The White House and the Democrats may be at it again! Senate Republican leaders are worried the White House will shovel a last-minute budget deal into the Congress shortly before the August 2, 2011 debt ceiling deadline. The GOP fears an “urgent” proposal on the eve of this date will give the Congress little time to review what’s in it, and the exigent nature of the deal will hamstring them into rushing it through to a vote.
They are right to worry. In all likelihood, the White House (and its willing accomplices among Democratic lawmakers) will pork-up a deal with “investments” (spending increases) and tax hikes. Both are anathema to the GOP right now, and the desperadoes of the left will see this as the only way to continue 60 years of progressive policies. Any deal from the White House is bound to be a Trojan Horse.
Then there’s the emergency nature of the offer the GOP fears, for good reason. Rahm Emanuel’s haunting advice comes to mind: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” If there were to be a corollary to his maxim, it would be: “If you don’t have a serious crisis, then create the perception of one.” That seems to be what’s been happening with the looming debt ceiling deadline.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner, the White House, and many Democratic lawmakers have been repeating the party’s talking points that failing to increase the debt ceiling will be tantamount to Armageddon. I don’t know about you, but I put more faith in the Mayan Calendar’s doomsday prophecy than I do anything coming from Geitner and the rest of the progressive crowd. I think their real fear is that the curtain will be pulled back and they will be exposed as frauds if the debt ceiling is not raised and nothing bad happens.
All the pressure to pass a deal in a hurry reminds me of Popeye’s portly buddy Wimpy. He had a voracious appetite, but no means to buy his own meals. He’d always ask Popeye to spring for lunch, telling him: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Of course, Tuesday never came. It’s the same with the Democrats and their insatiable appetite to spend taxpayer money. They will promise the world in a budget deal, but never live up to their end of the bargain.
Finally, I am concerned about the tone of the GOP’s “concern” over a potential urgent budget deal. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “I’m really worried about it-and we’re not going to rubber-stamp something sent down from the White House.” John Cornyn, Republican Senator from Texas, said a last-minute budget proposal from the White House would be “just irresponsible.” All true, but not nearly as tough as we need our lawmakers to be.
The GOP must demand a timely budget input, or simply leave the White House in the dust and vote on their own proposal. They must rally all GOP lawmakers and find a few defectors from the other side to defeat an unacceptable offer should one come, even if it means risking the “end of the world!” After all, the last White House budget went down in unanimous flames in the Senate: 0-97 votes. No one from Obama’s party voted for it. Strength is on the GOP’s side. Don’t cave.