Give us the executive branch, give us the House, give us the Senate, and all the pains you experienced from the Obama era will disappear. That’s what we were told by the Republicans, and we believed them. We voted them in, and they control everything, that is, with the stark exception of themselves.
Anyone with a lick of sense applauded them for the GOP tax cuts, which were badly, badly needed. However, tax cuts are all dog and pony without spending cuts. If it meant shutting down the government for a bit to make sure we did spend less, then so be it. The Republican party is one that supposedly believes in the people, not the government. They could close it down while they hashed out a way to cut spending, no problem.
And yet they didn’t.
Republicans applauded their new two-year spending bill that raises the caps on non-defense and defense spending by $3oo billion, and according to ABC News includes $6 billion to fight the opioid crisis, $5.8 billion for child care development block grants, $4 billion for veterans medical facilities, $2 billion for medical research, $20 billion to augment existing infrastructure programs, and $4 billion for college affordability.
If you liked your Obama era spending, you can keep your Obama era spending.
You can count on one hand the number of Republicans who actually attempted to stand in the way, namely Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who was lambasted by his fellow Senators for doing exactly what Paul had told his constituency he would do; and that’s reverse Obama era policies.
He told Neil Cavuto exactly that before his ill-fated filibuster.
“I’m not advocating for shutting down the government,” he said. “I’m also not advocating for keeping the damned thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute. This is reckless spending that is out of control.”
Paul seemed to know exactly what was going to happen within his own party before it happened, too.
“When the Republicans are in charge, there’s no conservative party,” he said. “A lot of so-called conservatives lose their mind once it becomes a partisan thing and they say ‘oh, we must govern now.’”
“There has to be some conservatives left,” he continued. “What happened to the idea of being a fiscal conservative? Where are they? Have we given up on it because Republicans are in charge? We promised the people who gave us money and voted for us that we were gonna be the adults, that we were gonna try to spend less money and balance budgets, and then once people put us in charge, and I hear from them all of the time, people say ‘What happened? Where are the conservatives we thought we were electing?’”
He’s 100 percent correct. It appears that once the Republicans are in charge, and the time to back up all their talk is upon them, they get cold feet. They become cowards, and vote for bills they professed to hate not but a few years ago.
And their excuse is no better than their actions. John Cornyn (R-Texas) dismissed Paul’s stances, saying “I know he wants to make a point. He has that right. I agree with many of his concerns about deficits and debt. But we are in an emergency situation.”
As Ben Shapiro said on Cornyn’s response to Paul:
There’s a problem with this logic: it’s always an emergency situation. If we can’t handle four hours of a government shutdown in order to leverage cuts, we’re never going to cut anything – until it’s too late to prevent European-style austerity measures.
What’s worse is that with the midterms bound to strip the GOP of some of its seats, a 2019 budget is an unlikely bet. The GOP raised spending, cut taxes, and will soon be unable to fix it.
In short, Republicans opened the door to the spending hyenas and neglected to give themselves a way to close it. We are over $20 trillion in debt and the party we hired to reign it in just allowed it balloon even further.
Paul was right. We don’t have a conservative party.