Tom McClusky

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.

FRC Webcast Tomorrow On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal; New Radio Ad In Virginia

Despite a recent election where Americans rejected their radical agenda,  Congressional Democrats, during a lame duck session, are trying to force an end to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy regarding open homosexuals serving in the military. While the economy still struggles and nearly 10 percent of Americans are out of work as we approach Christmas, Congress focuses on repaying their shrinking base.

To learn more about this battle, Family Research Council Action (see Tom McClusky at FRC's The Cloakroom blog) will host a live national video Webcast tomorrow, December 2, at 1:00 p.m., entitled, Mission Compromised: How the Military is Being Used to Advance a Radical Agenda.

Veteran military commanders, Members of Congress, and policy experts will join FRC President Tony Perkins . . . 

to assess the Pentagon's study on the impact of open homosexuality on combat effectiveness and readiness. ... and discuss the report's shortcomings and plans by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to rush a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress without thorough hearings and testimony by battlefield commanders (see entire alert).

According to FRC, the Defense Authorization Act, on which the U.S. Senate may soon vote, not only would force open homosexuality on the military if enacted, it also will turn military medical facilities into abortion centers. Since the vote is expected to be very close, it's vital that you encourage your friends and family to tune into this live Webcast. Participants also will learn how they can help to stop this last ditch attempt by outgoing liberal senators to force a liberal social agenda onto the military.

In addition to briefing on the significance of this legislation, guests will answer viewer questions via SMS text or e-mail. Guests include: Gen. Carl Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; Sgt. Brian Fleming, Afghanistan war veteran and Purple Heart recipient; Douglas Lee, Chaplain (Brigadier General, Ret.); Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, (Ret), Senior Fellow, National Security, Family Research Council; Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, Family Research Council; and Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Family Research Council.

Please register now (click here) and help spread the word about the live Webcast on December 2.

Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb is a key vote in this fight. (Virginia's other U.S. Senator, Mark Warner, has indicated he supports repealing "don’t ask, don’t tell"). Because of the nature of this crucial vote, we have partnered with CitizenLink (see "DADT" article by Catherine Snow) and FRCAction on this ad running now throughout the commonwealth. Please listen and share this link with as many people as you can.

Click here to listen to the new ad on the U.S. Senate's vote to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.

After The Vote, What's Next? Watch FRC Action Roundtable Discussion!

Thursday morning, FRC Action hosted a live Webcast roundtable discussion on the meaning of Tuesday's election results. It now is archived online, free, for convenient viewing. The panel included FRC Action President Tony Perkins (who issued this statement upon President Obama's post-election news conference, saying the president still doesn't get it), Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), former Senator Rick Santorum, Skyline Church Pastor Dr. Jim Garlow, pollster Kellyanne Conway, FRC Action PAC President Connie Mackey and FRC Action's Senior Vice President Tom McClusky.

Topics discussed included:

» Do the elections signify a turn toward conservative social concerns?

» What messages were the voters sending to the leaders of both parties?

» Who will be the new chairmen of powerful congressional committees?

» What's next for legislation on the state level?

»What do the election results mean for the repeal of ObamaCare?

The Webcast lasts about an hour and is worth every minute. We hope you take the opportunity to hear these unique perspectives from people from various backgrounds and professions about the election, what it all means and where we go from here.

Click here to watch FRC Action's election analysis program: "After the Vote: What's Next?"

DISCLOSE Act Defeated For Now

We've kept you updated on the so-called DISCLOSE Act over the last couple of days. The hideousness of the bill's free-speech restrictions and its partisan purpose are easily understood simply by reading no further than the sponsors line (see Eliza Carney at National Journal): U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollan (D-Md.) and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the current House Democrat Campaign Committee chair and the two-time Democrat Senate Campaign Committee chair, respectively. As the Wall Street Journal reports, this bill is Senator Schumer's tool to take over as Majority Leader. Fortunately, last night, if barely, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, losing on a 57-41 vote (60 votes were needed). All Republicans voted no with the exception of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who voted with the GOP for a procedural reason. Virginia's two Democrat Senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, predictably voted to stifle free speech. (See and hear what  Senator Warner thinks about people with opposing views.) One Republican, Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) was absent, but presumably on the correct side.

With the Senate about to take its August recess, the bill may be dead for the year. But there's no guarantee the Dems won't go after their favorite Republicans — Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — or try a parliamentary trick to pass it. Anything to maintain their grip on absolute power.

More from FRC Action Senior Vice President Tom McClusky:

The Senate's rejection of the DISCLOSE Act is a victory for free speech rights and for the democratic process. Liberals in Congress failed in their attempt to push through legislation which only amounts to Democrat incumbent protection legislation disguised as campaign finance reform.

Instead of addressing the problems often found in the financing of campaigns, the DISCLOSE Act would add to the already onerous burdens placed on organizations that act within the law by going after their donors and exposing them in public forums. The exceptions, or "carve-outs," in this unconstitutional bill demonstrate the hypocrisy of its supporters. They provide special treatment for select special interest groups in a bill supposedly designed to crack down on the power of special interests.

Another Webcast On ObamaCare

We alerted you yesterday to an informative Americans For Prosperity tele-town hall about Washington's attempt to take control of the nation's health care. It's important to stay informed on this critical issue as the time approaches on a historic Congressional vote that could transform one-sixth of the U.S. economy into a European, government-run model. In case you could not catch last night's event, the Family Research Council is offering an opportunity to participate in another one, on Tuesday, March 16, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. This Webcast town hall also will feature U.S. Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the featured speaker at the AFP tele-town hall last night. Congressman Pence is the third highest ranking member of the Republican House caucus and one of the country's most principled free-market leaders.

Among the confirmed participants are:

» Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action

» U.S. Representative Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.)

» Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis, American Family Association

» Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director, Students for Life

» Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List

» Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director, National Right to Life

» Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action

Discussion points will include what we can do to stop this horrendous bill from getting passed (see Speaker Nancy Pelosi's admission, here) as well as an overviews of what's in the bill, when the vote might take place, and alternative solutions. To register for this free event, which will take viewer questions, click here.

Live Webcast Tonight On Health Care Reform

Conservative groups' Webcasts on health care "reform" have drawn tens of thousands this summer. In light of the president's address to Congress the other night, FRC Action is offering another one, tonight. Details are below courtesy of an FRC Action alert. You will see many familiar, outstanding names, some of whom help us, such as Bishop Harry Jackson and Matt Staver. Log on and learn the truth about what's in the bill!

President Obama showed the nation that his plan to reform health care is already on life support. The theme of his speech can be summed in that the details, as the President said, still need to be "ironed out." Tonight at 8:30 pm ET, FRC Action will have its ironing boards out as our live webcast of "A National Townhall on Health Care Reform" examines the moral, ethical, and financial dangers of President Obama's health care plan. Join our stellar lineup of Congressional leaders and policy experts as they dissect the dangers inherent in the President's proposed plan, and we'll answer your questions on the President's plan and some alternative approaches.

Guests include:

Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action

Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.)

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State

Doug Johnson, National Right to Life Committee

Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church

Wesley J. Smith, renowned ethicist

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel

Mark Kellen, M.D., President, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Kathryn Serkes, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Dr. David Prentice, FRC Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, FRC

David Christensen, Senior Director for Congressional Affairs, FRC

Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action

Go to www.frcaction.org/webcast to register to watch tonight's event and send us your questions by email for consideration by tonight's guests.