If you wanted to get a glimpse of how far apart the GOP old-bulls are from those who represent the values of the grassroots, look no further than this video clip from the State of the Union Address. While Obama was announcing his support for amnesty on demand, John McCain shot up from his chair and started dancing, along with his good friend Chuck Schumer. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is sitting by evincing the expression that most Americans were at the time of Obama’s incoherent praise for illegal immigrants.
The time for equivocation over defunding Obamacare is over. The time for recalcitrance to fulfill the budgetary promises is long overdue. Now is the time for action.
Over the past two years, we’ve heard a variety of excuses in defense of Republicans for failing to cut spending in any consequential way. Well, come March 1 those excuses are obsolete. The sequester is something that Republicans agreed to implement back in 2011. It is also something that will go into effect as long as Republicans do absolutely nothing. The fact that they only control one-third of government will be no excuse for them to abrogate their promise.
As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the 10-year sequestration, which would cut all discretionary accounts across-the board, is slated to take effect on March 1. The sequester will cut roughly $1 trillion in mainly discretionary spending, with 50 percent of the cuts coming from Defense, even though it only comprises 20 percent of the federal budget. It is important to remember that a good amount of these cuts are only baseline cuts, especially on the non-defense side. For 2013, the sequester was originally going to be $109 billion, but due to the cancellation of the first two months, the cuts will total $85 billion.
While all conservatives agree that there is clearly some waste in defense, random across-the-board cuts are unwise. That’s why conservatives felt that the entire debt ceiling deal was preposterous. We gave Obama a free $2.1 trillion recharge of the national credit card in exchange for nothing but military cuts. Nevertheless, these are the only cuts we will ever make permanent. Conservatives did not support this plan, but we will not allow Obama and the Democrats to use it as a leverage point to force through more tax hikes or eliminate the non-defense part of the sequester. Republicans need to stick together and let the sequester go into effect. Obama is already feeling the pressure from the united Republican stance.
Several weeks ago, Congress voted to suspend the debt ceiling for 4 additional months in exchange for no spending cuts. Many grassroots conservatives were surprised and dismayed that most conservative members of Congress went along with the plan. The reason those conservatives agreed to fall on their sword is because leadership guaranteed them two things in exchange for their support. 1) They would stand strong on the sequester and 2) they would pass a budget for FY 2014 that balances in 10 years.
If GOP leaders are serious about keeping their promise, they must reject plans by John McCain and Lindsey Graham to offer any replacement to the sequester. That will only play into Obama’s hands and obviate any leverage we might gain from standing firm. We must also quash any effort to tinker with the sequester in the continuing resolution. As it stands now, the sequester will take effect on March 1. That is free for us. We get that by simply doing nothing. Why use the CR to get something that we already own? The CR, which is set to expire on March 27 must be about fighting Obamacare.
There is no doubt that John Boehner and Paul Ryan will push through a 10-year balanced budget for FY 2014. But it is meaningless if they fail to finally make good on their promise to defund Obamacare. It’s time for us to confront the reality that there is no entitlement reform without quashing Obamacare. There will be no balanced budget as long as Obamacare is still on the books. If you are one who feels that Obamacare is here to stay as a result of the elections, then stop talking about entitlement reform and balanced budgets. None of that will happen once the Obamacare ship sets sail next year.
Last year, 127 members of the House signed a letter pledging to oppose any appropriation bill that contains funding for Obamacare. 105 of those members are still in the House (download here). The full copy of the letter can be viewed here. After much delay, the March 27 CR is the last opportunity to fulfill that promise.
The path to balance is very simple. Republicans must stop talking about tweaking the sequester, and let it take effect immediately. The CR fight must be reserved for defunding Obamacare. The time for kicking the can down the road until “the next fight” is over. Open enrollment for the Obamacare exchanges begins in October. If we don’t preclude the motherload of all dependency programs from taking root, any discussion of balanced budgets or entitlement reform is nothing more than hollow rhetoric.
If members are too scared to pocket the automatic cuts that are already in the bag, and disrupt implementation of the worst government program, there are plenty of people who would be more than happy to take their places in Congress. Candidate recruitment is already beginning in earnest. It will undoubtedly accelerate after March 27.
Cross-posted at RedState
As the excerpts of Obama’s speech were released, I wrote up a few comments in response to his deceptions. Then when the full text became available, I realized that I would need 25 pages to respond to the speech. Every word was a lie or a deception. From listening to the speech you would think that he just became president, that all his ideas were never tried before, and that there is no unemployment problem. He has grown government to record heights, yet we are living in the longest period of economic stagnation. So he is proposing even more government, like cap and trade style regulations that will cripple job creation and raise the cost of all vital goods and services. This man lives in an alternative universe.
Here are just a few points:
“Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”
Wow – just wow. There have been numerous lies disseminated from that podium over the year by both Republican and Democrat presidents. But this? You might be a liberal who agrees with his proposals; who believes that throwing more money at failed programs will create prosperity. However, what sane individual believes that they will not add a dime to the deficit? This is coming from a man who has increased the debt by $5.8 trillion in just his first term, more than any other president from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined.
The Senate voted today to reauthorize and expand the unconstitutional Violence Against Women Act (S.47). You can read our full analysis on the bill here. This bill vitiates due process, interjects the federal government into local law enforcement issues, violates the rights of citizens charged for domestic violence crimes on Indian reservations, promotes the homosexual agenda, and expands wasteful programs that have little success in combating domestic violence.
If all the Democrats need to do is give a bill a mellifluous-sounding name and demagogue the issue in order to scare Republicans, we have already lost the battle. Only 22 Republicans opposed the bill. Remember this is a fiscal and social issue. We’ve got a serious problem when there is a consensus that something like domestic violence must be dealt with at a federal level.
Here are the 23 Republicans who have no respect for federalism, due process, and equal protection under the law:
- Alexander, L. (TN)
- Ayotte (NH)
- Burr (NC)
- Chambliss (GA)
- Coats (IN)
- Cochran (MS)
- Collins, S. (ME)
- Corker (TN)
- Crapo (ID)
- Fischer (NE)
- Flake (AZ)
- Heller (NV)
- Hoeven (ND)
- Isakson (GA)
- Kirk (IL)
- McCain (AZ)
- Moran, Jerry (KS)
- Murkowski, L. (AK)
- Portman (OH)
- Shelby (AL)
- Toomey (PA)
- Vitter (LA)
- Wicker (MS)
We’ve noted many times that issue polling (unlike election polling) is worthless. It’s garbage in, garbage out. The poll is only a reflection of the way the question is asked, the choices that are offered, and the context or background that is provided. Depending on how you ask a question, you could probably get 75-80% support for almost any issue. Today’s Rasmussen poll on gun control is a perfect example.
When asked whether we “need stricter gun control laws,” a slim plurality (50-45) said yes. This sounds like a choice that supports more law and order. Yet, when asked whether stricter gun laws would reduce violence, only 32% answered in the affirmative. So what gives? Why do the other 18% believe in stricter gun laws if they admit those laws won’t fulfill their primary objective? There is no answer to this question. It all depends on how you present the issue.
There is an obvious reason why all promises to enforce our immigration laws in exchange for amnesty are vacuous. You need to listen carefully to the rationale offered in support of amnesty. One day, you will hear the old straw man bromide “we can’t possibly go door-to-door and deport everyone.” The implication of this argument is that amnesty is a necessary evil at this point, but something to prevent in the future. However, on other occasions you will hear comments like this one by John Conyers during a hearing on immigration reform:
“I hope no one uses the term ‘illegal immigrants’ here today. Our citizens are not…the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster. We’ve got senatorial bipartisan support working very nicely thus far.”
To that end, a number of Democrats have begun flaunting the law and bringing in illegal aliens to the Capitol to attend hearings. Evidently, one will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Three members will bring illegal dates with them to the prom tonight…I mean the State of the Union Address.
Hmmm..maybe we should start bringing people who carry undocumented guns or undocumented tax returns to the state of the union show.
If you listen carefully to the parlance of the left, and even those on our side, when discussing the issue of ‘undocumented’ people, they don’t regard illegal immigration as something that must be dealt with now but stopped in the future. They view them as the superlative pioneers who are willing to come here and do the jobs that Americans won’t do. They are all geniuses with 4.0 averages in Ivy League schools who are waiting to invent the next industrial revolution..if only we’d abjure our racism and grant them documents.
In the war on global terror, the most important asset is intelligence. We have seen that nation building and regime change doesn’t work out so well and is extremely costly. But human intelligence is the most efficient way of dealing with this unorthodox enemy. Please take a few moments to listen to this speech delivered by John Brennan, the current nominee for CIA Director. Ask yourself if you would trust this man to oversee all our intel pertaining to radical Islamists:
If the answer is no, please contact the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and request that they vote no on his nomination later this week.
Proposing solutions to the financial crisis without looking into the federal involvement in housing is akin to enacting immigration reform without dealing with our southern border and points of entry. The federal involvement in housing, via the monstrosities know ad Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, is what created the asset bubbles, propelled the growth of subprime mortgages, and took down the rest of the economy with it. All taxpayers got from it was a great recession and over $137 billion in bailout money to spare these officious market-distorting entities.
Once the housing market collapsed and credit for mortgages dried up, consumers rushed to take their sketchy finances to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which offers mortgages of just 3.5% down. Congress exacerbated the problem by allowing the FHA to back mortgages on homes as expensive as $750,000. Now, after several years of backing failed mortgages during the recession, the FHA is facing a $16.3 billion shortfall.
Instead of easing the FHA involvement in the housing and using market forces to determine prime mortgages, the CFPB, a rouge agency created by the Dodd-Frank bill, has set new standards that will exacerbate the problem. American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Edward Pinto has the following trenchant observations about the CFPB’s new standards:
Throughout the past few years, we’ve noted that there’s too much focus on the dollars and cents of the budget. Even Obama and Democrats are talking about billions in spending cuts. It’s beginning to sound like an Old McDonald song: “a few trillion here and a hundred billion there; here a trillion there a billion, everywhere a spending cut.” However, once we cut through the illusory narrative generated by the media, we’ll realize that not a single program or agency is eliminated, at least not without the creation of a new one in its place.
This is the casualty of focusing on numbers instead of actually reducing the size of government. Numbers can be manipulated, even as government continues to play a major role, and even expand its role, into every sector of our economy. We are hearing incessant carping about the scheduled $85 billion in sequester cuts, yet I can’t figure out how many, if any, of the 2,184 assistance programs will be eliminated.
Remember that the cost of an agency, program, or subsidy might not be that high, but its residual effects on the private economy – through market distortions, regulations, and disincentives – are often too big to quantify. The annual budget for the EPA is only about $8 billion, but it promulgates laws and regulations that remove hundreds of billions from the private economy in the form of lower wages, costlier products, and market distortions. These government agencies, programs, and mandates also destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The Washington Post has an insightful presentation on how some of the recent spending cuts turned out to be mere gimmicks and failed to reduce the scope of the federal bureaucracies. Remember the $38 billion in cuts (it was supposed to be $100 billion) that the GOP-led House secured during the first budget battle in April, 2011? Here is how that played out over the past two years:
We really need to make Republican members of Congress sign a pledge that they will not engage in gang violence against the party. This secretive bipartisan gang work is getting out of hand.
While working on ways to stop the hemorrhaging in our party from the Schumer/Rubio amnesty gang, I discovered today that Senator Coburn is working with a Democrat gang to advance a universal background check law. To my knowledge, this news came as a surprise to his fellow conservatives in the Senate as well. Who is he working with? Among others, Chuck Schumer! What in the world does Chuck Schumer have over the heads of senators from some of the most conservative states?
In recent years, individual Republican members have embarked on a Benedict Arnold approach to legislating by granting cover for squishy Republicans and red state Democrats to support bills that would otherwise never pass. Instead of working openly with fellow conservatives to draft a statement of principles on the issue at hand, these ‘gangsters’ work in secret with the most liberal members to chart a path for 60 members to pass bad legislation. All too often, these members back away at the last moment and vote against the proposal, something I’m sure Marco Rubio will eventually do with the amnesty bill, but not after the damage had already been done.
What on earth would impel Senator Coburn to give cover for red state Democrats to pass broader unconstitutional gun bills? This year we have a unique dynamic in which there are a record number of Democrats who stand for reelection in states that oppose gun control (and almost everything else on the Obama/Reid agenda). These Democrats cannot be caught dead voting for an “assault weapons” ban. Yet, by giving them an opening to sign onto a more mellifluous-sounding proposal like universal background checks, they will have the cover to oppose the other harsher amendments, while signing the fate of the final bill.