One of the favorite tricks of the federal government is to plan to increase spending by, say, 10%, then increase it only by 5% and say they cut spending. The spending still goes up, but they claim they're saving money because it didn't go up as much as they'd originally planned.
It's like a man who makes $50,000 per year making out his annual budget and planning to spend $100,000, but then having a change of heart and spending "only" $75,000. "I cut my spending by 25%!" ...but he's still spending $25,000 more than he's earning, and this way lies ruin.
The cuts that the GOP and the Dems were crowing about last week are composed primarily of similar bookkeeping tricks. The end result is that the actual, real cuts amount perhaps to $15 billion, and might be as little as $8 billion.
OUT OF A $3,800 BILLION BUDGET.
That isn't even a rounding error. That is NOTHING.
$15 billion is 0.39% of the federal budget. It's the amount of annual deficit that the federal government accrues in two days.
Got that? The GOP has demonstrated its commitment to cutting spending, to fiscal conservatism, by not doing a goddamned thing about out-of-control federal spending.
Because it's hard. Because Democrats and the press will say mean things about them.
And so, FY 2012's budget is going to be bigger than FY 2011's budget. THERE ARE NO CUTS. SPENDING WILL INCREASE.
GOP, I am now putting you on notice: you have exactly nineteen months to get your collective head out of your collective ass and fix this. You have only until the elections in 2012 to start cutting spending like you mean it, because if you don't, I'm not voting Republican any longer--not at any level--because you aren't doing what we elected you to do.
If the GOP is going to govern exactly like Democrats there is no reason for me to vote for them. There's no point to voting for them! Why bother? They're not doing anything different, so why not just let the Democrats win? It's not like the Republicans are being any more honest about what they want to do than the Democrats are, either; the GOP ran on cutting spending by $100 billion, and the result of the very first budget fight ends up being real cuts of--at most!--$15 billion.
* * *
I can't even say I'm disappointed. You know? I pretty much expected the GOP to do this. I had hoped it would be otherwise, but:
"#2374: "Oh, Ed, don't soil yourself!"
"#2379: So the election is tomorrow."
The latter post begins, "And even if the GOP wins big, it won't make a lick of difference."
Guess what? I'm a prophet!
...no, I just knew what the GOP was going to do once it had the reins of power back. From the former post:
I'm going to vote Republican this election, like I always do. But depending on how the GOP acts in the next two years, it may be the last time.So that's where we are now: we've got a GOP that--even with a stunning mandate like the one they got in the last election--cannot and will not do anything to rein in the out-of-control spending of the federal government.
If I see anything coming out of the GOP that looks like 2000-2006, I'm done with the GOP. I mean it. No more "Democrat Lite" bullshit, guys, because I won't stand for it. I'll switch parties and start voting libertarian before I enable that kind of happy horseshit from you buttplugs. This is your last chance to demonstrate to me that you guys actually have something approximating a spine and a brain.
I am not expecting miracles. But:
If you "reach across the aisle" to Obama, I'm quitting the party.
If you don't start trying to roll back Obama's failed schemes, I'm done.
If you don't filibuster or vote down Obama's radical appointees, it's over.
If you increase spending, you lose.
If you raise taxes--in any way, for any reason--I'm going libertarian.
If your worries about what the press thinks of you lead you to abandon conservatism, I'm abandoning you.
The nonsense we got from the GOP during the Bush years will not fly. There had better not be any record-breaking spending increases to any federal line-item, much less the kind of "compassionate conservative" crap we got thanks to Bush et al ("No Child Left Behind" etc). Fuck that noise.
I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. If you screw this up, I won't be back in 2012.
And even assuming you surpass all my expectations and actually manage not to fuck this up--I am not holding my breath--if you give me some squishy "Democrat Lite" asshat for President in 2012 (like John McCain) I won't be voting for him. And I'm putting you on notice right the fuck now: Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney are non-starters. Don't even bother putting them up, because I'll vote for someone else. But that assumes that you actually manage to govern like conservatives and not squishy "Democrat Lite" assholes; and I don't think you'll manage that.
Hell no I don't have any confidence in the GOP. Why would I? The last time there was real conservatism in Washington, D.C. was 1995, and it didn't last very long: eighteen months, tops, until Bill Clinton stared the GOP down over a government shutdown. The press said nasty things, the GOP wet its pants, and after that, it was "Democrat Lite" all the way to the shitpot we're in now.
We don't need another Democrat party, even a watered-down one; the one we already have is more than enough. What we need is opposition to the Democrat party; and if the GOP doesn't provide that, I'm not going to support it. I'm going to find someone who does.
So I guess I know what I'm doing in 2012...unless they somehow manage to get their shit together.
Which ain't gonna happen. Mark my words.