Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “Plan B” calls for the federal debt ceiling to be raised immediately with the required spending cuts voted on later.* Understandably, Senator McConnell wants to put all the responsibility for raising the US debt on President Obama. But the plan works into the president’s ultimate plan: Mr. Obama wants the debt ceiling raised so the Treasury can borrow more money to fund his agenda and he wants as few cuts as possible to spending. Another alarm for fiscal conservatives should be that the Democrats’ chief cheerleader, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is supporting the plan.
Even if President Obama gets some flak from the electorate before the 2012 election for spending billions more and running up the federal deficit, he will be able to carry out more of his plan to “fundamentally transform” how our government works. And he will have “bought“ votes by giving new or greater benefits to many Americans. I can’t believe some Republicans are willing to play right into his hands.
* In the first phase President Obama would request a $700 billion increase in the debt limit before the deadline on August 2. Congress could approve that, but the point is to pass a resolution of disapproval so fiscal conservatives can tell their constituents that they voted against raising the debt ceiling. The president would also have a choice on whether or not to veto the resolution, but likely would so the government won’t go into default. The White House is also required to propose spending cuts at least equal to the amount of the debt limit increase request. The amount of cuts required is far lower than any other proposal being promoted.
“Plan B” phase two would be another debt increase request of $900 billion this fall, with another resolution and veto. Next summer President Obama would make a third $900 billion request. The spending cuts requirement is also included in phases two and three.
(Information from washington post.com, July 12)