Republicans are threatening not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling unless they get a bunch of spending cuts. They think they have “leverage” because a refusal to raise the debt limit will lead to a world-wide depression. (In this sense, Republicans are acting like terrorists.)
Given such high stakes, and given their self-righteous “Think of the children!” rhetoric, one would assume that Republicans might help out by suggesting some specific budget cuts. But one would be wrong. Instead, their offer is this: Nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally — Oh, wait. Sorry. That’s a quote from Godfather II. — Anyway, Republicans have no ideas. (Nothing unusual there.)
Why the stony silence? Well, here’s the scenario Republicans want to see play out:
STEP ONE: Barack Obama and Harry Reid come up with a list of wildly unpopular entitlement cuts.
STEP TWO: Mitch McConnell and John Boehner go on vacation in Cancún. Boehner gets a sunburn.
STEP THREE: Obama and Reid submit their list of wildly unpopular entitlement cuts to McConnell and Boehner, who “reluctantly”agree to them.
STEP FOUR: The “Barack Obama Middle Class Destruction Act” is passed. McConnell and Boehner get the sniffles and are unable to attend the signing ceremony.
STEP FIVE: Republicans attack Democrats as “The Party That Killed Medicare.”
This just isn’t going to happen, folks. Republicans are going to cave on the debt ceiling, and the country will muddle through to the next phony “crisis.”