The Bunning Strategy
by Larry Perrault on March 18, 2010 at 9:35 AM
If Republicans just try to block everything Democrats attemp, they will be campaigned against as obstructionists. But those Independents who voted for Scott Brown and have swung from Democrats, are concerned about spending more than anything. What Republicans should openly do is adopt the Jim Bunning strategy:
Democrats have passed “PayGo,” calling for tax increases or spending cuts to cover any new spending. But, on the first two bills after passing “PayGo,” Democrats just called it emergency spending and ignored the law they had just passed. Jim Bunning wanted them held to the standard of their own law. Holding the line on taxes has always been a strong Republican point, which they should continue.
So, Republicans should announce that they won’t sign on to any new spending without offsetting cuts. Spending cuts: not just cuts in the rate of growth, but actual offsetting reductions. There could hardly be a more excruciating prospect for liberal Democrats. Of course, Republicans can sign on to what they want to, and not what they don’t. But, in each case they should call for the offsetting cuts. That will play politically and also be like ants under a magnifying glass in the sun for the huge Democrat majority. If you have to be way outnumbered, it couldn’t get any more fun than that.