“We are now the knights who say ‘ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!’”
—Michael Palin as the Head Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Left’s Spin Machine is in high gear, and it’s wavering between the bizarre and the just plain nonsense. Both David Axelrod and John Kerry over the weekend started talking about a “Tea Party Downgrade,” with Axelrod elaborating on Face the Nation that “[t]he Tea Party brought us to the brink of a default . . . it was wrong to push the country to that point.”
Like Beavis in full-blown sugar-high Cornholio delirium, the Left is frantically and uncontrollably shrieking “IT’STHETEAPARTY IT’STHETEAPARTY IT’STHETEAPARTY TEAPARTYTEAPARTYTEAPARTY AAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!!”
To hear the Left tell it, the credit downgrade and resulting free-falling markets in the wake of a debt-ceiling deal that increased debt and didn’t cut spending is the fault of intransigent Tea Party extremists. That is, the credit downgrade and resulting market turmoil would never have happened if they had just shut up and gone along with allowing the government to make loan payments by borrowing even more, all while continuing to spend. The Tea Partiers are trying to cut up our credit cards instead of letting us take out yet another one so we can borrow money to pay off what we already owe.
Are you people listening to yourselves? Do you have any idea how stupid you sound?
According to you, S&P actually considers the U.S. a higher credit risk, not because Congress elected to borrow more money and keep spending, but because the Tea Party tried to stop it.
Riddle me this. To whom would you prefer to loan money:
· Michelle has a six-figure income. She has a written budget in place that controls her spending within her means. She has a mortgage and a car note, but no other debt, and she pays those two loans on time out of cash from current earnings with enough left over to cover all her other expenses and have some left over for savings.
· Barry also has a six-figure income. But he has no written budget, and he spends all of his cash income on lobster dinners and vacations to Spain. He has a house, a lake house, two cars, and a truck, all on loans. He has three credit cards, all of them maxed out, on which he’s making minimum payments from cash he draws from a personal line of credit.
I’ve quoted Daniel Hannan before: “You cannot borrow your way out of debt.” It’s pretty basic stuff. S&P and the markets weren’t reacting like this during the debt ceiling debates, or even when Congress ran all the way up to the “deadline.” They reacted when they saw that the deal reached didn’t even attempt to resolve the fundamental problem of reining in out-of-control federal spending, and instead permitted a government already owing more than it could repay to borrow even more. At the end of the day, the people who lend us money couldn’t care less if we argue amongst ourselves over our internal issues until we all pass out. They are interested in one thing, and one thing only, and that is getting their money and interest back. And the issue that affects them in that regard isn’t how much we argue, but how much we spend and how much we add to what we owe. The Tea Partiers in Congress were fighting for measures to help put us in a healthier position as a borrower—if I were China, I’d be a huge Tea Party fan, because what they’re pushing makes it far more likely that I’m going to make my money back.
But if you want to look at partisan posturing delaying the process, consider the following:
· The debt ceiling issue was one everyone has known was coming for months—Obama has been talking about it regularly since January—yet as late as July 29 neither the President nor Congressional Democrats offered any plan whatsoever. Speaker Boehner called on them repeatedly since at least April to put forward something concrete for discussion. They never did.
· The President and Harry Reid as far back as last December and as late as July 29 repeatedly unilaterally declared conservative proposals “dead on arrival,” sometimes before they had even been offered.
· Obama walked out of debt ceiling meetings on July 13, and threw a hissy fit for the benefit of the Press.
· The Democrat-controlled Senate tabled the Republican-sponsored Cut, Cap, and Balance Act on July 22.
· The Democrat-controlled Senate killed the second watered-down Republican House bill on July 30, barely two hours after the House passed it; not really enough time for any of them to have read the thing much less meaningfully thought about it and—God forbid—debate it.
· Obama refused to consider any short-term—read: pre-election—fixes to avoid the alleged default issue while stickier issues on cutting spending were resolved, which is a curious thing if this was all only about not holding up a debt extension ahead of the self-imposed August 2 deadline.
· Obama insisted on keeping Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid cuts off the table.
Who was the intransigent ideologue here?
The truth is with all the histrionic name-calling and bickering, the Tea Partiers have been the only adults in the room. Someone had to say “enough is enough,” and “we can’t keep borrowing and spending in order to deal with debt.” And the irony here is the Tea Party ultimately didn’t even get its way. Tea Party conservatives HATE the debt ceiling deal ultimately reached, and they voted against it.
It’s the same thing we’ve heard for two plus years—it’s always blind conservative resistance preventing things from actually getting done in the District. Even when they had filibuster-proof control of the Senate and a supermajority in the House, the Democrats blamed their inability to get anything done on Republicans who didn’t even have enough members to get something on the daily agenda. Apparently the only way the Left knows how to operate is in secret closed-door meetings in the middle of the night up against a self-imposed deadline brought about by a self-declared emergency crisis.
The Tea Party didn’t create the debt or the debt ceiling mess. They’re just trying to clean it up.