But House Republicans are providing plenty of drama of their own — and avoiding what needs to be done now.
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All-Drama Obama not only isn’t budging on tax hikes, he’s spinning a narrative that is entirely false.
For Obama and his media cohort, the only allowable question is how to make tradeoffs between tax hikes and debt ceiling increases. But that’s not the federal spending equation millions of Americans voted to impose on Congress last November. The formula they voted for — and which Republicans have so far respected — is an equation that requires massive federal spending cuts to be balanced against small debt ceiling increases.
Obama’s newest “bottom line” is another bluff, and Republicans must call him on it. It was only a few days ago that Obama indicated that he would sign a short-term debt extension if it was the premise for a long-term deal. He’ll obviously go for a short-term deal if the House Republicans pass a good bill quickly and leave it on Harry Reid’s doorstep.
Which Republicans may not do. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reportedly wants a vote on a “balanced budget” constitutional amendment this week. That will be time wasted, just like the time last week was wasted on “Cut, Cap and Balance.” But there are no more days to waste, and precious few left to use productively.
It’s now only eight days before the government will either be authorized to borrow more or begin defaulting on its obligations. And it will be less than that before the rating agencies downgrade America’s debt.
This week, Republicans can — no, must — draft and pass a relatively simple bill to raise the debt ceiling by — as Charles Krauthammer suggested — about $500 billion to carry through the rest of calendar 2011, coupled to at least that much in spending cuts and without any tax hikes. They can do it, and jam it through the House in quick time. It will give the Dems one final chance to stave off default.
It would be an enormous mistake for Boehner to waste more time trying to get a bipartisan deal or to allow the House to spend days debating and trying to pass a balanced budget amendment (which will probably not even pass the House because constitutional amendments require a 2/3 majority. To reach that, Republicans would have to gather about 48 Democratic votes, which simply won’t happen).
A balanced budget amendment will only consume time that must be spent disposing of the debt ceiling problem in decisive fashion. If House Republicans are serious about avoiding a default — and they bloody well have to be — it’s time to write and pass a simple bill. They were elected to accomplish things, not spend time on emotionally satisfying bills that don’t solve the immediate crisis we face.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online