GOP takes stand on debt, ceiling collapses on kitchen table

Why would the GOP bring to the floor of the House a bill, Tuesday, that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced, when he even says it is a bill that “will and must fail?” Of course it did, with less than half of Democrats supporting it.

They just want to bring the economy under President Obama down, so they can blame him. It doesn’t matter much to them if their transparent intransigence rightly frustrates centrist voters. Their goal is raising a rabble from the Right. Once again they drive the conversation, frightening more than half of the House Democrats to vote against a bill that would raise the debt limit with no spending cuts, a plan the White House and Democrats had been pulling for when the conversation about the spending limits began.

There is a lot of smoke and mirrors around this ploy, to be sure, but the biggest misdirection comes at the expense of the Tea Party people who really don’t want the debt ceiling raised at all. Pay attention to what Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) released on Wednesday:

any debt limit increase needs to be met with even larger spending cuts”

Notice that the 150 economists who Speaker Boehner cites in his statement don’t say not to raise the debt ceiling. They say raise it, but also cut spending. The TP’ers, you see, believe that raising the debt limit will mean the government will spend more, something that is incredibly shortsighted on the stage of global economics. The Republicans know that. That’s why the Speaker’s statement does not say they won’t raise the limits; it says they will only raise it when there are “spending cuts.”

But even though the Republicans pitch it to their base as kitchen table politics, it’s a giant kitchen in a house with lots of rooms that depend on what Mom and Dad decide, and if they talked to their credit card companies, they would find out that if they carry no balance, their available credit will go down and their interest rate will go up, because there’s money made in managing money.

President Obama and his administration, though, have already lost the argument to keep the debt ceiling and spending cuts separate issues. The answer to cutting what the government spend is to insist on raising the debt limits, then let’s talk about spending.


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