Here are today's must read opinion and editorial columns.
GETTING TO CRAZY BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMESPut it this way: If a Republican president had managed to extract the kind of concessions on Medicare and Social Security that Mr. Obama is offering, it would have been considered a conservative triumph. But when those concessions come attached to minor increases in revenue, and more important, when they come from a Democratic president, the proposals become unacceptable plans to tax the life out of the U.S. economy... voodoo economics has taken over the G.O.P.
THE DEBT ALARM IS HEARD EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESRepublicans have not only consented to the skyrocketing deficit, they have also blocked any consideration of programs to put Americans back to work, all while blaming high unemployment on President Obama. Mr. McConnell knows such sophistry would be impossible if a default caused the economy to collapse. That is why he has proposed an escape hatch, allowing the debt ceiling to be lifted without required spending cuts as long as all blame falls on Mr. Obama. Though Mr. McConnell’s concern is partisan and parochial, others at the table should seize his idea, or some of the variations being discussed, if they care about the brand of the United States.
BREAK THIS SPENDING CYCLE BY RICK PERRY & NIKKI HALEYWASHINGTON POSTThe principles of a limited federal government and responsible fiscal leadership have sustained us during tough times, and they can lead us out of this period of sluggish economic growth. As governors, we have to ensure the voices of all Americans — not just those in Washington who largely got us into this mess — are heard in this debate, and that we don’t miss the opportunity to repair a part of our economy, and our political culture, that’s been broken for far too long.
CALL HIS BLUFF BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMERWASHINGTON POSTIf conservatives really want to get the nation’s spending under control, the only way is to win the presidency. Put the question to the country and let the people decide. To seriously jeopardize the election now in pursuit of a long-term, small-government, Ryan-like reform that is inherently unreachable without control of the White House may be good for the soul. But it could very well wreck the cause.
THE GOP'S PLEDGE DRIVE BY MICHAEL GERSONWASHINGTON POSTThe imposition of oaths beyond the Constitution assumes a certain theory of representation — the belief that politicians are merely mechanisms for the expression of public sentiment. They are, in this view, computers to be pre-programmed for desired outcomes... Public officials are accountable to the public through elections — but they are responsible to the Constitution and their convictions. While the policy views of an American president matter greatly, his or her mature judgment and enlightened conscience matter more.
THE GOP'S DANGEROUS GAME BY EUGENE ROBINSONWASHINGTON POSTIt would be satisfying to stand back and watch Republicans take the plunge. This must have occurred to Obama as he told the smirking, eye-rolling Cantor to bring it on — but the president ended the meeting by telling congressional leaders he’d see them again Thursday. Obama will continue to offer Republicans sensible ways to refrain from committing a shockingly unpatriotic act of economic vandalism. The unfortunate fact is that if they blow themselves up, they take the rest of us with them.
THE REAL GOP DEBT CHOICE BY KIMBERLEY STRASSELWALL STREET JOURNALIf the GOP is so eager to call an Obama bluff, how about this: Call him on his argument that he is acting like a leader, working to fix the debt problem, offering the GOP the opportunity to go big. That's the story line Americans are being fed right now, and the GOP shores it up every time it agrees to another White House summit. A shame, since in fact the only Obama offers are for mediocre cuts, higher taxes, and the opportunity for Republicans to help permanently enshrine big government. That, or for joint ownership of a failing economy and/or shutdown turmoil. Let him own it.