The Corner

The Yuck Stops Here

My New York Post column today takes a look at the stand-up comedy act that’s currently got ’em rolling on both sides of the aisle in Washington:

Here’s a joke for you: President Obama nearly bankrupts the country with his out-of-control deficit spending — then demands responsible fiscal leadership from the Republicans.

OK, this is no time for humor: The country faces a deadline of Aug. 2 to either raise the debt ceiling from $14.3 trillion to around $16 trillion or face the prospect of defaulting on our loans and cutting services.

But jokers seem to be all we have in Washington these days, with the president as comedian-in-chief.

’T’ain’t funny, McGee: even applying my habitual 50 percent discount to anything I read in a British newspaper about the U.S., this report from the Daily Mail indicates the president is angry and frustrated that his peremptory, “The time for talk is over” shtick isn’t working, and at least some Republicans are, in fact, ready to call his bluff.

Time for the Republicans to man up and end this laugh riot. Do they really think the public would blame them if Obama directs the Treasury Department not to issue Social Security checks? If Obama holds up military pay or executes any of the sky-is-falling scenarios he and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have been floating?

The GOP needs to hold the line: No tax hikes, no more borrowing to spend on unreformed, unaffordable programs.

And let’s not overlook that the Democrats have finally tacitly admitted what everybody except the vast majority of Americans knows to be true about the Ponzi Scheme:

Obama inadvertently let the Social Security cat out of its imaginary “lockbox” when he threatened to stop the checks. Because there is no trust fund: Social Security is paid either out of current revenues or with borrowed money. It’s a pyramid scheme that’s running out of suckers.

The president and Congress should take this moment to level with the American people about the solvency of entitlement programs, but of course they won’t.

Because the joke’s on us.

As we used to say when we were kids: that’s so funny I forgot to laugh.


Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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