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First Fiscal Responsibility, Then Honest Politicians

Yes, quite the laugh, isn't it...?
UNDER Speaker McCarthy's generalship the United States House of Representatives has approved the "Fiscal Responsibility Act" writes Brian Maher in The Daily Reckoning.
Fully 149 Republicans issued their consent; 71 did not.
The thing next proceeded to the United States Senate – where it received the rubber stamp – then to the White House where the presidential signature was applied.
Thus the debt roof will rise.
Need we mention that the United States House of Representatives that approved the "Fiscal Responsibility Act"... the same United States House of Representatives that last year approved the "Inflation Reduction Act"?
It is true. It is the same legislative body – with a slightly different membership.
We next anticipate approval of the "Honest Politician Act".
That is, we expect another cruel jest upon the American people.
That is because the title of the acts and the substance of the acts do not square.
They generally war with one another – and savagely.
The title camouflages the substance within. It is a lipsticking of a pig. Believe it:
The Inflation Reduction Act no more reduced inflation than kerosene reduces flames.
It represented – in actuality – inflationary kerosene itself.
It spent and spent. Then it spent more.
Does the sun rise above the eastern horizon each morning? Does it settle beneath the western horizon each evening?
Well, then, you can just depend on it:
The "Fiscal Responsibility Act" will prove no more fiscally responsible than a guttersniping wastrel is fiscally responsible.
A Drop in the Bucket
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the thing could knick projected deficits by some $1.5 trillion over the following decade.
Did you see that? The act could knick projected deficits by some $1.5 trillion over the following decade.
And by a mere $1.5 trillion – over the following decade?
Fill an ice bucket to its brim with water. Now siphon up one solitary water drop.
There you have the flavor of it.
A $1.5 trillion siphoning over one decade represents – as the phrase runs – a drop in the bucket.
And recall: This very slight siphoning could occur. In every likelihood it will not.
Was There Ever Any Doubt?
Mr. Ryan McMaken, he of the Mises Institute:
After countless predictions of economic armaggeddon and panicky entreaties to raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached, the Biden White House and congressional Republicans agreed on a new budget deal this week that does virtually nothing at all to change the status quo. The deal in no way returns federal spending to pre-COVID levels. At best, the deal does "limit" spending by placing tentative caps on spending which – assuming they are not abandoned in the face of some new economic or geopolitical "emergency" – allow for a 1% increase in spending each year over the next two years.
What all this really means is that discretionary spending (which is generally around $2 trillion in miscellaneous and military spending) will continue upward without even a meaningful pause. Meanwhile, mandatory spending – such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – is in no danger of actually going down. At a minimum we can expect annual increases of $60 billion or more each year in the near future. That's the most "thrifty" scenario. After all, it's only a matter of time until there's a recession and thus a need for "stimulus" and bailouts. Or Washington may decide the US needs another full-blown war. At that point, all bets are off when it comes to spending.
More yet:
There was never any doubt that the debt ceiling would be raised yet again, and of course, there would be no real cuts to overall federal spending. This is what has happened. Moreover, total spending remains more than a trillion Dollars above where it was in 2019, even after the Trump administration was racking up near-trillion-Dollar deficits.
Moreover, if we compare federal spending in the last year of each presidential term, compared with the outgoing budget of the preceding presidential term, we find that the biggest big spender was Donald Trump, followed by Carter, Reagan (first term) and Ford. Again, there's no reason here to place any hope in the GOP when it comes to fighting against growing spending.
Rep. Scott Perry is one of the 71 dissenting Republicans. From whom:
Trillions and trillions of Dollars in debt for crumbs, for a pittance, every single thing. The speaker himself has said on numerous occasions the greatest threat to America is our debt and now is the time to act. We had the time to act and this deal fails, fails completely.
The late Joe Sobran labeled Democrats "the evil party." Republicans were "the stupid party."
Thus he concluded that "bipartisanship" yields outcomes both evil and stupid.
Down the River of Debt We Go
Perhaps Sobran hooked into something...
Under the deal Republicans get their guns. Democrats get their butter.
And the taxpayer gets the bill.
He pays now through higher taxes – or later through higher interest payments on the debt.
But pay he will.
What is the sole surprise about this debt ceiling deal?
That anyone could be surprised by this debt ceiling deal.
As we have maintained before:
Republicans and Democrats might stage a splendid combat for the crowd. They batten upon each other with savage and vicious blows.
But watch closer.
The combatants do not strike at the vitals. And the blood is fake.
When it comes to borrowing and spending...Republicans and Democrats are as united as any lovers could hope to be.
Threaten to cut them off.
Then watch the warfare immediately halt...and the hands of peace come extending from both sides.
This we have just witnessed. The debt ceiling is raised.
And so today we drop a mournful tear on the ashes of fiscal responsibility.
As we have noted before, Republicans once defended the approaches to the United States Treasury.
But they have since sold the pass.
And both parties have sold us all down a river...

Formerly an independent researcher and writer, Brian Maher is managing editor of The Daily Reckoning, the contrarian investment email launched in 1999 and now read by over half-a-million people worldwide each day.

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