I've been watching C-Span off and on today and the circus in the House and Senate as Democrat after Democrat has been getting up and claiming that Republicans 1) will not compromise, 2) are being hi-jacked by the Tea Party, and 3) are not appreciating the fact that Dems have pulled a tax increase out of the negotiations.
So, let's take this one at a time:
1) There are times when compromise is good and times when it is not. This is not one of those times. We have been spending and spending and spending. Here we are facing yet another increase in the debt ceiling. Will it be raised? Of course. Will we default on our debt? Of course not. The President will not let that happen.
However, as Hannity said on his show yesterday, compromise is how we got here in the first place. Actually, I would even go further and state that both Republican and Democrat leadership are why we are here. When we had the majority, we should have not let the moderate arm of the GOP take over the books. And then, since Obama has been in office, the spending has only gotten much worse.
I find it humorous that now that Dems don't have control of both houses that they suddenly find compromise a virtue. Anyone remember Obamacare?
But, what I really don't understand is why is it considered a compromise to balance the budget? Why is it a compromise to not spend more than we have? These are basic, fiscal principals that any real-world company has to adhere to. Yet, the federal government acts like these are choices we make and then calls it a compromise when they are forced to follow normal fiscal principles that any basic 3rd grader could teach you. If you don't have the money, you can't spend it!
2) Yes, the GOP is being heavily influenced by the Tea Party. And, this is the best thing happening in this country right now. If it weren't for the Tea Party, we'd have tax increases on the table right now, and we wouldn't even be talking about a balanced budget amendment.
If anything, the Tea Party doesn't have enough influence at this point. It is a shame. The Tea Party is going to end up saving this country. It may be years or even decades before that becomes understood by most and it may never be truly acknowledged by all, but the Tea Party is the only group with the guts to do the right thing. The Tea Party members of Congress are there for the principles that got them elected. And, guess what? They care MORE about doing the right thing than about re-election. That is real integrity.
3) The Dems are upset that we haven't acknowledged their compromise in taking revenues (in other words, taxes) off the table. Okay, duly noted. It is a shame that you put taxes on the table in the first place. The bottom line is that the Dems (and several Republicans) are being forced for the first time now to actually do what is better for the country instead of for their re-election.
Here's the bottom line - this is one of those pinnacle moments in our lifetimes where we must to what is right. The Dems want the GOP to pass the Reid bill and move on. The GOP wants more. In fact, the Boehner bills were both compromises already. Neither of them really reduced spending the way that we should. They only slowed growth - and that is not the same thing.
And, the Dems were so offended the the Beohner bills included the consideration of the Balanced Budget Amendment. So, again I ask, why is it considered a compromise to balance the budget?
So, is this a painful moment in our history? YES. But, that's where we are as a nation. We need more of these painful moments until we finally do something serious about the size of government.