Two articles below. Be sure to read both
Sunday Danger: Tell Congress, "Don't Raise Debt Ceiling"
GOP Has Upper Hand
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Please copy and past this article below and send to Arkansas Congressmen by email or by fax or if you can't do that, call them. Contact information is included below the article. They need all the encouragement and support they can get to face the hostile media on this issue. They meet tomorrow on this issue, Sunday, but if you can't get to it by then do it anyway because they usually take days to finish up an issue.
GOP has the upper hand
Friday, July 1, 2011
In allowing his frustrations to bubble over on national television, the president showed just how weak a hand he holds in the debt-limit standoff-and why Republicans will win if they stand firm.
Obama complained that he had agreed to“some painful spending cuts . . . and we’ve shown a willingness to do that for the greater good.” Now, he said, it is time for Republicans to compromise as well on taxes. Here’s what the president does not seem to grasp: Compromise here isn’t spending cuts for a tax increase; compromise is spending cuts for a debt-limit increase.
Republicans elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 campaigned on a promise to reduce the national debt. They are being asked, just half a year later, to turn around and vote to raise the national debt. Most Republican voters don’t want them to raise the debt limit at all.
The only way these Republican legislators can vote for a debt-ceiling increase without getting thrown out of office is to show their constituents that they secured, in exchange, unprecedented cuts in current spending, and ironclad constraints on future spending. Tax increases are not even part of the equation.
Obama probably understands this. He is using the tax issue to extract other concessions, such as GOP agreement on his plan for deep cuts in defense spending.
Republican leaders should not fall into Obama’s trap. They need to realize that they have the leverage in these negotiations. What is Obama going to say if GOP leaders simply refuse his demand for tax hikes or defense cuts? “Sorry, Mr. Speaker, no deal-let the country default”? Of course not. The president does not have the luxury of letting the debt-limit talks fail and then blaming the GOP for a government default. If the dire predictions of his Treasury secretary are to be believed, the consequences of a default would be so calamitous that Obama cannot allow it to happen. He must sign whatever debt-limit increase Republicans give him.
This means Republicans hold all the cards. So why on earth are they even thinking about giving Obama deep cuts in national defense in exchange for dropping his demand for tax increases that he knows he will never get? Obama has cut more than $400 billion in defense programs since taking office, and he has proposed an additional $400 billion in defense cuts over the next 10 years.
In other words, our men and women in uniform will effectively be paying for Obama’s failed stimulus with cutbacks in needed equipment, training and force structure. Does the GOP really want to pay for the stimulus on the backs of our military? If Republicans aspire to be constitutional conservatives, their first responsibility is to provide for the common defense. Congressional Republicans should not be a party to Obama’s plan to hollow out our military.
Republicans should also be the ones making the demands-starting with more domestic spending cuts. Obama said Wednesday that he is willing to go along with more than $1 trillion in spending cuts-but that does not come close to the kind of reductions needed to change the trajectory of our spiraling debt. We need trillions more in spending reductions and a balanced-budget amendment that will force the government to live within its means.
If Democrats balk and the Treasury’s August 2nd deadline arrives without an agreement, the sky will not fall. Republicans can simply pass a small, temporary increase in the debt ceiling-and attach some of the spending cuts Democrats reportedly accepted in the negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.
If Democrats won’t sign on to an acceptable agreement when that temporary increase runs out, Republican leaders can pass another small increase with still more of these spending cuts attached. They can do the same thing again . . . and again . . . and again.
Democrats will cry foul, but in the end, the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass, and Obama will sign, every temporary increase the House approves-because the alternative is unthinkable.
The message from Speaker John Boehner should be: The GOP will not allow the government to default-but Republicans will not raise the debt limit without deep cuts in federal spending and Republicans will not raise taxes or hollow out our military, period.
In his response to Obama Wednesday, Boehner made clear that there would be spending cuts but no tax increases in any deal. Now he needs to be equally clear and resolute when it comes to raiding our defense budget.
Marc A. Thiessen, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes a weekly online column for the Post. ###
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Arkansas US Legislators
Member Name DC Phone DC FAX Contact Form
Senator Mark Pryor (D- AR) 202-224-2353 202-228-0908 http://pryor.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm
Senator John Boozman (R- AR) 202-224-4843 202-228-1371 http://boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me