Saturday, April 23, 2011

Again, The Right Labeled As The Center

Now, this, from Politico's Jake Sherman and Jonathan Allen, is as disturbing as it was predictable:

One day after being named to a presidential task force to negotiate deficit reduction, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fired off a stark warning to Democrats that the GOP “will not grant their request for a debt limit increase” without major spending cuts or budget process reforms....

Republicans are floating a wide range of major structural reforms that could be attached to the debt limit vote, including statutory spending caps, a balanced budget amendment and a two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases and debt limit increases. Liberals want a “clean” vote to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit.

Those in the center simply hope to find an accord that will prevent the nation from defaulting on its obligations and sending global markets into a tailspin.

How did the idea of responsibly raising the debt ceiling- as, according to Politico, apparently is favored by the socialistic Chamber of Commerce- get to be the left-wing position? Sherman/Allen adds

House Republicans are also trying to frame the debt ceiling increase as belonging to Obama: They say that if he wants to raise it he has to sell it to the American people. Democrats — in the House, Senate and White House — seem to have accepted the fact that the debt ceiling will almost certainly need to be coupled with other spending control measures.

With one congressional chamber controlled by Republicans and one by Democrats while the Presidency is in the hands of a Democrat (or so we've heard), it is Democrats who hasten to accept a fait accompli. Perhaps it comes when one party has no compunction against being reckless and advocates a "clean" bill, rather than attaching its own wish list its demands for a debt limit increase.

Democrats really should play on the same playing field as Republicans. Republicans want to turn Medicaid into a bloc grant? Why not a proposal to raise the income eligibility for Medicaid? The GOP pushes a constitutional amendment stipulating a two-thirds requirement for tax increases and debt limit increases? Why not a two-thirds requirement for tax cuts and a provision that the debt limit automatically increases unless Congress takes explicit action by a certain date each year? Or perhaps a provision that triggers an increase in Social Security payments when the consumer price index exceeds a certain rate?

Those goalposts may be heavy, but Democrats are not constitutionally prohibited from moving them themselves.


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