As is usually the case, the Senate is tied up in knots. Why? The people in charge want it that way. Otherwise, they would change it.

So what is going on?

Sen. Rand Paul holds up Senate vote on budget package as shutdown looms (foxnews.com)

A second government shutdown in less than an month appeared increasingly likely Thursday evening, as a last-minute maneuver by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delayed consideration of a bipartisan budget package to keep the government open past midnight.

Paul repeatedly objected to a quick vote on the deal struck by his fellow Kentucky Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Paul said he was asking for a recorded vote on reversing the bill’s spending increases. That effort could delay a final Senate vote until 1 a.m. Friday, past the deadline for keeping the government open. (continue here)

Frankly, I don’t like government shutdowns. They just waste money. Who wants to do business with an outfit that can’t get its act together? No one! So government contractors charge the government more because of such headaches.

What is in that budget package? Why is Senator Rand Paul opposing it?

Congress is set to open the door to a gargantuan budget deal — here’s what’s in it (businessinsider.com)

  • Senate leaders from both parties on Wednesday agreed to a massive two-year budget deal.
  • The deal would increase funding for federal defense and nondefense programs by $296 billion over the next two years.
  • The legislation also includes changes to Medicare, the tax code, and more.
  • While it appears to have enough support in the Senate, the House may prove dicier.

Congress is expected to vote Thursday on a massive bipartisan budget deal to increase funding for government programs by hundreds of billions of dollars while averting another shutdown.

The deal, announced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, would bump spending for both defense and nondefense programs while also fulfilling various policy goals from both sides of the aisle.

The deal would set the budget caps for the next two years and extend the current level of funding through March 23, giving congressional appropriators enough time to hash out the details of where exactly the money will go.

With that in mind, here’s what’s in the legislation:

  • Extends current level of federal funding through March 23.
  • Lifts the statutory budget caps for defense and nondefense spending by a combined $296 billion over the next two years.
    • The defense cap would increase to $629 billion for fiscal 2018 and $647 billion for fiscal 2019 — a total of $165 billion over the existing cap.
    • The nondefense cap would increase to $579 billion for fiscal 2018 and $597 billion for fiscal 2019 — a total of $131 billion over the existing cap.
  • Suspends the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019. (continued here)

Whenever we need to increase defense spending, Liberal Democrats start demanding an increase in nondefense spending. They got to fund those government employee unions, of course.

So I sent an email to my congressmen, Rob Wittman (VA-01). Here is what I said.

I don’t like what appears to be a budget busting deal coming out of the Senate. I understand that the tax cut is supposed to stimulate the economy. I also understand the military needs some money, but you guys need to cut spending some place and not just in the out years. Cut spending now, not tomorrow.

When Congress spends money it does not have, that inflates the currency and it diverts economic activity from the private sector, harming growth. The stock market hates excessive government spending, and the country does not benefit from so much spending.

You guys are supposed to live within a budget, just like everyone else. You guys need to set priorities for how you want to spend our nation’s money. That is your primary job, and you are not doing it.

You want to know how I rate Congress’ performance, your performance? Not good!

When and if you vote on this massive two-year budget deal, please be prepared to explain how you expect that deal will lead to a balanced budget in the near future. Otherwise, please vote against the bill.

Anyone who reads my blog can figure out I abhor Federal Government spending on health, education, and welfare programs. I believe that spending on these programs, because Congress uses that money to buy our votes, is reckless. Nevertheless, I don’t see how Wittman would stop such spending, and I don’t think he wants to do so. Still, if he wants me to believe he is a Conservative, I expect him to try to balance the budget. Succeed? Until we vote out more of the rascals, that won’t happen. At this point, I just want him to participate in the battles. To be someone we can take seriously as an advocate for reduced spending and a balanced budget.

What do I think of Senator Rand Paul? He may not be winning, but he is at least fighting the good fight.

If we want to balance the budget, we have to vote for people who are serious about it, people who will stick their necks out and fight the leadership in their parties. If your congressman, Democrat or Republican just thinks his job is to spend and spend and spend, please vote him or her out.

And don’t ignore the nomination process, especially if you are Republican. Unless we nominate good candidates, we will be stuck with those who ain’t.

14 thoughts on “A GOOD DEAL?

  1. The problem is that you think facts belong only to one tribe. The reality is that deficits only really matter to the political party that is out of power at the time. The mostly likely factor causing the fact that modern Democratic presidents do better on the deficit is that out-of-power Republicans make those Democrats do better. When Republicans are in power, they unfortunately lose their moral outrage (and thus their enthusiasm) for checking deficit spending.

    The beauty of the two party system is that one political party checks the worst and most corrupt tendencies of the other party. We are in a different world lately, however.

    Both political parties have gone beyond just providing the check on a loyal opposition to completely denying the moral legitimacy of the opposition party. (I don’t want to draw a false equivalency here, however, because I believe one Party is more guilty than the other of this). When partisans believe that their opposition is evil just because they disagree on policy matters, then any means to destroy that evil is sacralized and what would otherwise be obvious hypocrisy is excused, completely ignored or magically projected onto the other party.


    1. @tsalmon

      You say you are not the member of some tribe?

      We are not supposed to hate the people. We condemn sin. Jesus took our sins upon Himself. He crucified our sins upon that cross that we might live.

      Therefore, out of love for Jesus, Christians strive to avoid sin. When either Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents and so forth advocate sinful policies, we should condemn the policies.

      Borrowing money we don’t need to borrow is so highly irresponsible it is sinful. When our government does it, we borrow on the earnings of future generations, our own children. Unless we are at war (the alternative is slavery), there is no good excuse for that.


      1. Just stating a fact: If you don’t like deficits, elect a Democratic President. The last president to basically balance the budget was Clinton. Under President Obama, the deficit was dropping. Under Republican Presidents back to Reagan, deficits explode. But thanks for the nice sermon on the obvious anyway.😇

        Sounds like your choice is between “tax and spend” Democrats and “don’t tax and spend anyway” Repubicans. Oh I forgot. No need to worry about future generations. Republicans can spend like drunk sailors – tax cuts will pay for everything. 🙄


        1. BTW, while we are lecturing each other on the obvious, in case you haven’t noticed we’ve been at war for almost two decades. Under Republican leadership, we just don’t pay for them anymore.


  2. I believe Paul has a valid concern of voting on a 700 page Bill without spending any time reading it.

    Seems a party leader has assumed a new title, “Party King” in my opinion

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    PS Perhaps it may be a little bit wiser and reasonable to vote for another short term Bill to allow time to read and debate the budget issues on the floors is what should be done,, instead of voting for an short term extension and then not doing anything until the day before the extension expires?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One issue that bugs me as a Christian is the DACA issue. Now, granted I don’t know all the details but it seems to me that 20 years olds that were brought over here at young ages, who learned the language—May only know one language—who only know his country, are American. They should remain in the country where they have contributed to society.

    Again, I don’t know if the Democrats are trying to attach other things such as amnesty for their parents or those who have recently entered the country, but some deal should be made to make folks that are young adults who lived the majority of their young lives in America as permanent Americans.


    1. The basic problem is that our leaders have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted on this issue. The so-called DREAMERS should not even be here. Instead of sending them home, they encouraged them to come. Many were deliberately brought into our nation and united with the illegal immigrant parents at government expense. When our leaders cannot protect our borders from children, that is clearly because they don’t want to protect our borders.

      We cannot afford both open borders and a welfare state. Given human nature, we know poor, ignorant immigrants, when they acquire the right to vote, will vote themselves other people’s money. Look where they came from. If they knew how to make a republic work, they would not be coming here. As it is, even though we are supposed to better educated, our government working about as well as an old car that has not received proper maintenance.

      Before we give an inch on the so-called DREAMERS, we need border security solutions that are working. If we have to start sending the DACA “kids” (which they ain’t back to their home countries, so be it. In spite of all the media hype, there is little reason to believe the vast majority will not do just fine. Of course, our trustworthy news media will only see problems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They may be more successful if they know the language, but My family came from both Ireland and Germany and I went to Ireland the adjustment would obviously be quick because they speak English there. However, if I went to Germany, I may not be so successful or success would take a long time.

        I do grant that there are many who are bilingual, but after I do know many first generation Mexican Americans who only speak English fluidly and the next generation after that speaks little to none.

        All of my concerns come strictly from a human perspective, I’m looking at my experience with those people and want their dignity to be respected even if their parents committed crimes. Again, no one should be guilty of crimes of a previous generation. So, no I don’t follow the media on this topic, I can’t trust the media on it, I don’t follow
        Politicians because I can’t trust them but what about the human perspective?


        1. Philip

          Government is a blunt instrument. It does not have the capacity to treat all of us a unique individual with unique needs. Yet that is exactly what we want it to do. So it is that we try to create governmental systems that can deal effectively with millions of people who all have different needs and problems, but we cannot.

          When government “helps” people, all it usually accomplishes (at best) is to make life a little easier for people who already had the capacity to help themselves or the help of friends and relatives. Almost everyone else eventually falls through one of the cracks in the system.

          Our leaders know this. They are not ignorant of what they are doing. So they make promises they cannot keep knowing what results will be produced.

          If we give them the amnesty they want, we will increase the voting constituency for the welfare state. Therefore, if we don’t get immigration under control, we have no choice except to send the so-called DACA kids home. We need to think about our own kids.


          1. These kids won’t necessarily be a voting bloc of a welfare state, if they are granted permanent residence, they will certainly always remember culturally who attempted to prevent their stay much the same reason I have Catholic family members who vote democrats who stand against their faith in the current modern political sphere.

            The DACA kids are a group of people—not individuals, a group that has lived most, sometimes 90- 99% of their life as an American. Culturally speaking, they are far more American than Mexican and Latin American. A group of cultural Americans, simply having no legal status because of something that was not their choice, why not consider them “our kids” ? Many of which come from Communist Latin American countries that victimized them, if we send them back, are we not complicit to those atrocities? At the very least, “washing our hands” of their situation?


          2. @Philip

            Few of these people are kids anymore.

            I appreciate your sympathy for these people, but we cannot help other countries if we wreck our own.

            There are two problems with your assertions. The first is that we don’t know how they will vote. The second, more important, is we don’t know who Congress will admit. In the past they gave more illegal immigrants amnesty than they said they would. Deliberately? Probably. In any event, lots of people who are in the country illegally may have trouble proving they qualify to be here.

            Keep in mind it is our own leaders I don’t trust. I believe these immigrants are just pawns to them. Also, think about what you said. You don’t like the countries these DACA kids came from. Then what is wrong with making certain they don’t bring the same troubles here. You are familiar with MS13, for example.


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