…the most astonishing dance step in the post-shutdown shuffle might be the president’s call to “stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict” and instead “grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.”
In other words, all those people who disagree with HIM and THEM. You should only listen to their “echo chambers”…:)
Pretty business-friendly, right? But the friendliness isn’t reciprocated. The Federal Reserve’s beige book survey of businesses on Wednesday pointed a sharp finger at the devastating effects of ObamaCare, with employers cutting workers’ hours or laying off employees because of the law.
The Dallas Fed reported one business respondent describing signed contracts in which a temporary employee is made full-time, but will later be hired permanently (but part-time) when ObamaCare is implemented.
Businesses aren’t forced into such absurd, unproductive acrobatics because of something Sen. Ted Cruz or the Tea Party did. Years of the worst economic recovery in U.S. history didn’t happen because of a recent, brief government shutdown.
They happened because, from the waste of a trillion dollars on a stimulus that didn’t stimulate, to the hyper-regulatory Dodd-Frank financial overhaul that preserved “too big to fail,” to the more-hated-by-the-day ObamaCare, this president’s Big Government ways are keeping America down.
The budget deal failed to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare, ignored the nation’s entitlement crisis and kicked the debt can down the road. But lawmakers did manage to take care of their own.
President Obama insisted throughout the budget showdown that he wouldn’t negotiate over reopening the government or the debt ceiling. He said he’d accept nothing more than a “clean bill.”
Clean, apparently, is in the eye of the beholder in Washington. The debt deal Obama signed did reopen the government and suspend the debt ceiling entirely until early February.
But the bill included several sweetheart deals. While modest compared to the normal sort of federal pork, it nevertheless shows where lawmakers’ priorities are.
Among other provisions, this “clean” debt bill:
• Adds $2 billion for construction work on the Olmsted Locks and Dam on the lower part of the Ohio River. That’s an increase of 276% over what had been appropriated for this project. By an odd coincidence, much of this money will be spent in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state. The Senate Conservatives Fund dubbed it the “Kentucky Kickback.”
• Hands $174,000 over to Bonnie Englebardt, widow of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Never mind that she’d been married to Lautenberg for just nine years when he died, or that it was his second marriage, or that Lautenberg’s net worth was upwards of $116 million when he died.
• Promises federal workers a 1% raise starting in January, in addition to providing back pay for the two weeks they were off due to the shutdown. Too bad for all those private sector workers who will see their pay and hours cut next year thanks to ObamaCare.
• Gives the Transportation Department $450 million more to repair flood-damaged roads in Colorado.
• Devotes $3.1 million for a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This board, unfortunately, has nothing to do with protecting Americans from ObamaCare’s violations of privacy and civil liberties. It’s meant to ensure that federal anti-terrorism efforts don’t cause discomfort to anyone at home.
Meanwhile, the deal left ObamaCare alone, except for one meaningless tweak, and did nothing to rein in the other runaway entitlement programs. Worse, it totally ignored the nation’s long-term debt crisis.
Obama might consider all this a victory. But the country is the poorer as a result.(IBD)
But whenever the president rehearses the ‘parade of awfuls’ that befell the country due to the temporary shutdown, remember this: Under orders from Harry Reid, Obama refused to negotiate with Republicans to prevent the shutdown from beginning, and threatened to veto virtually every single Republican bill that would have ended the standoff or mitigated its impact. He bears much responsibility for what just happened. He’s the President of the United States, not a helpless bystander who floats above the DC morass. He is DC.
The mini lecture about civility and name-calling was simply precious. During the showdown, a top Obama spokesman called Republicans suicide bombers, arsonists and kidnappers (and their favorite: “Hostage takers”)…in the span of a single interview. The invective hurled at Republicans by Democrats far outweighed anything elected Republicans said about Democrats. (Townhall)
But at least THEY got theirs. The elites got what they wanted. And it’s the “other guy’s fault”.
Big Government is good. Bigger Government is Better.
And that’s what matters in the end.