by Grant Davies, What we Think and Why
It seems the gag is on us. And it's being pulled by the media and anyone else who would have you believe that there are any cuts in federal government spending being proposed by anyone who matters, even those mean old extremist Republicans in congress.
The fantasy would work like this in my life; I propose a budget for myself to spend a lot more next year than I spent last year. Then I re-propose to scale the first proposal back and merely spend somewhat more than last year, and then I call it a "cut" and tell you how much progress I'm making in controlling my spending.
That's the reality of what is happening in congress right now as house Republicans wrestle with senate Democrats over how to pay to keep the government operating for a few more weeks.
The media is talking about cuts that don't exist. These Republicans are not proposing to spend even a tiny bit less than last year, much less several years ago. And this at a time when rational people (Tea Partiers) have sent a clear message to their elected representatives that they want LESS spending, MUCH LESS spending. They don't want scaled back plans, they want actual cuts, large cuts.
Recently I wrote a piece titled The Sixty Four Thousand Dollar Question that pointed out how miniscule a GOP proposed $61 billion budget cut actually is in the context of the total amount of government spending. I hope you saw the video that accompanied it which demonstrated how to keep these things in perspective. If not, you can just click the link above and see it now.
Now it looks like the Republicans might cave in and settle for half that paltry amount for fear of appearing extremist. It's time to send them a message, if you, like me, think the country (and our children's future) is in imminent danger of swirling the bowl sooner rather than later. Better call them up and inform them that their chance of being the candidate after the next primary elections is swirling around the same bowl if they don't get serious about this quickly.
When President Bill Lewinski left office the budget was about two thousand billion dollars a year. Under President Barak Carter it's about three thousand eight hundred billion dollars a year. And the Republicans are proposing to "cut" it by thirty one billion. If you paid off your $3800 credit card bill with a minimum payment of $31 a year, how long before you would be ready for a new shopping spree?
Notwithstanding the oft quoted (but incorrect) national debt figure of fourteen thousand billion dollars and my possibly fuzzy math, you get the idea that it might be a while before you hit WalMart again.
So if the answer to why Republicans are proposing higher spending than last year is because they fear being called extremists by Chuckie Shumer and NPR, then what would a guy like Senator Rand Paul who wants (as a start) to cut five hundred billion the first year be called?
I'd call him a Presidential candidate.
(Editor's Note: A retired investment advisor and resident of Illinois, Grant Davies blogs from a liberty perspective at What we Think and Why)
Related discussion: Memeorandum, here.