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Horowitz: Why John Thune’s 'plan' to fight the debt ceiling over Social Security is stupid – and will never happen

Op-ed
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

The Biden administration has unleashed upon us, life-killing, liberty-killing, and civilization-killing issues – one after another – that must be defunded in the budget bill. These issues will kill our country and liberty right now and are all very unpopular. Instead of focusing on those issues, GOP leaders plan on fully funding the current tyrannical policies but are promising through the debt ceiling deadline next year to reopen battles over Social Security and Medicare from decades ago – issues that aren’t current, need to be dealt with more artfully, and are political losers in the GOP’s messaging. Spoiler alert: The GOP will never fight the debt ceiling anyway, but will message it just enough around cutting entitlements to destroy our candidates and their ability to fight the issues that matter.

So which policy issues are the worst for our way of life, imminently threaten our liberty, or loom as a threat to our survival as a nation? You might pick “died suddenly,” biomedical tyranny, our broken hospitals, the surveillance state, transgender grooming, arresting political opponents, government-corporate apartheid and censorship against conservatives, the border invasion, or the climate war on our food and fuel, to name a few. But one thing you would not pick to lead the year with is making changes to Social Security or Medicare. Then again, the GOP promoting gay marriage wasn’t one of those issues either.

It doesn’t mean that these programs don’t need innovation, because they certainly do. But it’s because these very same Senate GOP weasels failed to deal with them at the appropriate time over the past two decades that those proposals, in the way they were messaged then, are now over the hill. Our job at this point is to save our own lives, liberty, and culture, not to die on the “fourth rail” of American politics they helped create.

In comes Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), and he opposes using the budget to leverage against the Fourth Reich issues that are so easy to engage in brinksmanship against and is instead seeking a debt ceiling fight over entitlement spending. “There’s a set of solutions there that we really need to take on if we’re going to get serious about making these programs sustainable and getting this debt bomb at a manageable level before it’s too late,” Thune told Bloomberg editors this week in pushing his debt ceiling strategy.

Look, we all understand that entitlements cost more than the discretionary spending that will be funded through omnibus or CR bills; however, it is suicidal from a policy and political standpoint to focus on entitlements when the funding of bureaucracies is killing our culture and is hugely unpopular. Which would you rather engage in a budget/debt brinksmanship fight over: funding transgenderism and clot-shot mandates in the military and the IRS arresting political opponents or a plan that will be easily messaged as cutting Social Security? Tampering with entitlements or funding of child castration?

Yet when it comes to the budget bill, Thune is advocating that Republicans give Democrats a full year’s worth of funding all the aforementioned policies through the FBI, CDC, and IRS for the remainder of fiscal year 2023. “It's going to take a while obviously for them to get organized, and usually when it comes to these things, my past experience is it's very hard, usually it gets pushed into the middle of the year, and then pretty soon you're at the end of the fiscal year and you're still operating on a CR,” Thune said Monday. “So I think one way or the other it's probably in everybody's best interest to try to resolve this for a year — whether that's an omni spending bill or a full-year CR."

Thus Thune, along with the other GOP leaders in both the House and Senate, including “hope yes, vote no” Kevin McCarthy, have no problem giving up our leverage on the most important issues of our time for the remainder of the year. But somehow, they are going to have a debt ceiling fight with the allegation of causing a default on our credit over cutting Social Security?

Let’s cut the suspense here: People like Thune will never be fiscally conservative and fight on a debt ceiling for anything. How do we know? Because Thune has constantly voted to raise or suspend the debt ceiling in return for nothing, including when Republicans controlled all three branches. When Trump was president, Thune voted for a massive debt ceiling increase bill that also canceled the only budget caps put into place in decades. These are the same people who passionately promoted COVID lockdown bills that spent more money than anything in our history. We are to believe that suddenly they are committed to cutting the most politically popular programs?

Indeed, they are only using the debt ceiling of next year as a squirrel for us to chase while they screw us on the current issues during the lame-duck session, including the budget bill. So we will never benefit from their feigned fight over the debt ceiling with true budget cuts, but only suffer the political liability of allowing Democrats to distract from their fascism and funding of the fascist bureaucracy by blaming us for cutting Social Security. Once again, we must ask, how would a controlled opposition act any differently?
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