That was a nice decade of Republicans pretending to care about our $22 trillion national debt and annual multitrillion-dollar deficit. But as of Monday, we can safely say the Tea Party is over.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced about as reasonable an attempt to rein in our exploding deficit with his Pennies Plan, which would cut 2% from on-budget spending per year for the next five years. Additionally, Paul’s plan would expressly protect Social Security, include instructions to make the individual income tax reforms passed by President Trump permanent, and expand access to Health Savings Accounts.
It’s a modest but tangible step in the right direction. It wouldn’t solve our debt crisis, but it would ameliorate it somewhat. So naturally, a large bipartisan majority voted to block it from the Senate floor.
Just 22 Republicans proved themselves to be great American patriots. Sixty-nine senators, including a whopping 25 Republicans, voted not to bring the bill to a final vote.
What are we voting those 25 Republicans into the Senate for? Conservatives tell me that Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is the next big thing. But while he’s found the time to nearly derail Trump’s exceptional judicial agenda and threaten to go full-big-government on private social media companies, he refused to bring the Pennies Plan for as much as a floor vote.
This isn’t just an anti-conservative move. It’s a downright dishonest one that contradicts his campaign promise to back a previous iteration of the bill and balance the federal budget.
And what about Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.? He signed the Contract From America, which endorsed a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget in 2010. The Pennies Plan is far more milquetoast, yet he wouldn’t even vote to bring it to the floor?
And I was truly floored to see Tea Party rock star Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., refusing to vote with fellow travelers Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Has half of the Republican Party truly given up on that whole “limited government” shtick?
I expect Democratic Party leaders to do everything in their power to expand the leviathan of the federal government, given their disturbing embrace of Magical Modern Monetary Theory and free everything. But the GOP isn’t even pretending anymore on fiscal responsibility. It’s damning.
Author: Tiana Lowe