President Obama took to the airwaves and laid much of the blame or potential blame for the upcoming budget battle at the feet of the Republicans in the House. He said the debt ceiling must be raised to pay for spending that Congress already committed and while he's "open" to spending cuts, he still hints at additional tax-based revenue. In fact, the remaining tax-based revenue is largely what the Republicans pitched at first that he and the Democrats rejected. So why does he want them now?
GorT has a plan for the GOP. Let me spell it out:
1. Immediately respond to the White House's latest announcement that the President's budget will not be delivered on time to Congress by demanding that the President adhere to the law and deliver the budget on time per the Constitution. While this is largely a positioning statement as the President's budget means little else than there two items: (1) it provides an insight into the President's budget priorities and (2) it provides an insight into how well the President understands the federal budget.
2. Congress should agree to a debt limit increase to a value that matches the projected national debt for the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) on September 30, 2013. In negotiations for this increase, the GOP should require a federal budget to be in place for this and any subsequent increases to the federal debt ceiling (Heaven help us if we need to continue to raise it) - with explicit language disallowing any debt ceiling increases while the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution (CR). The President is claiming that we need to increase the debt ceiling to cover the spending Congress already incurred. Fine, let's fix this by using the federal budget process that we should have been using but the Senate has IGNORED for over 3 years! Instead of living off of CRs and allowing the slow growth to the debt, we would know at the time the budget is passed what the impact is and it would be publicly known what is going on.
3. The GOP should, during this time (from now until the budget vote in late summer), should stick to serious fiscal conservative principles and work to address the structural problems to our federal spending. Simply put, they need to take on the various mandatory spending programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other "entitlement" programs). This debate should be open and public so the public really understands (or at least has the ability to take the time to understand it) what the problem is. The GOP should boil it down as the Gormogons have done in the past and show where the money is going and how much we're bringing in and how we're almost at the point of borrowing every dollar spent on discretionary programs (largely all the day to day operations of the federal government).
The time is now for the GOP to step up and take a responsible lead on the fiscal issues.