Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Musings on the debt ceiling

With all the talk about the debt ceiling I have found it intriguing that the Republicans keep submitting new budgets. The question is why? Does this mean that each proposal is better than the previous ones - or worse? By keep submitting proposals it gives me the impression that they are grasping at straws. Again the question is why? Since spending legislation is initiated in the House, then it seems to me that they have done their job. That the majority leader in the Senate refuses to bring the legislation to the floor, not allowing debate or a vote should not cause the House Republicans to write another piece of legislation, in essence negotiating with themselves. I have also have not heard anything about democrats in the house participating in the crafting of the bills. Surely there are blue dogs that would be willing. This reminds me of when the republicans were complaining about being excluded from crafting the hallmarks of the previous congress: health care, Dodd-Frank, and the stimulus. At least extend the invitation to the dems and then it might be more difficult for the senate to ignore the bills. If the senate will not consider the house bills, then I wonder how will the legislation get introduced? I guess a house democrat will introduce it. Then do the house republicans refuse to let it get to the floor? Also there are those who keep carping that the president does not have a plan. That is no surprise. This president has never been the source of any of the legislative initiatives during his administration. He has adopted bills introduced in the congress as his own and then pushed them on the public with speech after speech after speech. At least in this case, he does not want to state a position on spending cuts because he is looking to the next election. He feels that any words about cuts in entitlements will come back to bite him - although he did allow a $500 billion cut in medicare to make the math work on Obamacare. Remember that spending legislation starts in the house not in the Oval Office so for once, the president is not at fault on this one. Lastly, all this mess could have been avoided had the president demonstrated any political acumen. He could have easily adopted all the Simpson-Bowles recommendations.

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