Entrenched Interests

We’re seeing that the fight to cut federal spending will be gargantuan, even as we’re faced with national bankruptcy. 

The 2010 midterms ushered into Congress a group of representatives with Tea Party backing dedicated to the reduction of federal spending to avoid national insolvency in the wake of unprecedented and reckless spending with nothing to show for it other than a bill. Their first opportunity came and went in the form of a Continuing Resolution to fund government operations for the remainder of FY11. The original $100 billion cut morphed into $61 billion and ended up as an actual $300 million cut with the remainder consisting of accounting gimmicks and money that wasn’t going to be spent anyway. Their first chance to cut federal spending fizzled as Democrats wailed and gnashed their teeth at the mention of any cut whatsoever and timid Republicans were held hostage to events from 1995.

Their next chance to cut spending is approaching in the form of a vote to raise the debt ceiling where Republicans have the opportunity to extract huge spending reductions in exchange for their votes. The Obama administration has falsely painted this vote as crucial to keeping America solvent and warned of dire consequences to our economy even though Obama voted against the last bill to raise the debt ceiling when he was a senator. Don’t expect Republicans to walk away from the table with anything meaningful in the way of concessions, as Democrats are already on the propaganda offensive.

Democrats have discovered that the secret to nullifying Republican spending threats is to keep the cuts generalized so they can scare groups at will, attack the cuts as a threat to the very fabric of American life, and mobilize their union and leftist groups to take to the streets in protest. Any cuts that do manage to get passed can be reinstated by their minions in the courts. We saw this playbook at work in Wisconsin where legislative Democrats fled the state to obstruct a vote to decertify public sector unions that are breaking the state. Unions were mobilized in protest, and when the law was passed despite the obstructive tactics of Democrats, a sympathetic judge blocked implementation of the law.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ran into this judicial buzz saw when it was discovered that the appeal of his successful suit challenging the ObamaCare individual health insurance mandate was to be heard by an appeals panel of judges appointed entirely by Democrats. Now you see why it is important to fight for impartial judges.

AG Cuccinelli has consistently argued that the imposition of an individual mandate to purchase health insurance is a vast overreach of the Commerce Clause, and if allowed to stand, there would be no limit to its expansion or government’s ability to meddle in our lives. Government should never have been allowed to enter the insurance business in the first place, since the result has been a gradual expansion of its power to the point that Americans take it for granted that this situation is normal and constitutional. The insurance market has been served well by private companies without need for government intervention. Americans accepted this government intrusion in the hopes of getting something for nothing. Of course, this never happens as our illusions are quickly destroyed once the die is cast.

We are faced with an impending fiscal crisis that has been brought about through an expansion of government far beyond its core function of protecting its citizens. This crisis now threatens to overwhelm the government’s ability to perform even this basic function. The entrenched interests fighting to protect their government largesse seem to care nothing for the fact that the collapse of our economy would mean the end to the benefits along with everyone else. They seem to think someone else will blink or be singled out, and have no incentive to step forward for the good of the country. In this spirit, they will fight tenaciously to preserve what they mistakenly feel are their entitlements at the expense of all else.

Congressional Democrats are portraying any and all proposed cuts as a threat to the American way of life to be resisted at all costs. They’ve spent years convincing Americans that they can’t live without these programs and rightly fear their elimination will put the lie to this notion. Democrats have no intention of rolling back gains they’ve fought long and hard to implement in an attempt to entrench themselves as the guarantor of constituent entitlements. This was the strategy implemented by Franklin Roosevelt and explains why he is revered by those on the left even though his policies not only failed to eliminate the Great Depression, but actually prolonged the misery for a full decade.

At what point do we Americans say enough is enough and storm the citadel of government with pitchforks and torches to destroy the monster in a scene reminiscent of Frankenstein? In the movie, the monster tried to exist with the villagers but was unable to understand his strength and control it without hurting those with whom he came in contact. Much the same thing can be said of the federal government. It means well, but can’t help but hurt those with whom it comes into contact. There’s no living with an entity that resorts to control when its altruistic intentions are rebuffed. Obama seeks to provide affordable health insurance to all at the cost of forcing everyone to purchase policies many don’t want with no freedom to select the options that meet their needs. He claims to mean well by taking away our freedom, but he’s more interested in establishing another entitlement to further enslave Americans to the federal government and make them more dependent on Democrats to preserve the benefits they will come to depend upon.

The fight to fiscal solvency will be long and there is no guarantee that it will be successful. The first battle was lost all too easily, and the outlook for the second battle is not looking good. Freshmen Tea Party Republicans have been co-opted with talk of the importance of keeping the government open and creditworthy. While Republicans only control the House, they could at least put up a better fight for principles. Where will they draw the line and fight? When will they say that this is a bridge too far? At what point do we wrest the fight from them for our survival? Do we helplessly watch our country plow over the cliff fearful of taking a stand? We wouldn’t hesitate to confront terrorists on an airline bent on our destruction, so why do we let our country be destroyed from within?

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