Walking Away from Biden-led Negotiations was Right Call

Jun 22, 2011

Earlier today, the Biden-led debt ceiling talks collapsed, as House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) pulled out because Democrats were unwilling to take tax increases off the table.

Our debt crisis was created by overspending, not undertaxing, and until Democrats in Washington accept that reality, we will make no progress in heading off this crisis. Leader Cantor and Senator Kyl did the right thing in abandoning the Biden-led effort.

Currently low tax revenues, resulting largely from stubbornly high unemployment, are no excuse to raise taxes. Doing so would exacerbate the problem, destroying more jobs and further weakening the economy.

In this battle for our nation's future, conservatives have an obligation to hold firm in their demand for serious and substantive changes. The American people are tired of budget gimmicks, elongated timelines and stimulus-style spending. Congress must get this right, and they must not feel constrained by the artificial deadline of August 2.

As The Heritage Foundation's J.D. Foster explains, failing to raise the debt ceiling would not "put at risk the full faith and credit of the United States government" because "the government would continue to pay net interest as it comes due."

If we're serious about saving America for our children and grandchildren, we cannot afford to get this wrong. Leader Cantor and Senator Kyl were right to walk away from talks that were destined to end in a bad deal for the American people. The onus should be on Democrats to come to the negotiating table with a willingness to find a way to fundamentally transform the broken system of overspending and over-borrowing that we suffer from today.

Additional Resources:
A Rose by Any Other Name: Clarity on Tax Hikes
Cut, Cap and Balance - A Way Out of Debt
Congress Has Time and Options on Debt Limit