President Donald Trump was elected to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. by eliminating waste and turning away from politics as usual.
But today, the president signed a massive $1.3 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill that not only failed to help drain the swamp, but pumped more muck into it instead.
“The spending deal will increase the deficit for the current fiscal year to at least $850 billion, up from $666 billion in fiscal 2017. Starting in October, annual deficits are projected to top $1 trillion for the foreseeable future. On that course, the government would add roughly $12 trillion in borrowing over the next decade.”
Of course, this one isn’t all on the president alone. Congresspersons in the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the United States Senate crafted the bill, then voted it through to his desk.
The spending bill passed in Congress by a vote of 256-157, and then passed in the Senate by a 65-32 vote.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a vocal critic who voted against the bill, summed up the feelings of many conservatives very succinctly per Benjamin Brown of Fox News:
“Republicans control the government, yet Congress still follows the Democrats’ playbook. Time and again, spending skyrockets, and conservatives are expected to fall in line to praise the party for making the big-spending status quo worse.”
President Trump had stated as late as Saturday morning that he was considering a veto of the bill. However, in the end he signed off on it, claiming that it provided necessary increases in funding for the military as a primary reason.
Though a staunch supporter of the American military, I find this reasoning disingenuous at best, and a flat-out lie at worst.
After signing, the president referred to the bill as “ridiculous“, and per S.A. Miller at The Washington Times stated that “I will never sign a bill like this again.“
Unfortunately, by that time the damage was already done. He signed this one. Why sign this one, knowing while you are doing it that you allegedly will never sign one like it again?
What the president could have, and should have, done in my opinion was to veto the bill. While the bill had passed easily in both Houses of Congress, there was not enough support to override his veto.
With a veto, the Congress would have been forced to go back and make cuts that would allow for the president to affix his signature. That, or with no spending authorization in place, they could simply decide to shut the government down.
This president was supposed to be the one who did things differently. Who didn’t play the same old political games. But here, when he had the chance to back up his tough talk and tweets with some real hardball action, he blinked and signed.
The Trump signature on this bill was a slap in the face to every conservative American who threw their support to him in November of 2016. It was a betrayal of those of us who believed that we finally had someone unafraid to stand up to the Deep State establishment.
There is no sugar-coating this one. President Trump caved in to politics as usual in Washington, D.C., and as a result we as a nation will sink deeper and deeper in debt.
There is no doubt that there is much to like in the spending bill, including those necessary increases for the U.S. military. But there is no funding to “build the wall” that has been promised by the president, and there is no fix to the DACA issue.
There is also no doubt that among the ridiculous 2,232 pages of this massive grab into taxpayer wallets that there is a great deal of money going out to special interest pork barrel projects that the government has no business being involved in funding.
Frankly, I’m tired of vocally backing a president and a party that, when push comes to shove, continually thumbs its nose at the people who elected them to office. They talk about Democrats spending like drunken sailors and promise that they will be different if given the chance. Then when given that chance, they drink the Dems under the table.
No more. I’ll be taking a nice, long, happy break from politics after this piece. It’s on to sports, faith, entertainment, and other less stressful topics in my writing. And that’s a shame.
The election of businessman Donald Trump was supposed to mean an end to business a usual in Washington. Instead, we saw today that he is incapable of nothing more than talk in regards to draining the swamp.
Republicans and Democrats alike frequently criticize the general tone and specific messaging pushed by various major media outlets.
For those Americans who consider themselves to be conservative, almost exclusively Republicans, the usual suspects include broadcasters such as CNN, MSNBC, and NPR and print/web sources such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.
Leftists frequently bemoan the messaging and tone that comes from the Fox News network, including Fox Business, as well as media outlets such as One America News and The Washington Times.
For decades, liberals had a monopoly on mass messaging pushed to the American public through broadcast and print news. Slowly over the last two decades or so, conservative voices, once relegated to talk radio, have grown in influence. This has been thanks to the Internet and cable news.
Still, there remain more liberal resources. The influence of the old school networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC continues to wane. However, there remains a large segment of America who still receive their news from these sources, especially at the local news level.
The vast majority of newspapers and TV entertainment programs in America remain under the control of liberal media organizations as well. The messaging pushed out to the public is overwhelmingly liberal, unless you specifically go looking for conservative voices.
That fact makes the continued efforts and expansion of independent Republican voices more important than ever. It is one of the main reasons that I put effort into this website and into my all around social media presence.
Michelle Malkin is the queen of American conservative bloggers. Born in my hometown of Philadelphia and raised across the Delaware River in South Jersey, the 47-year old Malkin makes her home in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband and two children.
“Actually, blogging is kind of therapeutic. Especially when you’re a red-state person living in a blue, blue state, and your neighbors would burn a peace symbol in your yard at midnight if they knew how you really felt about things. Some people do yoga; I pound the keyboard. The blood pressure goes down either way.”
Your own therapy aside, the continued presence and growth of American bloggers of a Republican persuasion is vitally important thanks to the upcoming midterm elections here in the United States.
The facts are that, no matter who sits in the Oval Office, the President’s party loses an average of 30 congressional seats in normal midterm elections.
One reason this happens is what is known as the “presidential penalty” – voters from the President’s party are happy that he won. History shows that happy voters are much more likely to stay home than angry, possibly more motivated, voters from the opposition.
“In the 21 midterm elections held since 1934, only twice has the president’s party gained seats in both the Senate and the House: Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s first midterm election and George W. Bush‘s first midterm election. On three other occasions, the President’s party gained House seats and once it was a draw. On one occasion, the president’s party gained Senate seats.”
This means that in 15 of the 21 midterm elections, the President has seen their Party lose seats in both houses of congress. These are the odds that congressional representatives in the Republican Party of President Donald Trump will be trying to buck this coming November.
The re-election bids of those GOP incumbents will be made all the more difficult thanks to the efforts of the major media outlets. They will continue criticizing the President at every turn, thus shining a negative light on any candidate who might support him or his policies. This in addition to actually slanting their more local coverage towards individual congressional candidates in specific elections.
Republican bloggers need to ensure that we are pushing as conservative a message as possible, and supporting Republican candidates as aggressively as possible this year.
There will be some hard-fought GOP primary campaigns in various U.S. Senate and Congressional races across the country. Whether your favored candidate wins or loses those elections, the fact remains that ANY Republican candidate will be better than any Democratic Party alternative in the fall. After the primaries, it will be time to set aside any internal differences and back the winners.
If you are a Republican blogger, make sure that you stay active this year. I write on a wide variety of topics, not just politics. If you follow me regularly, you will also find many pieces on sports, entertainment, faith, and other issues. As the year moves along, I will have plenty of political commentary.
Imagine the Senate and/or the House of Representatives under the control of the Democratic Party. Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House? Chuck Schumer holding tie-breaking votes as the President of the Senate?
I encourage you to continue your own efforts in blogging, posting on social media, and in any other way that you can help Republicans beat the odds in November’s midterms. It is vital to do your part as our President continues working to make America great again.
The Republican controlled United States Congress is attempting something significant that has not happened in more than three decades. Yet it is something that almost everyone in both parties believes to be grossly overdue.
Updates to the United States tax code have not been accomplished since Ronald Reagan was President.
That long ago legislation passed a voice vote in the House of Representatives in December 1985. It then took another seven months before finally passing the Senate in June 1986. President Reagan then signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 into law on October 22, 1986.
Over the ensuing decades, further changes to the tax code have been discussed and debated in both formal political circles as well as in the media and in academia. Many on both sides of the American political aisle have voiced their concern that tax reform was necessary. Agreeing to the specifics and getting such reform done has been much more elusive.
Charles Rangel is as liberal a Democrat as you are going to find. He served in Congress for nearly five decades before retiring earlier this year. Per Brainy Quotes, Rangel once stated “We all want a simpler code, but tax reform is about much more. It is about ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.“
Those final words have usually become the rub. What makes up a “fair share?” Reaching any consensus is becoming nearly impossible now in an era where American politics are as partisan and polarized as any in history.
That 1986 tax legislation was actually co-sponsored by a pair of Democrats, Congressman Dick Gephart and Senator Bill Bradley. While Republicans held a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, the final vote in support for tax reform was 97-3.
When the 2017 House vote was taken on November 16, no Democrats voted for it. None. Their mantra, as it has always been, claimed that Republicans were cutting taxes for “the top 1%” of earners, while giving no or little actual relief to the middle class.
The Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, responded per Naomi Jagoda and Cristina Marcos for The Hill that “Passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy, to restore opportunity and help these middle-income families who are struggling.“
The fact is that on most issues, especially the big ones, votes in both the House and Senate now come down rigidly along party lines. Where there used to be a dozen or more “swing” votes to be had, legislators of either party who could be appealed to and lobbied for support, that is rarely the case today.
There is always an obligatory appeal to the middle class by both parties. Each claims to want to bring relief to those middle income earners. Yet somehow, the two parties can never agree on any issue that will actually help the middle class.
Getting actual tax reform done now is going to come down to one party or the other gaining control of both the House and the Senate. Then they are also likely to need a President of their same party who is willing to sign the new tax proposal into law.
Right now, Republicans have just such control. The GOP holds a slim 52-48 edge in the U.S. Senate, and a tight 239-194 edge in the House of Representatives. And, of course, a Republican now sits in the Oval office for the first time in eight years.
A big election will take place in Alabama in two weeks for a Senate seat. The result of that election will either maintain the Republicans edge, or tighten it even further to a barely noticeable 51-49 advantage.
In next year’s mid-term elections, Democrats will need to defend the seats of 25 of their voting members in the Senate. Republicans have eight seats to defend. All 435 voting Congress persons will also have to defend their seats.
With uncertainty always a hallmark of mid-term elections, now is the time for Republicans to get tax reform done. Having missed out on a chance to repeal and replace Obamacare, the GOP needs to begin showing that it can get major legislative initiatives accomplished.
While the Republican Congresspersons of the House have now passed their plan, the Republican Senators are now preparing to vote on their own tax reform proposal. That vote is likely to take place this week.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, always a key vote in these big issues, today came out in support of the Republican tax plan readying for that Senate vote:
“This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues. I’m not getting everything I want — far from it. But I’ve been immersed in this process. I’ve fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.”
Assuming those Senators actually get their plan to pass a vote, we still won’t have tax relief. Leaders in the House and Senate would need to get together, and hash out some compromise regarding the details of their separate proposals.
Once that happens, which would likely come in the spring, then there would be votes in both Houses on the final legislation. Should that pass both votes, then it tax relief would finally get to President Trump’s desk. It is presumed that the President would sign any tax reform legislation put before him.
Chris Edwards for the Cato Institute opined back in late October that “the GOP plan would give the largest relative cuts to people in the middle. On average, middle-income earners would receive larger percentage tax cuts than higher-income earners.“
One highlight of the House reform plan that has been constantly pushed is that most Americans would be able to file their income taxes on a form the size of a postcard. I’ll be curious to see if that actually comes to pass.
Politics in this country are on the edge right now. The edge of sanity, that is. Next year’s mid-term elections are going to be hard-fought and bloody. Passing tax reform before those elections hit would be a welcome postcard from the edge for American tax payers.
For the past year it has become the public mantra of Democratic Party politicians: “Elections have consequences.” Whether they were talking about bailing out large corporations or taking over the banking, auto, and health care industries, that simple phrase has been their fallback position.
To some extent, that is true. When the nation elects a leader such as Barack Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, it has definitely sent a message. A majority of the citizens of the United States spoke up in November of 2008 and sent the message that the direction the country was headed during the Bush years was not one that they wanted to continue following.
The American electorate sent a clear message for ‘change’ to Washington politicians at that point. The problem, however, and it is a big one for the Dems, is that the voters quite obviously wanted ‘change’ with a small ‘c’, not the “Change” that marked the Obama campaign’s signature slogan.
What Obama was trumpeting was “fundamental change“, a message that he banged home time and time again. The mass electorate heard those words and decided that he meant a simple change in direction, something they wanted indeed. What he actually meant was to change the very nature of what it meant to be America as a nation.
After winning election, Obama got his house in order, got his Democratic Party leadership organized, and then set out down the path towards that fundamental change from a democratic, capitalist society to a full-blown European-inspired socialist one. The American ‘system’ that had made us the envy of the world for generations had somehow “failed” in is words and needed to be almost completely trashed.
Problem was, the American public didn’t go along for the ride. As the depth and scope of Obama’s vision of change came into view and practice, as Dem national leaders like Nancy Pelosi in Congress and Harry Reid in the Senate began to push the legislative agenda, it became crystal-clear to Americans that socialism was the order of the day.
The Democrats were making a fundamental political mistake, one that the Republicans had made a couple of times in the last couple of decades. They assumed that their election to power now gave them a mandate for major changes to America, and they began to institute those major changes.
Quickly, the American public began to voice their concerns. In every major public opinion poll, the public shouted at the top of it’s lungs for the Dem leadership to slow things down. Some changes were needed to the system, yes. But almost no one wanted socialist restrictions and control to replace democratic capitalism’s freedom and liberty.
Socialism has failed everywhere that it has every been tried on earth. The reasons are quite simple. Taking away incentives from individuals to work harder, to dream bigger, to achieve more results in less production. Citizens come to rely on their government to provide for them. Eventually, the government can no longer do so, because it simply lacks the resources.
You cannot possibly tax individuals and businesses enough to sustain government control. And let’s face it, that is the only place that government gets it’s money. Government is, in fact, you and I. We pay into the system to keep it functional. We elect people to run things as our representatives. In a socialist system, those representatives just keep raising and raising our taxes to take on more and more control over our everyday lives.
Eventually a system such as the Obama administration is attempting to install will collapse on itself because it is economically unsustainable. But before it does, society will degenerate into a mess of ennui and disillusionment, or worse. If those who have control in a socialist system see that control slipping away, their response has often been to use force to remain in power. They change the laws and keep themselves in the life boats to protect their own interests as the ship sinks around them.
Many Americans did understand that this would be the direction that Obama and the leading Dems would take once in power. Those are the tens of millions who voted against them. They are now being joined by the millions ‘in the middle’, those Americans who wanted the small ‘c’ of ‘change’, not the capital ‘C’ of Obama’s socialism.
Yes, Democrats, elections have consequences. However, what you are failing to remember is the lessons of politicians and Parties past. That there is always another election coming. This November, Americans will again go to the polls. All signs point to the Dems losing control of Congress, which will seriously cripple Obama’s ability to continue his agenda.
Obama and Pelosi and Reid have led America down this path of ‘Change’ at full speed, recklessly disregarding the public’s wishes time and time again. Reid and many of his Dem leadership co-horts will undoubtedly pay the price in the Fall of 2010. They will pay that price because, despite their election victories in 2006 and 2008, they are now ignoring the American electorate in 2010.
Now is a time of opportunity for the Republican Party to reassert itself, but it must be willing to return to basic American principles of democracy, capitalism, and traditional exceptionalism in order to take full advantage. The Republicans must reflect core American values, pledge a change in direction to fiscal sanity and responsibility, and to fully and effectively preserving and defending our nation and it’s founding principles.
In the fall of 2010, the Democrats will be reminded that elections do indeed have consequences. When they lose their control over Congress, their control over the purse strings and the power and the direction, then they will cry and wail and moan. They will blame one another, point fingers, and become disgruntled. And they will have no one to blame but themselves, because elections do indeed have consequences, the next one as strongly as the last one.