Conservatives Choking On Boehner’s Phony Deficit Reduction
December 16, 2013 by Bob Livingston
Only a true sociopath can lie to your face when he knows you know he is lying, and then chastise you for not believing the lie.
Such is the case with House Weeper John Boehner. Such is the case with Representative Paul Ryan. Such is the case with most, if not all, politicians.
When the big Weeper stood before cameras lauding the budget deal House Republicans had reached with Senate Democrats, Boehner claimed that the deal creates a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. “It’s doing what the American people expect us to do,” which is to “stick to our principles but find common ground,” Boehner said in a pre-vote speech. He even said it with a straight face.
What the deal does is add back $63 billion in spending that had been cut by the so-called sequester deal President Barack Obama and the House had agreed to in 2011. It increases so-called discretionary Federal spending to $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, an increase above the $967 billion 2011 budget plan. It also raises $12 billion in fees on air travelers to pay for aviation security. These increased taxes, by the way, were called “savings” by the elected class. Note that total Federal spending in 2014 is expected to be about $3.21 trillion, even with the so-called “cuts” outlined in the agreement.
In an essay titled “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell wrote, “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Such is the case in Washington, D.C., where ever-increasing Federal spending is called cuts, taxes are called savings, lies are called the truth and progressives and statists call themselves conservatives.
The Weeper took to the microphones after the vote and proclaimed: “I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. And, uh, this budget agreement takes giant steps in that direction… All the things that we’ve done over the three years I’ve been speaker have not violated any conservative principal. Not once.” And again, he kept a straight face.
Conservatives can only wish his lie were true.
Boehner became speaker in January 2011. His “fight for smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal Government” since then has resulted in the official U.S. “debt” as measured by the Treasury Department rising from $14.1 trillion to $17.2 trillion.
After the deal, Boehner crowed that among the deal’s good points was deficit reduction. That might indeed be considered a positive were it true that scraping $20 billion to $23 billion out of a $3.21 trillion and-sure-to-annually-increase budget over 10 years was meaningful reduction — especially considering that the Federal Reserve pumps $85 billion a month in new spending into the economy through quantitative easing to infinity.
Winners in the budget deal included the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex, which get back much of the money they lost in the sequester deal, and the growing bureaucracy of the Federal leviathan. Remember: As the government steals your money, it hires more people to staff the bloated bureaucracies and sit around thinking of more ways to steal more of your money.
Losers are the American people, who see government growing ever larger and recognize there is no one in Washington, D.C., with the stomach to make significant cuts.
Despite what Boehner wants you to believe, the Federal government’s problem is not the deficit. It’s spending, and the deal in no way addresses that. The government took in a record $2.77 trillion in tax revenue in the just completed fiscal year. For perspective, that’s $200 billion more than the previous record in 2007. That year, the government took in $2.57 trillion and spent $2.73 trillion. If the government were cut back to 2007 levels, it would be operating well in the black. I don’t recall there being complaints of too little government in 2007… or 2006 or 2005.
When several Tea Party-aligned groups pointed out that the deal grows government rather shrinks it, as Boehner claimed, he lashed out, calling them “ridiculous.” But pointing out that a deal that increases Federal spending, raises taxes and puts off meaninglessly insignificant “deficit reduction” to later years is far from “ridiculous.” What Boehner has done is used an accounting gimmick common among the political class.
The deal also breaks the “Read the Bill” promise made the Boehner and GOP in 2010 that said that all bills would be available for reading online for 72 hours before they are voted on. The bill was posted at 11:25 p.m. on Tuesday, five hours after an agreement was announced. The bill was passed out of the House on Thursday. The House then adjourned and Boehner and his minions scurried out of town.
Now the bill moves to the Senate where Republicans, still peeved with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s move toward mob rule, plan to launch procedural efforts to kill it. For some of them the unhappiness is not that the deal cuts too little government spending — it’s in where the cuts come from. Whether they will unite to stand in the breech remains to be seen.
Tea Party-aligned groups are unhappy with the agreement. That makes Republican Senators set to face the electorate in 2014 just a little antsy. But a large group of House Republicans — and Boehner in particular — seem to not care.
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