Friday, December 28, 2012

Who Has Compromised And Who Has Not?

     Yesterday on the floor of the Senate Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority Leader of that body, made the case that it has been Republicans who have compromised in an effort to craft a deal with the President to avoid the fiscal cliff. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, of course tried in vain to make the opposite case.
     The problem with Senator Reid's position is that it has no standing in fact and reality. The Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to pass a budget in almost four years. The Republican-controlled House has passed a budget every year since being made the majority by the voters in the 2010 mid-term elections. But the Republican budget, which would have imposed some fiscal sanity on the Federal government and gone a long way to reducing the deficit and debt, was not even brought to the floor for a vote in the Senate. The Republican house has passed 31 jobs bills, which Harry Reid killed as soon as they were sent to the Senate. In fact, Majority Leader Reid bragged about House Republican bills being, "Dead On Arrival" in the Senate that he controls. Finally, the Republican House has sent legislation to the Senate that would solve the current fiscal cliff crisis, but once again Harry Reid has not even allowed debate on this legislation, let alone a vote.
     So what have the President and the Democrat majority in the Senate been doing while the Republicans have been advancing legislation to repair the nation's problems? Nothing. The President nor the Democrat-controlled Senate have yet to put forth an official plan for solving the fiscal cliff problem. Senate Majority Leader Reid talked about a Senate bill that House Republicans have yet to pass, but the bill is vapor. As of yesterday, December 27, 2012, no bill has been sent to the House from the Senate regarding the fiscal cliff. The existence of a Senate bill on the fiscal cliff is a moot point anyway since Constitutionally all spending and revenue bills must originate in the House. They are then sent to the Senate for debate, amending, voting on and then sent back to the House to be approved by that body.
     In the final analysis, the Republicans have moved their position from being dead set against tax increases on anyone, to agreeing to a raise on those making over a million dollars a year. This is a huge compromise that has gotten them in hot water with many Conservatives. But it is to no avail since the President has refused to give in on any meaningful spending cuts, which comprise over 90% of the nation's fiscal problems. In fact, the President has suggested increased spending that would actually add another 9 trillion dollars to the debt in the next 10 years. The Republicans must stand firm on meaningful spending cuts and entitlement reforms, otherwise there is no point in avoiding the fiscal cliff only to fall into the bottomless fiscal abyss that will surely come as a result of out-of-control spending.

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