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Harry Reid – your taxes or your military

Harry Reid – your taxes or your military

The debt deal “trigger” requires that one-half of the budget cuts come from the military if the “super committee” cannot reach agreement or if the Congress fails to pass the super committees proposal.

The concept was that fear of military cuts would force Republicans to strike a deal with the Democrats as part of the super committee.

Thus, Harry Reid thinks he is sitting in the cat bird seat, ready to threaten to pull the “trigger” with significant cuts to the military, if Republicans on the super committee do not vote to raise revenues (i.e., taxes), or if such recommended revenues do not pass the House or Senate. Reid was quick to tell us, your taxes or your military:

“We’ve had too much talk the last few days of Republicans as early as this morning, Republican leaders in the Senate saying there will be no revenue. That’s not going to happen. Otherwise, the trigger is going to kick in. The only way we can arrive at a fair arrangement for the American people with this joint committee is to have equal sharing. It’s going to be painful. Each party if they do the right thing, it’s going to be painful for them because to be fair, we have to move forward. There has to be equal spending cuts, there has to be some revenue that matches that,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the floor of the Senate right before voting started on the debt deal.

I don’t think Harry or the Democrats have thought it through.

If Democrats think they can hold the military, what’s the word they’ve been using lately, starts with an “h”?  Not going to work.

If the choice is the military or raising taxes, Reid is telling us Democrats will choose raising taxes. Republicans will choose the military. I like that scenario heading into 2012.

Democrats may have thought they were gaining a bargaining chip by including military cuts as one half of the trigger, but Democrats have boxed themselves in.  It is a trigger they will not pull for the sake of raising taxes, or if they do, they will pay the price in 2012.

Taking the military “h” may have seemed like a good idea to the Democrats who negotiated the debt deal, but that will work out as well as taking the Bush tax cuts “h” in budget talks worked.


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Someone needs to remind Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats taht military spending is required by the Constitution, while social programs are not (and may not even be authorized under that document).

I would like to know exactly who the in the Republican Party agreed to the provision that half the budget cuts would come from the military if the super committee doesn’t reach agreement.

It’s getting to be tiresome to see how so much legislation is drafted in secret behind locked doors with only few legislators being involved. We never know who gave away what or who proposed what.

Does anyone else have this concern? What was the purpose of electing senators and representatives from all districts and states if only a paltry few are negotiating the details of legislation in secret? I can see that having over 400 people at the table would be cumbersome, however, I cannot see how so much significant legislation being secretly negotiated in back room deals should be legal. We need to have the business of these vermin done in the light of day so that We The People know exactly what’s going on in our own government. As it is, many of the legislators don’t even know what’s going on. Aren’t there any sunshine laws that cover this? If not I would like to see some changes in this area ASAP.

Thinking about this makes me wonder if WikiLeaks may not be so “subversive” after all?

    DINORightMarie in reply to Ipso Facto. | August 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

    McConnell. Boehner. And anyone who voted for this who read it, knew what it had in it……

    As for the freshmen, many Conservatives in the House, IMHO, believed Boehner, took him at his word, that this battle was all but over, since the Senate undercut him, and that they could not get more with such a stiff-necked, inflexible POTUS. On that point I can’t disagree too much; someone who won’t lead, won’t even present a plan, is unable to negotiate, to be credible, to be tolerated. Also, the Republicans were not unified – as Conservatives! They undercut themselves, negotiated around themselves. “A house divided will not stand,” to quote Lincoln and paraphrase the Holy Bible.

    I personally believe McConnell cut Boehner off at the knees for personal political gain. It wouldn’t be the first time. He made that brilliant speech on the Senate floor about not being able to get anywhere while this President was in the White House, then proposes that McConnell plan monstrosity. Why?! Personal political points.

    (OT, but related: I also think he was pushing the RSC to NOT support anyone who would be Conservative in 2010, so that he could protect his leadership position. From his skewed viewpoint, it is better to remain Minority Leader than to allow a majority of Conservatives to come in and choose DeMint as Majority Leader. Look back at some of those 2010 Senate races, at the Senate dynamics running up to the election. There was a divide in the Senate leadership – McConnell vs. DeMint. DeMint is a threat to his position, his power. McConnell does NOT like DeMint. And it shows.)

    I believe both McConnell and Boehner need to be primaried. Then maybe they will get the message: grow a pair, stiffen your spine….we need FIGHTERS to STAND UP to the Leftists!! Call their bluff! Make them eat their words. Or stay home, and let someone else do the job you aren’t willing or able to do. (Are you listening Ohio, Kentucky? I hope so!)

    Primary every incumbent who is not standing up for Conservative principles, for fiscal and frugal federal government, for American exceptionalism. That will help shift the conversation to the right, guaranteed. Because it is what We the People want!

    Remember: this is just one battle in the slogging political war to take our country back, to pull us back from the brink, to put the US back on the path of prosperity. The freshman Conservatives in Congress got a taste of DC business as usual – and they don’t like it. At all.

    There needs to be a shift in leadership. Let’s watch the primaries; and work for Conservative candidates!

    Ipso Facto, I completely agree with you, and this is probably the number one thing that concerns me out of all the mess up there. Thanks for posting – at least I know I’m not the only one now LOL! The people we elect aren’t even involved in writing the legislation any more – the lobbyists and unelected “staff” are the ones sitting in all the meetings making the deals. It feels as if both parties are abandoning the purpose of the legislature, and there doesn’t seem to be any mechanism to insist that they even follow the law or their own rules, much less to require negotiations to happen in open public meetings. I don’t know where to start fixing it other than to hope we can keep electing freshmen and insisting those freshmen hire as staff only people who’ve never worked in Washington or for any politician before.

DINORightMarie | August 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

Perfect assessment. The Democrats don’t see the unintended consequences of this action. Typical. Reid has foot in mouth disease. Or, as heard on Rush 24/7’s comedy/satire break, advertising for the movie “Dingy Harry” – “[Announcer:] Dingy Harry…. shoots himself in the foot….. [Weak, whiny Reid:] ‘That’s okay; I’ve got another one!'” Heh. Classic!

Conservatives will stand with the military and continue to provide for the common defense. The Democrats beclown themselves, once again, with Dingy Harry whimpering away.

Nevada, please, PLEASE don’t put Reid back there when he is up again for election. Or, better yet – when the Senate flips in 2012 (I hope!!), investigate Harry. He won’t survive it.

His 2010 election was fraught with illegal alien and dead-people-voting shenanigans; his personal fortune has been made by some shady insider deals. Check him out. He has some foul, fetid, filthy mire swept (or shoveled) under the rug…..dare to look under it. Expose it to the disinfectant of clean, pure sunlight. He is a rotten, corrupt man – like Chuckie Schumer. Past time to expose the truth.

(Side note – please don’t cave to the PC leftists. Use that “hostage” word boldly, with pride! We are not terrorists. We are patriots. Of course it’s a metaphorical phrase! Only a leftist loon would attempt to say otherwise.

The Leftists do this to us all the time – try to control our words, or actions. Don’t give in to the idiocy. Be loud and proud – they are holding the military and national defense hostage, and have held a sword over the heads of the elderly to boot; it is their standard Alinsky MO: the politics of fear.)

Love it Professor!!!! Keep your light shining!!

Military spending required by the U.S. Constitution? That’s nonsense: the Congress is authorized to provide and maintain a Navy. There is no requirement to actually spend money on such. Likewise, Congress is authorized to raise and support Armies, but there is certainly no requirement to do so.

The U.S. military sucks about $800 billion from the current budget. It could readily be halved, especially if both parties would get over their love of wars.

Who cares about military votes? Just find ways to disqualify most of them, and make sure you pay for ACORN to get lots of new, fake votes in their place. Heck, move to Washington and use the new all-by-mail voting to cast two or three votes in their names!

“Sucks?” Interesting terminology.

Welfare “Sucks” hundreds of billions from the current budget. Medicare, the same.

Yeah, the guys out in the field getting killed and bleeding because WE sent them there certainly “suck” a lot of money out of the budget.

You live in a dram world, and the idea that the military, which is responsible for around 22 or so percent of the budget would have to bear half the costs of the ongoing effort to neuter them while your precious and horrifically wasteful social programs and federal payroll escape essentially unscathed is a joke.

Face it; the GOP got rolled.

Again. And the left won. In fact, we got killed out there… and we’re just too damned dumb to know it.

But we will.

    Always nice to run into another Hinton out here on the “internets.”

    To stay on topic: I am happy with the professors analysis. He’s made me feel a lot better about the situation with the trigger. I am getting the impression that public sentiment is still greatly on our side, and at this point, it might stay here through the next election. I was really worried that the debt debate would give too much fotter to the media and allow them to change the narrative positively in Obama’s direction. Assuming something strange doesn’t happen with the next round of debt negotiations, barring an unforeseen event, we’re set up pretty well for taking Obama down in 2012.

The inclusion of the language trigger, providing that half of the cuts must come from the military if the super-committee fails to reach agreement, displays an inherent sense of weakness, if not downright stupidity, on the part of the drafters.

Actually, I kind of like the Committee provision because it gives the Republicans a good opportunity to politically draw the line in the sand. The result I would like to see would be a very sharply divided committee, with at least one clearly articulated vision of where the country should be headed, one which would delineate, going forward, a vision of faith in economic and personal freedom and limited government.

And, for their part, the Democrats can promote whatever version of official economic coercion and class warfare that happens to be suiting them at the moment. For example, I’d like to seen them further “articulate” this notion that Tea Party members are “terrorists.” That is one I want to see them put in writing.

As for the legislation, the whole idea of a “super-committee” is a risibly extra-constitutional device to the extent that it might be interpreted by some as an ultra vires delegation of constitutional authority to a body that is neither contemplated by nor even implicitly authorized by our Constitution.

As such, the extent of the authority of this committee can be nothing more than as an advisory body, and it’s conclusions can no more bind the subsequent vote of any Member — such as on a “package of cuts” — than could the opinion of the man in the moon.

Having voted for or against this package is immaterial in that regard, though I must say that as much in favor of the idea of passing a package as I was, I would have likely felt tempted to vote against this turkey on purely constitutional grounds, if it were not for the commitment to vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.

As such, the Speaker may well feel the need to ultimately comply with the requirements of the legislation by posting a set of 50-50 cuts for a vote (once the committee has failed to reach agreement) and which cuts the House would presumably then vote down. Heck, they could tout that vote during their reelection campaigns. Maybe they should vote two or three times on that.

There is a distinct American political tendency to turn over the formulating and framing of tough decisions to some form of “distinguished” advisory tribunal in the (largely illusory) hope of thereby gaining political cover for having to vote against one’s interest. But, off hand, I can not think of a single instance in all the years I have followed American politics, where a politician successfully cited his or her fidelity to the findings and recommendations of a committee or commission, as a suitable basis for having thereby voted against the interests of his or her constituents.

Anyone who is perceived by the voters of having willingly yielded to the substituted judgment of a committee would be seen as having thereby surrendered the very basis of their political position — as a representative.

Nichole Galinas, at NRO, has posted a fascinating piece pointing out how, on a political level, the super-committee idea is little more than an attempt at a “political structuring” of a fiscal solution, an idea that is derivative of the illusory nature of the “structured finance” solutions that failed in the market place over the past few years.

Three years ago, free markets finally rejected the illusion that “structured finance” could efficiently parcel away financial risk.

Yet Washington is operating under the illusion that “structured politics”” can efficiently parcel away electoral accountability.

Remember one of the drivers of the 2008 financial crisis. Clever financiers thought that through derivatives, banks and other large financial institutions could transfer credit risk to third parties that were of the financial system but somehow outside of it.

That didn’t work. The risk boomeranged right back to the banks, forcing massive bailouts.

Now, clever politicians think that they can transfer the responsibility of deciding what kind of spending we’re going to cut — entitlements to pay for the past, or infrastructure investments to pay for the future — to a committee that is of the political system but also somehow outside of it.

It’s a political derivative — and it won’t work. Come December 23rd, the results of this political derivative will boomerang right back to the politicians and the nation.

And remember: Politicians purposely — and foolishly — manufactured this particular crisis so that they could show how forward-thinking they were in saving us from it. No wonder financial markets — also in turmoil because of Europe right now — are skeptical of the exercise and the outcome.

. . . .

Sharp cookie! She goes on to point out that the Administration was continuing to further expand entitlements this week, even as the attempt was being made to control spending.

Looking at the projected budget, explained with lots of Obama promotion, it looks to me like there is room for a LOT of cuts, and that the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs aren’t getting that much, relatively. Makes me wonder what costs get described as in certain categories for those pie charts we always see. What is, with the State Department, “other international programs”. What is “moving from rescue to rebuilding”. What is “overseas contingency operations”. What is “corporation for national and community service”. What is “putting the nation on a sustainable fiscal path”.


August 3, 2011
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Congressman West Reflects on the Senate’s Failure

(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today as Congress begins the August district work period.

“The United States Senate has let America down and is setting Congress on a path to failure upon its return. The Senate is leaving the nation’s capital without creating a budget in 825 days and merely creating one appropriations bill. The Senate is leaving 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees out of work, putting essential airport construction projects on hold, and leaving nine job creation bills already passed by the House of Representatives gathering dust in the Senate Chamber.

“It has been a concern of mine since shortly after I was elected and initially viewed the Congressional Calendar, that the House of Representatives would not be in session enough days to address the important issues our nation is facing. While my concern still exists, what is even more clear is that the United States Senate has done virtually nothing since January.

“On April 15, 2011, the House of Representatives passed a federal budget for Fiscal Year 2012. It has now been more than 825 days and the Democrat-controlled Senate has still not produced a budget. Since January, the House of Representatives has passed seven out of 12 appropriations bills to fund the federal government. The House is presently considering the eighth bill, while the United States Senate has considered and voted on only one.

“All 12 appropriations bills are to be considered and sent to the President by September 30th each year. Upon return from the August district work period, only 24 days will be left to finish the budget for Fiscal Year 2012. Clearly, the Senate is setting up the House to consider an Omnibus Appropriations Bill with the only alternative being to shut down the federal government. Simply put, the Senate is putting Congress on a path to failure.

“In addition, the United States Senate failed to end a stalemate to provide temporary financing for the Federal Aviation Administration. The House voted on an extension on July 20, 2011. The Senate failed to act. This failure has put 4,000 FAA employees temporarily out of work, and has also put thousands of airport construction projects throughout the United States on hold.

“On the day prior to leaving for the August district work period, Senate Democrats announced they would return in September with a ‘single-minded focus on jobs.’ Senator Charles Schumer stated, ‘While Washington has been consumed with averting a default, our nation’s unemployment problem has been worsening. It’s time for jobs to be moved back to the front burner.’ The reason the unemployment problem in American has worsened is because the stimulus package, burdensome regulations, and economic policies of the President have been a failure.

“The House has sent nine job creating bills to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators Dick Durbin, Charles Schumer and the Democrat Leadership, yet they have collectively decided these pieces of legislation were not even worth consideration in the first six months of Congress.

“I return to South Florida today understanding there is frustration with Congress and concern about our nation’s economy with high employment and anemic economic growth. I will travel to the Congressional District over the next several weeks and hear directly from the constituents about their thoughts on the issues facing our country. While I am pleased about what we have been able to accomplish these last six months, I realize our nation is facing a crisis, and failure is not an option for the American people.”

Like I said, if this is left up to people like Boehner there will NEVER be any significant cuts in government spending.

Remember that, at one point in the debt ceiling Kabuki Theater, Boehner offered to raise taxes by $800 billion during the worst recession in my lifetime. The man has no intention of cutting government spending. The fix is in…