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Could There Be a McClintock versus Ryan Showdown in 2016?

McClintock and Ryan
California’s principled limited government conservative Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-4), and yes there are many principled conservatives still fighting for liberty in California, has been one of the few House Members to push back strongly on the recent Paul Ryan spending deal with the Democrats.

McClintock said, “The new Congressional budget is a mistake at a time when we can’t afford many more mistakes. The path of least resistance, even if paved with good intentions, is not a path America can afford to travel any longer.”

Boy, did Tom McClintock ever get that one right, and even many supporters of the deal acknowledge that it will do nothing to solve America’s spending, deficit and debt crisis.

Former Reagan economic advisor Larry Kudlow, whose views on pro-growth economic policies generally mirror our own, called the Ryan spending deal a political solution, not a fiscal solution. 

Kudlow also observed that the idea that the sequester caps will be restored after two years is “probably a triumph of hope over experience,” even as he argued that this was the best deal Republicans could get to avoid another government shutdown fight and keep the voters’ minds focused on the failure of ObamaCare.

Kudlow’s argument is really the core of the Republican establishment’s case in favor of the Ryan spending deal.

They argued a clean budget with the sequester caps in place would never pass the House due to opposition from Democrats and Republican do-boys for the military – industrial complex, so a political, not a fiscal, solution was needed and the Ryan spending deal was the solution most politically beneficial to Republicans.

The problem with that argument is that, as Tom McClintock also noted, a clean sequester-based budget was never presented or voted on.

We also note for the record, that a clean sequester-based bill was never “whipped” with the same fervor that the House Republican leadership whipped the votes to bust the debt ceiling or any of their other betrayals of conservative principles.

The threat of losing committee assignments or any of the other clubs used to dragoon conservatives into abandoning their principles to vote with the House leadership were never deployed in trying to keep the sequester.

The Republican leadership went into the negotiations planning on giving away the hard-won conservative victory on spending.

What was the result of the House leadership’s cave-in according to Tom McClintock’s principled conservative analysis?

Sixty-three billion dollars of new spending – and therefore new taxes in some form – is not a small amount of money. It averages about $570 of added burdens for every family in America.

Tom McClintock also knocked-down establishment Republican claims that over the next ten years, fee increases and spending reforms will pay for all of this, with $22 billion to spare for debt reduction. 

The lie is given to this promise within the measure itself, said McClintock. A major part of the alleged long-term deficit reduction is the assurance that after a two year spending binge, Congress will not only enforce the sequester but will even extend it for an extra two years in 2022 and 2023.

McClintock called the idea that ten years from now Congress will still hold to the sequester caps “a practical application of the economic principles of J. Wellington Wimpy: ‘I will gladly pay you $22 billion in deficit reduction ten years from now for $63 billion in new spending today’.” 

Every so often someone will post a comment to the effect that we should add Tom McClintock to the list of potential Republican presidential nominees in our CHQ Republican Presidential Straw Poll

We have always hesitated to do so in part because history is against a Member of the House gaining the presidency, the one and only President elected directly from the House being James A. Garfield back in 1880, and because McClintock’s public record gave no indication that he was interested in a presidential run. 

Given that there's a media report to the effect that Paul Ryan is now "leading in Iowa," after Tom McClintock's principled opposition to the Ryan spending plan we may have to revise our thinking on the matter of a McClintock presidential campaign. 

Someone needs to offer the principled limited government constitutional conservative alternative to the Republican establishment on spending. Starting a “draft Tom McClintock” committee may be what is needed, because McClintock is saying what few others will – America can’t afford many more mistakes like those the Republican establishment made on the Ryan spending deal.

Read McClintock's article in the Daily Caller here.

Visit McClintock's official House website here.

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Tom McClintock

Tom McClintock was my choice for Governor during the California recall in 2003, over that overblown windbag Schwarzenegger. It's too bad he didn't get in.

A McClintock candidacy for President may be worthwhile, as a means of getting him the Vice-Presidential nomination on the Rand Paul or Ted Cruz ticket. It probably wouldn't be a problem for a Congressman to run in the second spot, giving him credibility for a serious Presidential run in the future.

Draft McClintock

The powers that be will never tolerate a McClintock candidacy. When he was running in the recall election to replace Gray Davis he was constantly harassed by Sean Hannity to get out of the way for Schwarzenegger because he was "electable." Indeed he was and we know how well that turned out.