I’m feeling lonely again. It’s that insecure feeling that comes from thinking that everyone knows something you don’t. After voters threw out enough big-government politicians to give Republicans a substantial majority in the House, the question that the media has been feasting on is: Did both the establishment and newly elected members of the Republican Party get the message?
For the establishment members, the first test came before the newly elected members were sworn in. When confronted with the issue of whether to raise taxes (euphemistically referred to as “not renewing the Bush tax cuts”), Washington granted U.S. taxpayers a two-year reprieve. In addition, to let them know that they were going to have to pay for the favor of no new taxes for two years, the Democrats insisted on spending billions of dollars on a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits.
Charles Krauthammer is right: Barack Obama snookered the Republicans on this one. The tax “loopholes” provided for friends of the Obamiosa were morally justified … sort of … on the grounds that voting against tax increases on anyone is a good thing. But the 13 additional months of unemployment benefits was out-and-out blackmail – and the Republicans, as usual, caved in.
Even worse was the fact that Republicans didn’t insist on making the “tax cuts” permanent. It would have been OK had everyone’s taxes gone up on Jan. 1, because – assuming the Republicans could have overcome their timidity and explained to the public that the tax increases belonged to the Marxmeister in the White House – it would have made the invisible depression a bit visible to the general public, which would have been a good thing.
I believe that the only hope for the U.S. is for voters to understand that the country cannot survive without money, stocks, housing and other commodities, investments and markets being allowed to collapse to their true values. They also need to understand that an end to the Federal Reserve – whose main (though denied) function is to expand the money supply and thus inflate prices – is also necessary.
Now, we have the first test of the 112nd Congress – the “need” to raise the debt ceiling yet again – and the Democrats are once more playing Road Runner to the Republicans’ Wile E. Coyote: “Raise the debt ceiling and we might just give you some spending cuts.” Beep! Beep!
Sorry, but voters didn’t send tea-party candidates to Washington to compromise. Nevertheless, talking heads on TV keep insisting that the message from voters was that they wanted the two parties to work together in a bipartisan fashion. There is no compromise between right and wrong, between moral and immoral, between constitutional and unconstitutional. The tea party doesn’t want the two parties to work together to “get something done.” They want Washington to stop getting things done and get out of the way.
The whole notion of spending cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling is absurd on its face. If you get the Democrats to go along with cutting, say, $100 billion in spending while agreeing to raise the debt ceiling another $1.8 trillion, you are not serious about rolling back the size and scope of government. Once again, it would be business as usual – boiling the frog slowly – which is precisely why I did not want to see John McCain ascend to the presidency.
From the outset of the 2008 presidential campaign, I liked the idea of a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool Marxist getting elected, because I felt certain his policies would wake up millions of Americans and bring about a massive push-back. And I’m happy to say that that is precisely what has happened. But it does little good if Republicans – repeat, Republicans – continue to carry the socialist water bucket for their “good friends across the aisle.”
John Boehner seems like a nice enough gentleman with nothing but the best of intentions. But being a good guy doesn’t work when your job is to battle socialists who ignore the Constitution and are hell-bent on destroying America’s culture and economy. The only way to fight people who will lie, steal, cheat and deceive without blinking an eye is through Bachmannism, DeMintism, Paulism, etc. (And, no, I’m not talking about violence, which all true libertarians and conservatives abhor. As history has repeatedly demonstrated, violence is a preferred tool of the Left.)
My skepticism about Boehner was borne out when he laid the foundation for capitulation by saying, “We’re going to have to deal with it [raising the debt limit] as adults. Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations, and we have obligations on our part.” Translation: Business as usual. I hope I’m wrong, but it appears that Obama will continue to call the Republicans’ bluff, and Republicans will continue to rationalize away their principles.
Notwithstanding their words of welcome, I don’t really believe the establishment types in the Republican Party are prepared to listen to the new tea-party people in Congress. Which is why members like Tim Scott, Rand Paul and Allen West should be leading the charge on the debt-ceiling issue.
We already know how the older members of the club do business. It’s the new, inexperienced members who need to be out front on the important issues – and, if they are, I believe they will come through. The reins of power need to be turned over to them as quickly as possible.
Let’s hope I’m wrong, but my guess is that the coming months are going to be disappointing for tens of millions of tea-party voters. Thank goodness we at least have Nancy Pelosi’s assurance that her No. 1 priority is to continue to work on creating jobs. This remarkable woman has even opined that the fastest way to create jobs is through unemployment benefits.
OK, OK … you may be thinking she’s nuts … or evil … or just plain ignorant … but, hey, even at 70 years of age, she’s a lot better looking than John Boehner.