Conservative HQ Staff | March 16, 2015
You might have missed it because the Obama Treasury Department chose to let the news slip out in testimony to Congress on a sleepy Friday afternoon, but today marks the theoretical date that the federal government runs out of money, even though the debt ceiling has been raised eight times while Barack Obama has occupied the White House and now stands at a staggering $18.1 trillion.
In normal times this date would have been preceded by a lengthy Congressional drama of Democrats demanding that the debt ceiling be raised without any conditions and establishment Republicans going through a list of phony spending cuts that they required before raising the debt limit, after which they would cave-in and raise the debt limit without actually cutting spending.
But these aren’t normal times and, borrowing a phrase from our friend Diana West, Obama is not a normal president.
Unfortunately, however, today’s congressional leaders are normal establishment Republicans, so there has been almost no mention on Capitol Hill of a new plan to cut spending rather than raise the debt ceiling.
And certainly no significant coverage from the establishment media of how we came to require an increase in the debt ceiling; obsessed as they are with the scandal of the day, they choose to ignore the scandal of the decade.
And make no mistake about it – the great scandal of the 21st Century is the near-treasonous spending that Congress has engaged in over the past fifteen years, no matter which party has controlled Capitol Hill.
During the depths of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 Republicans and Democrats joined hands in a great Keynesian spending binge intended to put Americans back to work and “jump start” the economy.
The recession officially ended in June 2009, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of such dates, so even if to quote Nixon, “we’re all Keynesians now” why the continued deficit spending, especially in the face of record tax collections?
Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1,185,613,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2015, but the federal government still ran a $386,537,000,000 deficit during that time, according an analysis of the latest Monthly Treasury Statement by Ali Meyer of CNS News.
That’s $94,803,620,000 more than the $1,090,809,380,000 it collected in October through February in fiscal 2014.
The problem is although the federal government brought in a record of approximately $1,185,613,000,000 in revenue in the first five months of fiscal 2015, according to the Treasury, it also spent approximately $1,572,149,000,000—leaving a deficit of approximately $386,537,000,000 according to Meyer.
Republicans will of course blame Obama for this ruinous spending, but this is one time when Obama is off the hook because there’s only one branch of government with the constitutional power of the purse, and that is Congress.
Republicans can carry on all they want to about Obama’s demands for more money, veto threats, etc. but the reality is that not a dollar gets spent unless Congress authorizes it.
The passage of the Ryan-Murray budget a year ago was the last time the issue of deficit reduction and the Republican establishment’s lack of resolve on spending became an issue.
At that time our friend Chris Chocola, then President of the Club for Growth, published a hard hitting op-ed in National Review pointing out the budget deal that the Ryan-Murray budget deal conservatives opposed was a “function of the fact that many Republicans in the House simply never wanted to cut spending or limit the size of government.”
Chocola wrote: “I call that a fraud and everyone with any common sense would agree with me. What kind of message does it send to voters when Republican leadership is claiming that you can offset increases in spending today with cuts in spending a decade from now?”
Here was Chocola’s review of the trajectory of the House GOP leadership’s betray of conservative principles on spending: The Republicans voted for the sequester. Then they spent two years talking about how they didn’t want the sequester. Then, they got rid of it, and replaced it with the Ryan–Murray budget. Then, they got rid of some of the cuts from the Ryan–Murray budget. At the same time, they went from wanting a constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment in exchange for raising the debt limit, to “dollar-for-dollar” cuts, to nothing.
And, said Chocola, their rationale for this essentially boiled down to “we have to take the Senate,” never mind the fact that regardless of the caucus counts, the Senate (and the House) will still be populated by a bunch of RINOs who apparently have no real interest in saving America from fiscal ruin.
Well, Republicans have the Senate, it is now time for them to produce on cutting spending.
For decades CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie has been hammering away on the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill for trying to dupe limited government constitutional conservative voters by campaigning on conservative policy, but then betraying conservative principles and advancing Big Government and the growth of spending just like the Democrats.
We urge you to call your Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) tell them you are on to the game the Republican and Democrat Capitol Hill establishment has been playing and you want real spending cuts NOW, not an increase in the debt ceiling.