Leadership Fail: Fiscal Talks Collapse

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On July 19, Tea Party Patriots offered the distinctly pessimistic view that Big Fiscal Deal (BFD) talks going on between some Republican Senators and the White House would fail.

We were right:

The White House and a group of Republican senators have reached an impasse on the deficit after months of private talks, a development that raises the prospects of a budget crisis in the fall.

After a private meeting yielded no progress between eight senators and top White House officials, the two sides concluded it was time to break off discussions, officials said Thursday evening. With virtually no prospect for a bipartisan deal in the Senate, participants said the development would shift the focus back to the House, which will have to begin finding a way to avoid a government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis.

The White House, of course, wanted tax increases to satisfy its residents’ ideology. Republicans wanted modest cuts to entitlement programs, which are bankrupting the country. An even smaller deal – to replace part of the sequester – fell through as well. Republicans wanted to exchange some spending reductions in discretionary spending for mandatory spending reductions.

Politico views the collapse of the talks as a mandate for House Republicans to make a spending deal happen, despite the fact that they were the only group not represented in the talks. However, Politico notes this will be difficult:

The House and White House are tens of billions of dollars apart on the levels to set government spending in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Both sides expect a short-term, stop-gap measure to keep the government operating past Oct. 1, but that’s not a sure bet in the House.

There are three important questions House fiscal conservatives should keep in mind when negotiating with the Senate and Oval Office:

1) Given that Politico reports a Continuing Resolution is “not a sure bet in the House,” is this whole situation a political trap by the President? Could he, or perhaps even Senate Republicans, be setting the House up to take the blame for any budget issues that arise between now and October 1?
2) If #1 is true, it is yet more evidence neither party’s establishment is serious about preventing a financial collapse. It therefore falls on fiscal conservatives in the House to remind Beltway big spenders what responsibility looks like.
3) If eight relatively moderate Republicans can’t work out a deal with the White House, why would anyone in Washington expect the more fiscally conservative House to agree with an openly hostile Democratic Senate and White House?

The mantle of leadership falls upon those who take it seriously. Therefore, Tea Party Patriots continues to offer the following suggestions on ways to bring federal spending back towards the Constitution, fiscal responsibility, and free markets:

1) Repeal Obamacare, including subsidies for government-run exchanges.
2) Reform the tax code so that we have a flatter, fairer system with a lower tax burden on Americans.
3) Corporate welfare totals $100 billion per year, and should be eliminated.
4) Several billion dollars are wasted every year on unused federal housing and properties. Selling these properties would bring in revenue that should go to deficit reduction, and save billions annually.
5) Every year, at least $200 billion is wasted on duplicated programs. Any duplication should be eliminated.

In the long run, the threat to American solvency runs through entitlement programs/mandatory spending – such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps – and interest payments. The above policy changes, however, will grow the American economy and reduce spending, thus providing our nation more breathing room to implement long-term reforms to mandatory spending.

Real leaders find solutions. Tea Party Patriots is doing it; Washington needs to catch up.