As the partial shutdown of the government collides with an alleged deadline for raising the debt limit, the tap dance goes something like this:
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives won't end the partial shutdown unless President Obama agrees to talk about changes in the nation's health care overhaul and steps to curb the deficit. The president will talk to Republicans on those and other topics, but only after the government is fully reopened and the debt limit has been raised. The problem is, if the GOP agrees to those terms, spending will increase, the debt will become greater than the $17 trillion it is, mortgaging the future of our children, and health care changes won't be made.
We know this is what will happen based on President Obama's five-year track record.
Also based on track record, President Obama's version of negotiating involves him getting what he wants. So the only legitimate means of getting the president to bargain is to get him in a corner, no easy task with a complicit media on his side.
Those who care about this country need to ignore the slings and arrows they will take from the media and the panicked talk that will come from the administration and president in the coming week. They need to focus on what needs to be done for the good of the country. Instead of extending the debt limit, the discussion needs to be about reducing that debt. Instead of forcefeeding a health care package clearly not ready for implementation, the discussion needs to be about delaying it and making changes in the coming year that will improve health care for all Americans.
Obama, who as a senator criticized President George W. Bush as "unpatriotic" for running up the nation's debt and voted against raising the debt ceiling, has doubled the debt as president despite policies that have resulted in a record tax revenue coming into the nation's coffers.
He has maxed out the charge card with spending that is out of control. We suspect any thorough examination of the nation's spending right now would easily uncover billions and billions of dollars in waste. There is no other way to explain a debt that has doubled in five years.
Congress needs to freeze the use of that charge card President Obama has been using and instead start paying it off. Caving in to the likes of Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, who incredibly said two weeks ago "there is nothing left to be cut," won't solve the problem.
Just the tax revenues that come in each month to our federal government are more than enough to make the nation's debt service payments.
The nation's debt won't be turned around and its health care system won't be improved in a practical way unless all parties talk with legitimate purpose and practical consensus in mind. Five years of the Obama administration and his Senate spinmeister, Majority Leader Harry Reid, tell us that simply raising the debt ceiling will accomplish nothing but a continuation of policies currently endangering the country's future.
- Williamsport Sun-Gazette