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Budget Buzzer Beater…

Reid (D) & Boehner (R)

So ahhhhh, I don’t know how much anybody’s really been paying attention to this, but as you may or may not have known, our federal government was scheduled to completely SHUT DOWN yesterday due to an expiring budget and the absence of a new agreement. However, thanks to the heroics (imagine that) of our AMAZING leaders, this crisis (kind of, not really though? So what if some national parks and tax-service helplines get shut down) was averted via last-second agreement between the Republican-led House of Representatives (headed by John Boehner), and the Democrat-led Senate (headed by Harry Reid).

In what to me seemed more like a Democrat vs. Republican version of “whose dick is bigger?” than an actual budget disagreement, I’m very surprised this impasse was remedied. For weeks it had been reported that the sticking point was the Republicans desire to cut 61 billion dollars, while the Dems were only willing to cut 31 billion. No, you’re not alone in wondering aloud, Are you serious?! Can’t we use simple pawn shop rhetoric here? I mean, I see that fat bastard Chumlee do it all the time on The History Channel’s Pawn Stars:you’ve got a number in mind, I’ve got a number in mind, let’s meet in the middle and call it a fuckin’ deal, yo! However, this is politics, and despite the fact that settling on a budget that cuts 46 billion dollars would have been the easiest solution to the problem, it would not have been the proper, governmently way to do it.

Chum's Got the Solution, No?

That, and it has recently been reported that it was not just a disagreement on spending, as you may have been led to believe. It was more a disagreement on policy, specifically the federal support being given to Planned Parenthood as well as the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency, or as their kelly green-emblazoned gear refer to them as, the EPA. In other words, this budget disagreement boiled down to abortions and pollution (Don’t forget the “and”, because abortion pollution is a whole other monster. Personally, I’m sick and tired of wading through floating fetuses on my beach, son of a bitch, stop dumping the babies!). Republicans want to cut any funding that MAY, somehow, in a slight trickle-down, 3000 hands after funding, aid abortion. I’ve yet to take a solid stand on abortion, because it seems like there’s no in-between on the issue in the eyes of America, but in my opinion I do believe women should have a choice, especially if they have been raped. I also believe using abortions as a form of birth control goes entirely against the purpose of them, and any woman using them for that purpose should not only be disallowed to have an abortion, but should be jailed for their ignorance. If condoms don’t work for you, that’s why they sell the FUCKING MORNING AFTER PILL!

I’m also not a super believer, one way or the other, when it comes to our environment. I don’t have the desire to strap myself to a tree trunk when I see a bulldozer approaching it, nor do I think dumping toxic wastes in a river gives nature character. I understand that EPA restrictions could possibly turn some companies away from manufacturing in our country. But I also believe that if a company decides to manufacture in Mexico instead of America because they wanted to bury 21,000 tons of toxic waste beneath a residential neighborhood, we’re better off as a nation without their investment money (The Republicans had more beef with the EPA’s ability to enforce the Clean Air Act than they did with toxic waste issues, but whatever, it’s all a part of mother nature). The EPA possesses regulatory rights as a form of checks and balances, much the way unions possess collective bargaining rights, so as not to abuse the power but to have it as a weapon just in case somebody else decides to abuse theirs.

Fortunately, these two Republican-led crusades were not upheld, as a budget agreement was made which will see 39 billion dollars worth of cuts happening in the coming year. Boehner (that’s pronounced bay-ner, not bo-ner as his actions may suggest at times)  has said that the budget will lead to over 500 billion dollars worth of cuts in the next decade. But, what does this 39 billion dollars really mean in comparison to the 3.7 TRILLion dollar, and growing, deficit that we currently possess? What does it mean when compared to the proposal made by Congressman Paul Ryan which would have seen the government cutting 6.2 trillion dollars this year? Well, it means a lot.

Obama: We're only thiiiiiis far off...

You can’t just turn around and cut spending by 6.2 trillion dollars when you’re 3.7 trillion in debt. That’s such a drastic measure, that the country would surely go into a free fall. The 39 billion dollar cut is step 1, the biggest spending cut in the country’s history. This cut will make it easier for the country, and more importantly the politicians, to again agree on “the biggest spending cut in the country’s history” in 2012. This agreement needs to be the beginning of a trend, one which sees our national budget being trimmed annually, until we’re in the black again, and from there it needs to be maintained, or cut some more. Shit, when you see a national corporation in severe debt, they don’t completely shut down all stores and hope to make money through corporate HQ. They consolidate, year by year, cutting back growth and spending, until they’re again in a position to make an increase (unless they’re involved with Wall Street, in that case they’ll probably just sit around and wait for the government checks).

Let’s hope that this step 1 is continued for the foreseeable future come budget time, and I think that with the homeboy Obama in office, it certainly will. I wouldn’t say that this agreement created or restored any type of faith that I may or may not have in our government. I wouldn’t say that it suddenly made me a believer in the two-party system. But, I would say that it did make me smile a bit, as well as making me somewhat proud to know that we as a nation can have this type of snafu, and ultimately solve it, without any bloodshed or abuse. It also proved to me that the Republican party, which has at times recently come across to me as an Anarchist sect, isn’t as crazy and far-off as they like to make themselves out to be, and maybe, just maybe, they aren’t in CAHOOTS with the Tea Party as much as I thought they were.




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