It’s Time To Say “No More” Negotiating With Hostage Takers

Robert Borosage

Republicans in Congress are intent on creating yet another manufactured budget crisis. This one is timed to come after bruising negotiations over the next weeks to avoid the deep, across-the-board cuts required by the sequester and the threat to shut down the government with the expiration of the continuing resolution funding government scheduled for March.

Now they intend to extend the debt ceiling for only four months, to insure another crisis in May; this one putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk once more. They want the country to reel from the `fiscal cliff’ in December to another hostage negotiation in February and March to a third one in May.

This is an utterly irresponsible and economic destructive course of action. The deficit is already down 25 percent as a percent of the economy. It is falling faster than any time since the end of World War II. It will continue to fall unless the hostage taking exacts more cuts or creates more instability that drives our weak recovery back into recession.

Holding America hostage is no way to negotiate a budget. The president should simply say no more. Demand that the debt ceiling be lifted for two years without conditions. Call for legislation to revoke the ruinous sequester cuts. Demand that Congress fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. It’s time to call a halt to this foolishness – and let Americans understand who is sabotaging jobs and growth. Let Americans hold the hostage takers to account.

 

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