This is about the three S’s—as will soon be made clear.
After Speaker Boehner’s repeated criticism of Democrats for wanting merely to “kick the can down the road” on the debt-ceiling/spending-cut crisis, we now know what he really meant:
The Republican leadership has no intention of letting the Democrats “kick the can” 100 miles down the road. The Republican leadership is demanding that the can be kicked no more than 90 miles down the road. This is BUSINESS AS USUAL, but at a reduced pace: reduced from 78 RPM all the way down to 77 RPM.
The problem is that NO ONE in the Republican Party, not even from amongst the Tea-Party-elected Freshmen, is calling for the correct actions, or properly defining the debate. The issue is being presented to—and apparently accepted by—the world as “whether or not or by how much to raise the debt ceiling.”
THIS WAY OF DEFINING IT IS A GUARANTEE OF FAILURE. The correct labeling of the issue should be “whether or not to LOWER the debt ceiling !!!”
Someone needs to re-define the terms of the debate. As long as the argument is over whether and how much the debt ceiling should be RAISED, the GREATEST possible victory we can hope to win in practice is: preservation of the status quo. We will forever ratchet forward along the business-as-usual road, with POSSIBLE occasional brief pauses, until we’re over the precipice.
If we want to return to the point where we took this wrong road and get back on the right one instead, then IT’S NOT ENOUGH MERELY TO SLOW OUR CURRENT RATE OF PROGRESS. WE MUST REVERSE DIRECTION TO CORRECT OUR PAST ERRORS. IE, we have to fight for an actual REDUCTION in the debt ceiling, along with tax cuts and spending cuts. We have to cut, cut, . . . AND CUT—in EVERY area.
We can’t cut spending and borrowing if we are increasing the debt. That’s an arithmetic impossibility. ALL THREE HAVE TO BE CUT TOGETHER. In other words:
WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE TERMS OF THE DEBATE TO HOW MUCH WE’RE GOING TO LOWER THE DEBT CEILING OVER TIME. RAISING THE DEBT CEILING IS NOT ON THE TABLE FOR NEGOTIATION—it logically cannot be, if our stated goal is to reduce spending and the size of government.
We need to REDUCE the Size, Scope, and Spending of our federal gov’t. That means REDUCING the debt ceiling, gradually over time, to ZERO. We need to balance the budget and PAY OFF THE DEBT and run the government on a pay-as-you-go basis as the founding fathers intended. Raising the debt ceiling by smaller amounts, or more slowly, or even keeping it unchanged, will not do the job.
The ONLY solution REQUIRES that the debt ceiling come down—HARD.
THE NEW SLOGAN OF THE TEA PARTY AND OTHER FISCAL CONSERVATIVES SHOULD BE TO CUT THE THREE “S"s: CUT the SIZE, SCOPE, & SPENDING.of our Federal Gov’t. NOTHING LESS will save our nation.
Can YOU picture our nation some years from now, having actually weathered the current financial /fiscal/economic crisis and yet being larger in SIZE (more employees and buildings and land owned and payroll etc) than it is now? Or having greater SCOPE (power over a wider range of our private activities, and many more laws and regulations on the books to enforce)? Or greater SPENDING at an even wilder pace than today? I can’t. Such results would be logically inconsistent with having weathered and solved our current problems. We MUST LOWER the debt ceiling if we are serious about solving our nation’s problems.
This MEANS that nothing less than cutting the SIZE, SCOPE, & SPENDING.of the gov’t will do. These are the targets, which will automatically result in a reduced debt over time, if we do enough cutting in these 3 areas. These are the ACTUAL problem areas, with the gov't's debt being merely a symptom of our FAILURE to keep these 3 areas reigned in. Arguing over the debt ceiling is like an excessively obese diabetic planning his diet with the doctor by focussing on how many forks and knives he should be allowed to use.
NOTHING less than CUTTING THESE THREE Ss is acceptable, because NOTHING LESS than that has a hope of working.
But if we must focus on the debt ceiling, will SOMEONE at least ask the right question—ie how much can we CUT the debt ceiling? It’s the only way we’ll have even a hope of getting the right answer out of Washington.