The same old story

For those of you unaware, today marks the end of the federal fiscal year. Supposedly at midnight tonight Fedzilla begains working from the FY2012 budget.

Except there is no such thing yet. Like this fiscal year, where Democrats in charge during 2010 failed to pass an actual budget and counted on continuing resolutions to keep the government going, those inside the Beltway will have to subsist on a continuing resolution or two or three until the budget is finally hammered out – don’t count on that anytime soon because fiscally conscious Republicans only control the House while the Senate and White House are controlled by spendthrift Democrats who never met an entitlement they didn’t like.

Continue reading “The same old story”

Sold out again

Yep, it’s going down just about as I predicted it: the Republicans will cave. I figure enough of the centrists from each party will outvote the extremist Democrats who want to keep spending money and controlling our lives along with their temporary allies in the conservative camp of the GOP who understand it’s time to rein in government.

So we’ll make ‘cuts’ – but will they really be reductions in spending or reductions in the rate of increase? And why hammer on defense spending in a time when we’re in the midst of a Long War with radical Islam? Now I could agree to a certain amount of defense cuts but where we really need to cut is the superfluous bureaucracy I continue to harp on.

In the end, I don’t like the deal because Obama gets what he wants – the increase in the debt limit. Meanwhile, we as a nation have our bond rating decline and how many times must we believe the lie that Democrats will cut spending? They lied to Reagan and they lied to Bush 41, telling them “oh yeah, go ahead and raise taxes, we’ll cut spending.” They must have been standing there with their fingers crossed behind their back.

So, Andy Harris and any other Congressman reading this: vote NO. Hold out on the principles of those who sent you to Congress.

Otherwise, don’t be really upset or surprised to see a third party effort in 2012. Obviously that’s a Democrat’s dream because it ensures both Obama’s re-election and the restoration of a Democratic majority in the House. The Senate could hold Democrat as well.

To borrow a phrase from a fellow Pajamas Media writer, Tom Blumer, we’d be back to a POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, and it would truly make us poorer. It makes things harder for me as a Republican trying to keep the TEA Party in the fold when the inside-the-Beltway boys stab us in the back again.

One man’s opinion

I have all the respect in the world for Muir Boda, and once I read the letter he had published in the Daily Times yesterday I decided to reprint it here as well.

As a citizen of the City of Salisbury and one who has been actively involved in city politics for the past couple of years, I have grave concerns over the process with which the City Council handled the budget process this year. I do feel some good things came out of the budget, such as removing furlough days for Police Officers and reducing the number of furlough days for the remaining city employees.

My concern is solely on the process and what appears to be a lack of negotiation and communication between the Office of the Mayor and the City Council. I have an even greater concern with the fact that the Council did not schedule a work session between the public hearing and the vote on the budget that included their amendments. Many ideas and suggestions were brought forth in the hearing and should have been discussed and considered before final passage.

I am also concerned that the Council was so quick to schedule an emergency session to override the Mayor’s veto. This was not an emergency; June 30th would have been considered an emergency, not June 8th. There still would have been plenty of time to for the Council to reach out to the Mayor to work on getting the budget to where all could have agreed.

This is very disappointing and their actions as a council are in contrast to what some on the council campaigned against and have complained about concerning past councils.

Reaction to the letter in the Daily Times comment section has been limited but seems to consist of bashing his supposed alliance with SAPOA and praise for Laura Mitchell. It doesn’t address the letter itself, so I took these (anonymous) people to task:

Whether Muir Boda would have voted for or against the budget is irrelevant to the conversation. He is correct that the city’s budget process was acrimonious and didn’t need to be done in such haste – that was his point.

I happen to think more people should have voted for Muir Boda as I did, but we are stuck with the Council we have because the people spoke back in April based on campaign promises of sweetness and light among the Council if the Camden crew were elected. Well, looks like too many of us were fooled again.

Now I don’t expect the mayor and council of any community to get along 100 percent of the time; in fact, a little bit of tension and rivalry can be a good thing. And Lord knows I’m certainly no Jim Ireton cheerleader but the depths we’ve descended to in this town are ridiculous. Where Muir’s argument is strongest is where he contends there was no big hurry – although Mayor Ireton was quick to slap his veto on the budget as presented by Council, there still was plenty of time for the two sides to discuss a compromise before the override.

However, Muir is somewhat incorrect on one key point: to not have a budget by June 30th would have against the City Charter, which stipulates the budget must be passed by June 15th (SC7-21 here.) Otherwise, the mayor’s budget would have been the one in force. Still, there was some time to work things out but both sides instead made a public show of rejecting the other’s budgetary guidance.

On another subject, I’m sort of curious what led Laura Mitchell to override the veto. (Guess I could e-mail her and ask, or she may enlighten us with a comment here.) Considering that there were three votes in pocket coming from the Camden mob, hers was the swing vote between the mayor’s budget and Council’s proposal. On the other hand, Shanie Shields is definitely the odd person out in this edition of Council and it will be interesting to see how that District 1 race shakes out in 2013 since she won’t run again.

All in all, Boda is correct in pointing out this is another black eye in Salisbury politics. Between the veto override and his favorite watering hole closing, last week was a bad one for Mayor Ireton. While one can always find a new hangout, the budget setback makes me wonder whether he will have the desire for another term in 2013 himself?

A question for those in the know

Obviously over the last few days we’ve heard the discussion about whether Obamacare can or should be repealed or at least defunded. You know which camp I sit with, but this is a question for my readers who may have a little more awareness about the budgetary process and how Washington works. However, the question doesn’t involve Obamacare but instead involves something I presume is on the budget someplace.

Over the last two years, our less-than-illustrious President has hired a number of “czars” who didn’t need to be confirmed by Congress. Since they seem to be useless appendages on the federal payroll is it possible to defund them? And what happens to those people if they are?

I would think that their salaries and benefits (along with whatever administrative help they receive) comes out of the allocation for the Executive Branch; probably the same pot of money that is paying for Obama’s Asian trip to the tune of $200 million a day (or whatever the true figure is since there’s some dispute regarding these expenses.) Obviously there’s serious sums of money where the public hasn’t the foggiest idea where it goes, and to an outsider like me it just seems to disappear into the ether. I guess transparency and accountability were the buzzwords in vogue two short years ago but they seem to have faded into obscurity of late.

Perhaps this is a shortcoming of me as a citizen that I don’t have a great understanding of the process, but it occurs to me that we’re playing with sums unthinkable just a couple decades ago. (That “trillion” wasn’t needed until the late Reagan years.)

I also realize that getting rid of the “czars” would rank with eliminating earmarks in terms of budgetary impact. The reforms we truly need won’t come until 2013 at the earliest since it’s going to take a President and Congress with both foresight and cajones to tackle the REAL problem in the budget: entitlements.

But it would feel good to eliminate the “czars” and whether that takes a smaller allocation to the Executive Branch or actual line-item budgeting is beyond my pay grade and scope of knowledge. But that’s why I have readers to help me figure out such matters.