Meanwhile, Republicans had better prepare to downgrade the Supercommittee.
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Liberals are screeching that Obama lost the debt ceiling deal because it makes massive cuts in spending. That’s nonsense. The only thing Obama and his statist cohorts have lost is the precedent. Before the debt ceiling deal, no actual reductions in federal spending could be made (and there’s a good argument that they still haven’t). Nevertheless, if small cuts can be made, bigger cuts are possible. Which is what Republicans have to dedicate themselves to do, even if it means pulling the trigger mechanism of the supercommittee.
We know what’s going to happen when the congressional “supercommittee” reports in November. Democrats will have insisted on huge tax increases, compromised not one bit on spending, and Republicans will have agreed to tiny tax hikes in exchange for tiny spending cuts. Neither will agree to do anything about entitlement spending in the election year. So deadlock will result and the “trigger” will be pulled. Democrats prefer confrontation to real compromise because they have no intention of abiding by the debt ceiling deal in any event.
The Dems will try — in every bill that Congress considers this year — to raise taxes and spending regardless of their commitments in the debt ceiling deal. Republicans can’t be bound to a deal the Democrats will reflexively violate.
Republicans shouldn’t fear a deadlock, nor should they respect a deal the Democrats will violate continuously. Republicans should embrace supercommittee deadlock because it will present them with an opportunity to win parts of what they lost in the debt ceiling deal. When the supercommittee reports a deadlock and the trigger is about to be pulled, Democrats will count on Republicans being overcome with fear of blame. At that point, House Republicans can vote down the two debt ceiling increases on the straight up-or-down vote called for in the debt ceiling deal and bring the whole debt ceiling “crisis” back to the boiling point. That won’t be enough because the Democratic Senate won’t vote for a resolution of disapproval, but Republicans can regain the initiative and serve up a political shockwave that may knock out Obama or create a Republican Senate majority or both.
Republicans should then put the Dems on the spot by proposing a comprehensive bill, like the one I proposed two weeks ago. Raise the debt ceiling through the 2012 election, but include specific and immediately effective spending cuts in a ratio of at least $3 in cuts to $1 in debt ceiling hike. Impose entitlement spending cuts by means testing, enabling those under 45 years of age to opt out of Social Security, and call the Dems’ bluff. Pass it through the House and leave it on Harry Reid’s doorstep.
If Republicans go along with tax hikes or retreat from real spending cuts, they will lose the economic battle and probably re-elect Obama.
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?