Let’s set up what transpired during and immediately after the debt-ceiling dramatics of the past few weeks.
There have been six primary players:
1. President Barack Obama.
2. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
3. Unhinged leftists, whose primary goal is headlong expansion of the welfare state and stifling the dissent of anyone who opposes it.
4. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
5. Tea Party activists, whose primary goals are constitutional adherence, fiscal sanity, and a better world for current and future generations.
6. The ratings agency people at Standard & Poor’s (S&P), who entered the fray after the legislative dust had settled.
President Obama’s role consisted of utterly failing to present a plan, pretending that the unsustainable wreckage he presented in February was still a viable plan (even though the U.S. Senate voted it down by a shocking 97-0), and insisting on a “balanced approach.” Translated into harsh experience, a “balanced approach” is defined as: “I get new taxes now for promised cuts later which never materialize,” or in short form: “Business as usual.”
Harry Reid’s role was to offer up nothing substantive until the final days (even that’s being generous), and to ridicule anything passed or under consideration by Boehner’s Republican House majority.
Unhinged leftists jerked around Obama during his alleged negotiations with Boehner, leaving everyone trying to bargain in good faith completely flummoxed.
Boehner’s role was to resist tax increases at all costs, and to put up with Obama’s noncommittal, goalpost-moving method of “negotiating.” Eventually, he threw up his hands, walked away from Obama, and initially tolerated the passage of “Cut, Cap and Balance” (CC&B). If it had become law, CC&B would have reduced projected spending against the Congressional Budget Office baseline by the $4 trillion S&P said was necessary as a demonstration of both political seriousness and long-term financial viability. “Tolerated” may have seemed like a harsh word two sentences ago, but Boehner was recently quoted as saying that he got 98% of what he wanted in the legislation which passed. This is interesting, because tax increases arising from the so-called “super committee” are still not out of the question, and the $63 billion in reductions against the CBO baseline supposedly achieved in fiscal 2012 and 2013 are so puny. Am I to believe he’d be completely satisfied if he had gotten $65 billion?
Tea Party activists championed CC&B. For holding out for a better deal than Boehner’s watered-down rewrite, they were demonized by so-called “friends” the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and don’t-get-it types like John McCain. Many activists were and still remain seriously displeased that Boehner — admittedly stabbed in the back by microphone hogs in the Gang of Six and by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — so quickly discarded the only coherent plan which had a chance of enabling the country to avoid S&P’s otherwise promised downgrade.
S&P’s role was to review the post-law, post-squabble financial condition of the U.S. and to evaluate its financial viability. Even after “correcting” for an alleged $2 trillion assumption error (which wasn’t), S&P concluded that the nation’s public debt-to-GDP ratio, currently at about 68%, would hit 85% by 2021 using the CBO’s assumptions. The trouble is, those assumptions, which include no substantive interest-rate hikes and economic growth rates of 3% or more in all future years, are wildly optimistic, and S&P knows it — especially given who’s currently running the White House and the Senate. S&P could fairly conclude that if nothing further of a serious nature is done, we’ll be well above the 90% “Maxed Out America” threshold well before 2021. In fact, after it downgraded America’s debt from AAA to AA-plus on Friday, the agency warned that another downgrade might be necessary in the next six months to two years.
Now that I’ve laid out what happened, I’m trying to get my arms around the “logic” that Obama, Democrats, the unhinged left, and their media mouthpieces have unleashed, namely:
• Openly and unprofessionally whining about S&P’s decision.If given half a chance, the left may start calling the recent double-digit stock market drop “The Tea Party bear market.” Monday evening, Mike Ivey at Madison.com’s Cap Times may have previewed a part of this potential meme when he wrote: “Perhaps the only solace in this latest round of global financial meltdown is that Tea Partiers are losing money, too.”
• In a classic case of obviously orchestrated groupthink featuring David Axelrod, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Moveon.org, and certainly others, referring to S&P’s decision as “The Tea Party Downgrade.”
Of course, the downgrade more than likely would not have happened if Tea Party activists had really gotten their way — which, except perhaps for avoiding tax increases, they mostly didn’t. But it could have been much worse. As Rick Santelli said on Monday after the market’s close: “If it wasn’t for the Tea Party, they’d have passed the debt ceiling thumbs-up, (and) we’d have been rated triple-B.”
You would think that such an obvious pack of lies from the left would have no chance of gaining traction. Think again: According to Rasmussen, they already have 29% of Americans believing that Tea Party members are “economic terrorists.”
This cannot stand. We know who started the fire, we know who fed and worsened it with their failed “solutions,” and we know who is utterly out of ideas. Incredibly, fewer Americans are working full-time now than were when the recession technically ended. Democrats and all too many RINO accomplices have had their way for 30 months, and all they can show for it is a frightening trail of misery.
Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said not long ago that her party owns the economy. They still do: lock, stock, and barrel. The Tea Party must focus its attention on limiting the damage during the next 17-1/2 months, educate-educate-educate the public, recruit solid candidates who can chase as many hard-leftists and RINO poseurs out of office as possible, and hope against hope-and-change that we really can survive until January 2013.