A Holiday From Reason
Last week, Spanish voters threw out their failed Socialist government. American voters will have to wait until next November.
In the meantime, the 2011 holiday season promises to be a season of hell for American Conservative voters, a holiday from reason.
The Super Committee, led by deer-in-the-headlights Senator Patty Murray failed to cut just $1.2 Trillion (about 10%) from Obama’s projected $11 Trillion plus 10 year federal deficit. Congressional politicians immediately began writhing like wounded snakes to avoid taking the blame for this naked admission that federal spending is now truly out of control.
The first round of spin had both liberals and conservatives applauding the failure. Liberal groups were happy that Social Security and Medicare can continue unmolested down the road to insolvency. Conservative groups were happy that no deal meant no tax increases.
The next round of comment had both liberals and conservatives wringing their hands over the Super Committee collapse because now $1.2 Trillion in cuts to increased spending over the next ten years (half to discretionary programs and half to the Defense budget) would automatically kick in starting January 2013. That’s a 10% cut in expected increased spending over 10 years, leaving untouched 90% of increased spending.
Even this token, drop in the bucket, empty symbol of budget cutting had members of Congress of all political stripes shaking with grief.
Out of control spending of trillions of dollars we do not have is the new normal.
Republicans, led by Senator McCain and his altar boy, Senator Graham, immediately denounced the “cuts” to the Pentagon budget, vowing to restore them.
Democrat Secretary of Defense Panetta gleefully chimed in that these horrible cuts would “degrade” the military. The Secretary identified all the weapons programs and all the jobs that would be lost if this $60 Billion a year “cut” in expected defense budget increases actually came about.
Since degrading the U.S. military is a revered plank in the Democrat Party platform, President Obama vowed to veto any restoration of Defense increased spending.
Democrats, horrified that any government program other than Defense would also face these draconian reductions of future budget increases, immediately began tallying the number of national parks that would have to close and the grandmothers who would be eating cat food because of the heartless Republicans.
The latest fallout from the not-so-Super Committee failure reveals how badly Speaker Boehner was out maneuvered in this deal.
The projected “cuts” include revenue from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January 2013. That’s right, Republicans,. It would take affirmative action by Congress to keep taxes from going up for all American taxpayers. How did you allow yourselves to get into this box? Why weren’t current rates and deductions (think child deduction, for example) locked into the debt ceiling deal?
Worse yet, this years’ payroll tax reduction expires at the end of December. Obama taunted Congressional Republicans, telling a cheering crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire “Next week, they’ll get a simple vote. No, your taxes go up. Yes you get a tax cut. Which way do you think Congress should vote?
Of course, a yes vote is not a “tax cut”. A yes vote would merely extend the current temporary reduction in the payroll tax thereby further underfunding Social Security. A no vote would restore funding to Social Security but cost the average family about $1000 a year. How did Congressional Republicans get into this box?
Congressional Democrats have the upper hand. Senator Reid plans a single bill to extend the payroll tax reduction, extend unemployment benefits yet again, keep the Alternative Minimum Tax from hitting middle class families, restore Medicare reimbursement rates for Doctors, and extend business tax breaks. The bill adds $400 billion to the deficit. How do Congressional Republicans vote no without raising taxes, alienating doctors, and punishing the unemployed and business owners?
Outside the Beltway, the Republican Presidential nomination race is also taking a holiday from reason.
How did nine seemingly qualified, intelligent Republican candidates agree to debates where one liberal, Obamanaut moderator after another spends the night pitting the candidates against each other creating a million soundbites for future Obama TV spots? Looks like this was the Obama plan from the beginning.
Whoever the nominee is, the billion dollar Obama campaign’s biggest job will be to pull the juiciest of the many disparaging quotes about that candidate made by other Republicans candidates in these “debates”.
More bad news. The current ABR (Anybody But Romney) leading candidate is former Speaker Newt Gingrich. A previous ABR leading candidate, Rick Perry, destroyed his chances by saying Republicans had no heart if they did not support taxpayer subsidized college tuition for illegal aliens.
In the latest debate, moderated by Wolf “Blitz” Blitzer, Gingrich also stepped in it on the immigration issue.
Appearing to support “comprehensive” immigration reform amounting to yet another amnesty, Gingrich bloviated “if you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from you family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out”.
So, according to Gingrich, if you violated U.S. law by entering the country illegally, worked here illegally, and failed to even try to apply for legal status as millions of other immigrants do, you should not be “uprooted”.
While Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney correctly branded this “amnesty”, no candidate voiced the obvious and complete rebuttal to this Gingrich nonsense. Mandatory E-Verify. Remove the magnet of jobs and you remove the reason illegals are here.
Federal law now requires that prospective employees must be legally in the country (citizens and legal residents with work authorization) to get a job here. Illegals work illegally.
In a few seconds, E-Verify matches the name and Social Security number of the job applicant. Thousands of employers use E-Verify today on a voluntary basis
A match means the applicant is eligible to work; no match, no job. E-Verify should be mandatory. Game over. No round up, no “uproot”, no “kick out”.
Oh, and BTW, millions of jobs now held illegally by persons in the country illegally would be available to Americans and legal residents.
Democrats say there are errors in the system and legal residents, even citizens, will be denied jobs they are legally entitled to. Besides the delicious admission from Democrats that government programs are prone to horrific error, the criticism falls flat because the program has had years of accurate service to conscientious employers who volunteer to use it.
Where is the Republican candidate supporting E-Verify as the solution to the illegal problem and as the greatest American Jobs Bill ever?
In this holiday from hell for Conservatives, this holiday from reason, Gingrich spouts the “heartless” propaganda instead of advocating a real solution.