Maybe there will be a deal between Congress and the White House that will avoid the artificially imposed debt ceiling deadline of August 2, or maybe not. If there is, we won’t know the full details, much less the impact, until much later. That’s because the deal – like health care – is being worked out in secret among politicians who always put their own interests first. Always.
The last time a deal like this was struck was in the George H.W. bush administration. Bush Senior agreed to break his “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge in return for a promise of spending caps by Congress. The trouble was that Congress, which imposed the caps, eventually removed them. Higher taxes remained and spending increased.
That’s why a balanced budget amendment is the only insurance we who pay the bills have in forcing Congress to live within our means as most of us have to do. But don’t look for them to pass that because it would restrict their power. And power is all most of them care about. We’ll see if the newly-elected Republicans can hold fast to their principles.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.
This article published July 25, 2011.