10 May, 2011

Maybe Speaker Boehner Read My Open Letter

He’s certainly acting like it. Well, not on the budget negotiations, but on the coming debt limit increase vote.

Most significantly, the speaker will demand that any increase to the debt limit be offset by spending cuts of a greater amount. “Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase,” Boehner plans to say, according to excerpts obtained by National Review Online. “And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions.”

In other words, if President Obama wants to be able to borrow trillions more (and he does), he will have to consider meaningful reforms to entitlement programs — the primary drivers of the country’s debt problem — in exchange for Republican votes.

And he’s made it clear that raising taxes is a non-starter.

As stated above, the only way we’re getting to trillions of dollars of savings is through entitlement reform. Actually, that’s not completely true, as was shown in my most recent post regarding Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) budget plan. You can also get there with bigtime economic growth. But the likely way to get there is through entitlement reform.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that the figure they’re looking at is $6 trillion in cuts.

Well, all I can say is they’re saying all the right things and walking tall now, and I applaud them for that.

But to say that I’ve been disappointed on these fronts by Republicans before would be the understatement of the century. So, color me skeptical. I can’t see our big government President being willing to give up trillions of spending on all his pet projects. And, unfortunately for them, Speaker Boehner (R-OH-08) and Kyl have boxed themselves in a corner now. Whatever they end up with is likely going to be a huge disappointment to the base, myself included.

I applaud them shooting for the moon. And I hope they get close. But I’m definitely adopting a wait and see attitude on this one.

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