FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Nancy Pelosi says the federal cupboard is bare, there are no more spending cuts to make
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi swung by CNN’s State of the Nation to assure America that austerity has run its course, the budget has been cut to the bone, and there isn’t a penny left to pinch from Uncle Sam’s moth-filled wallet. ”The cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make,” Pelosi gibbered. ”It’s really important that people understand that. We all want to reduce the deficit.”
And since there’s not one thin dime of waste, fraud, abuse, irresponsible spending, or unconstitutional power left in Washington, you know what that means. Time for these ridiculous Democrats to slip into their deficit-hawk costumes and begin yelling about tax increases again. There might not be any more room for spending cuts in the federal budget, but we can always squeeze a few more bucks out of the private sector, no matter how long Barack Obama’s economy floats face-down in the sewers of flat GDP growth and high unemployment.
For people of Nancy Pelosi’s mindset, the private sector can never be small enough. The equally unhinged Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, just went on another tear about how opponents of ObamaCare are “anarchists,” a term he deploys against anyone who thinks a multi-trillion-dollar government living thirty or forty percent beyond its means might be a wee bit too plump. ”We’re not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that ObamaCare is the law,” sneered Reid. ”We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional.”
I guess that makes Barack Obama an “anarchist” for refusing to obey ObamaCare, having cut his anarchist teeth on refusing to respect such settled laws of the land as Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act. ObamaCare isn’t really a “law,” because not everyone is required to obey it. It’s an exercise of power, but it cannot be considered truly lawful until everyone is equally subject to it. That day will never come.
But there’s no point in having a rational discussion about Reid’s outburst. Democrats are perfectly comfortable denying the authority of laws they dislike, and fighting like the dickens to overturn them, no matter what any Supreme Court might say about it. The Constitution is dust in the wind to them, but a three-year old, catastrophically failed health care law is written in granite… just like the deficit is the irrational obsession of cranks when Democrats want to spend money, but an urgent national priority when they want to raise taxes.
Two groups of people claim anarchy is the only alternative to tyranny: anarchists and tyrants. For the Left, only asserting power and growing the government matters. That’s why they don’t care about the failures of ObamaCare. As long as it lets them hire an army of bureaucrats, get the middle class hooked on subsidy checks, and carve out special exemptions for their very special friends, it’s working. Rising premiums, vaporized health care plans, and massacred full-time jobs are of little concern. In fact, rising premiums and the hordes of people tumbling into those “public exchanges” are more like features than bugs. When the cost of insurance becomes unbearable, Democrats will begin agitating for larger subsidies to “help” the Sainted Middle Class. That will blow the deficit into orbit… at which point Nancy Pelosi will once again check the federal cupboard, find no room for spending cuts, and declare that tax increases to pay for middle-class health care benefits are urgently needed.
The day will soon come when it’s impossible for them to play that game any more, but Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama will be safely retired by then. Part of the effective strategy for fighting back will involve a refusal to let them get away with pretending there’s no room for spending cuts. Most people reading this would be able to rattle billions of dollars in outright government fraud off the top of their heads – lately we’ve been hearing stories about how cell-phone welfare providers were trained to help their “clients” commit fraud. But the response from Democrats is that you’re not really talking about “spending cuts” when you bring up those outrages. You’re talking about “good government,” and they’re all in favor of that. Why, haven’t they been promising to crack down on waste and abuse for decades now?
Indeed they have, and they’ll promise it for another decade or so, before total fiscal collapse gets under way, and there’s no more money for the widely abused welfare and crony-capitalist programs anyway. This business of promising reforms to bloated Big Government programs is a sucker play. It always has been. There are no efficient Big Government programs. There are no honest mega-governments. Nancy Pelosi chirping about how Uncle Sam’s belt is pulled to the tightest notch is evidence of that. When trillions are spent by the State, billions will inevitably disappear.
One reason for this inherent corruption is the near-total absence of the pressures that lead to efficiency and accountability. Most private-sector cost cutting sessions begin with department heads wailing that they can’t spare a dime from their budgets, too. The difference is that they have to. Competitive pressures compel them to make budget cuts on Friday that seemed impossible on Monday morning.
These forces are quite absent from a government that thinks it can eternally continue spending piles of money it doesn’t have. There is no need to make trade-offs, no compulsion to trim existing programs to fund new spending initiatives, no great worry that billions of dollars are swirling down the toilets of corruption. When red ink begins spilling off the spreadsheets and pooling on the floor, politicians can just shake down the private sector for taxes. When people complain about failed programs that cost too much, politicians can insult them as “anarchists.” It’s not like they can take their business elsewhere because they don’t like the management’s pissy attitude.
The American people should have long ago imposed Constitutional spending caps, tax limits, and a balanced budget requirement on Congress. Just think how much less idiocy we’d have to tolerate from people like Pelosi and Reid if they were forced to live within their means, like the rest of us. It’s amazing what Pelosi would find in that cupboard if she was legally compelled to keep looking, or explain to her favorite constituents why the cookie jar is empty.