We are at the precipice of disaster with the debt-ceiling vote. President Obama has already pledged to cut $6 for every $1 in new revenue but Republicans still want more. What is worse, the new revenue is through closing tax breaks for special interests, it doesn’t even touch tax rates, yet Republicans are insisting that the revenue increases have to be matched with tax cuts, making them revenue neutral. Enough is enough. President Obama has made more than his share of compromises and sacrifices, it is time to call Republicans bluff.
The debt-ceiling debate is no longer about country’s budget; it is about politics. President Obama clearly wants to cut a deal but Republicans are intent on not letting him be seen as “winning” on the debt-ceiling deal. They have positioned themselves such that if they compromise on anything than Obama is seen as winning. They are petrified of violating their no-tax increase pledge and facing a primary challenge.
Democrats in Congress need to be patient. The closer to August 2nd, the day we reach the debt-ceiling, the more pressure businessmen, Wall Street, and special interests are going to put on Republicans. This is a game of chicken and the Democrats can’t be the ones to blink first. Republicans are financial terrorists and if Democrats cave in now it will simply give Republicans incentive to do it again.
Democrats are going to have to make their share of painful cuts but they need to extract their pound of flesh for them. They need to force the TEA Party freshman into an untenable position: either they vote for a debt-ceiling deal and risk a primary challenge or they vote against it and risk losing major campaign funds and moderate voters. This is a political opportunity for the Democrats and they can’t let it go to waste.
The battle going forward is over how the story is framed. Democrats need to define the issue as one of shared sacrifice. They need to talk about how the income for the extremely wealthy has skyrocketed while millions of people have lost their jobs. They need to spell out exactly what the Republicans want to cut. They need to make the cuts real and present a better alternative. The Republican plan is only popular in the abstract, they need to show people what will happen if Republicans are successful. They need to make them bleed.Tweet