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Friday night the Republicans and Democrats reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown. The Republicans had promised $100 billion in cuts. They back pedaled to $61 billion in cuts. They have actually agreed to $38.5 billion in cuts, or about four days worth of spending by the federal government.
Many of the conservatives who booed them for going from $100 billion to $61 billion are now ready to dip John Boehner in bronze and champion him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
The most depressing bit of all of this is how quickly conservative pundits who promised they were to going to throw off the shackles of fidelity to the Republican Party after Bush and become again true conservative warriors for freedom have descended, automaton like, into guttural cheerleading for a Republican Party that just went from $100 billion in promised cuts to a third of that in actual cuts while selling out the unborn for roughly $1000 per murdered child assuming reports are true that they got the Democrats to increase cuts $1 billion in exchange for dropping the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
God knows if there is one lesson for the Republican leaders in this, it is that they can promise the moon, deliver dirt, and the sycophantic conservative media will pop fireworks, fly American flags, and proclaim that dirt the second coming of Jesus Christ.
It’s embarrassing really. The deal is not terrible, but it is not nearly as good as some would have you believe. For starters, that $38.5 billion is total for the year — not an additional cut on top of what was already cut. Let’s review the good and the bad.
The good is that we are about to see real cuts in government. These are not cuts in the rate of spending growth, but actual cuts. That is a good thing.
We will also see the survival of the D.C. school voucher program that black parents in Washington, D.C. have been begging for only to see the first black President of the United States send his kids off to a ritzy private school and tell D.C.’s black parent’s to go to public school hell.
The District of Columbia will again be prohibited from using any tax payer dollars to fund abortion. Barack Obama had signed that, called the Dornan Amendment, into law in 2009 and it had the support of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden in the past. In 2010, the Democrats scrapped it. It is now restored.
As an added bonus, if we take the Democrats at their word, we see now that the Democrats were willing to shut down the government and defund our troops in combat zones all to ensure the federal funding of children being murdered.
For those on the left who’d reverse that and say the GOP was willing to have troops defunded to stop children being murdered, actually the GOP proffered several resolutions to keep soldiers paid during a shut down and the Democrats blocked them all.
On the bad side, the GOP is getting $38.5 billion in total cuts for the year. Additionally, of the $38.5 billion in cuts, several folks on the Hill tell me that $12 billion is from readjusting baselines in the budget and are mostly smoke. But we’ll take it. Again though, the actual cuts Friday night were around $26.8 billion, with the original CR having $10 billion and the stop gap over this weekend being $2 billion.
For perspective, the federal government spends $10.46 billion a day. The Democrats and Republicans have now come together to cut out just under 4 days worth of spending out of 365 days. But wait, the GOP and Democrats will say, the fiscal year ends in October.
True, but the spending cuts remain equal to just four days of spending between now and October.
That’s not the only bad part.
The Republicans absolutely caved on defunding Planned Parenthood. Sure, the GOP will get a vote in the United States Senate. They will lose that vote and even if they didn’t, the matter would get vetoed.
The GOP will also get a vote on defunding Obamacare in the Senate. They will lose that vote too. In fact, they already had that vote and lost once.
Both of these could be gotten at any time by Senate Republicans, so it is not as monumental as it seems.
For a year now the Republicans and Democrats have told us we have serious problems and need serious solutions. They’ve told us we have a serious budget deficit crisis. On Friday night the two parties came together and decided the crisis they’ve been telling us about really isn’t worth dealing with.
Today we embrace the status quo and welcome our new Chinese masters.