The swamp wins again


The budget deal is another win for the so-called swamp in Washington, DC. It’s another double-cross by ‘conservative’ politicians proving once again their alleged betrothal to the ideal of fiscal sanity is as much of a sham as the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to King Henry VIII. A better example could be the ‘marriage’ of Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates – which was done to conceal Hudson’s homosexuality. Republicans can claim to love balanced budgets all they want. Everyone with 3/4th of a brain cell knows they adore spending as much as the next government-growing politician.

Look at those who are saying they will support the bill. President Donald Trump crowed on Twitter it was a “great compromise” which will protect the military and veterans. The president and others lurking around the White House reportedly decided any concern raised by interim chief of staff Mick Mulvaney of the Office of Budget Management meant nothing to the budget process. The Washington Post reported last week Mulvaney still enjoys plenty of power from a regulatory standpoint – but he cannot get through to Trump on the dangers of wanton spending.

Mulvaney and [Interim OMB Head Russell T.] Vought, among others, have sought to convince Trump to care more about cutting spending and the deficit. But Trump has rebuffed many of their proposed cuts as deficits soar.

Trump recently told West Wing aides that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told him no politician had ever lost office for spending more money. Two people with direct knowledge confirmed that McConnell delivered that message in a June phone call about budget sequestration.

It would be too easy to blame McConnell for Trump’s love of spending. This is the same Trump whose infrastructure spending plan was double to the one proposed by Hillary Clinton, vowed to do massively increase military spending, and signed a $1.3T budget in 2018 before swearing he’d never do it again.

So much for that promise – which no one should have taken seriously from the very beginning. Government spending hardly ever goes down because it’s undesirable to politicians – both Republicans and Democrats – seeking re-election. Sure, they can go back to their home districts and pinky swear they’re doing all they can to rein in spending. Reality is much different.

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One only needs to look towards House Minority Whip Steve Scalise as a prime example. Scalise – who campaigns on “exercising fiscal discipline” and blasts Democrats for ignoring the Congressional Budget Office’s about the $15 minimum wage – is now leading the charge amongst Republicans in the House on the $1.4T spending deal. He knows it goes against his “exercising fiscal discipline” slogan but it helps Trump’s secure re-election which is all that matters. After all, it’s “good spending” if Team Red does it versus Team Blue.

Pockets of fiscal sanity resistance are still looking to keep this atrocious bill from becoming law. The House Freedom Caucus may or may not take an ‘official position’ on the spending bill and Congressmen Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are no votes. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz had said he won’t vote for the bill – and one would think Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee aren’t far behind in expressing distaste. FreedomWorks is also vowing to fight the bill and Americans for Prosperity analyst Alison A. Winters mused about moving to Greece.

It should be clear: this is not an actual compromise – no matter what Trump, Democrats, and Republicans might claim. All this does is spend more and more and more without giving a thought about the fiscal hellhole future generations will experience. This is running up a credit card knowing it will have to be paid off but who gives a rip because it more than likely won’t be those sitting in the White House or on Capitol Hill. Sequestration – which required the government to do cuts if they couldn’t reach a budget deal – is gone. The debut ceiling is gone for at least two years. This is horrendous.

It will eventually hit and hit harder than Thor wielding mighty Mjolnir or Gandalf’s Glamdring. Taxes will be raised on everyone – not just the Democrat’s fabled 1% – and the economy will slow down to the speed of someone trying to run a marathon with two badly broken legs and no crutches or wheelchair in sight. The spending needs to stop and the cutting – actual cutting of expenses, not just regulations – has to begin or else.

It’s a win for the swamp, until then, and it appears hardly anyone gives a damn.

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