The tea party rebellion came into being in large measure due to the perception among middle class taxpayers that America’s major establishment institutions were corrupt — and there is no more compelling evidence of just how far the American political system has been corrupted by Washington’s insider culture than how common and accepted lying has become among the political elite of Capitol Hill.
And this is particularly true when Congress deals with the budget.
Take for example, the lie last April when Republicans (who had promised $100 billion in real cuts) compromised with the Democrats for $38.5 billion in future savings and claimed the deal would result in "the biggest annual spending cut in history," as President Barack Obama termed it.
Yet, as Sen. Jim DeMint recently noted, there was no actual reduction in spending. Here’s what really happened when the fiscal year ended on Sept. 30, 2011: the Congressional Budget Office found that the April deal to avoid a government shutdown resulted in an increase of more than $170 billion in federal spending from 2010 to 2011.
Hailed by leaders of both political parties (and the establishment media) as a historic compromise that produced the “largest spending cut in history,” the deal ended up being a spending increase. The federal government wrapped up its biggest spending year and its second biggest annual budget deficit ever — but, as The Wall Street Journal put it, almost nobody noticed.
Perhaps the Journal should have said no one noticed the lie upon which the spending deal was founded, because everyone on the inside knew there would be no decrease in spending. And the historic (or as liberal Democrats falsely termed them) “draconian budget cuts” would actually result in the federal government spending $3.6 trillion — a 4.2 percent increase in outlays that also ballooned the annual deficit to $1.298 trillion.
This same culture of lies is now poisoning the supercommittee, which is itself a product of the lies surrounding the August deal to raise the debt ceiling.
In August, the leadership of both parties made a deal to increase our national debt to nearly $17 trillion and sold it to a skeptical public with the idea that the creation of a supercommittee would produce spending cuts by the end of the year.
The facts of the supercommittee's deliberations appear otherwise. Witness the latest Republican “plan,” which, by adopting the Obamanomics worldview that the rich should pay more taxes, would merely slow the growth of the national debt to $21.3 trillion over the next 10 years. That's about 9 percent less than the $23.4 trillion currently projected.
Rather than make real cuts in spending, what has actually happened is the Republicans on the supercommittee have spent all of their time figuring out ways to raise revenue. And the claim that Republicans plan “draconian” cuts to the budget is a lie.
The tea party rebellion is many things. True, it's a fight for a return to a limited constitutional government and a middle class outcry against the crony capitalism of the Washington/Wall Street Axis — but as much as anything, it is a demand for a government, and leaders, who tell the truth.
Finding and electing those leaders to Congress in 2012 is the most important step we can take toward ending Washington’s culture of lies and saving this great country.
Posts by Richard Viguerie
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