Heritage Foundation: Going Into Default Is Better Than Compromise
Ed Feulner, the President of The Heritage Foundation, writes today that letting the nation go into default is preferable to making a deal that involves any amount of compromise:
We find ourselves in the midst of an important battle, the outcome of which will be determined by decisions to be made in the immediate days ahead. We must win this fight. The debate over raising the debt limit seems complicated, but it is really very simple. Look beyond the myriad details of the awkward compromises, and you see an epic struggle between two opposing camps.
On one side are those who have come to realize it would be madness to let the political class borrow more without imposing a serious check on government spending. They have produced budgets and now an actual legislative plan to get things under control.
On the other, you find those who consider more spending, taxing, and borrowing a royal prerogative. They have produced nothing but rhetoric and empty promises and have pushed this debate to the brink.
The men and women thinking of compromising at this point are not bad or unpatriotic; they simply have lost their way. Those of us who still watch old movies can compare the present situation to the 1957 classic “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
In the film, an upright British colonel who had become a prisoner of war forgets temporarily the principles he was sworn to uphold and—to show his Japanese captors the professionalism of British soldiers—puts his men to work building the best bridge possible.
In the end, he recovers his sanity and realizes he is only helping the Japanese war effort, and he helps destroy the bridge.
It isn’t too late for us yet. Government spending is currently at 24.3 percent of GDP, and U.S. debt held by the public stands at 69.1 percent of GDP. This bridge needs to be stopped.
Congress should not raise the debt limit without getting spending under control. Debt limit legislation should put America on the path to driving down federal spending and borrowing, while preserving the ability to protect America without raising taxes.
In other words, it’s my way or the highway (to default and economic panic)
This isn’t a serious policy proposal, of course, it’s just partisan zealotry. The problem is that the supposedly responsible people in the room, the men and women in Congress, seem to think that it’s an actual viable alternative. Those would be the debt kamikazes that Steven Taylor and I have written about before. The idea that we can allow the August 2nd deadline to pass without having to worry about the economic consequences of the same, or that allowing those consequences to happen would somehow be better than giving even an inch in negotiations with the Democrats is probably the most incredibly irresponsible thing I’ve ever seen anyone put in writing.
In parting, I’ll just remind everyone that the advice that Feulner gives the House GOP is precisely the opposite of what the American people say they want.