Time to make meaningful cuts in spending in Washington and every state in the union

Stan Escudero / Headline SurferBy STAN ESCUDERO
The Guidepost
Headline Surfer®

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla.  -- It is undeniably true, as several of our Republican leaders have said, that we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. In other words, government spending must be drastically reduced. Yet the Obama Administration continues to spend as if there were no end of money, driving our economy toward bankruptcy and the dollar toward collapse.

Last November right-thinking Americans, including many who are not members of the GOP, elected conservative Republicans to take control of the House and to use that body to reverse this trend before it is too late. I have since heard Democrats say that a Republican push is not necessary because Obama has heard the voice of the American people and he has shifted to the center. Not to put too fine a point on it – this is a crock of crap!

Obama was forced by the inexorable tides of politics to concede to the GOP on the extension of the Bush tax cuts and, while he reads a good game from the teleprompter, his actions speak far louder than his words.

He has not retreated one step on Obamacare – during the congressional recess he appointed to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Dr. Donald Berwick, who believes in rationing health care. He continues to press through the Environmental Protection Agency for control of energy use and production in America, even though Congress has refused to consider his proposed cap and trade legislation to do that very thing.

And Obama's latest budget proposal, at $3.7 trillion of which only $2.6 trillion comes from taxes, increases his tidal wave of unaffordable spending and borrowing.

There is much more along these lines but the fact is that what Obama is doing is what was recommended by one of his minions. He is abandoning the radical pose to achieve the radical ends. And what that means is that the Republican push we are seeing in the House is not only necessary.

It is fundamental to our survival as the United States of America.

What have the Republicans in the House done so far? 

They have passed repeal of Obamacare and forced the Senate to vote on a similar bill. The fact that the Dems voted against it on near party lines merely exposes the centrist claims many of them have made as the falsehoods they are. In 2012 the voters will remember. 

Congressman Steve Scalize of Louisiana, a Republican representing that state's first district,  has put forward a bill to defund the activities of nine of Obama’s czars with more to come. In preparing the must-pass bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year, House Republicans have cut some $61.5 billion from the budget. This is a good but minimal first step. 

As an amendment to the funding bill House, Republicans denied $121 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to implement Obama’s massive takeover of our financial system through last year’s financial regulation law. Another amendment denies funding to federal agencies for implementation of Obamacare. There is more but the point to keep in mind is that the current continuing resolution which funds the government expires on March 4th.

What have the Republicans in the House done so far? 

They have passed repeal of Obamacare and forced the Senate to vote on a similar bill. The fact that the Dems voted against it on near party lines merely exposes the centrist claims many of them have made as the falsehoods they are. In 2012 the voters will remember. 

Congressman Steve Scalize of Louisiana, a Republican representing that state's first district,  has put forward a bill to defund the activities of nine of Obama’s czars with more to come. In preparing the must-pass bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year, House Republicans have cut some $61.5 billion from the budget. This is a good but minimal first step. 

As an amendment to the funding bill House, Republicans denied $121 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to implement Obama’s massive takeover of our financial system through last year’s financial regulation law. Another amendment denies funding to federal agencies for implementation of Obamacare. There is more but the point to keep in mind is that the current continuing resolution which funds the government expires on March 4th.

The Republicans are keeping faith with the American people who elected them and, in so doing, they have drawn a line in the sand. If no new funding bill is passed by the time the current one expires the federal government will shut down. I say let it!

We can do without a central government for a short time and the absence of government will put pressure on both sides to compromise.

The issue this time will be one of public perception – whom will the people blame for halting government services?

The last time this happened, when Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich was speaker, Clinton and the media hung the blame on the Republicans. We should expect the media ideologues to be even more supportive of Obama this time.

And so it falls to Republicans and to conservatives of all kinds to force Washington to hear the roar of the people – just as we did last November.

If the government shuts down on March 4, we need to flood the offices of our representatives and senators with letters and phone calls promising support if they hang tough. We need to pile high the desks of editors of newspapers with letters supporting GOP positions and funding levels. GOP clubs and party structures need to hold press conferences on the need to reduce spending. TV, blogs and the Internet should be fully utilized just like an election campaign. It may even be necessary to mount demonstrations in support of spending cuts to save our country.

The outcome of this specific fight will go a long way to defining the struggle with the left to bring government spending under control. But it is not the only route the GOP has to attack that issue.

There is the question of the debt limit, which will be exceeded sometime in March, meaning that the feds will have to have congressional authority to borrow more or the government will again shut down and could default on its scheduled debt repayments.Treasury Secretary Geithner tells us that we must raise the debt limit by a huge amount or default, but this is a colossal dip from that crock I mentioned earlier.

Now we do have to pay our international debts. Our economy and that of much of the world would crash if we were to default. But another way to raise the money to pay those debts is to cut spending.

If the GOP were to require, as a condition of any increase in the debt limit, that the debt be paid as a matter of first priority then new spending cuts could be added to the debt limit bill and there would be no risk of default. In fact the payment of the debt would force cuts elsewhere.

More, if the GOP were to agree to increase the debt limit only by a portion of the amount needed to fund the government for a full year, then they could take the same pitcher to the well and negotiate additional spending cuts every time they agree to raise the debt limit further.

Another avenue for the Republicans to reduce spending is the twelve appropriations bills which Congress is required to pass (but rarely does) each year to fund the activities of government for the coming fiscal year.

Regular congressional failure to pass most or all of these bills is what leads almost every year to a continuing resolution like the one which expires March 4th. But as these bills are considered in the authorization and appropriations committees, funding levels and various restrictions are set which either become law or which can provide a basis for levels to be used in any continuing resolution.

Then, of course, the House can simply originate stand-alone bills cutting spending in specific areas. It is likely that most or all of these will be defeated by the Democrats in the Senate or vetoed by Obama, but there is real political utility, looking toward 2012, in getting the Dems on record as continuing to support their ruinous levels of government spending.

To our good Republican representatives in both houses of Congress I urge full speed ahead in the struggle for spending cuts We can still save our economy and resurrect our great nation but there is very little time left.

To my fellow conservatives in the Tea Parties, the 9/12 organizations and others, especially those who feel that the Republicans have not yet delivered enough, I counsel patience and continued support for the GOP.

In politics no one ever gets everything he wants. But if our country is to be saved from the malevolent schemes of the left and returned to its former position of glory and respect it can only be the Republican Party, which drives the struggle through to victory.

And so I implore you: keep supporting your Republican representatives at all levels of government; push them to work harder and deliver more; elect more strong conservative Republicans whenever you can and; recognize that we are in a long and unrelenting fight against dedicated opponents and the outcome of that fight might may not be clear for a generation or more.

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Short Bio

The Guidepost By Stanley Escudero
Stanley Escudero is a retired career diplomat, businessman & native Floridian, who lives in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, with his wife, Jaye. He served as chairman of the Volusia County Republican Executive Committee in 2011-2012. Escudero was appointed to the Daytona State College Board of Trustees in 2015, By Gov. Rick Scott. Escudero, writer of the 'The Guidepost' politcal column since 2010, is a member of the inaugural Class of 2017 Headline Surfer Hall of Fame. All news content copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, which may not be duplicated or re-published in whole or in part without advance approval of the publisher. Headline Surfer® is published by award-winning journalist Henry Frederick.