Government spending. Why doesn’t anyone – or more specifically, why don’t Democrats – ever talk about it?
The new House Republican majority has barely crossed any i’s or dotted any t’s and already Democrats are hyperventilating to the establishment media about “cuts” to this and that spending program and the purported damage that doing so would inflict on American demographic group y or z – without any examples to offer or evidence that such wholesale slashing is impending. It’s as though Republicans controlled Congress with veto proof majorities in both chambers and the presidency reverted to Donald Trump sometime over the Christmas holidays.
I always figured Santa Claus would be a conservative Republican member of the Freedom Caucus if he were based in Washington, but ol' Saint Nick didn’t deliver any such spending relief last month.
The full force of the struggle over the mythical federal “debt ceiling” has barely gotten started and Democrats are at work setting up their rhetorical big artillery, claiming Republicans are secretly plotting to sacrifice the nation’s senior citizens on the altar of starvation and ruin – purportedly to save the Trump tax cuts as well as to maintain good relations with defense contractors and pro-military hawks. You know, the Bush family’s best friends.
Their accusations are simply not true, but Democrats rely on the ignorance of their own voters to advance such phony illusions. It’s what they do – scare the bejesus out of the uniformed and swear that electoral consequences will follow such audacity. Somebody’s got to be the scapegoat. Why not make it Kevin McCarthy and the House GOP caucus? Where’s Nancy Pelosi when liberals need her the most?
Besides, who wants to talk about government spending when there’s the burgeoning Biden document scandal occupying the minds of the media? In a piece titled “Will House Republicans push granny off a cliff or cut Pentagon waste?”, the always good for a belly laugh – of incredulity – Juan Williams wrote at The Hill the other day:
“Now, with the 2024 presidential election approaching, House Republicans appear ready to play the same losing game. They are threatening damage to the economy and their chances in the 2024 elections by insisting on budget cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This is political malpractice.
“Democrats would be fools not to run more of those ‘Grandma going over the cliff’ political advertisements. Doing so would boost their chances of regaining the House majority in two years. It would give a lift to President Biden’s chances at a second term, too. Biden is soon to be hailed as the hero of seniors for his coming defense of Social Security and Medicare, if Republicans continue to target those programs. (Don’t forget that he already has taken steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs, limit the cost of insulin, and allow over-the-counter sales of hearing aids.)
“[L]et’s have that debate and cut the fat out of the Pentagon budget to slow the gravy train to defense contractors before we get ready to push granny off the cliff. House Republicans, give granny a break!”
Granny will be fine either way. But younger generations of American citizens could see changes to the way they save (or don’t save) for retirement. No one wants to communicate about that, either. Too many young and working age folks prefer concentrating on their electronic social media and the happenings of the NFL playoffs to bother with their own impending future.
In restating the Democrats’ age-old warm wind in a bottle, Williams essentially employed the focus group-tested Democrat tactic of bending an inference so far that it eventually makes a circle. While it’s true that conservatives demanded that America’s entitlement programs be examined within the context of budgeting, by no means are there mandates for “cuts” in terms of real dollars. The dilemma can be solved in other ways, but can the political class ever come together to do something about it?
Changing the rules or reducing the rate of program growth to guarantee long-term solvency aren’t cuts. But Democrats will always spin it that way, betting that residents of rest homes or frequent inhabitants of local coffee shops for the morning senior special won’t bother investigating the facts.
Juan and other liberals instinctively know to focus in on military spending and tax cuts as the places where real budget “savings” can be achieved. Forget the fact that the Trump tax cuts are generating huge new records for tax collections – and to repeal them would arguably hurt the bottom line. What a bunch of dolts the naysayers are.
Meanwhile, many, many conservatives agree that the Pentagon budget needs to be put under the same scrutiny as every other federal program, which would reveal a vast number of opportunities to save money and cut waste. So yeah, Juan, I agree with you there. Are you willing to make concessions of your own, or do you just want to keep up the “granny off the cliff” distorted nonsense?
Whenever addressing the topic of government spending it’s important to remember that the average American – and even the average voter – doesn’t think about what government spends as a problem, much less think of it as an issue. Far, far too many people reason they are “entitled” to government benefits or artificial price controls on just about everything – health care subsidies, rent subsidies, utility bill subsidies, energy subsidies, food subsidies, “free” roads and infrastructure, universal internet availability, immigration enforcement, police protection, safety from external (i.e. foreign) threats, a military that guards them from invasion, a navy that shepherds shipping, etc. And the list goes on and on and on.
The reason? “Well, I pay taxes, don’t I?”
Folks tend to compartmentalize their own slice of the pie according to the amount of taxes they pay, as though their dollars go particularly for their own benefits and aren’t ripped apart like hyenas on a zebra carcass by the swamp creatures that inhabit Congress’s hallowed halls, most of whom – and this includes members of both parties – see it as their personal responsibility to take the federal budget and shove it… in everyone’s face.
Over the years legislators have justified growing the expenditures – and hence, the size of government – by suggesting that they’re only taking the tax collections and devoting them to solve “problems” out among the people. These days, Democrats argue they’re devoting “resources” to green projects, open space preservation (translation: bye, bye property rights) and “investing” in renewable energy to save the planet at some forthcoming, unidentified moment. By pulling your ability to purchase a gas stove now, they swear, your grandchildren’s grandchildren will inherit a depopulated planet with governments that respect grasshoppers and crickets as much as human beings… and everyone will be happy!
When? Oh, let’s just make up a date. How about 2055? Remember how “Wimpy” from Popeye fame would say, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”?
To the political class it’s more like, “I’ll gladly show you climate benefits forty years from now if you agree not to heat your plant-based hamburger or drive your gas-powered car today.”
In essence, we’re asking today’s elderly tax payers to lay out cash for something they’ll never enjoy unless your average retiree figures out a way to beat Father Time in a big way. Wouldn’t it make more sense to devote all of today’s bogus “climate” spending to finding a creative way to manage entitlement programs more effectively instead?
Or are Democrats basically banking on no need for future retirement-type programs because the planet will burn up and there won’t be any senior citizens down the road to need the money? It makes about as much sense as mandating that gas stoves be jettisoned so as to reduce carbon emissions by fractions of a percentage point.
These people are nuts. We could cut government spending right off the bat by eliminating the positions of every liberal bureaucrat who spends his or her days poring over data and writing more regulations that burden private landowners and business interests. Talk about savings! For starters, eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and reform the FBI and there’d be enough for all-time!
Tax rates aren’t the problem. As previously stated, federal collections have never been higher, yet the debt continues to rise year after year. Government spends way too much on too many things that people just don’t need or even want.
Democrats never discuss the value Americans receive for the enormous amount of dough that government spends, only the imaginary ill-effects of spending cuts that will most likely never materialize – or at least not in the form Democrats say they will. America will need a political epiphany before the government spending problem ever gets addressed.
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