"We’re discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March"
-- Paul Ryan
So what happens if House Republicans do not reach an agreement with Senate Democrats and White House in March? Does America 'default' then - as a punishment to American People because Democrats did not agree to Republican Demands? If so, what goal is served by that - 'to paint Dems bad', but what about the avoidable pain to Americans? Why are Republicans not accountable for that?
All that means, Paul Ryan will again increase the Debt Ceiling at that point too. Then why all this drama? Why can't we abolish Debt Ceiling so that Congress focuses on what spending it commits and Executive Branch focuses on paying bills - if needed by borrowing more money as required?
OK let us say Paul Ryan wants this topic of abolishing Debt Limit Permanently to be debated in the election. Let 2016 election be about asking Presidential nominees (possibly Ryan among them):
- Do you support permanently abolishing Debt Ceiling?
- If not or otherwise also, what mechanism you want to propose so that Congress commits for spending which it thinks America can afford?
- How decisions of one Congress in this regard are to be interpreted by future Congresses - future elected members? Do you propose any longer term guidelines in that direction and what are the ramifications of those guidelines? (For example Ryan wants to propose Gov. revenue at 18 or 19% of GDP and spending to be aligned accordingly.)
What we need is - politicians not deceiving Americans: not to tell their real agenda and once in power then to hijacking that mandate for total ideological prescriptions.
As House GOP members gather at a retreat to plot their come back after losses of 2012 election, one thing they can keep in mind is - how Americans were sure about 'what they will get when you would vote Obama' whereas Romeny and Republicans continued to give mixed message whereby doubts continued to raise in minds of People. Doubts that Republicans will use the power for totally different reasons than what they claim. That is what '47% remark of Romeny' revealed.
Ryan's short term debt plan or GOP introspection would not succeed, unless it addresses questions like - what does GOP propose 'here and now' to improve the lot of most Americans? Krugman has already made a case about how 'debt control' is essentially a distant problem. (If Global Warming is a distant problem to Republicans, then why Debt is the problem 'now'? We are not Greece as we print our own notes - if not platinum coins and the world is ready to lend us at much lower interest rates.)
Republicans can't expect Americans to vote or love them when for every damn economic problem, the only solution they have is Tax Cuts. GOP philosophy is 'you have economic growth - cut taxes, you have recession - cut taxes'; how in the world a political party is expected to be successful when elections after elections it refuses to look into the face of 'evidence' (that supply side Wall Street Journal Editorial recommendations about tax cuts are all bogus and full of ideology only) and when GOP is totally beholden to 'dogma'?
That is how neither Paul Ryan's short term Debt Ceiling Proposal nor longer term vision makes any sense.
By this weekend, Barack Obama's 'sunset countdown clock' will start. This whole obsession with Barack Obama - GOP needs to get over as quickly as possible. We Americans are so much in a ditch (and by the way Barack is not going to pull us completely out too) and we have so many problems to be solved. All that means GOP has ample opportunities to fight for our problems - provided it keeps aside its false theories of economic well-being of a modern nation.