Why I Am Running for Speaker

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Dear Fellow Republicans,  

Stop! And please come hither so we can debate adult matters of relevance and importance.  

Before I begin, however, allow me to state something obvious to even the least sentient among us. Three things in this world can and are true simultaneously. First, Rep. Matt Gaetz is a political opportunist. Second, while a very nice guy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ineffective and was also a Washington, D.C., political manifestation of the highest pedigree. And third, and most importantly, fiscal responsibility in the Republican Party is dead. In fact, it’s not just merely dead, it’s really most sincerely dead. And because it is dead, deficit spending in America is very much alive. 

And why is it out of control? Funny you should ask. And listen carefully because this is going to be a counter-intuitive point.   

The reason we have a serious national debt problem is because the federal government collects too much revenue from the American private sector. And that is what motivates the wealthiest individuals in America and around the world, multi-national corporations and large public pension plans, and even foreign governments—like China—to continue buying U.S. Treasuries. All of these “investors” are in effect lending money to Uncle Sam because his credit rating is excellent! His FICO score is an 850.  

As long as this continues, meaning as long as Uncle Sam is creditworthy, and Congress’ penchant for passing Omnibus Bills (OBs) and “Continuing Resolutions (CRs) (and by the way, CRs are just OBs that haven’t fully transitioned to become full-blown OBs), continues, nothing in Washington will ever change. Meaning the taxing and spending will continue, and the national debt will also continue growing and compounding. 

What happened yesterday was only a symptom of a much larger and far more pressing crisis that we face today.

While the enmity between Gaetz and McCarthy is symptomatic of something larger, if ignored, it will necessitate the level of taxation in America remaining at levels so high it will continue undermining the efficiency of the economy resulting in mediocre economic growth rates. 

Despite his 2018 tax cut program and the regulatory rollbacks, the average growth rate in the last Administration was still only 2.5 percent. That president, like the current one, spent too much. Under Reagan, after cutting taxes across the board and imposing some spending discipline, the average growth rate rose to 3.5 percent. Under Clinton, the last president to balance the budget, the average annual growth rate reached 3.9 percent. 

I want you to go with me back to January of this year, when the House GOP, as part of the election for Speaker, made the wise decision to make a deal to end the practice of allowing OBs and CRs to masquerade as something resembling fiscal discipline, or fiscal responsibility. In other words, fiscal sanity. 

Despite truth #1 and truth #2 mentioned at the beginning of this letter being unequivocally true, #3 is also true, and it needs its day in the court of Republican public opinion. We, as conservatives, need to debate this issue of fiscal discipline, and we need to resolve as a party and stop putting the American people and the American economy at risk by continuing to behave as though 1+1 doesn’t equal 2.  

Now, regarding McCarthy, if he thinks what happened yesterday, where eight Republicans joined 208 Democrats to fire him, was considered preferable to a government shutdown—in other words, if he truly believes, as he suggested in his farewell speech Tuesday night, that losing control of the conference was a more tenable option than shutting down the government for a few weeks, then he didn’t belong in the Speaker’s chair in the first place. 

And just as true, and more importantly, what he agreed to last week as part of keeping the government open for another 45 days constituted a breach of the commitment he made to the party and to Republican voters. He made those commitments to help him secure the Speaker's gavel. That was his "read my lips" and then read my hips moment. And he didn't survive it, just as President George H.W. Bush didn't survive his broken promise.    

Therefore, with McCarthy gone, and since nobody in the Conference has immediately emerged as a viable replacement, and since there seems to be no plan to move the party forward, and since nothing in the US Constitution requires a Speaker of the House be an elected Member of the House, for these reasons and others, I am throwing my hat in the ring to be the Republican Speaker. 

And here’s a small down payment of what I am willing to promise in terms of my vision and priorities for the party. You can decide if any of this reaches a level that passes the giggle test. And by the way, by all means, if any GOP member of the House wants to steal this and run on it, more power to you. I'll gladly step aside...

First, we shan't do government shutdowns for its own sake but only as leverage to force serious concessions (from both sides of the aisle) on spending with the absolute non-negotiable bottom line being NO MORE Omnibus Bills or Continuing Resolutions! 

The 1974 Congressional Budget Act requires appropriations bills to be seeded, debated, and voted out of the 12 relevant committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans must play by the rules. Everyone else in the country does, or they pay a price. It’s obnoxious for the House GOP to behave like it's immune from playing by House rules. 

Let’s be crystal clear. What happened yesterday with the vote to vacate, or the week before where a deal to pass a CR was made by McCarthy and Biden, or even if the outcome was a government shutdown, that wouldn’t have been good for, nor would it have helped House Republicans. 

But let’s not lose sight of something else, the only thing that will ever be good for House Republicans is if we cut back federal spending to, oh, I don't know, how about 2016 levels? I’m just spit-balling here. I can be talked into 2012 or even 2000 levels. 

It would also help Republicans if we adopted a balanced budget amendment that precludes raising taxes. Balance the budget, but not on the backs of American taxpayers who are already over-taxed. Cut spending.  

Moreover, we need to begin introducing serious legislation that thoughtfully, tactically, and surgically rightsizes the federal leviathan. We should pass a right-sizing bill, send it to the Senate, and if it dies, then it dies. But then we do it again. And again. 

Eventually, the Senate will pass something House Republicans can hopefully live with, and then maybe Biden vetoes it. If so, so be it. We’ll do it again! In the meantime, we’ll have other serious bills written and introduced in committees we control that do vital things like cut taxes and/or make the Trump tax cuts permanent.  

Indeed, we’ll even pass a bill requiring the auditing of the Federal Reserve. Heck, now that I think about it, let's pass a bill that ends the Federal Reserve altogether. After all, the Fed represents the outsourcing of our Congressional responsibility as the keeper of the purse. #EndTheFed! 

If we do these things and other things too, all of which are closely aligned with our core principles and philosophy, it will be good for the Republican Party, but more importantly, it will be good for the American people and good for the country. And that is what we are supposed to be thinking about first and foremost.  

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America. 


Manic Contrarian


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