EDITORIAL: Republicans Right on Debt Limit But Need to Persuade

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Republicans Right on Debt Limit But Need to Persuade

A decade ago, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lost a key battle to President Bill Clinton that involved shutting down the federal government. At first, Gingrich--head of the first Republican House Majority in forty years--seemed to have Clinton on the ropes.  But he lost that high stakes poker game, breathing new life into the sagging Clinton Presidency.  Gingrich didn't last long in his new powerful position.

Now another new Republican House Majority is taking on President Obama and his Democrats in Congress over the serious Debt Limit issue.  This time, the Republicans may have a better chance than Gingrich and Company did, simply because the country is generally behind the Republicans when it comes to making deeper cuts in the federal government's budget.  In the middle of a long recession, more than just conservatives believe that the government should tighten its belt and not raise taxes.

So the Republicans should win this time, right?  After all, no one wants to see America default on its loans, wrecking our economic situation further. So with the people on their side more this time, the Republicans will have to prevail, right?

Not so fast. The Democrats don't have to care about the views of the public at large as long as they secure the support of their liberal constituents. Predictably, the Democrats in Congress, along with the President, will tell their constituencies that they are defending their interests against those nasty Republicans and their designs on cutting government programs.

What's more, the Democrats still have the mainstream American press substantially on their side.  True, the liberal members of the press have to give the Republicans' side of the story, in light of the public's decision to give them the Congress in the last election.  However, positive news stories about the Democrats' fight to prop up Big Government will be coming soon to a theater near you.  It goes with the territory.

So to help in those toss-up districts that can go either way, the national Republican leadership must be firm in their resolve to have significantly more cuts in exchange for increasing the Debt Limit.  But they must be more persuasive.  An explanation of what will happen to the country if we don't get serious about cutting our federal budget would be a good start.

The Democrats will be giving heartrending tales about what such cuts will mean.  Republicans need to counter with their own visions of what a bankrupt country would mean to the poor, the elderly, and our young people.  When the Republicans can paint that picture well, they'll win this battle and many more to come.



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