At this point in the cycle, we pretty much expect election polling to tighten. Wandering voters come back to their original party preference as everyone becomes more engaged. And sure enough, that’s what recent polls show. Given how close this election has been all along, you can assume most races are toss-ups right now.
With that in mind, it’s important to remember what Republicans plan to do if they take control of Congress next month. They haven’t said much about their plans, knowing that what they want is not particularly popular with American voters. This Washington Post report teases out some of what they intend if they succeed in this election (gift link, no paywall), and I don’t like those plans at all. I can’t imagine you will either.
GOP to use debt limit to force spending cuts, McCarthy says
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that if Republicans win control of the House the GOP will use raising the debt limit as leverage to force spending cuts — which could include cuts to Medicare and Social Security — and limit additional funding to Ukraine….
Pressed on whether changes to the entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security were part of the debt ceiling discussions, McCarthy said he would not “predetermine” anything….
The debt limit is the total amount of money that the government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds and other payments. The debt limit is not new spending but rather allows the government to finance existing legal obligations….
The debt ceiling is one of several really stupid structures which exist in our government that currently allow politicians representing a smaller share of the voters to control how government functions. Spending has already been allocated through the budgeting process, and that process is where decisions about spending should logically be made.
But for a long while now the Senate has existed only to frustrate the will of the majority of our people. Forcing the country to default on our sovereign debt is a good way to cause enormous damage to the economy and all of us who count on the stability of that economy. Republicans are willing to risk that if it means they can shred the social safety net even further.
They want to use the threat of default by the U.S. to force remarkable changes that the public would never allow if they were given a clear choice. Republicans have long wanted to do away with benefits such as social security or any form of government-funded healthcare, which prevent them from shoveling even more money to the wealthy.
And of course they intend to cut support for defensive weapons for Ukraine, because the Republican Party actively supports Putin’s plans to destroy Ukraine entirely.
Democrats, on the other hand, want to see benefits broadened and increased for the majority — for working people, families and the elderly in this country. We will uphold the right to choose, and of course continue to bring together coalition support for Ukrainian self-defense. And if we can elect even a few more Democrats to the Senate, we can start a real push to abolish the filibuster, a big step towards a saner Senate.
It’s a clear choice, so don’t be fooled about what waits if voting goes against us this month.
Ballots are already on their way in vote-by-mail states, and early voting has also started in many places. Postcard mailings are over for this cycle although texting campaigns are still underway. If you have time to volunteer, check out actions you can take at The Last Weekend, where folks are organizing through these last few weeks.
No matter what, make sure you vote, and encourage everyone around you to vote as well. Turnout will be everything in this cycle, as it so often is. The future will be what we make of it.
ETA: I’ve mentioned Bolts before, an election news site. They are keeping a cheat sheet for the general election, following 471 elections up and down the ballot, including state races. Check their site on election night for all the breaking news.