If there’s one sure way for Congressional Republicans to tell whether or not they should support a bill, it’s to look at the reactions to it from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. If they predict that it will bring about Armageddon and kill millions of people (i.e., the tax cut), then it’s probably a great idea. If they are smiling so hard they look like a pair of Jokers, then run, run like the wind from it.
Unfortunately, that lesson didn’t sink in. Yesterday, after allowing all of 17 hours to read a bill of over 2200 pages, the House and then the Senate voted to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that explodes this year’s deficit by $800 billion. It had Pelosi and Schumer practically dancing with glee that the “era of austerity is over” (and they define “austerity” as the trillion-dollar annual deficits under Obama!)
The only hope at this writing is that President Trump will veto it and order Congress to try again, as he's threatening to do. He originally tried to sell the pittance in the bill for a border wall as a “start,” but if the Democrats take over in November (the odds of which are greatly increased, thanks to the anger and disillusionment this bill will generate among Republican voters), then the border wall will be over before it starts.
We knew that there would be more spending in some areas (military, infrastructure), but with a Republican majority in both Houses, you’d think there might be at least some attempt to cut spending elsewhere to balance it. Instead, the bill explodes discretionary spending as well, tossing around money for everything from "promoting breastfeeding" to an extra $12 million to give raises and bonuses to Senate officers and employees (I will refrain from making reference to the "government teat.")
And why is all this new spending necessary? At a time when the economy is finally growing at better than anemic rates; when private sector jobs are coming back, unemployment is dropping to historic lows and millions of people are leaving food stamp programs; and when the real estate bonanza around DC is finally ebbing due to the exodus of federal workers, why is it necessary for the government to spend ever more money? We’ve long been told by liberal economists that deficit spending is good during a slow economy to “prime the pump.” That’s highly debatable in itself. But why are we pumping the deficit money pump twice as hard during boom times?
Right now, liberal news channels are pushing gun control by lecturing us that we need to think about the welfare of our children. But their chances of being shot in school are actually microscopic. Meanwhile, we’re burdening the futures of every last one of them with insurmountable debt, and nobody blinks an eye.
And are the voters who sent the Republican majorities to Washington getting what they were promised? There’s a pittance in there for a “border wall,” which actually amounts to some electronic security and a few miles of new and repaired “fencing,” the type you can see through (and that’s already routinely passed through with wire cutters), all amounting to a total of about 93 miles of a 1,954-mile border. I suspect anyone wanting to come in illegally will figure out some way to get around that.
Sen. Rand Paul, who fought the bill to no avail, observed ruefully that Republicans are conservative when they’re out of power. But once they’re in power, America has no conservative party because Republicans vote to increase spending, and Democrats agree while complaining that it’s still not enough. In this case, even the Democrats can’t complain that it’s not enough.
If the Republicans want to send a message to voters that it truly doesn’t matter whether they lose the Congress in November, then they might as well just forward this bloated spending bill to every email address in the land.
I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
UPDATE: The bill was signed by the President.
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