We have seen this movie before.
In 1995 and 1996 when Newt Gingrich’s Republicans (the political grandfathers of the current fringe election-denying insurrectionist vintage in the House) mistakenly thought they could bring Bill Clinton to his knees by shutting down the government if he did not adopt their draconian budget proposals.
At the end of the day, they gave in after receiving the lion’s share of the blame for trying to propel the nation over a fiscal cliff.
The Tea Party sequel to fiscal irresponsibility occurred again in 2011 and 13 when Republicans tried to circumvent Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and Democratic budget priorities by nearly defaulting on the national debt, causing the nation’s credit rating to suffer, and shutting down the government.
Again the people loudly protested. Again, the Republicans were blamed and forced to give in.
Now, the Republicans in Kevin McCarthy’s Election Denying-Insurrentionist Enabling-Fringe Caucus House of Horrors and the insane-insurrection caucus in Arizona, having not learned from history and their predecessor’s mistakes, are willing to take the nation and Grand Canyon state to uncharted dangerous fiscal waters again if they do not get what they want.
Republicans in the Nation’s House want to raise the debt limit (which technically was reached on January 19, 2023) only if Democrats agree to spending cuts in the areas Republicans do not like (things like Medicaid, the environment, food stamps, and helping schools and children.) Keeping the Trump tax cuts and defense spending levels at record-high levels is not on the Republican table. That alone should tell the American People how unserious the Fringe Caucus is at putting the nation’s fiscal house in order.
Republicans in Arizona, clearly going through withdrawals that they do not have the Governor’s chair for the first time in 14 years, are going ape that Katie Hobbs wants to do away with ESA vouchers for private schools. That these vouchers are just another hidden tax cut for their rich friends and these fine people, according to the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC,) are flocking in droves to get a free ride at the risk of blowing the state budget apart does not seem to phase these Republicans who claim to hold fiscal responsibility so dear.
Commenting on the Republican attitude toward the 2024 Arizona budget at a press conference yesterday (January 20, 2023,) Governor Katie Hobbs rightfully said:
“I have consistently said, not just since I have been in this office but on the campaign trail, that I am willing to work with anyone who is going to focus on the issues that matter to Arizonans. I believe our budget is a reflection of what voters told us they wanted in this last election and we know that with a divided government, there has to be compromise and I can guarantee you the compromise is not just going to come from the ninth floor…We’re going to have to work together to find a budget that we can all agree on. I have the final say on the budget…”
When asked a follow-up on the inclusion of the total repeal of the ESA vouchers, Hobbs offered:
“The budget process is a process of negotiation and compromise and what we proposed is a starting point.”
At least Governor Hobbs is one adult in the room.
In Washington D.C., Democrats in the White House and Congress are taking a similar posture to Hobbs, refusing to give into the economic “take it or leave it” terrorism being proposed by the Republicans on the debt ceiling. To that end, Democrats in the Biden/Harris Administration and Congress are calling for the House Republicans to put forward their spending cut proposals in the hope that the people’s angst, like they showed in 1995, 1996, 2011, and 2013, will cause them to retreat and allow the debt ceiling to rise.
In an article reported by the Washington Post, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s remarked that “we’re just not going to negotiate about that (the debt limit.)”
Democrats are right.
Republicans do not have the right to hold a fiscal gun to Arizona’s and the nation’s financial hearts and duly elected Democrats should not negotiate with economic terrorists.
The people did not elect Republicans to plunge Arizona and the country into an economic depression.
It is time for them to stop thinking they can play in the economic sandbox all by themselves and not repeat the mistakes members of their increasingly fringe party have made for almost the last 30 years.
Democrats did not give in during the financial crises in 1995, 1996, 2011, and 2013 and they are not going to now.
Face reality now Republicans!