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Time to Build Public Support for Debt Limit Demands

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Last Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the United States is projected to hit its $31.4 trillion debt borrowing limit by the end of this week. In short, due to unchecked federal spending, Congress will need to raise the nation’s debt limit to prevent the United States from defaulting on its financial obligations. Current law constrains the U.S. Department of the Treasury from issuing debt to meet the government’s ongoing cash needs by creating a statutory ceiling called the debt limit.

Once the debt limit is reached, the Treasury cannot borrow more money and will not have enough revenue to meet all its obligations unless Congress passes new legislation raising or suspending the debt limit. Once the debt limit is reached, Secretary Yellen can exercise some limited accounting moves, known as “extraordinary measures,” that can buy some time. But the government will eventually run out of cash if the debt limit is not raised by Congress.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has warned that he will consider using the debt ceiling to force cuts to critical programs: “You can’t just continue down the path to keep spending and adding to the debt. … [Y]ou got to change your current behavior. We’re not just going to keep lifting your credit card limit, right?”

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With a Democrat President Biden promising to veto every law passed by the Republican House and the Senate maintaining a slim Democrat majority, the House Republicans need to take advantage of every opportunity to use the leverage they do have. When asked what changes in spending might be needed for Republicans to support raising the debt limit, McCarthy said he would not “predetermine” anything. In other words, all spending and entitlements are on the table for consideration.

It’s clear that eventually, the House will have to act to raise the debt limit. If they don’t, the nation would go into default with clear disastrous consequences. It always has. Congress has raised the debt limit seventy-eight times since 1960, under both Republican and Democratic presidents. It was raised while President Trump was president, but that didn’t stop him from suggesting that House leaders use the debt limit to move forward with needed change. Writing on Truth Social, Trump asserted, “Republicans can get almost everything back…by simply playing tough in the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.”

Republicans have had past success in extracting concessions during negotiations. In a 2011 showdown, House Republicans under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, successfully used the debt ceiling to extract sharp limits on discretionary spending from President Barack Obama. Those spending caps proved to be effective. They stayed in place for most of the rest of the decade. Is it time for a similar demand?

If Republicans want to use debt limit leverage, they better start now explaining to American voters why such a move is necessary. Delaying a raise in the debt limit will unleash a vicious public relations battle. Any hard line by the House GOP will result in a collective primal scream from Democrats warning of an impending economic Armageddon that would result. Make no mistake; the left-wing media will be on the side of Democrats and will fuel the fear generated.

The problem is clear. If American voters don’t understand the reasons for their stand, there will be tremendous pressure for them to fold. The classic question-“What’s in it for me?”-has to be answered clearly. Effective change masters in any area sell the need for change before they act to make change happen.

It will be the job of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other House Republicans to make it clear the what, the why, and the how any demand will impact the future of average Americans.

Start by finding out what demand will maximize public support. Will it be another demand for spending caps that will work to lower spending and help lower inflation? Will it be a demand to finish the Southern border wall to help control the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants across the border? Will it be a demand for changes in out-of-control entitlement programs? Whatever the demand, it needs to be something the majority of Americans will support.

Once identified, it needs to be communicated early and often before ever taking the stand on the debt limit increase. To limit the length of any holdout, House Republicans will also need to have passed any legislation to enact their demands before the fight begins. The law and needed regulations should be ready for the Senate to pass and for President Biden to sign.

If a majority of American voters are behind the cause, the pressure will be on the Democrats to support the legislation rather than risk the public’s wrath in the 2024 elections. With proper planning and execution, the pressure on the debt limit fight shifts from the Republicans to the Democrats.

Voters are watching. They want more than investigations. They want Republicans are now in control of the House to exercise their power in beginning to deliver on their promises. The debt limit negotiations provide an opportunity to take a step in making that happen. May it be so.

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Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, They Shoot Managers Don't They, Speak Like a Pro, Meditations for the Trail, and The Dinner: The Political Conversation Your Mother Told You Never to Have. Since founding Paulson and Associates, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA, Dr. Paulson has presented to such companies as IBM, 3M, Kaiser, Nationwide, SONY, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of hospitals, government agencies, and associations. Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the National Speakers Association. He’s been inducted into NSA’s CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor given to less than 230 speakers worldwide. Dr. Paulson is a long-time conservative Republican who has spoken to numerous Republican groups. He currently is a regular op-ed columnist for townhall.com and politicrossing.com. Terry brings knowledge, tasteful humor, and a passion for conservative principles to every presentation. Dr. Paulson graduated with honors from UCLA and received his PhD in psychology and an MA in theology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.



 
 
 

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Holding Public Office

It can still be a noble calling, despite the constant mudslinging.

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Running for, or holding public office these days is no light task. It seems as if every square inch of philosophical and political turf is in constant turmoil. If you’re on the right you are hounded relentlessly by the lamestream media. If you’re on the left, the lamestream media will shield you for as long as it can, but eventually will let you swing in the wind. Still, holding public office can be a noble calling.

If you’re thinking of ever running for office, the affirmations below impact your subconscious mind and help to ensure that you follow the directions you give it, or at lease point you in the right direction.

* I choose to be a public servant.
* I choose to engage in public service I enjoy.
* I choose to volunteer on a regular basis.

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* I choose to spend my free time devoted to worthy causes.
* I choose to keep time available to honor requests for public service.
* I choose to recognize that the more I give, the more I get.

* I choose to speak for my constituents.
* I choose to champion the causes of people in need.
* I choose to participate in government at the local, state, or national level.

* I choose to be an innovative yet compassionate public servant.
* I choose to seek the highest office of which I am capable of rendering service.
* I choose to draw energy from my time devoted to public service.

* I choose to look forward to greater opportunities in public service.
* I choose to engage in work that helps others.
* I choose to engage in work that helps society.

By stating out loud or quietly to yourself each of these affirmations, you’ll be better able to serve your constituents and execute your handle tasks and responsibilities.

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Mini-Movie Reviews, 6

Two out of three ain’t bad

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Here are three movies, each having received at least one Oscar nomination:

All Quiet on the Western Front — here is a remake of the 1930s classic, and I was prepared to have this be the same old trench warfare, with all the accompanying platitudes. Instead, I was surprised. This was well done, with decent acting, and a few hand-to-hand combat sequences unlike anything I have previously seen, some truly touching. It is a German production, but all in English. Although it’s on the long side, I think it is worthwhile.

Everything Everywhere All at Once — starring Michelle Yeoh, and receiving 11 Oscar nominations is alternatively amusing, excessively noisy, clever, confusing, and lacking boundaries. It is without a raison d’être, as with other movies during this awards season, notably The Banshees of Isherin and Tár. Everything Everywhere is getting rave reviews, but I say “skip it.” As one reviewer put it, the plot seems to suggest “that what makes life meaningful is the recognition that because there is no inherent meaning, all things and moments are equally meaningful.” Oh, sure thing….

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Aftersun — a subtle but touching recollection of a 30-year old woman, when she was on a long vacation with her divorced father, 20 years earlier, before the new school year starts. Not much happens, yet we are drawn to this twosome, and the screenplay and the director skillfully lead us to an articulated but implied conclusion. Newcomer Paul Mescal, as the father, received an Oscar nomination and (Miss) Frankie Corio, as the 10-year old daughter, is equally good. Aftersun is not for the masses, but I found it to be worthwhile.

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