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Kevin Buck: Don’t expect much from GOP majority

Posted: January 10, 2011 11:08 p.m.
Updated: January 11, 2011 4:55 a.m.

One of the most intriguing aspects of politics is the fact that it is never static; it is a constantly evolving, tumultuous process, subject to the whims of the electorate.

The voters are, in turn, influenced by a countless number of reasons to vote the way they do: local, national and world events, the economy, religion, AM radio, 30-second TV spots, George Soros, the Internet, cable “news” and almost anything else that affects our daily lives.

If you can imagine it, someone in politics will find a way to make it sway an election. It is now January 2011, and what is already foremost on the minds of our elected leaders?

If you guessed shrinking government, reducing the deficit and impeaching President Barack Obama, you might be a Republican. If you guessed creating a socialist paradise, sabotaging the Constitution and mortgaging your children’s future, you might be a Democrat. In either case, you would be wrong.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, Election Day, is now the political focal point of the new Congress and every political operative in America.

I hate to be a cynic, but I cannot deny what I am, so I predict that the only thing that the tea party will change in Washington, D.C., is the lip-service and rhetoric coming from the newly emboldened Republican Party.

If the tea party believes its shiny, new brooms will sweep clean and change the Washington culture, then I have Nigerian prince with $5 million I’d like them to meet.

The night before they were sworn in, the Republican freshmen congressmen held a $2,500-a-plate fundraiser, attended by K Street lobbyists and their political action committee cronies.

Many of the new congressmen have picked (or had picked for them) staff members, including their chiefs of staff, directly from Washington, D.C., lobbying firms.

I know what readers are thinking: What does that have to do with job No. 1 — reducing the deficit?

I suppose it is possible that the former lobbyists would want to help them reduce the amount of federal dollars flowing to their former corporate clients.

And it’s just as possible there is a Nigerian prince somewhere who wants to share his newfound wealth with an American stranger.

But the reality is, the prince and the denizens of Washington, D.C., just want our money for themselves, and will say and do anything to perpetuate the fraud.

The Republicans’ Pledge to America promised to eliminate $100 billion from the budget in their first year. The American people, punishing the Democrats for not fixing the cratered economy fast enough, voted to return to power the very people who cratered the economy in the first place. What could possibly go wrong?

You may be wondering where the $100 billion in budget cuts is going to come from. Democrats during the campaign wondered the same thing.

Now that the new Congress has been sworn in, aides to the Republican House leadership are saying that number was “hypothetical.” This comes as a shock to those who trusted politicians to tell the truth during a campaign.

“I actually don’t think it would be possible to fall from grace any faster than this,” said Mark Meckler with the Tea Party Patriots. Oops.

Tea party deficit hawks should be pleased that the new Republican majority has instituted a new House rule they call “cut-go,” meaning all new spending must be offset by cuts in existing programs.

That sure makes it sound as if the grown-ups are back in charge, except that the Republican majority has also exempted deficit busters near and dear to the right-wing base from that rule.

This includes the repeal of the health care bill, which would add $230 billion to the deficit in the next 10 years, tax cuts for America’s wealthiest 2 percent, at a cost of $70 billion a year and the repeal of the estate tax, which affects only 0.5 percent of Americans.

Millions of other people have said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

As a lifelong political cynic, politicians no longer have the capacity to disappoint me. I expect the worst, and they pretty much deliver on a consistent basis.

The tea party had high hopes for some real change after the huge Republican victory last year.

 But they had best begin preparing now for retribution in 2012, because the politicians they just helped put into office already have a big head start.

Kevin Buck is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Democratic Voices” runs Tuesday in The Signal and rotates among several SCV Democrats.


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