Conservatives in the House of Representatives really had no choice but to postpone debate over increasing the national debt ceiling, as they voted Jan. 23 to do. President Barack Obama and liberals in the U.S. Senate have won the public relations battle over whether to cut government spending, as the conservatives want.
But the national debt is nearly $16.5 trillion and growing by leaps and bounds. Tax increases demanded by Obama have been enacted, but very few spending cuts are on the horizon.
Obama had demanded Congress increase the debt ceiling with no requirement for spending cuts. The House did that, providing a four-month extension if only the Senate will approve a budget - something it has not even debated since 2009.
So the tax-and-spend crowd has won again.
Conservatives' task is simple: The public must be convinced, in effect, that money does not grow on trees. That needs to be accomplished by mid-May, when the debt ceiling will be debated again - and conservatives simply must insist on a plan to reduce federal spending.