My nominee for the biggest offender is ABC News, which a week ago told the nation that “Republicans in Congress are prepared to shut down our government, and deny pay to our troops fighting overseas, in order to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Got that? Not only are Republicans the evil, nasty culprits responsible for the whole controversy. They will go so far as to deny pay to our soldiers, if necessary.
The only part of this pack of lies that had even a kernel of truth to it concerned the remarks about Planned Parenthood. I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, let me revisit some recent history about the dishonest and irresponsible politicians who created this mess in the first place.
Let me begin by pointing out that what’s at issue here is the budget for the federal government’s operations for a fiscal year that began last October. In other words, our representatives are still arguing about how much to spend in a year that is already more than half over.
Why didn’t they come up with a budget before the year began? That’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s what the law says they should do. And frankly, that’s when they could have done anything they wanted, without all the current posturing and deceit. They had all the votes they needed to spend any amount they wanted on whatever their redistributionist little hearts desired.
Whose fault is it that the Democrats never came up with a budget back then? Clearly, the blame rests squarely on Barack Obama’s White House, Nancy Pelosi’s House, and Harry Reid’s Senate. They had all the votes they needed. Why did they just sit on their hands?
So of course it’s the Republican majority in the House — something that didn’t exist before last November — that’s getting the blame now for the budget imbroglio.
Let me note in passing that even if government had been forced to shut down, every soldier and sailor serving Uncle Sam anywhere in the world would have been paid on time and in full. That’s also part of the law. They are considered “essential personnel” and are exempt from any furlough, even if much of government has to be shut down.
You will be aghast to learn that so are members of Congress and their staffs. Oh, some of them would probably have gone back to their home districts, to show their support for all of the folks being hurt by a shut-down. But you can bet that their paychecks would have continued to have been deposited in their banks when they were due.
Something else you need to know about this whole insane mess: We are talking about peanuts. Let’s look at the numbers for a moment. Currently, the Federal debt amounts to $14.2 trillion. Our masters in Washington have borrowed every penny the law allows. In fact, that’s the reason for the current war of words. If Congress won’t raise the debt ceiling, the government can’t borrow any more money. If it can’t borrow any more money, it can’t pay for all the boondoggles and giveaways that are already law.
The deficit is already scheduled to be $1.6 trillion this year. In other words, even if Congress can’t agree on spending one more dollar this year, we taxpayers are already on the hook for our government to fork over $1.6 trillion more than it collects in taxes.
The deficit for just the month of February (the shortest month of the year!) was $223 billion. That was the largest single deficit of any month in our country’s history.
Let me put it another way: The same day that Republicans in the House voted to cut spending by $6 billion, our national debt jumped by $72 billion. That’s $72 billion in new deficits, every day of the week, every week of the year.
Here’s an analogy your neighbors might understand. Say a penny represents $1 billion. Right now, our Federal debt equals 15,800 pennies. The pile is growing by 72 pennies every day.
So far, Republican budget cutters have removed 10 pennies. Meanwhile, the Democrats offered to remove 4.5 pennies. That’s it; that’s all the fat they said could be found in the budget. That comes to about one-sixteenth of the number of new pennies they want to borrow each and every day to fund their favorite socialist schemes.
The Democrats’ response to all of this is simple: Call anyone who disagrees with them an extremist. New York’s whacko Senator Charles Schumer admitted as much. In a conference call with other Senate Democrats, the point man for their messaging told them to “always use [the word] ‘extreme.’ That’s what the caucus instructed me to do the other week. ‘Extreme cuts.’ ‘Extreme and draconian.’”
Immediately after the call, California Senator Barbara Boxer dutifully picked up the theme. “We Senate Democrats are calling on Speaker Boehner to abandon the extreme right wing of his Republican caucus,” she said. Boxer was followed at the podium by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. And guess what? Each and every one of them used the word “extreme” or “extremist” when he spoke. Conspiracy? Why, whatever gave you that idea?
The other thing that is essential to understand is that Barack Obama doesn’t care about any of this. All he cares about is getting re-elected next year. Everything he does, every plan and program he promotes, in fact, every word that comes out of his mouth, is carefully calculated to do one thing and only one thing: help him win re-election.
While he pays lip service to how terrible it is to bury our children and our children’s children under a mountain of debt, you must understand he doesn’t mean a word of it. “Good” is what helps him keep his job; “bad” is whatever reduces the chances of that happening.
Oh, about defunding Planned Parenthood. Many Republicans believe it is a sin to take money from taxpayers and use it to kill unborn babies. That is why they want Federal subsidies to Planned Parenthood stopped. Under their proposal, the money that would have gone to this so-called charity would instead go the states, which could then give it to whomever or whatever they wished.
The Democrats, who argue so loudly and long for “free choice” when it comes to aborting babies, are furious at the idea of letting the states have free choice with taxpayers’ money. They’re afraid (quite rightly, I’m sure) that some of those choices would mean no money for their favorite supporters. To which all I have to say is; it’s about time.
Since you can be absolutely certain that this crisis won’t be resolved any time soon, I’ll be returning to this subject again and again in the weeks and months to come. While we can wish it were otherwise, the possibility that our leaders in Washington will require our government to live within its means is zero. With Obama in the White House and the dishonest and despicable Harry Reid controlling the Senate, the best we can hope for is to slow the tsunami of spending by a bucket or two.
Let’s take whatever minor victories we can get today — and plan to win the biggest battles of them all next year.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears weekly. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.