Skip to comments.At Last, Republicans Make Their Case to Main Street
Posted on 02/07/2013 2:20:40 PM PST by Kaslin
The House Republicans, in serious trouble with public opinion as they blinked facing the "fiscal cliff" over New Year's, seem suddenly to be playing a more successful game -- or rather, games -- an inside game and an outside game.
The inside game can be described by the Washington phrase "regular order." What that means in ordinary American English is that you proceed according to the rules.
Bills are written in subcommittee and committee and then go to the floor. When the House and Senate pass different versions -- likely when Republicans control the House and Democrats have a majority in the Senate -- the two are taken to conference committee to be reconciled.
Then both houses vote on the conference committee report. If it is approved, the president can sign or veto it.
Note the lack of negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders. Speaker John Boehner decided they're useless after the failure of his grand bargain talks with Barack Obama.
Under regular order, House Republicans had little leverage when the fiscal cliff loomed on New Year's Day. Taxes were to go up by $4.5 trillion if the House didn't act. So Republicans accepted higher rates on those earning more than $400,000.
Now, Republicans have the leverage. The budget sequester to automatically take effect March 1 would cut spending by $1 trillion. Republicans don't like the $500 billion defense spending cuts, but they can stomach them.
Obama took to the teleprompter yesterday afternoon to call for short-term spending cuts and revenue increases through elimination of deductions. Boehner was willing to consider the latter as part of a grand bargain that included tax rate cuts and entitlement reform.
But if the net effect is revenue increases, Republicans aren't interested. For them, this would be "laughable -- they have zero reason to do it," as my Washington Examiner colleague Philip Klein has written.
You may have noticed that everything in this column so far is Washington talk -- fiscal cliff, sequester, regular order. It's not language you hear ordinary Americans speaking in everyday life.
Which leads to the House Republicans' outside game, advanced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a speech Tuesday afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute, where I'm a resident fellow.
It was scheduled well in advance, and interestingly, Obama chose the same hour to speak before the cameras. He did the same thing once before, in May 2009, when former Vice President Cheney spoke at AEI on CIA interrogation techniques.
Cantor titled his remarks "Making Life Work," and they were clearly aimed at Main Street.
He spoke not of educational block grants, but of having federal education "follow children" to schools their parents choose.
In a move reminiscent of presidents' State of the Union messages since 1982, he brought along Joseph Kelley, who sent his son, Rashawn, and his three daughters to private schools with money from a District of Columbia voucher program the Obama administration has tried to shut down.
He criticized the Obamacare tax on medical devices by bringing a Baltimore nurse who worked to develop replacement discs for patients with back pain and then needed one herself. She was wearing her cervical collar.
He brought 12-year-old Katie, from Richmond, who has been treated for cancer almost all her life, to illustrate Republican support for funding basic medical research.
Addressing immigration, he brought Fiona Zhou, a systems engineering graduate student whose chances to remain in the United States would improve if, as the House voted last year, more immigration slots were opened for foreigners with advance science, technology and engineering degrees.
He endorsed the Dream Act, legal residence and citizenship for illegal immigrants brought here as children. He praised the bipartisan work on a bill including border security, employment verification and guest-worker programs.
All this was a contrast with Cantor's usual penchant to speak in Washington talk and with the tendency of many Republicans, notably Mitt Romney, to speak in abstractions like free enterprise and government regulation, rather than in words that describe the experiences of ordinary Americans.
Yes, there's a certain amount of theater and contrivance to this. But that's often true in politics. There was sophisticated argumentation in the Lincoln-Douglas debates. But the two candidates also put on a show.
It's not clear how successful the House Republicans' outside game will be. But for those on their side, it's encouraging that they're trying to play.
New? This is the same Kabuki. Get real. Solve problems. About everything you buy is made with jobs elsewhere. Fix America not the world. Put Americans back to work again - earning money, buying things, paying taxes, getting rich and voting Republican.
The republicans are inept. I’ve lost any confidence in their ability to connect with the public, let alone win significant elections.
Just 2 days ago an RNC fundraiser called our house wanting money.
My wife set him straight.
‘If they don’t grow a set and stand up the Beezle, don’t bother us again.’
Another spectacular game of chicken.
The best one I ever saw was when at the approach, both participants chose to swerve to the LEFT simultaneously. A highly unlikely response, as every nerve is screaming, bear to the RIGHT, dummies!
We KNOW that the Current Occupant is hardwired to turn to the left, it is his response to everything. What we do not know is whether the GOP is willing to stay with the normal and natural tendency to swing to the right, with the hope that The Won will somehow recognize the serious nature of the situation, and overcome his lifelong reluctance to finally, in an act of amazing agility, overcome those reflexive responses, and do the right thing.
The upshot should gain the attention of everybody around the world.
Based on what I have seen out of the Republicans since the election, they are acting like they loss EVERYTHING and have to cowtow to whatever Obama says.
They must have forgot that they DO have the House yet, and need to realize that and use it to their advantage. There is no doubt in my mind that we are going over the cliff-we might as well get it over quickly and put the blame on Obama.
I have a audible caller ID on our house phone, and If I don’t recognize the number then I do not answer the phone. Plus when someone calls me on my cell phone and I don’t recognize the number, I do the same and do not answer it. I also do google the number and if is a number from a telemarketer it goes right into the reject list that I have on my cell phone. I suggest you do the same. Also any fundraiser request that I get from politician goes right where all my junk mail goes, which is the shredder
Well, isn't that special?
"They" can "stomach" them.
That is so generous of our Republican masters. The problem is the military cannot "stomach" them.
Someone go back and read every single story in December and January about what the "Fiscal Cliff" was. It was defined as the tax raises AND the deep Sequestration cuts, especially to the military.
The ONLY thing they addressed was taxes. The Republicans didn't want to lift a finger about Sequestration and the devastation it would do to the military. It was Democrats who had to bring it up at the midnight hour.
Our military has already taken $450 Billion in cuts (over ten years) that started in 2001.
Sequestration is $600 Billion on top of that. This chart is before Sequestration.
Thanks a lot GOP "leadership!" Ronald Reagan you ain't.
So here is what the wonderful Republican "leadership" will allow:
- job losses of between 1 to 2 million
- breaking faith with our men and women in uniform
- degrading our military to dangerous levels
- furloughs of defense workers
- economic malaise
That sure is a terrific plan.
We need cuts in the give away programs. We are NOT going broke because of our military.
The real source of our debt problems (Entitlements and Welfare spending) are not addressed one iota.
Don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back.
2001 = 2011
Since when did it become some great tragedy if a foreigner grauduated from an American university and then returned home? This is such BS. During the Cold War years, we often heard how wonderful it was for foreigners to attend our universities, then they'd return home and become goodwill ambassdors for the US after their years living here.
Practically everything that comes out of the mouths of these amnesty pushers is some combination of nonsense, BS, and ouright lies and fabrications.
500 billion on the 10 year plan is only 50 billion a year. That is less than 8% of the defense budget with the wars included, iirc, and about 8.5% without the war budget included.
Now, I have heard how devastating this would be, but I know, having been in the military a long time that military units carefully spend their money until the last fiscal quarter, when they do a lot of last minute spending just to keep their request for the following year from being cut.
I think they could cut 8.5%, excepting salaries, across the board and not really hurt anything. Accounting for salaries, I think they could cut 10% across the board, not touching salaries, and simply become more efficient.
So, the bugaboo is 500 billion dollars....but that’s over 10 years.
Get a grip. The military budget is not being "cut".
The projected growth in the Pentagon's budget will be reduced by $50 billion a year. Spending on the military will still increase spectacularly.
And when Panetta tells you that he's been "forced" to keep the "Harry S. Truman" in port because of budget cuts, just think of your local county executive who is "forced" to cut ambulance services because his selfish constitutents don't want another tax increase.
It's all designed to get defenders of the military upset. He's got choices. He has a budget the size of a medium-sized country to manage. He chooses to cut what he knows will outrage.
- economic malaise
Nonsense. Military spending does not create economic growth. Sure, it puts people to work, but so does adding a few thousand IRS auditors. Anything the government spends goes down an economic rathole.
Now, you may approve of military spending more than you do, say, EPA spending. I do, too. But defend military spending on military reasons -- not economic reasons. It doesn't fly.
I call that "passive-aggressive budgeting": assign the lowest priority to the most important things; that way, since they can't be cut, nothing can be cut.
You have no idea what you are talking about.
The US military was cut by Obama by $450 Billion over ten years starting in 2011. Those were real cuts. Thousands of jobs were lost. Weapon systems and modernization cancelled. As part of that cut, thousands of troops will be eliminated (those are in the projections, Obama ordered the uniformed reductions so they would come after the 2012 election). Sequestration is $600 Billion on top of that cut.
I do not understand the "burn it all down" rhetoric of some of this forum. I am as fed up with next person with our give away programs that shovel Trillions to the takers in our midst. But punishing our military and breaking faith with our men and women in uniform is obscene.
Nonsense. Military spending does not create economic growth.
Again, you do not know what you are talking about.
Of course military spending, research, manufacturing, logistics, construction, and medical care creates economic growth. Good heavens. Even hard core leftist Marxist acknowledge this.
Why do you think the GPD shrunk 0.1% into negative territory last quarter? It was because with the Obama cuts to Defense and Sequestration looming, military spending dropped 22.1%, the largest drop in over 40 years.
You claim that the DoD's announcements of real cut backs are akin to your local town cutting firemen or police instead of bureaucrats, but you are mistaken. The military is not playing PR games here. Please understand, this is not a game. Because Obama ordered that the Sequester cuts not touch troop strength this year, the military must take all of those cuts from Operations and Maintenance (O&M). That is the life blood of military operations. The cuts may be up to 30%. That is a hollow military, period.
Defense spending also contributes billions of dollars into our economy with Foreign Military Sales (FMS) each year.
The Pentagon is not joking this time. These cuts will gut training, operations, modernization, and most importantly morale.
It’s really not a question about what cuts the military can withstand. It’s about what cuts does Obama have to make. Sequestration is a Democrat plan. They need to identify the cuts.
Obama wants higher taxes. All Boehner has to say is on January 1, we gave you your taxe hikes. Now you and the Rats have to cut.
SO what do you want to cut?