Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Phony Budget Compromise is Selling us A Bill of Goods

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Obama's not the only one putting lipstick on this pig!

In my callow youth, I can remember various Congresses putting forth their "budget solutions". In fact, most of them had some great five and ten year plans, which, admittedly were heavy on spending on the front end, but boy do those savings kick in at the rear of the plan! And then, the next Congress, which was not bound by anything in the previous one, would come up with their own ten year plan, which, admittedly were heavy on spending on the front end, but boy do those savings kick in at the rear! After having been kicked in the rear by Congress after Congress, who were serious about spending but not serious about saving, we stand on the edge of a fiscal cliff. Some would say we've already gone over and there's no hope of return. Hope springs eternal.

Which brings us to the latest ten year program to deal with fiscal responsibility. I must admit that when I first heard there was a budget compromise sponsored by Paul Ryan and the ditsy Democrat Patty Murray, I figured it was a 50/50 split between the Onion and Saturday Night Live. It was neither. The more we learned about it, the more it became apparent that this was a compromise among politicians, for politicians. What is best for the country was not on the table.

America is deeply in debt. Congress spends more money than it takes in and spends more money each year than it did the year before. This cannot go on. The so called "compromise" includes tax increases, with virtually no real spending cuts, lifts many of the restrictions placed upon spending by the sequester, and the only thing the Republicans seemed to have garnered in their compromise, is a promise from the Democrats not to shut down the government and blame them again. Oh, and five magic beans*!

In Paul and Patty's Playhouse, the closest thing to a real cut is the outrageous cut in pension benefits to wounded and disabled veterans. Not a single penny is cut from pensions of civil servants, or Congress or congressional staffers anywhere, but it was decided that the pensions promised to our veterans was a cash cow that could be milked to free up funds for other, more worthy projects, no doubt. Yeah, right!

But, unlike the last bit of brinksmanship, which focused on Obamacare, Republicans could have left Obamacare out of the discussion altogether and simly focused on spending. This was an opportunity to once again acquaint the public with the deceitfulness of baseline budgeting. Nancy Pelosi (D-Botox) made the remark "There's nothing left to cut". This delusional fantasy could be contrasted against any number of thousands of wasteful expenditures made by the government every day. (Dr. John over at Flopping Aces listed a few)

The only way to reduce the debt and the deficit is to stop spending more than you take in and make some real cuts. Obama likes to say that he cut the deficit in half, but he only talks about cuts in the rate of increase. The budget grows more ever year, trillions more than George W. Bush spent (and he spent too much!) It's not like there's no waste, or fraud or inefficiency in federal spending that couldn't be cut. Candidate Obama assured us that there was, in 2008, and promised to go through the budget line by line to get rid of it. If only we had elected that guy!

We currently borrow from the Chinese, something like forty cents on the dollar of everything we spend. A simple budget freeze would mean that we at least don't spend more money than we did the year before. Given inflation, this might mean a three percent decrease in real spending power. Who among us, if faced with a budget shortfall could not reduce our own personal or family budget three percent? Which real conservative could not explain this in understandable terms to anyone who would listen?

Others have suggested the "Penny Plan": Cut one penny off every dollar of public spending.
The 1 percent cut would last two years, followed by a cap on total annual spending — equal to roughly 19 percent of GDP. Supporters say it also will cut spending over roughly 10 years by about $5.8 trillion, based on currently projected levels.

In a few weeks, there will come another vote on the debt ceiling, which the Republicans have pretty much indicated that they will cave to the big spending Democrats, so as to avoid (the blame for) another nasty government shut down. They may even believe that this is a good tactical move, to position themselves for wins in 2014 without having to explain to the MSM why they are letting little girls die without cancer treatments just to give their fat cat, one percent buddies another tax break.

But, if they won't stand upon principle now, but are willing to allow the country to slip deeper and deeper in debt for the next two years, while doing nothing about it but robbing disabled veterans, why should we believe that electing them in 2014 will do anything but make the Republican party the party of domestic appeasement yet again?

There were 12 Republicans who voted to end the discussion, including Lamar Alexander-TN, Jeff Flake -AZ, and Roy Blunt -MO. These nine voted for the final bill:

Ron Johnson - WI, Orin Hatch - UT, Saxby Chamblis - GA, John McCain - AZ, Susan Collins - MA, John Hoeven - ND, Johnny Isakson - GA, Lisa Murkowski - AL,
and Rob Portman - OH

If any of these turkeys are your senator, see what you can do to get them primaried out. Grill your candidates about what they propose to do about reducing federal spending. Don't accept platitudes or generalities. If they have a record, see how they have voted on such things in the past.

Throw John McCain a retirement party. Make it a big one!

Be prepared to give of your time, your talent and your treasure to preserve our great Republic. God save the United States.

*We should be so lucky to have negotiators who could get magic beans in return for their concessions!

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art
Cross posted at LCR

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