Sunday, May 01, 2011
Back in March, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he said he would “vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit, unless it is the last one we ever authorize, and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
On Friday, Sarah Palin said on Fox News, “Hells no, I would not vote to increase that debt ceiling. Otherwise it just shows the American people we’re not serious yet. We’re still going to incur more debt. No and we don’t have to increase the debt ceiling in the next few weeks. It turns my stomach to hear this assumption articulated that ‘well we have to,’ despite the fact we’re raking in, the federal government, six billion a day. Take that money and service our debt first and pay down some of that debt. Make sure that we’re showing the international financial markets and our lenders that we’re serious about getting our debt and our deficit problems under control.”
“Hells no” is an interesting turn of phrase. Dante said there was more than one hell – nine of them, to be exact. The ninth and worst hell was reserved for traitors. They spent eternity frozen in ice.
There’s increasing talk of demanding hard spending caps and a balanced budget amendment, in exchange for one last debt ceiling increase, as Marco Rubio proposed. I respect the arguments made by advocates of this approach, and it seems in line with the way Washington works – deals must be struck, compromises reached, and so forth. I lean more toward the Palin prescription, though… and really, aren’t she and Rubio saying essentially the same thing?
Take away Palin’s churning stomach and invocation of the infernal, and swap in Rubio’s list of demands that Congress will never meet, and you end up in the same place: the hells of no. If Rubio is serious about his terms, he’s just one disappointing Senate vote away from standing on Palin’s ground.
The Obama Administration notoriously tried to suppress Standard & Poor’s warning about the danger to America’s credit rating. This warning was not meant as some kind of threat, to pressure Obama into doing S&P’s bidding. They were projecting what might happen in the next couple of years. Muzzling them wouldn’t have made the danger go away – it would just prevent us from knowing about it. That is not the behavior of a government preparing to get serious about its irresponsible spending policies. […]
One way or the other, the New Deal and Great Society models of government will be an unhappy memory in a few more years. All we control is how unhappy the memory is. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to your face. The “debt ceiling” is a lie if we keep raising it. Let it become truth instead, and let us have an end to the treachery of empty promises, made by politicians who should no longer be allowed to pretend they don’t know any better. Otherwise, we’ll be the ones who end up frozen in ice, on the rapidly approaching day when we have consumed all the debt in the world.