Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Impounding" - The Right's Vile Plan To Claw Back Domestic Spending From Omnibus Bill

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Harpy and Right wing provocateur Kim Strassel, proposed the original idea for Trump and Repukes to apply "rescission"  to remove domestic spending from the recently passed $1.3 trillion Omnibus bill.

Let us concede at the outset, the Reptiles, aka, Republicans or Repukes, are a thoroughly detestable lot as they refuse to play on an even wicket, always trying to tilt the political tables to their advantage. In the latest illustration we behold an effort to invoke an obscure law: The Impoundment Control Act of 1974, to claw back over a hundred billion dollars of social spending from the $1.3 trillion Omnibus budget bill.

Why? Well, the conservos have been livid ever since the huge budget bill was passed,  decrying the "criminal" level of spending, especially on the parts the Dems wanted, and allowing "the deficits to reach obscene heights". NO thought or consciousness whatever of their own misbegotten tax cut legislation which will easily add $800 b to the deficit, and the Congressional Budget Office now estimates another $1 trillion if the cuts are extended to 2028.  The CBO also estimates the debt will reach 105 % of GDP if that plan goes forth.  But that is the level of cynical rat we're dealing with: deficits don't matter an iota for their side, only for the progressives - denounced as "tax and spend liberals".

Enter now long time WSJ bomb thrower and resident harpy Kimberley Strassel and her column from a week ago: 'In For A Penny, In For Impound',  in which she broaches the idea for the GOP to use the aforementioned law to temper the Omnibus spending spree by guessed it, clawing back the DEMOCRATS' spending provisions!   As she put it:

 "It's a chance for Republicans to honor their promises of spending restraint and redeem themselves with a base turned off by the Omnibus  blowout  It's an opening for the GOP to highlight the degree to which Democrats used the bill to hold the military hostage to their own domestic boondoggles."

Ok, first, no one was "holding the military hostage". The Pentagon made out like bandidos with  $80 billion awarded  for the new fiscal year, catapulting the US of A into the questionable position of spending more on defense than the next eight nations combined. All the Dems wanted was some domestic spending balance, like for CHIP and food stamps, especially if they were going to give way for the Pentagon's largesse. (Especially given the Pentagon still can't account for $1.2  trillion in spending from the 1990s.)   So never mind her bitching about the "domestic boondoggle", what really has Kim 's panties in a twist is that the Dems got the Rs to AGREE to their own spending priorities to pass the bill.  Kim's refrain , "Why must we deliver so many millions to hungry kids and elderly if we could get them to work for it?" just doesn't hold water in today's economically unjust landscape.

She goes on into specifics for her proposal and names the law (ibid.):

"It's called the 1974 Impoundment Act, which allows the president to order the rescission of specific funds so long as Congress  approves those cuts within 45 days. "

Never mind Kim didn't get the full name of the Act down, she became excited by the end of her piece as she blabbed:

"This is the kind of victory the GOP needs to show it can govern, and to motivate voters to turn out in November."

Never let anyone say Kimberley isn't given to wishful thinking, especially in terms of motivating the "base" of the GOP for November - particularly after they learn many of the benefits they depend on would be up for grabs....errrr....rescission.

Barely 4 days after her colmnn a piece appeared on page A3  of the WSJ, headed, White House Aims To Roll Back Spending', in which the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is cited. Also, Larry Kudlow  - the newly -hired  TV personality doubling as a WH  "economist" is quoted, where we learn he is involved in "planning what he called an advanced rescission package".    This is given "it's really not a bad idea to trim some spending because after all, spending can lead to deficits and spending interferes with the economy"

Of course, all the "bad spending"  is tagged on the Dems' domestic side of the ledger, as are the bad deficits.  No thought how the GOP  originally raised the level of deficits dramatically with its tax cut bill..

Trump in a separate action, reported yesterday (WSJ, p. A3) , went one better by "signing a broad executive order urging a revamp of government aid programs"   This would presumably be part of the rescsission effort and include "requiring participants" (e.g. in Medicaid or the SNAP food stamp program) to "prove they are working or trying to find jobs".

Failing to grasp most participants in SNAP are children or the elderly, and most of those affected in Medicaid are disabled or seriously ill - too much so to be "looking for work".

But this is what it's come to: reneging on budget deals already made in order to appease the "bottom half of the IQ curve" that put Trump into office, in the words of Harvard lecturer Harvey Mansfield (WSJ,  Weekend Interview, March 31).

The good news is that some Republican Senators of conscience - like Susan Collins- recognize such a fell move defeats any further appeals to bipartisanship - given the Omnibus bill is based on a bipartisan agreement. Further, with Sen. John McCain recovering from brain cancer treatments in Arizona, the Republicans can't afford to lose a single vote - as all Dems will surely vote against this treachery.

We can therefore conclude the impoundment and rescission idea is just another odious brain fart emanating from the nether regions of Repuke trolldom which will gain no traction. And if it does, by some odd happenstance, the blue wave coming in November will transform to an even bigger tsunami.

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