The public is in the mood for repairing America's crumbling financial house. Democrats will have a more difficult time demagoguing spending cuts when they have been primarily (though not entirely) responsible for the ocean of red ink.
The Debt Commission will issue its report on Dec. 1. Many conservatives suspect it will include a call for tax increases. Republicans should say "no" to any tax hikes and focus entirely on government overspending and misspending. Many of us are ready for strong medicine. "We can't afford it" still rings in the ears of those old enough to remember what parents or grandparents said when we asked for an expensive toy as a child, or a car at 16.
That Puritan ethic remains in the DNA of many Americans. It is now up to Republicans to get it out and remind us of what fiscal and personal responsibility can do to restore financial solvency. It may take a while and there will be some discomfort and even pain involved. But in the end, we will all be better off than we are now and much better off than we will be if we fail to reduce our unsustainable debt.