Human Events Blog

Cut, Cap, and Balance Killed

As expected, the Senate this morning voted to kill the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill that passed the House earlier in the week, and enjoyed massive majority support from the American people. 

Note that the Senate didn’t actually “vote” on the measure.  Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid used a rare procedural tactic to “table” the bill so it never comes up for a vote.  In doing so, he declared loud and clear that spending reductions and a balanced budget will never occur, until the Democrat Party is expunged from Washington. 

Remember that in 2012, voters.  If you seriously want a balanced budget, it must be scorched earth for the Democrat Party.  You might think your local Democrat isn’t so bad, but he’s got to go.  All of them do.  “Cut, Cap, and Balance is now over.  It’s done, dead,” declared Harry Reid. 

Or else his Party is.  Your choice, America.  It always has been.  It won’t be for much longer, as Democrat irresponsibility carries our nation into an age of fiscal ruin, and you will be told by this same Party that you have increasingly less to say about how our dwindling resources are “invested.”  But the next election is still a time of choosing for you… one more chance to take a vote that cannot be “tabled.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) isn’t giving up on CCB just yet.  “This fight is not over. We have ten more days during which the American people must make their voices heard to Senate Democrats to allow passage of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act,” he said in a statement.  “This Act would help restore trust in the American people that their Congress can balance a budget and return our nation on the path to prosperity.”

“The Democrat-led Senate’s failure to both produce a budget and pass the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011 underscores the Democrats’ irresponsible commitment to the status quo,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) declared angrily. “While the president and Senator Reid refuse to produce a plan to deal with our debt crisis, Republicans will keep working to meet the nation’s fiscal challenges.”

For their part, Senate Democrats don’t have much to say, because they’re fleeing Washington now that the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act has been tabled… in direct contradiction to Harry Reid’s bitter criticism of the House for taking the weekend off.  “It’s untoward, and that’s the kindest word I can say,” he growled on Thursday.  But now the sky above D.C. is filled with Senate Democrats riding their luxurious air transports home for a little R&R.  We already have the measure of Harry Reid’s integrity, but even by his low standards, that’s pretty amazing.  Isn’t there some kind of “deadline” approaching in two weeks?

Since the Democrats and their President have no ideas, no proposals, and no budget, what’s Plan B?  House Speaker John Boehner suggests he wants to return to his earlier position of demanding spending cuts equal to any debt ceiling increase: “Republicans are standing with the American people and, as I’ve said before, will not pass a bill that fails to cut spending by more than it increases the debt limit, restrain future spending, or that raises taxes on families and job creators.”

However, there is no time to prepare and pass such detailed legislation before the August 2 deadline hits.  Nor is there time to inflate the “Gang of Six” proposal, for a laughable and dubious $3.7 trillion in deficit relief, into a legislative package.  There’s no time to do what Democrats have refused to do for 814 days, and prepare a budget for our $3.7 trillion government, which is currently running $1.6 trillion in the red.

There is no Plan B, because Cut, Cap, and Balance was plan B.  We are back to Plan A: no debt ceiling increase. 

Let the Democrat Party dine at the table it worked so hard to set.  Let them prepare a true “budget” – allocating the money they actually have – for the first time in generations.  Compel them to carry out their Constitutional duty, clearly outlined in the 14th Amendment, to pay all of the U.S. government’s financial obligations first, servicing the monstrous national debt that Barack Obama personally increased by 40% in just two years, and then decide which of their dependent constituencies will need to swiftly pull their belts tight. 

If President Obama really wants to stop Social Security checks, military funding, or veterans’ benefits, let him do so, with the full and complete understanding that Senate Democrats just “tabled” the only alternative to sudden and dramatic fiscal austerity.  Let those angry seniors take careful note of what Democrats choose to fund instead.

The big credit agencies have loudly and repeatedly warned that failure to control our rampant deficit will result in a credit rating downgrade for the United States.  That will raise the price of servicing the debt, and leave even less tax money to spend on anything else.  The Democrat Party owns that fate 100%.  They signed the paperwork this morning.

Sometimes liberals respond to criticism of Obama’s free-spending ways by whining that Republicans like George Bush had a hand in racking up the national debt, as if yesterday’s sins transform today’s dereliction of duty into a virtue.  There’s no shortage of GOP fingerprints on that national debt.  No doubt about it.  But today, right now, there was a moment of indisputable clarity.  Republicans voted to reduce the size of government and wipe out the deficit.  Democrats killed their legislation.  I don’t need to hear any more witless babble about George Bush.  Barack Obama and Harry Reid did this.  Period.

Personally, I was OK with the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, but Plan A was my original preference.  When the Democrats roll back into the Senate next week, they will be living in a world they created.


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