The Corner

Pay-As-You-Go for Debt-Ceiling Increases

The doubting Thomases heard loud and clear tonight from House Speaker John Boehner that there are two lines in the sand.  

First, there will be no more 1982 or 1990 “Andrews Air Force Base” or “Gang of Six” deals that raise taxes and promise spending restraint.  Tax increases are off the table.  Boehner and 235 other members of the House of Representatives have signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” — a written pledge to their voters that they will oppose and vote against any net tax hike. (Forty-one Senators have signed the same pledge.) The Washington spending establishment has been hoping that Boehner and the Republican House majority would weaken and fold before Obama’s threats to close down the government if he didn’t get his tax and spending increases.  They did not win, and tonight was Boehner’s “Read My Lips” speech . . . No tax increases, period.

Second, and this is sheer genius, Boehner has put a sliding-scale price on debt-ceiling increases.  Hey, Obama, you want to buy a debt ceiling increase of, say, $2 trillion that would take you past the next election?  Fine, the going price is two trillion dollars in real spending cuts.  Cannot afford that and hold your spending coaliton in place?  Fine, you can buy a month of debt-ceiling relief, worth about $125 billion, for the reduced price of $125 billion in spending cuts.  The price of the debt-ceiling hike is the the same amount — or more — of real spending cuts.

I like the idea of a debt-ceiling-increase vote every month or two.  Keeps Obama on a short leash.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More