Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shut 'er Down! Did Republicans Cave?

I know many Kamikaze Republican are disappointed the government did not shut down.

They wanted Republicans to hold firm to a plan to cut the budget $100 billion and not pass any budget that cut less. Democrats were not going to pass a budget with $100 billion in cuts, the government would have shut down, Republican would have been blamed, nothing would have been accomplished and this would have guaranteed the reelection of Barack Obama the same way Republicans helped reelect President Clinton when in 1996 they shut down the government. Actually, Republicans did not shut down the government in 1996; Clinton did by vetoing the budget he was sent by Congress. It did not matter; Republicans got the blame. This time the government would not have been shut down because the President vetoed a budget sent to him by Congress, but would have shut down because Congress did not sent him a budget.The result would have been the same; Republicans would have been blamed for the shut down.

I realized the seriousness of the budget crisis. I realized we have a $14 Trillion national debt and 40 cent of every dollar the government spends is borrowed money.  I realize we have a crisis. Please do not lecture me on the debt. I am fully aware of the enormity of the problem.  We have a crisis. I get it. However, shutting down the government would have led to Republicans losing elections and the Democrats would have won the PR battle. Most Americans are still in denial about the financial status of our nation. Shutting down the government would not have convinced them of anything.

While I would have preferred a larger cut, I actually think this is a pretty good beginning on a return to financial responsibility.

Boehner said the agreement will “cut spending and keep our government open,” and this agreement will cut hundreds of billions of dollars in spending over the next decade  and will “help create a better environment for job creators in our country.”

Here are some key facts on the bipartisan agreement: (link)

  • THE LARGEST SPENDING CUT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.  The agreement will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending – the largest spending cut in American history in terms of dollars – just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending “freeze” that would mean zero cuts
  • HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN SPENDING CUTS OVER THE NEXT DECADE.  The agreement will cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal budget over the next decade – “real money,” as the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently noted.
  • OFFICIALLY ENDS THE “STIMULUS” SPENDING BINGE.  The agreement begins to reverse the “stimulus” spending binge that began in 2009 – signaling the official end of a period of unprecedented government intervention that former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and other economists say hurt job creation in America by crowding out private investment. 
  • SETS STAGE FOR TRILLIONS MORE IN SPENDING CUTS.  Clears the way for congressional action on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget – The Path to Prosperity – which cuts trillions in spending and offers a long-term blueprint for American job creation.
  • GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE ON REPEAL OF OBAMACARE.  The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety.  The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
  • NEW TOOLS IN THE FIGHT TO REPEAL OBAMACARE.  The agreement will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law’s mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations – including unions - who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and the president’s failed “stimulus” spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.    
  • DENIES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO THE IRS.  The Obama administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – money that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of issues.  This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
  • GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE & DEBATE ON DE-FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD.  The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. 
  • BANS TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.  The agreement includes a complete ban on local and federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde”). 
  • MANDATORY AUDITS OF THE NEW JOB-CRUSHING BUREAUCRACY SET UP UNDER DODD-FRANK.  The agreement subjects the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the job-destroying Dodd-Frank law to yearly audits by both the private sector and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to monitor its impact on the economy, including its impact on jobs, by examining whether sound cost-benefit analyses are being used with rulemakings.  
That is not a bad beginning. I assume it is the best we could get.

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