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A View from the Altar / The long night of the RINO
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The long night of the RINO

If you’re just now recovering like Rip van Winkle from a 20-year nap, you could be forgiven for not knowing America is on the brink of bankruptcy.  Washington is trying to figure out how to keep its cake and eat it too, and prospects for that are looking bleak.  There is one thing that keeps D.C. cranking along, and that one thing is spending other people’s money.  Everything they do without exception boils down to this.  They take money from people who earn it and they bestow it on others.  Nothing whatsoever in government happens without this.

Sometimes the others earn it, as our soldiers do.  Mostly the others don’t, which would be the tens of millions people who receive some kind of transfer payments from the government.  Economists call government checks “transfer payments” because the government takes money from a tax payer and transfers it to a tax consumer.  For many years, the government’s tab for transfer payments exceeds all other spending combined.

The amount of the excess spending is surprisingly large.  For example, you could totally wipe out all military spending and the government would still be running a deficit.  Yes, it’s that big.

So we can’t tax our way out of this.  The Corinne Brown solution (rich people gat de munneh; we just go git de munneh from dem) won’t work.  For one thing, there aren’t enough rich people to shake down.  For another thing, rich people are really not as stupid as Corinne Brown needs them to be, else they wouldn’t be rich.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, they won’t just robotically comply when the tax-and-spend Washingtonians proclaim new rules.  They will hide their money and wait on 2012 or 2016.

So what’s the Washington establishment to do?  They will return to the people they’ve always depended on, the ones who have gotten them out of every jam, the same Quislings who’ve saved their bacon every time conservatives had the establishment at match point: They will look to the RINOs.  The press corps and the White House will be turning up the heat, the pressure, the propaganda, the bribery, reminding RINOs of all the secrets they haven’t told but could.  They will promise favorable press in exchange for votes favoring the hyperspending status quo.  The next few weeks will be somewhere past the ninth circle of hell for the poor RINOs.

Because America is at a watershed moment.  The RINOs know this.  If something doesn’t happen in the next few weeks to rein in spending in Washington, the republic will never again have the political muscle to tell the spending machine to stop.  If spending isn’t restrained, a humiliating Greek-style fiscal failure will be our fate followed by the collapse of the present order of things.  We will look back on the present 9.2 percent unemployment as the good old days.  It really is now or never.  Between now and the budget deal, the fate of the country rests in the hands of the least principled members you can find in the whole governing class.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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