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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dollar For Dollar Spending Cuts For Debt Limit Increase Still Leaves An Unsustainable Spending Problem

By Susan Duclos

As the debt limit D-Day approaches, John Boehner insists that for every dollar Barack Obama wants to increase the U.S. debt ceiling, there should be a dollar of spending cuts. Barack Obama claims this is unreasonable and that Congress should vote to increase the debt limit, giving him the ability to borrow more money, without offsetting that increase with spending cuts.

Those are the two sides of the issue.

The reality of the matter is that Boehner's insistence on dollar for dollar spending cuts equal to the amount of any debt ceiling increase, is an insistence on the status quo of spending more money than we can pay.

Don't get me wrong I understand Boehner's position, which is that America must be able to pay it's bills and if we cannot make a dent in our spending problem during the debt limit battle, then we should at least assure the public that our lawmakers aren't increasing the spending problem by borrowing, spending, borrowing and spending more, without at least setting up that dollar for dollar barrier to prevent further spending abuses.

Boehner's  looking toward two months in the future when the automatic spending cuts that were delayed during the fiscal deal, are implemented unless Obama and Democrats offer up other spending cuts to replace them in a manner that will start bringing America back into a fiscally responsible position of not spending more money than we have.

For the debt limit battle, Boehner is willing to allow the status quo of unsustainable spending without increasing the spending, so that America doesn't default on it's loans and use the automatic sequestration cuts in two months as leverage to bring Obama and Democrats back to the table, since Democrats are the ones frantic to avoid the cuts built into sequestration.

Mr. Boehner says he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks, on his side for letting the sequester do its work. "I got that in my back pocket," the speaker says. He is counting on the president's liberal base putting pressure on him when cherished domestic programs face the sequester's sharp knife. Republican willingness to support the sequester, Mr. Boehner says, is "as much leverage as we're going to get."

With the White House being controlled by a Democrat and the U.S. Senate under Democratic control, the House of Representatives controlled by the GOP, is our only firewall against  liberals and Obama who refuse to acknowledge that the nation has a serious spending problem.

The most important thing for conservative supporters to do at this point is to push the message that not only is Boehner's insistence of dollar to dollar spending cuts for every dollar in debt limit increases, reasonable, but that it doesn't go far enough, even though the reasoning is understandable.

To make a dent in the spending problem would require at least two dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of debt limit increases, but that is never going to happen while Democrats control the Senate and Barack Obama is in the White House.