During the midterm campaign Republicans confidently proclaimed their intentions to immediately address spending cut legislation as a means of reining in “out of control spending” and bringing down the deficit. Now that Republicans control the House and have what they called a mandate from the American people to create jobs and stop the wasteful spending spree Washington has been on since Barack Obama took office in 2009, they are deferring to the president to do their jobs for them.
Republicans are demonstrating that they are not serious about governing and are ill-equipped to fulfill their hollow promise of “doing the will of the American people.” First on the GOP’s list was supposed to be rescinding the already funded appropriations that are in the stimulus package and other Democratic legislation continuing their promise to undo the Obama Administration’s achievements. The Republican leadership though, is finding that rescinding funding and making cuts in the budget are not as easy or popular as they made it seem.
Eric Cantor (R-VA) has backpedaled on his promise to hold weekly votes on cuts, and said that Republicans do not control the government and deferred to the president. Cantor’s alluding to Republican’s lack of control is a smokescreen to cover their cowardice in making difficult choices in cutting services their constituents may indeed want left in place. During the campaign it was easy for Republicans to decry the Democrat’s wasteful spending, and as many have suspected, Republicans have no idea or plans for how to govern or help fix the economy that their malfeasance created. The Republicans cannot blame Democrats or Obama for higher taxes since the deal the president made in the lame duck session in December extended the Bush tax cuts for every American including the richest 2%.
The plans to rescind funding from the stimulus bill is not popular because there is still approximately $12 billion left unspent and that money is sorely needed by states, and although some Republican governors like Bobby Jindal (R-LA) said they would reject the money, they quietly accepted the funds they publicly said they hated. According to Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), the cuts would probably be delayed until March when the government funding expires. It is convenient for Republicans to wait till then because the stimulus funds will almost certainly be spent by then and it will not be an issue.
The issue really is that the Republicans have never had serious plans to control spending or create jobs regardless their fiscal responsibility and smaller government meme they trumpeted in response to tea party pressure. The GOP is soon going to learn that people want spending cuts as long as it is for someone else. They claimed that repealing the Affordable Health Care Act would stop cuts to Medicare, but if they are serious, Medicare waste and fraud will have to be addressed like it is in the health care reform passed by Democrats last year. It looks like the Republicans are waiting for President Obama to propose cuts so they can go after him for cutting services to their constituency.
It turns out that Republicans have put themselves in a very tenuous situation, and although they made promises to curry favor with members of the tea party, they will not follow through on any of their plans except for the symbolic waste of time trying to repeal health care reform. The Republicans will have to raise the debt ceiling and have to pass a budget that will not sit well with their base or the tea party.
When Cantor demurred to President Obama to make spending cuts, it was not because Republicans do not control the government, but because they are cowards and do not have realistic plans. The health care reform repeal effort is nothing more than a delaying tactic just like their spending cuts move this week. It has been two months since the midterm election that gave control of the House to Republicans and one would think they would have spent the time carefully formulating job creation legislation and budget solutions that would bring spending under control, but Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said that Republicans are just now starting to identify specific areas to make cuts from in the next budget.
The delaying tactics by Republicans are a sign that they are not serious about governing and not serious about creating jobs for Americans. Their incessant complaint that President Obama’s legislative agenda has destroyed jobs is nothing more than rhetoric that is going to be exposed as time goes on. The health care repeal attempt will never get past the Senate or the president’s veto, but it will waste time and satisfy some of the base and tea party faithful but will do nothing to create jobs or address the budget and economy. The rest of the legislative achievements of the past two years Republicans want to undo will be to deregulate the financial and banking industries, and neither will create one job; the American people will finally see the Republicans for what they are.
There will always be hard-core conservatives who support Republicans for their mantra of no taxes and no regulations for corporations, but for average Americans, the Republican agenda will soon produce fruit and it will not create jobs. The delaying tactics that Cantor and his cohorts are using are already causing some supporters to caution Republicans that they are watching and waiting for them to act.
Republicans’ waiting for the president to propose a budget so they can attack him are going to find that Americans see the president is working, and that Republicans have nothing to offer except criticism. The American people may be stupid, but after two years even a moron will recognize incompetency and obstructionism. The message from the people recently has been for Washington to work for the American people in a bipartisan manner, and regardless the rhetoric from the right, Democrats and Obama are working for the people.
It has been two months since the midterm election and the only thing Republicans are prepared to do is repeal and delay. Americans cannot afford any more delays or obstruction, but with Republicans controlling the House, that is what we are in store for. It is evident that Republicans have no idea or intention on governing, and Cantor’s worthless excuse that Republicans are not in charge shows the depth of their indecency. After all, they promised to start governing immediately during the election season, but like everything Republicans say, their promise was a sham they never intended on fulfilling. To put it in simply, they lied.