Driving the Week: Conservatives Storm Washington

On Wednesday, newly elected Members of Congress will be sworn in, marking the beginning of the 112th Congress.  Americans, the press and lawmakers are gearing up for prolonged fights over spending, oversight and, of course, repeal of Obamacare.

The debt limit is another issue is beginning to emerge.  It received widespread coverage on the Sunday talk shows.  Washington’s reckless spending has saddled us with nearly $14 trillion in debt and spending already cooked into the books will push that even higher.

Newly elected conservatives are approaching the issue seriously.  On Sunday, Representative-elect Allan West (R-FL) laid out the parameters of increasing the debt limit, he told Fox News Sunday:

…the only way that I would ever support raising the debt limit if we also talk about budgetary controls on the federal government, capping its spending, how do we deal with the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid problems, because they cannot continue to run on auto-pilot.  So I’m not going to write a blank check as far as raising the debt limit without us also saying we’re going to do these things to make ourselves fiscally responsible…

Of course, the administration would prefer a blank check.  On ABC’s This Week, Council of Economic Advisers chair Austan Goolsbee said, “It pains me that we would even be talking about this.  This is not a game.”

Difficult choices lay ahead and Americans deserve to be treated like adults.  We must not avoid the issues or the ensuing debates and decisions.  Goolsbee’s approach reeks of big-government paternalism.  As conservatives work to take back their government, he and others in the administration should prepare for more uncomfortable conversations.

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