Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Budget Shutdown Showdown

Let's start with an overview, and then we'll dive into the details.

Remember how the Democrats somehow failed to pass a budget last year? The House of Representatives has one Constitutionally mandated responsibility: to pass a budget every year. They failed to do that. I believe they did so deliberately because they didn't want to formalize just how horrendously they were overspending. Also, they knew the new Republican majority in 2011 would move to cut back the growth they have accomplished since 2008, and they wanted to tie the GOP's hands as much as possible.

So, there's been no formal budget for over a year, and normal operations have been funded through several temporary continuing resolutions. The House GOP finally drew a line in the sand and passed a new budget for the remainder of 2011. This was over a month ago, and the House passed it easily. The Senate has not yet taken a vote on it. They don't want to for two reasons. First, they still don't want to formalize their overspending. Second, they know that to lock in a budget with lower spending levels is a direct attack on their power.

Now, the GOP is fighting against yet another CR, and instead pushing for a real budget. The Democrats are doing everything they can to prevent that from happening. The media, being merely a Democrat propaganda machine nowadays, is dutifully pre-reporting that a government 'shutdown' would be akin to nuclear winter, and trying to scare as many people as possible as badly as possible in an attempt to cow the Republicans. One side or the other will have to blink, and only time will tell which side caves in first.

If you don't follow politics, that summary may seem overdramatic or a bit over the top, but I assure you I do not kid nor exaggerate. Take a look at the facts for yourself.


It begins with the GOP budget proposal (called the Path to Prosperity) and its primary architect, economic conservative superstar Paul Ryan. While the big headlines cover the bickering over whether or not to cut $6 billion or $33 billion or $61 billion from the budget, that's really an irrelevant amount of cuts, a drop in the bucket, a piddly trifling amount of savings...and no real change in course. Ryan's proposal, on the other hand, recognizes that fundamental changes -- not just CRs that make slight reductions -- must occur NOW, or permanent damage will be done to this nation. It cuts to the bone, outlining how we can save $6 trillion over the course of the next decade, and balance the budget in a quarter century. The key points are:
- reducing spending
- welfare reform
- health and retirement reform
- tax reform

It won't be pretty, and it won't be easy, but it will put this nation back on the path toward smaller government and true prosperity. There is a load of commentary on the plan (here and here are two good ones), but it seems that much of the Right approves of most of it. The obvious problems are, of course, that we're in such a deep hole that we can't get out of it quickly or easily. For example:

The Democrats have worked indefatigably for a century to destroy the fabric of our free market, liberty seeking society. We will not restore our republic overnight. As such, Paul Ryan’s proposal provides us with the building blocks from which to bring about the restoration of our constitutional government. More importantly, it has spurred a much needed sagacious debate about the best way to fulfill those ideals-a debate that has been suppressed by the Democrat extremists in Washington.

The Democrats can no longer hide the fact that they have no desire to cut one red-cent from their sacrosanct $3.8 trillion annual plunder of the American worker and their $14.2 trillion foreclosure on the next generation. They will fight vociferously to keep every last poverty inducing, market-distorting, and price-hiking program. After all, the future dependency and impending poverty of the American worker is the mother’s milk of Democrats’ perennial power.

Republicans should stick to their guns and build upon Ryan’s innovations. A new pollshows that Americans align with the Tea Party against Congress on all major issues by a 48%-22% margin. There is nothing to fear, as the Tea Party agenda is good politics, and more importantly, good policy. Quite the contrary, it is the Democrats who should fear electoral reprisal. Their extremist policies have killed jobs; reduced income, raised the cost of food, energy, and vital needs; perpetuated poverty and corporate cronyism; depredated our energy productivity; and spawned a virtually immutable debt crisis.


Worse, Paul Ryan’s budget balances in 26 years if and only if the Democrats agree to it. That will never happen. In other words, in the best case scenario Paul Ryan has proposed a budget that may or may not balance in 26 years. That is important not just because Democrats must go along with it, but also because the people projecting all the savings must be right. In the history of our grand Republic, those prognosticators are typically more wrong than right.

So don’t actually believe the budget will balance in 26 years. History is against that. The Democrats are against it too.

Still, it is the first (and only) serious plan to restore America's economic health on the table. One of its key components is to completely defund Obamacare. This statist takeover of the American health care system is one of the linchpins of transforming America into a permanent socialist nation. It is something that Leftist Dems are hyperventilating over, and Righty Tea Partiers (and 2/3 of the rest of the country) are salivating over. They've already passed a repeal of the notorious 1099 provision that would require excessively burdensome tax requirements, and the Path to Prosperity promises much, much more. In short, it's a true game changer, and will put America on a different road than we've been on for decades.

So, where are we today? The GOP has dug its heels in, saying there will be no more short-term continuing resolutions, not even ones that cut spending and debt. Instead, they're insisting on passing Ryan's budget proposal. Democrats have dug their heels in, too, refusing to even agree to a vote, let alone help pass the budget. The current CR runs out at the end of the week, and if new funding has not been put in place by then, a 'shutdown' will occur.

And, if liberals are to be believed, the end of the world will ensue.

But let's live in reality, shall we? First of all, even if the shutdown does occur, it's not like things will actually be 'shut down' for most of the country. How bad will it be? Well, have you ever heard of Easter? Christmas? President's Day? This 'shutdown' will be essentially the same as a federal holiday. There are approximately 3 million federal workers, and over 2 million of them will still be doing their jobs during the 'shutdown'. Those who are told to stay home will almost certainly be paid for their time off once things get back to normal. Congress can pass a budget in a matter of minutes if they're properly incented to do so. It's going to be painful for Americans who depend on the steady paycheck, but that just underscores the urgency of the high-stakes game of chicken both political parties are playing. On the other side is a couple generations of American children who will suffer for our poor political and economic decisions for the past century.

President Obama chastised Congress for the bickering, and suggested it was time to act like 'grown-ups'. Then he spent 3 minutes -- 3 whole minutes -- talking with GOP House Majority Leader John Boehner, pledged to bring together Reps and Dems until they reach some kind of agreement...and then he left town for a re-election meeting in Philadelphia. What fantastic leadership, and the Dems in the Senate seem to be following along. I like this description the best:
Honestly, I don’t know why Obama is running for re-election. He obviously hates the job, and resents the rest of us for expecting him to actually do it.
Sad but true.

Anyway, that's where things stand as of this writing. There's still a bit of time left for a deal to be struck, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Here is Ryan's own summary in a 3-minute video. If you do nothing else, watch this:

Of course, putting America on a path to genuine prosperity means cutting back government power and influence, and that is what liberal Democrats (both in government and out of it, like the media) fear more than anything else. That's why they're so desperate to stop it. Yes, desperate. In fact, if anything, desperate may not cover it - hysteria might be more accurate. Take a look.

The new Democrat National Chairman is calling Ryan's budget proposal a 'death trap' for seniors and a 'tornado through nursing homes'. The top Democrat in the House, Nancy Pelosi, said it would starve seniors to death. And that's just the initial reaction. The bottom line is that a bloated, over-reaching government is precisely what liberal Democrats want, and they'll do anything to achieve and retain it, even if it means demonizing those who are trying to save America's economic future for the children and grandchildren of everyone living today. And in the middle of it all, Democrats have also pledged to go fight to the death if the budget defunds Planned Parenthood.

Oh, and interestingly enough, Leftist unions -- which almost exclusively support Democrats and Democrat agenda -- are actively planning and carrying out a plan to cause as much economic chaos as possible. It's unbelievable stuff, completely shocking. And while FDR himself executed people decades ago for this same sort of economic terrorism, these Leftist union thugs actually have an ally in the White House itself.

If nothing else, this madness is forcing Democrats to go on record on some of the biggest issues of the day, and that's a very, very good thing. If we win...

And that is most certainly possible. Most Americans -- an incredible 57% -- would actually prefer the government shutdown to the continuation of such irresponsible and reckless spending by Congress and the White House. Probably because Americans aren't stupid, and we see things like Fannie and Freddie executives getting millions in bonuses from their buddies in the Obama administration while job losses mount.

You see, the Republicans are on the right side...the side of the American people. The side of American children and grandchildren, who deserve a future as bright as ours was when we were young. Democrats are standing in the way of that bright future, and it will take active involvement by millions of Americans to provide the backbone the GOP will need to stand up to the liberal PR assault, and to wear down those Democrats who may be wavering. There's no reason this can't be a bipartisan victory. Both Republicans and Democrats have a stake in the future, so both should be interested in reviving our economy. Normal, hard-working Americans all across the country realize the situation, and are willing to do what is necessary to make it happen. The question is: what about our elected representatives?

Do your part. Contact your Senators and Rep, and tell them to pass the Path to Prosperity.

No comments:

Post a Comment