A Republican Showdown?

By Thomas Sowell on Townhall.com:

They say that, in politics, “overnight is a lifetime.” In other words, the journey from triumphant hero to discredited scapegoat can be very brief.

In the wake of the Republicans’ triumphs in last November’s elections, great hopes are being held out that Republican control of the House of Representatives can slam the brakes on Barack Obama’s march toward a completely government-controlled economy and ruinous deficit spending.

The first big step toward that goal could be forcing the Obama administration to cut back on spending, as the price of raising the national debt ceiling, which will be necessary early on in this new Congress, if the federal government is not going to be forced to shut down for lack of money.

Much of the runaway spending in Washington has been a spending of money that the government doesn’t have in the till, by borrowing money through the sale of government bonds– in other words, running up a record high national debt.

Because there is a legal limit on how much national debt the government can create, the spending has to be cut back or the debt ceiling increased by Congress. Otherwise, the government is going to have to shut down many of its operations for lack of money.

Some people see this as a golden opportunity for the new Republican majority to gain concessions from the Obama administration, as the price for going along with an increase in the national debt. It sounds logical. But logic is not always the dominant factor in politics.

Read the rest here.

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