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Debt Ceiling Aftermath

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Now that peace has temporarily descended upon the nation’s capital and this sordid episode in the life of our Republic has come to an end, behold my review of the Movie of the Week: “High Noon at Debt Ceiling.”

1. Thankfully, we are actually discussing a decrease in the size of government. Of course, there’s really nowhere to go but down since Obama and his cronies in Congress went on history’s biggest spending binge. The problem, of course, is that we’re cutting far too little, especially in the next couple of years. Most of the proposed cuts have been left for future years to avoid any pain.

2. The Republicans did a reasonable job, considering that they control only the House of Representatives while the Democrats control the Senate and the Presidency. The 85 freshmen need to continue their push towards fiscal sanity. No matter how horribly they are vilified by the Washington establishment, the mainstream media, and the political left, they are on the correct path. They need to enlarge their group in the House, get more Senators elected, and replace this President – and then we can see some real change.

3. The Republicans are still playing too nice. Example: Senator John Thune (R-SD), a wonderful man, recently appeared on Meet the Press with Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). When Ms. McCaskill accused Republicans of “giving taxpayer checks to Big Oil,” Thune should have asked her what checks she was talking about. When McCaskill claimed that she is one of the Democrats supporting entitlement reform, Thune should have asked her to identify which reform bill she has introduced or co-sponsored. She got away with these fabrications only because she wasn’t called on them. This happens all the time. We cannot depend on the press to do their job, so we must do it for them.

In another segment of the show, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm – who is redefining herself as a wise, experienced head – was taken to task by Raul Labrador, freshmen Congressman from Idaho. When she asserted that the “Tea Party” needs go along with the Washington establishment, he cited her dismal record as Governor, an eight-year stretch in which unemployment in her state increased more than 8%. He later took on David Plouffe, who regurgitated the same old liberal scare tactics, claiming that our soldiers wouldn’t get paid if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised. Mr. Labrador dissected him with facts and a smile. This needs to be consistently done.

4. This debate was utterly necessary. The American people are now JUST beginning to come to their senses about the fiscal disaster being perpetrated by the federal government. Unfortunately, they’re not yet quite where they need to be. When Americans are asked where to reduce expenditures, they’re still strongly against cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pension benefits for retired government workers, and farm subsidies. We need to better educate the public on the long-term viability of these programs, if only to overcome the outright lies by demagogues like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Our nation’s ongoing financial crisis needs to stay in the public focus until every American realizes that even the most popular federal programs need wide-ranging reform in order to remain solvent.

5. The Republicans must continue to strive for a Balanced Budget Amendment. They need to make Democrats explain why they are against it, have it voted on in both chambers of Congress, and then take it to the people in November, 2012.

6. The potential downgrading of America’s creditworthiness has little to do with the debt ceiling and everything to do with the gargantuan spending plans proposed by the Obama Administration. Forgetting the irony that until recently these companies (such as Moody’s) were awarding AAA ratings to bond portfolios backed by subprime loans, the fact that the federal government is borrowing 40% of every dollar spent meant this had to happen. People want assurance that they are going to be repaid even when the bond is backed by the largest economy in the world.

7. President Obama was abysmal throughout this entire process. When he wasn’t being a whiner, he was fear mongering. Even Jim Cramer, whose reputation is someone who endlessly yells and screams, stated on Meet the Press that Obama panicked the markets and “created tremendous fear.” Cramer’s summary was short and to the point: “[Obama] caused the panic, not the media.”

No President has ever acted so irresponsibly. Presidents are supposed to calm the people, not send markets into a frenzy. His fear tactics if not directly responsible for the sinking stock market was a major impetus for the fall. It’s no wonder that Peggy Noonan called him a loser. But take this to the bank – not only will he lose re-election, he will lose in a landslide. He is fried. The American people are done with him and wish the election was next week because they understand that as long as he is office, this economy will not recover. He doesn’t have a clue what to do, and everything he will try will be counterproductive unless Republicans can stuff some pro-private-sector policies down his throat. Our single most important objective for the next 15 months should be to replace this President – in order to save the Republic.

My friend Dennis Prager says that he (Prager) seeks clarity over agreement. Well, Dennis (along with the rest of us) got a hefty dose of clarity this week. Now we just need to concentrate on defeating Obama and the more irresponsible members of Congress. When that happens, our economy will once again explode with growth. After all, my friends, this is still America!

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