RON HART: Debt ceiling the only mechanism to control spending now

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 04:23 PM.

Obama is a diminished man; his approval numbers are at all-time lows. Republicans took him on, but Obama’s political calculus says he can blame the shutdown on them. This conflict is more about his ego than what is best for our country.

This type of governmental dysfunction might make it hard to maintain Washington’s lofty 12 percent approval rating. Americans are tiring of the punitive nature of government and starting to realize just how little they miss government when it shuts down.

Senator Corker again distinguished himself. But in general, Republicans seem disorganized. They should have tried to secure for taxpayers a reprieve from the 3.8 percent ObamaCare tax instead of attempting to delay the medical device tax. They should have better tied to the spending bill Obama exempting unions, big business and congressional staffers from ObamaCare.

Yet, I feel for Speaker Boehner; controlling the disparate factions of the Republican Party must be hard. Add that to dealing with the slippery “Dingy” Harry Reid, and getting a deal must be like trying to gift wrap an octopus.

Senate Majority Leader Reid has proven again that he can do what he wants with his lapdog, lemming-like liberals. They vote as he directs and are more about power and politics than original thought. The Democrats are monolithic, raised in the power of a political machine and trained not to cross it. Harry Reid’s reign over them is like “Weekend at Bernie’s” — he puts a hat and sunglasses on them and drags them where he wants, for any reason he wants.

Part of the problem is that, when we have debt ceiling issues and shutdowns, spending priorities are pushed to the President and away from Congress. Congress needed to regain control of funding priorities.

I say we put Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democrat Oprah Winfrey in a room and let them hammer out the next deal. With his widow’s peak that is sharper than a scalpel, Ryan could cut the budget. And Oprah, who decided to cancel shows and fire people at her Oprah Winfrey Network, has shown that she will not deficit spend forever in hopes of spurring growth that does not materialize.

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