Sequestration and the Future of the GOP

Less than two days to go before the sequestration of $85 billion for fiscal year 2012-2013 kicks in and the weak-kneed Republicans are struggling to find a compromise that gives the President another victory. They fear another loss in public perception of their management of the American economy. This demonstrates on many levels why last November’s election gave split results.

Arguments from moderate Democrats and Republicans now emanate suggesting the need for flexibility in making these cuts. They want to give the President the authority to adjust these cuts. The President has continuously used Executive Orders to accomplish political aims beyond the intent of the Constitutional framers. Yet, curiously, he refuses to use that power in this case. This can only mean that he does not want to improve the situation. Maximal pain gives him the edge in growing the government and increasing spending despite the lack of revenue. Previously, he had to present the cuts that would result under this legislation; these could have been massaged for the benefit of the public, yet he chose to make them draconian.

In the end, he hopes to eliminate the GOP majority in the House in 2014, which would free him from lame-duck status for the last two years of his term. This is another issue given to him to demagogue. Why are we spending $2 billion in the Transportation Department to send employees to training conventions? Could this be more important than adequate numbers of traffic controllers? Does anyone expect legal challenges in this regard? So much for the argument he made on Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano claimed that we will have less safe borders due to these cuts. They have threatened to release 10,000 illegal aliens held by ICE in Arizona due to lack of beds and manpower. This is unfortunate since these aliens have committed crimes necessitating the incarceration. Yet, the Department has started releasing some criminals ahead of the Sequester. Again, maximal pain and political punishment are meted out for a state that has opposed the President.

The Sequester has been delayed for two months which was to give both parties time to find a more reasonable and intelligent way to make the cuts to the growth in spending. Therefore, the real cuts will be about $68 billion. The Sequester was intended to be too onerous to ever occur. Yet, we are again at the last minute scarring the public. Never fail to use a crisis to get what you want. The President managed to take a rather expensive golfing trip only a week ago. No urgency then to sit down with the Congress.

The idea for this Sequester originated in the White House according to Bob Woodward. The President denied this during the election, but finally the White House Press Secretary admitted this fact. Why have the Republicans not constantly mentioned it and used it against the President as a flip-flop? The public relations disaster for the GOP is of their making. The general press will certainly support the President, but the GOP must adjust to this by creating new outlets for information

The total being saved for the entire year is less than the amount the Federal government borrows in one month to maintain the budgetary debt. This is the most important argument that the Republicans can make on the national level to gain back the White House. It robs our future generation’s wealth and threatens to bankrupt our nation. This is enough reason to make some cuts to spending. Weakened politicians see the polls holding them at fault for the Sequester, but the President ultimately will pay a price for lost jobs and weak economy.

Some Republicans are now calling for more taxes and loophole reductions. Can the Republican base ever trust these leaders if they falter on this issue. Some worry that giving the President more flexibility increases his power. Yet, the lack of an annual budget hides his already increased power through continuing resolutions. The President will never have enough taxes in place to satisfy his spending desires. Therefore, the budgetary gap will never be closed.

The national debt now approaches $17 trillion. Together with unfunded governmental liabilities at the state and federal levels, there is in excess of $70 trillion in future liabilities. There is insufficient money in the entire world to guarantee this debt. This Sequester does not reduce spending, but reduce the rate of growth. This fight will determine whether sanity ever returns to our national priorities.

On the political level, a loss for the President will embolden the opposition. This will strengthen them when they battle over the debt ceiling authorization in May. Recently, it was recognized by the CBO that over $100 billion in payments was made to people in error last year alone. This exceeds the amount of the Sequester. The federal spending has doubled since 2000. At this rate, we cannot hope to achieve a balanced budget.

The President has gotten Democrats to call for a “balanced approach” to the effort to reduce our federal budget deficit. Poll testing show this resonates with the public. It is time for the GOP to provide a definition for this term that truly is balanced. The future of the GOP as a dominant party requires this realignment. The President uses “fairness” as the mantra, but what is fair about robbing from your children and grandchildren?

Our capitalistic system will fall if private banking capital is crowded out by federal borrowing. This is the aim of our President: To weaken the system that fuels the private sector, thereby strengthening the government sector in our economy. He is already redefining the conception of “socialism” by growing the government influence over businesses rather than by direct ownership of those businesses. The regulatory control over health insurance and the banking system demonstrates this effort. Because the GOP and Mitt Romney did not make this the focus of the campaign, many stayed home and did not vote. Social issues are important, but this is the essential divide between the two national parties.

President Obama Is The Same Person That We Elected in 2008

This article was originally written during February 2011 while the media was claiming that the President was mainstream.

On a daily basis much of the media tells us that the President is moving toward the political center. They feel he is emulating President Clinton and will triangulate. This is quite perplexing to the outside observer since they are different personalities. President Clinton had no ideological compass, while President Obama clearly holds strong progressive views. Perhaps the most striking comment made by the President on Sunday during his interview with Bill O’Reilly was his refusal to concede a move toward the center in recent months. He stated that he is the same person that the nation elected two years ago. This reiterates the statement made by Valerie Jarrett recently. So what is going on? The President has correctly stated the situation. Will the press stop trying the help him get re-elected by putting the most favorable light on his actions?
President Clinton held no true ideology, while being a liberal. Obama is a socialist and is trying to do a head fake as commonly used in basketball. A look at many issues reveals his concern for social justice and economic reform. His programs are not capitalist in orientation. While he claims an interest in small business protection and encouragement, the policies demonstrate antagonism. How can you share the wealth without taking it from those with it?
Obama rushed to pass the Stimulus Plan in March of 2009. He rushed to get the Health Care Reform bill to Congress. The Congress used questionable methods to pass the reconciled legislation in April 2010. He had no trouble with the procedures and signed the legislation. The President insisted on rushing the Nuclear Reduction Treaty with Russia through the Senate during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress. The President in conjunction with the overwhelmingly liberal and large Democratic majority Congress succeeded in passing Investment and Banking Reform legislation. The large number of new regulations continues the progressive effort to control the business sector.
The President is a master of the head fake. He constantly spins the mid-term election results as a vindication of the need for health care reform with cost control and availability despite pre-existing conditions. But this is not the lesson of the November 2010 elections. Instead, the change in direction demonstrates the electorate’s disapproval of the policies undertaken by the President and the Congress. Nobody can say for certain which policy is at fault, but the lack of job growth, soaring budgetary deficits and less certain future must be considered. The President is the same liberal/socialist who began his career as a community organizer. The political reality of the mid-term elections has forced his hand and style. As a result, the Bush era tax cuts were extended. However, the President negotiated a reduction in Social Security withholding taxes for the employee. This will not help in creating any jobs, since it is not a reduction for the employer. This is his version of the “rope-a-dope” in which he accomplished an increase in spending while transferring income or redistribution of wealth.
The left, though some may challenge him in a primary, has no other option in 2012. The President has sought to remake the Democratic coalition. The primary support comes from the unions and government workers. Seniors have traditionally supported the Democrats due to Social Security and Medicare. However, senior support of Democrats has waned in the past elections as other policies have moved too far to the left for their tastes. As a result, the President has not been a strong supporter of the elderly. Hence, the Social Security and Medicare have not gotten the increases in funding usually supported by Democrats. The President allowed a sacrifice of funding for Medicare to ensure adequate funds for the health care reform bill. Obama did not push for an increase in Social Security funding for inflation. This transfer of money toward the youth, immigrants, and uninsured may derive from the President’s desire for social justice, but also seeks new potential voters. A desire for a comprehensive immigration reform is an attempt to court Hispanic voters.
The President reaches out in public, as he did at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce speech, but there are no changes in policy. In the speech the President offered to reduce business regulations, but failed to mention the great number his legislation added. Obama promised to “share the wealth” in 2008, but how does this create jobs? It does not. Any transfer of wealth from individuals will necessarily cost jobs, but that is the progressive approach to government. In one week the administration has unveiled several more programs aimed at government growth. On Tuesday a program to bail out states that borrowed money for unemployment insurance payments was proposed. This increase in costs for employers will not result in more private sector jobs. On Wednesday, the Vice President unveiled a program to spend $53 billion to expand rail service. Again, government solutions are offered rather than private sector ones. Our President is correct that he has not changed. Is this not socialism?
Members of the TSA are seeking unionization. The administration is behind this effort. Again, the policies are supportive of organized labor. The administration still wants to see the union “card check” legislation passed. The President still wants to see the petroleum industry limited. The EPA is still considering regulating the carbon-emitting industries. The administration has not obeyed the federal court ruling concerning the moratorium on deep water drilling. The President has chosen to ignore the rulings by federal judges against the health care reform bill. He has offered a small correction by eliminating the tax 1099 reporting requirement. This is hardly compromise.
A willing group of legislators may see a move toward the center, but this is a mistake. Watch the actions of the administration and do not let the words fool you. The President has offered a budgetary spending reduction of $600 billion over ten years, but is short on specifics. The only move toward the center can be found in style. The President is the same person the country elected two years ago. Believe him!