The real loss for fiscal conservatives this week was not that Obamacare wasn’t defunded or that there were no entitlement cuts in the deal that reopened the government…Instead, the bigger concern is that the Republicans caved in on renegotiating the discretionary spending levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act and sequester.
I would have loved to have seen Obamacare suffer a lethal blow. I would have also loved for a unicorn to show up at my door with a check made out to me for $1 billion. Neither was going to happen.
The federal government has been subsidizing so-called clean coal for decades, and the hand-outs have resulted in one bipartisan boondoggle after another.
A Wall Street Journal story today begins “America’s road to recovery may face a costly detour due to a fraying transportation network. One in nine of the country’s 607,380 bridges are structurally deficient …”
Despite the fears expressed in news stories, federal worker furloughs do not seem to have caused major economic disruptions. While the National Parks were closed, most government workers that provide useful services to citizens are at the state and local level, not the federal level.
Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography indicates that the internal struggles in her Conservative Party in the 1980s were as intense as today’s struggles within the Republican Party.
America faces two very serious budget problems: Democrats, and Republicans. Partisan wrangling over the brief shutdown of about 17 percent of the federal government has been unnecessarily long and convoluted because both sides keep repeating their misleading talking points and diverting attention away from the central issue — deficits and debt — and toward extraneous or irrelevant topics.
I’ve taken a lot of flak from establishment media types and angry federal employees for my contention that the hullabaloo over the so-called government “shutdown” is excessive. The fact is most government activities have not stopped and most government employees continue to work. However, one activity that has stopped – and, man, this is personal – is the approval of new beer labels and recipes.
You may remember the scene in Animal House where Kevin Bacon plays a fraternity pledge being hazed. Down on all fours getting paddled, Bacon says, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”
On Sunday, CBS’s 60 Minutes profiled Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) on-going investigation of fraud and abuse in the federal government’s two main disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (see Chris Edwards’ discussion here). Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (Coburn is the ranking member) held a hearing on a particularly egregious example centered on the Social Security Administration’s Huntington, WV office.