Washington is obsessed by picking winners and losers. But the establishment media has the story all wrong again. The Republicans, they say won this skirmish over debt. But actually Republicans displayed a total lack of commitment to their principles.
The only winner in the "Budget Control Act of 2011" is massive government and the Washington bureaucracy it feeds with your money.
We are embarrassed for Republican members of Congress who go out with a straight face and talk about how they controlled spending when they voted to increase the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history.
In reality, the bill as Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) points out, "allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis." This bill literally guarantees the economy will get worse, and the budget deficit will explode higher.
As a Republican State Senator in California, McClintock predicted, and fought against the policies that have bankrupted Sacramento and has now taken his crusade to Washington DC. He exhorted his colleagues to see reality, giving excellent reasons he voted against the Boehner/Obama bill: "The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government; it blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years; it makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level."
McClintock further explained, saying, "While the debt increase occurs this year, significant spending cuts aren't to be made for many years and can be ignored or reversed by future acts of Congress; the spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a 'major disaster,' or necessary for the 'Global War on Terror'; and the balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined."
But even more damaging to Republicans is the way they handed their citizen mandated legislative power to Barack Obama, damaging the US Constitution in the process. Constitutional scholars Herb Titus and William Olson explained it this way: "Title III of the Act reads the 'Debt Ceiling Disapproval Process.' Under this title Congress has transferred to the President the power to 'determine' that the debt ceiling is too low, and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments, subject only to congressional 'disapproval.' For the first time in American history the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States has been disconnected from the power to raise revenue."
The US Constitution's Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 vests in Congress the power "to borrow Money on the credit of the United States." Now these Republicans have handed their authority carte blanche to a President they say is unqualified to oversee the economy.
Ironically, "the markets" which Republican after Republican sighted as their reason for supporting this unconstitutional bill reacted badly. The Dow has rocketed lower, gold has moved higher, and clearly the markets aren't following the script handed them by DC.
Readers of this column have been prepared. We predicted that Washington would be unsuccessful in their drive to "fix" the economy. What the economy needs is less, not more intervention from DC. Free markets work when they are "free." Keynesian attempts to stimulate and regulate are killing progress and prolonging the economic woes.
Voters will take note that Republicans, when the chips were down, voted with Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner to keep the Washington merry-go-round humming.
©2011 Floyd and Mary Beth Brown. The Browns are bestselling authors and speakers. To comment on this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Together they write a national weekly column distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism. For more info call Cari Dawson Bartley at 800 696 7561 or e-mail email@example.com.