House Speaker John Boehner
WASHINGTON – Republican House Speaker John Boehner, out of fear, ignorance or ineptitude, is surrendering the GOP’s most potent weapon to restore fiscal sanity to the nation’s Capitol beginning this year, says the organizer of a campaign to persuade the House majority not to raise the debt limit.
The reaction by Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND and the spearhead of a grass-roots citizen lobbying campaign directed at House Republicans, comes following a statement by Boehner on Fox News over the weekend.
“In order for the debt ceiling to rise, Congress must approve taking on more debt, which currently is growing by more than $4 billion per day,” said Boehner. “If it doesn’t approve raising the ceiling, then the U.S. will default on its loans and lose its standing as the globe’s most reliable bet.”
Farah said the last part of that statement simply isn’t true, and he’s appealing to Boehner and his Republican colleagues in the House to recognize the simple principle that you cannot solve a debt problem by continually borrowing more money.
“There is no reason we can’t pay the interest on the money the federal government has borrowed and still keep that government functioning,” says Farah. “What Boehner is preaching here is true voodoo economics. However, if we keep raising the debt limit and keep borrowing, eventually there will be no way out of the hole Washington is digging.”
Farah launched the “No More Red Ink” campaign to persuade the House Republican majority to say no to raising the debt limit – the only action, he says, that will force Washington to stop unsustainable spending in the short term.
“The U.S. doesn’t have to default on any loans simply because the government decides to stop borrowing and digging a bigger hole for itself,” says Farah. “A default would come from a failure to pay the principal or interest on the existing debt, which represents only about 6 percent of everything the federal government has to pay. Living under the debt ceiling doesn’t prohibit serving the debt. It merely prohibits any more borrowing.”
For his part, Farah has made it easy for the public to make their voices heard in Washington in a powerful way.
The “No More Red Ink” campaign has two facets:
- Sign a petition directed exclusively to all 242 House Republicans calling on them not to bargain away their “nuclear option” that can stop any further deficit spending for the next two years.
- Flood their offices with “red ink” letters that remind them they are holding all the cards in getting government spending under control and that all they have to do is vote “no” on raising the debt limit.
“This is a plan to separate the real economic conservatives from the pretenders,” said Farah. “If you want to reduce the debt that is destroying this country’s economy we have a chance right now to slam on the brakes. Once the debt limit is raised, it’s back to business as usual.”
Farah is virtually alone in pointing out the obvious fact that the Republicans in the House hold all the cards. They don’t need a single Democratic vote to side with them. If 218 out of 242 Republicans in the House vote no on raising the debt limit, the debate is over – “and so is the growing U.S. debt.”
“At that point, Barack Obama can’t implement Obamacare,” he said. “From that moment onward, there will be no more spending initiatives by Obama for the next two years. There will be no more bailouts, no more ‘stimulus’ spending. It’s all over. In fact, the most significant budget cuts in modern American history will have to be made – and the Republican House will still have to approve them.”
Farah says he can’t understand why so few conservatives and Republicans are pushing the idea. So far, only Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., have taken positions against raising the debt limit.
“I have to believe that most Americans are simply unaware of what is about to transpire,” he said. “Everyone is talking about the debt crisis – even Obama. But no one is talking about the opportunity we have to start reversing it right now. It’s always tomorrow, next year, next decade. That is a recipe for an even bigger disaster. Borrowing more is never a solution to a debt problem.”
The “No More Red Ink” campaign allows Americans to send a “red ink” letter to every member of the House majority urging them to vote “no” on raising the debt limit. The letters are individually addressed to each member, with guaranteed delivery by Fed Ex for a cost of just $29.99. It would cost an individual more than $100 in postage alone to send the 242 letters with no guaranty of delivery and certainly nowhere near the impact.
“I’m here to tell you that the Republicans in the House will be held accountable for this surrender to the Washington establishment and the Democrats in the Senate and White House if they capitulate on more debt spending,” says Farah. “Republicans in the House hold all the cards they need to stop this fiscal insanity this year. If they give in, they will be no better than the Democrats who have wrecked this economy.”
A similar campaign organized by WND last year delivered more than 9 million “pink slips” to members of the House and Senate. Farah is hoping a similar response by Americans in the next few weeks will persuade House Republicans to oppose raising the debt limit.
Farah says some in House leadership are already suggesting they will support raising the debt limit in March in exchange for the promise of budget cuts by Democrats.
“Why Republicans would bargain for budget cuts that Democrats themselves will be forced to implement if the debt limit is not raised makes no sense,” he says. “By definition, a vote to raise the debt limit permits the Democrats to spend more money than Washington collects. Republicans will, in effect, give Democrats license to keep overspending and increasing debt by approving a debt limit increase.”
On the other hand, Farah says, all Republicans in the House have to do to force Democrats to cut spending radically for the first time in decades is to stick together in opposing a hike in the debt limit.
“There is a lot of pressure on House Republicans to simply negotiate a deal with the Democrats on budget cuts or a balanced budget in exchange for a vote to raise the debt limit,” said Farah. “To me it makes no sense. Republicans, by merely voting as a bloc in the House alone, can force bigger cuts in the budget than they will ever get in any deal with Democrats. Why would they trade that nuclear option. Republicans in the House hold all the cards. This is what they were elected to do last November – for a time such as this.”
Farah urges Americans to sign the petition to the House Republicans in droves as well as to participate in a program to inundate House Republicans with “red ink” letters that explain they hold all the cards in balancing the budget this year – without any help from the Democrat-controlled Senate or House Democrats or Barack Obama.
“We’ve got to get their attention right now,” he said. “We have only weeks to ensure they get the message. Voting to raise the debt limit will be business as usual. It will give Democrats and Obama license to keep spending, to enact Obamacare, to keep bailing out the wealthy and to ensure the economic train wreck is bigger and worse than we can imagine. Opposing the raising of the debt limit represents the first major step back from the economic brink for America.”
It’s a two-step process that can rein in Washington’s spending this year, explains Farah:
- Sign the petition
- Send the “red ink” letters by guaranteed Fed Ex delivery to all 242 House Republicans to encourage them not to fritter away the leverage they have to bring spending under control this year/