Travis Rowley: Froma Harrop - Suicide Pilot
Saturday, August 20, 2011
“Blame the Tea Party?! Geez!...If it wasn’t for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs-up. We would have been rated Triple-B!” – Rick Santelli, CNBC
One of the Left’s latest attempts at marginalizing the very people who walloped Democrats in 2010 – and are poised to do so again in 2012 – was made by Projo columnist Froma Harrop, who furiously lashed out at Tea Party Republicans in one of her recent columns. Most notably, Harrop referred to Tea Partiers as “terrorists” for not capitulating to Democrats during July’s showdown over the national debt. According to Harrop, “Tea Party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the U.S. – threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want.”
Harrop’s angry rant even included a chiding of President Obama for his inability to utilize the “bully pulpit” against these “destructive children” – this “group of ignoramuses.” Froma’s frustration was so intense that she even called upon other Democrats to challenge Obama in the 2012 primaries. (No, Democrats haven’t retracted their pleas for more “civil dialogue” yet. And, no, the media has yet to begin discussing the “deep divide” within the Democratic Party. Don’t hold your breath either.)
Harrop began her column by explaining, “In the last half century, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democrats. The votes were cast without drama because the idea of this country defaulting on its debts was unthinkable.” It is at this moment that Harrop begins her misguided tour. The votes she speaks of “were cast without drama” not for the reason she cites, but because cowardly politicians found it less damaging to their political careers to simply borrow money and slip into unnoticed debt, rather than be bothered with potentially career-ruinous squabbles over tax hikes, spending cuts, and an encroaching debt crisis.
Rhode Islanders, before everyone else, should recognize this as a familiar political narrative.
Similar to the situation in Central Falls and Rhode Island as a whole, the day of reckoning draws near for the United States. According to Timothy Geithner, Obama’s own Treasury Secretary, in less than ten years the combined spending obligations of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and the servicing of the national debt will make up over 90 percent of the entire federal budget.
The party is over. But Democrats haven’t noticed that the music stopped.
John Adams once warned, “One way to destroy a nation is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
Not that Democrats give a damn. Liberals are still approaching the debt issue in the same manner that they have approached Rhode Island’s unfunded pension systems for the past several decades – with thoughtless disregard; determined to saddle the American economy with evermore monetary obligations. And to increase the likelihood of an economic doomsday, Senator John Kerry (D) even instructed the media not to offer “equal time” to the Tea Party’s opposing views, because they don’t “deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea.” (Like borrowing a few trillion dollars more.)
Kerry isn’t the only liberal elite intolerant of dissent. Harrop argued on the Dan Yorke Show that whenever debt ceiling increases are proffered, they “should just be approved and go on to the next thing.” According to Harrop, this is a subject that “should be beyond discussion.” This is not an issue “over which reasonable people may disagree.”
`Tea Party Republicans Get It Right
It was no surprise to Tea Party Republicans when – despite a debt ceiling agreement being reached – the S&P still decided to downgrade U.S. Treasury bonds from AAA status to AA+. As the Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby wrote, “In explaining its downgrade, S&P did not call for…higher taxes. Instead it said that the debt deal ‘fell well short’ of the deficit reductions needed, that it provided only ‘modest savings’ in discretionary spending, and that Congress was unwilling to curb Medicare and other entitlements, which is the ‘key to long-term fiscal sustainability.’ That sounds an awful lot like what the Tea Party has been saying.”
Tea Party Republicans offered proposals that would also have solved the debt issue, but they were promptly rejected by Democrats. Yet, liberals are out there blaming the bond downgrade on the Tea Party by pointing out that S&P also made their decision based on a weakening of “the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions.” Washington gridlock rides along a two-way street. But Democrats don’t see it that way because they think they have a monopoly on “legitimate ideas.” (Like borrowing a few trillion dollars more.)
Contrary to what Harrop wants people to believe, Tea Party Republicans were never threatening to “blow up the economy” if they didn’t achieve the deep spending cuts that they were elected to fight for. Tea Party Republicans were well aware of the thoughts of another rash Washington elitist, Alan Greenspan: “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.”
If Democrats didn’t get their latest loan, they would have either been forced to prioritize federal spending (good), or they would have simply printed all the dollars they needed to fund wasteful federal bureaucracies and programs (bad). During the entire ordeal, Democrats were pretending to be unaware of their own foolishness.
In the end, however, Democrats got what they wanted. And by forcing yet another raise to the debt ceiling, Democrats have actually accelerated America toward the debt wall.
You know who else refused to stop before hitting a wall? Mohammed Atta.
Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans, and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.
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