Over the past few weeks, we’ve observed the Republican form of bipartisanship on display, particularly, with regard to Cantor’s deal to extend the Export-Import Bank. Democrats wanted the extension with a 40% increase in the lending cap, GOP leadership wanted a 13% increase, while conservatives wanted to wind it down. The grand bipartisan deal was finally forged, and the House voted to increase the lending cap last week by…40% over three years. Interestingly enough, this “bipartisan” deal was so palatable for Democrats that it passed without a single Democrat nay vote, even as 93 Republicans opposed it.
This is not an isolated jog across the aisle. We are witnessing the same thing with the student loan bill, the postal bailout, the highway bill, appropriations, and the Violence Against Women Act.
Over the weekend, Molly Hooper wrote an article in the Hill noting that Cantor’s bipartisan goals have raised the ire of conservative organizations such as Redstate.com, Heritage Foundation and Club For Growth. The Hill also solicited responses from GOP leaders. Here is a response from a Cantor aide:
“I get that people might be upset about the Export bank, but you can’t just end it — that’s not an option. And we are at a huge disadvantage with our local partners and competitors so you have to take a reasonable approach where you put in some of these reforms and put in place a process to wind down the bank and work in a multilateral fashion with your partners so that you are on the same page with all your foreign counterparts. If we were just to pull the plug today, our exporters would be at a huge disadvantage to our competitors and that costs jobs,” the aide explained to The Hill.
There’s one problem: the bill, passed by the House (HR 2072) and now pending before the Senate, gradually expands the scope of the bank over the next few years. It will not wind down the bank.
Then, there is this gem from Rep. Greg Waldon:
Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), a member of the House GOP leadership team said, “You know, most of us came here to get something done. It’s a good feeling when things get done. Habits are a difficult thing to change and when you begin to set a different pattern of habits — people working together, focusing on a common outcome — softening the edges, it’s actually a good habit to get started.”
Really? You desire to “get something done?”
Folks, it is this desire on the part of Republicans to “just get something done” that has saddled us with $15.7 trillion in debt.
It is the largely insouciant attitude on the part of Republicans that has allowed our society to become entirely reliant on government for healthcare and income during old age.
It is the Republican aspiration for bipartisanship that created the Department of Education, along with billions in subsidies for higher education. These subsidies helped increase the cost of college tuition by 439% over the past few decades, while lining the pockets of Big Education and incentivizing them to hike the tuition even more, thereby engendering a further need for subsidization.
It is these “do something” Republicans that have gone along with the Democrat anti-free-market agenda energy policy; from green energy subsidies to mandates for ethanol and the use of crony capitalist products. These policies have helped spike the cost of energy, thereby engendering a further need for subsidization.
It is these “reasonable” Republicans that worked together to destroy the free-market in healthcare, impelling uncontrollable inflation long before Obamacare. Once again, government involvement in healthcare has engendered a further need for subsidization.
It is the desire of Republicans to appear amicable toward Democrat special interests that has led to the $17 trillion welfare state since the ‘60s. The war on poverty has only perpetuated and exacerbated poverty, all the while, helping to create a permanent Democrat constituency.
Subsidies are the mother’s milk of the inane cycle of government. Bipartisanship is what supplies that milk. If we are really serious about limiting government, weaning dependency, and eliminating inveterate rent-seekers in government, we must achieve many legislative accomplishments. But those legislative accomplishments will be antithetical to the things that the current crop of Republican leaders wants to achieve.
We are often asked why we reflexively support insurgent candidates over those who are backed by leadership. Well, these recent developments exemplify the problem with those candidates. They all want to “get something done.” Sadly, it’s the wrong things they desire to achieve.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project