May 1, 2011 3 Comments
This is depressing:
A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt, joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement for consenting to lift the country’s borrowing limit.
The tension is the latest illustration of how the tea-party-infused GOP is driving the debate in Washington over federal spending. And it shows how the debt issue is testing the Obama administration’s clout as Democrats, particularly those from politically competitive states, resist White House arguments against setting conditions on legislation to raise the debt ceiling.
The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a “real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.”
Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is “hopeful” that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit, said her spokesman, Linden Zakula. Klobuchar is also up for reelection next year.
Oh, how I wish that Democrats who surely no better would stand up to this nonsense. The public so doesn’t know best. The best way to get the medium/long term deficit under control (aside from seriously reforming health care), is to do whatever it takes to get the economy really moving again– even if that means spending more money now. Our problem is not that we are all of a sudden spending way more than usual, the problem is that government revenue is way down because of the anemic economic growth and the fact that more than a tenth of American are unemployed or under-employed. Cutting the deficit right now is most definitely now the way any economist outside the Heritage Foundation would suggest to actually increase economic growth. And as for the debt ceiling nonsense, we’ve been over that already.