The final straw for me was a syndicated columnist who, today, compared conservatives’ opposition to John Boehner’s debt limit proposal to the murder (“fragging”) of American officers by their own troops in Vietnam.
As it turns out, most of my ROTC class missed Vietnam by a year. But we spent four years enduring the physical assaults and (actual) spit of the “Barack Obamas” of our generation, plus the prospect of being assigned to some of the most dangerous jobs in the world and the reports of our fellow lieutenants who died when their own troops rolled grenades under the bunks.
We were surely far from perfect. But I didn’t deserve to have students try to rip the uniform of the United States off my body. Our contemporaries, whatever their flaws, didn’t deserve to be murdered. And I don’t deserve, now, to have our fears treated with gleeful scorn by a woman whose greatest sacrifice for this country, I’m guessing, was breaking her heel on the way to the protest rally.
LIE #1: THE BOEHNER PLAN CONTAINS “NO NEW TAXES”
This was untrue with respect to Boehner 3.0 -– the version which passed the House –- and it’s untrue with respect to Boehner 7.0 –- the new “compromise” which emerged Sunday afternoon.
The potential tax increase resulting from Boehner (or the “compromise” which has emerged as a result of passing Boehner) will certainly be enormous and unfilibusterable, even though it is deliberately concealed from us now.
It will be hatched by a 7-man majority of a 12-man commission which will consist of six Pelosi/Reid Democrats and one frightened Republican. (Reid and Pelosi will not call it a “commission” for the same reason Satan doesn’t like the word “sin.”)
The commission will be prodded into action by a “trigger” –- probably across-the-board cuts which slash Medicare and defense in ways which won’t conceivably be allowed to go into effect.
The big tax increase will be unveiled using all the shibboleths (“millionaires and billionaires,” private jets, etc.). And, under the rules, Jim DeMint and Rand Paul will not be able to filibuster or amend it. The Jeff Flakes will, by that point, realize the folly they allowed to go forward. But their votes won’t be needed. In that hour, the Democrats will provide the needed votes.
And the only real alternative to a tax increase? Repealing the mechanism and raising the debt limit for a second tranche without any deficit reduction.
So, the message to Boehner-supporting House conservatives? Suckers!!!
In the words of former Reid aide Jim Manley, “With Reid and McConnell at the helm, they can still outsmart the newer members.” Manley was echoed by insipid “empty suit” columnist Dana Milbank, who pilloried conservative lawmakers for praying before their vote. And, not to be outdone, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd called for a return to witchcraft in order to solve the debt limit crisis. Seriously. No, really, I’m not making this stuff up.
Now, I’m not totally opposed to tax hikes. I have no problem imposing a 100%-of-assets “hypocrite tax” on General Electric, which managed to avoid paying taxes on its $14 billion in earnings, while (at that time) funding calls for massive tax increases “on the wealthy” on MSNBC.
I have no problem pushing legislation repealing Obama’s tax increases on the middle class, which, depending on how you “score” the ObamaCare mandate, total at least hundreds of billions of dollars, and possibly trillions.
I also have no problem taking away the “private jet” of Barack Obama, who, in the months to come, will use Air Force One to fly from one Democratic fundraiser to another. And I bet, after the first time little Sasha gets groped at the airport, TSA procedures will become a lot more “freedom-friendly.”
Oh, and one final footnote: There is zero point zero zero zero percent chance that the six Pelosi/Reid people will kiss away the Medicare issue as a campaign “diamond” by agreeing to significant cuts in that.
LIE #2: BOEHNER CONTAINS “SIGNIFICANT SPENDING CUTS”
Out-year discretionary cuts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
Boehner 3.0 and Boehner 7.0 both have about a trillion dollars of them, enforced by Gramm-Rudman-type “sequestration.” But even John McCain now publicly admits that that process became worthless because of the ability of Congress to get around it by declaring “emergencies.”
If the debt climbs as fast as it did in the ten years after Gramm-Rudman was passed, it will be $39 trillion by 2021.
LIE #3: BOEHNER 7.0 WILL PROMISE “ACTION ON [OUR] BELOVED [SIC] BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT”
There will be two loopholes: The mandate will apparently be ambiguous about the version of the balanced budget amendment to be considered –- leaving open a proposal allowing the courts to raise taxes, which we will be forced to fight. And the mandate will not actually require that the BBA be passed and sent to the states.
LIE #4: WE “HAD VICTORY IN [OUR] HANDS,” BUT COULDN’T TAKE “YES” FOR AN ANSWER
LIE #5: WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF “DEFAULT” ON OUR DEBT
After listening for six months while our “tax fraud” Secretary of the Treasury whined about “default, default, default,” even the most stupid among us (see, e.g., MSNBC, the New York Times, etc.) now sometimes concede that the issue is not default to our bondholders, but rather a partial shutdown of the government.
(This hasn’t saved us from the spectacle of Congressman Steve King being grilled on MSNBC concerning whether he thought IRS-defrauding Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was a “liar.” I mean, seriously, is that a trick question?)
But the bottom line is that this is the same government that’s been smuggling guns to Mexican drug cartels, funds 324,000 abortions a year (while lying about it), and is currently trying to outlaw right-to-work states in its pursuit of the Boeing case. And, frankly, it may be that we need a little less of that.
But I do have one final plea: While a Fox “talking head” is explaining how government payments will be prioritized, could you drop the subscript which says something to the order of “DEFAULT LOOMS!!!”?
by Michael E. Hammond, former General Counsel Senate Steering Committee 1978-89.