Opinion The GOP Budget Deal Throws Fiscal Sanity Out The Overton Window

19:56  09 february  2018
19:56  09 february  2018 Source:   The Federalist

Right revolts on budget deal

  Right revolts on budget deal House conservatives on Wednesday revolted against a massive bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and bust spending caps, complaining that the GOP could no longer lay claim to being the party of fiscal responsibility. "I'm not only a 'no.' I'm a 'hell no,' " quipped Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), one of many members of the Tea Party-aligned Freedom Caucus who left a closed-door meeting of Republicans saying they would vote against the deal.It's a "Christmas tree on steroids," lamented one of the Freedom Caucus leaders, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.).

Sometimes there’s a fine line between kicking the can down the road and gradually phasing in difficult change. Not this year, not in Connecticut. The difference is a chasm. The sweetheart deal that Governor Malloy and his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly cut with state employee unions

from the minority that the GOP can’t govern. Congressional budget resolutions don’t become law but they do serve as a fiscal roadmap that lays out in detail the majority party’s spending priorities for the year. Related: Four Trillion Reasons to Throw the Bums Out .

The GOP Budget Deal Throws Fiscal Sanity Out The Overton Window © The Federalist The GOP Budget Deal Throws Fiscal Sanity Out The Overton Window Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

They told me if I didn't vote for Donald Trump, Washington DC would go on a massive, unsustainable, Big Government spending spree -- and they were right!

Early this morning, Congress passed and President Trump signed a deal to avert a government shutdown for another two years by basically giving the Democrats all the spending they wanted and increasing discretionary spending by $150 billion a year.

Republicans Learn to Love Deficit Spending They Once Loathed

  Republicans Learn to Love Deficit Spending They Once Loathed After years of professing fiscal discipline, Republicans are embracing budget deficits as the nation’s debt swells.WASHINGTON — Big government is officially back in style.

Connect to Market Sanity . The recent budget deal out of DC is, according to Mr. Stockmam, a “two-year vacation” from dealing with the US deficit…There’s not a chance anything will be done about the fiscal equation until 2017.

Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is throwing a monkey wrench into GOP plans to come up with a budget that significantly cuts the deficit. The plan is part of the deal worked out last December with the White House.

There are also reports that Republicans are working on a bill to bail out Obamacare, and we haven't even gotten to Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan yet. But no big deal. Rush Limbaugh says he isn't worrying about the debt because "all of the apocalyptic warnings I grew up hearing have yet to happen."

Limbaugh knows full well why the budget apocalypse hasn't happened yet. In the 1990s a Republican Congress restrained spending just enough so that a growing economy could outpace growing government. More recently, the budget showdowns of the Tea Party era led to a "sequester" that also restrained spending. In other words, we have staved off disaster by doing the exact opposite of what Republicans just did. As to why Limbaugh is fine with the new direction -- well, he's not the only public figure who has made a career as a bold, politically incorrect truth-teller while actually telling his audience whatever they want to hear at the moment. That turns out to be pretty much the same explanation for why Republicans just passed this deal.

GOP the party of deficit hawks? That was then.

  GOP the party of deficit hawks? That was then. Republicans rode the tea party wave to power eight years ago on a message of fiscal responsibility and attacking budget deficits, and kept at it during President Barack Obama's two terms. That was then. Republican leaders early Friday were rounding up support for a bipartisan budget bill that would put the government on track for annual deficits topping $1 trillion, a gap last seen toward the end of Obama's first term.

Collender, who worked on both the House and Senate Budget Committees, says that the economy is ripe for raising additional tax revenue. “In other words, if the GOP tax bill is enacted, Congress and the president this year will give up almost all ability to deal with the U.S. economy for at least a

Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is throwing a monkey wrench into GOP plans to come up with a budget that significantly cuts the deficit. The plan is part of the deal worked out last December with the White House.

I knew we were doomed when Republican lawmakers and a lot of my conservative friends got really excited about an idea to add a new government benefit -- paid family leave -- to Social Security. It was not just a reluctant acceptance of the giant middle class entitlement state. It was an attempt to embrace that system and show that they, too, could shower goodies onto the American public, just in a more fiscally responsible way. The justification for this is that the Overton Window -- the "range of ideas tolerated in public discourse" -- has shifted. Reform of the entitlement state is no longer on the table, so adopting the welfare state and tinkering with it is the "smartest live option."

But if the Overton Window has shifted, it is Republicans who have shifted the window by acquiescing to the middle class welfare state.

The actual history on this issue is that Republicans spent decades slowly, haltingly moving the Overton Window toward reform of the entitlement state. In the 1990s, Republicans made welfare reform so popular that they got Bill Clinton to sign it. They briefly forgot about all fiscal discipline during the 2000s when they were preoccupied with the War on Terrorism, which also gave them a convenient excuse to blow the previous decade's budget surpluses and start borrowing again. But with the rise of the Tea Party movement in 2009, there was once again pressure to do something about the vast size of government, and Paul Ryan rose to fame by being the first prominent politician to propose significant reform of middle class entitlements. Not only did the earth not swallow him up, he was selected as the vice-presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. The Overton Window had moved to the point where we could at least discuss trimming back the entitlements that drive federal spending. In Overton's terminology, it had gone from "unthinkable" to "acceptable." Paul Ryan even put together a budget that was projected to drive federal spending as a percentage of GDP well below current levels.

Fraudulence of the Fiscal Hawks

  Fraudulence of the Fiscal Hawks Republicans haven’t changed their views on deficits — they never cared about them; they just wanted to hurt Obama.In 2011, House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, issued a report full of dire warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. “The United States is facing a crushing burden of debt,” it declared, warning of a looming fiscal crisis that might soon “capsize” the economy. Citing the horrors of big deficits, Republicans refused to raise the federal debt ceiling, threatening to create financial turmoil and effectively blackmailing President Barack Obama into cutting spending on domestic programs.

Michael Tomasky rebuts the three key GOP budget lies and calls on Democrats to do the same. It gives the other team fewer opportunities for what are literally called “free” throws . The propensity not to foul reflects a house in order, a group that plays by the rules, a team rich in inner—nay, even

Fiscal hawks on Capitol Hill panned the budget deal reached by Republican leaders and Democrats on Wednesday as fiscally irresponsible and an abrogation of the GOP 's congressional majorities. Senators and House members on the right immediately came out against the agreement

Now, like Sisyphus, just as they were about to reach their goal, Republicans have let it slip out of their hands and roll back to the default state of bipartisan support for Big Government.

A lot of us on the right have spent the first year of the Trump administration trying to puzzle through his overall impact. On regulation and taxes, he has been much better than expected. In his personal style and messaging, he has been exactly as bad as we feared, and he never seems to learn. But on the most important issue of the era -- whether or not we make peace with Big Government -- he has now definitively failed.

Yet Trump is just a symptom. Republican leaders forged this agreement and passed it because the message sent by Donald Trump's rise to the presidency is that the Republican base no longer cares about fiscal discipline or the size of government -- because nobody would have chosen Donald Trump if that was their top concern. It stands to reason that if the voters don't care about the size of government, politicians won't either. Their default mode is to avoid hard choices and tough battles, to act only when they think they need to avoid the rage of their core voters. In this regard, you might note that this bill gives the Democrats massive new spending increases, but doesn't give them a deal on illegal immigrants. That tells you what Republican politicians think their voters care about in the Trump era.

This is all a short-sighted illusion. We may not care about the debt, but it cares about us. For those of us who are still willing to see the crisis that is coming, it's time to start rolling that boulder up the hill again in the hope we will be ready when the American people inevitably can't avoid the problem any more and start looking for a solution. Because they sure aren't ready for it now.

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Trump budget chief says he would oppose budget if he were in Congress .
The White House budget chief said on Tuesday that, if he were still a member of Congress, he "probably" would vote against a deficit-financed budget plan he and Trump are proposing. At a U.S. Senate panel hearing where he defended the administration's new $4.4-trillion, fiscal 2019 spending plan, Mick Mulvaney was asked if he would vote for it, if he were still a lawmaker, which he was before Trump hired him."I probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it," said Mulvaney, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in reply to a senator's question.

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