The fallout from Ted Cruz's stand continues as we inch closer towards some sort of resolution regarding the continuing resolution, the debt limit and the defunding of ObamaCare.
Now before we get to the latest of where things stand in Washington, I want to reiterate a few points about what we saw in the Senate this week. There remains a great-many people (Democrats and Republicans) who are upset with Ted Cruz for what he did this week. There are a lot of people who considered it a waste of time. There are a lot of people who think that Ted Cruz will hurt things in the long-run. But I disagree. The only thing that Ted Cruz is going to hurt is the cushy jobs of the Washington DC elite of both parties. I do not think that a lot of people (particularly in DC and New York) realize how upset Americans are about the fact that no one in Washington seems to be fighting for them. This is why I think Ted Cruz ultimately has the upper-hand here. Ted Cruz has demonstrated a will and a fight and principled passion that Americans have been craving for so long. Democrat, Republican, Independent – Who doesn't want the people in DC to be more responsive to the people rather than so focused on their own jobs, their own power and their own re-election?
Republicans can't seem to get over this paralyzing fear of a government shutdown. Why aren't Barack Obama and Democrats equally as concerned about the potential political fallout of a government shutdown? For whatever reason, everyone in Washington seems to understand that the Republicans are willing to do just about anything in order to avert a government shutdown, NOT because they are afraid of how their constituents will be affected but because they fear being blamed. Fine. Be blamed for a shutdown or abandon your principles, abandon your willingness to fight. I'll tell you what the GOP should fear more than a government shutdown: The GOP should fear an American electorate who is frustrated and upset that they no longer have people in Washington truly fighting for freedom, liberty and limited government. THAT'S what the GOP should be fearing. Ted Cruz showed that it is possible, and I dare say that America wants more of that. In the long run, that is far more important than a potential government shutdown.
Also I love this idea that the president is pushing that the GOP is really afraid that people will actually like ObamaCare. I'm not buying that one. Since when have the American people ever been thrilled by something that is run by the government? How many people proclaim their love for the DMV? But the GOP should be afraid of ObamaCare being implemented because when was the last time we got rid of a big-Government program or entitlement? I didn't think so …
The fact is that ObamaCare is unaffordable, it is detrimental to our economy and it is negatively effecting the lives of millions of Americans. How can the GOP not stand up against this atrocity?
- Finally this week we received data on these health exchanges from the Department of Health and Human Services. According to a report from Forbes: “Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.” So much for that promise of affordability! No matter how this administration attempts to spin it, premiums are going up under ObamaCare.
- Taxes are going up too! Obama readily admitted this week that ObamaCare raises taxes. During his remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama told the audience: “We did raise taxes on some things.” Some things? Americans for Tax Reform has a list of those “some things” that are effecting individuals and businesses. Taxes have consequences.
- A new report out today finds that the ObamaCare exchanges will cost $5.3 billion and 16 million hours in paperwork burdens. It's adding to the already over-burdened businesses and individuals who already waste time and money dealing with IRS paperwork. Now let's just add more to that time and money that could otherwise be used to grow the economy and instead will be wasted complying with ObamaCare.
- The Washington Post reports that even though the DC health exchanges will go into effect on October 1st, people won't even know how much to pay until mid-November. What a joke! This bill is clearly not ready for primetime, and in my opinion it should never see the light of day at all.
- A new government watchdog report shows that the IRS is already having trouble tracking spending related to ObamaCare. It cannot account for $67 million related to its implementation. I highly doubt that will change, but will only get worse as the law rolls into existence.
- We have two more stories just today of businesses be effected by ObamaCare: White Castle says ObamaCare's limits on part-time hours will raise costs by 35% and a South Carolina business woman explains how she is being forced to reduce full-time employees because of ObamaCare.
So where do we stand in this fight? The way things are shaping up, Washington is going to do what it is so good at doing: Kicking the can down the road. Republican sources are saying that a short-term continuing resolution to fully fund the government is being considered, and this will fund the government for another week or so. But keep in mind that we have the debt ceiling debate right around the corner. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to John Boehner yesterday explaining that our debt limit will be reached by October 17th. After that date, we can't pay our bills, except with the money flowing in from tax collection. Republicans are considering tying some sort of delay or defund to an increase in the debt limit. The only problem is that Barack Obama has stated that he will absolutely not negotiate on the debt limit. Remember that? The problem for Obama is that the America people disagree. By a ratio of 2-to-1, Americans disagree that Congress should raise the debt limit without conditions. According to a national Bloomberg poll, “61 percent say that it’s 'right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised even if it risks default,' because Congress lacks spending discipline.” So this unwillingness to negotiate on the debt limit may not play to the president's favor. The fact is that this will be the seventh debt limit increase since Obama took office. According to the Heritage Foundation, “Congress has added $43,000 in debt for every American household in just the last four years.”
We are on an unsustainable path and ObamaCare only accelerates our trajectory on that path. We need real leadership in Washington to lead on the big issues. We've seen a glimpse of that this week, but we've got to go a long way if we are going to save this Republic.