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Thanks to Marie in NY for sending this from her local Tea Party. The author has it exactly right. This is reality.
April 9, 2011
My Dear Fellow Patriots;
During the summer of 2010, while staring an electoral massacre in the face, Democrats sought to mitigate the damage by refusing to pass a budget for fiscal year 2011. Had they done so, had they not acted like cowards, had they shown their true hell-bent-for-bankruptcy colors, had they been more concerned about governing than hiding their dirty little tax-and-spend secrets, last night’s game of budgetary brinkmanship would have been unnecessary.
But at the time when a budget should have been passed, back in the summer of 2010, the cowards were afraid to etch their fiscal madness in stone, lest they be crushed under its weight when the November elections rolled around. They got slaughtered anyway, but hey, it could have been worse.
If the Dems had done their job last year, while controlling both legislative chambers as well as the White House, we’d all be properly looking forward to fiscal year 2012 and trying to enact the Ryan blueprint for putting America’s fiscal house in order. But they didn’t pass a budget in 2010, and so we had to deal with funding the government in 2011 by using a series of short-term bills, called Continuing Resolutions, to govern spending throughout this year.
Last night, the Republicans, acting like tired parents, finally put the cranky 2011 budget to bed; thereby averting a shutdown and all the uncertainty that such a drastic action would entail, including cutting the pay of our men and women engaged in fighting three wars. Yes, we can boldly stand and shout “SHUT ‘ER DOWN!” and in truth, I would have dearly loved to have had that fight; instead of writing this I’d be flinging the blame right back into the smug faces of those who caused it – those cowards that put the November ’10 elections ahead of good governance. But Boehner took what he could get, mainly because Obama and the Dems held the military hostage by refusing to agree to fund them.
Those who are wailing and gnashing their teeth because we didn’t get enough – and I’m not ashamed to say that I was one of them when I went to bed last night – are right. We didn’t get enough. I was discouraged and disappointed – just like many of you, and I laid awake for hours composing angry missives in my head that I was going to fire off first thing this morning.
But since I have been around long enough to absorb a little knowledge, I have come to know that decisions made while angry are not usually good ones, and I recognized the need to take a look at what really happened, and what’s going to happen in the next few weeks and months. I wanted to put things in perspective and gaze in the direction of the endgame.
I started by accepting that what we got in terms of 2011 was actually pretty damn good, especially considering that this funds the government for the rest of this fiscal year and represents a budget containing cuts that NEVER would have been passed were it done when it was supposed to be done – in 2010. Indeed, the bill agreed to last night carried $78 billion less in spending than the one proposed by the President. It was also pretty damn good in light of the fact that Republicans only control a single chamber, the now-famous “one-half of one-third,” and are severely limited by not controlling the Senate or the presidency.
Almost immediately, the House will move forward with the Ryan plan, designed to cut $6 trillion in spending over the next ten years. This is real, this is doable, and this is responsible. Medicare and Medicaid will be on the table, as will personal and corporate tax rates and a simplification of the tax code.
Ryan forces us to move off what David Brooks refers to as “Unreality Island,” that government-run nirvana where everyone wants a seat at the dining room table but nobody wants to do the dishes, as Bob Scamardella so aptly put it. To be sure, when the deficit is something in the area of 1,500 billions of dollars, saving 38 billion is a drop in the bucket; indeed, it doesn’t even fund the debt service for a single month. But finally we are moving in the right direction, and we are spared the tiresome hysterics of the mainstream media and the demagogues on the left shouting about how Republicans came to Washington to kill women. Consider:
– Obama’s proposed 2011 budget called for a spending increase of $40 billion. Last night, he was forced to swallow hard and tout a bipartisan agreement on “the largest annual spending cut in our history.” He got $78.5 billion less than he originally requested.
– Senator Harry Reid didn’t want to cut anything at first. Then, after looking ridiculous for awhile, he eventually anted up about $4.7 billion in cuts. In the end, he got $33.8 billion less spending than he wanted; something he called an “historic” accomplishment.
– Speaker John Boehner was initially willing to settle for $32 billion in spending cuts, till the House freshmen forced it up to $61 billion. They eventually settled for the compromise $38.5 billion, which not only is $6.5 billion more than Boehner asked for to begin with, it’s $5.5 billion more than the $33 billion that Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats touted had been agreed to less than two weeks ago.
– These cuts will represent a reduction in what is called “baseline spending” from which increases are calculated – this will yield hundreds of billions in savings over the next decade.
Recognizing that we cannot hit a five-run homer to win the game, I’m willing to accept a bases-clearing double to keep the rally alive. On deck: the debt ceiling debate, the 2012 budget, and batting cleanup, the Senate and Presidential elections a year-and-a-half from now. If we keep the momentum going, if we keep our focus and our concentration, if we maintain the passion that so motivated us last November – we will take the other branch of the legislature. We may even take the White House, too. When that happens, watch the tea party movement shine.
For now, let’s not look back; it does us no good. The phrase “government shutdown” has had its time in the spotlight and now must gracefully exit the stage. Let’s accept what we’ve gotten so far, but keep demanding that our representatives continue to slash and burn. Let’s continue to call and write; don’t let up – never let up. Let’s keep scoring runs for our side.
Eventually, we will win this thing – because we are America: we fight hard, we fight smart, and we don’t lose.
Yours in Liberty,
Staten Island, NY
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