requiring a little more deficit spending. We have arrived at the bitter, broken end of a decades-long fairy tale about pots of gold hidden in the vaults of faceless, wealthy men, just waiting to be pried from their greedy fingers and redistributed to the deserving poor.
What meaningful “compromise” can be reached with this system? The Democrats want us to submit to vast new taxes, accept a few paltry spending cuts, and perhaps reduce our deficit from $1.3 trillion down to half a trillion or so. That’s not good enough. It merely delays the terrible consequences to come.
The triple-A credit rating of the United States stands in serious jeopardy because of President Obama’s wild spending spree, and his obvious lack of seriousness in dealing with the resulting debt. If we lose that credit rating, the interest we pay on our $14 trillion debt will double, or perhaps even triple. We would soon find ourselves paying a trillion dollars a year, just to service the debt.
That’s going to happen anyway. It’s just a question of when… unless America dramatically changes course. We need to scrap and replace the system that brought us to the edge of ruin, not cut deals with it.
We can learn from the mistakes made in the last budget debate. The Republicans began with promises of $100 billion in spending cuts, quickly negotiated themselves down to $61 billion, agreed to a “compromise” of $38 billion with the Democrats… and then allowed most of those “cuts” to be delivered amid swirling clouds of blue smoke and shimmering mirrors. Instead of making Democrats pay a political price for their feral devotion to Planned Parenthood funding, the Republicans obligingly slipped the effort to defund that monstrous and fraudulent organization into a separate bill, which died quietly in the Senate. Our debt increased by $54 billion in the week it took Congress to hammer out a final deal to cut it by $38 billion. That approach isn’t going to work. It’s going to destroy us.
The Left doesn’t bargain that way. President Obama began his term by grabbing $800 billion of taxpayer money and pouring it into slush funds. He followed up with a trillion-dollar health care takeover. Spending bills were passed so quickly that liberals in Congress boasted of having signed them without reading them, because there was no time to waste.
The national debt has increased by $4 trillion since President Obama took office. If the Republicans had gotten the $100 billion in cuts they promised the Tea Party – which would have been a truly historic achievement – they would have recovered 2% of the money Obama has spent in just two years. We have to do better than that, if we want any more historic achievements in America’s future.
The Democrats want a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling in May, with no conditions or requirements attached. America should not comply with this demand. Amendments to permanently cap government spending as a percentage of GDP, and require a balanced budget, should be the minimum and uncompromising requirements. This is not a time for Republicans to win a few debating points, and bank a little political capital for future contests. The future is dying right now.
Make the Democrats ask the American people to support a system of limitless debt and inevitable ruin. Require them to name a debt total that would be high enough to satisfy their greed. $15 trillion? $20 trillion? Force Democrats to admit that no amount of taxation could possibly wipe out the debt they incurred, by throwing the numbers at them until they break, or flee the stage. Make them do the compromising for a change.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s show last night, Sarah Palin described an unconditional increase to the debt ceiling as “another tool for the liberals to just incur more debt.” It is long past time that tool was taken away from them, forever.