No government shutdown. Duh!
America has yet survived another potential government shutdown. But did anyone really believe it was going to happen? And even when shutdowns happen, they are never as draconian as Democrats and the left-leaning media portray them in hyperbolic sensationalized rhetoric.
(Have you noticed that Democrats and others on the left seem to see EVERY issue as existential. If they do not get their way – if their candidates for dog catcher are not elected — the American Republic is kaput. More than 270 years of democracy ends. Doesn’t that seem a tad hyperbolic? But I digress.)
Under the leadership of the new Speaker Mike Johnson, the House drafted and passed a bipartisan stopgap measure – a Continuing Resolution – that kicks the can down the road. It basically continues the current spending level until after the holidays. No new spending. That means issues like Ukraine, Israel and border security will be dealt with separately later … hopefully.
We were also spared the Kabuki Theater version of news in which networks and print journalists engage in sensationalized last-minute reporting on the hypothetical pending disaster – a disaster that never comes. Johnson managed to have this short-term deal announced, processed and approved ahead of the 11th hour. That must have been a huge disappointment to much of the Fourth Estate.
The House Bill was passed by the Senate in bipartisan vote and sent on to President Biden, who signed the Bill into law. Voila! No shutdown. That is the good news. The bad news is that the stopgap at least appears to weaken American commitment to Ukraine and Israel. That is a modest public relations victory for the Madman of Moscow and Hamas.
Even more concerting is the fact that the CR does not address the trajectory of excessive federal spending (ergo taxing and borrowing) which IS an existential threat to the Republic. But that monumental financial crisis is off in the distant future, so it does not matter to the big spending power grabbers in Washington. The tax (borrow)-and-spend crowd are taking full political advantage of their spending knowing they will not be around when it all comes crashing down.
For all the criticism heaped on that recalcitrant faction in the House, they are right. Democrats and establishmentarian Republicans are spending the United States off the economic cliff. They are outspending the nation’s ability to pay with taxes, so we borrow.
Now we are exceeding our ability to borrow. That is why two rating agencies drop America’s credit rating from triple-A to double-A+. That may not seem like a big deal in terms of an academic grade, but it means that America will have to cough up billions more dollars each year to “service the debt.” And how do we get the money to pay the interest on the debt? We borrow MORE money.
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Under that theory, our elected representatives are a generation of mad hatters.
Rather than attack and demean the motives of the House Freedom Republican Caucus, we should ask why the majority of the members of Congress seem to have no interest in curbing run-away spending. We need more politicians in Washington to get serious about CUTTING spending – not just quibbling over the amount of the increases.
We also need Congress to go back to their constitutional obligation to produce a budget – which it has not done since 2004 — and end this crazy system of financing the federal government with Continuing Resolutions and Omnibus Bills that are so huge that no one person in Washington can even read them. We need to stop the practice of earmarks. In other words, we need to have Congress do its job properly and responsibly. Something that has not happened in more than a generation.
Instead of demonizing those few legislators who are bravely trying to restore fiscal responsibility and normal order to the Congress, we need to elect more like them.
Kudos for Speaker Johnson for at least getting a bipartisan bill through Congress to stave off the immediate potential shutdown. It was a good move in view of his newness in the post of Speaker. However, there will be a more intense showdowns in the future if there is any chance of getting back to normal order, reduced spending and cuts in the budget. The avoidance of this shutdown was not a victory but another example of congressional irresponsibility and disfunction.
So, there ‘tis.