Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boehner Says that Trillions Need to be Cut before Raising the Debt Ceiling

John Boehner, talking like a politician, has been speaking the past few days on the talk show circuit about the debt ceiling debate. Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling to continue the unabated government spending, while new Republicans typically are not interested in raising the debt ceiling. Behold, the great moderate! Boehner says that the debt ceiling needs to be raised to sustain the reputation of the United States, but he wants trillions in spending cuts. Not billions, trillions, is what he has in mind. Only if serious spending cuts are enacted will Boehner agree to raising the debt ceiling.

Despite the great fanfare that such a proclamation should entail, I am less than skeptical. Frankly, I expect nothing to come of it. Republicans are not interested in such spending cuts. They say they are, but they have no idea how to tackle the issue. These people are politicians first, and public servants second. These spending cuts will mean that social safety net programs will have to be scaled back. That is a tremendously unfavorable position to take. But if trillions are to be cut, this is the only way that it can be done. Do we really expect a political party, whose main goal is to get its members elected, is going to allow this loser of an issue to go through? This party full of brilliant political strategists is going to let their members crash and burn and get portrayed as great satans while the Democrats use the opportunity to look like knights on white horses?

There is no way that it is going to happen. The party that gets serious about spending cuts is the party that loses the next election. That is simply the fact of the matter. Yes, trimming the budget is the best thing that could happen to the nation, and it definitely needs to happen. However, just looking at this issue from a political standpoint, no one is going to take it up. Sure, there are the lone voices that take up the issue and have their small contingency that supports them, but is a party as a whole going to support the issue? Not in my lifetime.

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  1. Dang, Tony, you are even more cynical than I am. Although I think you are right that nothing serious is going to happen, I sure would like to go down swinging.

    And Boehner is next to useless. He hasn't got a glue about how to play poker.

  2. You are cynical, but with reason. Voters talk a good game about slashing the budget, but scream when a sacred cow is slaughtered.

    Progressives set up the system well, spreadin' the goodies around. You cannot cut anything in the budget without hurting someone or someone's interests.

  3. Yup Jim and Silverfiddle, I am very cynical. I just don't trust politicians. Well I do trust them, but only to do what is in their best interest. The fix is not to put our confidence in politicians, but to put strict limits on the power of the central government.

    The population at large can fix it. Amendments can be passed by state conventions. That is, essentially, the popular will usurping the power of the legislatures. It's a long shot, but I can't think of anything else.