In the next three months, the federal government will face three more difficult decisions which will put the two visions of this country face to face against each other.
1. The massive sequester, which was delayed until the first of March. The cuts would eliminate close to one trillion dollars from military spending and other domestic programs.
2. The debt ceiling. The federal government will have run through its borrowing authority.
3. Congress must enact legislation to fund the government.
US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has argued that the Republicans should force a partial shut-down if necessary to get the President to enact serious spending cuts and entitlement reform. Mitch McConnell does not want the negotiations to reach such an impasse that the minority caucus in the Senate will force this change.
President Obama used up his political capital with the fiscal cliff. Mitch McConnell had to reach out to the "elder statesman" Joe Biden to get any negotiations through the Senate. Where was Harry Reid, one must ask. As the Senate Majority Leader, he has the responsibility of contacting both sides and forging a comprehensive compromise. For four years, his leadership and his caucus have not produced one budget. The House of Representatives passed two this year.
President Obama refuses to deal? Then he will oversee the first government shut-down in nearly twenty years. The two-shut downs in 1995 and 1996 produced spending cuts and reforms, followed by a balanced budget by the end of Clinton's second term in office.
The Republicans must amass enough fortitude to resist the complainings of the mainstream media. Brokering budget reforms in the best interests of the country now and the future must stand on more than just getting by. The entitlement bomb cannot be ignored. If the United States loses borrowing authority, then the federal government will have no choice but to cut spending.
The US Senate and the House of Representatives have no business raising the debt ceiling at all. The spending spree is spent out.
More fiscal cliffs ahead, without a doubt. Either President will scale the cliff or fall over, but the American People deserve real leadership either way.