The GOP was given a strong majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010…they asked for the Senate. The GOP was given the majority in the U.S. Senate in 2014…they asked for the White House. The GOP won the White House in 2016…and we still haven’t addressed budget, spending and federal government reform. As a matter of fact, I have just one word to describe this most recent “deal” just signed: APALLING.
As reported at Townhall.com, “Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may be patting themselves on the back for brokering a compromise on the budget Wednesday, but conservative groups are not impressed with its contents. The deal would add $500 billion in federal spending – for both defense and non-defense spending. Conservative lawmakers and organizations are decrying the agreement as fiscally irresponsible.
“This spending bill is a debt junkie’s dream,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL). “I’m not only a no, I’m a hell no.” Club for Growth is urging all members of Congress to vote no on this Big Government budget.
“In 2011, when Congress passed The Budget Control Act (BCA), Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell praised the deal, proclaiming that the ‘big government freight train’ was slowing down,” the group wrote in a press release Wednesday. “Well, now that the BCA spending caps are busted under this deal yet again, it’s clear that McConnell and the GOP establishment want to speed up the big government freight train with the help of big spending liberals on the other side of the aisle.
“As if that’s not bad enough, this deal also includes $80+ billion in so-called disaster relief spending, cronyist tax extenders, an expansion of farm subsidies, and another suspension in the debt ceiling, conveniently timed to expire after the mid-term elections. Nowhere in this deal are the $54 billion in spending cuts outlined in President Trump’s budget. Instead, the big government freight train is running out of control.”
The reason why we are, once again, at this impasse is because, for certain, the U.S. Senate is broken and dysfunctional. The U.S. House of Representatives did their job, they passed all twelve subcommittee appropriations bills, after the authorizations for some were completed, like the National Defense Authorization Act. Those twelve appropriations measures were sent over to the U.S. Senate some 150 days ago, and what happened…nada. Perhaps these senators need to have their pay docked when they fail to do their duties and responsibilities — after all, that’s what would happen to any other American. There’s no excuse for failing to do the most basic job of developing a budget plan for the federal government. Conducting all those insidious hearings about Russian collusion nonsense is not what the American people need.
As well, perhaps these senators should spend less time traipsing all over the country giving speeches, if they haven’t fulfilled their duties. And how many days did the U.S. Senate have “off” last calendar year?
There can be no debate that, even under GOP majority “leadership,” in the U.S. Senate is woefully failing at doing its job…and it was even worse with Harry Reid at the helm.
Let’s have a little civics lesson, as many of you may be saying, why can’t Mitch McConnell get this stuff done? Well, unlike the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate doesn’t pass legislation with a simple majority — unless it’s under budget reconciliation rules. Or in the case of the aforementioned Harry Reid, he changed the rules for lower court judges from the 60-vote standard to a simple majority. The GOP has a slim majority in the U.S. Senate, 51-49, and as you know, the vice president is the tiebreaker in the Senate. It requires 60 votes to pass this two year-budget measure, and therefore it will require GOP and Democrat support.
However, there’s a basic fundamental that I believe both sides should adhere to: fiscal responsibility and prioritized spending. This McConnell-Schumer fiasco will result in the United States having to borrow more money — notice our debt clock keeps ticking upwards. Also, we’re looking at our deficits — the difference between revenues and spending — returning to the Obama years of trillions of dollars.
The real issue in Washington DC, as reflected by this absurd Senate budget, has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats. It has everything to do with philosophy of governance and the relationship between government and the individual citizen. There are three very distinct forces, philosophies, at play here and it all comes down to who is perceived to be preeminent and sovereign — the government or the individual American citizen. These three political beliefs are progressive socialist, progressive, and constitutional conservative. For the sake of argument, we can somewhat consider libertarian to be closely associated with constitutional conservatism.
Today, on Capitol Hill, the predominant belief is progressive socialist and progressive, both embrace the concept, the ideal, of bigger government spending. Of course progressive socialists believe so in order to redistribute wealth and sustain a government dependency society, providing more largesse from the government coffers by way of subsistence programs. Simple progressives also embrace a bigger government theme but their raison d’être is because of a leaning towards a more crony capitalism perspective by way of subsidies and other federal assistance, as they seek to select winners and losers in our free market economic system. In other words, playing to the powerful lobbyist interests – a la no carried interest deduction elimination.
Constitutional conservatives and libertarians believe in a limited scope of government, less intrusion into the lives of the citizens…after all the individual, not the government is sovereign. And if the scope of government is limited, as outlined by the Constitution, then there are fiscal boundaries, limitations and responsibility, enabling the government to do its real job — setting the conditions for the success of the “pursuit of happiness”…not an inane belief that government can guarantee happiness.
What’s very disconcerting is that through all of this, the budget and the tax cut law, no one on Capitol Hill championed the cause of reduction of government spending. This is why there will be high deficits — if you cut taxes, but don’t curtail the cancerous spending habits of “da swamp,” the problem exacerbates itself. Yes, the GOP has a majority on Capitol Hill in the House and Senate, but it’s not led by constitutional conservatives, who are demonized, but rather by progressives. And the Democrat Party is indeed a progressive socialist organization.
Nothing will change in Washington DC with our debt, deficits and overall fiscal nightmare unless we return leadership in Washington DC to constitutional conservatives who will seek out fiscal responsibility. But the greater issue is that we, the American people, have to stop looking for “gubmint” to give us stuff. Why? Because the government doesn’t generate revenues…it taxes folks, or borrows funds in order to satiate our growing appetite of dependency.
Alexander Fraser Tytler, the Scottish advocate, judge, writer and historian said it well, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”
End of lesson.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]