There is a quote out there that sometimes get attributed to Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen and sometimes not. The quote is that there two parties in Washington — the stupid party and the evil party. Every once in a while the stupid party and the evil party get together and do something that is both stupid and evil. In Washington, that is called bipartisanship.
Our United States Senate, led by Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia are on the verge of leading the Congress into doing something both stupid and evil.
It will be heralded by the Washington Press Corp as a grownup act of bipartisan.
To give you a sense of just how bad it is, even Barack Obama is getting in on the act and signaling he will support what Chambliss and Warner come up with if only as a way to shut down serious conversation about Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.”
Last year, Barack Obama formed a Deficit Reduction Commission. The Commission’s report came out and Barack Obama promptly treated it like it was an illegitimate child worthy of being shunned.
The White House did not mention it. During Obama’s State of the Union address he glossed over and ignored the panel. He punted on every significant issue.
Fast forward to last week. Congressman Paul Ryan introduced his “Path to Prosperity.” Even Democrats were calling Paul Ryan “courageous” for his willingness to step out there. The chairmen of the Deficit Commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, praised Ryan’s leadership. Many people noted Barack Obama’s absence from the debate.
So Obama has to do something. The Washington Post reports Obama will come out and give a lot of platitudes without much substance, but he will claim that his platitudinal direction is far better than Paul Ryan’s substantive direction.
He will have Saxby Chambliss and Mark Warner to back him up.
Already Chambliss and Warner are out subtly criticizing Paul Ryan’s plan. They are downplaying its significance and making it clear that it won’t pass the Senate.
What Chambliss, Warner, and four other Senators have in store for us is the stupid and evil solution — raise taxes, restructure entitlements, and do it in such a way that it keeps the citizenry of the republic fueling the leviathan.
Saxby Chambliss gave away the game in an interview with the Atlanta Journal. He said, in part, “[Y]ou’ve got to have enough money to run the government, and then you’ve got to have excess money to start paying down on that debt.”
What we know of the Chambliss-Warner plan is that while entitlements will be reformed and the tax code simplified, restructuring programs, entitlements, and taxes will involve keeping Washington at the center of all reforms.
It is stupid to do this because keeping Washington at the center of all reforms will mean that eventually the leviathan will come looking for future sacrifice again. The appetite will be unabated.
It is evil to do this because these reforms are guaranteed to further enslave future generations of Americans to Washington, D.C.
In Saxby Chambliss, Mark Warner, and Barack Obama’s world view, Washington, D.C. is the indispensable party. Any conversation about block grants, handing power and money to the states, etc. is unserious and not grownup. They view themselves as the masters of our destiny.
They will commit us to a bipartisan compromise that, in ten years, we will be having to fix. They will do so in way that makes the nation poorer. But they’ll win praise from the Washington media and liberal commentariat.
Conservatives, this is the next fight. They will tie this to the debt ceiling. We can stop them, but we must act fast. Conservatives should stake their ground on a balanced budget amendment and passage of Paul Ryan’s reforms.
The stupid and evil compromise must be stopped. It is, at its core, made of the same flawed conventional beltway wisdom where the smartest guys in the room get together, hammer out a deal, have the media praise it, and get it passed. In other words, it is exactly like every other deal that has gotten us into the fiscal mess we are in right now.