Week One: House Under Democrats

Well, I’m confused.  In Washington, DC today, under Democratic control for the first time in 12 years, the House passed rules to rein in pork-barrel spending and reinstitute pay as you go budget guidelines, but yet 152 Republicans voted against it. 

Now, yes, I’m still a Republican, but I’m not sure what to think of those that voted against reining in pork barrel spending and limiting deficit spending. 

Something isn’t right here.   

 

 

22 comments

  1. gatormathis says:

    What about that little “thingie” about all the governments spending had to be transparant and available to be viewed by all parties interested.

    Obama’s rule or something……

    what are they gonna do about that, as it could prove interesting.

    Some folks that have had their accounts heavily scrutinized, have gotten in much trouble.

    Then there are those who get a pass on their affairs, nobody really gets to know how much business they do with the different governments, which combined probably is a pretty hefty figure.
    Anually.

    For years.

    A lot of it, “nonbid”.

    Fabulous amounts, I figure.

    You just can’t never find out how much.

    Or even remotely how much.

    Or “near bout” how much.

    Or what all they did to get it.

    Or who all got it.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    Well, I guess there are 152 Republican Members that aren’t going to seek higher office. It’s going to be hard to explain voting against this bill since it passed with bipartisan support.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    Match the names of those 152 voting against pork spending constraint and pay-go rules with those who voted for that obscene $8 to $12 Trillion unfunded Medicare Drug Bill and you have those who should be chased from the U.S. Capital much in the manner that Christ drove the money-changers from HIS holy place.

  4. Jason Pye says:

    Flake voted against it. He was the one that went hardcore against earmarks in the last session.

    If Flake voted against it, something had to be up with ith.

  5. Erick says:

    Um, how about instead of reading the headlines that reflect Democratic spin, you actually look at the bills. The Dem PAYGO bill is pretty bad. The ethics bill isn’t too bad — the Pelosi bill is actually better than the Reid bill, but a good portion of it is a reiteration of the bill the GOP passed just four months ago.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    I’m not buying the spin Jason and Erick. I’m sorry, but 48 Republicans voted for this. It’s hard to call it a gimmick when it had that much bipartisan support. The former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee even voted for it.

    I also read the bill and while it’s not “perfect”, it’s better than nothing, which is what the status quo would have represented.

  7. Jason Pye says:

    Define bi-partisan. Does that actually mean a damn thing?

    Both Jeff Flake and Ron Paul voted against it, both have proven track records against pork and earmarks.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    48 Republicans voted for it…

    There was NO alternative, so you were either for it or against it.

    Sorry, but that’s just how it is on this one.

  9. Adam Fogle says:

    Bull,

    I’m reading through the text of H Res 6 – emphasis on Title IV – and I’m just not seeing what you’re so upset about. It was an obvious power play by the new leadership and it was quite effective.

    The “fiscal responsibility” (Title IV) portion stuck Republicans in a very difficult place. On the one hand, Title IV helps cut ridiculous and costly pork projects. Yet on the other, it is essentially a free pass to raise taxes.

    It was a very wise attempt to nail Republicans by forcing them to either vote against pork projects and for tax increases or for pork projects and against tax increases.

    And for the Democrats, it was a win/win. Either way a Republican voted, he/she was going to look bad.

    So before you go on a fiscal irresponsibility witch hunt of your fellow GOP, realize that Republicans were played – and played well – on H Res 6.

  10. IndyInjun says:

    It would seem that the GOP learned nothing and is headed toward another wipe-out in 2008. Congress is infested with GOPers who totally abandoned party principles and the ‘strategy’ seems to be to HOPE that the voters forget those GOP incumbents’ RECORDs.

    The thought process is “business as usual” in which party loyaltists will not even THINK of supporting a inside-the-party challenge to a GOP incumbent.

    IMHO, this is a mistake.

    Indies like me who have always supported the GOP bolted this time in selected races. The GOP cannot win without us.

    And if any of y’all think old Indy here is going to forget their betrayal, you got another ‘think’ coming.

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Since Flake and Paul voted against it, there was likely trickery afoot.

    The trouble is that the GOP put itself in this position by its mad spending habits of the last 6 years.

  12. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, Fogle and Jason, realize that perception is reality.

    I think it was pretty stupid to vote against something that is largely favored by the American public.

    What mouthpiece do the House Republicans have to change the perception?

    I’m sorry, but you both need to realize that the perception here is not good, regardless of what personal opinions you may have or however your pet Conservative Member may have voted or not.

    I look at it and I see that those who had tight races all voted for it!

    Bottom line, the result will be better for all of us…

  13. Jason Pye says:

    I’d rather vote with my principles than vote for something that is politically popular.

    Your “bottom line” isn’t reality. Sorry, you’re wrong.

  14. Adam Fogle says:

    Bull,

    You missed the crux of my statement.

    Democrats saw an opportunity here, and wisely, they took full advantage. Any Republican that voted for Title IV of H Res 6 can be “perceived” (your word) to be in favor of raising taxes.

    Any Republican that voted against Title IV of H Res 6 can be “perceived” to be (as you have continually pointed out) in favor of pork-barrel projects.

    The problem is not that 152 House Republicans “voted against something that is largely favored by the American public,” or that 48 House Republicans did the opposite.

    The problem is that 233 Democrats stuck 202 Republicans with a rules change resolution that would give voters an even worse “perception” of Republicans regardless of how they vote.

    Either way, Republicans look like idiots. And the Democratic leadership knew it.

    Had I been in their spot, I would have done the exact same thing. It was a brilliant move to split the GOP and place the minority in a lose/lose spot right off the bat.

    And it was quite unexpected and low-key.

  15. Bull Moose says:

    Fogle, thank you for understanding the point I was trying to make.

    Jason, I understand your point, but in this case, it’s a moot point.

  16. John Galt says:

    Erick and Jason are correct – please read the facts about “Paygo” before you comment on it. Paygo is nothing more that a ruse to hike tax rates. It may as well be called the “I love mom and apple pie Act,” because there ONLY TWO purposes behind proposing this bill. One, to enact a backdoor passage to tax hikes. Two, to make the GOP look bad for voting against it.

    This from the Jan. 5 Wall Street Journal:
    (Sorry for pasting the entire article, but access requires a paid password.)

    “Tax As You Go”
    January 5, 2007; Page A12
    Congressional Democrats are dashing out of the gates to establish their fiscal conservative credentials. And as early as today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will push through so-called “pay-as-you-go” budget rules for Congress. Keep an eye on your wallet.

    “Paygo,” as Washington insiders call it, sounds like a fiscally prudent budget practice: If government spends more on program A, it has to spend less money on program B, and thus budget deficits will be restrained. We’re all for that. But when Republicans proposed exactly that budget rule in recent years, House Democrats voted it down.

    Ms. Pelosi has something different in mind. Under her paygo plan, new entitlement programs and all new tax cuts would have to be offset by either cutbacks in other entitlement programs or tax increases. This version of paygo is a budget trapdoor, designed not to control expenditures but to make it easier to raise taxes while blocking future tax cuts.

    Supporters of paygo claim it will help restrain entitlement spending. It won’t. Paygo doesn’t apply to current entitlements that will grow automatically over the next several decades. Ms. Pelosi’s version of paygo applies only to new entitlements or changes in law that expand current programs. And on present trajectory, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps and the like are scheduled to increase federal spending to almost 38% of GDP by 2050, up from 21% today. Paygo won’t stop a dime of that increase. This may explain why one of the leading supporters of paygo is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal outfit that favors far more social spending.

    Paygo enthusiasts also claim that when these rules were in effect in the 1990s the budget deficit disappeared and by 2001 the budget recorded a $121 billion surplus. Sorry. The budget improvement in the late 1990s was a result of three events wholly unrelated to paygo: the initial spending restraint under the Republican Congress in 1995 and 1996 as part of their pledge to balance the budget; a huge reduction in military spending, totaling nearly 2% of GDP, over the decade; and rapid economic growth, which always causes a bounce in revenues. Paygo didn’t expire until 2002, but by the late-1990s politicians in both parties were already re-stoking the domestic spending fires.

    What paygo does restrain are tax cuts, by requiring that any tax cut be offset dollar-for-dollar with some entitlement reduction. Congressional budgeteers always overestimate the revenue losses from tax cuts, which under paygo would require onerous budget cuts to “pay for” the tax cuts. As a political matter, those spending cuts will never happen.

    First on the chopping block, therefore, would be the investment tax cuts of 2003 that are set to expire in 2010. Last year Democrat David Obey of Wisconsin, the new Appropriations Committee chairman and a prodigious spender, gave this strategy away when he urged paygo rules so he could enact new social spending and pay for it by canceling the Bush tax cuts for those who make more than $1 million.

    Never mind that, in the wake of those capital gains and dividend tax-rate cuts, federal revenues climbed by a record $550 billion over the past two fiscal years. Incidentally, thanks to the current economic expansion and the surge in tax revenues, the budget deficit has fallen by $165 billion in just two years — without paygo.

    Given all of this, it’s especially puzzling that even some conservatives seem tempted by paygo’s fiscal illusions. Our friends at the Heritage Foundation have of late become obsessed with future entitlement forecasts and have advised Ms. Pelosi to enact paygo rules to stop it. But Heritage notably did not insist that tax increases be excluded from any paygo rule. Had such logic prevailed in 1980 or 2003, it’s possible that neither the Reagan nor Bush tax cuts would ever have become law. As a political matter, paygo is about returning Republicans to their historical minority role as tax collectors for the welfare state.

    That’s not to say that new budget rules aren’t highly desirable. The line-item veto, a new Grace Commission to identify and eliminate the billions of dollars of waste and failed programs, and an automatic spending sequester if the budget rises above agreed baselines would all help to restore spending discipline. But it is precisely because these rules would restrain spending that they are not on the Democratic agenda.

    Paygo, by contrast, gives the appearance of spending discipline while making it all but impossible to let taxpayers keep more of their money. It should really be called “spend and tax as you go.”

  17. Bull Moose says:

    Everyone has an opinion… Middle America knows perception… And, in politics, perceptions are reality…

    Funny, had Republicans been more fiscally conservative Democrats wouldn’t be in the majority and we wouldn’t be having this debate on the details of “paygo”.

  18. SouthernConservativ says:

    My concern is the Dems denied Stan H. idea of keeping the super majority requirement for raising taxes that the GOP imposed prior. Now it appears tax hikes are on their way to us…..

    PS I used to be SothernConservative put lost the ol password and couldn’t retrieve it.

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