The national dialogue, at least the one being choreographed by Democrats and their amen chorus in the liberal Beltway media, has been distorted beyond measure. We are asking the wrong questions and getting the wrong answers.
Let's focus on the real problem. We are in a national debt crisis -- present tense; this is not something that might occur in the future. Medicare and Social Security trustees just issued the grim report that Medicare's fiscal hole has deepened by an additional $2 trillion and its projected date of insolvency has been moved up five more years to 2024. Social Security was already $49 billion in the red last year, and its projected insolvency date has been advanced to 2036.
Meanwhile, S&P lowered America's long-term credit rating from "stable" to "negative," and CNN Money warned that this means there's a one in three chance that S&P will downgrade our AAA credit rating within two years. Also, Pimco, the world's largest bond fund with $1.2 trillion in assets, has already sold off all of its U.S. government holdings.
So, the media shouldn't be asking the Republicans whether they intend to play brinksmanship with the debt ceiling, suggesting that if they refuse to raise the limit again they'll cause the United States to default on its obligations and plunge into a financial catastrophe.
Instead, they should be cornering their most favored president and his Democrats and asking them why they are AWOL on our debt crisis. They should demand an answer on why they didn't produce a budget in 2010 despite having control of both houses of Congress, an egregious act of neglect that hasn't occurred in a couple of generations.
Obama and the Democrats should be asked why they continue to perpetuate the myth that Republicans are going to force a default on our national obligations if they don't agree to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats know the government won't default on its obligations because the interest on the debt represents but a small fraction of the budget. It is other expenditures that will have to be delayed -- something that's unthinkable to these rapacious spenders.
But since the liberal press is not going to do its job, the Republicans and the alternative media need to do it, with considerable frequency and volume. Obama and his Democrats need to be placed on the defensive. They are the primary drivers of this spending; they are the obstructers of entitlement reform, and the national debt continues to burn while they fiddle.
We need to dispense a little of their own medicine to them and turn the PR tide against them. Behind their aggressive accusations against Republicans, beneath the veneer of their fear mongering, lurks a sordid absence of engagement on the major issue facing us today.
We need to ask them, "Why do you refuse to join Republicans in serious and concrete spending cuts and entitlement reform (as distinguished from your insincere promises to curtail spending at some indefinite time in the future) prior to raising the debt ceiling? Why do you continue to excoriate Republicans for insisting on such urgent legislation? Do you deny Paul Ryan's report that bondholders and the financial markets are far more concerned about the United States not bringing its fiscal house in order than about not raising the debt ceiling? Do you deny that the United States will honor its interest and principal payments irrespective of its having reached its debt ceiling?"
"Do you plan to come to the table anytime soon and present concrete proposals of your own, or do you intend to stonewall through the 2012 election, calculating that you can win re-election simply by slinging arrows at Ryan for attacking the third rail of politics and its cousins?"
"Or are you too busy directing the National Labor Relations Board in its lawless war on Boeing, our largest exporter, in favor of your union bosses; directing Eric Holder's unconscionable decision to prosecute CIA interrogators whose work product made possible the bin Laden raid; directing Kathleen Sebelius as to which of your political friends will receive Obamacare favoritism waivers; directing your EPA's overt war against offshore drilling; directing your administration's refusal to protect America's borders; and devising ways to mistreat our ally Israel?" Oh, that's right. You never interfere with the prerogative of your "independent" agencies. My bad.
Obama and the Democrats have no excuse under the sun for their wanton failure to address our debt crisis. It's time they answered for it.