EDITORIAL/Reduce the $17 trillion debt
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 3:15 PM
Ending the federal government's partial shutdown should involve a core commitment to reducing the nation's $17 trillion debt.
For many Americans, the fight is less about ObamaCare than government overspending and how that's impacting their children and grandchildren.
House Republicans have offered compromises, from repealing ObamaCare, to defunding, to delaying, to delaying just the individual mandate and the congressional exception.
But throughout it all, the White House and Senate Democrats have refused to deal since the shutdown began at midnight last Monday. For them, it's all or nothing.
The House has sent at least eight bills to the Senate to fund vital services like veterans and the national parks. Harry Reid has killed them all. None of these bills even mention ObamaCare.
The Founders built the friction into our political system. It's entirely Constitutional. Bad laws can be defunded or repealed and good laws can be undermined when the wrong people are elected.
The Bush tax cuts were the law of the land and Democrats spent years trying to undo them, so there is no harm politically in trying to undo the jobs-killing ObamaCare.
Of the 17 shutdowns in American history, Democrats controlled the House during 15 and had charge of both chambers during eight. Five shutdowns happened under unified government. Most were tied to one thing like abortion.
The quaint notion that there is no obligation to negotiate because one branch of government "won" an election would be odd to the architects of our government and great leaders of the last decades.
Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican leading the ObamaCare revolt, smacked down CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday for calling separate spending bills "blackmail" when that's been the practice of Congress for hundreds of years.
Only recently has the so-called continuing resolution come into play, mainly because Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget since 2009.
Crowley's blackmail charge is false and without merit. Constitutionally, bills become law and then spending originates in the House.
The President and his men talk loosely about "default." But the U.S. takes in $250 billion a month in taxes. Interest payment on the debt is $20 billion. Talking default is irresponsible, but it's a good scare tactic.
Rivals and allies have said Speaker Boehner has no plan to resolve the crisis and they've called Cruz every name in the book.
The government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis are overblown in the media and a tactic to pressure Republicans.
Don't give in. The focus should be on shrinking government because federal spending is out of control.
Both sides are guilty of being stubborn, obstinate and hardline, but what most Americans want is compromise, yet the President refuses.
Healthcare reform is essential, but ObamaCare has a lot of problems that are already driving up rates for many Americans and throwing some into 30-hour work weeks.
The shutdown is hurting Americans and should end with compromise and conservatives standing on principle.
The New York Times called ObamaCare glitches a "pent-up demand for health insurance" that overwhelmed the new federal healthcare exchange, but the difficulties point to larger issues of government incompetence.
As for the debt, both sides are to blame. When Mr. Obama took office, the debt stood at about $9 trillion, but now stands at $17 trillion - and the Democrats want more.
Republicans have gone along to get along for years and haven't stood on principle often enough when it's come to spending.
Even in East Mississippi, we're dependent on the whole integrated system of government and policy that supports the economic and welfare system.
The President's default rhetoric is leading the country to the brink. Americans are not going to remember the congressional leaders or individual members, but they will remember Mr. Obama and his shutdown.
The President has an obligation to lead, to negotiate.
The spectacle of veterans being turned away from monuments and shutting federal websites like the one dealing with abducted children all appear to be punitive acts.
Efforts to use state monies to reopen federal parks were rebuffed. A private inn along the Blue Ridge Parkway was ordered shut.
Dems are inflicting the maximum pain possible on the American people to make a political point.
Eleven shutdowns ended with a deal, five were resolved with an agreement temporarily to fund the government while debate continued, and one ended with Congress overriding a presidential veto.
History is not on the side of the Democrats' no-compromise, they-won argument.
There's this debt ceiling and the next one that's coming and the next one after that.
When will the spending stop? Can principled, constitutional conservatives prevail?
Republicans in Congress should stand their ground, demand an ObamaCare delay and extract out of this impasse a sizable reduction in government, especially the $17 trillion debt.