The White Flag Republicans
by JBS President John F. McManus
Only a few weeks ago, there was going to be a real fight over raising the debt ceiling. GOP leaders were poised to force President Obama’s hand. The U.S. government was running out of money again and, if not given a green light by Congress to borrow more, Uncle Sam would be unable to meet obligations – not only to Americans but to foreigners as well. Crisis loomed on the horizon if the debt ceiling weren’t raised!
Also, a new debt ceiling could have been set to occur before the November elections. It could have been created to show the public that Democrats running for office this Fall are members of the reckless spendthrift party, the party that is most responsible for piling up debt for today’s and tomorrow’s children. And that would be good for the Republicans, even good for the nation. All this would occur if the need for another raise in the debt ceiling before Election Day 2014 could be blamed on Democrats.
But it didn’t happen. When decisions had to be made, Republican leaders gave their opponents in Congress a blank check extending into 2015 – well past the date when the mid-term elections would be held. Credit GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio for caving in. They engineered a deal whereby increasing the debt ceiling could continue – without even a limit! – until early 2015. The November 2014 elections will be over by then and federal indebtedness will hardly be the issue it could have been.
As of March 5, 2014, the admitted National Debt stands at $17,449,362,830,163. That’s $17.5 trillion, and the figure does not even include huge unfunded obligations (Social Security, Medicare, etc.). The debt total for each person in America is $54,912. And the accumulated debt rises by $2.65 billion every single day.
Stopping this madness is imperative. A giant step toward needed sanity could have been taken by extending the allowable debt figure only so far, making any further increase occur prior to the 2014 elections, and beginning to cut back on spending. But McConnell and Boehner folded, 28 of the 230 House GOP members went along, Republicans in the Senate weren’t numerically strong enough to resist, and Congress produced so-called “clean” debt ceiling increase. The term “clean” meant there would be no real actual ceiling, and reckless spending could continue with no one shouldering obvious blame.
The golden opportunity Republicans had to increase their numbers in the House and take control of the Senate died. Subsequent cries for replacing both McConnell and Boehner have grown stronger. Many have decided that the McConnell-Boehner opposition to the suicidal course our nation has adopted amounts to no opposition whatsoever. Is surrender in your credo, too?