By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
?Section 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. ? Section 7: All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.? ? United States Constitution, Article I
Our founders wrote the Constitution this way because every state gets two seats in the U.S. Senate regardless of size, or how much in taxes it sends to Washington. However, in the House, states that have more people and pay more in taxes get more representatives than those with less people who pay less. The House of Representatives is also closer to the people who pay taxes and debts. Its members are up for election every two years, while senators get six-year terms.
So when the Republican House of Representatives adopted a ?Cut, Cap and Balance? bill to cut trillions in federal spending (rather than agree to borrow $2 trillion more than the $14.2 trillion we already owe, with no plan to pay that money back), it acted exactly as the founders of this country intended.
Of course, no bill can become law unless the Democrat President and Democrat-majority Senate agree. And President Obama and the Democrat-majority Senate only agree to phony spending cuts years in the future, in exchange for $2 trillion of more debt today. They sound like Wimpy, the Popeye cartoon character who always promised to pay on Tuesday for a hamburger today.
At first, House Republicans admitted that eight years of Bush-McCain Republicans and three years of Obama-Clinton Democrats almost killed our economy with big government, big borrowing and big spending. Their plan would have cut government back to the size it was only 12 years ago.
The President and Senate Democrats were OK with spending $3.6 trillion each year while taking in only $2 trillion, and borrowing 44 cents for every dollar ? until the Chinese yank our credit cards. Although President Obama repeatedly calls for big tax hikes on ?millionaires and billionaires,? the federal government would still be short money even if it seized every dollar owned by all of them!
Over the weekend, Republican leaders like Republican House Speaker John Boehner surrendered to the Democrats?just like they did during the ?government shut-down? crisis last April.
During the election campaign last November, Republicans promised to cut $100 billion from the budget this year if they won. The Republicans won big, and took back control of the House.
But instead of proposing $100 billion of spending cuts as promised, Republican leaders like Boehner proposed a ?compromise? spending plan with only $61 billion in cuts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused this ?compromise? and said the federal government would run out of money and shut down on April 9 if Congress did not approve more spending with no cuts.
Speaker Boehner responded by saying he would never allow the federal government to shut down. This was as stupid as the National Football League owners saying at the beginning of negotiations that they would never allow a single game to be cancelled in the fall.
Having nothing to bargain with, Boehner and most House Republicans, including Frank LoBiondo, agreed to a compromise of their compromise, with $38 billion in phony cuts. We later learned that only $3 to $4 billion of those cuts were real?a whopping 1/1000 of the total federal budget.
Conservative Republicans were so outraged by this sellout that Speaker Boehner was forced to fight for more budget cuts when the President asked Congress for permission to borrow beyond the $14.2 trillion debt ceiling on Aug. 2.
But although this new showdown was coming, Republican leaders like Congressman Frank LoBiondo did nothing to prepare us for it. In public appearances, he only told us how he was fighting for better health care for veterans, and how he got millions of federal dollars for the NextGen Aviation research project at the airport in Egg Harbor Township.
As with the ?government shutdown? battle before, House Speaker Boehner again gave up his only bargaining chip by stating before the start of negotiations that he would never allow the federal government to default on its debt.
When Republican conservatives won House approval of a comprehensive and effective ?Cut, Cap and Balance? bill, Boehner cut their legs off by junking it and pushing his own bill that he called a ?compromise,? even though no Democrat had agreed to it.
(Reprinted from August 3, 2011 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/14442-gop-compromise-was-more-of-a-surrender.html)