Stop calling Paul Ryan a RINO, I’m told. There are laudable things in the latest version of the latest Cromnibus spending bill shepherded through Congress by Paul Ryan that are of benefit to the GOP, I hear. There are tax cuts, they say. Paul Ryan says it is a “W” for the GOP.
But I’m also aware of the tweet by Harry Reid’s Harry deputy chief of staff Adam Jentleson that in “…addition to nixing more than 150 GOP riders, the final agreement will secure major progressive policy successes” and the fact that the Cromnibus does fund a lot of progressive pet projects and continues to delay the pain of actually having to fund Obamacare.
I’m also told that I should not gripe about the bill until I have read it.
I did read it. All of it. The problem I have with it is that both Paul Ryan and Jentleson are right.
My take on this is a lot like the take of Democrat progressive icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt on public sector unions. In 1937, FDR was quoted as saying:
“Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government…The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”
…[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”
Without question, it is an intolerable situation to have two entities, government and unions, negotiating over compensation provided by a third party, the taxpayer. I agree with FDR in that there is no possible way to translate collective bargaining into the public sphere but isn’t that also an argument against deals like the Cromnibus being cut between the two parties to satisfy their respective agendas rather than the protection of the taxpayer?
The process of funding government stopped being about the citizens the minute the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943 passed and turned American businesses into tax collectors and allowed the government to take your money before you even held it in your hands. Most people don’t “pay taxes” on April 15th, they just true up what the government has already taken with what they legitimately owe by law. The government is guaranteed a stream of income where they take first and you have to ask questions later.
To those who claim the Cromnibus bill is a “win” for Ryan and the GOP, I would say that the only way to call it that is to ignore the Democrat half of the equation. I don’t think you can evaluate political negotiations as you would a market negotiation because they are a better fit for the mold of FDR’s comments than a market negotiation where both parties have a dog in the hunt.
This is where I find fault with Ryan and this entire process. Like negotiating with public sector unions, it is an intolerable situation to have two entities, Republicans and Democrats, agreeing to items that satisfy both their agendas when funding is provided by a third party, the taxpayer. It is easy to cut a deal to get what both you and our opposition want as long as someone else is paying the $1.8 trillion bill. The Cromnibus may well have been a “win-win” for the GOP and the Democrats but taken in total, it is a definite loss for the taxpaying American people and those invested in shrinking the size and scope of government.