The time has come to put away the holiday decorations and prepare for the new year. It’s also time to deal with an old piece of business, the 2015 CRomnibus budget deal that was rammed down our throats at the 11th hour by an unholy trinity: John Boehner, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
The 1600+-page CRomnibus was passed much like ObamaCare, cloaked in secrecy until hours before the vote. Lawmakers were urged to “pass it” before they could” find out what was in it.”
The time has come to take a cold, hard look at this pig in a poke.
By now you know that, even though Republicans were given absolute control of Congress for the next two years, Boehner gave away the store by passing the CRomnibus before the new Congress could be seated. It fully funds ObamaCare and Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, the very things incoming freshmen campaigned against.
A big selling point was that the CRomnibus actually decreased spending by $11.1 billion over the previous year. If true, that would at least be something. But, alas, it is but a bitter hoax.
The Boehner budget simply pushed $11.9 billion off-budget into an area called “emergency funding.” There were other budget gimmicks but, without digging too deeply, you can see that Boehner spends roughly $12 thousand million more, not less, than was advertised.
And what does Boehner & company consider an emergency? The Ebola crisis gets $5.4 billion of that money, which is something we have known about for months. Responsible budgets plan for emergencies. It’s a line item, not something pushed off-budget to make the real budget look smaller than it really is.
According to an analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/detail/cromnibus-decreases-spending-but-leaves-taxpayers-wanting-more there are a few things to cheer about which include: slight cuts to the IRS (perhaps that will eliminate a few bonuses next year) and the EPA.
The folks at the IRS will have to get by with $10.9 billion this year. Just think, with a flat tax it could operate on a fraction of that money and it would spare the American public a lot of the late nights we spend trying to work our way through this burdensome process, not to mention all the accounting fees.
As for the EPA, it will have to make do with a measly $8.1 billion, which is a slight — ever so slight — cut from last year’s funding. Before you shed a tear for the agency, consider that this is still MORE than the president’s budget request. Such restraint!
One of the most egregious items in the CRomnibus is the reauthorization of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) with $60 million in new funding. This is one of the worst examples of corporate welfare. In my vocabulary, OPIC stands for O(h) Pic(k) the pockets of hard-working American taxpayers so well can give this money to our big business friends to invest in their risky projects oversees. Giants such as Enron, McDonalds, the Soros Economic Development Fund, Coca Cola, Papa John’s Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, AT&T, MTV, and Deutsche Bank have all benefited or are currently benefiting from this government largess. When their projects go bust, taxpayers are left holding the bag. It they make money, we get no reward. Where is the logic in this?
Voters in Virginia thought they got rid of Eric Cantor, but not without a golden parachute from Boehner and company. There was $12.5 million in funds set aside for his signature achievement, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Act, which authorizes new federally-funded pediatric research. While that sounds nice, there is no shortage of government money for medical research, including pediatric research, spread across many different agencies. The National Institutes for Health, our primary medical research agency, receives over $30 billion alone.
By far the biggest insult is a huge raise in the amount of money that can be given to fund political parties and their various entities. The amount a single wealthy individual can give was raised from $32,400 to $324,000 a year, a ten-fold increase. This, of course, is completely unrelated to the budget. It’s just something Boehner and company put in there to ensure incumbents stay in power.
These are but a few of the reasons to encourage your member of Congress to join the dump Boehner campaign. There are only six days left to get this accomplished.
Then, we can be optimistic and truly celebrate the new year!