Chambliss, Isakson continue to talk out of both sides of their mouth; does anyone care?

Georgia’s representatives in the U.S. Senate, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, are again talking out of both sides of their mouth as they try to convince the electorate they are conservative stewards of the people’s money.

Both men are co-sponsoring the “Honest Expenditure Limitation Program (HELP) Act of 2010.” As Chambliss notes in his press release extolling his virtuous beliefs, “Balancing the federal budget is an obligation that those of us in Washington owe to future generations of Americans, and this legislation takes immediate steps to stop out-of-control federal spending.” Isakson parrots this line in his own press release, noting, “Congress should not continue on the path of saddling our children and grandchildren with insurmountable debt – it’s just wrong.” So, what does the bill do?

Specifically, the proposal would freeze discretionary spending at fiscal year 2008 levels for all appropriations, except those for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Veterans Administration, and national security functions of the Department of Energy.

Bold talk, to be sure! What a dramatic move on their part! And when would this legislation, as sponsored by Chambliss and Isakson, to curb spending be fully in effect? 2015.

Five. Years. From. Now. In a word: pathetic.

The problem that spenders like Isakson and Chambliss continue to avoid from inside the cocoon that is the Beltway, is spending is out of control now and has been for many, many years under their watch. And waiting until 2015 is too long.

Make no mistake, this is not a complaint that the sky began to fall on January 20, 2009. This is a problem that has been growing for years under multiple administrations. For the big game about fiscal responsibility talked by Chambliss and Isakson, the publically held national debt, adjusted for inflation, grew by almost two trillion dollars during the last ten years. And who was at the helm in the U.S. Senate during that period? Why, our professed recent converts to the Church of Responsible Living.

Even before President Obama took office last year, Federal spending per household had increased almost $3,500.00 in the during the last administration. And, again, who was there with nary a complaint? You betcha: our men from Georgia.

Since President Obama has taken office, and the situation has dramatically deteriorated with his profligate spending now unleashed on the Republic, suddenly these alleged Republicans feel that Tough Action™ is necessary.

But where were they when unanimous consent was requested on the floor of the Senate to push through $10,000,000,000.00 of tax dollars just a few days ago and Senator Jim Bunning raised an objection? Sitting on their hands. After Bunning lifted his objection and the vote on spending the $10,000,000,000.00 was taken, who was front and center to make sure your tax dollars were promptly spent? See the roll call for yourself…both Chambliss and Isakson voted to keep the gravy train running.

And Chambliss even supports those who, like him, also just love the gravy train. People like Governor Charlie Crist in his neighboring state of Florida. Indeed, Chambliss will be helping out his good buddy next week by hosting a fundraiser for Crist, a man who has had no regrets about accepting Federal stimulus dollars. When true fiscal conservative Marco Rubio comes calling, Chambliss seems to be curiously silent and non-supportive.

Meanwhile, as Isakson this week is trying to convince his electorate he isn’t a big spender, just a few months ago he was pushing his grand proposal to spend $16,200,000,000.00 to offer tax credits for home purchases. It was a program which had, based on the cost to date of the program, equated to roughly spending $43,000 tax dollars for each home purchase.

As I covered here and here, Isakson had absolutely no problem (since he is a realtor by trade) to help out his own industry. Now that’s passed, he suddenly has had his Come To Jesus moment and thinks that spending is simply too lavish, too outlandish, to continue.

And, By God, it must be frozen at 2008 levels…in 2015. Five. Years. From. Now.

Chambliss and Isakson are not solely to blame for getting us into this predicament. The blame should be equally shared. But they are endemic of the problem in the Republican Party where words are seen in the highest echelons to be enough and that actual deeds can be thrown to the side.

Responsible spending is not a trendy codeword or a theme for a campaign. It is a way of life and must be demonstrated daily in each and every individual vote regarding Federal spending in the U.S. Senate. For Chambliss and Isakson, their actions are how they will be judged. Thus far, they are failing miserably.

The question we are left with: does anyone care?

Crossposted to


  1. Jessica J says:

    They’re both worthless. When will the people of Georgia WAKE UP and realize it? Both of these old men have been in D.C. too long. It’s time for fresh faces, fresh ideas and younger minds.

    • Jessica J says:

      No I will not run for one of the seats but I will actively and financially support someone who I believe is qualifed for the seats.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    Yet no one is running against Isakson, who knows full well that we are broke and peddling worthless IOU’s but still wants to give “free money” to people buying houses.

  3. IW says:

    Great article Pete!

    As to your question “does anyone care”? They do! Those at the Jackson GOP meeting this morning hammered Isakson fairly hard on his lack of historical conservative principles. It was spoken very plainly and clearly to Senator Isakson that we expect less “gangbanging” (i.e. because of his propensity for joining numerous “gangs of…”) and more conservative action from him. His hypocrisy in all of the sudden becoming “conservative” was brought up as well… and how his prior record of helping to author No Child Left Behind, Amnesty, and the ill-fated Energy bill did not afford his constituents much faith in him to not change positions again when politically expedient.

    Of course no one believes that he’s truly changed, so the question becomes will someone run against him? If there was ever a time to beat an incumbent Senator in a primary, this is it! Another time like this will not come soon… so if there is anyone out there considering a run at him, I sincerely hope that they throw their hat in the ring… they would have a lot of support!

  4. Three Jack says:

    who wants to make almost $200K per year, eat at the best dc restaurants, play golf on private courses and say no to big government? run against johnny and you will win. anybody. just announce.

    chambliss ran with no opposition…so many could have beaten him. is the gop really going to miss yet another opportunity to replace a go along to get along bureaucrat?

    • KingWulfgar says:

      I’ll do it. I’ll even sign on to Adam Kokesh’s commitment to donate any of the salary over the national median income to charity.

      Unfortunately, I have no name recognition and no money. 🙂

  5. ByteMe says:

    Data without proper context. It’s a paradigm that Pete plays often.

    Try digging into the data behind the pretty graphs. You’ll see that — other than health care reform (estimates are $100B per year over 10 years) — Obama hasn’t proposed ANY serious spending packages. The Stimulus is half-gone already. TARP is costing less than HALF the expected amount.

    So how does the debt number grow so large you might wonder if you actually thought about it?

    In a nutshell, lack of revenue. Persistently high unemployment means fewer people will pay taxes. And cutting all the discretionary spending to $0 still leaves a deficit to be financed. You can’t cut taxes and spending to get out of this hole, that’s just digging it deeper (because when you cut spending, you increase the unemployed pool, which already has 6 people for every 1 job opening).

    Most of you already know I think Saxby is what I have to scrape off the bottom of my shoe after walking in the yard and that I think Isakson is probably least worst of what Georgia Republicans have to offer, but I won’t blame them entirely for where we are. They’re just symptoms of the problem.

    I blame the noisy stupid people who keep claiming incorrectly that further tax and spending cuts are needed to balance the budget. Saxby and Isakson are just responding to them like good little puppies.

    • B Balz says:

      Let’s not forget that there are fewer worker bees paying taxes.

      If my GOP reps could figure out a way to allow for work permits and perhaps a long, taxpaying road to citizenship for illegal aliens, we would have more workers.

      Instead of building fences along the border we should be registering to vote and taxing the illegals. If a progressive GOP lead this effort, it would grow new GOP voters to support them.

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