Saturday, July 30, 2011

Krauthammer Says It Better Than I Can

I've been taking some heat for my position that the Tea Partiers should grow up and keep their eyes on the prize - which is the defeat of Obama and the Democrats in 2012 and the winning of a mandate to effect real change in the direction of the country.

Tea Partiers (of which I was one) should realize three things: 1. liberals control the media, 2. most people do not follow political events closely, and 3. about one-half of the population now gets direct benefits from the federal government.

They should also remember that it was George Bush (whom I supported on most issues) who gave us Medicare Part D and a tax system that collects NO income tax from more than 40% of working people.

The Debt-Ceiling Divide

Charles Krauthammer July 28, 2011 NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE

We’re only at the midpoint of the battle to change the ideological course of the country.

W e’re in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state. The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic versus limited-government — have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama’s inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health-care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide.

The sausage-making may be unsightly, but the problem is not that Washington is broken, that ridiculous, ubiquitous cliché. The problem is that these two visions are in competition, and the definitive popular verdict has not yet been rendered.

We’re only at the midpoint. Obama won a great victory in 2008 that he took as a mandate to transform America toward European-style social democracy. The subsequent counterrevolution delivered to that project a staggering rebuke in November 2010.

Under our incremental system, however, a rebuke delivered is not a mandate conferred. That awaits definitive resolution, the rubber match of November 2012.

I have every sympathy with the conservative counterrevolutionaries. Their containment of the Obama experiment has been remarkable. But reversal — rollback, in Cold War parlance — is simply not achievable until conservatives receive a mandate to govern from the White House.

Lincoln is reputed to have said: I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. I don’t know whether conservatives have God on their side (I keep getting sent to His voicemail), but I do know that they don’t have Kentucky — they don’t have the Senate, they don’t have the White House. And under our constitutional system, you cannot govern from one house alone. Today’s resurgent conservatism, with its fidelity to constitutionalism, should be particularly attuned to this constraint, imposed as it is by a system of deliberately separated — and mutually limiting — powers.

Given this reality, trying to force the issue — trying to turn a blocking minority into a governing authority — is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice.

Consider the Boehner plan for debt reduction. The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm calls it “regrettably insufficient.” Of course it is. That’s what happens when you control only half a branch. But the plan’s achievements are significant. It is all cuts, no taxes. It establishes the precedent that debt-ceiling increases must be accompanied by equal spending cuts. And it provides half a year to both negotiate more fundamental reform (tax and entitlement) and keep the issue of debt reduction constantly in the public eye.

I am somewhat biased about the Boehner plan because for weeks I’ve been arguing (in this column and elsewhere) for precisely such a solution: a two-stage debt-ceiling hike consisting of a half-year extension with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, followed by intensive negotiations on entitlement and tax reform. It’s clean. It’s understandable. It’s veto-proof. (Obama won’t dare.) The Republican House should have passed it weeks ago.

After all, what is the alternative? The Reid plan with its purported $2 trillion of debt reduction? More than half of that comes from not continuing surge-level spending in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next ten years. Ten years? We’re out of Iraq in 150 days. It’s all a preposterous “saving” from an entirely fictional expenditure.

The Congressional Budget Office has found that Harry Reid’s other discretionary savings were overestimated by $400 billion. Not to worry, I am told. Reid has completely plugged that gap. There will be no invasion of Canada next year, no bicentennial this-time-we-really-mean-it 1812 do-over. Huge savings. Huge.

The Obama plan? There is no Obama plan. And the McConnell plan, a final resort that punts the debt issue to Election Day, would likely yield no cuts at all.

Obama faces two massive problems — jobs and debt. They’re both the result of his spectacularly failed Keynesian gamble: massive spending that left us a stagnant economy with high and chronic unemployment — and a staggering debt burden. Obama is desperate to share ownership of this failure. Economic dislocation from a debt-ceiling crisis precisely serves that purpose — if the Republicans play along. The perfect out: Those crazy tea partiers ruined the recovery!

Why would any conservative collaborate with that ploy? November 2012 constitutes the new conservatism’s one chance to restructure government and change the ideological course of the country. Why risk forfeiting that outcome by offering to share ownership of Obama’s wreckage?


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At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I'm sorry Russ but I'm not ready to give up on the Tea Party. The fact that Boehner can't get the votes and the backing needed by his own party in the Senate just proves that his hands are tied. He has no bargaining chips. Thanks to the watchful eyes of the Tea Party movement, Leaky Jack Boehner can not give away money for a bridge or a library to buy votes and no more Ben Nelson cornhusker kickbacks or Mary Landrieu Louisiana purchases.
We were all kicking about that not too long ago, remember?
So what you're telling me now is, we should all cave in to these lying Democrooks and go back to business as usual just because we're outnumbered by them and we can't buy votes from Rinos who fear losing their jobs.
The fact of the matter is, we can't have our cake and eat it too. Regardless of the outcome, the USA is inevitably going to lose it's triple A rating and we're all going to be screwed by it. The Democrats are going to spin it so that it's all the fault of the GOP. So what else is new?
It's up to us to keep up the fight. The Democrats would love to see the Tea Party and Fox News go away. Should we all throw in the towel and help them? I'm not and you shouldn't either. The way I see it right now, Obama's approval ratings are in the toilet and I think they're going to remain there until we're rid of him.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

I haven't given up on the Tea Party, and I've said all that I can. You are over-reaching, and, until yesterday, so were they.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

This worthless president and those fool Democrats don't even have a plan except the Reid plan which their own party won't even support. Raising taxes and Foolish spending is not a plan, nor is printing more money. Of course Obama is going to try and use scare tactics.
If our service men and women don't get paid, it won't be because the government ran out of money, it will be because Obama held it from them. You can rest assured that ACORN and all his other far Left organizations are still going to get funded. So let them close the government down for a while. It won't be the first time that has happened. We shouldn't have to give them anything.
The only thing that this Left wing Marxist has done since he's been in there is give to the big unions and far Left organizations. He stuck us with a healthcare that is ruining this country. If a lot of people had their way, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi would be tarred and feathered and run out of Washington on a rail.

At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krauthammer has got it wrong- but he's in good company. So many misguided political hacks (Republican and Democrat) have reached the same stupid conclusion. And that is, when you are in debt, the answer is two fold: raise the debt and raise taxes. Krauthammer seems to be saying that since the Republicans only control one branch, they can't affect change. Wrong. The Dems can not pass anything without it being passed/approved by the House. That is a tremendous amount of power. But Krauthammer believes all this can be resolved in the 2012 election. Charles, what happens if the Republicans do not gain control of the Senate or the Presidency?? What then? Then kiss the USA good-bye. We become another failed socialist state. Is Krauthammer going to be OK with that? The point is, we can make significant change now. Not later. There may not be a later.

All the moderate Republicans and the RINO's must be dancing today. The news this morning is Congress is close to a deal, a "compromise". I'm afraid it is a deal with the devil and it will almost certainly hurt Americans now but especially those in the future who will have to bear an enormous tax burden. With taxes go a loss of freedom. Thank's for the compromise. I feel a tingle up my leg.


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