Nothing like campaigning against a know-nothing Congress on behalf of an imperial presidency.
But using fear talk in order to give the power of life and death to the federal security forces — and their natural antipathy to individual freedom — isn’t remotely conservative.
Perhaps McCain and Graham hadn’t yet digested the sumptuous peace dinner feast Democrat Obama put on for them and 10 other Republican senators at Plume, a fancy gourmet restaurant in Washington.
McCain and Graham are big government statists who happen to be Rs.
Is it just me or do McCain and his Boy Wonder sidekick Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) bear a growing resemblance to Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy from Sponge Bob Squarepants? Like the version of the GOP they represent, their best days are behind them. Which may well be good news for just about everybody else.
If GOP members of Congress have finally (and mostly reluctantly) signed on to the reality of sequester cuts, the country’s Republican governors seem a lot more bent out of shape at the idea of losing various crumbs from federal coffers.
Yeah, no. Planes will not fall from the sky and al Qaeda will not infiltrate the U.S. because of sequester cuts.
Then there are Republican governors who are not getting squishy on the sequester (most of whom run states with relatively few military bases) but just suck on their own budgets. Consider, for instance, Ohio’s John Kasich, who told Larry Kudlow recently that the sequester should kick in if the feds can’t get their act together (he uttered something about hoping a compromise could be reached). But Kasich has signed off on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion (he told Kudlow unconvincingly that such a move would help him control spending better) and his own budget jacks spending up in the Buckeye State by a nice chunk of change:
The Republican Party is in a tizzy these days, talking about the need for rebranding, fresh ideas, you name it. Don’t you understand? Obama’s Democrats are playing dirty, using social media and other cheap tricks to beat us!
In Washington, the GOP is led by ideological non-entities such as Speaker John Boehner (who voted for TARP, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, all the war spending you can imagine, etc.) and House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. These guys are quintessential big government conservatives who want to cut the other party’s spending priorities while kicking out the jams for their own constituents. At the state level, the GOP has got a handful of true budget-cutting types who often muck up their “leave us alone” message with a bunch of extraneous social issues that scare the bejeezus out of independent voters.
On the state and federal levels, the GOP might do well to consider the notion that they should take their own rhetoric seriously and actually push for, you know, smaller government across the board. Not smaller government except for defense, or when it comes to policing gay sex, or targeting firms that might hire illegal immigrants, or opposing drug legalization. There’s a goddamn large number of people out there (read: majority of voters) who have disaffiliated from either the Democrats or the Republicans who say they want a government that does less and costs less. Folks such as Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash seem to be doing pretty well by laying down a logically consistent line.
Less government for thee but not for me.
During President Barack Obama’s meeting with U.S. governors at the White House Monday, the president dismissed members of the press to hold a private, hourlong discussion with the visiting state executives. Whatever was said after the cameras left the room especially incensed South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.
Haley went across the street to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after the meeting, where she joined fellow Republican Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin in berating both Congress and the Obama administration for failing to agree to an alternative to the looming across-the-board federal budget cuts set to trigger March 1.
The crony capitalists, which includes the political class (which includes Ds and Rs), are mostly statists using smoke and mirrors to keep the proles from revolting. Bread and circuses. Watch what they do and not what they say.
“I could not be more frustrated than I am right now,” Haley told reporters after the meeting. She said that when she asked Obama if he would consider a last-minute plan to shave about 2 percent from the annual federal budget without increasing taxes, the answer was “no.”
“My kids could go and find $83 billion out of a $4 trillion budget,” Haley said. “This is not rocket science.”
As part of a budget agreement passed in 2011, the federal budget will automatically be reduced on March 1 by about 2.4 percent if a deal isn’t reached. Lawmakers had hoped to avoid the reductions by agreeing to more specific cuts from the budget, but talks between Republicans and Democrats have largely fallen apart due to a disagreement over whether tax increases should be part of the package.
Haley also made no effort to spare congressional Republicans, who took last week off with only a few days left before the sequestration process was set to begin.
“There is no leadership. There is no confidence. There is nothing that shows us that they actually care about what they’re doing,” Haley said. “What they’re doing is playing games, and we as the taxpayers are having to cover for their games. We’re not going to do it anymore.”
Haley also noted that “no one should be going home. No one should be playing golf. No one should be taking vacations.”
She later added, “There is something very wrong in this town.”
The number one goal for fiscal policy is to reduce the burden of government spending.
The simple way to achieve this goal is to adhere to Mitchell’s Golden Rule and and make sure the private sector grows faster than the public sector.
But when politicians fail to exercise that modest amount of fiscal restraint, bad things happen.
Consider my state of Virginia, which is largely controlled by Republicans. Except party labels apparently don’t mean much because state spending has been growing at twice the rate of inflation.
And when politicians engage in profligacy on the spending side of the fiscal ledger, it’s just a matter of time before they engage in greed on the other side of the fiscal ledger.
That’s certainly happened in Virginia, where the interest groups, lobbyists, bureaucrats, and politicians just achieved a major victory over taxpayers.
Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.
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