There is a battle brewing in Washington over our annual national budget which is supposed to be in place for the new fiscal year, beginning October 1st. The entire discussion is about whether the House Republicans will have the budget’s twelve elements ready by the deadline. The alternative is to once again invoke those favorite letters of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi – “CR” — meaning operate the government based on the old budget via Continuing Resolution.
Speaker McCarthy has had a problem meeting his own goal of getting those twelve bills out of committees and to the floor so a budget can be sent to the U.S. Senate and then to the President for signature. All month the talk of the Legacy Press has been speculation as to whether we will have a government shutdown as if that is the worst catastrophe in the world.
A shutdown is never good for two reasons. The Republicans get blamed even when Democrats’ fingerprints are all over the lack of a deal. The other aspect is that Washington’s weaklings always seem to make it into free vacation days for our federal employees by giving them their back pay. This pay is for doing what most of them do on a regular basis – – nothing but annoy hardworking Americans.
Recently it has been pointed out that during the pandemic our national leaders sent home almost all workers without pay. They were told they were “nonessential” even though they were their family’s only visible means of support. However, somehow our federal workforce (which pretends to operate our bloated government) cannot be sent home even for a week or two without pay.
All this misses the point. The entire discussion misses the point. Our President lately argues how well the country is running vis-à-vis low unemployment, the absence of any wars, and supposedly our fiscal house is in order. Yet, he does not speak to our TWO TRILLION DOLLAR ANNUAL BUDGET DEFICIT. How about that elephant in the room? In fact, our President is so oblivious to this, that he and his buddy, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, tried to stuff another $40 billion of emergency spending into the fiscal year ending soon. How careless can you be?
The discussion amongst our fake betters is that we must continue forging ahead. Oblivious to it all. Their biggest discussion point is how we have negligently ignored the needs “of the people” and supposedly exploded the child poverty rate. Of course, there is no discussion of the fact that the poverty rate does not include transfer payments as receipts by the people supposedly suffering from poverty. This supposed jump happened with low unemployment and yet flowing government handouts.
There is a campaign to re-up the “child tax credit,” which name is another manipulative misnomer. It is just another welfare system, a government handout, that runs through tax returns. The expanded program is estimated to cost $1.6 trillion over the coming ten-year period. What is another $160 billion a year when you are running $2 trillion in deficits?
There is no discussion of where the money went from all those special funding bills. Trillions of dollars. There is little to no discussion of the estimated $130 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims that were handed out. Our President has made a myriad of attempts to erase legitimate debts incurred by college students which just burdens our budget with billions and billions more added to our national debt.
Billion Dollar Joe just swats that away. Have you noticed that our President is constantly running (or should I say shuffling) to a microphone to tell us how he is handing out another billion here, a billion there? Biden totally disregards his predecessor in the United States Senate, Everett Dirksen, who apparently envisioned Biden as President and said, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.”
Can we get just a smidgeon of recognition of this budget debacle? Can someone suggest just one agency that we don’t really need? Can someone suggest maybe we don’t need all those employees sitting at home on their couches and those now empty buildings in DC?
The conservative wing of the Republican party is being branded as “crazies” for even suggesting a modicum of sanity on this issue. Some members of that group are not my favorite folks. But as the old saying goes, “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” At this point, they are the only ones who are directing us toward real fiscal sanity. Maybe they ain’t as crazy as the Legacy Press brands them.
What happens if we have a recession? What happens if China attacks Taiwan, and we jump in to protect them? Can we focus just a bit on the elephant in the room rather than what the federal government regularly focuses on? We need to get the government’s finances in order, or we are all soon to be doomed.
Image credit: Shutterstock
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.