Stump speeches vs. solutions

One of the difficulties of covering the debt crisis in Washington is politicians are better at giving stump speeches than providing solutions.

“We need solutions and not deals,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp told CNBC this morning.

On the debt he said, “We gotta find a way to bring that down.”

Those are exactly the kind of things that a politician would say if he’s running for office and giving a speech at the Rotary Club. But they’re not (a) a solution or (b) a way to bring that down which are what you’re supposed to provide once you’re elected to office.

The representative said his solution is “cut, cap, and balance.” Cut the spending immediately (he didn’t say what), cap future spending (he didn’t say where), and pass a balanced-budget amendment (he hasn’t filed such a bill, though it’s worth noting that Speaker John Boehner has added such an amendment to his solution.).

Huelskamp called his proposal “a compromise.”

“How can you say it’s a compromise if no one else is going to bite?” a CNBC anchor asked.

“Where’s Harry Reid’s compromise?” Huelskamp responded, which — if you look carefully — doesn’t answer the question asked.

And while Huelskamp is a Tea Party member, this method of communication is favored by almost all politicians currently engaged in this “crisis;” allegations rather than answers, stump speeches rather than details.

Give credit to CNBC’s David Faber, one of the few CNBC on-air questioners with a spine, who insisted on details to the stump speech, pointing out , for example, that half of the stimulus package that Huelskamp objects to was tax cuts that Huelskamp embrace.

But it was a wasted effort …

Huelskamp said the problem is Washington’s status quo, which he unintentionally demonstrated, though perhaps not in the way he imagined.

You can watch the full interview here or just wait until the next politician is interviewed about the debt crisis.