While everyone’s eyes were on now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings and votes the Republicans grew government. Again.
President Donald Trump signed into law the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 – a law which regulates everything from airline seat sizes to whether people can make cell phone calls on flights (something Jazz wrote in favor of earlier today). The bill also defined exactly what a Lactation Area is (they can’t be in restrooms) and includes money for studies looking at the design specifics of aircraft oxygen and on allergic reactions on board airlines. There’s also a study on what infrastructure is needed for faster-growing airports because we all know the airports and airlines don’t have enough money to pay for the upgrades (note sarcasm). Let’s also not forget the studies on noise abatement and funding to put these abatements into place. Again, because there’s no way the airlines and airports can pony up the cash (again, sarcasm).
The entire cost of this behemoth bill? A whopping $22.5B in FY 2018 to almost $76B in FY2023. The debt, just in case anyone cares about it, has gone from $14.434T in January 2017 to $15.757T on October 6, 2018.
The Christian Science Monitor provided a little bit more analysis of the spending increases.
The $1,271,158,167,126.72 in debt accumulated in fiscal 2018 made fiscal 2018 the eighth fiscal year in the last eleven in which the debt increased by at least one trillion dollars.
The $1,271,158,167,126.72 increase in the federal debt was also the sixth largest fiscal-year debt increase in the history of the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 155,542,000 people with jobs in the United States in August. That means that the $21,516,058,183,180.23 in federal debt at the end of fiscal 2018 equaled approximately $138,330 for every person in this country who works. The $1,271,158,167,126.72 increase in the debt in fiscal 2018 alone equaled approximately $8,172 per worker.
So much for fiscal sanity by Republicans.
The House Liberty Caucus had a scathing rebuke of the new law.
— House Liberty Caucus (@libertycaucus) September 26, 2018
The last sentence of the statement deserves repeating because it’s beyond true. This isn’t how a responsible governmental body operates, and Congress should demand better. We all know this won’t happen because the federal government isn’t interested chopping off its own limbs. All it wants to do is grow its own power and suck up more from the pockets of Americans.
There are obviously going to be people who attribute the tax cuts to the sudden increase in the debt and they’d be correct. The only way for the debt to decrease is if the government decides to cut spending in response to the reduction in revenue. I write this – for anyone who cares – as someone who didn’t think the tax cuts went far enough and would prefer no taxes at all.
This is something Republicans and Democrats ignore on pretty much a millisecond basis – but the Republicans’ decision is even more indefensible than the Democrats. After all, how often did Republicans complain about fiscal irresponsibility from 2009 to 2016 during the Obama Administration? Yet they abdicated their principles once into power – which shouldn’t be surprising since the GOP is pretty awful at adhering to their values they care to hold onto with all their moral fiber. It appears their mettle is simply a mix of clay and iron – like the feet of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – instead of something stronger and less apt to falling apart. Their failure is hardly surprising since, after all, these are Pecksniffian politicians.
Solutions exist, but they’re hard to come by due to the fickleness of the electorate. Republican voters, for whatever reason, seem more willing to trust those they send into office and tend to only hound them on certain issues. Perhaps it is a failure of more conservative and libertarian grassroots organizations to not lean harder on voters to keep those they sent to Washington D.C., state legislatures, and city councils accountable for their actions. It’s also possible – and more likely – voters actually don’t care about smaller, weaker government and are perfectly fine with Republicans ruling as they see fit regardless of whether it (eventually) bankrupts the country, state, or community.
Of course, this failure only gives more power to Democrats looking to wrench control of government from Republicans. H.L. Mencken once observed years ago the parties agree on most and only fight on certain issues. The fact only six senators voted against the bill proves this to be fact.