Conservatives are wondering. Who is Speaker John Boehner? We have our suspicions but we aren’t quite sure. Is the Speaker a lost soul (to conservatives) or might he purify himself with a courageous stand against building the country’s mountain of debt even higher. The opportunity for redemption and promotion is certainly there for the Speaker and the moment of truth is at hand.
President Obama is pretty much bumbling around in this debt debate, fearmongering through class warfare, even as his approval numbers are returning to the low 40s. The House is supposed to vote on Cut, Cap and Balance this week. Boehner hasn’t exactly jumped on that bandwagon and he keeps making disturbing references to McConnell’s sellout position in the Senate. Here’s how Boehner characterized the McConnell plan as reported by Politico:
“Mitch described his proposal as a last-ditch effort in case we’re unable to do anything else,” Boehner told reporters Thursday. “And what may look like something less than optimal today, if we are unable to reach an agreement, might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now. I think it’s worth keeping on the table. There are a lot of options that people have floated. And frankly, I think it’s an option that may be worthy at some point.”
This is what we’ve been told Cut, Cap and Balance will look like:
The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011
>>>Cuts total spending for fiscal year 2012 by $111 billion. Reduces non-security discretionary spending below 2008 levels, saving $76 billion and $35 billion in in additional custs to non-veterans, non-Medicare and non-Social Security mandatory spending.
>>>CAPs total federal spending, reducing outlays from 22.5% of GDP in 2012 to 19.9% of GDP in 2021.
>>>Balances the budget by requiring the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment before rasing the nation’s debt limit. The debt ceiling limit increase is contingent on the BBA passage by congress AND the legislation being sent to the states for ratification.
Why $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase? The President has requested that the debt limit increase by this amount. This amount is less than the amount of the spending cuts in this bill. A debt limit increase of this magnitude is a major sacrifice on the part of House Republicans, which is why it is made contingent on measures to ensure that the federal budget is permanently under control.
Cut, Cap and Balance is a plan, the only plan out there other than Paul Ryan’s noble effort which the president did his best to kill on arrival. President Obama doesn’t have a plan. His so called budget presented months ago failed in the Senate 97-0. His skunk got skunked. So, we are left with CCB and it’s an effort the TEA party representatives can get behind. The freshman reps are serious about controlling spending as reported in the NYT:
“Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind,” said Representative Tom Reed, a freshman Republican from upstate New York. “Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. We came here not to have long careers. We came here to do something. We don’t care about re-election.”
Unfortunately, Senator Mitch McConnell has come forth with his non-plan to let Obama have his way raising the debt limit. Putting aside the Constitutional issues of such cowardly legislation, it undercuts Cut, Cap and Balance. Old Mitch really hates him some TEA Party. He’s still fuming over Trey Grayson losing to Rand Paul.
Patriots are you getting the picture? Here’s how this thing is starting to shake out. The House takes a vote on CCB. If it gets 218 votes, it goes to the senate where it will either lose or never get a vote. Boehner and McConnell say, heck we tried and now let’s turn the whole thing over to Obama. It’s their plan folks . . . to wash their hands of the responsibility to do something significant about spending. It’s cynical and devious. It’s the same old B.S. GOP leadership. SSDD.
But wait. Speaker Boehner hasn’t chosen hell over redemption. Not yet. Those of you inclined to scream bloody murder, do so and make it quickly. Those of you who pray, now is the time.