As the House prepares to vote on the Boehner plan this evening many Republicans and so-called fiscal conservatives have finally started to line up in support of the TARP-supporting Speaker’s plan. As of last night, the Speaker was unable to secure enough votes for passage so today the Republican establishment has been working overtime in order to bring enough votes over to their side. The establishment Republicans have thrown a bone to the tea partiers in Congress by adding a Balanced Budget Amendment requirement to the second scheduled debt ceiling increase six months from now. Under the Boehner plan as currently written, the debt ceiling will be raised before the August 2nd deadline (a short-term increase) in an amount that would result in the U.S. reaching the new debt ceiling limit again in six months, thus requiring another increase. During the next 6 months, the Congress will need to pass a balanced budget amendment by a two-thirds majority and then send the amendment to the states for ratification. If the Congress does not send a balanced budget amendment to the states during these next six months between debt ceiling increases then we will all be back in this same situation again at that point.
Any member of Congress who votes in support of the Boehner plan is a coward, a hypocrite, a liar, or a fool and I’ll tell you why. This plan does nothing to solve our country’s fiscal catastrophe beyond kicking the can down the road another six months. The plan is obfuscatory in its design so as to purposely hide from the public that it results in increases in spending, in increases in the debt, and guarantees another increase later this year. Let me be clear: this plan has no answers. This isn’t to say that the Reid plan or the “secret” Obama plan are better, in fact, they are much worse as they specifically call for revenue enhancers, i.e. tax increases as well as a full increase in the debt ceiling without a balanced budget amendment but remember one thing: the reason this country is on the verge of an inflationary default or an actual default is due to our elected leaders continually selling us out with bipartisan solutions that hurt every body in the long run rather than partisan solutions that might actually address the issues head on.
For all the tea party talk about wanting to cut spending and force a balanced budget amendment through the Congress without any additional taxes it didn’t take long for them to fall in line with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and John McCain. All it took was for the establishment to throw them a crumb of requiring a balanced budget amendment before a second debt ceiling increase. That may sound wonderful, our country avoids “default” and continues paying its bills while starting to reduce spending and before any more debt increases a BBA would have to be passed. At first glance, it sounds great but lets dig a little deeper because it is all phony. Under the Boehner plan, discretionary spending will increase very year from $1.043 trillion in 2012 to $1.234 trillion in 2021 (see attached chart). But what about the cuts that the Speaker promised? The cuts in his plan relate to the CBO baseline. The CBO baseline is for all intents and purposes a “guesstimate” of what future spending may be so the Speaker’s plan is basing cuts of an imaginary number without actually cutting anything in reality. It is a fraud that only slows the rise of federal spending without any actual guarantees of real, hard cuts.
The key to bringing in the Tea Party “hobbits“, as Big Government Republican John McCain referred to them as, or Tea Party “schizophrenics“, as Allen West calls them (with friends like these who needs enemies?), is enticing them to vote in favor by tying in the BBA requirement with Boehner’s fake spending cut plan that they allegedly would not support without it. What every member of the Tea Party in Congress or all the Tea Party organizations out there are forgetting to tell you is that the balanced budget amendment has ZERO percent chance of passing Congress within the next six months. Do you honestly believe that John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain can string together the support of two-thirds of Congress in order to pass the balanced budget amendment along to the states? Republicans currently have 55% (240 total) of the House seats and 47% (47 total) of the seats in the Senate. The BBA passing would require the Republicans to bring 47 Democrats across the aisle in the House and 19 Democrats in the Senate. I submit to you now that the balanced budget amendment at this point in time with the current breakdown of Congress has absolutely no chance of passing and making it to the states for potential ratification. Ron Paul, as keen as ever, was able to identify this deception coming from a mile away, he stated,
Default is coming. The only argument that’s going on now is how to default, not send the checks out or just print the money. In all countries our size, they always print the money. They’re going to raise the debt limit, and then they’re going to print the money, and then they’ll default by inflation, and that’s much more dangerous than facing up to the facts of what’s happening today.”
So, what will the result be if the Boehner plan miraculously passes the House and Senate and is signed by the President? A guaranteed debt ceiling increase tied to a plan with fake spending cuts. And if the Boehner plan as written does not get through the Senate? Surely we can expect to see compromise legislation passed by the big government elements of the Republican and Democratic parties that eliminates the phony balanced budget amendment requirement and leaves the debt ceiling increases tied to nothing. The Tea Party is being bought off with a hoax.