A Promise to Compromise

The “Bipartisan Budget” compromise that emerged leaves Americans with little hope that Washington will ever make good on past promises. The two-year, $2 trillion deal waives the once-permanent sequester cuts enacted by 2011 Budget Control Act cuts, allowing spending to exceed the $967 billion limit. The Heritage Foundation breaks down the $63 billion sequester reprieve, which is equally split between defense and non-defense programs.

“The deal announced yesterday raises discretionary spending above the bipartisan spending agreement forged in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act. Spending for defense and non-defense domestic programs would be raised by $45 billion in 2014 and by $18 billion in 2015. Once again, Congress has fallen into its old and destructive habit of trading more spending in one area for more spending in another.”

In the name of seeking “common ground,” both chambers – Senate wanting $1.058 trillion and the House wanting $967 billion – inched toward the middle. However, it is Americans who will be squeezed once again as those in Washington seek to spend more, not less.

This sadly predictable move caused a coalition of fiscal conservatives to publish a reminder to Congress and the President that spending restraint is the highest priority, especially as our $17.2 trillion federal debt continues to skyrocket. The letter pointed out “they have no excuse to violate their existing budget agreement.”

These words of wisdom were not met with open arms as Speaker Boehner chided the non-beltway group for being “ridiculous” and reminded his members to ignore cries for fiscal control.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who sided with conservatives in the October budget fight that led to a 16-day government shutdown, on Wednesday urged his rank and file not to “surrender” their votes to the outside groups that pushed them toward the first shutdown, according to two members who were in the room. “Boehner told them to stand up for themselves,” one Republican said.

Outside groups – that’s you. That’s all of us in that movement, who have fought for the last 4 years for fiscal responsibility. Yet, the Speaker is urging these members of Congress not to heed the will of their constituents that they represent. We’re not an “outside group.” We are regular Americans who are asking them to uphold their own promises.

Establishment Republicans are nothing if not consistent. They will surrender to the same déjà vu-like promises of increase spending now for cuts and savings later – that will never come. Again, Heritage hits the nail on the head.

“The budget deal would spend $63 billion more over the next two years—but take 10 years to make up for this splurge. This is a common Washington gimmick. To the conferees’ credit, the deal suggests one-third in additional deficit reduction—the details of which remain to be evaluated.”

In the coming days, this deal will be hailed as a spending-cut solution that will help avert the eleventh-hour crisis of a government shutdown; however, America knows better than that. Let’s call it what it is – a compromised plan that does NOTHING to stop the barreling, runaway train of more spending, driving our nation to bankruptcy.