As the deadline to raise the debt ceiling draws closer it seems like the partisan lines are becoming stronger. Everyday it seems like compromise will get harder, even though that is what is needed. Tea Party house members who campaigned on not raising the debt ceiling are digging in trying to attach a balanced budget amendment to any deal that is done. They all campaigned on not raising the ceiling and are refusing to go down without a fight. If they are going to raise the ceiling, they want to deliver another campaign promise which is to cut spending and balance the budget.
One thing that they aren’t willing to do is raise taxes. This is where they are missing the point. You cannot have a balanced budget without also raising new revenues. Simply cutting spending is not enough and certainly is not a balanced approach. In order to obtain balance equal weight must be added to both sides of the scale. When only discussing cuts, all the weight is on one site. Closing loopholes and raising new revenues, must be added to the scale to even things out.
What is interesting is that everyone is claiming that their position is based on what they hear from their constituents. Are they really listening though, or just saying what they want their constituents to say? Recent polls suggest the latter. A CBS News Poll shows that now 46% of Americans want the ceiling to be raised. This is up 22% from June. 49% still oppose the raise but that is a 20% drop in the last month. The real kicker is when asked what should a deal include. 66% of all people thought it should include both cuts and tax increases. 66% is a lot and more surprising when you dig into the numbers. 55% of those who identified themselves as republicans agreed with this along with 53% of those identifying with the tea party.
It seems like the American people are understanding what a balanced approach is, but people in Washington aren’t listening. Maybe they should start since the poll also shows that 49% of Americans blame the republicans for the standoff and 71% disapprove of how they are handling the negotiations. It is time to start listening to the people of this country, or they will remember when it is to vote.