The Obama Budget: Better Never Than Late
It looks like someone forgot he declared April "National Financial Capability Month!" The President, who made a big to-do over teaching children budget responsibility, forgot to practice a little himself. His own budget is more than a day late (try 66 of them!) and a dollar short. After adding up the $3.7 trillion in spending for priorities like robotic asteroid retrieval, Americans are left with a gaping budget deficit--$744 billion over the next year alone. And that's with the $1 trillion raised through new tax hikes and fees the President calls for in his budget! As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) pointed out, that's "worse than the status quo."
Instead of paring down waste (Sen. Tom Coburn identified $95 billion of it just in duplicate government programs!), the President takes his biggest slices from the Defense budget ($120 billion). With tensions high in North Korea, Syria, and Iran, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) just shakes his head at the suggestion. The White House is adding to the military's responsibilities, he says, while cutting their resources to accomplish them. Although the commander-in-chief does include some additional money for aircraft and combat vehicles, he keeps the military operating only slightly above the bare-bones budget from the sequestration deal.
So what does the President propose we do with the half-trillion in new "revenue" he squeezed from small businesses (including $78 billion on tobacco products), death taxes, and limited charitable deductions? How about expanding ObamaCare, in part to include special benefits for homosexual partners? Or $7.5 million for a "consumer complaint line" for airline passengers (estimated to create one new job)? Or how about the continued bailout ($943 million) of the Federal Housing Administration? Or growing failed government "early childhood" education?
Fortunately for taxpayers, the President's budget may be outrageous, but at this point, it's also meaningless. Both chambers have already passed their proposals for the next fiscal year, and if the 2012 votes on the Obama plan are any indication (513-0), the House and Senate will try to hash through their differences instead. Still, that didn't stop President Obama from standing in the Rose Garden yesterday afternoon and insisting, "When it comes to deficit reduction, I've already met Republicans more than halfway"--a point on which the GOP will beg to differ.
For now, all that matters is that the Obama budget doesn't balance--and never will. And while his plan is far from binding, it is a good gauge of his sincerity on promises like spending reform (which, based on these 244 pages, was just more empty rhetoric). For an overview of the President's budget--and what it tells us about the state of our nation--check out this post by FRC's Dr. Henry Potrykus. Learn how massive taxation doesn't solve America's problems--but exposes the real ones.
Conservatives Bounced from RNC's Party?
It may have been ninety degrees in D.C. yesterday, but that's nothing compared to the heat the RNC is feeling from social conservatives. After suggesting that a more gay-and abortion-friendly party might appeal to voters, the Republican National Committee is facing a revolt from one of the strongest blocs of its coalition. Together with 12 other conservative organizations, FRC made it quite clear what the RNC stood to lose by running left-of-center on issues like life and marriage. "We respectfully warn GOP leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support."
In a letter representing tens of millions of supporters, we warned that it would be a "historic mistake" to "dismantle this coalition by marginalizing social conservatives." The Republican Party has flourished, our groups' write, "because it is truly a reflection--not of Washington, D.C.--but of the values of Americans across this great country." And while the Republican platform (which FRC Action helped draft) is strongly and unapologetically pro-marriage, those values "have not prevented [the involvement of homosexuals] through GOProud or Log Cabin Republicans." "It's one thing to say the Party is open to all. It's quite another to suggest that the Party should retreat in midstream from their own platform."
As the RNC debates its future at meetings in Los Angeles this week, we called on the Committee to pass a resolution reiterating the GOP's support for the party platform that was overwhelmingly adopted in Tampa last year. In the meantime, instead of trying to appease millennials, Republicans should try educating them on why marriage matters. There's an entire group of "Countercultural Warriors" full of compelling young leaders who are going to the mat to protect marriage. One of them, Alison Howard told the March for Marriage, "Don't give up on us young people. The media will tell you that I don't exist. Well, I'll be the unicorn. But I do exist and I believe in marriage between a man and a woman."
Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don't give them a dime of your hard-earned money. If you want to invest in the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who reflect your values and organizations you trust--like FRC Action. At least then you can relax, knowing that your money will be spent advancing faith, family, and freedom!
Panned Parenthood: Arkansas Tries Defunding Abortion's Giant
If the RNC is looking for a case study in conservative success, try Kansas, North Dakota, Arkansas, or Kentucky. The wave of social victories in the states is thanks in large part to uncompromising members of local Republicans. On an almost daily basis, our friends at Family Policy Councils across the country are celebrating victories on everything from abortion clinic regulations to ObamaCare opt-outs and marriage resolutions.
Yesterday, Kansas kept the ball rolling with new safeguards for men and women of faith. Governor Brownback--whose pen must be running dry with all of the pro-life legislation he's signed into law--inked his name yesterday on the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act. Under the law, which passed 34-4 and 109-12, citizens won't be forced to act in a way that violates their beliefs. "Kansans can now rely on permanent, statutory protection of their religious liberties," said Robert Noland, Executive Director of the Kansas Family Policy Council, which helped push the measure. "Kansas has a long history of protecting religion and rights of conscience. [This bill] continues that tradition..."
The mood must have been contagious, because the Arkansas Senate also made news Wednesday when it voted to defund Planned Parenthood and block abortion groups like it from receiving state sex education grants. Rep. Gary Stubblefield, who introduced the proposal, says that even though the money doesn't pay for abortion, it does help facilitate the dark side of the business by covering other costs like "overhead, employee salaries, rent and utilities." For now, the fate of the bill rests in the hands of the Arkansas House, which has the slightest of Republican majorities (51-49). You can help encourage progress like this by supporting your local FPC! To get acquainted with the Family Policy Council in your state, click here.
** The Obama administration seems more than willing to release illegal immigrants during sequestration-but a Christian family seeking asylum? Think again. FRC's Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison explain the President's pattern of "Swallowing Camels and Straining at Gnats" on the American Thinker.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.