“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The 2011 Budget Brawl

With last week's game of government 'shutdown' in the rear view mirror, conservatives are still complaining about John Boehner caving in and accepting only $31B of spending cuts and relaxing terms such as ending Planned Parenthood funding.

It was instructive to hear Wonderboy's various public statements in the days leading up to Friday's budget deal. I don't when I've heard a president tell so many lies in one week. As do his colleagues, the First Rookie conveniently skips over the fact that his own party didn't bother to pass this budget last year, at the appropriate time, when they had a majority. I actually heard one Democratic Representative shamelessly lie, declaring 'we didn't have the votes' at the time last year.

Is it really possible these Democrats think voters are so stupid they'll accept these lies?

Another lie involves just what would have occurred, should the budget deal not have been reached. Democrats keep calling it a 'government shutdown,' while Republicans referred to it as a 'government slowdown.' The difference, of course, involves how the funding shortfall is treated. Republicans intended, and apparently intend for the upcoming debt limit vote, to prioritize spending in the event of an impasse.

Thus, debt and interest payments would be made, and military personnel would be paid. But other discretionary programs would probably see a cessation of activity.

This is where rock ribbed conservatives like Sean Hannity part company with some independents. Like it or not, who will be blamed for a funding shortfall is far from clear. And, despite my own feelings, I think I agree that it's risky for Boehner's Republicans to be seen as childish or short-sighted by blocking a budget over something like Planned Parenthood spending.

That said, again, liberals are lying about this program. Especially Wonderboy. To hear him and his minions tell it, Republicans want to 'kill women' by ending funding for the program. They attempt a diversion by alleging that what's really being cut are mammograms and women's choice. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly rather cleverly provided a counterpoint to a clutch of Hollywood actresses bemoaning the program's cuts by noting that if women really wanted to exercise control over their lives and reproductive choices, they wouldn't be relying on government funding in the first place.

To understand the real underlying ugliness of PP, watch Glenn Beck's programs detailing founder Margaret Sanger's and Woodrow Wilson's views on the subject. The program was devised to sterilize the poor and mentally deficient. It's a program designed to usurp reproductive choice, now clothed in seemingly-benign medical services.

That said, it may be enough for now that liberals had a warning shot across their bow regarding this program, and the coming ethos concerning what spending is really necessary by the federal government. O'Reilly suggested this is a program that should be funded by private contributions, not the federal purse.

Stepping back, though, there's no denying that liberal Democrats are, at last, solidly on the defensive. They realize that independents have left them. Even Wonderboy and his acolytes are trying to appear tougher on spending, anticipating another shock wave to hit Democrats in the 2012 elections. But they are still determined to insist that taxes are not yet high enough. That concepts like mortgage interest deductions or IRAs are 'tax expenditures,' as if they belong to the IRS unless and until Congress benevolently chooses to give it back to taxpayers.

Great. With Paul Ryan's 2012 budget unveiling, about which I'll write in another post, government philosophies and values have once again been fused together with spending choices. Failure to acknowledge that slow job growth, flat average wage growth, and rising gasoline and food prices are combining to cause real pain to America's lower and middle socioeconomic classes is probably going to result in a Republican Senate in 2013, and perhaps a new president, as well.

No comments: