From the desk of US Senator Roger Wicker, Washington DC:
“Unless reform is implemented, there will be consequences to our pending long-term spending spree. Big deficits could fuel inflation, weaken the dollar further, and lead to higher financing costs for all Americans on everything from college education to home mortgages and auto loans.
“Rather than continuing to pursue policies that will increase taxes and the size of the federal government, we need to be looking for ways to cut spending and reform our unsustainable entitlement programs. This will be a difficult task, but one that must be undertaken for the good of our nation’s future. My Republican colleagues and I stand ready to work with the President and Democrats in Congress to make the tough choices and implement the needed reforms to get America’s fiscal house back in order.”
So said Wicker … in October 2009 when President Obama was in office and the federal budget first hit a trillion dollar deficit under the Democrats.
In 2013, he again criticized Obama’s spending plan:
“The proposal itself is yet another tax-and-spend attempt by the President to grow the government and not the economy. His budget never balances, adds $8.2 trillion in new debt over 10 years, and uses gimmicks to promise deficit reduction. By the end of 2023, the federal debt would amount to $25.4 trillion, with interest payments reaching nearly $800 billion. Government spending would increase by 56 percent.
“As Mississippians know, the government cannot borrow and tax its way to a stronger and more prosperous economy. The President’s budget misses a critical opportunity to target government waste and rein in out-of-control federal spending.”
Now Wicker has cast his vote for the latest budget plan, the “Bipartisan Budget Act,” that pushes to deficit to $1.1 trillion.
Hypocrite. Defined as “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.” If this isn’t Roger Wicker, and the Republicans in Congress, then I don’t know who is.
As we approached yet another possible government “shutdown” on Thursday, rather than stand and fight for the principles and values they have long touted, Republicans caved bigly. In exchange for increased defense spending, the GOP gave the Democrats their domestic spending wants.
And both sides got most of what they wanted in other areas as well, with the Democrats getting the better of Republicans, who are supposed to be in charge: no DACA, no border wall, no repeal of Obamacare, and the full funding of Planned Parenthood and the re-authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next decade. Apparently everyone went home happy, except real fiscal conservatives of course.
In all, 16 Republican Senators voted against the plan, including Mike Lee and Rand Paul, while the remainder jumped in with McConnell and the leadership to push it to passage, with both Wicker and Cochran joining the crowd. Even Bernie Sanders voted against the deal, meaning he is, for all practical purposes, now more fiscally conservative than Roger Wicker.
As for some specifics, this two-year spending plan raised the debt ceiling and ramped up spending by $500 billion for defense and non-defense spending. The plan breaks the spending caps agreed upon in the 2011 Budget Control Act. Which begs the question: What good are caps if Congress can so easily break them?
According to Club for Growth:
“This deal also includes $80+ billion in so-called disaster relief spending, cronyist tax extenders, an expansion of farm subsidies, and another suspension in the debt ceiling, conveniently timed to expire after the mid-term elections. Nowhere in this deal are the $54 billion in spending cuts outlined in President Trump’s budget. Instead, the big government freight train is running out of control.”
Wicker, though, has wrapped his support of the spending plan in the clothing of the military.
“Gen. Mattis has been imploring Congress to provide our troops with budget certainty and to end misguided spending cuts that have disproportionately impacted our all-volunteer military. The overwhelming majority of Mississippians support giving our men and women in uniform the resources they need to complete their missions and come home – a commitment I share. This measure – which has the full support of President Trump – does just that. It is for this reason that I support the agreement.”
But why spend billions more for defense while the Pentagon routinely loses tons of cash? The most recent example came just last week when it was announced that the Defense Logistics Agency had lost $800 million. A year ago, the Department of Defense tried to hide evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste. Why not clean this up? Wicker has talked a good game for years on this subject, but has acted not one bit.
Not only are there billions in waste and fraud that could be better allocated, there are also endless wars and unauthorized military actions around the globe that can be ended immediately. But of these serious issues, Wicker has been very quiet. He will stick to McConnell and the GOP leadership team no matter what. As for the rest of the spending deluge, Wicker has also said nothing.
The most dangerous word in Washington parlance is “bipartisan.” When both parties are in agreement on the budget, it’s the people who always lose. And Roger Wicker went along with what can only be described as one of the biggest fiscal heists and political frauds in recent history.