Budget Compromise: Just Say No
If a budget deal isn’t reached, the federal government will shut down this Friday at midnight. It’s one of those situations that no one wants, and if it happens, both sides will likely play the blame game well into 2012. The bottom line is that we are heading towards bankruptcy and Democrats are convinced that taxing and spending is the solution to every American woe. Of course, we know the opposite is true.
The Republicans, on the other hand, are struggling to stand firm on their principles and keep the promises that swept them into office earlier this year. The 2010 elections were as much a referendum against the status quo as the 2008 elections were against President Bush. That’s precisely why Republicans need to have the courage to simply say no to big government and out of control spending. Instead, they ought to be demanding deep and long-lasting cuts to the federal budget.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a problem for Republicans or Democrats. The problem belongs to us, the American people. We are the United States of America, which means this is our government, our budget crisis, and our money. I reconcile my budget several times a week, and I’ve learned the hard way that if you consistently spend more than you make it results in bankruptcy. We must balance our checkbooks and manage our resources responsibly, and it’s time for Congress to follow our example.
That said, House Republicans shouldn’t waste their time trying to compromise with the same Democrats who refused to negotiate when their majority crammed the healthcare bill down our throats last year. There are some issues where meeting in the middle is appropriate, or even beneficial, but fiscal responsibility isn’t on that list. Every concession the Republicans make equals a loss for the American people; a loss we literally cannot afford.