Debt limit: Democrats have painted themselves into a corner

July 26, 2011

When Rep. Paul Ryan presented his plan to eliminate the budget deficit, Democrats jumped on him and accused him of trying to put America's debt on the backs of seniors. It seemed to work in the special election in New York, and they saw that as a rallying point for the 2012 elections. They needed something to counter the enthusiasm of the tea party, and vilifying Republicans for trying to cut entitlements was the way to go. The Republican controlled House passed a bill, and once again the Democrats scream that the Republicans are trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors.

Here's the problem, the Democrats now must wait until they have a bipartisan bill before for raising the debt limit. They can't come out with a plan of their own that everyone can compare to the Republican plan, discuss it reasonably, and take the best of both. That's because they can't present anything that doesn't include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and/or Social Security. It's mathematically impossible. So, in order to live up to the hyper rhetoric that they want desperately not to cut those programs, they would have to present something that would be absurd, with either 8 percent GDP growth projections, which will be ridiculed, or something that raises taxes so high that everyone will be screaming. This is the cost of demagoguery. America is deprived of an honest debate.

They should have taken the deal Speaker John Boehner was offering because now their hypocrisy will become evident because the Republicans will force them to put down on paper their plan. And the closer we get to the elections, the more you'll hear from the Republicans. "Where is your plan?" And the Democrats won't be able to answer. They'll look like fools. Fools painted into a corner.

Fred Pasek, Frederick

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