Morning Briefing for July 27, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing
For July 27, 2011

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1. It’s All Too Odd

Consider that John Boehner and Harry Reid named their different legislation to raise the debt ceiling by the identical name.Consider also that John Boehner and Harry Reid’s legislation are virtually mirror images to each other — a fact that the rhetoric has obscured, but is in reality accurate.Consider, in fact, that Boehner and Reid use the same language in various portions of their legislation.Consider that John Boehner told Sean Hannity tax hikes could come out of his deficit commission despite earlier denials.Consider also that in one of the key differing portions, John Boehner uses Mitch McConnell’s gimmick of letting the President raise the debt ceiling on his own with merely a congressional vote of “disapproval” that the President can then veto. This is a gimmick embraced by Harry Reid.Consider that John Boehner claimed actual cuts to the federal budget for 2012 would be just over $6 billion — that is for an entire year. The federal government spends $10 billion a day.Consider that the Congressional Budget Office determined late last evening that the actual amount of cuts for 2012 would only be $1 billion for the whole year, or about 2.5 hours of federal government spending.And then consider that the White House, after the Congressional Budget Office’s determination, defended John Boehner on the White House website even after White House officials said they would recommend the President veto Boehner’s plan — actually a different statement from the past. In the past, the White House said definitively that the President would veto the GOP’s idea. Now, they are just saying it’ll be recommended to the President.Consider all these things and it seems the White House and Harry Reid are perfectly willing to let John Boehner pass his plan if he can get it out of the House. Their very hostility is designed to reassure Republicans. They’ll sign it into law. Then they will blame the GOP when our credit rating is downgraded — something sure to happen with John Boehner’s plan.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. In Defense of Holding the Line

I’m getting beat to hell and back by conservatives for insisting the GOP hold the line on Cut, Cap, and Balance. Even here at RedState, I’m getting accused of “ideological intransigence.” Yeah, here at RedState. There’s a first time for everything.People want a deal. People want John Boehner’s deal. People are upset with me for not liking John Boehner’s deal. People are telling me, “They only have one house, Erick. You can’t expect them to not compromise. They control nothing.”I’ve said all along I expect a deal and a compromise. Here’s the problem and I need you to understand this from perspective, whether you agree with me or not.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. The Boehner Plan: Phony Cuts, Slimy Procedures, Dangerous Ignorance

The main problems with the Boehner proposal are:

  • Most of the initial $1.2 trillion of discretionary cuts are (1) from defense, or (2) are phony, out-year, and easily avoided. The compensatory immediate $1 trillion increase in the debt limit is, on the other hand, very real.
  • Even worse, however, the notion of giving a Reid/Pelosi/McConnell/Boehner-appointed commission the power to devise non-filibusterable, unamendable tax increases (or, for that matter, gun control, taxpayer-funded abortion, forced unionism, or federalized same-sex marriage) in the second tranche is devastating.
  • And a guarantee of a losing vote on a balanced budget constitutional amendment doesn’t get you anywhere.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. Boehner Grounds into a Double Play

Late yesterday, the CBO reaffirmed all of our concerns with Speaker Boehner’s Budget Control Act of 2011 – plus interest (pun intended).We have asserted ad nauseam that any proposed budget plan that fails to countermand the current prodigal spending levels, including the modestly reduced spending levels of 2011, is not worth the paper it is printed on. The CBO estimates that Boehner’s $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts will only save us $850 billion over ten years. This means that Obama’s credit card increase will be higher than the concurrent spending cuts, thus voiding the promise of the dollar-for-dollar agreement. Moreover, the CBO estimates that all the cuts will be backloaded, as the estimated savings for next year – the only enforceable year – will be a negligible $1 billion! It turns out that an extra $4 billion in mandatory spending for Pell Grants will ostensibly wipe out any savings from the paltry discretionary cuts.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. The Speaker’s Plan Is A Bad Bargain

Unlike several of my colleagues, I find there is a lot to like in the plan put forward yesterday by Speaker Boehner.I like the idea of a smaller increase in the debt ceiling to give time and a sense of urgency to work out some very difficult problems that can’t be solved in the short term.I like the idea of this debate taking place again during the course of the 2012 election campaign as a way to put our candidates at all levels on the record in favor of fiscal sanity.I like the idea of statutory caps on spending though, having lived through the era of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act and the Concord Coalition, I’m not terribly sanguine about any statutory measure that doesn’t involve federal marshals and congressmen spending time in jail for failure to comply. Just remember, there is statutory requirement that the Senate pass an annual budget.What is unthinkable, in my view, is this bastardized “joint committee.”Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. Get on the line to hold the line

You can go to to bypass the congressional switchboard and get the direct dial to your Congressman.Tell them to hold the line on Cut, Cap, and Balance. A host of conservative organizations are coming out against Boehner’s plan because, among other things, it only cuts $6 to $7 billion and punts major reform to a commission of 12 that will only need 7 votes to raise taxes.Call your congressmen and senators and tell them to hold the freaking line.Please click here for the rest of the post.



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