“We must focus on cutting spending. If the conversation is starting with revenues, we’re having the wrong conversation.”
Those are the words of GOP Representative (and soon to be Senator) Tim Scott from South Carolina. He Twittered them last night, as the House GOP leadership abandoned plans to vote on “Plan B,” a proposal for avoiding the fiscal cliff. The plan, sponsored by Speaker of the House John Boehner and GOP leadership, didn’t have enough GOP support. So, late last night, the speaker gave up on trying to get it passed.
By all accounts, it was a glorious mess. Last night the speaker called the House GOP caucus together, in one last-ditch effort to muster enough votes in his caucus to save his plan. It failed, and everyone dispersed into the night.
Rest assured, Democrats and the Mainstream Media (yes, I repeat myself) will have a field day with this one. We’re bound to hear lots about how the speaker doesn’t have control of his caucus, even though elected representatives of the people aren’t dogs to be led around on a leash. We’ll also hear that the House GOP is too beholden to millionaires, even though President Obama won eight of the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S. I freely admit—from a PR standpoint, last night was a mixed bag for the GOP when it comes to image-making.
It was, however, an opportunity to refocus on the real fiscal problems facing us.
Why did “Plan B” founder? It didn’t do enough to curb runaway federal spending.
House GOP members have ZERO faith that Democrats in the White House and Capitol Hill are serious about cutting spending. (Except on defense, that is). They promise to cut spending, some day in the future, but never do. And never will, unless compelled to.
George Will notes that, in November, the American people chose to keep the House of Representatives in GOP hands. Moreover, 219 Republican representatives—a clear majority of the 435-seat chamber—were reelected with margins of victory higher than President Obama’s.
If American voters really wanted more federal spending, then why didn’t they give the House of Representatives back to the Democrats? Democrats are very very good at spending. Even if they—or, to be more accurate, we—don’t have the money.
Last night, the Tea Party asserted itself. Yes, those racists walked into the Capitol with their white hoods, Confederate flags, submachine guns and flamethrowers and reminded everyone that the “Tea” in Tea Party stands for “Taxed Enough Already.”
Speaker Boehner now has an opportunity, which I hope he uses. He isn’t a dictator, or a wizard who controls his caucus through mind control. No, he’s a leader of a group of people sent to Washington to represent We The People. And, many Americans want Washington to get serious about spending and entitlement reform NOW. Enough of kicking the can down the road, for our kids to deal with. They showed that last month, by keeping the House in GOP hands.
Yes, last night was embarrassing, but the speaker can shake it off and move forward. He can now point to last night’s results and inform the Democrats that, if the president wants the speaker to deliver the House GOP caucus on a “fiscal cliff” deal, the administration will have to get serious about spending reductions and entitlement reform. The House GOP caucus is serious about it, and so is our nation. Otherwise, Nancy Pelosi would be speaker again.
If the House GOP caucus is willing to hold the line against their own party’s leader, then they’re certainly willing to hold the line against the free-spenders on the other side of the aisle.
Let’s see if the president, Democrats and MSM are serious about getting America’s house in fiscal order.
Update: I like Jeffrey Carter’s take on last night’s clusterfark, from his “Points And Figures” blog: (Emphasis added)
The Democrats don’t understand how Boehner couldn’t get things through his caucus because Democrats operate differently. They are a centrally planned bureaucracy. It’s top down, monolithic decision making. The head speaks and the party machine enforces discipline so everyone follows the same line.
That works great for winning elections, winning policy debates in the liberal press, but it’s not very good for coming up with imaginative public policy for constituents.
On the other hand, the Republicans currently look like they are in disarray. They are. That’s good. The don’t have a centrally planned caucus. It’s more like herding cats. Different groups form to come up with different ideas. There are some core principles that Republicans flock to, like low taxes and a strong defense. But when it comes to small, limited government and other ideas there is no monolithic force of nature.
21 Republicans didn’t vote for the plan that was passed. Why? Because it didn’t go far enough. They wanted even more budget cutting. You might call them fringe, or whatever-but I think they are starting to gain strength in the electorate-and why they are being demonized in the press.
The medial and liberals love Republicans when they are Bob Michael Republicans. Fight a little, compromise on spending, keep a few goodies for their home states and just smile and get a long. They hate Republicans when they are like Reagan or Gingrich, or Speaker Boehner today.
Many House Republicans refused to vote for Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) Plan B bill because they were “gun shy” about drawing primary challengers in the 2014, according to several lawmakers.
A number of members involved in the intense whipping operation that took place over the past two days told The Hill that entrenched no votes were more concerned with perception than principle.
“I think that there were members that are so gun shy about primaries that they weren’t willing to take a risk … some members told me that it was just too hard to explain how it wasn’t a tax increase,” Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said shortly following Thursday night’s abrupt conference meeting where Boehner told his colleagues they wouldn’t vote on the bill.
Notice the subtle bias in Molly Hooper’s word choices: “entrenched no votes were more concerned with perception than principle.” I.e., the “No” voters were unconcerned with principle.
It wouldn’t surprise me if, in Mainstream Media Molly’s eyes, the No voters WERE unconcerned with principle—the liberal principle that higher taxes are per se good and high earners are per se bad. (Warren Buffet and crew excepted). Granted, some of Speaker Boehner’s supporters unfortunately shared her apparent view.
IMO the No voters were standing on their own principles—enough is enough! No more enabling reckless spending. A majority of House Republicans were sent to Congress in 2010, and then sent BACK in 2012, to put the brakes on deficit spending. Those No voters know what their constituents want, and they voted accordingly.
Those No votres also know that they’re going to lose the PR battle anyway. They’re Neanderthals in the eyes of Ivy-League-loving MSMers, and always will be—so why try to win a PR battle that you won’t be allowed to win anyway.