September 21, 2010
What will Republicans do if they win back the majority in the House and possibly even the Senate, which seems less likely? Since all spending originates in the House by constitutional mandate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and others in the GOP leadership think the way to weaken the grip of what the Obama administration is doing to the country is to begin depriving it of its life blood: money. They want to start defunding the massive spending programs enacted by the administration, beginning with health care.
It's a great idea and there is precedent for it. Democrats in the past have cut funding for programs they don't like, most notably when it came to the Vietnam War. They wouldn't pay for what was not part of their agenda. Republicans should do the same thing. As Congressman Ryan told the Wall Street Journal, "We must show we are serious about limiting government."
Seriously limiting the power, reach and cost of government is what's needed to put our economy and our people back to work and on track toward solvency, even prosperity. The question is: do Republicans have the spine to do it?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.