KE Cellars

Boehner digs in.

ytmt-10-11-13

In the battle over the federal spending limit that is now merging into a battle over the federal borrowing limit, Democrats are characterizing John Boehner and House Republicans in such pejorative terms as “hostage takers,” “extortionists” and “anarchists.” The media, for its part, is letting such vilifications stand with next to no challenge.

But at the core, what the Republicans are demanding is what they should have been loudly demanding long ago: namely, a functioning budget process centered on fiscal responsibility. A process in which priorities are set and expenditures are brought into line with income.

What we have now is no such thing. In Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution it says, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” If the government “shutdown” has accomplished nothing else, it has at least fully revealed that the ‘Appropriation Clause’ of the Constitution is today, 226 years after it was written, all but stripped of any meaning.

Here in the “shutdown” that somehow is only able to curtail 17 percent of federal spending, we are forced to recognize that the vast majority of government spending operates almost totally on autopilot – beyond any ‘Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.’ No matter who controls the Senate, who controls the House or who sits in the Oval Office, the federal money spigot just runs.

Fairness demands pointing out that this problem did not begin on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama took the oath of office. “Mandated” spending, federal entitlements and money furnaces that pose as essential government agencies have proliferated on the watches of both political parties.

But an equal application of fairness also demands acknowledgement that the rate at which money is spent, and the rate at which entitlement payments have grown and the rate at which the bureaucracy expands has accelerated almost exponentially since Obama took office.

Little as one might like it, one might nevertheless forgive the president for standing firm on Obamacare, his signature legislative achievement. But there can be no forgiving his intransigence with respect to the rest of the federal budget. For him to insist that Republicans simply approve the continuation of unsustainable spending is not reasonable.

Every month the Federal Reserve prints $85 billion to purchase Treasury bonds (i.e. loan money to the government) so that the federal government will be able to cover the checks it writes. Expanding the debt by inflating the currency can only go on for so long. And there’s no way to know how long is too long until it’s too late. That the government of the United States would ever operate in such a grossly irresponsible way was at one time, within living memory, unthinkable.

Say what you will about Republicans and John Boehner, they have at last advanced beyond lip service and have established a policy beachhead upon which they are taking incoming fire.

Charges of extortion and hostage-taking notwithstanding, for Boehner and the Republicans to simply now fold their cards and vote to restore spending authorization while raising the country’s borrowing limit – without getting anything in return – would constitute an unforgivable surrender. Such is both a political reality and a policy imperative – both of which every president for the past 60 years prior to this one would readily recognize. That this president refuses only raises pressure on Boehner.

On maintaining the country’s financial health, it is the president’s job to lead. If he will not, it falls to John Boehner and his somewhat fractious House Republicans to find ways to wire around him.

That he and they are at long last trying is to their credit.


  1. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Boehner will end up caving just as he has in the past on everything else. His sudden stiffening of spine was due to the call for his replacement by the people, nothing more. He has lasted longer than I thought, but he is weakening. Very few in congress regard the Constitution as it should be. This so called president has urinated and wiped himself with the Constitution ever since he stepped into the Whitehouse. There is only one to blame for the mess we are in today and that is the ones who voted obama in the first time! He never should have been on the ballot in the first place! Nancy Pelosi and her pack of thieves should be prosocuted and put in prison for the rest of their sorry lives for their part in this fraud that was perpertrated upon the American people. We are witness to the total destruction of this country and people are just standing on the sideline watching because of a media that has jumped in to help this illegal president do his dirty work! The corruption up there in Washington is too deep to expect Boehner or any other of his buddies to help save this country!!! I have lost faith completely in any kind of justice to be dealt out!!!

  2. R. Eagleman says:

    Paul, our president is doing exactly as he campaigned, which is to fundamentally transform the United States of America. Do you think that he really cares that the financial solvency of this country is in a death spiral, and that he has the distinction of being the person who did so much to pull the plug on it. No, he is actually fulfilling the “Dreams of My Father”, who was an avowed Marxist, as well as his esteemed mentors, Communist Frank Marshall and the America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Ever wonder why he and the other Lib/Socialist members of his party are salivating at the thought of controlling our health care? Every authoritarian government has seized power through regulating guns and/or health care, and once this “holy grail” has been obtained, the ruling class can do as it pleases, including being re-elected extra-constitutionally. The disgraceful acts of denying benefits to veterans and their families through the excuse that is due to the government shutdown should send chills up and down one’s spine, as this is how tyrants punish and thereby control the population. When Harry Reid wonders why he should care if a child does not receive cancer treatment, or the HHS Secretary Sibelius will not defer to a physician to allow an 11 year old to be placed on an adult lung transplant waiting list, we should all be fighting relentlessly to keep these “death panelists” from ever being able to make such life or death decisions for us and our families. Yes, you are correct that the burden of leading is now in John Boehner’s hands, and I pray that he will be up to the task; however, the failures of this administration should not be dismissed as simply incompetence. There is every reason to believe that everything is proceeding as planned in his stated goal of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America”.

  3. John Boehner will CAVE. He’s done it in the past and no doubt will do it again. He has sold conservatives down the river on a regular basis.
    If it does, it is past time to replace him.

  4. Jerry Eastman says:

    Now is the time for Boehner and every lover of America, Republican, Democrat and Independent alike, to come together and absolutely refuse to increase the debt limit. There are many things my family and I would love to have and do, but our budget does not allow them. I can’t must print more dollars, add charges to our credit cards knowing we cannot pay the debts, or buy things and insist everyone else pay for it like the government has been doing for decades. It is time for America to realize that we have to stop the insane borrowing and spending. Our republic in caught in a death spiral and our only hope is for our politicians to show some restraint and put on the brakes. Yes, it will be painful. But the temporary pain of the treatment will be worth the refreshing joy of healing our land. Now may be the last chance we have of taking control of the nation’s future and saving America from total collapse. Let it be said in the future that the day the people finally stood up and said “NO!” was our finest hour and the salvation of our beloved country. We should ALL be calling our Senators and demanding they stop the madness today!

  5. Jerry Eastman says:

    Now is the time for Boehner and every lover of America, Republican, Democrat and Independent alike, to come together and absolutely refuse to increase the debt limit. There are many things my family and I would love to have and do, but our budget does not allow them. I can’t just print more dollars, add charges to our credit cards knowing we cannot pay the debts, or buy things and insist everyone else pay for it like the government has been doing for decades. It is time for America to realize that we have to stop the insane borrowing and spending. Our republic in caught in a death spiral and our only hope is for our politicians to show some restraint and put on the brakes. Yes, it will be painful. But the temporary pain of the treatment will be worth the refreshing joy of healing our land. Now may be the last chance we have of taking control of the nation’s future and saving America from total collapse. Let it be said in the future that the day the people finally stood up and said “NO!” was our finest hour and the salvation of our beloved country. We should ALL be calling our Senators and demanding they stop the madness today! – See more at: http://www.ktbb.com/youtellme/2013/10/10/boehner-digs-in/comment-page-1/#comment-8151

  6. C M Solomon says:

    Years ago I concluded that the majority of the Republicans in Congress were not Conservative jungle fighters with the deep convictions that could match the determination of the Socialist Democrats and their Marxist demands. The Republican words ring hollow when compared to their actions. The aggressors are the Democrats and the Republicans try to avoid “media” demonization by being Democrat LITE which has infuriated me for years.

    Now, the President is using the FALSE DEFAULT issue to get capitulation by the Republicans who are infected with a “fear complex”. The President is slowly but surely neutering the authority of Congress’s power of the purse. If he succeeds we will have completely lost the most fundamental aspect of “checks and balances” that the Constitution grants to the Congress, particularly the House of Representatives.

    From this point forward, the President will have supplanted the authority of Congress to control spending. The Obama regime is bent on the destruction of the Constitution as he ushers in his “fundamental transformation” of America and our so called Conservative Republicans are clueless as to our fate.

    The President is willing to destroy the full faith and credit of this nation’s financial standing in order to fund his Marxist agenda. It is now plain for all to see.

    However, there is one Congressman (R) from California that has completely exposed the Obama treachery to supplant the power of Congress and to spit on the Constitution. His name is Tom McClintock and his speech on the floor of the House, yesterday, is worth reading or watching at the following links.

    http://mcclintock.house.gov/2013/10/the-debt-crisis.shtml

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QV8NcbbGCZY

    It is time to spread the word. Obama has finally dropped his sheep’s clothing.

  7. R. Eagleman says:

    We hear the argument all the time, “the irresponsible debt that we are incurring will have to be paid by our children and grandchildren”. While this is a true statement, as well as for those of us who are actually paying taxes now, this is a specious argument. The ones who are whining the most about not raising the debt limit are the same ones whose children and grandchildren will not be paying the tab. Since they do not have “skin in the game” in the repayment of our obligations now, why should they be concerned about their children and grandchildren being burdened in the future? If only we could get the approximately 50% of our citizens who do not have the joy of paying income taxes to share in the repayment of this staggering debt, maybe they would be more motivated to require their elected representatives to act like responsible adults. When the majority of any population can vote themselves more toys at the expense of the minority, guess what? The WHOLE COUNTRY goes bankrupt, and no more Santa for anyone! When this happens, even the truly needy will not have a safety net. So please, no more of the stale argument that only falls upon the ears of about 1/2 the population!

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