I didn’t write anything about the five month spending bill yesterday for a couple of reasons. For one thing, both Andrew Malcolm and Allahpundit were already digging into it. Also, I wanted some time to digest what we were being fed from inside the Beltway since I was assuming that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as it looked at first glance. I was correct about that part… it was actually worse.
If we needed one indicator of precisely how pear shaped things had gotten it wasn’t the reaction of Republicans however. You need look no further than the Washington Post, because the Democrats are launching what amounts to a victory tour and the media is lapping it up like fine cream.
Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) secured nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending by exploiting disagreements between Trump and GOP lawmakers over spending priorities.
Democrats’ lopsided victory on the five-month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult — if not impossible — for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint.
Why wouldn’t Schumer and Pelosi be celebrating? They were just handed a beating in November that was as bad as any we’ve seen this century and yet they somehow came out of the budget negotiations looking for all the world as if they had won the White House and both chambers of Congress.
So how bad is this stink bomb? Allahpundit asked if Trump was “really going to sign this turd.” Daniel Horowitz said it was nothing short of a betrayal. Philip Klein concluded that if you took out all of the names you would probably assume that it had been written by Democrats. Rush is already wondering why anybody bothers voting for Republicans. I could take up an entire column with more reactions which were, if anything, even more fierce.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.
Let’s leave aside for the moment the list of conservative priorities we were told to expect and start with the total cost of this crapstorm. Ed Morrissey and I have had a running debate here over the years as to whether or not the United States has a spending problem or a revenue problem. (For the record, I maintain that the two are not mutually exclusive.) Let’s also, just for now, forget that we were supposed to be entering an era of building a lean, mean, smaller federal government which focused on its core constitutional responsibilities and would presumably cost less to operate. We are currently on the brink of attempting to pass a massive tax cut. (Attempting is a key word here since Democrats don’t like the idea and they are apparently running everything right now.) Tax cuts stimulate the economy and foster growth, but that’s a slow process which never delivers the promised level of return in terms of revenue. How on Earth are we talking about jacked up rates of spending like this just as we slash the government’s revenue massively? Weren’t we the ones who were supposed to be reducing the debt? Instead it’s going to explode, much like my head at this rate.
And what of that big conservative agenda I mentioned above? I can’t even be angry at Chuck Schumer for doing an end zone dance this week. Why wouldn’t he?The sum total of what he had to “surrender” on seems to be $120 million to cover security costs at Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago. Aside from a modest increase in military spending (which was not paid for elsewhere, by the way) I can’t see where we got a single thing out of this deal. Whether you’re talking about the generic laundry list of conservative priorities which Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were supposed to be delivering or President Trump’s ambitious agenda, it all disappeared. Nobody took at stand for a few billion dollars to start the wall. No cuts in funding to sanctuary cities. Was the President planning on actually fighting for any of his ideas or exercising those brilliant negotiating skills he’s famous for?
Trump: We need to get the wall started and bring those sanctuary cities in line.
Paul Ryan: The Democrats said they don’t want to do it.
Trump: Let me tell you something about Andrew Jackson…
Was Trump really that afraid of a government shutdown? I didn’t want to see it happen, but at the same time I was willing to go there since reality dictates that the party in the minority would be blamed for it no matter how the media tries to spin it. Now we’re at the point where the only way to stop this train is for Trump to break out the veto pen and then he’ll shoulder the blame for the shutdown alone. (Not to worry about that, of course, since he already said he plans on signing it.)
I really… I just… it’s all so very…