Weekends mean the phones on the Hill don't get answered.
Twitter rolls on, however, and whether or not Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy check their feeds, their staffs do.
So it is a great time for folks to note the Twitter addresses of @JohnBoehner, @EricCantor and @KevinoMccarthy as well as @GOPLeader and @GOPWhip. The next 72 to 96 hours will impact your future greatly, and your opinions ought to be in front of the GOP's Big Three.
Congressman McCarthy was my guest on Thursday's radio show. The transcript is here. The Congressman assured my audience that no "deal" involving the debt ceiling and spending cuts and tax hikes had been reached between the president and the Speaker and that no deal would be sprung on the GOP Caucus and the country.
McCarthy also ruled out any change to the home mortgage interest deduction which along with the charitable deduction are the two most important features of the tax code for most middle class Americans. (Not even the president would be politically obtuse enough to attack the charitable deduction even for the highest income levels as those deductions power the churches, hospitals and social service agencies overwhelmed by the effects of the Obama economy.)
So this weekend may bring word of a modest agreement to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling by a like amount, which would generate equal measures of encouragement and scorn from the conservative grassroots and the Tea Party activists. The freshmen can vote for a deal that really does cut spending and raises the debt limit by a like amount, however, even as they cannot vote for a deal that raises taxes.
What is worrisome is the temptation that the president will present to John Boehner that he be part of a "historic deal," one which would overhaul the tax code (and make tens of millions of dollars for lobbyists at the same time.)
The country doesn't need this president to negotiate a tax code that he doesn't understand so that it can cripple employers for decades into the future.
It doesn't need Harry Reid to hold the keys to scheduling votes and debates on such an important undertaking.
The country needs to get to November 2012 and let the people decide whether they fully understand their folly of 2008 and desire to return to the idea of a flourishing private sector and low unemployment, even as it repeals the dead weight of Obamacare.
In short, the message for the GOP leaders this weekend --oh, go ahead and try the Congressional switchboard 202-225-3121-- is "Don't go big. Play small ball."
Cut spending and programs and agencies like NPR. Get the big government train stopped and if possible moving slowly backwards. Don't derail it and don't presume to build a high speed rail to the future.
The employers of this country cannot handle another year of uncertainty about what they will or will not be taxed for and on.
Home builders and home buyers need to know the rules under which there asset is valued aren't going to be changed.
Not-for-profits need to assure donors that their deductions are safe.
Behaviors change in response to tax rules so a months- or years-long secret exercise in deal-making is the last thing a fragile economy needs.
So this weekend, twitter away to the five addresses above with the message: cut, cut, cut and then cut some more. Then go home. A job well done is much better now that a "historic deal."
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