This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 28, 2015:
In Washington, it is said that laws are like sausages: no one wants to know exactly how they are made. Washington, controlled as it has been by the Establishment for decades, makes laws like sausages, keeping everyone in the dark and happy, except the taxpayer.
Just who is this ephemeral, invisible, ever-present establishment? In three minutes, a caller to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on September 15, nailed it:
The reason I’m supporting Trump is because the establishment of the GOP, the leadership of the GOP, despises people like me….
They are doing everything they can to get people like me out of the party. They are against candidates who share my values, my views. The establishment, the leadership of the GOP, clearly believes in big, bloated government. The leadership of the GOP, Rush, is becoming the opposite side of the coin with the Democratic Party. They don’t show opposition to what Obama and the Democrats are doing….
The latest example is the midnight deal hammered together and announced Monday night that solves a number of problems facing the Establishment: the debt ceiling expected to be reached no later than November 3, government running out of money by December 11, lack of sufficient military funding for various wars around the globe, the insolvency of the Social Security disability fund next year, the pain resulting from the 2011 sequester that temporarily put the government on a modest diet, etc.
It also “cleaned up the barn” for House Speaker-in-waiting, Paul Ryan. According to Boehner: “I don’t want to leave [Ryan] a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before [he] gets here.”
In one fell swoop, the secret deal solved them all. The debt ceiling is put off until 2017 when a new Congress can deal with it, giving Obama essentially a government credit card with no limit on it. It solves the funding problem, it gives the Pentagon another $50 billion, and adds $50 billion to help the Social Security disability program continue operating for another six years.
Of course, as a sop to any taxpayer paying attention, all of this will be “free,” to be paid for by selling off some of the government’s oil reserves, auctioning off some radio spectrum, and capturing some monies seized from criminals by the Justice Department. But that’s all in the future. The spending is now.
Estimates are that the national debt, officially but incompletely noted by the government to be $18.7 trillion, will explode to at least $20 trillion before Obama leaves office, probably sooner. At the start of Bill Clinton’s administration, the country’s national debt stood at just over $4 trillion, a staggering sum beyond comprehending. Under Clinton it grew to $5.7 trillion, and then it nearly doubled under “conservative” George W. Bush to $10.6 trillion. Now, seven years later, the national debt is $18.7 trillion, soon to reach $20 trillion. Establishment Republicans get what they want: more military spending. Establishment Democrats get what they want: more welfare spending. What does the taxpayer get? The bill.
Not everyone is happy about the midnight chicanery by the Establishment, of course, but their voices are muted. Complaining about Boehner’s unilateral dealings without consulting committee chairman per House rules, Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) expressed his outrage: “He [Boehner] threw the committee chairmen under the bus.” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said, “I can’t vote for something where we spend the money today and save it 10 years from now. That, to me, is crazy.” This was echoed by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) who said this is “A two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling for basically the entire term of this presidency.”
And this from a joint statement issued by Heritage Action and the Club for Growth: the deal “was brokered by a lame-duck Speaker and a lame-duck President, [and] represents the very worst of Washington: a last-minute deal that increases spending and debt [while calling it] fiscal responsibility.”
Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, was closer to the mark:
In Washington, “cleaning the barn” is apparently synonymous with shoveling manure on the American people. John Boehner is clearly a rogue agent, negotiating on behalf of well-connected special interests, [but] not the voters who gave him the gavel.
What’s needed for the bill to pass on Wednesday is every vote from every House Democrat and between 90 and 100 votes from Republicans. The Freedom Caucus – essentially the Tea Party in the House – isn’t large enough to stop or even delay the fiscal steamroller. The bill will then go to the Senate where Republican establishment Mitch McConnell is greasing the skids for passage there. And then to the president’s desk for signing.
As long as the establishment controls both sides of the aisle, nothing will change. Nothing, that is, except the size of the government and the national debt, and the ultimate bill to be paid by the American taxpayer.
Wall Street Journal: White House and Boehner Close In on Budget Deal
Wall Street Journal: White House and Boehner Close In on Budget Deal (updated)
Wall Street Journal: Why GOP May Cave on Debt-Ceiling Fight
Washington Post: Congressional leaders and White House closing in on a budget deal