This Saturday morning I was watching MSNBC. Predictably the commentators were claiming that the Republicans would use The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the coming debt ceiling debate as excuses to shut-down the government. Unfortunately, these Democratic accusations have not been effectively refuted by the Republicans. In fact the Democrats have been winning on the public relations front. Time for the Republicans to get their act together before they lose another round in the public arena.
Should a Republican with a degree of influence on Republican strategy accidentally stumble across Casual Observations, I would hope that they would encourage the Republicans strategy team incorporate some of the thoughts below.
The government can be funded without including funding for the Affordable Care Act. Funding bills originate in the House, currently controlled by the Republicans. If the Democrats are not willing to accept defunding or to suggest less onerous measures, the Republicans need to establish that it is the Democrats who are obstructing the development of a budget for FY-2014.
In terms of the debt ceiling, the solution is "simple"; stop spending. Actually it is a combination of reduced spending and increased taxes. The Republicans must consider increased taxes, but they must also propose real cuts. Again spending bills originate in the House and the House has not really taken an aggressive stance. Consequently, the Democrats have successfully won two arguments, by claiming that Congress has mandated these expenses: 1. the need to increase the debt ceiling and 2. public relations. The Republicans have a bloody nose.
Since funding bills originate in the House, the Republicans need to propose a realistic budget that will not require an increase in the debt ceiling. Yes that will mean increased taxes.
Next, the Republicans need to implement a public relations campaign highlighting that the Obama administration is not being fiscally responsible since the Obama administration continues to spend fully knowing that they will bust the debt ceiling and expecting the House to simply role-over and accept this insult. This is a slap-in-the face by the Obama administration. The House controls the "purse strings". Time for the House to stand-up on this issue and fight back. If Obama does not accept his "allowance" it would be Obama who would be shutting the government down.
Furthermore, the Obama administration itself has also not made any realistic budget proposals. It's literally tax and spend more. The Democrats now make no pretence towards implementing a balanced budget. Republicans need to highlight this continued never ending fiscal irresponsibility and implement a public relations campaign documenting that the President must work within the budget that Congress gives him.