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A View from the Altar / Why the Dems are digging in
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Why the Dems are digging in

To borrow WSJ’s parlance, the Democrats are the party of “takers.”  It wasn’t always so, but it is now.

Last November, a coalition of “makers” succeeded in giving the GOP a majority in the House.  Makers don’t constitute the GOP, just enough of it that it gave the GOP its majority.

Federal spending bills, like any law, require both houses of Congress plus the signature of the president.  Thus, the house acting alone can scotch any spending they don’t like.  In a practical political sense, the veto power over spending has been taken from the president and now lives in the House.

The nation’s makers are urging House GOP members to use this power now against the aggression of the takers.  It would be more than bold.  It would border on radical.  The Ivy League set, ever warlike and long accustomed to untrammeled power in Washington, would be outraged.  They can hit back hard, and would.  GOP leadership (which is not comprised of Constitutional conservatives) knows this.

The haggling over minuscule percentages of the budget is just theater.  The back story, I’m afraid, is that GOP leadership is just too fearful of the potential repercussions.  Many freshman conservatives campaigned last year on the honest intention of fighting the looming debt crisis before it destroys the country.  But to make any progress, they must persuade virtually the whole GOP to put its political life on the line to save America’s bacon.  If they did so, it would slash Social Security spending, raise retirement ages, cut deeply into Medicare and Medicaid, eliminate spending for some entire departments, pull us out of our multiple and improvident wars, and cut the defense department to the size of a force needed to defend us against Mexico and Canada.

In my lifetime, the establishment GOP has never shown the sort of courage needed for this.  We should pray that God will give it to them.  One way or another, now or later, the nation’s finances will be reformed.  We can have it out now knowing the consequences will be grave, or we can wait until later when the consequences will be catastrophic.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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