It’s All the Republicans’ Fault

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
By Paul Martin

by Anthony Gregory

If the debt limit is once again raised, guaranteeing more crazed deficit spending regardless of any promises accompanying the deal, blame should fall squarely on the Republicans.

The GOP controls the House of Representatives. They command the federal purse strings. Nothing can force them to raise the debt ceiling. There is no justification for raising it under any circumstances. Default is a perfectly valid option, discouraging lenders from continuing to enable Washington’s gluttonous and destructive spending. Or the government can simply cut $1.6 trillion for the next fiscal year and operate according to its revenues.

The House Republicans can easily tell Obama: “We refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Period. Now let’s sit down and talk about what to cut.” And no matter what the president does, the House leadership can refuse to pay for his expensive programs. It is that simple.

Of course, the Republicans would need to propose real spending cuts – not tens of billions or even hundreds of billions but over a trillion. The U.S. could go back to its penny-pinching budget of 2002. You know, back in the horse-and-buggy days of nine years ago, when the federal government remarkably managed to survive on a mere two trillion annually.

This could be done. Or the Republicans could say: “Let’s slash all military-related spending by half, means-test Social Security and Medicare, cut the bureaucracy of every single department by 50%. It’s either that or nothing. We refuse to vote to raise the debt limit.”

But this will not happen, because the Republicans have absolutely no interest in cutting government. These are the clowns who nearly doubled it when they had the presidency in the 1980s and increased it by over half during the Bush years. They love big government about as much as the Democrats.

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