Home > Congress > The new GOP, same as the old GOP

The new GOP, same as the old GOP

The new Congress is here!!  The new Congress is here!!

…and it looks a lot like the same old Congress…

First off, I will give them credit…a least a little…for spending a couple of hours, and over a million of our tax dollars for reading the Constitution (well, most of it anyway) to open the 112th Congress.  I really do hope that they take the words they read seriously.  The Republicans and the Tea Party have both claimed that the Constitution clearly states that the intent of the Founding Fathers was for a smaller government.    However, since the Civil War several amendments were added that altered the balance of powers between the states and the federal government, with that balance being more toward the federal government (all the sections that read “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article”).  They also need to read and remember the language in Article 1 that grants Congress the authority to enact “all laws which shall be necessary and proper” for executing its enumerated powers, including the right to regulate interstate commerce.

So now that they’ve read the Constitution and plan to make all laws they write to adhere to it, we should all be safe in the knowledge that life will be better for one and all…well, not quite.

It seems that only one day into the new Congress, the Republicans have already broken several parts of their “Pledge to America”, which they pushed as the framework for their agenda during this Congress.  They claimed that they would be able to trim $100 billion from the budget in the first year.  The problem is that in order to do so, they needed to work those cuts into the budget process that they conveniently filibustered last year.  Now that the budget cycle is already half over, it’s too late to follow through on that claim.  They are also saying that those cuts are more hypothetical and that sticking to a fixed number is just “number crunching“.

They also claimed to want more transparency in the bill making process, to end the bills that were written in the Speaker’s office then rushed to the floor for a vote without discussion or a chance to amend.  But now it seems that it will only happen on those bills that they allow for that process to occur.  For example, there will be no transparency, discussion, or the allowance for amendments for Bill H.R. 2 -Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.  For Representatives who want to reduce the deficit and open up the bill process, they are going at it the wrong way.  The Congressional Budget Office has already stated that if the Affordable Health Care Act was repealed, that the deficit would increase by $230 billion.

They have also gotten rid of PAY-GO which was started by the Democrats and replaced it with CUT-GO.  This requires that all spending would need to be offset by cuts in other areas.  The main problem that I can see is that a lot of areas are off limits from spending cuts by laws and regulations already in place.  The cuts that they could do would only be allowed from discretionary spending which is a very small portion of the federal budget…unless they amend the rules to allow budget cuts from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid which have already been listed as targets for cuts by several Republicans.  These cuts would undermine the social safety net that seniors today and in the future depend on, as well as their health care needs.  We’ve already seen that Republicans have no qualms about giving away our future to the Chinese and other debt holders in order to give unneeded tax breaks to the wealthy, now they want to cut needed programs for our seniors.

This Congress and its new Republican masters are so far no better than the Republican led Congress of the 1980’s.  From what I’ve seen already and what they have said they want to do, I feel all we will see will be the repeal of regulations that protected us, more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate citizens, and by doing both of those they will dig us deeper in the hole we are in now.

Looking back at that Republican led Congress and the failures of the Clinton administration, we can see the beginnings of what led us to the financial distress we are in – years of deregulation in the financial industry.  Important regulations were relaxed on lending limitations in the housing market, and when houses were made available to families which were really unable to make those house payments, the housing bubble burst.  Then there were regulations removed which allowed for the merger of financial and insurance companies.  The mergers allowed insurance companies access to trading on Wall Street which was blocked by regulations for a good reason, it would be too easy for these companies to play both sides (i.e. “Heads I win and Tails you lose”), and so they did.  Not long after, there was also a failure to regulate derivatives and other speculative trading on Wall Street, and when that bubble burst, it caused the meltdown of the merged financial and insurance companies.  The current GOP have already stated that they want to defund the Wall Street reforms that were passed last year, opening the door for further deregulation and more casino-like trading of derivatives.

Already one day in, and the future is looking the same as the past…and we are the ones who will end up paying for it, and our children, and our children’s children…

Honestly though it can’t be that bad, can it.  I really think the only way it could be worse would be for someone like Rep. Michelle Bachmann to be named to the House Select Committee on Intelligence and given a role to oversee the U. S. Intelligence Community

…oh wait…

What do you think of the new GOP led House.  Do you think my predictions of doom and gloom will come to pass, or do you see a silver light in the sky and a bright path to our future.

F

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Categories: Congress
  1. January 7, 2011 at 5:35 am

    “Do you think my predictions of doom and gloom will come to pass, or do you see a silver light in the sky and a bright path to our future” neither. I see a Democrat base in Washington that have built in barriers to solving the deficit problem and Republicans only having control of one of the three government bodies needed to make real change.

    So at least we should see less new spending and at best we will see some reduction, every penny counts. When the GOP gets control of the Senate in 2012 and the Dems keep Obama in the White House we will have a real chance to see a balanced budget and a turn around in the deficit.

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