As we reported here first late last week, Republican Matt Doheny (and his now-defunct campaign phone) are going to be the targets of a Democratic ad blitz ahead of his likely match up with Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.
Now, Republicans are getting into the mix, too, hitting Mr. Owens with an automated call that criticizes him for not supporting a "balanced budget amendment."
A balanced budget amendment would change the nation's constitution to forbid red ink from the government's budget.
Mr. Owens has argued that because the nation may have to weather economic crises*, requiring the it to balance its checkbook every year is impractical and bad policy.
The robocall, though, tells listeners that the balanced budget amendment would "force Washington to live within its means" (I've pasted it in full below).
The call also lays the downgrade of America's credit rating at Mr. Owens' and fellow Democrats' feet, but consider the words of the same ratings agency that downgraded the U.S. on whether the balanced budget amendment is a good idea: "In general, we think that fiscal rules like these just diminish the flexibility of the government to respond” to crises.
And yes, profligate spending was one of the problems that led up to the downgrade. So is the inability to take on entitlement programs, which is where the real money's at. But it wasn't the only factor. The difficulty in raising taxes — which Mr. Owens supports, for the wealthy — also played a part(too many emdashes?)
Anyway, looks like the race for NY-23 (or whatever the district ends up being) is heating up.
“Hello, I'm calling from the National Republican Congressional Committee, 320 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20003, 202.479.7000, with an important recorded message about your Congressman Bill Owens. Bill Owens continues to oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment that would force Washington to live within its means. Bill Owens and his fellow Democrats' addiction to big government spending has led to a downgrade of America's credit rating and a dramatic loss in the global markets that could force you to pay more for everyday expenses. While Bill Owens keeps standing in the way of real fiscal reform, middle-class families in New York could now see a loss in retirement savings while mortgage rates, car payments and student loans could become even more expensive. Call Congressman Bill Owens at 202-225-4611 and tell him to stop his reckless borrowing spree. Paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. 202.479.7000.”
*Post-script: Previously, I wrote that Mr. Owens' position was that the nation can wrack up huge deficits because of wartime spending. But it appears that this concern is unfounded — the bill introduced by Speaker John Boehner includes an exemption from the balanced budget amendment for emergency wartime spending. It's the property tax cap all over again. His other comments, though, still stand.