by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist
Scroll Down for Audio Version
What a shocker. Congress’s last day in session for a month is this Friday and low and behold, we have a budget which must be passed before they leave, or the world will end … or something.
It’s the oldest trick in the book. Wait til the last minute. Then insist that we will default on our debt, grandma won’t get her new teeth and children will go hungry, but only children of color.
I guess what Mitch McConnell said is true. There will be no more government shutdowns.
On Monday Trump, by way of Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, and the leaders of both Parties got together to avoid another dreaded shutdown.
As if the last one was any big deal in retrospect. Remember at the beginning of 2019 – the world-ending, 35 day federal government shutdown. It went from December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019. Recall the pain and suffering it caused all Americans?
Barely, you say? You’re not alone. Even just weeks after the shutdown ended, do we recall the follow-up reporting of ongoing or continued struggles of some 800,000 people that were affected? No?
That’s because was there was no follow-up. There was no need. Because the hyper-advertized doom and gloom was all phony – as it is every time. We didn’t “default” on nation’s debt obligations. Everything and everyone eventually was made whole, as always happens.
But each time we approach a spending or debt ceiling landmark, the big spenders, which appears to be almost everyone on Capital Hill, use the same scare tactics, and every time, it appears to work, despite decades of evidence to the contrary.
And this go-round is no different. “Dogs and cats living together – Mass Hysteria!” (h/t: Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters)
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) estimates that the deal alone could add as much as $2 trillion to deficits over the decade. And if this is the estimate, you can bet it will probably be about double.
So when will be a good time to finally hold the line on spending? We’ve been hearing the supposed fiscal hawks squawking away about debts and deficits for decades, yet the world hasn’t ended.
So I guess as long as the economy doesn’t just implode on itself like it did at the end of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, we can expect nothing but tough talk – and only from Republicans, and only when they are in the minority, so it’s actually safe to squawk, without having to do anything.
In other words, nothing has changed in this scenario for decades. It’s how the budget, the debt and deficit grows every year regardless of any claims of cuts made by either political party.
Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Something has changed. And it’s extraordinary.
In years gone by, regardless of who was in office, conservatives were always counted on to hold the line on spending. This is true of real conservatives in Congress and especially conservative talkers and pundits. And almost without exception, they did not disappoint.
I don’t recall a single instance when true conservative radio talk show hosts made a single excuse for, or gave George W. Bush a pass for not being a fiscal hawk. Of course Bush never accrued such a sycophantic following.
But now that Trump is president, things have changed – and not for the better. As one well known conservative talk show magnate said just yesterday – What is Trump supposed to do? We’re heading into an election year?
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In the past, true conservatives complained that this was always the go-to excuse of the spineless Republicans. We can’t be blamed for a shutdown going into an election season.
But the fact is, every season is now an election season. It never ends. And another fact is that neither party will ever have a super majority in both Houses – so I don’t what we’re waiting for?
What I’m hearing now is that it seems like there will never be a good time to hold the line on spending.
For me, it’s no longer a question of whether we can continue to afford to just spend without end. It’s the principle of even having a budget. What’s the point anymore?
It seems the Federal government is the only entity that doesn’t have to watch what they spend. Not even Jeff Bezos, the richest man alive, worth about $165 billion, could do that. Even he would eventually run out of money and borrowing power.
I guess we’ve now reached a point where it really is just all about the next election. There is no hill worth dying for. Not to rein in crushing debt, not for the sake of posterity, not for border security, not immigration sanity and not for national sovereignty.
And worse, we appear to have lost a few of our most powerful radio talk show advocates.