WashPost Columnist Boosts Controversial McConnell Plan

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 02:19 PM

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to place the onus on any debt ceiling hike on President Barack Obama is causing headaches on both sides of the aisle. But the plan is nothing short of brilliant, according to Jennifer Rubin, who writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post.

“The concept isn’t that hard to understand,” she wrote. “1. McConnell had enough of the phony White House talks. The White House offered a paltry $2 billion in actual, immediate cuts. 2. McConnell gave a speech to make clear that wasn’t enough and that the debt limit would be raised only with real cuts and without tax hikes. 3. McConnell could sit back and wait for default. 4. But he comes up with a mechanism to force Obama to put up cuts, send them to Congress and face ‘default’ if the president’s cuts don't get through. 5. In the process he makes 34 Democratic senators vote over and over again on cuts.”

The plan includes no tax increases and would force the president to send a request for a debt-ceiling increase to Congress.

“The critics who dimly understand the plan forget that the alternatives are limited,” she wrote. “What are the alternatives? Default. Or accept the tax hike offer from the White House. Or maybe Obama will cave. McConnell is more than happy to keep on trying to get rid of the tax hikes and get the White House to cough up real spending cuts.”

Regardless, if Congress and the White House fail to make a deal, the McConnell plan would ensure that the default will not fall on the GOP and would provide a backstop to avoid default.

“If there is a criticism of the McConnell plan it is that he vastly overestimated the ability of the political class to understand an out-of-the-box proposal,” Rubin wrote. “Maybe he could come up with a chart or a video. For now, expect another speech on the Senate floor tomorrow and some talk-radio appearances. And guess what? If no one likes the plan we can go back to the main ring, where Obama is offering only $2 billion in real spending cuts.”

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