July 25, 2011 by Daniel Stack
In this debt-ceiling debate it seems proper to assign blame to “both sides”. My views are certainly partisan but I really can’t fathom how one could say it is not the Republican Party – specifically the Tea Party wing of the party that is pushing the United States closer and closer to a debt default.
The newest plan from Senator Reid cuts 2.7 trillion dollars from the debt. It does so largely from troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, something Cantor’s plan did as well. It does not cut entitlements, something shared with Boehner’s plan. The talking points released by Boehner’s staff specifically advertised his plan does not cut entitlements. This led to ThinkProgress’ headline After Boehner Releases Plan That Doesn’t Cut Entitlements, He Rejects Reid Plan For Not Cutting Entitlements.
It’s rather horrifying to watch this. The Tea Party wants a balanced budget amendment – one that beyond requiring a balanced budget specifically caps spending and makes it difficult to raise taxes. They lack the votes to come even close to accomplishing this. So the strategy seems to be threaten to destroy the country unless they get their way. I truly believe if the United States defaults on its debt obligations twenty years later we’ll look at this as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, self-inflicted wound on our nation. A week ago I didn’t think default was likely. Even now I have a hard time believing that Congress would allow this to happen. But the evidence keeps piling on that there is no deal which will satisfy the Tea Party wing in the House. So is default the goal?