Boehner's 12 Member Commission Political Game
As America approaches the limit of the national credit card, the bargaining in Washington D.C. is going fast and furious. One thing about which the Democrats and the establishment Republicans are in agreement is that the debt limit must be raised. Both believe it is time to add the 30th credit card to the wallet of the American people and max it out. Each party has different plans to accomplish the task of digging America deeper in the hole.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) of the Senate is pushing a plan that would cut a paltry 270 billion from the budget, but he sums it up for 10 years, calls it 2.7 trillion and thinks the American people are stupid enough to buy it. So you would think that the Republican leadership would come up with something full of common sense. Alas that is not the case. Boehner's proposal is at best a political game and at worst outright unconstitutional.
There is no basis in the Constitution for Congress being able to abrogate their responsibilities and authority to make fiscal law and pass it off to 12 handpicked members of the aristocracy. Imagine if such a precedent were established -- why couldn't Congress pass off almost every responsibility on a group of handpicked representatives, and disenfranchise the elected representatives of the country's citizens? The fact is that the Democrats and RINOs of Congress combined vastly outnumber the Tea Party conservatives. However, the Republicans need the Tea Party conservatives to pass legislation. What better way than to narrowly pass the bill and disenfranchise the Tea Party with an eye on killing the movement? The Tea Party ideology has always been a thorn to the side of the Democrats, and considered insolent by the Republican establishment. Both groups comport themselves as aristocrats who believe the Tea Party members to be too stupid to grasp the complexities of government.
At best the bill is an outright political game that has only one possible outcome, namely no cuts made at all.
Lets imagine the makeup of the commission and the coming negotiations. Can anyone imagine a Democrat voting to reduce spending for anything other than the military? If history is a guide, Democrats prefer to raise taxes, cut the military and redistribute the wealth. Therefore, we can't expect the Democrats will make anything more than token cuts usually done with "creative accounting."
When it comes to the Republican establishment types, the situation is even worse. At best they would form a hard line balancing the Democrats, one for one, and deadlocking the panel. However, the establishment Republican members have shown little mettle when it comes to making hard choices. They allow themselves to be scared easily when a Democrat screams, "They are cutting Medicare and Social Security and pushing granny off the cliff." In fact the establishment members have a history of capitulating to such scare tactics. The reality is that when faced with political pressure, it is unlikely anything will get cut. The Republicans will bloc vote against cutting the military (because that would be political suicide), and they will help the Democrats defeat any difficult cuts in entitlements. As for the Tea Party conservatives, it's doubtful any of them would be on the commission, and if they were, they would have little influence.
Both of these plans are political games predicated on the assumption that the American public is stupid. All of the plans are political theatre to help their individual reelection campaigns.
What I believe most of these politicians are missing is that the attitude to the government has changed in America. Americans have more access to information than they ever have in the past. The broadcast media are no longer able to control the flow of information in the minds of Americans, and most are no longer fooled by the political tricks and fuzzy math.
In a tough economy, Americans are making cuts in their family expenditures. They are cutting back on vacations, buying generic foods, forgoing the steaks in favor of hamburger and dropping back to a smaller house or reducing the number of cars. However, most of the members of Congress have lived off the unlimited wallet of others for so long that they know nothing else. Despite (or maybe because of)their political status, they are not able to master basic financial accounting managed by every single American in their private lives.
Boehner's bill is another example of trickery and unconstitutionality that the aristocrats think they can put over on the American people to avoid having to make tough choices and stand by them in their elections. The only way this ends happily is if Americans light up the switchboards and flood the inboxes of their representatives and remind them that they are not dukes and duchesses but rather employees that are on a shaky probation.