by Matthew Ung
The latest republican capitulation is to give at least $400 billion of deficit spending to the democrats by suspending the debt ceiling debate for three months, at the convenient time that the limit is reached. In exchange, they get back $69 billion of appropriations cuts, apprehensively labeled as “severe” cuts by many GOP insiders and commentators. Even without a calculator, I know that means we are putting an extra $331 billion on another national credit card, and totally ignoring the credit card we already have with a balance of over $16 trillion. Either it’s Obama’s birthday and this is a big present, or we need to bus in some high school math teachers to Capital Hill for the Republican caucus.
Americans who can remember back more than one year know that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) followed up the debt limit increase of 2011 with “Egads! We’ll never do this again! And if we do, the president is going to have to cut something first! Dollar by dollar, I say!” (author’s paraphrase). Unfortunately, the top republican, Speaker John Boehner, still has the spine of the jellyfish, and is still mistaking compromise for capitulation.
Now let’s step back and look at just how bad this “deal” was. First, it not only opens the door to unlimited borrowing for three months, it totally ignores the existing debt ceiling. It is a de-facto deletion of our credit limit, by the party of supposed fiscal responsibility. Second, what was before lining up to be total liability for democrats in the 2014 elections, has now become shared responsibility for more deficit spending. On the bright side, the republicans are finally leading, just for the wrong side… Ok, there is no bright side. And third, the bill says the ruling class (excuse me, the “legislature”) won’t be paid unless the respective houses of Congress pass a budget resolution. Sounds great, stick it to ’em!!….Except that they just have to propose a RESOLUTION and are not required to in any way, shape, or form, collaborate to get a budget passed. Ask yourself this question: If Obama’s 2013 budget resolution was voted down 99-0 by his own majority in the Senate, how exactly will a U.S. House resolution magically meet a U.S. Senate resolution and make a budget?
We talk about politics being a game sometimes, but to those who advise your representatives on Capital Hill, it really is a game! House Republicans are so bent out of shape that the Democrats in the Senate haven’t proposed a budget in four years, that they literally agreed to surrender all in exchange for just one Senate budget resolution… just so they could feel the power coursing through their veins. Now, we all know the Constitution has served us very well, and when it commands a budget be proposed, the democrats in the Senate should listen. But is it really a deal when we compromise MORE of our bargaining power to tell them to follow something they are already obligated to follow? Speaker Boehner is following the same dumb logic liberals use to take away 2nd Amendment rights. They say: We’ll make a law that says you have to follow existing gun laws! We say: We’ll make a law that says you have to follow the “Supreme Law of the Land,” aka The Constitution.
We are in a time when even the Democrats are surprised at how liberal the Republicans are being. If this “deal” had been proposed by democrats, so-called conservative pundits and commentators would be ripping it to shreds. But when a republican signs off on it, it’s a strategic move, it’s a necessary evil, and it’s long-term thinking.
Our fearless Grand Old Party must decide whether it will stand down and let Obama have his way and give the democrats total responsibility for their collision course, or fight the good fight and take the hits as they come. But this middle ground they’ve chosen, of strong beginning words and 11th-hour retreats, reminds me of the dodo birds in the family movie Ice Age. They don’t get what they want, and when they do, they all fall off a cliff.
G.K. Chesterton rightly said “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” We have been tolerating a lot from our Republican Party, and they have been tolerating an awful lot of embarassing abuse from liberals. Chairman Mao-Bama wants us to look for our collective salvation from big government. Let us not leap from the frying pan into the fire by looking for our collective salvation from a shipwrecked Republican Party. Let us rally around principled individuals, and engage the culture war. Culture trumps politics, but our culture is in a parabolic regression.
We could all start by giving our Republican representatives the child’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…” But they have a hard time reading bills, so you might have to read it to them.