“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session…”
If you, as do I, retain any interest in the future survival of America, you might ponder these oft-repeated words from an 1866 New York court decision by Surrogate Judge Gideon Tucker, who was referring to the New York legislature.
But that ancient warning about lawmakers now has far greater application to the U.S. Congress.
That was proven last week as the Senate passed a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion budget-busting spending bill, 65-32, after the House approved it with bipartisan vote of 256-167. In all, 90 House Republicans, including many from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, voted against the bill, as did 24 Republicans in the Senate.
It is safe to say that none of the 535 members of Congress read the bill or even knew its contents.
A Pox on Both Parties
The deal was put together in secret by Capitol Hill staff representing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), plus House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif.), who called the bill “a tremendous victory for the American people,” one that keeps domestic agencies robustly funded. (That tells you something!)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who opposed the bill, said: “Shame, shame. A pox on both Houses — and parties.” Sen. John Neely Kennedy, R-La., said: “I don’t understand why when President Obama did what we’re about to do, it’s bad for the country, but when we do it, it’s good for the country.”
“It just boggles my mind that we continue to spend at a level that’s no different than the last three or four years of the Obama administration,” said Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus.
Paul’s curse, a pox on both political parties, underscores that this massive deficit spending package was, as The Washington Post noted: “a stark reversal of the promises many Republicans ran on in capturing control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014 as they railed against what they described as a profligate President Barack Obama.”
As a former member of the House myself, it was especially disgusting to see congressional GOP leaders abandon their own budget rules and “regular order,” ignoring their past complaints about Democrats jamming through unread mystery legislation with no time to read the mammoth bill.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates President Donald Trump’s tax law will increase the national debt at least $5.5 trillion in lost tax revenue over a decade; others say over $10 trillion. As I write this, the National Debt Clock shows the official U.S. national debt is over $21 trillion, a figure that equates to nearly 106% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Considering the added unfunded liabilities of all entitlement programs, the true national debt exceeds $112 trillion!
The recent GOP-Trump budget-busting, debt-hiking tax law drove another nail in the coffin of the Republicans as the “conservative” party. That a “Republican” president would propose an enormous tax cut while ignoring a huge increase in the national debt suggests a formal funeral for the GOP is in order.
We’re a One-Party State
As Ted Bauman has explained, an increasing number of Americans now recognize Republicans and Democrats unfortunately agree on a great deal — issues far more consequential to our individual fates than the scare tactics used to get us to the polls. When it comes to what really matters, we now suffer under the domination of a de facto single-party state.
Both political parties are alike in all the worst ways — spending, debt and the destruction of our liberties. As they jockey for partisan power, few in either party admit their unprincipled merger.
Over the years, when asked about the possibility of forming a third political party, I quipped that what America needed was a true second party. If the Trumped Republicans are going to ape the Democrats, just eliminate the deceit, drop party labels and affirm the existing one-party system.
Yours for liberty,
Bob Bauman, JD
Legal Counsel, Banyan Hill Publishing
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