Monday, August 1, 2011

Did the Tea Party Score a Victory in the Budget Battle?

It appears as though there’s finally a debt deal in Washington, although I can’t say for sure at this point. There’s only one way to tell, given the sclerotic nature of rhetoric that spills forth from career politicians: if both sides are grumbling, that means we have a deal.

Yay! I think.

What is clear is that the issue of an ever-growing federal government is finally being brought to the nations’ attention. Maybe some of our friends who don’t normally pay attention to these things will start to notice that Washington long ago outgrew its britches and now plays a much larger part in our economy than it was ever intended to by the Founders. And for those that don’t, when they suddenly discover they can’t buy such innocuous items as 100-watt light bulbs in the stores starting next year, that might help them understand this whole government-has-become-way-too-big thingy.

Or so I hope.

Anyway, it appears as though the Tea Party made its presence felt on Capitol Hill and embarked on its quest to reduce the size and intrusion of the federal government. And no one felt it more than Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He submitted plan after plan and members of the Tea Party refused to back his capitulation to the big spenders up there.

Understand what the word “compromise” means in today’s political environment: radical, far-left Progressives (but I repeat myself) propose ever-increasing ways for the government to control our lives through legislation, and Republicans just try to slow it down with counter-proposals that still increase the size, scope and intrusion of Washington. That’s some compromise, huh?

For a quick review on how the right and the left view this deal, here are a couple of links. First, there’s this from Mark Thiessen at the Washington Post, “How the Tea Party “hobbits” won the debt fight.” And here’s the leftist view from Yahoo News, "How the Tea Party won the Deal.” Note that you will be dumber for having read that one, filled as it is with such stupidity as this,

Given how much the Bush tax cuts have contributed to the deficit (and how little they’ve spurred economic growth), it’s mind-boggling that they’ve apparently escaped this deficit-reduction deal unscathed.

And this nonsense,

Obama, like FDR, had a reasonably successful first two years: a stimulus package that while too small for the circumstances was still large by historical standards and a health care bill that while subpar in myriad ways still far exceeded the efforts of other recent Democratic presidents.

If by successful, you mean strangling the economy by growing government by over 30% and passing laws at a pace not seen since the Great Society days of the Johnson administration, then by all means Obama has been a success for big government advocates. For the rest of us, not so much.

I’m proud of the Tea Partiers for standing on principle. The midterms elections last November were just the start of what I hope will be a conservative revolution in Washington. I’d like to see such careerists as Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and others of their ilk removed from office. Along with them, I’d also like to see Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain primaried and replaced with true fiscal conservatives who will actually think about the effects of their actions upon their fellow citizens.

That’s a lot, I know, but I think it can be done. After all, who had even heard of Marco Rubio and Col. Alan West two years ago? I keep up with these things and I had never heard of them.

Hope springs eternal. And this budget battle only serves to make it bubble even more.

And while I’m on the subject, I’d like to put to rest those of us on the right who think that we need a third party in the 2012 Presidential election. This is a supremely bad idea, one that saddled us with somebody named Bill Clinton thanks to Ross Perot’s third party candidacy. Although he didn’t wreak havoc on our economy, he would have had he been elected at any point in time other than right after the Great Ronaldus Magnus. There’s no doubt that he benefitted more from the policies and subsequent economic boom of the Reagan years more than any other leftist president.

And make sure, Bill Clinton was, and is, a radical leftist. Remember the photo of him signing a bill while both Cloward and Piven looked on? If that doesn’t give you pause, knowing today their strategy for collapsing our government and economy through wildly irresponsible spending is in full, I don’t know what would.

This fight over the budget is a small victory to be sure, but it has established a precedent in Washington. We’re no longer talking about how much government will grow, we’re not talking about cuts in the rate of increase of government (which is how those on the left define the word). We’re talking about real live cuts, cuts that you and I have made in our family’s budget, where there is a real reduction in spending.

Naturally we want more. I look forward to the day when we hear politicians start speaking of something called “baseline budgeting.” This radical concept (or radical in Washington, at least) starts the budget from zero, not last year’s budget. This small change is grand in scope. What it means is that each department is examined for what it really needs, not what is has received in the past.

We’ll know we’ve made the kind of true progress towards sanity in government when that day arrives. It’s coming, and it’s coming because no one is able to escape the results of not doing it.

It’s like that old saying, “You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the results of ignoring reality.” And career politicians have been ignoring reality for way too long.

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