Monday, April 11, 2011

GOP wins this Budget Battle, Sort of

A national crisis has been averted. Last Friday’s down-to-the-wire agreement by Obama, Reid, and Boehner kept the Federal government open. Thankfully, our troops got paid, The Washington Monument stayed open and all the non-essential workers stayed on the job. Grandmothers were spared untold horrors, as were countless puppies and kittens.

And the spending spree in Washington continued unabated.

While the argument over spending had been simmering for a few weeks as Republicans did what the Democrat-controlled 111th Congress refused to do, (as was their Constitutional duty) namely to submit an operating budget for fiscal year 2011. The pot had begun to boil over, fueled mostly by the typical doomsday rhetoric from the progressives on the far-left side of the political aisle who think that the world cannot rotate without money from Washington.

And the amount of cuts to programs was miniscule compared to the amount of money this administration spends. With a record-high peacetime deficit in the trillions, and Washington spending more than $50B in one week, this budget that cuts only $38B for a short time is like bailing out a dingy with a thimble while under a waterfall. It just isn’t enough.

But, we’ll take our victories where we can find them. I found one tiny ray of real hope in all this: we started to change the mindset in Washington from ever-increasing levels of spending to one of actually considering cuts in funding, something this Boy never thought he’d see.

The usual suspects on the left attempted to lay blame (once again) on the dread Tea Party as though this was a replay of the last showdown back in the mid-nineties where the GOP was the party that wanted to kill Granny. And children. And puppies. And kittens.

The nation knows better. Had the government been shut down, the blame would have fallen directly upon the dainty shoulders of Reid and Obama. They knew it. Nothing else explains the President’s rush to take credit for the “biggest cuts in history.” Never mind that he had pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, and sat by idly as the Pelosi and Reid-led Congress created the most extreme debt our country has ever seen.

Yeah, Chuck Schumer, what was extreme was the unprecedented run-up of debt that you helped create, not Republican efforts to trim it. And when, exactly, did wanting to reduce the nation’s historic and potentially devastating deficits become extreme?

We’re waiting, Chuckles.

Dems can make all the excuses they want for adding more to America’s debt than all the previous administrations before it combined. The Stimulus has not only failed, it has failed in spectacular fashion. We are now much worse off than had we been if nothing had been done. The $787B that was spent did nothing to lift our economy from the worst recession in recent memory; I maintain that it did the exact opposite, on purpose.

But, we had to try it your way. We had to see what didn’t work before we, as a nation, suddenly realized what we already knew. There is no way to spend our way out of a recession, as Slow Joe Biden proclaimed. His Gump-like solution sounded like the perfect antidote to our ailing economy to everyone except those of us who could count. Maybe, we thought at the time, there was some sort of magical formula, known only to those inside the Beltway, which would prove to be the solution to the negative effects of a large and overweening government presence in the free market: even more government intervention.

After the massive failure of this administrations’ misguided economic policies, American’s eyes no longer glaze over at the mention of deficit numbers. As this battle has proceeded, the public is hearing more accurate facts and figures concerning the budget, and it doesn’t like what it has been hearing. Or seeing. Too many of us know too many of us who have been unemployed for years, or have lost their home or business, or had to move in with relatives as a result of this, the Obama Depression.

So, we can claim a small but not insignificant victory, one that is tactical instead of strategic: it’s time to reduce the size and scope of the Federal government and the negative impact that it has on our economy.

Last Friday’s compromise that actually cut spending was only the first step in changing the national dialogue from one of how much we spend to the more sensible notion of cutting real spending.

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