Monday, September 14, 2009
ATTN: Republican Members of the House and Senate
We’re all concerned about the deficit, about government spending that’s out of control, about an inexperienced, naïve President who fervently believes in the power of government to influence the private sector, almost regardless of the cost.
The good news is that President Obama has pledged, time and time again, that he will not sign healthcare reform legislation that increases our budget deficit. Fine, let’s call him on it.*
It’s simple. All you need to do is require that the President and Democrats in Congress agree to put a reasonable limit on the deficit as a condition for Republican support for healthcare reform. Demand “fiscal responsibility.” What could be more consistent with the classic definition of “Republicanism”?
One of two things will be true. Either the President will decline in which case it will be obvious that he doesn’t really support limited government spending and/or believe in his ability to accomplish prudent fiscal management, or he’ll agree, in which we’re all better off for it and Republicans running for office everywhere will get credit for having suggested the idea in the first place.
Can you imagine a President or Congress which, particularly under the circumstances, declines to limit the budget deficit even to levels in the trillions of dollars? Whatever the outcome, it’s not often that an entire political party finds itself in such a profoundly win-win situation. To fail to take advantage of it would prove to me and the American people that you (the Republicans) deserve to be a minority party.
*If you have time, you might want to read, “Calling the President Out,” published Friday, September 11, 2009.