A very crappy CRomnibus Christmas

December 20, 2014

Image: www.powerlineblog.com

To the players of power that sit atop their  political parties and the personalities in the legacy news organizations that protect those political parties it was just short of a Christmas miracle; A grand compromise delivered in the most bipartisan fashion.

To the corporate executives in their corner offices it was pennies from heaven; billions upon billions of them to be more precise.

And to the American taxpayer, it was a betrayal of trust beyond the pale.

“It” is CRomnibus. That combination continuing resolution and funding bill that is about as far away from what the Founders intended as any piece of legislation to ever come out of a United States Congress.

Just in time for Christmas, sprinkled throughout the lines of its over 1600 pages of legislative linguistics and $1.1 trillion dollar price tag is a bag full of special interest goodies that any Santa would be proud of.

Cash contribution limits to political parties were raised through the roof  basically so John Boehner could stop worrying about how to pay for the 2016 convention in his home state and Democrats could pay off  real estate debts and fund legal expenses for their jihad against state passed voter ID laws.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield got a booster shot for its financial health with a four year retroactive goody letting it count quality improvement spending in its Obamacare medical loss ratio.

But it was the bailed out “too big to fail” banks that got the best goody of all.  Thanks to last minute lobbying from none other than JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon himself, you the taxpayer are now once again on the hook for derivatives losses cooked up in the kitchens of Wall Street banks.

The full list of custom made goody bags is longer than could ever be listed here, but suffice it to say, the debauchery and debasing of the public treasury is full and complete.

Anything other than a short term extension of existing funding should have been debated in public with a full vetting before the American taxpayer. Instead we got carve outs and exceptions negotiated in secret between Congressional insiders and outside lobbyists.

If you’re as disgusted with the process as I am, take heart.  We’re in good company.

On December 26, 1825, Thomas Jefferson penned a private letter to William Branch Giles lamenting the post-Revolution politicians of the day: “.. they are joined in the combination, some from incorrect views of governmt some from corrupt ones, sufficient, voting together, to out-number the sound parts; and, with majorities of only 1, 2, or 3. bold enough to go forward in defiance.” 

The rules vote that allowed CRomnibus to eventually become law squeaked by with just 2 votes (214 – 212) and only after John Boehner got two Republicans to switch their votes after the voting clock had already expired.  How’s that for some bold defiance?

Jefferson then explained the “why” of such behavior:

“..who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76 now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations…this will be to them a next best blessing to the Monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the surest stepping stone to it.

The warnings of Jefferson have been ignored by so many for so long that 5 of the 6 highest median income counties in America today are now all in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

If what Boehner, Reid and Obama did last week were not the actions of an unprincipled, Aristocratic government just a stepping stone away from imperial rule than what is?

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the Saturday, December 20, 2014 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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