House Republicans displayed the type of behavior on this budget bill that have people literally giving up on them. Now the details of their “cuts” have been rushed out and who wouldn’t feel let down by our team?
Last month, the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget was unveiled and rightly ridiculed by all thinking Americans who ever balanced a household budget, ran a small business, or taught a grade school math class.
Sometimes I wonder if cuts to military pensions, including disabled Veterans were not included to draw attention away from the fact that the Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare” as I still refer to it, remained fully funded despite the fact that I still receive full color, taxpayer paid for mailer from my Congressman, Paul Cook, stating plainly that he is “working hard” against it.
Now the details with the devil were unveiled Monday night – all 2,860 pages – an omnibus spending bill to be voted on less than 48 hours after copies became available. I suppose I should mention that after Tea Party voters swept House Republicans into the majority in 2010, they promised to give these bills at least 72 hours minimum to be thoroughly combed over. But really, who needs to read these things when you can just pass them and then see what’s in them?
Case in point: I immediately received notice from the offices of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) and Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski that the bill weighs in at the low, low price of only $1.1 trillion. But already, Senate staffers report it actually spends $18 billion more than that. What compels our representatives to act in a manner which would not only be unacceptable in the private sector, but land a company in more than hot water legally? But I digress..
Here’s the great news which is supposed to shut us all up: The cuts to military retirement for disabled veterans has been restored. Why this was necessary is beyond anyone, but hey – it got done. Okay, the vast majority of pension cuts to military retirees remain, but look – they fixed what they could, didn’t they? They did the best they could by our Veterans – the best deal they could get, right – isn’t that what they say?
I’m not tired; I’m not sick and I’m not fed up. I’m actually over it and have come to terms that these folks that are not getting the job done will never get the job done. Be they Democrats or Republicans they are not operating in the country’s best interest. Half the country is close to a mindset that Capitalism is an inferior product to what Barack Obama is selling and I for one am done blaming him because this is happening on our watch, guys and gals.
60 years ago, some went to the Pacific, some to Africa, some trudged across Europe – some in their barefeet. Those brave men and women weren’t sure if they were going to win that war but they did. They saved us and now we get to go to Starbucks and shop on our iPhones and blog about what a jerk Eric Holder is. Lucky us. I’m not being facetious. We’re damn lucky they had the cajones to think so highly of their country and their grandchildren.
Here’s the sick joke: There are no actual spending cuts in this bill, with the one exception: Veterans’ pensions are actually being reduced. That is, veterans will be paid less money than they were promised during their decades of service. Everything else is merely a reduction in growth – not a cut.
You may ask yourself: “Isn’t there anything that can be done?”
In a magical, Planet Bizarro Congress world, they could save $6 billion by closing a loophole that makes it easy for illegal aliens to defraud the federal government out of welfare payments… OR – they could just leave the cuts to the veterans’ pensions in there, which turns out is the same $6 billion. Democrats in the Senate blocked a Republican amendment which would have accomplished just that, but why would any Republican – much less my fellow Republican and Marine Veteran Paul Cook of California’s 8th District – vote for it in the first place?
BTW – If anyone ever questions Colonel Cook personally they will have me to deal with and I will come down on them with a vengeance as they say in the movies. His service to this country cannot be paid back – I know – I’ve been trying for most of my adult life. You just thank him and all Veterans for their sacrifice and what they’ve done. But you don’t cut their pensions.
Paul Cook’s voting record is fair game. Game on.
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Rodney Lee Conover is running for Congress in California’s 8th District
Read about him HERE