Since 1998, or the better part of the past two decades, the United States of America has not had a budget that balances. Every single year, for almost 20 years, over the course of two eight-year Presidencies, the United States government has spent more money than it brings in.
Virtually any human on the entire planet can read those two sentences and draw the conclusion that such recklessness will end horribly.
And, for the most part, it has – to the tune of more than $20 TRILLION in debt on top of a global recession we still haven’t recovered from.
But earlier this week, when Senator Rand Paul introduced a budget that would have righted the sinking ship that is the United States government, balancing the budget over the course of five years, the Republican establishment stood with every single Democrat in the Senate against it.
And North Carolina’s Senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, were standing right with Bernie Sanders and the rest of the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate who prefer to see the United States crumble underneath a unsurmountable, unconscionable, and un-freaking-believable amount of debt.
Prior to the vote, Sanders, an avowed socialist who ran for President on a plan that would have added $21 TRILLION to our debt, said of the budget, “I will not support (it)… But all my Republican friends who year after year talk about the deficit, here’s a vote that you should cast.”
But only 14 true conservative senators did cast that vote. They were: Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and, of course, Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Interestingly enough, Senator John Kennedy was one of the votes in favor of fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget. He was elected to the Senate as a Republican from Louisiana less than a month ago, but spent his entire career as a Democrat.
That’s right, a lifelong Democrat who switched parties merely to be elected in a conservative, southern state is more conservative than the two “lifelong” Republican Senators from the great state of North Carolina who continuously claim to be conservatives during election season.
Hilariously, last January, Senator Burr said that he would rather vote for Bernie Sanders than Ted Cruz. And, obviously, he backed up that sentiment with his vote this week.
This would all be entirely different if Burr and Tillis had ran on being reckless and continuing Barack Obama’s policy of racking up as much debt as humanely possible in order to cripple this nation in the name of anti-colonialism.
But, both Burr and Tillis ran on being conservatives who were supposedly very worried about the amount of debt the nation has racked up over the past two decades. They both, to this day, list fiscal conservatism amongst their top priorities on their websites.
On the issue, Tillis’ stance reads as follows: “Federal spending is out of control and continues to grow at an unsustainable rate. One of the greatest threats to the U.S. economy and national security is our national debt. During President Obama’s tenure, the national debt has ballooned to more than $18 trillion. It is imperative we rein in federal spending and balance the budget in order to ensure a stable economy.”
But when Senator Thom Tillis was given, literally, the only chance he’s had in two years to actually follow through on his promise to North Carolina voters, and the citizens of the United States of America, he voted “nay.”
On the issue, Burr’s stance reads as follows: “North Carolinians understand what “living within their budget” means. This has not been the case in Washington, where annual deficits continue to mount. It is imperative that Washington follow the example of North Carolinians and begin to make tough choices and prioritize spending decisions.”
But when Senator Richard Burr was given the chance to actually follow through on his promise to North Carolina voters, and the citizens of the United States of America, he voted “nay.”
In 2010, the Republican establishment told Americans if we would just give them the House of Representatives, the branch of government that controls the purse strings, they could become the conservative party again.
In 2014, the Republican establishment told Americans if we would just give them the Senate, along with the House, they could become the conservative party again.
In 2016, the Republican establishment told Americans if we would just give them the White House, along with the House and the Senate, they could become the conservative party again.
At last check, the American people answered the call at every turn.
But at last check, the Republican establishment, more specifically, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr never once answered to the will of the American people.
North Carolina doesn’t just need more Republicans.
North Carolina needs better Republicans.