By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
I can’t fault anyone for voting in favor (or against) last night’s trillion dollar spending package. There’s plenty of fault to be found whenever a government spends a single nickel let alone 20+ trillion of them.
Do I love this package? Hardly. Would I have made different decisions were I Speaker Rooney (has a nice ring to it)? You bet.
But I’m also a believer in incrementalism, Save Jerseyans. It took over 80 years for liberals to transform this country from a limited government republic pre-FDR into an ailing welfare state languishing under Obama. We’re not going to throw on the breaks, fully reverse course and save America all in the next two years! It’s a generational battle. Plenty of externalities are at play right now that favor a GOP takeover of the White House if we don’t get stupid.
And by the way, we’re primarily debating a continuing resolution people, passed in conjunction with long-term spending provisions! Republicans will now have a chance to collaborate with a GOP Senate in 2015 to renew the immigration battle. Relax… I will be among the first to scream if Speaker Boehner doesn’t attack the President’s amnesty program in February when DHS funding expires and we have the Senate.
For now, here are the best reasons for my angsty conservative brethren to quit acting like John Boehner just renounced the Constitution and passed legislation making Barack Obama the President for Life:
(1) 451 policies or programs were blocked in this budget. Combined with spending increase cuts and outright cuts, we’re putting a burden on the next generation that’s $2.1 Trillion lighter than it otherwise would have been. As Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7) pointed out, “federal discretionary spending to its lowest level in nine years.” So not just pre-Obama levels, but pre-Speaker PELOSI levels! Yes, entitlement reform is still of the utmost importance but that ain’t happening until at least 2017. That’s obvious. Other gems, to name just a few:
- Republicans also once again blocked federal funding for abortion sought by Democrats and required new regulations on Obamacare notifications of abortion coverage.
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is estopped from permitting union organizing rules to circumvent workers rights.
- Zero funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Zero funding for ACORN.
- No more Race To The Top (a key Common Core pillar).
- “Fast and Furious” type schemes are now explicitly prohibited.
- Limits relocation of Gitmo undesirables with our cash.
(2) The EPA is Dramatically Shrinking. One cut worth celebrating? $60 million in fresh cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – the EPA budget is down 21% since the GOP recaptured the House in 2010 – will result in EPA staffing dipping to its lowest levels since 1989… when Ronaldus Magnus left office.
(3) And the EPA is Forced to Let-Up on Farmers. The EPA can’t use the Clean Water Act, a law designed to protect drinking water, from being misused as a weapon against American farmers by applying it to farm ponds and irrigation ditches.
(4) Old school (better) light bulbs live to fight another day! They’ve delayed the ban on the boneheaded incandescent light bulb ban. Shine on, America, without fear of imminent mercury poisoning every time a bulb breaks…
(5) No money for Obama’s global fund. Barack wanted $3 billion of our tax dollars for other counties to combat global warming. He didn’t get it.
(6) The IRS is Gradually Being Gutted. EPA bureaucrats think they’ve got it bad? $345.6 million. That’s what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is losing. The IRS is now leaner than it was when Obama became president in January 2009; that makes enforcement of Obamacare (and harassment of citizens) much, much more difficult. There’s also a new explicit ban on ideological targeting (let’s call it the Lois Lerner Rule).
(7) Obamacare Continues to Fall Apart. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, a/k/a “the death panel,” gets a $10 million haircut and there’s no new cash for enforcement. The near-term plan? Allow the legislation to continue to discredit itself, collapsing under the weight of its own deficiencies, heading into 2016 and then repeal (and replace) it. Death by one million self-inflicted cuts! And a little bit of help. So with the Senate in GOP hands come January, Obama will now have to directly defend a law we didn’t think could get any less popular until Jonathan Gruber opened his mouth. Then we’re back before the Supreme Court…
(8) Dodd-Frank is Dealt a Major Blow. It’s one of the largest drags on our economy; the omnibus package rolls back a regulation related to derivatives trading. It’s a start…
(9) Another blow to the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold law. There isn’t much left of it to begin with, Save Jerseyans, but a change contained in the omnibus package will allow individuals to vastly increase donations to national parties by allowing additional donations to party subsidiaries (e.g. convention committees). It’s consistent with the First Amendment; it’s also a good way to strengthen political parties at a time when almost EVERYONE can agree that independent expenditures are creating the wrong kind of chaos. Win-win.
(10) Critically, Democrats are now more divided than we are! When only 57 Democrats vote with their president and the Minority Leader, Pelosi, publicly announces she’s “enormously disappointed” in the White House, it’s obvious that the President’s lame duck status is even more concrete now than it was immediately after the first Tuesday of November. Boehner gets that and is apparently trying to exploit it. Good! Divide and conquer…