The GOP has had control of the House for less than 48 hours and already the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) are already arguing that Republicans have reverted to their free-spending ways and that the Democratic Party is the party of fiscal restraint.
At her final press conference as speaker on Monday, ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi told this whopper:
"Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go."
The numbers tell a different story.
When the Pelosi Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8,670,596,242,973.04. The last day of the 111th Congress and Pelosi's Speakership on December 22, 2010 the national debt was $13,858,529,371,601.09 - a roughly $5.2 trillion increase in just four years. Furthermore, the year over year federal deficit has roughly quadrupled during Pelosi's four years as speaker, from $342 billion in fiscal year 2007 to an estimated $1.6 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010.
In the ensuing days you have had CNN leading with a lie, only to reluctantly tell the truth a few paragraphs down.
House Republicans dial back on promises
Even before House Republicans took control of the chamber Wednesday, there were at least three areas where they appear to be backtracking on promises made: Cutting $100 billion in the first year, allowing opportunities for the minority party to offer amendments on bills, and making public attendance records for committee hearings.
The Republicans ran for office in 2010 on a platform they titled "The Pledge to America," which states they would reduce government spending to 2008 "pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels" and cut "at least $100 billion in the first year alone." [emphasis added]
CNN’s lie is in between the quotes. The GOP’s promise [PDF Format, See Page 23] was:
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.
Notice the difference? The $100 billion estimate was based on President Obama’s 2011 fiscal year budget plan – a budget the Congress never passed, instead a continuing resolution has kept spending at 2009 levels, so a reversion back to 2008 levels only nets about $60 billion. But no honesty is necessary when you’ve got a preferred political party to rehabilitate.
The second laugher is that repealing Obamacare would add to the national debt. (Jennifer Rubin, with a hand from Rep. Paul Ryan explains the bogus CBO numbers here.) Only Democrats and moronic Kool-Aid drinkers (but I repeat myself) seriously believe that Obamacare saves money. Take away all the mumbo jumbo and think about what Obamacare does for a second: it takes 30 million people who don’t have insurance now (by choice or because they can’t afford it, have a pre-existing condition, etc.) and gives them coverage and all of this saves money? Only in Washington, D.C.
This effort to re-write the template is just going to get more and more ridiculous in coming weeks. Republicans are going to start cutting – and some of these cuts are going to be painful – and the Democrats will howl. At that point, is anyone going to seriously buy the Democrats as the party of fiscal responsibility and Republicans as spendthrifts?