Last time Congress passed a budget Cindy Hyde Smith was still a Democrat. I guess the shoe still fits.
Honest question…how much do we really care about the future of our country? Most all will agree that our national debt and fiscal irresponsibility is the greatest threat to our national security and freedom we so greatly claim to cherish.
This week Senator Rand Paul introduced a plan to balance the federal budget within 5 years. Moreover, in ten years his plan would produce a $700 billion dollar surplus instead of the currently projected $1.5 trillion dollar deficit. To further demonstrate the greatness of his plan, all the prior good would be accomplished by still increasing current spending by 14% over the next 10 years! Yes, you heard that correctly. Balance the budget, create a federal surplus, level taxes, and every department of government gets a 14% funding increase over ten years.
Of course this is only possible in DC thanks to the terrible baseline budgeting process. Nevertheless, Senator Paul worked within the broken constraints of federal bureaucracy to take a tremendous step toward restoring sanity and sustainability to our federal government.
The plan made it to the floor of the United States Senate, no small feat in itself. In a Senate controlled by Republicans and with a President committed to fiscal responsibility, we the people should have had reason for optimism. Certainly, we the people of Mississippi could count on our representatives to do their part. Senator Paul, aye; Senator Lee, aye; Senator Cruz, aye; Senator Wicker, nay; Senator Cindy Hyde Smith, nay…wait…WHAT?
Senator Wicker had no comment, that’s not surprising. Senator Smith, locked in a primary campaign against unarguably a conservative in the mold of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, boggles both conservative voters and political strategists’ minds with this vote. She explained herself by calling this bill “a vote for business as usual.”
Senator, I realize you haven’t been there very long, but everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last 25 years knows balanced budget bills are anything but business as usual.
In the same sentence that she said she “supports balancing the budget and controlling spending”, she called the vote “theatric.” She had the audacity to claim the bill threatened a border wall, our military, and President Trumps agenda. Plain and simply she said this bill was “not in the best interests of our nation or Mississippi.” Respectfully Senator, I defer that decision to the people of Mississippi.
That brings back the original question; how much do we really care?
The campaign in Mississippi just defined itself. This primary in November isn’t about who is sweeter, cuter, or more likable. It is about our future and real issues. Government only gets as out of control as its financial means allows it. Do you support more federal spending or do you support fiscal responsibility? It really is that clear. This bill could have failed just as easily with 22 votes as it did with 21. Senator Smith could have confused voters with an aye vote. She could have used that vote to build a campaign on conservatism and smaller government. Luckily for us, she defied campaign logic and allowed us a clear view of her allegiance to Mitch McConnell and the big government establishment over the majority of Mississippi voters.
I’m sure Cindy would still tell you she supports a balanced budget in a bill that better aligns with her establishment values. In the meantime, I’m sure her fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle will make due with the current spending trends and business as usual. After all, the last time congress passed a budget Cindy Hyde Smith was still a Democrat. I guess the shoe still fits.