The debt limit debate has spawned many camps, in a spectrum from left to right. At this point it is unclear what will happen….however I think that if all the factions stay disunited, the WH will end up winning, because in the final analysis, democrats follow orders, and there are enough fiscal RINOs to take them over the top.
Cut, Cap and Balance Republicans, so far a small minority, insist on substantial spending cuts, caps on future spending, and—most importantly—initiation by Congress of a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment (BBA) as a precondition to raising the debt limit. Farther right, some tea party supporters insist that the debt limit not be raised under any circumstances. Not so far right appear the GOP congressional leadership, hard to read, but clearly negotiating with the left and standing firm—so it seems—on no new taxes. But they could easily cave for some milquetoast bandaid that smells as bad as the 2011 CR does, or worse.
The democrats range from simply harangueing all attempts to address the spending problem seriously (showing they know what side their bread is buttered on), to others who insist that the Rich must share in the sacrifice, that the military must be cut, and that entitlements must (and can) be preserved untouched, and that on this course lies fiscal recovery. It’s unclear they will ever forsake these delusions.
All attempts to make a deal based on spending cuts “over ten years” or whatever, are baloney (stronger words are really appropriate). Congress is untrustworthy over 10 months, for goodness sake. If the House leadership falls for this, they will have sold out the Country.
The only true, lasting, effective action that can come out of this mess is a BBA, but I don’t hear much about it beyond the CC&B folks. I think the farther-right tea partiers support it, although not as a ticket to more debt.
But where are Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, McConnell, etc.? Passing a bunch of good legislation in the House, that immediately dies in the irresponsibly-led Senate does not give them much admiration from me. Stopping things, like the debt limit increase, is their only real leverage until we can restore more conservatives to government next year. 2012 is going to be a turning point—either we turn as a nation away from this lunacy and this regime, or the flames will consume us.
I’ve seen no clearer path to a BBA than the Cut, Cap and Balance pledge—all patriotic congressmen should take it. When the number becomes 218, the White House will pay attention.