Was the deal Speaker John Boehner made to prevent a federal government shutdown really the best he could get? Who knows, but it’s far from clear if the deal actually involves a net cut in government spending.
After promising to slice $100 billion from the federal budget, the GOP capitulated and the final number dropped down to $61 billion… and then down to a mere $39 billion. The fiscal 2011 budget request from President Obama, which was never actually adopted, called for an unprecedented $3.8 trillion in spending. A $39 billion cut, if it really is a cut, represents an infinitesimally small percentage of that budget.
Mark Levin agrees that the deal is “a historic scam.” He says:
Since Boehner has said the Republicans will never shut down the government and since he has said repeatedly we’re only half of one third of the government, well then what the hell are they going to do on the other issues? What is their strategy exactly?
Exactly. What are the Republicans going to do about raising the debt limit and reforming out-of-control entitlement programs?
Meanwhile, the nutroots are going crazy. For example, professional America hater Tavis Smiley, who frequently collaborates with pseudo-intellectual Cornel West, is outraged that any cuts –if that’s what they actually are (see below)– were agreed to. From his far-left point of view the deal is “capitulation.” America “avoided a shutdown of government, but now we have a lockout of the American people. Namely, the poor.” Of course welfare expenditures from the federal government’s 70 welfare programs are at record levels and hardly any low income Americans even pay income tax, but Smiley is indignant nonetheless. Nothing but a socialist transformation of America will satisfy people like Smiley.
Another thought: Given the convoluted appropriations process in the nation’s capital, who is to say this supposed cut is actually a cut?
You see, both DC types and normal, rational people agree that subtracting $1 million from a hypothetical $100 million annual budget is a cut. But in Disneyland on the Potomac DC people will say with a straight face that even adding $1 million, which makes the hypothetical budget $101 million, is a cut as well because the 1 percent increase falls short of the rate of inflation (resulting in a reduction of purchasing power).
I frequently got into semantic tussles on this issue with the awful left-wing Center for Budget and Policy Priorities when I was a reporter at The Bond Buyer newspaper. And the CBPP people would never, ever budge on this point. During news teleconferences when I dared to point out that an increase cannot, by definition, be a cut, they would lower their voices and start to speak very slowly so that we dumb conservatives who understand basic mathematics could hear their explanation for the new, politicized math they were sharing.
There is no reasoning with people who politicize arithmetic, especially when they are willfully and deliberately driving America over a cliff. They must be swept away in a political tsunami come November 2012.
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