One of the most important elements in any type of conflict is to control the ground you fight on. In politics, that usually means controlling the issues that will be discussed. And for Republicans in the pending fight over the debt limit, that means taking the issue of defaulting on our debt payments off of the table and focusing on spending.
In our country’s fiscal wars there have been three major moving parts: 1) taxes, 2) spending and 3) borrowing. Republicans don’t want tax increases and Democrats don’t want spending cuts, which left borrowing to finance the spending. But now increasing payments on borrowing threaten to gobble future revenue for spending and mandate future taxes; which brings us the recurring battles over the debt ceiling.
Despite the tax hikes in the recent “fiscal cliff” deal, neither Obama nor any Democrats will publicly state that the rich are now “paying their fair share”. They know that with the great unwashed, the politics of envy (AKA, jealousy) is always gold.
They also know that facing up to spending means facing up to reality, and facing reality means making choices, which will set some elements of the Democrats’ coalition at odds against each another. If pretty much your entire political party is built out of constituent groups bought off with tax dollars, then you better keep the punch-bowl filled or the party’s over. read more »