Robert Knight

What really needs to happen long-term is serious reform of the entitlement systems that are bankrupting the country. A key element is block granting funds to the states so Washington won’t be able to skim so much and create perverse incentives. For a primer on why the 1996 welfare reform can be a model for restructuring entitlements, see the Carleson Center for Public Policy’s site at

In the current debt drama, Obama is posturing outrageously, threatening old people, the disabled, and others that he would turn into victims. The whole thing reminds me of that tongue-in-cheek magazine cover years ago showing a dog with a gun to its head, and the words, “Buy this magazine, or we’ll kill this dog.” Replace the dog with a picture of grandma and you have Obama’s subtle message.

“Our country is on the edge. Our capital looks like a lunatic asylum to many of our own citizens and much of the world,” Dionne laments in a rare, spot-on description.

He has a solution: “We need to act now to restore certainty by extending the debt ceiling through the end of this Congress.”

You mean so Obama can continue his insane spending spree and keep the debt question off the front pages until after 2012? Finally, “Republicans need to decide whether they want to be responsible conservatives.”

Chew on that for a minute while reflecting on the fact that Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid, unlike the conservative-led GOP House, has not produced a budget in two years. If that’s being a “responsible liberal,” then what does an irresponsible liberal look like? Insert your own punch line here.

A CNN poll released Thursday shows that a majority of the folks in the survey, don’t want the debt ceiling raised. Sixty-six percent do favor this proposal: “Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved.”

That’s cut, cap and balance in a nutshell. But wait. Those polled are a bit conflicted. In the same survey, 73 percent want to increase taxes paid by oil and gas companies. Apparently, they won’t mind when these costs are passed on to them at the pump, or they haven’t connected the dots.

Another 76 percent responded to Obama’s latest class warfare gambit by favoring an increase in taxes on businesses that own private jets. And finally, in another burst of Marxist, redistributionist spirit, 76 percent say they want to increase taxes “paid by people who make more than $250,000 a year.”

It’s too bad that so many people apparently despair of ever making that much. It tells me that we can’t expand Junior Achievement programs fast enough. Also, that we need to redouble efforts to break the monopoly of government schools that teach children socialist economics.

As the debt ceiling deadline approaches, Republicans, and Democrats who want to save what’s left of our country, had better throw away the bottle of Old Profligacy, sober up, and take up the Tea Party mandate to cut back government and restore our constitutional republic.

It’s not what Mr. Dionne, Mr. Obama or Mr. Reid would recommend, but that’s one major clue that it’s the right thing to do for not only the GOP but for our country.

Robert Knight is Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.