Earlier this week, Tea Party Patriots thanked the Members of Congress who stood against the terrible fiscal cliff deal that passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support. The deal raises taxes and pushes spending reductions to a future date, failing two of Tea Party Patriots’ principles.
Some supporters of the deal have consoled themselves by praising aspects of the legislation that are not entirely terrible. They do exist – the bill prevented most planned tax increases from going into effect, and made many current tax rates permanent. However, those small positives cannot outweigh the deal breaking negatives of tax increases and infinitesimal spending reductions.
One argument made by some of the bill’s supporters is that it pushed spending cuts down the road by only two months, leaving Tea Party-minded Members of Congress the opportunity to hold the line at that point without the threat of higher taxes. Historically, that argument fails the test. Consider:
The April 2011 budget deal went from cutting $100 billion in a single year to cutting $68 billion – to cutting $38 billion – to cutting $380 million. Tea Party-minded Americans were told this was simply the first step in winning the budget battles. The next fight would be the big one.
Four months later, the debt ceiling debate arrived. In the end, Republicans and Democrats passed, and President Obama signed, the Budget Control Act. It cut less than 5% of the next decade’s spending; most of those cuts were pushed back to future Congresses. Once again, Tea Party activists were told to keep our powder dry for the next fight.
The fiscal cliff discussions were that next big fight, born out of the bi-partisan “supercommittee’s” failure – the same “supercommittee” created by the Budget Control Act. Once again Congress failed to act as good stewards of our country, instead choosing to shirk their duty.
Now, Tea Partiers are being told the real fights will be over the next four months. This is when the delayed sequestration cuts, the 2013 continuing resolution, and the next debt ceiling fights will arrive in front of Congress.
Washington has warped the definition of compromise from getting the best possible deal for the country into cutting a deal to save face. These “compromises” represent bad faith negotiations, dereliction of duty by representatives of the people, and colossal debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. No more.