The FaithWalker’s Daily is a quick review of key news stories of the day from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world.
Sandy Super-Storm Bill Stuffed with Pork
The Basics —
Prominent Republican Governor Chris Christie and key GOP Representatives created a stir with harsh words for Congress and Speaker Boehner in particular after the House failed to act on a $60 Billion aid package to help those affected by Super-Storm Sandy after passing the fiscal cliff bill early New Year’s Day.
- Via The Washington Examiner: Several lawmakers threatened not to back Boehner for speaker in the new Congress, which convenes Thursday. At least one Republican threatened to become a Democrat.
- Via The Weekly Standard: But one of the big objections to the bill was that Senate Democrats had filled it with pork spending by expanding the bill to include all areas affected by other storms to buy key votes.
- Not to worry, via Hot Air, looks as if they’ll get it all in and pass the pork so they don’t look uncaring.
A Few Thoughts…
Typical of Washington, find someone in need and leverage their pain to get money for your own cause. I’m all for helping those in need, but when most of the money — which we don’t have anyways — goes somewhere else, haven’t we become hypocrites? In the name of helping the poor, we enrich our own political storehouses. I suspect Jesus would have employed that h-word here. And maybe, just maybe, if they weren’t raising our taxes, we could give more to charity to help those in need around us in the first place.
Never underestimate the ability of caring politicians to give away other people’s money.
Making Sense of the Fiscal Cliff Deal
The Basics —
- Via Fox News: “Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.”
- Not surprisingly via FoxNews, “fiscal cliff” is high on the list of words most people want banned from the English language.
- Wall St., NASCAR, and corporations do well with extras in the bill according to The Huffington Post.
- But The Christian Post makes a good point that the Bush tax cuts just became permanent for most Americans.
- No conservative should miss hearing from Congressman Paul Ryan (voted yes) and Senator Rand Paul (voted no) on The Hugh Hewitt Show to start the New Year last night. Transcripts here.
- Good succinct summary of the deal.
A Few Thoughts…I know we’re all exhausted by this endless, nauseating saga. So I won’t say much here. Bottom line, spending just went up. Deficits just went up. And nothing was done about the real problem — the spending. “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Prov. 22:3) I’m thinking we’ve got the suffering part pretty well in sight at this point. It seems we have only our “in deep trouble” model and then our “in really deep trouble” model in stock.
Will that be cash or charge?
Fiscal Cliff Bill Rushed through Congress without Being Read
The Basics —
Although it’s hardly news anymore, the bill which narrowly averted the fiscal cliff and raised taxes on most Americans barely got a glance before being passed through both houses of Congress as our leaders continue to lead by crisis.
- Via CNS News: Senators got thee minutes with the 154-page bill.
- House violated its own pledge to post all bills for thee days prior to voting.
- Michael Auslin at The National Review rightly notes that a hail-mary government won’t cut it. “Ad hoc government cannot survive, especially if it eats away at and replaces long-established custom, represented by a written constitution.”
- Nouriel Roubini at The Financial Times is right that we have not yet realized the cost of a growing welfare state. I disagree with him as to that welfare state being right and necessary:
Neither Democrats nor Republicans recognise that maintaining a basic welfare state, which is right and necessary in our age of globalisation, rapid technological change and demographic pressure, implies higher taxes for the middle class as well as for the rich. A deal that extends unsustainable tax cuts for 98 per cent of Americans is therefore a pyrrhic victory for Mr Obama.
A Few Thoughts…
I hate to say it, but Roubini is on to something here even though I disagree with his statement that the welfare state is necessary. It will cost more – from everyone. The perception of safety and security always costs something – in this case freedom. The loss of the use of one’s own earned money is in fact a loss of freedom and the pursuit of happiness as understood by our Founders. I’m reminded of God’s warning to the Israelites when they demanded a king like all there neighbors. He warned them that the new government would tax them heavily. Now, as we strive to be like all our neighboring socialist Western countries, the same high tax bill is due.
If you don’t have time to read it, you can’t be blamed for it. Right?
A Few More Stories You Might Hear About Today
- Al-Jezeera buys Al Gore’s cable tv channel. Wonder if there was any aid for that purchase in the Super-Storm Sandy bill. Time Warner drops the channel immediately from its lineup. The Left predictably complains.
- Man jailed in Florida for stealing a $1.29 Honey Bun by stuffing it in his pants. The new economic normal?
- Brace yourself. New Mohammed cartoon book due out.
- Need hope for the future? Check out Passion 2013!
A Little Something to Grow Your Faith….
Who you become Is determined by how you pray. ~ Mark Batterson
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