Republicans have settled on a strategy for extending the Bush tax cuts that seems counterintuitive and destructive to the economy: Revive the debt ceiling battle. John Boehner tossed the first salvo this week when he held a press conference to declare that there would be no further increases in the debt ceiling without one-for-one spending cuts. This is his declaration after he also declared that the triggers in the last "deal" weren't ones he was willing to abide by. In other words, he will renege on the deal made last summer in order to try and kill Social Security and Medicare.
Mitch McConnell played that card in his interview with Bob Schieffer this morning where he dropped a few bombs into the dialogue. He begins with his usual snide comments about how President Obama "needs to act like an adult", which is nothing other than code for calling the President to heel to Republicans' demands. And what are those demands?
McConnell told host Bob Schieffer that the president has had three-and-a-half years to tackle the deficit, but "we could not get this president to do anything serious about entitlement reform, for example, the single biggest threat to future generations."
This is, of course, untrue, but McConnell doesn't stop with that generalization. No, he elaborates, saying that US national debt exceeds the US economy, which "makes us like Greece." Not so much, Senator McConnell.
Here are some questions Bob Schieffer should have asked and didn't:
- Why are Republicans intent on cutting Medicare and Social Security when the bulk of our national debt is the result of Bush tax cuts?
- Why are Republicans ignoring the FACT that federal spending and the deficit are lower today than they were at the end of the Bush administration?
- Why is Republicans' word worthless? They agreed to the "deal" made at the last debt ceiling raise, and they're reneging. Who's the adult again?
This message needs to get out to voters: Republicans are intentionally trying to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear to keep the economy from growing in any significant way. They are intentionally sabotaging any effort to drag the United States economy back from the brink for nothing more than sheer political gain, and they don't care about spending or the budget in the least unless a Democrat is in office.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be discussing the debt ceiling right now. None whatsoever. There is no reason to be discussing cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The only thing worth discussing is how to get this current batch of insane Republicans out of the House and Senate so we can actually make some progress.