Monday, July 25, 2011

Talking Points for Liberal Democrats on the Debt Ceiling

As Nate Silver pointed out earlier today, John Boehner is at a make or break moment in the debt ceiling negotiations. He has unveiled his proposal to cut spending without any revenue increases and to raise the ceiling in two increments (crossing both of the President's lines in the sand). Now it's critical for him to get this through the House, because if he can't even do that it becomes obvious he will need Democratic votes and he'll have significantly less bargaining power.

A swarm of liberal Democratic House members need to take to the airwaves and make a case for their ideas. With somewhere between 40-60 GOP members being on record as not supporting any debt ceiling increase whatsoever, it seems likely that Nancy Pelosi has a hand to play here.

Here's some of what they should say:
  • Not a single Democrat will vote for the Speaker's plan. It will fail in the Senate and the President indicated he would veto a bill like this. It's a partisan team building exercise, not a serious proposal. Serious proposals don't get announced on the Rush Limbaugh show.
  • Republicans voted in April to gut Medicare. This latest proposal just shows they continue to place tax cuts for the wealthy and breaks on corporate jets before Medicare spending for the elderly
  • As many as 60 GOP members in the house have indicated they will never vote to increase the debt limit, no matter what the proposal. These are people who questioned newspaper reports of the Presidents birth and the word of the military concerning bin Laden's death. They could hear that a tornado was coming straight for their house, shake their heads and say "the liberal media's at it again." The Speaker will need some more level-headed thinkers; namely, Democrats.
  • While failing to raise the debt ceiling would be catastrophic, we aren't worried. Have you ever known the GOP to support a policy that would cost the richest Americans money? I'm confident when the hedge fund managers tell their Republican supporters how much they stand to lose, you'll see a renewed eagerness for bipartisanship.
If this is done right, Nancy Pelosi could be the hero of this story.

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