12.18.2013 0

D.C. settles back into government growth normalcy

Money_BombBy Rick Manning

Innovation is the enemy of the status quo, and in spite of what people are taught in school, it is the Left which demands that our nation not deviate from its long hundred year path of government expansion.

The latest Ryan-Murray budget deal that effectively does away with the budget sequester law is just the latest example of this truth.

It may surprise readers to learn that 1957 was the last year when federal government outlays (all spending) was less than government revenues.  While there was a reported “surplus” in the Newt Gingrich 1990s, the federal government actually still spent more than it took in during each of those years due to off the books spending.

Yes, this means that for all the promises by politicians of all stripes, if you are 55 or younger, you have not been on this earth during a federal fiscal year where the national debt was actually paid down.

It is radical to try to change this course.

Since the last year the current $17.3 trillion national debt was paid down, the United States has spent more than $15 trillion on the War on Poverty alone according to a report by the CATO Institute with new government program after new government program failing lift the poor from their plight.

The continued growth and expansion of federal government spending on all “discretionary” programs was temporarily staunched by the sequester law, as real federal spending actually declined to levels not seen since 2010.

That is why the Republican acquiescence and embrace of the Ryan-Murray budget deal which wipes away this downsizing of the federal government has limited government supporters sickened.  Due to the just passed agreement, the federal government can continue on its lazy river of expansion until the next time Democrats take control of both Congress and the Presidency, when it can experience another dramatic burst of growth.

It is radical to oppose the historical imperative, and even short deviations from the ever encroaching government stranglehold on freedom cannot be tolerated by the Left and are seen as aberrations.

Most Americans will be happy that there will not be the threat of another government shutdown discussed during this Christmas season.  It is hard to constantly confront debt crisis after debt crisis.  It is hard to pick through the politicians claims that they are going to “pay down the debt” as Obama promised in millions of dollars of campaign ads last year, when in reality that same set of politicians really are pushing for ever increasing government spending.

In governing, it is innovative to cut the actual spending in government.

With Obama’s signature on the Ryan-Murray budget deal, our federal government will have effectively put to death the sequester innovation as future Congresses will not hesitate to breach it as well, and the short era of Tea Party real budget cuts will have come to a temporary end.  The statists of both political parties can go back to their comfortable assumptions about the constant growth of the size and scope of government, and have small battles about how much or little that growth should be.

As we end 2013, everything is back to normal in Washington, D.C., and America will be worse for the return to the big government status quo.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for limited government

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