Who’s really the extortionist in D.C. drama?

Cal Thomas's picture

President Obama pledged to end partisanship, but instead has exacerbated it. He recently accused House Republicans of being extortionists for opposing a raise in the debt ceiling and wanting to defund Obamacare.

Dictionary.com defines extortion as “the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.”

Republicans should fling the extortion label back at the president, who wants to raise the debt ceiling, threatening to curtail many government operations if the GOP doesn’t surrender.

Barack Obama once held the opposite position about debt and ceilings. In 2006, when George W. Bush was president, Sen. Obama said: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.”

Really? What, then, does it say about his leadership now?

Sen. Obama went on (as he always does): “It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies ...”

As president, Mr. Obama has increased our debt and reliance on foreign governments to finance his fiscal policies. Are they any less reckless than when he was complaining about the fiscal policies of the Bush administration? If $16 trillion in debt isn’t enough, what is? The sky is no longer the limit. We’re now in financial deep space.

“Americans deserve better,” concluded Sen. Obama seven years ago. We certainly do, but we’re not getting it from him, just more debt, more intrusive and regulating government and less liberty.

A government “shutdown,” which is technically not going to happen as some departments and agencies will continue functioning, should not be seen as bad, but something potentially good.

Like the sequester, which forced government to spend a little less of our money, a government shutdown, if properly framed by Republicans and conservatives, might be a taking stock moment.

Republicans might use a government “shutdown” to urge citizens to reflect on government’s proper role and why Washington has become so dysfunctional. They could propose the government “re-open,” built on a new (really old) foundation: the Constitution.

This new constitutional government would have limited and enumerated powers beyond which it would not be allowed to stray. Courts would be a passive, not an active body. The elected Congress would pass legislation and the terms of its members would be limited by tradition and if necessary, by law.

The preservation of liberty would be government’s primary concern and all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government would again be reserved for the states and individuals (the 10th Amendment).

While we’re rebuilding, how about a requirement that every American read and understand the Constitution? Immigrants who wish to become citizens are quizzed on it, why shouldn’t natural-born Americans be as well?

Dysfunctional government is bringing us closer to the choice faced by signers of the Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Those causes are abundantly clear. It may be time to consider separating ourselves from what the Framers might have regarded as a government foreign to them, which has led to the extortion of its citizens.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.] © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
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Joined: 12/31/2008
7 years ago it was unprincipled...it was unpatriotic...

... to be $9 TRILLION in debt.

Today as we are about to bust the $17 Trillion dollar bubble and according to the silence of the Democrats it is now OK....AND... by the time Obama leaves Office we will break $20 Trillion.

With the unfunded mandates that's almost $100 Trillion.

Yet the President, the Fed and almost every Democrat NOW has no problem with it.

WHY?

Well it's because they are in control of the checkbook...

But like the spouse that has no spending control they think as long as they have checks they have money...

We are "printing" $3 BILLION dollars a DAY, $85 Billion per MONTH and almost $1 TRILLION dollars a YEAR. Combined that with the deficit and we are adding $2 TRILLION dollars a year of debt and deflated currancy and together is pushing us towards Economic Armageddon.

Progressives like to say we are about Progress... But where is that progress taking us to? If it is over the fiscal cliff then I for one would like the brakes applied.

But of course that get's us labeled the party of NO.

Then again that is what responcibile adults get called all of the time when the teen wants to do an overnight across town... Someone has to be the bad guy and just say no.

This President and the Democrats are pushing and shoving the rest of us towards that cliff. Lemmings will follow their leader and each other right over the rest of us need to move aside and just let them go.

We will be better off for it.