The Corner Blog

Cut, Cap And Balance; Or, How Come Crazy Spending Is Never Called "Draconian"?

Earlier tonight I saw U.S. Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), one of the biggest and most far-reaching leftists in Congress, on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. (She's so far to the left that she doesn't think ObamaCare went far enough and supports the government-run single-payer system — click here to see her gleefully expound on the end of private insurance.) Mr. Blitzer asked Representative Schakowsky about the proposal known as "Cut, Cap and Balance" (see Tom McClusky at FRCAction's The Cloakroom Blog) to solve the impending debt ceiling crisis. Cut, Cap and Balance is the plan put forth by a coalition of members of Congress and conservative, free market and limited government think tanks and action groups that would cut federal spending, cap those levels, and pass to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. (Click here to see an archived webcast on "Cut, Cap and Balance" featuring U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., among other leading limited government proponents.) Ms. Schakowsky's predictable response perfectly illustrated the vacuousness and illegitimacy of The Left. First, she called it a joke (probably knowing her solution can't be called a joke, because it's more like a horror movie). But the real laugh came when she said "Cut, Cap and Balance" would force "Draconian cuts."

That got me thinking . . . how come the term "Draconian spending" or "Draconian increases" is never used? Or is a $1.5 trillion increase in one year not scary? How bad off were we two years ago when the annual federal budget was "only" $2.25 trillion? Where was the suffering then that The Left says we'll have tomorrow if we adopt "Cut, Cap and Balance"? Could it get worse than 9.2 percent unemployment? These Draconian spending increases don't even take into account the unimaginable sums ObamaCare will cost in future years (see ObamaCare Lies). The amount of printing, borrowing and spending in Washington, D.C., is literally crazy, because no one in a proper frame of mind would put their future or their children's and grandchildren's future at such risk.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" package (see Andrew Stiles at NRO's The Corner Blog). It will pass. But what of its future in the Senate? Will it even get a vote? Or will it vote for what Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) calls, "Cut, Run and Hide," also known as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's pass-the-buck plan (see Alexander Bolton at TheHill.com)?

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins offers his thoughts here and encourages people to contact their senators to vote for the former and to defeat the latter (click here to contact Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner):

Unfortunately, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered last week a plan to surrender. It would allow the President to lift the debt ceiling and only allow Congress a vote to stop it if it could garner a super majority. No cuts, no reforms, the McConnell plan is supposedly aimed at laying the political blame on the President. But when Senator Harry Reid immediately calls McConnell's plan "serious," one should question its wisdom.

With President Obama cynically leading from behind on this grave issue (read Senator DeMint's statement issued earlier this evening and that issued by House Speaker John Boehner), which has the potential to send the nation into a Greece-like morass, further debilitating our ability to lead the world and relegating America to also-ran status, it is time to take sound, firm and lasting action. "Cut, Cap and Balance" is the way to do it (see Brian Darling at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog). The Left may caricature it while making the nonchalant spending of trillions seem normal. But we all know the definition of doing the same failed thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

"Cut, Cap and Balance" is gaining momentum: 178 organizations and more than 190,000 citizens have signed the pledge.

November Speaks: Rally In D.C. To Say "No New Government" During Lame Duck Congress

Despite the historic repudiation of rampant government expansion and control of our lives last week, statists still control Congress in big numbers until January. Just like a good crisis, don't think they want this time go to waste. After all, they have nothing to lose anymore. The risk of an unbridled spending and government takeover spree is possible during the upcoming "lame duck" session of Congress.   To help send a loud and clear "no new government" message to these lame-duck politicians, Americans For Prosperity is organizing a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington at noon on Monday, November 15, with U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (see John J. Miller at National Review's The Corner blog), AFP President Tim Phillips (see ABCNews.com's The Note blog) and others. But the message isn't only for the old Congress. Consider it a heads up to the new one, as well. If, during the fall, we told them "November is coming," now we tell them, "November speaks!"

The AFP Virginia chapter is sponsoring free bus rides for people who want to attend. Click here by tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. to register for the bus leaving from an area near you, or to get more information about the rally. Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Historic Elections: But Why?

The results of yesterday's elections are historic in many obvious ways. Unlike 1994, Virginians participated in making that history by turning over three liberal incumbent members of the House of Representatives (see Washington Post), including a 28-year veteran previoulsy thought unbeatable, someone who hadn't had a competitive race in years. So we congratulate three friends of The Family Foundation who won their races yesterday and are on their way to Congress:

» Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith (Newsweek's The Gaggle blog), a 100 percent TFF voter as a member of the House of Delegates;

» Congressman-elect Robert Hurt (Danville Register & Bee), a 91 percent TFF voter as a member of the Virginia Senate; and

» Congressman-elect Scott Rigell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot), a donor to our organization.

In the 11th district, liberal incumbent Gerry Connolly has a narrow lead over conservative challenger Keith Fimian, a vote likely to be recounted (Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog). Pending that outcome, eight of Virginia's 11 Representatives are Republican. We were pleased to participate in the voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts in these districts. Some of you may have received our GOTV phone calls over the weekend.

In some ways, though, the elections went beyond politics. While the national and state media focus on Congressional outcomes, something happened a bit below the surface that is even more historic — and perhaps longer term.

For example, at least 19 state legislative bodies, including those in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio flipped partisan control to Republicans (John Hood at National Review's The Corner blog and Ryan Beckwith at CQ Politics' The Eye blog). In fact, the North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. The Alabama legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

I don't tell you that to trumpet Republicans, but because our sister family policy council organizations inform us that many of those elected yesterday support pro-family policies. These organizations ran campaigns similar to our Winning Matters 2009 program and saw pro-life, pro-family candidates win across the board. More important than simply electing people of one particular party, citizens in these states elected pro-family conservatives.

Possibly more telling, voters in Iowa defeated three Supreme Court judges instrumental in imposing homosexual marriage on that state against the will of the people via judicial fiat (New York Times). It is the first time since judges have been on the ballot in Iowa (1962) that they have been defeated on Election Day. Once again, when the issue of marriage is put to the people, traditional marriage wins.

Now, the question is, will the message sent by the voters yesterday carry over into next year's crucial Virginia Senate elections? Will party leaders get the message that motivates voters and give us candidates that are unapologetically pro-life and pro-family? Will Virginia follow the lead of other states that brought wholesale change to their legislatures? Will party leaders endorse incumbents for the sake of "party unity" or listen to the voters? Time will tell if they truly got the message.

Virginia News Stand: May 10, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations And They Say Nothing Happens On Monday

Virginia news is pretty slack today, but we are mentioned yet again in the media, this time by Washington Jewish Week, about the state police chaplain prayer policy. People can't seem to stop writing about us. It's because we are making an impact and — to the shock of a startled elite — social conservatism is not out of favor with Americans.

Except for those here watching over the impending European implosion, the major news nationally deals with a Supreme Court nominee and one who will vote to confirm her. President Barack Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Meanwhile, one who will vote to confirm her, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), didn't even qualify for his party's primary ballot, the first Tea Party scalp this year. Infiltrating a Republican nomination process may sound predictable, and cheered by liberals who think GOP divisions may stave their pending November doom, but you may be surprised at the next incumbent Tea Party scalp in the queue: Democrat Representative Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a senior appropriator, who has a primary challenge from a state senator gaining traction because of Rep. Mollohan's pork barrelling ear marks and questionable ethics. 

Finally, the health care law has come up short. Already. Again! According to the AP, that guaranteed "kid" coverage (up to age 26!) has run into a snag. Government efficiency and liberal utopia at its best.

News

*Virginia prayer reversal blasted (Washington Jewish Week)

Police chaplains wary of Va. program (Washington Post)

Effort to shrink Virginia government isn't new (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell reform commission chairman pick sparks protest (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

1st District GOP candidate: Lawmakers guilty of treason (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

McDonnell backs O'Brien in Northern Virginia Senate primary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Saxman now a lobbyist (Staunton News Leader)

National News

Obama Nominates Kagan to Seat on Supreme Court (Wall Street Journal)

Conservatives Note Kagan’s Anti-Military Views, Lack of Judicial Experience (CNSNews.com)

Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Premiums may undermine coverage guarantee for kids (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Anti-incumbent mood challenge to veteran Democrat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives focus on KY following Bennett defeat in Utah (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (Ed Whelan/National Review's The Corner Blog)

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not (Erick Erickson/RedState.com)

Commentary

Will America Follow Greece? (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona Law Also Happens To Be Good Politics (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)