Taxes & Spending

No Time to Give Up on the Budget

It is abundantly clear to so many of us that we have an enormous problem in this country right now—the policies being advocated by President Obama and the Democratic leadership.  However, we also have a substantial problem on the Right—a refusal by GOP leaders to stand up for strict fiscal discipline and a hesitance on the part of some newly elected conservatives to dig in their heels and say, “Enough is enough.”

According to CNSNews.com, “House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia made clear this week that the American people should not expect either party to balance the federal budget anytime in the next decade.”

That’s outrageous.  If we can’t expect a fierce commitment to balancing the budget from our congressional leaders on the Right, then it’s time for newly elected conservatives to let those leaders know that the buck stops here.

RedState revealed this week that the “House Republican leadership allowed a bill [the "Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act" (HR 525)] to come to the floor of the House to expand the scope of an ObamaCare program.  The bill passed by a vote of 280-138—with 95 Republican votes [emphasis added].  … One of the bill’s provisions expands the Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program—a loan program created in ObamaCare (Title V, Section 5204)—to include veterinarians in the definition of eligible public health officials.”

With all due respect, GOP leadership, what the heck are you doing?

In the current fiscal year, it is projected that the federal deficit will be $1.65 trillion.  Does the latest response by Democrats of $4.7 billion in proposed cuts or by Republicans of $61 billion in cuts give the impression that either group has a realistic comprehension of what’s happening?  Does either group’s recommendation reflect that it has a finger on the pulse of what Americans voted for in the 2010 elections?

The answer is a big, fat no.

In an outstanding monologue on Wednesday, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin declared, “The Continuing Resolution agreed to by the Republicans last week includes $105 billion in funding for ObamaCare, as Michele Bachmann pointed out the other day.  … And the Republican Continuing Resolution does not cut one penny of it.  In fact, it doesn’t even address it.”

He continued, “I’m frankly very unimpressed with this Republican leadership.  [House Speaker John] Boehner has said over and over again so even Obama can hear him, anyone can hear him, he opposes shutting down the federal government, says he’s not going to do it.  Okay fine, now what are you going to do?  What are your negotiating points?  You just surrendered the biggest one.”

Well said.

I spoke with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) this week about the ObamaCare funding, and I continue to salute her for being a strong, principled voice.  On another note, I can’t fathom why GOP leaders have chosen to outwardly bash the notion of a government shutdown, rather than to stand on principle and articulate that a shutdown would be due to a refusal on the part of Democrats to honor the voters’ 2010 election wish for significant cuts.  Also, why isn’t Boehner out there reminding Americans that a shutdown would have no effect on border protection, military operations, the mailing of Social Security checks, and other essentials?

Levin also addressed conservative freshmen:  “It’s time for you to object and to demand, rather than become reliable votes for the Republican leadership.  … And it has to be remembered that Ronald Reagan took on the Republican Party, he led a rebellion against the Republican Party, he called for a new Republican Party, he was opposed by the National Republican Committee, he was opposed by the longtime Republican officeholders, he was opposed by the Washington elite, just like you will be.  So what?  Who cares?”

Amen.  And thank you to Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Jim DeMint for standing firm and rejecting the GOP’s inadequate proposal of $61 billion in cuts.  In an interview with the Daily Caller, Paul said, “Even if these House freshmen get $100 billion in cuts, we’re talking about changing the annual deficit from $1.65 trillion to $1.55 trillion.  So really, you’re talking about still adding trillions in debt every year.”

It’s also incredible that every single Senate Democrat voted against the GOP’s weak $61 billion proposal.  Senate Democrats—are you kidding?

Newly elected conservatives, it’s time for you all to speak up and do the job you were elected to do.  We want to see courage.  We want to see a willingness to tell party leaders “no thanks” if they just don’t get it, and to take heat from the media and the establishment in order to do what’s right.  And you must remember to communicate with the American people and to refute false claims made by both Democrats and many in the media elite.

To those in the GOP who prefer pandering to the Left, “compromising” even when it’s in America’s worst interest, and criticizing true conservative leaders who take a stand, what exactly are your priorities?

RINOs and those interested in politics as usual, you’re out of touch.  Principled conservatives in the House and Senate, get to work.  There’s no time to waste.

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