The Republicans scored a decisive election victory last November attributable in large part to their pledge to drastically cut spending and to reduce the size and scope of the Federal Government. We were bombarded with impassioned, high-intensity rhetoric aimed at out-of-control spending and a promised return to the Conservative principles that were AWOL during the Bush years.
The highlight of this past week’s Republican attack on deficit spending was watching Ryan and his Budget Committee solving the complex math problem of annualizing so they could turn $100B into $32B. The Pledge to America has been inflicted by the Washington “politics as usual” syndrome and has morphed into the Hedge to America.
This has been said before, but bears repeating: the Tea Party folks are not in love with the Republican Party. Democrats committed a colossal tactical blunder when they underestimated the enduring strength and influence of the Movement that has led to the largest and most powerful citizen uprising since the Revolution. Republicans are not immune from their wrath and fury, and are destined to repeat the same mistake Democrats made if they don’t grow some testicles, stock up on some of Governor Christie’s nasty pills, and get serious about doing the job they were elected to do.
Some loyal Conservatives committed to defending their Party membership at all costs are saying “it’s a good start.”
No – it’s not a good start. Hell, to even call it a “start” at all is a stretch. With this year’s spending exceeding revenues by 60%, Ryan’s eight-tenths of one percent reduction is a downright insult to those on the Right who were promised (and expecting) a take-no-prisoners attack on spending and is akin to draining Lake Erie with a bailing bucket.
Others are telling us “it takes time.”
Hell yes it will “take time” at the rate Ryan and the Republicans are moving. But at this pace, most of us won’t be around 200 years from now to see the elusive balanced budget we have all yearned for. The Republicans have been given a second chance to redeem themselves and show America they are genuinely the Party of fiscal responsibility. They have two years to do it.
And one-half of their two-year “second chance” will have been squandered if $32B is the best they can do.