Last night, the United States Senate passed a budget. Now, America hasn’t had an actual budget for quite a while; even with Republicans in charge of the House, they still went for the massive continuing resolution/omnibus spending bills for which those very same Republicans had criticized Democrats so harshly when the Dems held the majority.
Republicans have been championing tax reform, primarily revolving around the plan put forward by the Trump administration (because in the modern political climate, the GOP is about Trump’s plan, or nothing, since they can’t seem to get their shit together enough to move forward on an actual conservative agenda of their own).
It would be a good thing that the United States government actually has a real budget, except for one thing: this budget is massive. As in $4 TRILLION in spending massive.
You see, for Republicans, passing this budget isn’t about fiscal responsibility, or shrinking the size of government, or even about doing what’s right for America. This budget was about one thing, and only one thing: avoiding a Democrat filibuster on their planned tax reform bill.
Passing a real budget, a responsible budget, would have required taking a stand for real conservative values. It would have involved the usual hyperbolic denunciations from Democrats, and they would have had to fight for votes from big-government Republicans – the same kind of Republicans who killed the true Obamacare repeal bills in the Senate.
This time around, they weren’t looking for a fight. They aren’t making a stand. Doing something about our federal government’s out-of-control spending isn’t a priority to them, because they’re just playing the game, lining up an easy vote on the budget so that they can use the budget reconciliation process to avoid a filibuster on tax reform. In fact, if they didn’t need the reconciliation process, they likely wouldn’t have passed a budget at all, choosing instead to gin up some fake panic yet again, and push through another massive CROmnibus.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this budget is that only one Republican in the Senate voted against it! Senator Rand Paul was the only one who actually stood up for fiscal conservatism, which was rather surprising. I would expect others, like Mike Lee or Ted Cruz, to stand with him…but even they went along with the game. After all, Republicans need a significant legislative win if they’re to have any hope of holding onto control of Congress, so to most of them, selling us out on spending is worth it in the long run.
So kudos to Rand Paul for once again standing up for what is right. And for the rest of the Republicans in the Senate…get a clue.
Below: Rand Paul on The Glenn Beck Program