We are closely following the debate on the federal debt ceiling issue.
I wrote a column that was published in yesterday’s Salem News, updated
it for this weekend’s Eagle Tribune, can’t keep up. Just want to say
We taxpayer activists are part of the most important debate in recent
American history, if not since 1776. It’s important that we get this
right. To us: the President, Democrats and U.S. Senate are temporarily
irrelevant, nothing we can do about them right now; our focus so far has
been the debate not between right and wrong, but between two strategies.
One was the Boehner Plan to raise the debt ceiling in return for some
kind of cut, some kind of cap, and a required 2/3 vote in both branches
sending the Balanced Budget Amendment on to the states for ratification
for their legislatures, before the debt ceiling can ever be raised
again. The other was the principled Tea Party resistance to anything
that raises the debt ceiling without serious cuts, caps and balance.
The first group contains not only Speaker Boehner, but Congressmen Paul
Ryan, Eric Cantor, Allen West, Mike Pence, and others who are solid
taxpayer friends; columnists Thomas Sowell, George Will, Charles
Krauthammer; and our own Grover Norquist. president of Americans for Tax
Reform. All are practical, rational people who are focused on doing the
best we can right now with just one branch in our control, and then
winning in 2012.
In the second group is Sarah Palin, who was threatening primaries
against those who supported the original Boehner Plan, and more
impressively, Senator Lindsey Graham, who made the strongest case for
the principled Tea Party position Thursday night on Fox News.
Thomas Sowell is my intellectual guru. But Lindsey Graham probably
understood the real value, or lack thereof, of the Boehner proposal
better than most; he is used to being bi-partisan but couldn’t do it
this time. Now he will probably take a lead in the Senate battle. Never
really sure what he or our junior senator, Scott Brown, will do in the
end if the Senate comes up with its own plan.
The pressure from the Tea Party bore results: the original Boehner Plan
was changed to include the balanced budget amendment language, and it
all passed the House Friday night. Now the House has THREE good-faith
efforts (which includes the Ryan budget), and the Senate and President
have none; the Senate killed the Boehner Plan late last evening.
My favorite plan is still the National Taxpayer Union’s “One-Percent
Spending Reduction Act,” which cuts one cent of every dollar spent each
year for six years, then caps spending at 18% of GDP. This is getting
momentum now as the “Penny Plan” of Congressman Connie Mack and Sen.
Rand Paul; Sen. Marco Rubio has just signed on to it. Maybe this will be
the 4th Republican Plan to pass the House!
One thing I know for sure: we must not feed the Obama/Democrat machine
with a nasty internal battle among the various Republican strategies.
Palin was wrong to threaten. We need to honor all the Republicans who
are struggling to solve the problem, and make “plans” to have even more
debt-decrease warriors after the next election.