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Extreme GOP Federal Budget Hypocrisy Early In 2014

21 Jan 2014
Posted by Stan Collender

It's a very (at least by Washington standards) snowy day in and around the beltway, so what better time than to demonstrate the extreme (bordering on the ultra) hypocrisy these days that exists when it comes to the federal budget. All of these seemingly unrelated events and announcements took place over the past four weeks.

1. It's not excessive spending if a Republican wants it #1. As this story from the Washington Examiner explains, on December 31, Chief Justice John Roberts called on Congress to spend more money on the judiciary. Roberts, a conservative Republican appointed by George W. Bush, sounded like the head of every interest group in Washington who says they are not part of the problem because the amount they get from the federal government is too small to make a difference. His exact words: "We do not consider ourselves immune from the fiscal constraints that affect every department of government. But...the independent judicial branch consumes only the tiniest sliver of federal revenues." You can read the chief justice's full year-end report here.

2. It's not excessive spending if a Republican wants it #2. The fiscal 2014 omnibus appropriation (H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014) passed by extraordinarily wide margins in both the House and Senate. Those in favor included 17 Republicans in the Senate and 166 GOP'ers in the House.

There were two reasons why so many congressional Republicans voted for increased federal spending even though most of them have criticized Democrats for years for doing that exact thing. First, passing the bill eliminated the possibility the GOP would be blamed for another government shutdown. Second, virtually every Republican who voted for the bill got some dollars devoted to something, if not many things, that her or his constituents will be very happy to have. In other words, this was the first real return of earmarks since they were banned several years ago and even anti-spending members couldn't resist.

3. Who Needs A Budget Resolution Anyway? Given the primary GOP talking point over the past few years about Senate Democrats refusing to pass a budget resolution, not to mention the victory House Republicans declared when they insisted on a "no budget no pay provision," this one is almost unimaginable. According to this story in National Journal by Tim Alberta and Billy House, some Republican "political types" are pushing the House not to pass a fiscal 2015 congressional budget resolution.

These political types are justifying the notion that a budget resolution isn't needed by saying that the agreement engineered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) provides all the guidance Congress needs to move ahead with appropriations for 2015. This is remarkably similar to the argument House Republicans dismissed as laughable when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate didn't need to pass a budget resolution because the Budget Control Act provided guidance for the coming year.

4. Who Reads? The complaints that no one who voted for Obamacare actually read the 961-page bill were repeated constantly by the GOP leadership during that debate. But that didn't stop those same leaders from making it virtually impossible for any House member to read the 1582-page omnibus appropriation. Members were given the bill less than 48 hours before having to vote on it.

What makes this all the more remarkable is that the House leadership could have easily avoidable this problem by insisting that the short-term extension of the continuing resolution last a week instead of just three days. That would have kept the government open and allowed enough time for anyone who wanted to review the bill to do so. The fact that they rammed the bill through on short notice makes it clear that the earlier criticism of Obamacare was politically expedient rather than a charge that should ever have been taken seriously. It also indicates that there may have been things in the omnibus the leadership didn't want anyone to know about.

Learn about quantitative

Learn about quantitative easing by the FED. You will be shocked to find out how much money the government is handing to the rich. But at least Obama can point to the stock market doing well and stupid people will say that shows we have a strong economy.


It should be understood that

It should be understood that since the time of Ronald Reagan, Republicans are for fiscal discipline only when a Democrat occupies the White House.

In 1946 the Gross Federal Debt amounted to 121.7% of GDP. The Truman administration reduced it to 72.4%; Eisenhower to 55.2%; Kennedy/Johnson to 38.6%; Nixon/Ford to 35.8%; and, Carter to 32.5%.

Then came Ronald Reagan with "supply side" tax cuts which his Budget Director David Stockman was a "Trojan Horse" to reduce the top rates. Budget deficits in all eight years increased the Gross Federal Debt from 32.5% of GDP to 53.1%. Four more years of deficits for Bush I increased the Debt to 66.1%. Clinton raised taxes, had 4% unemployment, and, reduced the Debt to 56.4%.

In 1995, after the GOP took control of the House, Speaker Newt Gingrich shut the Government down ostensibly to show fiscal discipline.

After the GOP Supreme Court awarded the 2000 election to Bush II, two rounds of "supply side" tax cuts were enacted in 2001 and 2003, again favoring the wealthy. Eight years of deficits resulted the increase of the Debt from 56.4% of GDP to 85.1% and left a crippled economy from the collapse of the financial system in September 2008.

Not a word about deficits was uttered by Republicans except Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil who objected to the second round of "supply side" tax cuts as the Clinton surplus had been turned into deficits by 2003. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney told him: "You know Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter." When O'Neil continued to object, Cheney fired him whereupon O'Neil got in his car and drove home to Pittsburgh. But he had his integrity with him and very few members of the Bush-Cheney administration did.

Then, of course, the Republicans, again, shut down the Government in 2013 to show fiscal discipline when the economy needed stimulus from the largest economic disaster since The Great Depression in the administration of Herbert Hoover 78 years and 11 months before.

Now that's hypocrisy.


Shocking indeed! Hypocrisy is

Shocking indeed! Hypocrisy is now at a tremendous point. And this year this ugliness has already started to take place. This is pathetic and sad!




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