A Republican Budget That Makes Barack Obama Proud
The Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives made public the details of its $1.3 trillion omnibus on March 21. The 2,232-page bill was posted online that evening, and then easily approved by the House the next morning with a vote of 256-167. The biggest spending law in American history was ramrodded through in just 16 hours!
The fast-paced news cycle has already moved on from this event. But it’s important to take stock of what happened during those 16 hours. At a time when America should be trying to rein in its reckless spending, it is casting off what little restraint it has left.
Under the previous administration, Republicans decried how fast bills were being passed by Congressional Democrats and signed by President Barack Obama. Then Speaker of the House John Boehner and current Speaker Paul Ryan sounded the alarm, saying, At least give us and the American people a few days to actually read what is in the bill!
President Donald Trump said he was extremely reluctant to sign the bill. He could have vetoed it. Instead, he signed it into law less than 48 hours after its thousands of pages were first made available. He said that there were many provisions in the bill that Democrats demanded that he did not want to approve, but Republicans were forced to include them and he was forced to sign them into law if they wanted funds to rebuild the military.
“I say to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again,” President Trump said, before admitting: “Nobody read it. It’s only hours old. Some people don’t even know what is in it” (emphasis added throughout).
Here is the president, admitting in the most public way possible, that no one could have possibly read—let alone understood—this enormous bill, because there was no time! He promised to never sign another bill like this again, but how many times have we heard these kinds of broken promises coming from the White House?
After President Trump signed the bill into law, the Atlantic published an article titled “A Domestic Budget to Make Barack Obama Proud.” The article said, “President Obama finally got a Republican-controlled Congress to fund his domestic budget.”
Not President Trump—President Obama!
The Atlantic continued:
All it took was Donald Trump in the White House to get it done.
[L]awmakers did more than reject the steep cuts in dollars and programs that Trump proposed for domestic agencies a year ago. Across much of the government, Republican leaders agreed to spending levels that matched or even exceeded what Obama asked Congress to appropriate in his final budget request in 2016—and many of which lawmakers ignored while he was in office.
The Democrats are absolutely thrilled with this bill. Not only did they successfully block many of the President Trump’s proposals, they are funding programs they couldn’t fund even with President Obama in the White House!
Chuck Schumer, a liberal senator from New York, talked about how they were able to compromise and come together from both sides. He said:
Now, it certainly doesn’t have everything Democrats want, and it contains a few things Democrats aren’t thrilled about. The same is true of our Republican friends. That is true of all compromises, but if each of us stood on our hind legs and said, “If I don’t get everything I want, I’m voting no,” we’d be totally paralyzed, and that happens far too often in this body. But somehow on this appropriations bill, on this omnibus, that didn’t happen. There was a remarkable spirit of give and take in the room.
There certainly is a remarkable spirit of give and take—take from American taxpayers, take from our children, and give to endless social programs! There’s a lot of division in Washington, except it seems when it comes to spending! Isn’t it great? they say. We’re all unified on spending!
“It’s really a good thing—and I’m excited about it,” Schumer said.
The Democrats absolutely love this Republican monstrosity, and you can see why—they love to just spend, spend, spend!
Wasteful spending by Washington is the kind of thing the president vowed to straighten out while in office, but just take a look at some of the items included in this 2,232-page bill:
- $10 million for disadvantaged Egyptian students
- $1 million for the World Meteorological Organization
- $10 million for United Nations environmental programs
- $12 million for scholarships for Lebanon
- $12 million in military funding for Vietnam
- $20 million for Middle East Partnership Initiative Scholarship Program
- $3.5 million in nutrition assistance to Laos
- $15 million in developmental assistance to China
- $15 million to study high-obesity counties
These are some of the details that no one had time to read or cared to eliminate in that 2,232-page document. It’s a lot worse than just stealing from Americans taxpayers and giving it to other Americans—they’re just throwing money into the wind!
The law also throws millions of dollars at preventing “elderly falls,” fighting “excessive alcohol use,” and promoting breastfeeding.
Also included in the omnibus was an increase of $48 million for the Senate. The salaries of their officers and employees have been increased by $12.6 million! No wonder Schumer is excited! A lot of people in Washington are excited about this.
Schumer went on to say, “For nearly a decade, the middle class in this country has suffered from a needless and self-imposed austerity, limiting investment of all of the things that create good-paying jobs and improve the working conditions [and] lives of Americans.”
He’s talking about the years when President Obama came into office and immediately began spending trillions of dollars in a matter of months! We haven’t seen anything like that until now.
He continued, “[T]hat era of austerity which so hurt middle-class Americans is coming to an unceremonious end because this bill represents one of the most significant investments in the middle class in decades.”
Only in an upside-down world could you ever say that the Obama years were years of austerity! But as far as Schumer sees it, the years of Obama austerity have finally come to an end with this law.
Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is just as excited about this law as Chuck Schumer. She put out a statement congratulating the Democrats in particular, saying they “fought with great integrity, strength and unity to secure vital middle-class priorities in the omnibus spending bill.”
Bragging that Democrats were able to keep President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall out of the legislation, Pelosi said, “Democrats won explicit language restricting border construction to the same see-through fencing that was already authorized under current law. The bill does not allow any increase in deportation officers or detention beds.”
President Trump had requested $25 billion in funding for construction of the wall. Instead, Congress approved only $1.6 billion for improved border security. Of that $1.6 billion, $641 million is allocated to 33 miles of new fencing. The rest of the $1.6 billion will go toward replacing older fences and improving surveillance technology. There is nothing in the bill about any kind of concrete wall. With Republicans controlling the House, the Senate, the White House and the Supreme Court, they still could not acquire funding for President Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” and still caved in to funding numerous Democrat priorities.
President Trump said last year that a lot of programs needed to be cut back. With the omnibus, he planned to nix the Gateway project and slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 30 percent. None of that took place.
Despite all of the promises Republicans made to defund Planned Parenthood, it will continue to remain fully funded by American taxpayers. Under the new spending law, the organization will receive another $583 million.
Many true conservatives are looking at this omnibus with all of its broken promises and coming away from it thoroughly disgusted with what Republicans are doing in Washington. True conservatives who were pleased with the president’s work in 2017 are waking up to a brutal 2018, where at a snap of a finger, federal spending has increased by 13 percent.
What would America’s Founding Fathers think if they were to walk through the halls of Congress today?
When America’s first president George Washington stepped aside after two terms in office, he admonished America during his farewell address to avoid the accumulation of debt. “[N]ot only by shunning occasions of expense,” he said, “but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned.”
He advised the country to pay down debts in times of peace and warned the people against “ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.”
Washington said it is not generous to throw trillions and trillions of dollars of debt on our children—but that is exactly what we are doing today. Many politicians think that by doing this they are doing the country a great favor.
Economics professor Dr. Walter Williams said that 75 percent of today’s federal spending “can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.”
They think they are being so compassionate by giving to all of these welfare programs and bailing people out of trouble. But is this real generosity? No, it’s simply stealing! And as Washington brought out, it’s not just stealing from Americans today—it’s stealing from future generations and plunging them into enormous debts before they are even born.
America’s national debt has now exceeded $21 trillion. In just the past six months, it grew by another trillion dollars. Projections are that in 10 years, the debt will be about $38 trillion. How can such a sum be paid off? Who will pay it?
The way that Congress and the White House crave spending, it looks like our leaders plan to keep printing money as if they are playing a board game! When you consider the dollar’s value, or lack thereof, it really is like throwing around other people’s fake money.
But the blame cannot be pinned only on the White House, Republicans or Democrats. This is all happening because of the sins of our people. Our society is saturated with the attitude of get.
As I brought out in my article “The King of Debt” from the April issue of the Trumpet magazine:
The average American citizen loves to accumulate debt just as much as his government does! We are addicted to it at every level of society. …
We are a nation focused on instant gratification, selfishness and greed. This explains why the wealthiest nation in history is still borrowing astronomical amounts of money.
God commands that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). God promises that if we follow His financial instructions, we will be prosperous and abundantly blessed.
If you would like to learn more about this subject, I discussed it at length on my Trumpet Daily Radio Show, which you can listen to below. You can also request our free booklet Solve Your Money Troubles!, which will show you how to prosper no matter the prevailing economic conditions.