Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – On May 16, Senate Democrats continued their three-year-old tradition of failing to pass a budget. But not before voting down four Republican budget plans, plus the Obama budget, which received the special honor of being dispatched unanimously. The real news? The increasing support for the budgets offered by two men named “Paul“: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rand Paul. The Ryan budget was defeated, 58-41. The bolder Paul plan, 83-16. The relative popularity of the two is less important than the fact that both fiscally conservative budgets received more votes this year, an election year, than they did 12 months ago. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
On May 16, Senate Democrats continued their three-year-old tradition of failing to pass a budget. But not before voting down four Republican budget plans, plus the Obama budget, which received the special honor of being dispatched unanimously. The real news? The increasing support for the budgets offered by two men named “Paul“: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rand Paul. The Ryan budget was defeated, 58-41. The bolder Paul plan, 83-16. The relative popularity of the two is less important than the fact that both fiscally conservative budgets received more votes this year, an election year, than they did 12 months ago. [Mike: Folks, that is significant. It is truly significant.]
These “defeats” feel like the sort you find in the first chapter of a victory narrative. Indeed, we may be witnessing the beginnings of a new ear, in which the dividing line is not between conservatives and progressives, as much as it is between two kinds of conservatives, whom I call “managerial optimists” and “constitutional realists.” Or to put it more provocatively, between “Paul Ryan technocrats” and “Rand Paul federalists.” [Mike: Again, I do not believe that Rand Paul is a federalist. I think that Rand Paul is a Republican, because that’s his party, and a republican. He’s an antifederalist.]
This new fault line, while faint today, could open into a chasm, should the Republicans get a chance to govern next year. While the “federalists,” who include Sen. DeMint, are numerically smaller, they are growing in confidence and will likely grow in numbers, too, after November. They could very well form a “majority within a majority,” steering the entire Senate, and nation, rightward. [Mike: There’s that whole filibuster rule there, though.] Both the technocrats and federalists want government to be smaller, more efficient and less intrusive.
Mike: Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to be a stickler and a nitpicker, but since I opened the program today with stickler, nitpicking things that pissed me off, I’m going to stickle and nitpick here. I personally, and I do not think that Jefferson and the antifederalists or republicans of their day wanted their government to be “smaller, more efficient and less intrusive.” These are buzzwords. These mean absolutely nothing. To say that it could be more efficient is to imply that at some level, it is efficient. It’s not efficient. That’s the problem. The paradigm is flawed. The reason you don’t confer or enumerate very many things for a government to do is because they do everything so poorly. The only thing they really do well is blow people up in other countries, fighting wars. It’s not efficient by definition, be design. Don’t let it out of the bag. Don’t empower it to do anything and it won’t do it inefficiently. If someone privately does it inefficiently and they continue to do it inefficiently, they are what used to popularly be known as out of business.
Then he writes, “Both want to make entitlements more affordable and taxes fairer.” I don’t want to make taxes fairer; I want to eliminate them. I don’t want to make entitlements more affordable; I want to eliminate them. I want them gone. That ought to be the goal, get rid of them. There’s no such thing as an entitlement in a free society. You are not entitled, because you have a governing agency that has a gun and a jail, to expropriate that which is mine for you to use. I don’t care what your lot in life is. I may volunteer in Christian charity to help a brother out or help a sister out, but that’s my decision, not yours. If you don’t get your way, for you to go to a politician and then pass a law to have my money stolen from me so you can use it, there’s a word for this. It’s called plunder, theft.
Both schools want to reform entitlements . . . but federalists would do this in less bureaucratic, more individualized ways and would ultimately move health, education and welfare back to the states.
Mike: If you move them back to the states, ladies and gentlemen, you will move them out of the public realm because the states don’t have the money. I’ve done this exercise on this program before; let me do it again. If my State of Louisiana, just to give you a good example, had to actually fund its own Medicaid program, we would have to continue the current taxation that we live under, plus I would have to be taxed an additional $3,800 per member of my household. That’s an additional $18,000 per year, just in Louisiana, just to fund what is actually spent in this state on Medicaid. You want to tell me that if you transfer these programs back to the states that they’re going to survive? Of course they’re not going to survive, not in their current iteration.
Federalists tend to come down on the opposite side of such questions, because they see centralized power as the real source of most problems. [Mike: They are correct, and again, they’re not federalists, they’re antifederalists.] There is also an outlook difference. The technocrats often speak as though their proposed reforms will work as promised and will never be amended or exploited for malign purposes by special interests and the left. The federalists are less sanguine. The technocrats, in short, trust government, provided it is in the right hands. The federalists do not.
Mike: Does this guy sound like he listens to this show, AG? He sounds like he’s a listener, or he writes like he’s a listener.
AG: Very much so, yeah.
Mike: It’s not that we want the power in other people’s hands, not on this program. You don’t give them the power to start with. That’s the fatal flaw.
Defense: Mr. Ryan increases defense spending. Mr. Paul does not spare the Pentagon from scrutiny. [Mike: He’s talking about Rand Paul and Rand is correct.] Taxes: Mr. Ryan reduces the number of income-tax brackets from five to two; Mr. Paul, to just one. Ryan would lower the top rate to 25 percent; Paul, to 17. Ryan is willing to retain politically driven tax-code distortions, [Mike: Just like I told you earlier today] such as the mortgage-interest deduction. Paul is not.
Mike: Why? Because you’re picking winners and losers. You have government standing there acting as though it has carte blanche authority to choose which business profits and which business doesn’t. We could go on and on and on here. Let’s get to the conclusion.
Are we witnessing the first rumblings of an intra-GOP battle between technocrats versus federalists? [Mike: Again, not federalists; they’re antifederalists.] If so, may the best [Mike: anti] federalist win.
Mike: I must interject at this juncture, though, ladies and gentlemen, if you truly are an antifederalist, or a federalist if you want to call yourself one, and you really believe in this decentralization scheme and you really get earnest about it and actually are successful at it, you ultimately are going to have to confront that monster in the room, that 20-foot rat snake in Columbia, South Carolina. This federal union and this general government is out of scale, unworkable and illogical. That truly is the beau ideal, the Rosetta Stone of all these much ballyhooed reforms. That’s at the heart of it. If the day ever comes, and let’s all pray that it will, when that question is actually discussed in earnest, you really will be living in revolutionary times, my friend.
End Mike Church Show Transcript