The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on the latest collapse of RINO stalwart-ism, this time under the guise of a bipartisan Highway Spending Bill. This expenditure of $120 billion of what we used to call, in our cute naivety, our money passed the House 373-52 and the Senate 74-19. You can do the math and see how many RINOs supported this, and you can read below (or at the link) the depth of the collapse of the RINOs.
For decades, a transportation trust fund financed with an 18.4¢ per gallon federal gasoline tax had covered the costs of our highways. But in one of those unforeseen consequences, improved mileage in our cars means less gasoline bought, so the monies from that tax no longer are sufficient. As a result, Congress is funding the present Bill with money taken from the general treasury—the one that’s already $1.2 trillion in the hole.
Republicans had been holding out for some real trades to get those general treasury dollars transferred:
- more state flexibility over how road money is spent,
- eliminating some of the $6 billion for white elephant transit projects,
- streamlining environmental laws that make building roads very expensive,
- expanding oil and gas drilling on federal lands,
- green lighting the Keystone XL pipeline.
RINOs stood meekly by and watched Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, UT) blithely strip all of that out of the bill. Including all those jobs for the pipeline. Not RINOs at all—eunuchs.
Showing his utter contempt—and a well-deserved contempt it is—for the other party, Reid put in 10 years’ worth of revenues (that’s taxes) and spending cuts to pay for this 2-year Bill. Never mind these…congressmen’s…objections to the “gladly pay on Tuesday for a hamburger today” trickery that was used to “pay for” Obamacare. They had no hope of winning that argument, so it was safe to talk tough then and look good in the shower.
On this bill, the Republicans had an excellent chance of winning the argument, but the shower water suddenly turned cold.
One of those “spending cuts” with which Reid sneered at the Republicans of both houses: almost $9 billion of budget “offsets” for this Bill will come from the wholly irrelevant—and vaporous—mechanism of allowing corporations to contribute less over the next several years to their own defined-benefit pensions. The WSJ explained this “savings and offset” this way:
Companies under this deal would pay slightly higher insurance premiums to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Technically this lowers the budget deficit, because employer payments to pensions are tax deductible. By reducing those payments [at the expense of those premiums], corporations report more taxable income and Uncle Sam magically collects more money.
The Democrats aren’t the only ones who need to be fired this fall.