Horowitz: Republican old cops expose themselves as limited government fraudsters

After being in the minority for 40 years in the second half of the 20th century, Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for 20 of the past 28 years. Yet debt has grown from under $5 trillion in 1994 during the “Republican Revolution” to over $31 trillion today. This is not just an abstract number. It represents unquantifiable government control over our lives, inducing entrenched dependency, distorting our entire economy, creating artificial monopolies in every vital industry, and reshaping the national character. And no, it wasn’t just because the Democrats controlled one or all branches of government. Now, with this great opportunity to finally achieve a balanced budget, the whining of GOP moderators and false defensive hawks shows exactly why the debt mount has only gotten worse under their watch.

It feels like yesterday when I wrote press releases for Tea Party candidates in 2010, apocalyptically warning of the $12 trillion debt and unprecedented spending of Obama’s first year. Now we would yearn to return to that spending level. But Republicans are now angered that Speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised Conservatives discretionary spending would be frozen at… the insanely high levels of fiscal 2022!

This week, a number of respected Republicans came out as abiding supporters of endless spending and government growth. It is time they were honest and dropped the meaningless platitude of standing for “limited government”. Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack called McCarthy’s deal to cut funding a “simple non-swimmer.”

“I think we’re going to come to the realization that the 22 number rolled off the tongue pretty well, but it’s a lift we can’t do,” Womack told reporters Caitlin Emma and Connor O’Brien last week.

So keeping spending on Biden’s second year of post-COVID “total state” government control isn’t enough.

The game Republicans have been playing for years to avoid shrinking (or even slowing the growth rate of) bureaucracies is to distract us by saying that “entitlements” spending is the real problem (although they nor do we intend to deal with it). . The other trick is to claim that we cannot risk cutting military spending. That’s why we will continue to work with Democrats to increase spending on all three categories: defense spending, discretionary non-defense spending, and so-called mandatory entitlement and welfare programs.

This mindset was perfectly exemplified by Womack and Buddy Carter, per appeal:

Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack, a senior appropriator and former budget chairman, speaks more like a Ryan Republican when he says discretionary programs aren’t the real money.

“This whole notion that we’re going to fix this country’s budgetary trajectory with food fights for discretionary households is intellectually dishonest because that’s not the problem. The problem is on the mandatory side, it’s in the claims,” ​​he said. “We waste a lot of time and effort if we only focus on discretionary spending.” […]

He said mandatory spending needs to be addressed, but in a way that doesn’t cut benefits for current retirees or those retiring in the near future.

“The Democrats will … eat our lunch. They’re going to run commercials saying we’re trying to cut Social Security,” Carter said. “No, we’re trying to save it. We’re trying to stabilize it.”

I think we should just stop using the word conservative. We cannot cut anything because it is not politically feasible and discretionary spending is not enough.

“However, my concern is that in order to hold the defense numbers, we would have to make a 20-25% cut in non-defense,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) said. said. “There’s numbers thrown around, $90 billion, $75 billion — nothing in our rules says we have to have that kind of cut. But I worry, if you just look at the reality of how these defense/non-defense appropriation agreements have historically worked, that this might be the case [happen].”

In reality, the intellectual dishonesty stems from the bogus excuses and conservative double-dealing played by the likes of Womack for years. Last month, former OMB director Russ Vought released a 10-year budget plan that balances the budget by doing just that — focusing primarily on non-defense discretionary spending. The notion that this focus won’t break the budget in 10 years has three fundamental flaws, and they are proved on paper by Vought’s budget.

1) Non-defense discretionary spending is creating an agitated and armed government that is siphoning hundreds of billions from the private sector and slowing growth. So the elimination of these agencies has a multiplier effect in the long run and is not just suckers.

2) While none of us advocate cutting military spending from $800 billion to $500 billion, these bogus Republicans define a cut as slowing the rate of growth in base spending. Vought’s budget isn’t cutting military spending, but it is slowing the rate of growth, especially after a massive spike last year. As I mentioned, we can increase spending on hardware to deter China, reprioritizing our military deployments and deterrence to target it against China instead of elsewhere, and most foreign aid and over $100 billion to Ukraine stop in just one year Slowing overall baseline growth in topline issuance number. Vought demonstrates this in its budget. There are no pure cuts.

Well, if people are like the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Kay Granger say things such as: “There have been reports that House Republicans are supporting a cut in our national defense. Let me be clear – this Republican in the House of Representatives does not support that position,” they continue a decades-long strategy of further expanding government on the back of pseudo-patriotism and, worse, continuing an unreformed, woke and broken military strategy.

3) Yes, cutting mandatory spending is part of the plan, but not all mandatory spending is created equal. Politicians deliberately label all of this “entitlement spending” as if to say they are untouchable. But the American people see Social Security and Medicare as entitlements only because of payroll taxes. Although Social Security and Medicare are by far the two most expensive programs, currently exceeding $2 trillion annually, there’s still approximately $2 trillion in Medicaid, other welfare programs, and state pensions that we should be considering for reform. Mandatory spending minus these two programs is estimated to cost $11.8 trillion within the current 10-year baseline, highlighted in red below:


The Conservatives want to achieve a balanced budget by the end of ten years by cutting and reforming these social programs.

It’s not as if the Conservatives even plan to balance the budget immediately or pay down the existing debt. This is the bare minimum required to achieve balance without raising taxes, taking away programs people have paid into, or causing undue pain. Those who oppose this should simply come out and acknowledge that they support never-ending government growth and cannot endure even the level of government generosity of the Obama era. Stop advertising as conservatives and stop lying about spending cuts.

The deadline for the fight over the debt ceiling is expected to boil over in early summer. This is the greatest opportunity in a generation to finally force a conversation about the purpose, direction, priorities and size of our entire government. This is the fight and the lever we’ve been waiting for. But for those who win elections by pretending to be conservative while ensuring the status quo persists, this is a nightmare whose only recourse is to hide behind the uniforms of our troops.

https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-republican-old-bulls-expose-themselves-as-frauds-on-limited-government Horowitz: Republican old cops expose themselves as limited government fraudsters

Laura Coffey

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