WASHINGTON – It just got a lot simpler to stop Congress from raising the debt limit, bringing a result 55 percent of Americans want to see – government living within its means starting now.
A campaign designed to mobilize and empower millions of Americans to make their voices heard in Washington is closing in on the goal of generating its first 500,000 individually addressed red letters to every Republican in the House of Representatives urging them to hold the line on borrowing.
The campaign also got another big boost by grabbing the simple domain name “NoMoreRedInk.com.”
“A month ago, I would have said this grassroots national lobbying effort started by me had a one in a thousand chance of success,” said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. “Today, I would say we are approaching a 50-50 opportunity.”
It’s now clear how Congress can avoid borrowing any more money beyond the $14.3 trillion hole it has already dug. It simply means cutting $738 billion from the existing budget, Farah says.
“Republican members of the House, the people we just elected to take over last November, have all the power to make this happen – simply by voting against raising the debt limit,” says Farah. “At that point, Democrats and Republicans have no choice but to cut back the federal government to where it should be – in line with its revenues. We do not need tax hikes. We do not need to miss Social Security payments. We do not need to default on our loan obligations. We just have to cut the bloated bureaucracies – many of which are unconstitutional to begin with.”
Farah says when the “No More Red Ink” campaign began earlier this year, almost no one was talking seriously about not raising the debt limit. Today, he says, Republican presidential candidates, members of the Senate and an increasing number of House Republicans are joining the movement. Among those who have embraced the idea are Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Ron Paul and many others.
“All it takes now is 218 votes in the House – and it’s all in the control of Republicans,” says Farah. “Can we persuade Republicans not to borrow any more? If we can’t, we may miss the last opportunity we have until 2012 to save this country from bankruptcy and disaster.”
“The biggest vote, most important vote, they will cast this year is on the question of whether to raise the debt limit because the new majority in the lower house can, by inaction alone, force the most dramatic spending cuts in American history,” says Farah.
And that’s what the “No More Red Ink” campaign is designed to do – flood House Republicans with hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of red letters making the case for an end to the borrow-and-spend cycle that everyone agrees is unsustainable.
So far, nearly 500,000 letters have been sent to House Republicans through the “No More Red Ink” campaign. Farah’s goal is to exceed 1 million before a bill authorizing a hike in the debt limit reaches the floor.
While the latest poll shows 70 percent of Americans opposed to raising the debt limit, House Speaker John Boehner has signaled his intent to push for it – surrendering, Farah says, the only weapon Republicans have that can force cuts beyond those that will be accepted by the Democrat-dominated Senate and Barack Obama.
“This campaign is now getting help from tea party activists across the country,” Farah said. “We’re getting lots of support from Republicans in the House who don’t approve of their leadership’s concession on this issue. This is about to explode on the nation as the most important vote Congress will hold this year or any year – one that can completely break the chain of business as usual in Washington.”
“Unfortunately, if the House Republicans do not hear from the American people in strength, they will vote for business-as-usual deficit spending for the next two years and surrender the power they have to force fiscal responsibility on Barack Obama and the Democrats in the Senate,” says Farah. “House Speaker John Boehner says he wants to use the debt limit to wrangle concessions out of the Democrats, but when he signals, as he did last weekend, that Congress must raise the debt limit to keep the government solvent, he has already waved the white flag of surrender on the most important vote to be cast in Congress over the next two years.”
The House Republican leadership says it will trade a hike in the debt limit for a promise by Obama and the Democrats to cut the budget.
“I don’t understand this?” says Farah. “If you are holding a winning hand, why fold? Why trade away the power you have to force the first real cuts in the budget and the end of deficit spending for yet another promise that will not be kept?”
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.”
Republicans in the House hold all the cards, Farah points out, because of their majority. They don’t need a single Democratic vote to side with them to shut down borrowing.
“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.”
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 241 letters with no guarantee of delivery and certainly nowhere near the impact.
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.
“When we started this campaign three weeks ago, almost no one was talking about freezing the debt limit,” he said. “Few Americans understood what a powerful weapon the House Republicans had in their hands. Now the pressure is mounting on those who were elected in November promising an end to business as usual in Washington.
That’s exactly what the debt-limit vote is all about – whether Washington is going to continue borrowing and overspending or whether new leadership will exert fiscal responsibility beginning this year.”
Farah predicts this will soon become the biggest issue in the nation – something that everyone is talking about.
“This is the moment to join this campaign and shake up the Washington borrowing-and-spending machine like it has never been shaken up before,” he said. “Remind the Republicans in the House why they were elected to lead.”