About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Boehner Is Playing A Dangerous (And Stupid?) Game

As all Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and Tea Party patriots know, Harry Reid, the silver-tongued devil from Nevada and the Majority Leader in the Senate, is one of the biggest scoundrels ever to serve in Washington.

One of Reid's most devious ploys is his refusal to bring forward and pass a budget resolution, which is required by the Congressional Budget Act. You see, Harry thinks he's above the law.

But there's more to it than that. Harry's refusal to pass a formal budget resolution forces both houses of the legislature to pass periodically Continuing Resolutions authorizing continued government spending. The kicker is that Boehner and his House Republicans are in charge of negotiating not only what is in these Continuing Resolutions but also for how long they are in force. If no Continuing Resolution is passed, the government shuts down until one passes.

This makes Harry Reid smile like a Cheshire cat. From Reid's prospective he and his fellow Democrats win either way. If the Republicans do not negotiate and the government shuts down, Reid gets to demagog those "evil" and "heartless" Republicans who would callously put government employees (and union members) out of work, not to mention delay government welfare and subsidy checks going out in the mail.

Boehner and friends don't want that kind of publicity. Thus, he really doesn't have the heart to draw a line in the sand and close down the government. Reid knows this.

So what do the Democrats do? Reid and company load up these periodic Continuing Resolutions with huge amounts of additional, increased spending and force Boehner to negotiate. Boehner, of course, has no leverage at all so he not only inevitably winds up passing another Continuing Resolution, but he also is forced to "eat" many additional billions in increased spending. Reid wins either way!

Some game, huh folks?

It gets worse.

Friday Breitbart Big Government reported this: Congress Close to Passing 6-Month Continuing Resolution. In essence what the article says is Boehner is getting ready to cave again and allow Reid to win again.

It gets worse.

According to the article "the spending cap that will most likely be agreed upon would be $15 billion more than what was allowed in the budget the House passed, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)."

Did you get that, kiddies? The Dems get $15-billion in increased spending without paying a political price for it because Boehner will have agreed to it! Why would Boehner agree to it? The article explains that too:
Conservative Republicans want a six-month CR because they are banking on getting more Republicans in Congress after the November elections, giving them more numbers in passing a more fiscally conservative budget in 2013.  In the best-case scenario, Republicans would be negotiating in 2013 with a Republican Senate, House, and President.
In other words, Boehner is playing an enormous game of political chicken. He's willing to give up a little spending now in order to cut spending by a whopping amount once his Republicans sweep the Democrats in November.

But what if the Republicans don't sweep in November. Well, then we've got four more years of Boehner's giving in to three or sixth month Continuing Resolutions and Reid's surreptitious budget increases.

But what if the Republicans do not agree to a six month Continuing Resolution this time? What if they insist on a three month resolution? Well, then it's Katy bar the door even if the Republicans win. Breitbart explains:
Other Republicans want a three-month CR, but this worries many conservatives who fear that defeated lawmakers and a potentially defeated President Barack Obama would drastically increase spending -- literally having nothing to lose -- if another round of budget negotiations occurs during the lame duck session of Congress. 

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Are you beginning to see the words "worry" and "fear" cropping up way too often in descriptions of Republicans and "conservatives?"

Here's an alternative that will really give the Republicans and "conservatives" in the House and Senate gastronomic upset. What if Boehner and friends draw the line in the sand now? What if they refuse to pass a Continuing Resolution and allow the government to shut down October 1st, a month before the election?

This option, of course, would require Republicans and "conservatives" in the House and Senate to explain and defend their belief in small government and decreased spending. It would require them to stand on the principle of the necessity for following the law which requires Reid to pass a budget resolution. It would require Republicans and "conservatives" to stick by their guns and insist on no surreptitious budget increases and argue for large and significant budget cuts -- including cutting out the funding for implementation of the ObamaCare regulation that "requires virtually all health care plans to cover, without cost-sharing, sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs." This, by the way, is the regulation that has Catholics up in arms and eager to vote Republican in November.

I'm thinking this is too tall an order for Boehner and company because they are unable to explain and defend their belief in conservative political philosophy because they really don't believe in it.

On the other hand, it may well be that Boehner and his "conservative" Republicans just don't have the cojones for such a fight before the election. But if that's true, it begs another question.

Will they have what it takes to fight this battle after the election, even if the Republicans sweep?

At this point, I doubt it. After all, the election might be close and that would fill Boehner with a whole bunch more worry and fear.


LD Jackson said...

This all goes back to what we were saying earlier. The Democrats are always one step ahead of the Republicans, especially when it comes to public relations and how the public perceives what is going on in Congress. The term "flailing around in the wind" seems to apply directly to the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Ah, my friend, you do have a good handle on the situation. If Boehner & Company had any cajones they would have forced the issue last year. They will take the cowardly route and peobably win in November. Romney will do some things that should fire up the economy and jobs will pick up and people will forget about the need to seriously down size the federal government and the counyry look like it is doing okay until it AIN'T! Me, I'd rather face the tuff problems now; but that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Sherman Broder said...

Right, Larry, I think the "flailing around" is due to a lack of principle and commitment.

Jim, I sincerely hope you're wrong, but what you say is most probable. The truth is there is always another election for these guys less than two years away.

Remember Bachmann's demand early last year that Boehner use the CR to "de-fund ObamaCare?" That option looks pretty good now in light of the SCOTUS decision.

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