In a March 3rd article, Liberty Weekly commented on an interview of former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman, who warned about the possibility of a Government shutdown beginning March 15, 2017.
Stockman explained that on that date, the debt ceiling holiday was set to freeze at $20 trillion. The expert reasoned that, with such strong opposition to Donald Trump, there would be no political energy in Washington to raise the debt ceiling any higher.
The debt ceiling did freeze March, 15. Since then, the Treasury has instituted “emergency measures” to avoid defaulting on its obligations. These emergency measures, along with temporary budget agreements called “continuing resolutions,” have kept the Federal Government operational while Congress attempts to pass a budget agreement that would raise the debt ceiling, thus allowing the Government to borrow more money.
The latest continuing resolution, passed last Friday, April 28, ends May 5–this coming Friday. If Congress does not pass a budget, the Federal Government will be forced to shut down by midnight on Friday night. The shutdown would resemble a similar shutdown that occurred in 2013.
Contrary to Stockman’s predictions, it appears that Congress was able to find the political will to pass a budget agreement–at least for the time being.
Late Sunday night, a 1665-page spending bill emerged as a “bipartisan agreement” between the Republicans and Democrats.
The spending bill would see a $1 trillion increase to the debt ceiling, effectively keeping the Federal Government operational until October 1, 2017.
Ultimately, I disagreed with Stockman’s predictions of a summer budget impasse scenario. This is because I have a great faith in Congress’ ability to pass legislation in the interest of self-preservation, especially when the failure to do so would mean absolute chaos in the markets and less money for the Elite in Washington.
Moreover, the term bipartisan should tell us most of what we need to know about the spending agreement. As George Carlin famously said: “bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”
Regardless, it would behoove us to explore what the bill looks like, a task which Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams performed admirably in this Monday’s edition of the Liberty Report:
According to the above video and this article from RT.com, highlights of the spending bill include the allocation of:
- 100 million dollars to counter Russian “influence in Europe,” an eyebrow raising concept
- No cuts to Planned Parenthood, which Republicans had promised to eliminate
- No cuts, but rather spending increases for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which Republicans had promised to “get rid of”
- 15 billion dollars in “supplemental spending to ‘fight terrorism,'” by creating more terrorism
- “$1.5 billion for border security, including for technology and fixing existing infrastructure but it doesn’t allocate the money to build Trump’s wall,” according to RT.com
- A $295 million dollar bailout for Puerto Rican Medicaid
On another note, Trump’s battle to secure funding for his programs– namely his hallmark campaign promise, the border wall–will be postponed until October 1. This morning, Trump expressed his understanding of the temporary agreement in two tweets:
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
Trump’s threat is certainly eyebrow-raising, but how seriously should we take these tweets? Was Stockman’s budget showdown scenario correct, but mistimed? We will see this fall.
Ultimately, it is a safe bet that we, at least for now, in for more of the same: more war, more spending, more inflation, and more subjecting future generations to debt they couldn’t possibly consent to.
For more details concerning the details of the proposed budget, I would urge you to consult the linked sources, with appropriate time-stamps to the Liberty Report.
The general trend of excessive government spending is the inevitable result of our de facto democracy–a republican government stripped bare of the Constitution’s intended safeguards against centralized power and the tyranny of the majority.
To assert the original republican understanding of the Constitution and push back against these unconstitutional exercises of federal power, we must rediscover the axiom state nullification, a Constitutional mechanism by which states can interpose against unconstitutional federal laws. This principle was asserted by two of America’s most influential Founding Fathers: James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.
In the present day, the Federal Government relies on a substantial degree of cooperation from the states. With the principle of state nullification, we can use the states, as the original agents of the people, to say no to bloated, unconstitutional federal programs which bankrupt us and destroy our liberties. See Tenth Amendment Center.
As part of the planned Liberty Weekly Podcast, I’m looking forward to sharing the story of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and their forgotten chapter in American History. We are currently planning a launch by the end of May!
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