Sep 22 2011

No More Business As Usual

A ray of hope burst out from DC’s dark echo chamber yesterday as the House GOP put an end to the deficit/debt fiasco by opposing GOP House Leadership on a stop gap spending bill for GFY 2012:

The House stunned Republican leaders Wednesday by rejecting a temporary spending bill that would have funded the government through Nov. 18.

The vote failed, 195-230, after Democrats pulled their support [1] for the bill and Republican leaders were forced to scramble for enough votes entirely within their own ranks. Four dozen conservatives voted against the bill because it left spending levels for 2012 higher than the cap set in the House GOP budget [2].

Emphasis mine.The news media is desperately trying to spin this to be about disaster relief funding – which it has nothing to do with. Right on cue, the media comes out clueless and off point.

That is because this story is peppered with Democrat talking points – as shown by the lead sentence. The Democrats pulled their support – which meant this Continuing Resolution for Continuing Fiscal Madness was being passed by the inept old pols in the House around the freshman class. With the current Congress, consensus means over ruling the Tea Party desires.

Democrats decided to play ‘shutdown chicken[1] over the plan to actually pay for disaster relief by cutting \ someplace else. The Dems want to keep on spending our money without responsibility or limits.

The whole thing backfired as the freshman kept to their promises from the 2010 election and demanded fiscal sanity. Note why the GOP failed to support the bill – because spending was higher than agreed to previously [2]. Not because disaster relief was being paid for through Department of Energy cuts:

Democratic leaders objected to a GOP provision cutting funding from a Department of Energy manufacturing loan program to offset additional money for disaster relief.

So the Democrats wanted even MORE deficit spending in the CR – what a shock. These fools are addicted to  spending beyond our collective means. They have no shame in carelessly putting us all in deeper debt. The GOP is going to come out the champions of fiscal sanity on this one. Anyone demanding a shutdown (like Harry Reid did) is the one playing petulant god.

Boehner comes out of this looking weak, which will have to be confirmed by other reporting not so tied to the DNC as this article clearly is:

Boehner had tried, unsuccessfully, to rally Republicans behind the bill earlier in the day, warning them in a closed-door conference meeting that the level of spending was likely only to increase if their legislation failed.

I don’t know about part of the sotryu this because it seems the deeper the fiscal hole the House allows to be dug the more Libertarian/Tea Party support the GOP will lose. The 2010 election was loud and clear on the point of fiscal madness in DC. Why would Boehner risk his base of support AND sell short his convictions. It’s possible, but seems like a lunatic move to me.

The Debt Ceiling debacle was rightly panned because it was business as usual: massive deficit spending now and silly promises of  better behavior in the mythical future. Same thing with the GFY 2011 budget that covered the last four months. Massive over spending now, piddly spending cuts maybe in the future.

This has to stop, and only the GOP House has any will to make it stop. Boehner cannot give up balancing budgets and cutting back wasteful AND questionable programs. Most of the government is made up of questionable (or dubious, pick your connotation) spending with unclear returns on investment. All of that questionable spending should be on the chopping block as wasteful. We should not spend a dime without clear and unambiguous positive results that warrant the expenditures (no more $5 returns on $1,000,000 spent).

I applaud the House and this vote. It should be THE topic of the week, if not the month. If we are going to go through another damn year without Democrats doing their sworn duty in Congress (i.e., passing real budgets) then we might as well start using CRs to begin cutting.  Because until we do the country will continue to suffer both in the short term and in the long term.

Update: Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has this to say on the matter:

There is a common and completely understandable impulse among much of the base to break out in applause whenever Republicans lay down in front of the tanks in terms of spending. Further, there are obviously some in the progressive base, still smarting from losing the majority in 2010 and the drubbing they took in the debt ceiling fight, who want to see their leaders in the House poke a finger in John Boehner’s eye whenever the opportunity presents itself. For people on both sides, if I could borrow a phrase from Larry David, you might want to curb your enthusiasm in this case.

This continuing resolution is strictly Off Broadway stuff. The real battle is taking place on the big stage of the super committee, and that’s where we’ll find out how serious Congress is about setting the nation’s fiscal house in order.

Sorry, But I disagree. Strongly.

This CR funds the beast for I believe a quarter of the year. If not now, then never. The Debt Commission is a silly fantasy – one Obama has already trumped with his insane proposals of more stimulus spending, more taxes, more of the same.

It is also a good time to send a signal to the 12 fools on the Hill who were instituted to avoid our normal constitutional process. This committee was set up to neuter the 2010 freshman class. It will always be spend or shutdown until 2012.

Look, you have to be able to implement your goals and principles CONSISTENTLY, at every opportunity, for them to take. Or else – as Captain Barbosa famously claimed – those principles and codes are ‘more like guidelines’ (said in a gnarly pirate accent. And therefore meaningless.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “No More Business As Usual”

  1. Speaker Boehner is proving to be a Blue State Republican (DC home base & Values politician in this case) in a Red State Values Majority Republican House Caucus.

    I strongly suspect this means he is going to be replaced as Republican Speaker for the 2012 Congress.

  2. WWS says:

    Boehner’s still done more right than wrong, in my estimation; but he misestimated here. But there is one big reason I’m not so sure it’s a good move to stick fast on this (and I’m agreeing with Jazz Shaw, but for different reasons):

    I think very few people really grasp how truly catastrophic a precipice we’re on right now. DJIA is down 360 points in the last 2 hours, 600 points in the last 6 trading hours counting yesterday afternoon.

    If we go into a budget shutdown at this time, we could easily be looking at DJIA down 4,000 or more in the next month or so, and *official* unemployment surging to 14% – 15%. Financially speaking, that would be End of Days stuff.

    Yes, it is that bad. As Europe collapses, they are going to drag us down with them no matter what we do. I would hate to do something “principled” right now that would give Obama something to campaign on next year – and being seen to collapse the economy because of an inability to agree on a CBR would be just the thing that would help him. I don’t know if even Boehner is thinking that far ahead, but he should be.

    We are right back to 2008, except this time there is going to be no magic salvation – now all the bills are going to come due, which means we are really right back in 1931.

    We need to act in a way that makes sure that Obama is given the blame for this for the next 50 years, not us! Because here’s the hard part – the Great Crash is upon us; and the only way out is through.

  3. AJStrata says:


    The precipice is there also if DC continues to fiddle. The crash would be a lack of confidence in DC getting out of the way of the economy.

    So I disagree. Everyone KNOWS DC must shrink, pull back and get its fingers out of every damn pie. Socialism has strangled our economy, and therefore our futures.

    Winning the debate on deficit spending will not cause a collapse – losing it will.

    We need backbones and confidence in America to get out of this. No more hesitation.

  4. lurker9876 says:

    I think what Boehner is doing is to make sure he and the House Republicans do not take the blame in spite of his beliefs.

    Drudgereport says that the Senate Democrats could not even agree on a 1 billion dollar spending cut!

    That’s not so surprising.

  5. WWS says:

    we don’t disagree on fundamentals, we disagree on optics. I think the fundamental difference we have is this – I firmly believe that a deep collapse is coming no matter what choices are made right now – as I said, the only way out now is through. I know that the Dems, as they are beginning to see that all is lost, will come to see that their last hope will be to burn everything down in the hope that our views will end up just as discredited as theirs. It’s an insane course of action, but they are now at the point where insanity is all they have left.

    And I am worried that too many discount their ability to bring this about – in coming months, Athens is going to burn. Rome is going to burn. Madrid is going to burn. Lisbon is going to burn. I don’t want to see American cities added to that list, but they very easily could be.

    And if they are, I don’t want us to have done something trivial which the authors of the destruction can use to point back at us and say “see! They were just as much a part of this as we were!” Which of course they are already doing.

    Bringing about a government shutdown just as Europe goes up in flames would be just such a move. And believe me – Europe is about to go up in flames. As is the middle east.

    The entire world right now is best characterized as a hand grenade in mid flight, and the pin has long been pulled.

  6. lurker9876 says:

    wws, check drudgereport…Global Meltdown: Investors dumping everything.

    But then the article says that they’re dumping everything and moving to US Treasury…

  7. AJStrata says:

    Well, today proved no one can control the optics. It is socialist screw ups that brought the recession, are killing the EU and continuing to hurt our economy.

    The optics aren’t really all that hazy.

    There is hesitation to trust conservatives, and that is because of their own habit of trying to dictate what is proper behavior from on high.

    If the GOP decided to run with its libertarian core (which also includes getting government out of religious freedom BTW) they would do really well. They need to stop trying to impose things (like creationism, banning ALL abortions, targeting gays as opposed to limiting the sexual innuendo across the board, etc) and allow for quiet and non-disruptive diversity.

    It is a subtle change, but it would ice the end of liberalism.

  8. dhunter says:

    AJ I agree. 48 Tea Party conservatives again showed the DC Establishment hacks that business as usual got us here and cannot continue and they deserve our support!
    The question was asked on Hotair yesterday will Sarah Palin run as a third Party candidate and all the attendant conventional wisdom was this would re-elect Obama.
    I was there in Indianola when she called out both Parties for their crony capitalism and going to DC to become millionares at the expense of the tax payer.
    I believe statistics say more voters identify as Conservatives than any other ideology and feel that Sarah knows this and it may be time, in these extraordinary times, to jettison the corrupt two party establishment liars, frauds,and thieves and return America to the citizens who make her work.
    The Republicans continue to show they are not serious about cutting as Boehners bill just emphasized. As to who takes the blame, well that remains to be seen, but a new direction is what this country needs, now is the time, Sarah may be the person.
    Both Parties are to blame although the rats certainly went over and above the normal deficit spending in thier zeal to payoff their pals.
    I also agree with WWS that we may be so far down the road as to be unable to avoid the collapse, the question is what will arise from the ashes/ Business as usual?

  9. dhunter says:

    Why S&P Downgraded the US:
    U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
    National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    Recent [April] budget cut: $38,500,000,000

    Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
    Annual family income: $21,700
    Money the family spent: $38,200
    New debt (this year) on the credit card: $16,500
    Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
    Budget cuts: $385

    This from the Gainesville Tea Party!
    Any questions about the seriousness of our elected leaders and why we have no way out but through as WWS says?

  10. WWS says:

    Walter Russell Meade, one of my favorite writers these days and a man who’s worldview I share, has another fantastic essay out. Suggest you read it in full.

    what he “gets”, that most very intelligent people do not, is just how *fast* things are moving now. And that means outcomes may be coming that are going to be unthinkable to most rational people.

    he writes:

    “In all cases, I think the odds still favor outcomes well short of catastrophic and worst case scenarios — but the global economy is now in the catastrophe zone where speculation about such scenarios is no longer science fiction but becomes part of prudent planning.”

    One of those extreme scenarios that is not likely, but may happen: the collapse and elimination of governments that have existed for all of our lives. It will take everything we have just to hang onto our own government, and I think it’s possible that some large areas, such as most of California, are about to effectively collapse and force the imposition of martial law for the forseeable future.

    Again, not some crazy far off time – I mean by next summer. We are accustomed by experience to expect gradual change – when faced with a once in a lifetime catastrophe like this, it’s almost impossible for us to imagine the scope on which this will be played out, and the speed with which it will happen.

    Think 1861, 1914, 1931, 1939. We are living in one of those years again, where everything ends up turned upside down and *no* *one* has a clue as to what the world will look like once that year is over – even though they may think they do.

    “The ground under the foundations is washing away; the wind threatens to rip off the roof, and cracks are appearing in load bearing walls. Sooner rather than later we are going to have redesign and rebuild.”

  11. WWS says:

    I no sooner finished that post than I flipped to a financial site and saw the warning that Bank of America is about to collapse.

    And that’s just the beginning.