No cuts, no glory
Does the GOP have it in ‘em to cut the size of government? George Mason University Economist Veronique de Rugy doubles down on the side of those that answer NO to that little query.
Historically, Republicans have often been worse spenders than Democrats. Since 1962, they controlled the White House during six of the 10 largest annual percentage increases in real discretionary outlays…. For three of the 10 years with the biggest increases in discretionary spending, Republicans controlled Congress as well as the White House.
De Rugy breaks that down with lots of foreboding detail. It’s an excellent piece – read the whole thing. Then call your congressmen.
John Stossel says the same thing.
Republicans will have to learn that there is no budget line labeled "waste, fraud, abuse." If they are serious about cutting government, they will ax entire programs, departments and missions.
So far, I’m not holding out much hope. Neither is the Wisconsin State Journal.
I'm not confident they have it in them. I hope I'm wrong, but they're politicians, after all. I'm reminded of Spencer Abraham. When he was a senator, he sponsored a bill to abolish the Department of Energy. But then George W. Bush appointed him to head the department.
Business as usual? Better not be.
Here’s more on that little maneuver from Bankrupting America, quoting the Wall Street Journal.
Some members of the GOP conference noticed a loophole [in proposed House rules]. The "spending reduction accounts" were to be placed under the control of the House Appropriations Committee. The proposal required the committee members to inform the full House of what they did with the money, but there was no ban on using it to increase spending in another piece of legislation.
To close the loophole, members proposed an amendment to seal the accounts until the end of the budget year and then allow the money to be spent only by a vote of the full House.
…. What happened next ought to be maddening to every taxpayer. As described by the Wall Street Journal, Ryan was about to speak on behalf of the amendment when Boehner cut him off and called for a vote. The amendment lost.
Here’s big talking from GOP subcommittee chairs, starting on the huge task of cutting government. This is either completely infeasible or playing around the edges. It’s going to be a very tough slog.
Ramesh Ponnuru has the answer – several answers – in a piece printed in the New York Times last Friday - How the GOP Can Cut and Survive.
If Mr. Obama delivers a good-faith proposal for Social Security, for example in this month’s State of the Union address, then by all means Republicans should offer a serious counterproposal and, depending on their differences, negotiate. If he doesn’t, then Republicans should wait on a new president in 2013.
And finally, there’s this piece by Hugh Hewitt, from Sunday’s Washington Examiner. It’s all about “Selective Shutdown.” Good stuff.
But they should do more than wait: in the event of presidential inaction, reformers should blame Mr. Obama for the lack of progress and work to make entitlements a litmus-test issue in the Republican presidential primaries. The goal should be to nominate someone willing to make a strong case for reducing entitlement growth as part of a larger strategy to restore American prosperity.
There is no point to Republicans’ endangering their seats for legislation, however worthy, unless they have a good shot at getting a presidential signature on it. They will get their answer in the next State of the Union address.
Boehner needs to start talking now about the “selective shutdown” of the federal government that is ahead if the president refuses to listen to the verdict of the voters rendered decisively in November.
Jo Egelhoff, FoxPolitics.net
At the same time, Boehner and his allies have to reassure Americans and especially senior citizens that they have provided the Senate with the bills necessary to fund Social Security, Medicare and defense, but that the president is holding these appropriations hostage in order to defend Obamacare, the bureaucrats at EPA and the leftwing broadcasters at NPR.
Again and again and again, Boehner and his team must make this reality clear: The looming shutdown of the government need only be selective and that it, too, could be avoided if the president would only do what the voters demanded he do.