The Spending Bill Charade

The tax bill is all about cutting income to the federal government and over a 10-year period the top one percent are going to gain five trillion dollars. The bottom 99 percent are going to lose three and a half trillion dollars. And the remaining one and a half trillion dollars will be added to the national debt.

Also, we can give a five trillion dollar tax cut - they keep characterizing it as a one and a half trillion dollar tax cut: no that's just the amount added to the debt - when you add the amount that they're taking away from people who make less than a million dollars a year and giving to people who make more than a million dollars a year, it's a five trillion dollar tax cut.

Now, that's the tax cut. That doesn't deal with spending.

The Constitution is very clear that only Congress can appropriate, only Congress can lay taxes, only Congress can appropriate funds to be spent. The spending of them is done by the Executive Branch but the appropriation of those funds, the gathering of the money, the authorization of the money, the handing the money over to the Executive Branch so that they can spend it, that all happens within Congress.

And so Congress has to come up with a spending bill and they don't have one. They've been operating under continuing resolutions for years. Basically all a continuing resolution says is, you know whatever we did last year, we're going to do the same thing this year.

And the problem with that is it doesn't adjust things to inflation at all. It's not even as bad as the CPI that the Republicans are going to use to calculate your future taxes, to move working class people, middle class people, into higher tax brackets more rapidly. Keep in mind, the very rich are already at the highest tax bracket, they don't care about bracket creep. They don't care about inflation. All they care about is their taxes going away.

So there's that. And so House Republican leaders now they have to come up with a way to spend the money that they are raising through taxes or that, in this case, they're not raising through taxes. They want to raise the spending on the Defense Department to 650 trillion dollars. Keep in mind, just a few years ago it was only 500 trillion dollars. You know, we spend more than the rest of the world pretty much combined on this stuff. It is nuts. It's just plain old flat-out nuts what's going on. And how just crazed it is.

And this whole tax deal, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the ultimate statement. He says he calls this:

"a spectacle, a charade, a sop to some militant, hard-right people who don't want the government to spend money on almost anything."

And this is the spending bill, not the taxation bill, right.

They are going to need this and the Democrats are saying, "we're not going to vote for your damn spending bill." See it's, going to take 60 votes to get it through the Senate. You can't do a spending bill - well, you could do a spending bill via reconciliation - but now that the Republicans have cut so much money, so much income out of the federal budget like by cutting taxes on billionaires and corporations, now that they've done that, they're going to have a real serious problem passing a spending bill without 60 votes because it's going to further add to the debt.

And what that means, if they don't pass a spending bill and they don't pass a continuing resolution, right now we're operating under a continuing resolution that takes us to December 19th which is today, and then they want to extend this. They're talking about extending it maybe to January 19th for another month but they're talking about extending the Pentagon portion of it, the 650 billion dollars they want to give away to the Pentagon, the home of fraud and waste, the home of 2 trillion dollars that has never been accounted for, the group that flew pallets of hundred dollar bills - six billion dollars worth, enough to be seen from outer space - over to Iraq and then just handed them out.

They want to give that spending increase to the Pentagon for a full year while spending whatever increases for all the rest of it, not so much.

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