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Why Republicans can’t cut (GOP is the other party of Big Government™)
The Daily Caller ^ | 2011-11-25 | Jack Hunter

Posted on 11/26/2011 7:09:07 PM PST by rabscuttle385

These days, virtually all Republicans call themselves “conservatives” and claim to be dedicated to cutting spending, balancing budgets, reducing debts and limiting government. Most of them are liars. The failure of the super committee this week was but the latest reminder.

The super committee was supposed to figure out how to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. If it failed, the result was supposed to be $1.2 trillion in “automatic cuts” over the next decade, with about $600 billion of that coming from the defense budget. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said any such cuts would be “devastating” to our military. Many prominent Republicans agreed with Panetta. Mitt Romney said: “We cannot put America’s safety in jeopardy by virtue of the failure of this committee.” Michele Bachmann echoed that sentiment: “We can’t do that to our brave men and women who are on the ground fighting for us.”

When conservative Republicans say they want to cut the Department of Education, the Department of Energy or anything else, liberal Democrats shriek that Republicans will “devastate” education, energy and any other part of our government that does not remain 100% intact. Conservatives rightly recognize this as a liberal scare tactic designed to prevent anyone from downsizing a federal government that so desperately needs downsizing. What separates liberals from conservatives is that whereas liberals love big government and will tell any lie to protect it, conservatives hate big government and will cut it at every opportunity they get — or at least this has long been perceived as the divide in American politics.

I stress the word “perceived,” because when it comes to Pentagon spending, too many Republicans still behave exactly like liberal Democrats.

The truth is that we don’t need to spend as much on defense as we’re spending now. We’re spending more on defense than at any time since World War II and almost as much as every other nation combined. Senator Tom Coburn has suggested that if we are going to start cutting, the Pentagon is the most logical place to start precisely because it is the most wasteful. But even more importantly, these “devastating” automatic cuts that are supposed to happen aren’t really cuts. As Senator Rand Paul explained on CNN the day the super committee failed:

This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending because we’re only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23% over 10 years. If we [make these cuts], it will still go up 16%.

Paul is describing the classic liberal narrative that if proposed spending increases are in any way diminished, this constitutes a “cut.” Rush Limbaugh reminded his listeners of the fallacy of such thinking on his program Monday:

There will be no spending cuts. There are no spending cuts in sequestration or anything else. You know how the current services baseline budget works. The current services baseline budget projects an increase of let’s say 23%, just to pick a number, okay? Well, it is, it’s the same thing every year. When’s the last time the budget went down in anything? It doesn’t happen … So if something’s supposed to go up, spending go up 23%, and it’s only gonna go up 16%, they wail and moan about a 7% cut.

Added Limbaugh:

Defense spending is going up even with sequestration … You understand the current services baseline budgeting, and even you are shocked to realize now that there is no real cut from a baseline of zero in defense spending.

Last year, Sen. Rand Paul introduced a plan that would have balanced the budget in five years and reduced the debt by $4 trillion. At the time, the budget cuts it called for far exceeded those of any other Republican proposal. He was only able to arrive at such a large number by including Pentagon reductions.

Paul’s proposal won the support of Senator Jim DeMint and Senator Mike Lee, but it failed in the Senate, 7-90. Why did the overwhelming majority of Republican senators oppose Paul’s plan? Don’t they agree with Paul, DeMint and Lee that we have to cut spending and balance the budget? What gives? Here’s how Republican Senator Lindsey Graham explained his (and his party’s) opposition: “I’m not going to vote for any budget that reduces defense spending by over 40 percent.”

Paul’s plan cut defense spending by only 6%. So where did Graham get “40%”? You guessed it: He defined decreases in the rate of spending increases as “cuts.” The same old liberal trick.

In Graham’s defense, his view on defense spending seems to be the dominant one in the Republican Party today. The problem is there’s simply no way to actually do what every Republican loves to talk about — limiting government, balancing budgets, cutting waste — without reducing defense spending. After entitlement spending, defense spending is the second largest part of our budget. You could feasibly gut the entire entitlement system and not touch Pentagon spending, but what politician is going to tell America’s seniors they must do without so Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and God-knows-where-else can have more?

As of this writing, Sen. Graham is drafting legislation to “protect our military” from the “devastating” automatic “cuts” supposedly coming down the pike due to the super committee’s failure.

If my fellow conservatives want to know why the GOP has failed to cut government spending, look at Lindsey Graham. Then take a look at all of the other Republicans who agree with him.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; collapsenow; debt; democratstaxandspend; failure; fascism; fedgov; fedzilla; gopborrowandspend; gopsellouts; goptraitors; govtabuse; lindseygraham; localsocialists; mccain; plutocracy; rapeofliberty; rinos; romney; southernavenger; starvetheb; taxes; tyranny

1 posted on 11/26/2011 7:09:08 PM PST by rabscuttle385
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...
The problem is there’s simply no way to actually do what every Republican loves to talk about — limiting government, balancing budgets, cutting waste — without reducing defense spending. After entitlement spending, defense spending is the second largest part of our budget. You could feasibly gut the entire entitlement system and not touch Pentagon spending, but what politician is going to tell America’s seniors they must do without so Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and God-knows-where-else can have more?

Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here.

2 posted on 11/26/2011 7:11:40 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: upchuck
Paul’s plan cut defense spending by only 6%. So where did Graham get “40%”? You guessed it: He defined decreases in the rate of spending increases as “cuts.” The same old liberal trick.

Lindsey Graham is a traitorous little weasel who needs to be expelled in 2014.

3 posted on 11/26/2011 7:15:08 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385
The problem is there’s simply no way to actually do what every Republican loves to talk about — limiting government, balancing budgets, cutting waste — without reducing defense spending.

False. Entitlements are the biggest segment of the budget. Discretionary domestic spending went up 8.2 percent a year under bush and it's going up even faster under Obama. We can make significant cuts just by restoring it to 2001 levels.

Of course, I'm radical enough to want to eliminate at least 9 Federal departments, so you know where I'm coming from.

4 posted on 11/26/2011 7:15:50 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Mr. Hunter.
There are THREE (3) branches of Government.
Executive (President)
Judicial (Supremes)
Legislative (House and Senate)

REPUBLICANS control 1/4 of this group.

The Republicans could believe in the tooth fairy, but it wouldn’t matter unless a majority of the other 3/4ths agreed.

That is why THIS election is so critical.


5 posted on 11/26/2011 7:17:42 PM PST by marty60
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To: TBP

Yep eliminating at least 9 would go a long way in solving our problems.


6 posted on 11/26/2011 7:23:44 PM PST by marty60
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To: marty60

Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Energy, Education. Homeland Security is very abusive and at the very least needs to be cut back severely, if not outright eliminated. Veterans Affairs can be folded into Defense. That would be a very good start on actually cutting government.


7 posted on 11/26/2011 7:27:13 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: rabscuttle385

The Paul plan would be an excellent start. Not bad for teh first year while we’re weeding out the government.


8 posted on 11/26/2011 7:28:17 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: TBP

Make it 10.

My #1 target for the cut list is EPA!!!!


9 posted on 11/26/2011 7:28:45 PM PST by marty60
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To: marty60

EPA has to go in the first wave. And most of what’s left needs to be cut about 10 percent. As Sen. Paul has noted, every agency is bloated with middle management types, Deputy Assistant Undersecretaries and the like. Cut out most of those people.


10 posted on 11/26/2011 7:31:54 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: TBP

If we took defense spending back to 2007 levels then added 1.5% for inflation since then, defense spending would have to be cut $135 billion this fiscal year. Not spending on veterans, just spending on military defense.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_2006_2013USb_13s1li111mcn_31t


11 posted on 11/26/2011 7:32:32 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: TBP
Yup, it is entitlement spending that is the root of the problem. Discretionary spending, including defense, is not what is causing our ballooning deficits and debt.

Defense is one of the ONLY things the federal government should be doing. Social welfare spending should be drastically reduced or entirely sent to the states to deal with. Non-defense discretionary funding should be cut nearly in half. The defense department should remain strong and well funded as defending the nation is one of the few missions the federal government does that is actually legitimate.

Of course, I'm radical enough to want to eliminate at least 9 Federal departments, so you know where I'm coming from.

Ahh, but what matters is can you name them in a debate ;)

But seriously, I pretty much agree. I'd do away with 5 federal departments as a start to include Commerce, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Education. I'd demote the EPA from cabinet rank to a sub-department within the Interior (where Energy would go as well). It's temping to wrap Veterans Affairs into Defense, but I'd rather keep those two separate since the VA has nothing to do with wartime capabilities and would artificially inflate defense leaving it more prone to cuts because it would look so big. I'd be open to moving Agriculture and Transportation into the Interior as well, but don't know enough about the subject to say for sure.

12 posted on 11/26/2011 7:33:36 PM PST by Longbow1969
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To: Longbow1969

If we can find ways to reduce defense spending that don’t harm readiness and our military strength, I’m for that. If we can cut the military bureaucracy, cut the cost of procuring goods, that sort of thing, I don’t have a problem with that. But when people talk about “cutting defense spending”, they usually mean cutting manpower, equipment, weapons systems,. and the like.


13 posted on 11/26/2011 7:37:16 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Longbow1969

“The powers not granted to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” — Amendment X.

Thus, social welfare is a state and local responsibility, if it’s a government function at all, definitely not a Federal power.

The first step is to eliminate the duplicative agencies and block-grant the programs. We change the standards to favor the intact family rather than support its breakup. And we begin restoring the power to the states adn communities.


14 posted on 11/26/2011 7:41:25 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Seems to me that if we are getting out of Iraq, Afghanistan and other wars, we should be able to cut defense...


15 posted on 11/26/2011 7:56:40 PM PST by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: rabscuttle385
As Senator Rand Paul explained on CNN the day the super committee failed:

This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending because we’re only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23% over 10 years. If we [make these cuts], it will still go up 16%.

What Rand Paul fails to factor in is the rate of inflation. If inflation goes up only a modest 2% a year for those same ten years... then the total US military's purchasing power is reduced 4%. (likewise, a 3% yearly inflation rate means that the purchasing power of the US military will shrink 14%, 4% inflation = 24% reduction)

And currently, our inflation rate is over 3%.

Which means our military will have to either shrink... or be less well equipped to accommodate.

---

The only real way to cut spending is not to focus on dollars, but to focus on what the government *DOESN'T* need to do. Find those things our government shouldn't do... or shouldn't do as much as it currently does... and then, when you eliminate the program, the budgetary savings comes as a corollary.

To try and cut funding without cutting government programs or military missions is a fool's errand.

16 posted on 11/26/2011 8:03:47 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: marty60

Excuses.

Our Founders created a government where any one of those three branches can stop the government from doing anything.


17 posted on 11/26/2011 8:05:43 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: TBP

They spun out the Department of Veteran’s Affair so that it could be saved from any military budget cuts.

With the military facing $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade (the $400 billion first agreed upon 3 months ago and the upcoming $600 billion from the failed supercommittee), guess what would be a very tempting target for the Pentagon to cut if the VA fell under the military budget?


18 posted on 11/26/2011 8:06:54 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: Longbow1969

That is incorrect.

Our problem tomorrow will be entitlement spending. Our problem today is discretionary spending including defense.


19 posted on 11/26/2011 8:07:31 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: TBP

I would eliminate the LCS, P-8A and the F-35B today.


20 posted on 11/26/2011 8:09:29 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: rabscuttle385; All

Sometimes large private sector businesses experience significant changes in their marketplace that result in revenue declining dramatically, with no short or even medium-term solution for driving up revenue. Things like product obsolescence.

Typically the CEO is replaced by someone experienced at dramatic downsizing turnarounds. They will reduce and eliminate costs as effectively as possible while planning for revenue stream enhancement and simultaneously getting as much profit as possible out of the portions of the revenue stream that are deemed “legacy”. This can involve getting out of some lines of business and into others. Large staff turnover can happen along with dramatic downsizing, as well as changes and downsizing in company facilities and equipment. A whole heap of small-business style common sense is needed in leadership, asking “do we need to do this process at all”, etc., not being afraid to ask tough questions and get answers one way or the other, while also having the sophistication to deal with large company issues.

That type of leadership is what’s needed in the next President of the U.S.

For the U.S. government, this all has to happen while it continues to perform it’s essential functions.

Trouble is, politicians have zero experience in this environment, and even less desire to not continue to grow the government, let alone shrink it.

That’s why I look at only Bachmann and Cain as the pair that will or even can be effective as leaders for the next decade.

Michele is on both the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and she is very knowledgeable in both areas.


21 posted on 11/26/2011 8:30:54 PM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves.)
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To: MontaniSemperLiberi

REALLY?

Has Hairy Reid sobered up?


22 posted on 11/26/2011 8:38:32 PM PST by marty60
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To: marty60

Nah. He got Boehner drunk.


23 posted on 11/26/2011 9:17:24 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: TBP

I’m radical enough to want to eliminate every stinking bit of it and the district it resides in.

I no longer support any part of a federal government in any way, shape or form.


24 posted on 11/26/2011 9:21:42 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Rather than cutting, how about we export?

For a change.


25 posted on 11/26/2011 9:23:27 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ("Galts Gulch" <> Communist China)
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To: rabscuttle385

Walk the plank Boner.


26 posted on 11/26/2011 9:28:49 PM PST by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: rabscuttle385
Cuts? Heck, we can't even freeze the budget for a few years to catch our fiscal breath.

Fifteen trillions in debt and the fact that no one seems alarmed anymore does not bode well, to say the least.

Our leaders and power brokers do not have the will to leave our financial decisions to the Constitution. Therefore the ending will not be pretty.

27 posted on 11/26/2011 10:08:02 PM PST by MichaelCorleone (Stop feeding the beast; if they don't say "Merry Christmas", don't buy.)
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To: TBP

The budget of the Department of Education is about $80 Billion, and there are about 50 million K-12 kids in the U.S. That is about $1600 per student. The tuition for my children’s Catholic School is $5025 per year. So the Government spends about 31% of that for each child in the U.S.


28 posted on 11/26/2011 10:34:46 PM PST by ALPAPilot
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To: marty60
>> There are THREE (3) branches of Government. Executive (President) Judicial (Supremes) Legislative (House and Senate) REPUBLICANS control 1/4 of this group. <<

Huh? By my count they control half.

Executive (President) - Dem majority (2 RINOs in cabinent, rest of Depts. run by RATs)

Judicial (Supremes) - 5-to-4 GOP majority

Legislative (House) 242-192 GOP majority
Legislative (Senate) 51-47 Dem majority

Note I corrected used red to represent the communist left-wing party, regardless of how much the mainstream media wants to reverse the colors after 2000.

Anyway...where'd you get the idea that the Dems control 3/4ths of government? Did the RATs take over the Supreme Court and make Kagan the Chief Justice when I wasn't looking?

29 posted on 11/27/2011 12:27:17 AM PST by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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To: TBP; ForGod'sSake
The first step is to eliminate the duplicative agencies and block-grant the programs. We change the standards to favor the intact family rather than support its breakup. And we begin restoring the power to the states adn communities.

Bzzzzt. If you block grant them, they're still federal programs, just being executed at the state level. And it's not simply a distinction without a difference vs. what you propose -- the money, which was extracted from the citizens of the same state, is only returned with strings attached which can be proven to be almost always things the citizens who contributed the money DON'T want.

30 posted on 11/27/2011 12:34:59 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: rabscuttle385; All
Paul’s proposal won the support of Senator Jim DeMint and Senator Mike Lee, but it failed in the Senate, 7-90. Why did the overwhelming majority of Republican senators oppose Paul’s plan? Don’t they agree with Paul, DeMint and Lee that we have to cut spending and balance the budget? What gives? Here’s how Republican Senator Lindsey Graham explained his (and his party’s) opposition: “I’m not going to vote for any budget that reduces defense spending by over 40 percent.”

Great thread. Thanks to all posters. 7-90, eh? I can't seem to find the other 89 POS senators, besides Lindsey Graham. Cut politicians and their programs. 2012.

HOORAY Rand Paul (and the other 6)!

31 posted on 11/27/2011 3:26:00 AM PST by PGalt
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To: marty60

This election is critical, but your argument is a falsehood that the current GOP congress has used to excuse their lack of follow-through on anything they campaigned on in 2010 (cutting spending and stopping Obamacare).

The Supremes have nothing directly to do with spending and neither does the President without the approval of Congress. Congress controls the purse strings and the government doesn’t spend anything that Congress doesn’t approve.

Having a strong majority in the House could have and should have been enough to stop the madness.


32 posted on 11/27/2011 3:32:34 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: rabscuttle385
Paul’s proposal won the support of Senator Jim DeMint and Senator Mike Lee, but it failed in the Senate, 7-90.

But if we can just get a GOP majority (again), we'll finally balance the budget. /s

33 posted on 11/27/2011 5:45:31 AM PST by Huck (LIBERTY is the object.)
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To: rabscuttle385; All

” Lindsey Graham is a traitorous little weasel who needs to be expelled in 2014. “

I don’t know how he got back in last time. Musta been the Chamber of Commerce WHORES who backed him, because he was for amnesty.


34 posted on 11/27/2011 5:48:32 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: TBP
Of course, I'm radical enough to want to eliminate at least 9 Federal departments, so you know where I'm coming from.

That's an easy thing to say but can you remember the names of all 9?

35 posted on 11/27/2011 5:49:22 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Yes, look at Lindsey Graham and his friend McPain; that’s just what SC and AZ keep on doing.


36 posted on 11/27/2011 7:00:01 AM PST by Theodore R. (Forget the others: It's Santorum's turn, articulate, passionate, less baggage.)
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To: ALPAPilot

No, none of the Dept. of Education budget is actually spent on regular classroom school expenses. That is all local and state funding; in some states, more local than state funding. The federal money is occasional gravy for “special programs” and other kinds of interference so sought by the American public.


37 posted on 11/27/2011 7:03:12 AM PST by Theodore R. (Forget the others: It's Santorum's turn, articulate, passionate, less baggage.)
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To: 9YearLurker

Ok tell me what I am missing. How do they get any changes threw the Senate, and Obama Signature. I agree they should have bitten the bullet and not increased the debt ceiling. But what I’m I missing.


38 posted on 11/27/2011 12:15:16 PM PST by marty60
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To: marty60

Congress has to pass a bill approving any and all spending. If the House doesn’t approve a bill it can’t be passed on for the President to sign it whether or not the Senate votes for it. (And all spending bills are supposed to originate in the House anyway.)

All the House has to do is only pass bills spending less money.


39 posted on 11/27/2011 12:47:23 PM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Thank You.

Having to much trouble with FR. Will try tomorrow.


40 posted on 11/27/2011 1:28:44 PM PST by marty60
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To: Longbow1969
Defense is one of the ONLY things the federal government should be doing.

You falsley assume that our current Pentagon, world policing, budget has much of anything to do with defense. It doesn't. The founders, who hated entangling alliances, grand diplomacy, and world empires, would be disgusted at how current defenders of the military-industrial are perverting the Constitutional language about defense to rationalize the U.S. role of global Cop.

No sacred cows. We're broke.

41 posted on 11/27/2011 4:39:46 PM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Longbow1969
Defense is one of the ONLY things the federal government should be doing.

You falsely assume that our current Pentagon, world policing, budget has much of anything to do with defense. It doesn't. The founders, who hated entangling alliances, grand diplomacy, and world empires, would be disgusted at how current defenders of the military-industrial complex are perverting the Constitutional language about defense to rationalize the U.S. role of global Cop.

No sacred cows. We're broke.

42 posted on 11/27/2011 4:40:48 PM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Still Thinking

As I said, that’s what you do first. Then you start devolving them. But at least that way they save money over the duplicative programs.


43 posted on 11/27/2011 6:09:00 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: TBP

Ah, OK, missed that part. Sorry.


44 posted on 11/27/2011 6:25:40 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: TBP

“The first step is to eliminate the duplicative agencies and block-grant the programs. We change the standards to favor the intact family rather than support its breakup. And we begin restoring the power to the states adn communities.”

I can’t help but think the Fair Tax, with its emphasis on making Americans see their taxes instead of believing they are getting ‘refunds,’ is a better way to go. The do-nothings benefiting under the current law would at least temporarily approve getting fed service cuts if they could see the impact. That would make it more politically feasible in the long haul. In the short haul, block grants would be less visible but wouldn’t really reduce the scope and reach of the federal government.


45 posted on 12/03/2011 9:04:45 AM PST by LibertarianInExile (Newt Gingrich, a great conservative? Before he was Speaker and had to walk the walk, sure.)
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To: rabscuttle385
Rick Perry is for cutting government...and congress ...but brainless, heartless people haven't noticed.

Their feelings get in the way of rational thought!

46 posted on 12/03/2011 9:11:34 AM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: BillyBoy

The Supremes count is wrong. First off, they aren’t conservatives except for Thomas. Alito, Roberts, and Scalia are only conservatives when it fits the agenda of the big government GOP wing. Second, Kennedy isn’t even that kind of conservative. He’s just a waste of space that makes government by the SCOTUS laughable and makes its decisions incredibly worthless as precedent. In that sense, I guess he has SOME value for conservatives—but there is no conservative governance by that Court.


47 posted on 12/03/2011 9:12:32 AM PST by LibertarianInExile (Newt Gingrich, a great conservative? Before he was Speaker and had to walk the walk, sure.)
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