Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 29, 2011 / 27 Tammuz, 5771

The Debt Ceiling and 2012

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is true, so true, as Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, argues in the Washington Post, that the doyens of liberal media have been attempting to paint tea party members as the villains of the debt-ceiling confrontation. But this shouldn't surprise. From the inception of the movement, liberals and Democrats have purported to see dark and dangerous trends afoot. The movement has been insulted as stupid and radical, and slandered as racist and nativist.

Perhaps liberals have a hard time understanding the tea party phenomenon because it's so at odds with the spirit of the times. Those funny 18th-century costumes they sport at rallies have a deeper meaning than simply a reference to the original Boston Tea Party. Unlike most 20th- and 21st-century political activists, tea party members are not asking for anything from the federal government — not "full funding" for this or that program, not more research for this or that disease, and not more tax exemptions for this or that industry. They simply ask that the federal government not spend more than it collects in taxes and not continue its suicidal expansion.

Tea party activists are excellent patriots — but during the debt-ceiling confrontation, some have displayed an obtuse and even vain rigidity.

Phillips, for example, argued that "Boehner is not listening to those who elected him and is now pushing a plan with almost nonexistent budget cuts" and urged a no vote. Sen. Rand Paul vowed that he would not vote to raise the debt ceiling until after a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution passed . Rep. Jason Chaffetz explained his unwillingness to back Boehner's bill this way: "I really truly worry that the debt is one of the single greatest threats to the United States of America, that we're talking about a problem that is multitrillion (dollars) in its depth, and I think we ought to be cutting more. I just don't think it goes far enough."

Of course the Boehner bill doesn't solve the debt problem. The debt is 98.6 percent of GDP. A debt of that magnitude will take years to tame. Unlike debt-ceiling increases in the past, this one at least sets the precedent of requiring dollar-for-dollar cuts.

The Democrats control the Senate. The presidency is occupied by a Democrat. Those two uncomfortable realities severely limit the good that can be accomplished at this moment.

But precisely because the stakes are so high — Chaffetz is right about the threat — the overriding concern must be to change those realities. And so the first responsibility of members of Congress as well as grassroots activists should be to do nothing that will impede the election of a Republican president and Republican majority Senate in 2012. If Republicans control the Congress and the presidency after 2012, they will have unlimited opportunities to cut the budget, decrease the debt, change the rules that permit government spending to increase on autopilot, and (one hopes) adopt the kind of pro-business policies that will encourage rather than impede economic growth.

Bill Buckley famously (Did he say anything that wasn't famous?) declared that he would always support the most right-leaning candidate who could win . Similarly, we should support those policies and tactics (not a dirty word) that are most likely to lead to good outcomes for the country.

House Speaker John Boehner, dealing with a remarkably ideological president, could not get a compromise. Despite dueling primetime speeches, it remains unclear how voters will interpret the impasse. But the president has to be worried that he seems quite prepared to bring down economic ruin on the country if he is denied a tax increase on "millionaires and billionaires" (by which he means those earning more than $200,000, by the way). He owns the lousy economy, the budget deadlock and the debt. Unless...

Unless Republicans play into his hands by seeming equally indifferent to the results of a failure to raise the debt ceiling. And for what grand purpose? Because it doesn't solve our problems all at once? That would be a Republican default in many senses of the word. It would permit Obama to share blame about the state of the economy with them. He and a compliant press will use every opportunity to attribute anything that goes wrong in American life from now until November 2012 to Republican intransigence on the debt ceiling.

One of the ways Democrats operated over the years was to pocket what they could get and circle back for more later. They didn't get Hillarycare, but they got expansions of Medicaid and then S-CHIP and finally Obamacare. It was a successful tactic. Republicans should learn from it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles