National debt is now over $21.1 trillion ($21,110,000,000,000) and rapidly growing
On May 17 the U.S. Senate rejected a resolution by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. The vote was 21-76, with three senators not voting, against Paul’s Concurrent Resolution 76 to provide spending cuts to the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and future budget levels for fiscal years 2000 to 2028. The vote has been call symbolic, meaningless, political and nothing less than a show vote. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi called Paul’s measure a “theatric ” vote. Paul’s resolution was dubbed the “Penny Plan” because it called for a reduction of all federal spending by one percent over five years. Pro Hyde-Smith writers or anti-Chris McDaniel writers, one of Hyde Smith’s November opponents, quickly defended her vote. Actually, being pro-Hyde-Smith or anti-McDaniel are probably one in the same. Alan Lange’s Y’all Politics questioned whether the “Penny Plan” was the “real thing” or a “show vote.” Y’all Politics printed Hyde-Smith’s statement defending her vote. Respected columnist Sid Salter wrote an even stronger response. Salter said Resolution 76 was more “political theatrics” than an “honest fiscal policy proposal.” I’ll agree the “Penny Plan” was a political vote under any circumstances. But since Sen. Hyde-Smith was appointed to replace Sen. Thad Cochran who retired for health reasons, she must now win a special election this November for the remainder of Cochran’s term. Apart from being a political vote, the bottom line is the “Penny Plan” was a vote to CUT federal spending.
Reducing federal spending is very important to Americans and future generations of Americans. The federal debt is now over $21.1 trillion dollars. That’s $21,110, 000,000,000 and climbing. For the current fiscal year, you and other American taxpayers, are estimated to pay total interest payments of $310 billion. These annual
interest payments are only exceeded by federal spending for Medicare, Medicaid and the national defense. These interest payments will only become higher in the future because interest rates will increase. The $310 billion annual interest payments on the national debt do not build one highway, one bridge, aircraft carrier or anything else that legitimate federal spending helps benefit America. If Hyde-Smith had voted for the “Penny Plan” she certainly had plenty of cover. The “Penny Plan” was not just voting for a resolution supported by Sen. Rand Paul or Sen. Ted Cruz, who are often GOP mavericks in the Senate. Twenty-one other Republicans in the Senate voted for Resolution 76. Instead, Hyde-Smith was in the political company of Senators Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and every other far left liberal Democrat in the Senate. McDaniel, Hyde-Smith’s principal competitor for Republican votes in November, quickly pounced on her vote. She handed him another opportunity to remind voters that Hyde-Smith was a Democrat before she switched to the GOP and McDaniel again questioned her conservative credentials. In my opinion, McDaniel is politically weaker than when he challenged Sen. Cochran in 2014.
That doesn’t change the fact that voting against the “Penny Plan” was a poor decision on her part. Was her vote influenced by Sen. Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership, was she influenced by Sen. Roger Wicker who also voted against Resolution 76 or did she receive poor advice from her own staff? McDaniel may not benefit in a big way from her vote, but nevertheless voting against the “Penny Plan” was not a good vote politically or was it fiscally responsible. Voting against the “Penny Plan” is no different than the Republicans who voted for the recent omnibus spending bill. In National Review Henry Olsen wrote it shows how unwilling the Republican majority is to “hold the line on, much less cut, government spending.”