Send in the Subs
My college football coach had a clear and simple policy about running backs’ performance. If a running back was tackled short of the goal line, inside the 5 yard line, no matter what the reason, he was removed from the game. Coach instructed running backs to get up and run for the sideline, where they would see their substitute on the way into the game. No questions asked, no exceptions. Failure had consequences.
Which brings me to last week in Washington. First, we hear that Congress passed and the president signed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. And the bill was a whopping 2,232 pages! Now, let’s say you were a diligent congressman and took the time to read it from front to back. At only 1 minute per page, that task would take you 37 hours. Yet, Congress voted on the bill less than 24 hours after it was introduced.
Second, we hear that the federal government’s weekly borrowing reached an all time record. Yes, the feds had to borrow a shocking sum of $300 billion in a single week. That is roughly $1,000 for every American, all ages. In a single week.
Sound like Obama and the liberal Democrats are back in town? Incredibly, no, this travesty was foisted on us by Republicans. Sure, they need some Democrat votes to form a working majority, but the result is a betrayal of our conservative Republican ideals. This federal government is out of control, and on its way to another trillion dollars of deficit spending this year.
And as if it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, the Education Secretary proposed that Congress should cut her budget by $2.6 billion. She planned for streamlining the organization and cutting unnecessary spending. But Congress would have none of that. Instead of cutting her budget, Congress actually increased it, by a staggering $9 billion!
Our Republican voters are mad. Mad as hell. Congress, take heed. Your substitutes may be on the way.
What do we want Congress to do? Get this monstrosity of a government under control. There is no reason a great nation, the greatest in all of world history, should have a government like this. Stop this insane borrowing; it’s real money, that really has to be repaid, by real people. Our children and their children included.
How can Congress do it? Let’s call it a Texas two step. Step one, get rid of the waste and pork barrel spending. Here are a few ideas for cuts.
Let’s stop paying people not to work. You see, the government spends more than $1 billion annually for government employees who are not working; employees who are under investigation for misconduct are paid to stay home. All supported by the Americans who actually are working. Stop this nonsense.
Let’s stop paying for silly studies. The feds paid $2.6 million to determine if truckers would lose weight after motivational interviews, training, and a $20 gift card. Stop this nonsense.
Let’s stop the same government agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), from paying $48,500 to study the history of tobacco use in Russia. This really happened, I am not making this up. Stop this nonsense.
It really is very easy to find these examples. There are thousands more. Need some help, Congress? Hire some private sector folks who have experience managing real money against real targets, where failure has real consequences.
Step two, pass a balanced budget amendment. Ironclad, bulletproof. Absolutely, positively stop future Congresses from their reckless spending urges.
Since the Republicans in Congress do not have a two thirds majority in either house, the only other option is a convention of the states. So far, 12 states including Texas have called for such a convention. Another 28 states are actively considering it. After a convention produces an amendment, it must then be ratified by three quarters of the states. Let’s get on with it.
There is still time to choose our future. We can make the tough choices now, to
avoid a certain disaster later. It can be done. It takes guts and determination. It requires leaders who rise to the moment, overcome apathy, and get the ball over the goal line. We the people deserve no less.
And if this bunch can’t get it done, we the people will send substitutes to take their place. No questions asked. Failure has consequences.
Scott S. Kramer is Chairman of the Republican Party of Kendall County.