Congress either budgets by keeping revenues and expenses equal or Congress swindles.
Those are the two options available to Washington’s politicians.
We can count on one hand the number of politicians of either party that consistently vote against spending bills violating the principle of authorizing only what a taxpayer can afford. Meaning Congress is 98.44% pure, a pack of swindlers: those who promise much more than they can deliver.
And Congress has been a pack of swindlers for a very long time, not having passed a balanced budget for a very long time. True, both houses of congress in 2015 passed the “First Budget in Six Years.” At the time they claimed the trajectory of the first and succeeding budgets would result in a balanced budget within ten years; all of the budgets intended to be non-binding budgets, whatever that means.
Politicians that swindle voters in one manner have little reason not to swindle them in other ways also. Take Senator Rob Portman of Ohio as an example. His reputation? He’s an expert on budgeting. He gained that reputation while serving as W’s White House Budget Director. Presently in congress none of his budgeting prowess or hawk-like determination is evident. After all, anyone, including Portman, that has voted for a single continuing resolution must know he has thrown budgeting, wholesale, under the bus.
Recalling swindlers are those who promise much more than they can deliver, it will be difficult for many to forgive Portman for his vote Wednesday, along with six other senators, against Rand Paul’s Obamacare “clean repeal” bill. In 2015, by his vote to repeal Obamacare in a nearly identical bill, he clinched with Ohio voters his vow to repeal Obamacare; if it should ever occur Republicans owned both houses and the presidency. Payment on the vow came due. Portman defaulted.
Twice a swindler, it’s highly regrettable the state of Ohio provides its voters no means of recalling Portman-type (and Kasich-type for that matter) swindlers that betray them. Instead, Portman’s Ohioans must wait six long years, holding a grudge for all that time, so they can remember to primary and select an honorable politician the next time around.
Which reminds The Pundit of a very real, really real time travel experience he thoroughly enjoyed over the weekend, his fiftieth high school class reunion. Having moved thousands of miles away from his high school shortly after graduation, he was only somewhat ready to experience full disequilibrium while meeting again those he had not seen or heard from for five decades (with only two or three exceptions and those for as long as forty-six years.)
Reunions remind participants of promises made to themselves and others, a few really old, resolute promises. Pacts made to keep in touch, to follow each others’ careers and advancements, and to come to each others’ aid when need arises. But my! How we all aged. A few minds keener. Some minds giving evidence to flurries and stormy weather. Still other minds and hearts at peace, serene, fully tolerant of whatever comes their way. The long and short of it? We all aged very well, especially considering what we all had to start with, and what we courageously, at times, encountered along life’s way.
One has to wonder what a Republican Senate reunion will be like in say, fifty years. Last night, another disastrous defeat for Republicans. Senator McCain in true Roman Coliseum style poked his thumb in the eye of twenty of every twenty-one counties across America that voted to #MAGA by repealing Obamacare, even if it was to be only a halfhearted, skinny repeal; when he gave his thumb down vote to feed voters to the lions.
One should doubt, when the invitations have been received, a single Republican senator will show up for that fiftieth year reunion: the hall empty, the catered food wasted. Evidence the Republican party passed on without a memorable funeral or the reverential playing of taps.
[Also published at https://www.timetravelpundit.com on 7/28/2017.]