Is the White House asking for a clean debt limit increase with no spending cuts or reforms whatsoever?  If not, where is Washington Democrats’ serious plan to address the debt crisis that is hurting our economy and destroying jobs?  President Obama’s budget – the only Democratic plan available, since Senate Democrats have not offered a budget in three years – was defeated by the House by a vote of 414-0.  Today, the Senate is expected to vote it down again.  Because of the president’s failed economic and fiscal policies, a debt limit increase is looming again.  The alternative is default, which would be economically disastrous. 

That’s why House Speaker John Boehner laid out a common-sense approach for addressing America’s debt crisis yesterday: responsible spending cuts and reforms that will put the United States on a sounder financial footing, stave off further credit downgrades, and improve the health of our economy.  Yet Democrats immediately responded by hyperventilating at the mere suggestion that Congress come together to cut spending and deal with the big economic and fiscal challenges of our time.  Here’s just a few over-the-top, hyper-partisan examples:

  • “Speaker Boehner is threatening to take our nation into another manufactured crisis that will harm America’s families.” – Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Press Release, 5/15/12
  • “It’s pretty clear to me that the Tea Party direction of the Republican Party is driving them over a cliff. And I would suggest that Speaker Boehner look at the long term, which is what will the Republican Party look like in the future” – Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), The Hill, 5/15/12
  • “The President does not believe that the full faith and credit of the United States, its commitment to pay its bills and its obligations, should be held hostage to a political ideology.” – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Briefing, 5/15/12
  • “It is absolutely reckless to threaten that the United States will not pay its bills.” – Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15/12

Only in Washington will you find “leaders” who fear addressing a problem more than the problem itself.

In reality, the only people talking about “brinkmanship” or a “standoff” are the White House, Democrats, and the Left.  The Speaker told CNN yesterday there’s no reason to wait until we reach the debt limit to enact real spending cuts and reforms – the American people are ready, Republicans are ready – “let’s go.”  

The fact remains that the president’s ‘stimulus’ spending spree has racked up more debt – more than $5 trillion in just over three years – than any president in history, including four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits.  The real questions are, what is the president’s plan and when, if ever, will he lead?