Here’s the situation: You’re in a high–stakes negotiation with an untrustworthy opponent. The opposition has violated every agreement the two of you have made in the past. Enforcement mechanisms are weak or non–existent.
In other areas of mutual interest your opponent regularly violates the law and dares you to do something about the violation. Your weak and vacillating leadership can’t be counted on in a pinch. And finally, the opposition lies shamelessly to the state media, doing its best to paint you as a fanatic and pathological liar.
So what do you do?
Bomb Iran is a good answer, but it’s not the answer for this question, because I’m talking about negotiating a budget deal with Democrats.
The Republican House leadership decision in this case was to sell out their conservative base in a brazen attempt to insure their own re–election at the expense of the nation’s fiscal future.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R–WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D–Sneakers) have presented us with a plan that shatters the spending ceiling that was the main result of the bruising sequester fight, dilutes the small budget cuts from the sequester and raises taxes (Ryan calls it a “fee” but if the feds get more money and it comes from our pockets it’s the same as a tax).
Ryan even has the gall to say the deal will balance the budget in ten years and sidestep the threat of government shutdowns in January and October 2014.
And those dates are what are really important for craven House negotiators. In fact, the real motivation for the deal is Ryan’s shutdown statement. House Republicans still think they suffered a near–death experience in the recent government shutdown. But instead of seeing Jesus and a bright light, they saw a Mayflower moving van and a bright white resume. For them if it’s a choice between selling out to the Democrats and losing their cushy Congressional job, sellout is just another word for job security.
The risk of a potential shutdown in January and October of an election year was simply too much uncertainty for these stalwarts to bear. So instead of simply passing a continuing resolution as has been done for the past few years and keeping the sequester savings, Ryan decided to remove all uncertainly and cave in this year.
Ryan and Speaker Boehner (R–Risible) think they can get away with this lie to conservatives because the result of increased federal spending and budget busting won’t have the personal impact on voters that Obama’s insurance lie had. You don’t get a letter from the government cancelling your future. You get a Chinaman repossessing the Washington monument.
The rationalization for this total surrender is threefold according to our betters: The agreement restores some defense spending reduced by the sequester, cuts the budget and brings the entire budget into balance in ten years.
Let’s start at the top. Ace negotiator Ryan was able to restore $2 billion in Pentagon spending next year in return for letting Democrats increase wasteful social spending by $ 22 BILLION! That’s a ratio of 11 to one in welfare to warfare spending.
The sequester was bad enough — defense took half the cuts, while social spending took the other half spread over countless pointless programs — but this disaster in multiplication makes that deal look positively prudent.
Second the budget cut. I admire Ryan’s poker face as he announced $26 billion in cuts over ten years. This means the federal government will be cutting $2.6 billion a year out of a budget that’s over $1 trillion! For comparison purposes, the city of Washington, DC spends more than $2.6 billion in four months. In 2012 the IRS issued $11 billion in fraudulent income tax refunds. In the same year the government wasted $95 billion in programs identified by the Government Accounting Office that duplicated other wasteful government programs.
In federal terms, Ryan’s $2.6 billion is pocket change.
Finally, the budget balances in ten years. This is not because spending will finally be brought in line with revenue, which is how individuals balance budgets. No, Ryan is hoping that federal tax revenues will grow enough through a recovering economy to finally match the spending right now. In the other nine years the deficit continues to pile up.
This is like a drunk driver careening the wrong way down the interstate hoping his blood will absorb enough of the booze for him to regain control before the car hits the bridge abutment.
David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director who saw firsthand how Republicans agreed to increase taxes for Democrat spending cuts that never came, says, “First, let’s be clear—it’s a joke and betrayal. It’s the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that’s hurtling down the road.”
Earlier this week reporter Paul Kane of The Washington Post seemed confused that TEA party members were mounting challenges to incumbent Republican senators. The answer is simple; conservatives have no reason to support big government incumbentcrats, regardless of whether they are Senators or Congressmen. Keeping the likes of Boehner or Ryan or Orrin Hatch in office is not the be all and end all of our existence. If nothing else even an unsuccessful primary can be a wakeup call for these whited sepulchers.
Why fight for them if they won’t fight for us? Why waste the gas necessary to drive to the polls to vote for these weaklings?
The only difference between these Republicans and Nancy Pelosi is we go broke slower and there’s a slim chance we won’t have to attend a same–sex marriage ceremony to qualify for Social Security benefits.
Retreating to a compound in Idaho is looking better and better. And since Janet Reno is no longer attorney general, we might even survive until the Chinese foreclose.