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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We Need To Get Morgan Griffith In A Room ...

... and have him put this in English:
GRIFFITH STATEMENT ON CUT, CAP, & BALANCE

Washington – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement this evening after voting against H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011:

“I support the general goal of cut, cap, and balance, and I appreciate House leadership bringing this concept to the floor for a vote. However, to keep my commitments made to my constituents, I cannot support raising the debt ceiling without significant cuts and a substantial change to the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars. The Balanced Budget Amendment, if passed by the House and Senate and then by the States, would substantially change the way Washington spends money, but I have repeatedly stated that year one cuts must be more than $100-200 billion. While I realize House leadership has to work with a President who is late coming to the discussion, and who is not reasonable about the seriousness of the debt and deficit problem in this country, I could not turn my back on commitments made to my constituents. This plan would reduce spending by $111 billion next year. With the budget deficit this year predicted to reach nearly $1.5 trillion and a debt that has ballooned from $10.6 trillion just two years ago to $14.3 trillion now, we must cut more.

“To put these numbers into perspective, divide everything by $100 million. Suppose that a family has a total of $14,300 in credit card debt, and each year they add $1,500 in new debt to the card. Cutting $111 from this year’s new debt does not seem like enough to make a substantial difference.” [link]
I think he voted against "Cut, Cap, and Balance" for a decent reason.  But with the alternatives available to him - all of which are apocalyptically worse - this seems unwise.

Memo to dude writing statements for Congressman Griffith:  Statements must clarify.  Not befuddle.

This is totally confusing.

Goodlatte Moves Right

A wise move it is, considering the mood of his constituency.

From an op/ed that he and Eric Cantor wrote for the Roanoke Times yesterday:
Change culture of spending

Imagine if your government were as focused on saving money as it is on spending money.

Once again we are standing at a crossroads. The decisions we make today will determine the direction of our country for years to come. We can take action now to ensure that our children will face a much brighter fiscal future. We must not allow ourselves to miss this opportunity.

We all know that Washington has a spending problem. In recent years, federal spending has increased at an unsustainable pace, allowing our national debt to spiral out of control. The annual deficits and the resulting debt continue to grow due to political pressures and dependence on government programs.

Just as any family or business has to do, Washington needs to learn to live within its means so that we can continue to focus on growing the economy, creating jobs and getting people back to work.

Short-term spending cuts are necessary to begin to get our fiscal house in order but will not be enough without long-term changes. That's why a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the only way to ensure that Congress curtails its spending on an annual basis regardless of which party is in control.

Together we must make the tough choices necessary to control spending, pave the way for a return to surpluses and ultimately pay down the national debt. A balanced budget amendment would force Congress to do this, make reckless borrowing a thing of the past and secure a much better future for our children and grandchildren.

The choice is ours. The stakes are high. Failure is not an option. [link]
Sorry if I seem pessimistic about all this.  But, based on what I'm seeing in today's headlines, Obama, the media, and every Democrat in the land seem to consider failure to be our only option.

Thanks go out to Bob Goodlatte for being there to fight the good fight anyway.  Even if it is a losing cause.

This Makes Better Sense

Maybe not good sense.  Hard to say.

I don't know how much of a losing proposition the Lynchburg to Washington D.C. Amtrak route is (my guess is it's colossal).  But to those in the Roanoke/Blacksburg area who insist on having passenger rail service available to them, this is more cost effective than having a train run to either Lynchburg or to the capital out of the Star City:
Daily bus service to Lynchburg's Amtrak station begins today
Roanoke Times

The new bus service connecting the Roanoke and New River valleys to Lynchburg's Amtrak station starts today.

The Smart Way Connector's inaugural trip leaves at 5:50 a.m. from the Roanoke Civic Center. Rides today are free, but the normal fare will be $4 per ride.

The bus, which seats 16, will make two daily runs from Roanoke to Lynchburg. Expanded service on Fridays and weekends will carry passengers to Lynchburg from Virginia Tech, Christiansburg and Salem. On other days of the week, outlying passengers can use the Smart Way bus to reach Roanoke and transfer to the shuttle. [link]
In case you're wondering what Smart Way is, it's operated by the Greater Roanoke Transit Company, "a private, non-profit, public service organization wholly owned by the City of Roanoke."  A private public what?  Only in governmentland ...

Anyway, I was hoping the shuttle would be in (truly) private hands.  Then it's success or failure (gauged by profit or loss) would be readily visible for all to see.  But it's government-controlled, so God knows.

Anyway, you want to ride the train rather than take a more convenient mode of transportation to D.C.?  Here ya go.  Knock yourself out.

It Goes Beyond Rodent Stench

I can't even say, when I heard that three Republican United States senators had agreed to a debt reduction plan yesterday, that my reaction was one of "I smell a rat." It went beyond that. I thought:

They caved.

They always cave.

It's what they do.

It's what they did.

Note anything depressing about this headline?


You'll note that it doesn't read:

"Senator Coburn ... Endorses $3.7 Trillion Debt Reduction Deal."

An important distinction.

Why?

The "deal" that Coburn and two other ... Republicans ... agreed to doesn't reduce our crushing national debt.  It - on paper - only slows its growth.

In other words, they did what I've always accused Republicans in Washington of doing.

Listening to Democrat demands and meeting them halfway.

And meeting them halfway ...

And meeting them halfway ...

And ...

With America soon to implode, you'd think Republicans like Coburn would be making reasonable fiscal restraint demands and entertaining offers from Democrats to meet them halfway in a bipartisan effort to save the country.

But no.

Coburn et al. go the traditional Republican route - what I routinely refer to as being the Little Democrat route - and settle into a plan that will slow the arrival of our demise.

This should tell you all you need to know about where this "deal" takes our country:


And the leftist New York Times is downright slobbery over it:


So what, a reasonable person might ask, is going to be cut in order to achieve fiscal balance?

Nothing.

Instead we get promises from Coburn's Democrat buddies that spending "in years to come" will be slowed.

An empty promise.

Another empty promise.

The same empty promise.

And these Republicans sell their souls and latch onto it.

Again.

Meanwhile the country continues on its path to certain destruction.

With bands playing, leftists singing, and news readers gushing orgasmic.

I think of the Alamo. With General Santa Anna's army surrounding it. With death probably awaiting those Americans hunkered down inside.

Those Americans chose to fight.



Obviously there wasn't a Republican amongst them.


Proudly they wave their standard ...

- - -

The devil's always in the details.  This is enraging:


"President Barack Obama and a startling number of Republican senators lauded a deficit-reduction plan put forward earlier in the day by a bipartisan "Gang of Six" lawmakers that calls for $1 trillion in what sponsors delicately called "additional revenue" and some critics swiftly labeled as higher taxes."

An utter disgrace. 

- - -

Well, there is one Republican who refuses to surrender:



Of course he's announced plans to leave and head back to Texas, where some sanity still prevails.

- - -


Here's the grand scheme proposed by the "Gang of Six." My reaction can be found inside the brackets.


A BIPARTISAN PLAN TO REDUCE OUR NATION’S DEFICITS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This bipartisan, comprehensive, and balanced plan consistent with the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission that will: 
● Slash our nation’s deficits by $3.7 trillion/$3.6 trillion over ten years under CBO’s March 2011 baseline, or $4.65 trillion/$4.5 trillion under the original fiscal commission baseline (which used the President’s 2011 budget request as the starting point for discretionary spending).
● Stabilize our publicly-held debt by 2014.
● Reduce our publicly-held debt to roughly 70% of our economy by 2021.
● Impose unprecedented budget enforcement.

A COMPREHENSIVE AND BALANCED PROPOSAL

The plan uses a two-step legislative process: (1) an initial bill that makes immediate cuts; [that will never pass the Senate] and (2) a process for a second bill to enact comprehensive reform and put our nation on a stable fiscal path [someday many years from now]. The plan would:

Immediately implement aggressive deficit reduction down payment
● Cut deficits by $500 billion.[current deficits are running $1.6 trillion annually; do the math]

Dramatically cut discretionary spending
● Cut nonsecurity and security discretionary spending over 10 years. [beginning in the ninth year, maybe]
● Maintain investments that encourage economic growth, strengthen the safety net for those who truly need it, and preserve a strong national defense. [blah blah, blah]


Carefully strengthen the solvency of our most important entitlement programs
Spend health care dollars more efficiently in order to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, while maintaining the basic structure of these critical programs. [translation: they will continue on their unsustainable path]
● Fully pays for SGR (the “doc fix”) over 10 years. [the tax increase part]


Fundamentally reform our tax code
● Reduce marginal income tax rates and abolish the $1.7 trillion Alternative Minimum Tax. [the AMT is a tax on big city Democrats; that one had to go]
● Encourage greater economic growth. [consider the magic wand waved]
● Enhance the competitiveness of American businesses and workers against global competition [whatever that means].
● Reform spending through the tax code to eliminate investment distortions and tax gaming. [that'll save seventeen cents]
● Change the debate about taxes in America from rate levels and carve outs to competitiveness, fairness and growth. [nonsense that deserves no response]
● If CBO scored this plan, it would find net tax relief of approximately $1.5 trillion. [CBO didn't score this plan and won't; can you say smokescreen?]


Strictly tighten the government’s budget processes
● Impose spending caps and security/nonsecurity firewalls. [when hell freezes over]
● Sequester accounts at the end of the year to recoup any excessive spending by Congress. [a good idea that will never be implemented]
● Restrict the use of emergency designations that circumvent the spending caps. [ditto]
● Prevent Congress from exceeding the caps by requiring a stand-alone resolution subject to a 67-vote [been there; done that]

- - -

Not that We the People matter any more:


At least everyone in the magic kingdom - the nation's capital - is happy.

- - -

You might wonder where Obama's plan to save the country is (you're not alone).  It's right here:

Democrats move to repeal Defense of Marriage Act.

A more pressing issue beckons.

Yeah, Obama Lied

But look on the bright side.  It got him elected president.

From Breitbart TV:



Under different circumstances, and with a different human being involved, he might be embarrassed by this shameful episode.

But no ...

Too Bad

It was a place full of wonder:


The Montgomery Ward Rule applies: Keep up or die.

He Doesn't Get It

And never will:

"The White House offer on spending reforms was much less than publicly advertised, and by the end it even included $136 billion in new spending proposals over 10 years."

As it burns, Obama takes a torch to America.

For the love of God.