Wisconsin’s Congressman Paul Ryan and Washington State Senator Patty Murray introduced the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. It not only sucks, it sucks on steroids. But before you come to the conclusion that Paul Ryan is a RINO or a Sellout, think again. Congressman Paul Ryan is a decent and honorable man who has a very serious problem. Having spent many years in Mordor on the Potomac, he knows exactly what the mindset of the Democrats and the leadership of the GOP is. He understands that they are clinically insane, he also understands what math is. He knows that the Federal Government of the United States is utterly and totally out of control.
The very serious problem that Congressman Paul Ryan has, is that he is a pragmatist. He is trying to find a reasonable and rational way to slow down and turn the course of a metaphorical ship that displaces 1 trillion tonnes. A ship of such a size simply cannot be stopped on a dime. The worlds largest Oil tanker is the Knock Nevis, (580,000 tonnes) It takes 5.5 miles to stop with a turning circle of over 2 miles. So we are talking several orders of magnitude in difference.
The democrats and most of the GOP Leadership do not want to slow down or change the course of America’s economic direction. Most politicians in both the House and the Senate have been in Mordor on the Potomac for far to long. They have been overcome by the fumes and are no longer sane or rational. They suffer from profound delusions of grandeur, corruption, greed and hostility towards the very people who elected them in the first place. But worst of all, they suffer from a psychotic break from reality wherein they actually believe that they are exceptionally gifted intellectually and consequently better suited to make the important decisions regarding your life than you are.
Not only do they actually believe that they are better suited to make those decision for you, but because they managed to claw their way into America’s political aristocracy, they have a moral and ethical responsibility to make those decisions that you obviously are not intelligent enough or socially responsible enough to make on your own without you making the wrong decision. There is a profoundly deadly sickness in Washington DC, it can be summed up as this, the senior leadership of both parties basically believe that the party can go on forever.
Paul Ryan knows that it cannot and he is trying to do something. The problem is, his solutions are based on attrition in a purely political sense. He knows for example that their is a incredibly significant mid term election coming up in 2014. As long as the Democrats maintain control of the senate and the whitehouse there is absolutely no chance of making the incredibly drastic changes to America’s fiscal policy that will prevent the economic collapse that is coming. Like the rest of the GOP Leadership, Paul Ryan’s greatest fear right now isn’t the coming collapse, but of losing control of the House of Representatives.
Paul knows that the Democrats own the Mainstream Media lock stock and barrel, and because of this the Democrat propaganda machine will blame another shut down of the Federal Government on the Republicans and in the process paint them as the most evil demons to ever crawl out of the pit of hell itself. Today, in 2013, America has no greater enemy than the Mainstream Media. In the entire history of the United States of America, we have never had a more dangerous enemy. If the Terminators that Sarah Connor faced in the Terminator movie franchise were actually real, the Mainstream Media would be an enemy that would make the terminators cry like little girls from fear just at the thought of having to do battle with them. If the mythological creatures known as demons actually exist, then they all are employed in the American Mainstream Media.
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and even the notorious amnesty shilling RINO Marco Rubio have all expressed opposition to Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s budget deal, and with good cause.
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its cost esimtate on the current bipartisan budget deal. The topline of a net $16 billion in direct “spending reductions” and $7 billion in brand-new revenues (read – taxes) in exchange for $62 billion in new discretionary spending versus the sequester this fiscal year and next seems impressive.
Americans for Limited Government found a whole lot of DC Math in that:
But that’s not the only whopper in this grand bargain. It allegedly “reduces the deficit by $23 billion and it does not raise taxes. It cuts spending in a smarter way,” declared House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who brokered the deal.
Doesn’t increase taxes, you say?
Besides the $6.6 billion of increased revenues CBO scores, tucked into the package is $12.6 billion over ten years from a fee of “$5.60 per one-way trip in air transportation or intrastate air transportation that originates at an airport in the United States” that was somehow magically scored not as revenue, but as a spending cut. Huh?
You got that right. In what universe is that a spending cut? It doesn’t matter. The next time you book a round-trip flight and it is $11.20 costlier, remember you’re not actually paying a tax, you personally are reducing federal spending — even though the provision itself does nothing to actually reduce transportation security spending.
Similarly, almost $7.9 billion of increased premiums paid into the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is scored as a spending cut. So are about $6.8 billion of higher customs user fees collected in 2022 and 2023.
Just those three items total $25.9 billion — a full one-third of the supposed $78.4 billion of spending cuts are no cuts at all, but fee increases.
To be fair, the entirety of the officially-scored revenue increases comes not from tax increases or even the end of “legitimate” tax subsidies, but from increased pension contributions from federal employees, worth $6 billion, and anti-fraud measures, worth $0.6 billion. However, if one flies, has a pension, or buys an imported good in 2022 or 2023, one gets to donate more money to the federal government.
Strip out the $26 billion in tax-and-fee increases from the $78 billion in direct spending “cuts”, and there is a net increase in spending of $10 billion versus leaving the sequester alone. That, however, is not the extent of the spending increases. Even though the CBO only scored the increase in discretionary spending directly associated with gutting the sequester for FY2014 and FY2013, they note that three of the provisions for which direct spending is reduced will likely result in increases in discretionary spending:
The COLA provision (the 1 percentage-point reduction for military retirees under the age of 62) also would reduce discretionary accrual payments to the Military Retirement Fund over the 2015-2023 period. While such payments count against discretionary amounts allocated to the Department of Defense as part of the annual appropriations process, they are intragovernmental transactions, and do not result in outlays from the government. If, within the discretionary caps, the reduction in accrual payments makes possible an offsetting increase in other appropriations, the net effect would be an increase in outlays—because an intragovernmental payment would be replaced by spending that goes outside the government….
Eliminate mandatory payments, authorized through 2019, to nonprofit organizations that service student loans. Although this provision would reduce direct spending by an estimated $3.1 billion over the 2014-2023 period, those loans would still need to be serviced. As a result, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would require additional discretionary appropriations of roughly the same magnitude as the mandatory funding that would be eliminated….
Section 706 would add a two-person “self plus one” coverage option for federal employees and retirees under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. CBO estimates that option would be priced below the “self plus family” option currently available. However, the “self plus family” option would become more costly than under current law because the average number of people covered by policies of that type would rise. CBO expects that federal retirees would be more likely than active federal employees to switch to “self plus one” policies. As a
result, the average cost of FEHB policies for federal retirees would be lower than under current law, and the average cost of FEHB policies for active federal employees would be higher than under current law.
The provision would reduce direct spending because the government contribution for health benefits for federal retirees is classified as direct spending. On the other hand, implementing the provision would increase spending subject to appropriation, assuming appropriation of the necessary funds, because the government contribution for health benefits for active federal employees is classified as discretionary spending.
In other words, the bill amounts to just another Democrat bait and switch. Paul Ryan keeps trying to negotiate with the Democrats, but can’t seem to understand that to the Democrats, the word “negotiation” means, you surrender and they get everything that their little Marxist hearts desire. Sadly neither Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or even Paul Ryan understand that the biggest problem that they face in trying to reduce the federal government crack cocaine like addiction to spending isn’t the Democrats, it their own leadership.
Confession: I did not expect that this lame budget deal would be Boehner’s red line for tea-party criticism. But maybe it had to be that way. If he’d slammed them in October, when Cruz and Lee had galvanized the base against the bete noire of O-Care, it might have cost him his gavel. The stakes are lower now — he proved he was willing to shut down the government for a conservative cause, everyone understands that any budget deal with Democrats will vary only in shades of badness, and enough people have tuned out of the news in December that there won’t be any grand revolt against him. If he wants to throw down the gauntlet to groups like the Club for Growth and Freedom Works, now’s as good a time as any. And who knows? Maybe he legitimately feels it’s “ridiculous” for conservative PACs to shriek over a compromise when the stakes are as small as they are here. Take it from me: Even a RINO has his breaking point, my friends. Our candy-asses can stand kicking only so many times.
Is this smart, though?
The more antagonistic he gets with outfits like Heritage Action, the greater the risk that they’ll elevate this vote into a litmus test and the greater the pressure there’ll be on Republican fencesitters in the House to vote no. Then again, the vote’s only four or five hours away. This was the point of jamming the bill through this week — the quicker you move, the less time conservative PACs have to build opposition. Members want to go home for Christmas. They’ll risk some short-term grassroots wrath over a vote that people almost certainly won’t remember a year from now.
The budget deal Paul Ryan worked out with Patty Murray is genuinely horrible in that it doesn’t achieve anything conservative in nature and basically amounts to a surrender on the GOP’s part to Democrats demands to increase spending. It serves one single and solitary purpose, it is a political damage control strategy. Prevent another government shutdown and deprive the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and the Democrats from using that shutdown to cripple GOP efforts to retain the House and perhaps even gain control of the Senate in 2014. Paul Ryan’s budget deal essentially amounts to sacrificing a Bishop to prevent a Queen from being captured.
The problem with that strategy, is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell remain two of the most powerful GOP representatives. As long as the current GOP Leadership remains in place, it doesn’t matter what brilliant strategic tactics people like Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz or Rand Paul engage in, because the current GOP Leadership is utterly and totally corrupt and differs so little from the Democrats and the Obamanation Administration that no matter what the Ted Cruz’s, Rand Paul’s and Paul Ryans do, Boenher and McConnell will end up betraying them for their own political profit. Just like John Boenher did to all of the conservatives and TEA Party folks in the House of Representatives when he stripped them of their positions from which they could have advanced a conservative agenda.