Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to lose an election you just won.

As I sit down this evening to write, the lame duck session of the 110th Congress is considering two big bills. They are trying to pass a 1.2 Trillion dollar Omnibus spending bill, basically a budget for 2011, and then they take up the tax-rate deal the President worked out with congressional Republicans.

The Omnibus spending bill is a 1,924-pages filled with over 6,000 earmarks, totaling in excess of 8 Billion dollars. For the next few weeks, Democrats are still in charge of both the Senate and the House. They are trying their best to get the remainder of their budget-busting wish list passed before the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives in January. This is no surprise to me, the rout Democrats took in November has not made a dent in their philosophy; spend all you can, as fast as you can, and worry about paying for it later. In this case, the Democrats don't even have to worry about being held accountable for this round of reckless spending, they won't be in charge when the bill comes due.

My worry is the Republicans. When President Obama met in secret with the current GOP leadership last week, the President came home with a nice new cow, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Boehner came home with a pocket full of magic beans. I understand the President can be persuasive, but did he use Jedi mind-tricks on McConnell and Boehner? Why would they agree to another round of non-stimulating stimulus just to postpone Obama's plan to raise tax rates for only two years? Oh sure, they did get a few concessions in the deal, but as soon as word hit the street, Democrats were already piling on Corn Ethanol subsidies, windmill subsidies, rum subsidies, and other pork to gain enough votes to try to get this deal through the Senate.

Do Republicans remember the Pledge to America they took when they were running to unseat Nancy Pelosi and her gang? I certainly do.

Page 21 of the pledge says the Republicans will "Act Immediately to Reduce Spending" and to "Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels." How about "Reading the bill," remember that? You can find that one on page 33 of the pledge. Does any of this ring a bell?

Look, I don't expect much from the Democrats, but if the first votes by Republicans, after the American people put a shot across the bow of the big-spending government, is to increase the deficit, I have absolutely zero confidence in the leadership of the GOP. I have been listening to pundits and talking heads explain why this is a good deal; they fear a government shutdown and negative fallout from an early standoff with the President. Talk about tone deaf; cutting spending is exactly what the country just told you to do.

I don't fear "the political fallout" from a government shutdown or a fight with the President. Just wait until Americans open their paychecks on January 15 and see the Obama tax increases; the Democrats will fold up like a beach chair. Republicans can extend the current tax rates in January when they take control of the House; if you don’t believe me, ask Bill Clinton. When President Clinton says he thinks the Republicans will be in a stronger position to bargain come January, I rest my case.

I know, I know, I don't understand the finer points of legislation, and the inner working of Washington DC. You're right, I do not understand this at all.

No more wild spending sprees, no more non-stimulating stimulus, no more 2,000 page bills passed in the middle of the night. No more.

Get it?

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