When Nancy Pelosi derided the Fiscal Commission’s suggestions as “unacceptable” (see: Fiscal Commission’s Bitter Pill Outs Lawmakers’ Intentions), her more reserved colleagues must have mouthed silent thanks for saying what everyone on Capitol Hill was thinking. If behavior is any indication of intent, the lists of earmarks in the proposed 2011 Omnibus Spending Bill, and the legislative agenda for the past several months, show how sincere our leaders are about spending cuts.
On Christmas Day 2009, Civil Candor posted an article on earmarking after Congress passed an omnibus spending bill laden with thousands of earmarks (see: Merry Christmas, America. Damn, We Must Have Been Good This Year!). One year later, Harry Reid continues to make good on his Founding Fathers remark, as if the survival of our democracy depends on earmarking.
Pointless hysteria culminated in a foregone conclusion as President Obama signed the contentious tax rate compromise on Friday. Harry Reid has made it clear that there is little time to waste, and quickly segued to the other bills he planned to fast track before party hopes dim in January, including the DREAM Act, which twitched and died on the Senate floor Saturday morning.
When Barack Obama established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Democratic leaders were eager to share the spotlight. Harry Reid praised his own efforts on behalf of fiscal discipline, noting in a release that “Senator Reid Championed the Establishment of a Bipartisan Commission Aimed at Reducing the Deficit.”
The president’s tax compromise is threatening to spill into next year, thanks to an obstinate House and Senators who continue to tack on additional spending to their version of the legislation. The tax rate extension has received most of the deal’s hype because it fans partisan fires, but for 15.1 million unemployed Americans platitudes are irrelevant.
Leave it to the Senate to present a heroic front after House Democrats turned their backs on the president and sold out their constituents by refusing to agree to extend our current tax rates. Senators came through with a fix, S.Amdt.
House Democrats gave us an unpleasantly revealing view of their backsides when they bailed on the president’s tax rate compromise, proving once again that loyalty in Washington does not exist apart from self-interest.
The drive to fleece the wealthy to pay for unbridled spending has not ended, though most of us can see that it is over.