Thursday’s headlines from Washington, D.C. will likely read that the House of Representatives passed a ten year path to a balanced budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan. While the Ryan budget is a gigantic step in the right direction, a proposal by the House Republican Study Committee that brings the budget into balance in four years is likely to be ignored by many in the media. It should not be.
Somehow, despite sequestration, the sun rose today, and it will set. Schools opened as scheduled. The children were still picked up and dropped off by their buses. Hospitals, police, and firefighters all remained on call should the need arise. Remarkable when one considers that on March 1, the government cut a part of the $3.538 trillion budget by a mere $54 billion, or by 1.5 percent.
Time for a little history lesson. Sequestration may in fact have been Obama’s idea, but it was brought to the floor in the House of Representatives not once, but twice by Republican leaders. There, it was approved not once, but twice. In the Senate it passed easily with bipartisan support. Republicans let it pass the House and Senate, and Obama signed it.
The only things propping us up right now are a printing press, the good will of China and Saudi Arabia buying treasuries and trading in dollars, low interest rates, and yes, a weak economy keeping inflation at bay. Minus that, we face certain insolvency in the time it takes a baby to grow up and graduate college — if not sooner.
Five and a half days worth of government spending is all that would be cut if the sequester goes into effect on March 1. Having to eliminate five and a half days of spending is hardly the calamity that is coming out of every federal government agency and the White House at a steady clip. The reason for the howling is two-fold.
Yesterday, the South Dakota State House Taxation committee made the wise decision to kill HJR 1003, a bill to make " formal application to Congress to call a limited constitutional convention for the sole purpose of proposing a federal balanced budget amendment." As I pointed out recently, while we desperately need a balanced budget, calling a constitutional convention could easily get out of control and scuttle what remains of our constitution.
U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today reintroduced legislation that would transform Congress’ broken budget process. The Budget Reform Act of 2013 (S. 280), based on a plan first introduced by Thune in 2010, would require Congress to establish a biennial budgeting timeline in which Congress would pass a two-year biennial budget and appropriation bills in the odd numbered years, and in even numbered election years Congress would concentrate on oversight of government spending.
Instead of providing a sober assessment of the budget, as is required under law, the White House decided instead to proffer a misleading “fact sheet” right before the weekend to incite hysteria. And the more hysterical their claims become, the more obvious it should be they are full of it. Perhaps their biggest fear is that if this mere 2.4 percent cut to the budget actually is allowed to go into effect — nobody will notice.
The South Dakota Legislature is considering several bills that, if successful, could end up resulting in a Constitutional Convention. While it is commendable that our state elected representatives are seeking to deal with our nation's radically out-of-control spending in a constitutionally correct manner (too many these days simply ignore the Constitution when they find it inconvenient), there are some serious hazards to taking the constitutional convention approach.
Those in favor of cutting spending from the federal government’s budget have several battles ahead where significant cuts can be achieved. For the first time since the summer of 2011, when Republicans rolled over to Obama on the last debt ceiling increase, House Republicans stand in position to make significant demands and are armed with a handful of options that will allow them to win the battle this time.Next Page »
"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all." - Ronald Reagan, Nov. 10, 1964