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Friday, April 15, 2011

Recent Budget Compromise

One of the videos circulating the internet as part of, I believe, the Atlas Shrugged Video Contest is called "A Sharply Unreasonable Compromise." It is very worth-watching: not very long at all, but quite poingant. The basic premise is that there are some issues on which people must not be willing to compromise- because those issues are so essential to maintaining a free society. I immediately thought of this video in terms of the recent Republican budget compromise to avert a government shutdown. When the United States has such a severe budget crisis, a deficit that cannot be fixed simply by cutting discretionary spending, a compromise that only ended up cutting about $40 billion should not have been on the table whatsoever. Rasmussen polls showed that the nation would have been willing to accept a government shutdown in return for greater spending cuts. The election this last November has proven that popular opinion is clearly leaning in the direction of fiscal conservatism. Because Republicans were fighting on behalf of the desires of the American people, it is hard to believe that a government shutdown would have been blamed on anyone except for the Democratic Senate and President Obama, both of whom failed to pass a 2011 budget and take a leadership role. My overall point is that Republicans may have done more damage to their cause by failing to fight for their promises outlined in their "Pledge for America" than if they had taken a stand and caused a government shutdown. Now, the momentum is on Obama's hands, and no matter to what degree Obama seems to have alienated many Americans, we have no idea of what the Obama political machine will be able to accomplish in 2012. Hopefully, we can expect more determined leadership from Speaker Boehner when it comes to the 2012 budget, a process that Republicans can take a greater role in from the start.

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