Over the last week, the 20 or so dissidents who held up the nomination of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House were almost universally reviled by all of the Washington establishment. They managed to win the enmity of the White House, the Republican leadership, the New York Times, and all the swamp creatures who were collectively indignant that a handful of conservatives could push over their apple cart. Joe Biden called the rabble rousers “an embarrassment” to our democracy.
What’s the old saying: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
As we noted when this whole scrum started: Washington is dangerously broken and precariously close to triggering a financial collapse. Three cheers for those who exposed the mischief and demanded reforms. A government that is spending more than $5 trillion a year on a completely dysfunctional government and then borrows $1.5 trillion to finance this pig trough is speeding ahead like a bullet train over a cliff to financial catastrophe.
In the end, the dissidents won some serious concessions from the establishment Republicans. We don’t like all of them, but most are improvements over the status quo. Here is what we like:
- A commitment by House Republicans to adopt an FY24 budget resolution that balances w/in 10 years, includes long-term reforms to the budget process and mandatory spending programs.
- A cap on FY24 discretionary spending at enacted FY22 levels or lower. This could save $85 billion from social programs and the bloated Pentagon budget
- A House floor vote on six-year term limits for Congress. eighty percent of GOP voters support this – as do we.
- A rejection of any budget negotiations with the Senate unless and until they pass appropriations bills of their own—and will reject any Senate-passed appropriations bills that do not comply with the House-passed budget resolution and reduce
- No debt limit increase absent a discretionary budgetary agreement in line with the House-passed budget resolution or other commensurate fiscal reforms to reduce and cap the growth of spending.
These are symbolic but also significant victories for financial common sense. And if it takes a little chaos to get these kinds of reforms – we need a lot more of it.