EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for January 26, 2012
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Following Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reforming his state’s collective bargaining laws and breaking the stranglehold unions held on taxpayers (saving them $476 million so far), union bosses across the country laid siege on the dairy state’s capitol and declared war on Walker and his fellow Republicans.
In 2011, union bosses and other outside groups spent tens of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to recall six Republican state senators and are spending millions more now trying to recall Scott Walker.
The millions union are now spending—paid for by union members throughout the country—has Democrats getting nervous that the money spent might strain union coffers to much prior to the November elections.
Our national debt stands at $15.2 trillion, and is growing by roughly $6 billion per day. We have tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unfortunately, we have learned that Republicans lack the gumption to fight for transformational spending cuts and reforms of major entitlements. However, at the very least, one would expect them to oppose silly pork projects like Buffalo Soldiers!
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House passed HR 1022, a bill that would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the history of Buffalo Soldiers in the establishment of national parks. The study will cost $400,000. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the feasibility of a plan to create a 200-mile trail between San Francisco and Yosemite National Park in commemoration of the Buffalo Soldiers. The federal government already owns roughly 1/3 of all American land. Do we need to afford them the opportunity to take over more land?
As anyone with a passing familiarity with Republican politics over the past four or five decades knows, conservative magazines and think tanks have been making detailed entitlement reform proposals for most of those years, and Republicans running for offices high and low have been running on platforms of reducing the size and cost of government for just as long. And then nothing happens.
That’s why Congress’ battles over the debt ceiling and related issues provide such a potent example. Basically all Republican Senators profess to be in favor of smaller government, and yet so few are willing to go to the barricades to make it a reality. Now, I’m a realist – there are limits to how much we could expect even a completely united GOP to bring home as long as Obama is the President and Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader. But the repeated spectacle of leading pundits and Beltway Republicans tut-tutting Boehner and company for even trying to use their leverage to exact real concessions is a sign that the message Republican voters have been sending is not getting through to everyone.
Two nights ago, a joint force from America’s Tier One special operations command conducted a raid on a pirate camp in Somalia, freeing two hostages – an American and a Dane – and killing their captors before exfiltrating north to Djibouti via helicopter.