Emmett Tyrrell

Not all senators are complicit in Harry's intrigues. For instance, the affable Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is blameless and actually indignant with his colleagues, Harry in particular. Recently he told my colleague at the Washington Examiner Byron York, "I think it should be a firm principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan on how the new borrowed money will be spent. If the government wants to borrow money so it can spend more, then the government ought to tell the Congress and the American people how they will spend it." York concludes, "One problem, of course, is that the law already requires Congress to pass a budget, and Reid has violated that." I say prosecute him. This is malfeasance on a vast scale.

Whether Harry goes to the can or accepts a lesser sentence -- such as my suggested mandatory course in budget management -- we are going to have to face up to these trillion dollar deficits that the government has been piling up since our smug president took over, Barack Obama. He envisages them for years to come, though obviously if those trillion-dollar deficits do come, life in the great Republic will be very different from what it has been. We have already raised taxes on his hellish two percent, now Republicans have got to insist that President Obama make good on the other half of his deal and cut spending. The way to cut the trillion-dollar deficit is now through budget cuts. The federal government spends too much. It spends money it does not have. In the coming debt-ceiling fight, Republicans, and the handful of sober Democrats out there, should offer suggestions on where the cuts should be.

I have just read a study by the increasingly mainstream Heritage Foundation, outlining $150 billion dollars of cuts in the budget. Patrick Louis Knudsen, the author of the study, points out that many of the cuts are perfectly doable, for they envision the federal government's desisting from undertaking what it should never have undertaken in the first place. Other cuts involve privatization, policy consolidation, eliminating ineffective programs and ending waste, fraud and abuse. For instance, Knudsen's plan calls for cutting $13.5 billion from the Department of Agriculture, $3.5 billion from Community Development, $15.1 billion from Health Care and $15.8 billion from the Department of Transportation. So it goes through every nook and cranny of the federal government, save the Department of Defense. Knudsen does not cut from the Pentagon because he feels that the military is an essential area of government involvement. Presumably he leaves it to the generals and admirals to decide what is essential for the security of the country.

The coming battle over the debt ceiling is the right time to demand our government get its fiscal house in order. If not now, when? As for Dingy Harry, possibly under the threat of prosecution he will smarten up. No one wants to see him go off to the calaboose.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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