Shut it Down

The Republicans need a new strategy for their upcoming negotiations with President Obama.  The last round, they had a distinct disadvantage where doing nothing would have led to a terrible consequence, namely everyone’s taxes going up.  With these negotiations behind us, we no longer have the sun setting on good policy, which requires action for it to continue.  We now have 3 events that are coming in the first quarter of 2013 which will allow for more reasonable negotiations.  The “sequester” (automatic cuts in defense and other departments), the “debt ceiling” (increasing borrowing authority for the government), and the end of the “Continuing Resolution” (aka CR, that funds the government daily).  Of these opportunities, republicans should use the CR to make their stand.

All of the media is talking about the debt ceiling as the big showdown.  The last negotiations were bad PR for republicans in 2011.  They were also quickly followed by a credit downgrade of US debt by the rating agencies.  It is popular belief that the status of the negotiations in Washington, and the dysfunction of these discussions, is what led to the downgrade.  In fact, the lack of seriousness of the President to deal with our debt problem is what led to the downgrade.  Using the debt ceiling to be the threat, will only continue to have people wrongly looking at the process not the true problem.  Republicans should raise it enough for a year of deficit, and take default out of the discussion.

Democrats were looking to delay the sequester, which gives republicans an advantage in this area.  It is likely that the democrats will agree to different cuts to avoid this, but if not $500 billion over 10 years will be cut out of defense.  Republicans should be prepared to let the cuts stand.  It is roughly 10% of the defense budget.  If Republicans are serious about shrinking the government, they should be willing to cut this much out of the defense budget.  We won WWII 67 years ago, we can start by bringing troops home from Germany and Japan.

This leaves the CR for Republicans to make their stand.  If the President doesn’t agree to entitlement spending cuts that will be phased in over time, in order to save our country, let the government shut down.  This will accomplish the following…

  • No one can report that the republicans are risking the first possible default on US Treasuries.
  • If a credit downgrade comes, it will not be because there is a risk that we will not pay our bills, it will be because we are borrowing too much, and the president is not serious about addressing spending cuts.
  • The negative PR from the government shutdown of 1995-96 had many different scenarios at play.  It was heading into a presidential election year which had the senate majority leader running against the sitting president.  This shutdown would be 3+ years from a presidential election, current leader McConnell is not running for higher office, and neither is the President.
  • We would actually save money during the shutdown, and cutting costs is the point.
  • It would fire up a disheartened conservative base.
  • It would highlight the real differences between the parties, not focus on credit worthiness.
  • Non essential functions are shut down.  Maybe they can stay that way.

There is only one party in Washington who is serious about cutting spending, but it needs to be made clear to the American people.  The president keeps talking about reducing spending, but never seems to have any cuts in his plans.  The best way to highlight this is letting the CR end on its expiration date of March 27, unless the President approves meaningful cuts.  If the government shuts down due to this standoff it will not roil world markets, we will not default on our debt, and it will highlight the different philosophies in Washington D. C.

Author Bio:

Michael has been an editor and contributor at the website www.freemarketsfreepeople.net for over 2 years. He has over 20+ years of diverse business experience, from running complex operations where he managed hundreds of people, to starting and running small businesses such as www.realinterestfund.com. He is blessed, or perhaps cursed, with a logical mind which he uses to analyze government, media, politics, and culture. He believes that his life experiences help him bring a unique perspective to the issues of the day.
  • Switchlight13

    From an Article by Mishin in Pravda, yes Pravda of Russia: “These days, there are few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bare [sic] arms and use deadly force to defend one’s self and possessions”.

  • mcweijun

    Wrong. The interest on our debt is less than 10% of the tax revenus that will be coming in to the government in the next fwe month. More than enough to pay the interest on our debt and avoid any default. Other programs may not get funded. So what. That is the problem er duh. If we don’t stop borrowing to increase spending now, at what point will it get easier? 18 trillion or 20 or 30. It will never be easier to cut spending than right now. Let’s get it done.

  • IJustHaveAQuestion

    Source? Please site a first credible one please?

    • IJustHaveAQuestion

      I mean “cite,” sorry…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1560111594 Robert Blum

    In order to limit the national debt from rising further in an insane fashion AND to adhere to the concept that government is best which governs least, STAND FAST in regards to the current debt ceiling.

  • Kitcrsn

    Why hasn’t Obama’s bootlickers in the leftist media brought up the fact that Barry said it was UNPATROTIC to up the National Debt. Silence is deafening.

  • IJustHaveAQuestion

    Huh? So it’s all about public relation perceptions, and not about doing what’s right? Did I get the article right?

    Doing what’s right, and, rational to promote democracy and healthy economic growth, for starters, would be…

    One: Congress needs to at least make sure what they took from Social Security and gave to the DoD, the tune of $2-trillion needs to be paid back ASAP. Social Security earned benefits (I hate the E word that sounds like people just take) should not be cut as it does not effect the annual budget nor the long-term deficit.

    Two: Taxes on the rich should go up even more. The rest do not have the cash to pay the bills they the rich raked up through their K. Street lobbying pushing Congress to make and spend on unnecessary expensive wars over the past decade.

    Private equities should be especially taxed high and other ridiculously high yielding Wall Street racketing to protect democracy from the threat of an emerging plutocracy. This can also be enhanced with higher minimum wadges that small business can offset with tax credits paid for by high yielding big business and so forth.

    So the question is, “Can the Republicans in Congress meet the Democrats in the center on such common good measures that promote the general welfare, or are they going to repeat the same failures that brought this country to it’s knees just over four years ago?” Failures which this latest manifestation of “protect the rich at all costs” ideology has caused. Now the irrational insanity has caused the Republican Congress to a spit into on these finical matters. Matters that would not be if they would have implemented sound economic policies several years ago. Making war and protecting the rich at the expense of everyone else is not sound rational thinking, and makes for bad policy that lead to these matters of late that you seem, Bernie, to be so concerned about… in the way of public relation perceptions of the GOP anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/walter.mattson.39 Walter Mattson

      The problem is not more in taxes, it is too much spending. Taxing the rich will not get the government into the blue. Taxing the rich will only provide a week or two in terms of assisting the government to function. Most of the real wealth in the nation is in the hands of the middle class. However, when you tax either the rich and /or the middle class you cause the the economy to slow down. Not many voters recognize that the amount of unemployment is one of the major factors that is holding down this economy and the nation. Obama’s policies of job creation have not worked. He knows it but will not admit it. Instead, he has embarked on a propaganda mission to blame the rich for the present fiscal problems we have. This shedding of responsibility and blaming others is believed by many of the voters and he has the media at his side to agree with him. As long as he refuses to address the real problems the economy will stay in the tank and everyone will suffer. Obama had a chance right away in 2008 to embark on a policy of job creation. One that would have resulted in ready jobs was to open up drilling for oil and gas on federal lands, offshore and Alaska. All that was necessary was to instruct the EPA for more reasonable laws governing fossil fuels and private funds and not tax payer/ government funds would provide the rest. Instead, he used tax payer funds to finance the green energy agenda. We all know that was a complete flop with many green companies that went bankrupt and took the funds with them. Not only would the drilling of oil and gas create jobs immediately, the drilling would have caused oil prices to drop and stay down. The drop in oil prices would reach a low of $2 per gallon after some of the added oil fields began to produce. Note, that a drop of the cost of gas from the high of $4 per gallon to $2 would result in an additional $387 billion more dollars per year into the economy. Also note that this is $3.87 trillion in government circles since they always relate to a ten year cycle. Last but not least, $387 billion in the economy means $800 per car owner per year. All this without spending any tax payer money to achieve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jequidam Jeff E. Quidam

    Do not increase the federal debt ceiling. Sign the petition at WhiteHouse.gov: http://wh.gov/UpGJ
    Please forward that link to others.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMJUHF4UNZWSLIDRXPSSTOHA3Q Shane

    Obama has no intentions of cutting spending. Obama will ask for more tax increases and oppose any spending cuts, except for defense spending.

  • gbandy

    All of Government better realize we are at the end of our Republic unless they act responsibly and cut the spending. This Nation just cannot afford to pay a family of 4 $61k in benefits all at the cost to people and households making $30k! The insanity has gone on too long and we will sooner than later just flat run out of other peoples money.

  • ivannavi

    Agreed – now do it!

    And no funny accounting on cuts. A cut on a proposed increase IS NOT a cut. It is still an increase.

    MAKE REAL CUTS!

    To cut 5% is easy, to cut 10% is tough but doable. Cut, cut, and cut again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.wight Ted Wight

    Republicans have — have — to forget the “PR” it will always — always — be negative, so they need to live with that. They need to do what’s right for a change or keep getting beaten. Which has been happening regularly for 75 years. But no, they each care about getting reelected to these cushy jobs. They are as disgusting as Democrats. The country is the biggest loser.
    “The Road to Poverty is Paved with Progressivism”
    http://www.periodictablet.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1775150241 Bonnie Thomas Usrey

    What? Someone introducing Logic to deal witht the White House and out of control spending? Right on, Michael! If a family or a business doesn’t have money, they cut down on ‘non-essentials” and that’s what MOST Americans are doing right now due to the high prices of gas, food, utilities, and inflation. I watched a Humphrey Bogart movie last night: To Be or Not to Be. He mentioned gas for his boat as part of the plot at .28 cents a gallon! The movie was made in the early 1940′s. The EPA was established to clean up the environment and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Americans are consuming less gas now than in recent years, but other countries are using more. But they don’t have the EPA! Get rid of it and save tons of money. Don’t let the Devil in the details, defeat Conservatism. Let the Big spenders do what they want and pay the consequences.

  • sjangers

    Trenchant observations. Coherent analysis. Intelligent conclusion. Excellent column, Michael!

  • Switchlight13

    Off topic but we need a good laugh: Former Black Panther Bobby Rush and now a Congressman just introduced HR 34 to register all gun owners in the US. Wonder if he would have registered the BPs back in the 60s. Who elected this moron?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMJUHF4UNZWSLIDRXPSSTOHA3Q Shane

      Other morons elected him!

    • Kitcrsn

      Ignorant voters in Chicago elected Bobby Rush. Someone once wrote, Chicago, IL, has the most stupid voters in America. I happen to agree with the authors theory.

  • Bill

    The Republicans should insist right now without delaying until the CR comes due that they will no longer pass a continuing resolution but rather will only vote on a budget that is originated in the House and sent to the Senate. If Harry Reid refuses to take up the budget then it is on his head, and that of the President. The House must recognize that the power in the Constitution rests with it and not the President, but only if it stops ceding it to the President. Members of the House should right now be in their districts explaining the issues to their constituents, since the true power in this nation is supposed to reside in the voters.

  • Skogee

    I agree in principal, your arguments, but all of Congress and the President need to show Americans that they are serious…Cut the Defense by 10% – OK if we’re serious…cut all of the Defense programs by 10% including wages and benefits to all (I’m retired Navy – I will accept if they do the following) – then cut all congressional and presidential wages and benefits equally by 10%…this establishes that they will do to themselves that which they think they need to do to us…Then, continue, to cut ‘all’ social and environmental programs by 10%…keep doing it till ‘all’ spending is cut by 10% (minimum) – next…Social Security and Medicare…get after it and raise the age if they so desire, etc…Then fund the debt for the next several years…put it on the back of Obama…raise taxes again if it’s needed but ‘deal’ with the negative flow of cash in to services out…Then I want to see a Balanced Amendment to our Constitution stating that we will automatically have systems in place to deal with this down the road if and when it happens again…OK, I’m very over optimistic and simplistic but we should be able to run our Government like a business or home budgets…

    • DanB_Tiffin

      Just FYI, I have been in private companies when they had to cut costs NOW. The word would go down to department heads that “your budget has just been reduced by 10%” Do the best you can with that.

      Meaning tough! If you cannot still continue to perform in a satisfactory way, you will be replaced with someone who can. That is why YOU are the department head and why YOU get the bucks. THIS is part of YOUR responsibility.

      I guess we will never see anything like that in our government.

  • http://www.americanconservativesthink.com Steve Cotton

    Until the definition of a cut in spending is that less absolute dollars are spent relative to a prior year, this scam will continue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.cordon.1 Bob Cordon

    I agree we should shut down all non-essential operations. However, not standing for a knuckle-bleeder on the sequester and the debt ceiling is poor strategy. The PR angle is unimportant. Conservatives can’t win in the PR arena. That’s no excuse not to do what’s right or the country.
    Let the Pentagon lose 10% of their budget. Make them “tighten up” on what they have and do their work more efficiently. Any cuts to entitlements will be welcome, as well.
    At CR time, if we have done our job correctly in the previous two battles, the dems. will have to take us seriously and agree to serious, meaningful cuts in our spending now and going forward. We can’t let their predictable “Sky is falling” media campaign cause us to lose focus – or to lose our will to fight for what is most important. There is more support for cutting spending out there than many may think.

    • JmThms

      “Let the Pentagon lose 10% of their budget. Make them “tighten up” on what they have and do their work more efficiently. Any cuts to entitlements will be welcome”. You seem to have these backwards. Cuts to entitlements are the most important. Then, some targeted cuts to Defense would be welcome as well. Whats the primary responsibility of the government?

  • gbandy

    I cannot find the exact quote of Senator Obama when he attacked without mercy President Bush about wanting to UP the National Debt however it was quite the attack. Now President Obama has the shoe on the other foot. Too bad the People have such short memories or they would be crucifying Obama now.

    • Ted Crawford

      Here are some excerpts from an Obama rant in 2006!”
      ” The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s Debt Ceiling is a sign of Leadership Failure…. increasing America’s debt weakings us Domestically and Internationally. Leadership means the buck stops here!…America has a debt problem and a failure of Leadership. America deserves better!” Barack Obama 2006

      • gbandy

        Thanks Ted: This is the excerpt I was looking for.

    • Kitcrsn

      Plenty of video footage out there showing Comrade Barak lambasting President Bush in regards to upping the National Debt. Barry is quoted as saying that it was UNPATRIOTIC to up the debt. Imagine that! Barry is a total fraud.

  • Switchlight13

    “Let the Democrats take the lead, drive the car, propose the tax hikes, refuse to make the spending cuts and answer for where we are in 2016, because, right now, it looks as though we are headed for an even bigger cliff. For the next two years, the best offense may be a good defense”. ……Pat Buchanan

  • Switchlight13

    Your assuming we have an intelligent informed electorate in Omerica.

  • jazzdrums

    gingrich makes a point that the public is fed up with the last deal made by 2 or 3 people in a room while congress reps over 400 of them sat around waiting and that in a few months this will happen again instead of all congress debating on the floor for all to view in the open. gop old and new in house frustrated with this way of doing bills…obama does not know how to lead so he keeps campaigning and in the same sentence reminds all that he won…well then obama go to work a and lead

  • DOOM

    there’s a party in Washington that’s serious about cutting spending? where has this party been?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004699950418 John Davidson

    These stall tactics have gone on far too long. Time to face the music. Thanks Bernie. I think you even made a believer out of Bill O’Reilly, finally.