Starving the Beast: Cut, Cap and Balance

The debt limit is a largely symbolic check on excessive borrowing which in the past has been frequently raised with little to no controversy. Such periodic increases are necessary to keep the government running and paying its bills, regardless of ideology.

However, Congressional Republicans are now demanding that certain conditions must be met in order to win their approval of a debt ceiling increase. They have termed their list of demands Cut, Cap and Balance, and claim it is a necessary measure in order to keep the government debt from spiraling out of control, and thus keep the country functioning.

Yet the Cut, Cap and Balance Act scheduled to reach the House floor this week is anything but necessary to keep the country functioning. Rather, it is the crown jewel, the final step of conservatives' long-pursued "Starve the Beast" strategy to downsize government. It would radically limit the flexibility of the federal government to provide a social safety net, buttress the economy in tough times and respond to great national challenges, now and into the future.

But don't take my word for it. Check out this week's 90 Second Summary and decide for yourself:

 

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A Time For Boldness

The consequences of governance by delusional minds were vividly displayed this week.  On March 16th, the Republican-led Senate approved a $2.8 trillion election-year budget that broke spending limits only hours after it increased federal borrowing power to avert a government default.  Even more embarrassing, the Republican-led Senate increased the debt limit to nearly $9 trillion.


Confronted with elections this November, some Republicans opted to abandon their "starve the beast mentality" and joined with Democrats to approve more than $16 billion in added spending for social, military, job safety and home-heating programs, exceeding a ceiling established by President Bush.  Meanwhile, the House advanced $92 billion in war spending and hurricane recovery money.

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