I am old enough to remember when the GOP said not to worry about it caving on Obamacare funding because, by God, it would hold the line on sequestration.
Hell, that was a month ago.
Amazing how much can change in a month. Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray have decided to give up the last thing the GOP was fighting for — spending restraint. "Don't worry," Paul Ryan says with his boyish charm designed to induce sweats and heart palpitations among conservatives, "it's only a little less restrained."
The budget deal puts discretionary spending over $1 trillion, which is higher than the sequestration deal of 2011, which was at $967. This is, in fact, a spending increase.
It funds Obamacare.
It does not impact the national debt. It does not reform entitlements.
And it raises taxes, but with the more acceptable euphemism of "user fees", i.e. it only raises taxes on people who go through airport TSA checkpoints. For those of you who dispute this, let me put it this way, has the cost of the TSA grabbing our junk gone up? Will the TSA will be able to grab more junk per hour with the added revenue?
By the way, if this money is going to the TSA, I hope they'll kindly be slightly more honest and refer to "abuser fees" instead of "user fees" if they aren't going to honest and call this a tax increase.
So it raises spending, it raises taxes … errr … "user fees", and it funds Obamacare. It's the budgetary equivalent of being only a little big pregnant.
But then that's the problem with Paul Ryan. In his run of the mill voting record, there is no question Paul Ryan is a conservative. It's just he sees fit to lose his conservative bona fides when high profile votes are on the line. So his friends can cast aspersions on those who suggest he might not be what he appears while he goes on to prove he is not what he appears to be in these big votes.
Ryan committed fiscal conservative apostasy on three high-profile votes: The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP (whereby the government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions), the auto-bailout (which essentially implied he agrees car companies – especially the ones with an auto plant in his district—are too big to fail), and for a confiscatory tax on CEO bonuses (which essentially says the government has the right to take away private property—if it doesn’t like you).
While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.
But by God, we kept the Democrats from extending unemployment insurance. Some victory that is! Yesterday, the Democrats began using the nuclear option in the Senate to confirm judges. Today, Republicans will help them increase spending and taxes . . . errrr . . . abuser fees.
Last month Republicans bailed on the Obamacare fight and declared sequestration their line in the sand. Now they are saying they'll bail on sequestration, but they'll hold the line on unemployment benefits.
Why should we believe them anymore? Is it any wonder that poll after poll shows Republican voters hate their Republican congressmen and Senators?
Bend over America, here it comes again.
Exit question: If Mitch McConnell votes against this, is he in favor of shutting down the government? That's what he claimed last month about conservatives in the Obamacare fight.