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Governing By Spending Crisis

White Flag Congress
Our friend Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued a quick statement in response to the news that Congress will consider a continuing resolution that would fund government through December 20:

“Instead of giving Democrats leverage to insert their Christmas wish-list while threatening a government shutdown during the holidays, President Trump should issue a veto threat against any spending deal that ends in December and gives Democrats leverage over end-of-year legislation and the impeachment proceedings. Congress should pass a clean continuing resolution that funds government several months into 2020 and protects taxpayers from the big-government Grinch.”

David McIntosh is, of course, right about how holding spending bills until the last possible minute empowers Washington Big Spenders, but it is worth noting that the Grinch only tried to steal Christmas once, the Washington establishment’s holiday shutdown crisis has become a yearly event.

Back in 2014, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida sent out a newsletter that neatly summed-up why many Americans are losing faith in their government.

Rubio said, whether it’s a "cliff," a "ceiling" or a "sequester," Washington politicians in both parties are guilty of using manufactured crises to force through bad legislation, often with loads of pork-barrel spending hidden inside the bills.

As Rubio noted, back then it was the 2:00 a.m. New Year’s Day “fiscal cliff” deal, that supposedly was the only way to keep taxes from going up on millions of Americans. But what was little-reported was that the deal also included huge tax breaks for special interests.

The bill included up to $480 million in aid for rum production, a $2,500 tax break for individuals purchasing certain electric scooters, $430 billion in tax breaks for Hollywood productions filmed in America, a $40 billion tax cut for NASCAR, and $12.2 billion in tax credits for renewable energy projects. And that’s just to name a few.

Rubio voted no on the "fiscal cliff” deal and was naturally excoriated by the Left and by big business for doing so.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Kate Davidson reported back in September, the U.S. budget gap widened to more than $1 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, the first-time year-to-date deficits have topped that amount in seven years.

The unconstrained spending in which Congress has engaged now requires the government to borrow a quarter for every dollar the government spends. Despite the thriving economy and record tax collections the budget deficit has been rising to $1 trillion levels — back where it was during the first two years of the Obama presidency.

Every year since Donald Trump was elected the Capitol Hill “leadership” creates a budget by crisis situation in which the government is threatened with a shutdown, so unless President Trump signs a vast new spending bill the government will shut down – and every time this happens President Trump says this is the last time he’s signing such a bill.

Except it isn’t, because he has promptly caved when the next phony budget crisis rolls around.

Congress has until Nov. 21 to prevent the second shutdown of the year after a 35-day partial closure that ended in February. They’re eyeing another stopgap bill to give appropriators more time, sources told The Hill on Monday, with a potential end date between Dec. 13 and Dec. 20 – which also happens to be about the same time Democrats want to vote on impeaching the President.

What’s more House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seem to have forgotten that the 2009 – 2010 Tea Party wave election was in some sense all about spending – not just the priorities, e.g. mortgage bailouts and Obamacare, but also the vast amount of the deficit during the first two years of Obama’s first term, when Democrats controlled Congress.

That mind-set – caring more about the next election than the next generation – is exactly what prompted the Tea Party Movement that was the precursor to the Trump Movement.

Yes, the congressional addiction to spending is part of the problem, but the real problem is the principle-free “leadership” of establishment Republicans like Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell.

As long as the present cast of establishment Republican business-as-usual characters are running the show on Capitol Hill the solution to the next crisis will always be a short-term midnight deal with billions in pork and the total avoidance of our real fiscal problems.

The voters who want fiscal responsibility who powered the Tea Party Wave and the Trump Movement haven’t gone away or been converted into Keynesian spendthrifts. While they may grudgingly support President Trump in 2020 against the Far-Left progressive candidate the Democrats are likely to field, the congressional Republicans who think they can spend their way to reelection will face the wrath of those voters.

We urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Representative and Senators (the toll-free Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044), tell your Representative and Senators that you will no longer countenance trillion-dollar deficits and that your vote in the 2020 election depends on their vote against more spending and for fiscal responsibility.

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