Prior to their current monopoly of Washington, Republicans last controlled Congress and the White House during the George W. Bush administration. Then, as now, the American people gave the GOP control to return the country to conservative values, such as: reducing the size of government, limiting spending, and rejecting big-government progressivism.
History shows us that the GOP betrayed those values, and that gave rise to Democrat control of Congress during Bush’s last two years and ultimately, the election of Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the current Gang Of Phonies are betraying conservative values as well.
You may recall that Bush ran as a “compassionate conservative,” which we would later learn was Republican doublespeak for big-government progressive. Under Bush’s brand of conservatism, America got a president who “abandoned free-market principles to save the free market” along with the biggest expansion of entitlement spending since LBJ created Medicare in 1965—Medicare Part D.
As a self-described “big heart” compassionate conservative, Trump has become a bit Bush-esque with his policies. And just as it was in the days of W, today’s GOP-controlled Congress is on board with his big-government progressive agenda.
During the recent tax-reform debates, Trump and the GOP embraced the Hillary-inspired proposals offered by the socialist-feminist woman Trump would be hitting on if she wasn’t his daughter, Ivanka. And with that success under their belts, they have moved on to another favorite of Ivanka’s and Hillary’s—Paid Family Leave.
Like Obama before him, Trump promoted paid family leave in his State of the Union. Afterwards, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee—they pushed Ivanka’s tax-reform proposals—went to work on a way to have the government pay for this new entitlement, supposedly without raising taxes or growing government. Their "budget-neutral" proposal would allow paid family leave recipients to “borrow” from Social Security now and then pay for it by delaying a portion of their benefits later.
Besides the fact that there is no constitutional basis for the government to subsidize personal choices, this is simply a horrendous idea. Government programs always cost more than they promise—Family Leave used to be "free" because it was unpaid—and Social Security and Medicare are already all but bankrupt with over $112 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities . . . and growing. Using Social Security in this manner will make only make matters worse and will create a need to raise taxes to pay for this new "benefit."
Here's more to chew on.
- How do we know what Social Security will look like when the first wave of these retirees face reduced benefits because they received paid family leave? Provided it still exists, Social Security will likely be significantly changed so it's entirely possible that they won't see reduced benefits upon retirement.
- Additionally, with politicians always working on ways to buy a vote, what's to stop future lawmakers from deciding that these retirees shouldn’t be “penalized” with lower benefits simply because they took paid time off to have a baby or care for a sick relative?
- And if we expand Social Security to pay for this new entitlement, what's to stop Washington from expanding it to pay for other "good" ideas such as a college education or living in an adequate house? After all, those are "rights" too, aren't they?
With both of them dyed-in-the-wool liberals, it’s easy to see why Trump supports Ivanka, but the obvious sell-out by so-called conservatives is despicable.
In a recent interview, Rubio defended the proposal by saying that he still had to work on members of the GOP because “there will be significant initial resistance to it, because it’s just not an issue that’s been identified with the Republican Party.” Actually, I have to disagree with Marco; this type of invertebrate, politically self-interested capitulation has been identified with the Republican Party for quite some time now.
By the way, don't count on "conservatives" in the House of Representatives to kill this idea. Paul Ryan absolutely loves legislation that provides benefits now with a promise to pay for it later; just look at his history with the budget. Additionally, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who will tell you that he absolutely stands for reigning in big government, is completely open to the idea.
George Bush and the GOP destroyed Reagan conservatism and moved America closer to the left. Donald Trump and today’s GOP are taking us the rest of the way there.