The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the danger of the markets reacting negatively to the vote against raising the debt ceiling vote:

Look, if there is anybody in the market who doesn’t understand that this is simply a show vote and a marker, they will lose his shirt on the market tomorrow. I’m not sure there are a lot of people that don’t understand this….

It’s clear that the Republican position is responding to a strong public opinion — nine to one — against a clean debt ceiling hike, which would mean with no spending cuts….

It puts Republicans in a strong position to say to the president to go with the Bœhner idea — for every dollar of the debt ceiling hike that you want, we want one dollar of spending cut in return. It’s a clean, understandable idea. It puts the Obama administration on the defensive.

On the economy turning around before Election Day next year:

It’s possible but unlikely. This is the sequel, Summer of Recovery II. I’m sure they will announce it next year as well. Probably will happen in 2018.

 We’re seeing a historically, extremely, unusually weak recovery. [Yet] I notice when the press characterizes these numbers like the one on housing today, the word “unexpectedly” is used. What is unexpected about it? We have 1.8 percent growth in the economy, extremely anemic. We have a sky high price for energy and food which is stealing money out of the consumer economy. We have nine percent unemployment. And we have this historic drop in the price of housing. There is nothing unexpected about it. The [recovery] plan that the administration promised when it came to office has failed.

On the reported push among White House officials to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan in order to cut spending:

This is an administration that spent $1 trillion on a stimulus that will not leave a trace. Now it’s saying that in order to save a few billion [dollars] — a fraction of a fraction of that — there are people in the White House who want to reduce the war effort.

You have to remember… the overhead and the [military] bases and the infrastructure [in Afghanistan] is almost a fixed cost. That is not going to be reduced. All that you can reduce… would be the number of soldiers, which endangers the soldiers and endangers the mission.

Look, you have to be serious about a war. If you think it’s worth winning, you do what the commanders think you need. If you don’t [think it is worth winning], you leave and then you save a lot of money and a lot of lives. What you don’t do is do half measures to save a fraction of a fraction of what you threw away on domestic programs.

On whether Congress will support the president’s mission in Libya:

The War Powers Act is a dead letter. It always has been. It’s a question of the separation of powers, and the Congress and presidency always opposed each other over who has power here [over war policy]. The Supreme Court is loath to rule when it’s dispute between the other branches.

Ultimately, if Congress wants to assert its will, it’s not in this dead letter War Powers act. It’s power of the purse. All it has to do is vote to withhold funds and war stops tomorrow.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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