The Republicans need to wake up! We may be too late to retake the White House, but if the disheartened Republican establishment won’t get the job done, then they should feel free to move over and let the more able-bodied, spine-possessing factions of the right take over from here.
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer just days after the election, Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke about the looming fiscal cliff over which America will careen if a deal isn’t struck to eliminate the tax hikes that are coming January 1st. In this interview, Boehner spoke with a defeated tone that signaled a willingness to wave the white flag rather than to commit to fiscal responsibility.
Boehner, who has earned the ire of fiscal conservatives in recent years with his tough talk and weak follow-through, claimed that the tax increases are “unacceptable.” But in the same interview, he claimed he was willing to sit down and discuss the issues with the president, who has stated that he would veto any deal that does not allow tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.
While President Obama is gearing up for war and making threats of vetoes, Boehner is coming out of the gate with an “I’ll stand firm…maybe” approach. Obama, emboldened by the promise of second term, will now revel in his increased “flexibility” that he had spoken of to the Russians.
On a side note: if only Obama showed half the spine to the rest of the world leaders as he does to Republicans within his own country, maybe we wouldn’t be getting pushed around on the world stage.
Most alarming about what’s going on in Washington is the mindset taking hold. While Boehner oozes passivity, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has shrugged off concerns of raising the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling, set at $16.394 trillion, will be reached by the end of the year. But don’t worry, Reid has a plan for how to deal with it.
Reid recently claimed, with regards to the debt ceiling, “If it has to be raised, we’ll raise it.”
Oh, good, I was afraid our leaders in the Senate didn’t have a plan to deal with our rising debt crisis. Silly me, the solution was there all along- we’ll just raise the limit. Problem solved…
Around the same time as we reach the debt ceiling, we will be reaching the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff, to which it is widely referred, is the looming economic catastrophe just around the corner. On January 1st, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire, and the Democrats in Congress, in conjunction with the Obama Administration, have promised to stick it to the much-maligned “rich people” who are the real job producers in America by extending tax cuts for lower and middle classes while de-incentivizing investments and growth by providing tax hikes for the upper class.
Just prior to the Sawyer interview, Boehner stated,
“A balanced approach isn’t balanced if it means that we increase the amount of money coming into the coffers of government but we don’t cut spending and address entitlements at the same time. A balanced approach isn’t balanced if it’s done in the old Washington way of raising taxes now and ultimately failing to cut spending in the future. A balanced approach isn’t balanced if it means slashing national defense instead of making the common sense spending cuts that are truly needed”
While that is refreshing to hear, Boehner and his more-moderate cohorts have not been too keen on holding the tax-and-spend Democrats accountable. There has been much tough-talk on the hill, but as we reach the fiscal cliff, the Democrats seem to be speeding up in this game of chicken, while the Republican leader seems to indicate a passivity that is increasingly noticeable.
This is precisely why America can no longer afford moderate, weak-willed Republicans. Compromise can be a valuable tool in diplomacy, but the Republicans have been approaching the issues of spending, taxes and debt entirely too timidly from the start of negotiations. It’s very simple, we cannot afford to go further into debt. We cannot afford to continually try and make the numbers work by taxing the producers of society without making drastic cuts to entitlements.
Bottom line: Boehner may talk tough, but the weak, mainline Republicans in Congress have been on the losing end of fiscal fights with Democrats. Enough is enough, we need to get serious on dealing with our economic problems while we still options.