Beyond the Cusp

October 5, 2013

Challenge President Obama and Change the Entire Budget Battle

A single undeniable truth that can be said about the budget battle is that the Republicans are getting the worst end of the blame. It stands to reason as the Republicans decided to pick their fight over Obama Care (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) by defunding it specifically in this continuing resolution knowing that they would be facing opposition from President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and the majority of the mainstream press. The blame falling on the Republicans for any budget battle has a long-standing history and it does not matter which political party holds the different position, the Republicans are always the ones who are shutting down the government and denying services to the population. The only break the Republicans have received was due to the overreach by the Obama Administration who sought to go to ridiculous extremes to make their point. When the Administration gave the orders to the numerous separate Cabinet Departments to shutter everything and anything they possibly could close in order to inconvenience the most number of people, they perhaps should have said within reason instead of everything and anything possible. When the Park Service cordoned off the World War II Memorial which sits in an open area which had to have barricades erected and guards placed to enforce the no trespass the monument is closed order, they perhaps chose badly. The Republican legislators gained a photo-op as they came down from Capitol Hill and removed a few barricades and opened the memorial allowing a number of World War II veterans, who were all elderly making the scene that much more poignant, to visit. The same became the case when some news services reported that the very same Park Service had barricaded the parking lot at Mount Vernon. This was made to appear even worse as Mount Vernon is run by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association who also own the parking lot which is serviced by the Park Service making their closure appear as exactly what it was, a spiteful move done purely to hurt as many people as possible over the government shutdown. Despite these few examples, you cannot tune in to a news broadcast without hearing at least three and as many as uncountable references to the Republican shutdown of the government as if the Democrats are clean of any blame for the impasse.

 

The Republicans in the House of Representatives, the branch of the Federal Government tasked exclusively with initially formulating the budget and the place where all financial outlays must begin although these items must then pass the Senate and the President, could change the entire fight over Obama Care and instead make the battle over the fact that they are doing something which would be revolutionary for the years of the Obama Presidency, passing an actual and real budget and ending this deceitful practice of running the government by passing Continuing Resolutions every few months. Ever since President Obama first took the oath of office the United States Federal Government has failed to pass a single budget. There are some advantages and opposing disadvantages to running the Federal Government, or any government, by passing Continuing Resolutions every few months in place of formulating an actual budget for the entire year. Should you wish to be able to increase spending radically more than usual then the Continuing Resolutions is your ticket while passing an annual budget restricts the increase in spending. The reason for this is when you have to stick to an annual budget the increase is measurable and can be debated while with the Continuing Resolutions you can increase spending with each resolution which even if the exact same percentage is the rate of increase, the fact that these increases are being applied compounding their effect, this actually has the effect of increasing the spending by a greater amount. For example, if you increased a department’s budget 10% and say their budget had been $1,000,000; then their budget for the next year will be $1,000,000. If instead you passed a Continuing Resolution every three months with each employing the same 10% increase, a quarterly budgeting, then you would take the budget for the first quarter which would be $250,000 and increase it to $275,000. When you get to the second quarter the 10% is applied to the budgeted amount after the last increase so you apply the 10% to $275,000 resulting in $302,500. At the third quarter you apply the 10% to the $302,500 which yields $332,750 and in the final quarter you apply the 10% to $332,750 yielding $366,025. When you add the spending up you have $275,000 + $302,500 + $332,750 + $366,025 resulting in an annual budget totaling $1,276,275 which is $176,275 more than if you had made an annual budget. That is almost triple the increase in spending just by passing four Continuing Resolution instead of one annual budget.

 

Of Course when passing these Continuing Resolution there will always be the crisis, real or manufactured, that requires an extra amount to be put into a budget which simply compounds and makes for even higher increases in spending. An example of such is the current debate over funding for Food Stamps where the Democrats wish to increase the spending by 25% more than the Republican desire though the Republicans are still offering to give the Food Stamp Program a healthy increase. Of course the news is reporting that the Republicans are attempting to cut Food Stamps by 25%, the exact difference between the increases proposed by both parties. When you are convicted by those who give the public their news of decreasing or cutting funding whenever you offer to increase spending by less than the other party you will constantly be portrayed dishonestly as being Scrooge before the ghostly visitations.

 

If the Republicans took a novel route and came up with a budget that would extend through the entirety of the fiscal year they could argue that they were only being responsible and proposing an annual budget like anybody else does when it comes to spending. They could point to the fact that even when President Obama had a solid opposition proof majority in both Houses of Congress that the Democrats still refused to pass an actual annual budget choosing instead to utilize numerous Continuing Resolutions in order to allow for massive increases in spending made with smaller steps which together added up and produced a record deficit beyond any previous Presidential budget, even double that produced by President George W. Bush who according to President Obama spent beyond all reason. They could further advise that they were proposing that Obama Care be financed on an as needed basis so that the public could be informed of the actual costs used to implement this untested venture into government assured medical care. They could press the fact that they also desired some changes chiefly among them that if those who President Obama granted a one year exemption are not to be held to their obligations under Obama Care then the American people should also be given the same one year exemption from their obligations under Obama Care. The concept is a simple one learned by most of us in our youth, if it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander. America has always been based on equality as well as freedom and liberty. We have equal opportunity, equal application of the law, except when some are exempted from Obama Care, we have equal responsibility and we have equal representation in governance. Exempting those few favored sectors of our society from their equal obligations under Obama Care while it is being applied in its entirety on the people simply because they do not have the cadre of lobbyists, lawyers and influence peddlers to argue and pressure those in power to give them favors is against everything America was founded upon. To punish the individual while catering to big business, unions and others who wield political clout is an abomination and this is the wrong that the Republicans need to stress when they have any opportunity to get their message out. Of course it would help if all of the Republicans actually were supporting the people instead of their political pals in Washington. That is another problem with the attempt to equalize the application of Obama Care, too many in Washington simply support anything which further empowers Washington and tough luck to the people back home. Hopefully the people will have a message for those who so callously disregard the wellbeing of their constituents.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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