] promise to charge into Washington and “drain the swamp.” But it only takes a few months before they discover the swamp can be a pleasant hot tub. There were about 200 Republicans in rows of folding chairs in front of the leadership table. The members were expected to listen respectfully to the presentations by our leadership team and then line up behind microphones in the aisles to ask questions. It has nothing to do with gridlock or partisanship or political bickering. Are you a yes or a no? Neither, I am a hell no! But why, it balances in ten years? I like this guy! In spite of this, leadership nevertheless gave Buck and others talking points to use to sell their constituents this so-called budget! Rep Buck was not happy. Buck explains why he believes the way he does by recounting his childhood and being taught the value of hard work and self-sufficiency.

It is evident from the way he presents his case that he believes that because he and his parents did so, then everybody else can as well, regardless of circumstances. He highlights that in growing up on the prairies of Wyoming people by noting that when he worked on his uncle’s ranch that (p. Referring to his time in local and state government he notes (p. I think what Rep. Buck forgets is that Congress was designed to be clumsy and inefficient and slow. One of our founder’s greatest fears, which they wrote and spoke about often was protecting the general citizenry from demagogues; from having the wool pulled over their eyes by slick politicians.. Where did they get that idea in the first place, from having analyzed local and state governments and how they operate. Representative Buck joined the House in Jan 2015 (with no intention of making a career of it, a promise which he is keeping it seems).

He carries this theme through the rest of the book and becomes one of his personal windmills. I suspect he would offer the 2018 Omnibus as living proof of that assertion. From his point of view I am sure he is right. From mine it is a surprising example of uncharacteristic and welcome bipartisanship where real (dare I say it) compromise took place in order to break the gridlock we have seen in the last seven years. Nobody got everything they wanted but America got a solid budget without social riders. It is at this point where Buck introduces another major theme of his book. And that is that much of the budget is illegal in that many of the programs paid for in a budget are “unauthorized”. We will see more detail on that idea later. Of course, there is much truth in that statement but given where the current deficit was going, his “as far as they can,” is so much hyperbole that, in my opinion, misleads the reader. At this point Rep Buck switches gears and begins explaining the mechanics of being a representative (and probably a senator) in Congress.

He mainly flogs the Republicans, because that is who he deals with, but is also careful to point out the Democrats are just as guilty. It seems that to be a member, its even worse for leadership, in the House of Representatives you have to pay-to-play. You pay by being hit up for “contributions” to the National Republican Congressional Committee (RNCC). He claims, and I believe him, that these monies are then used, ostensibly, to help the members get reelected; a reasonable goal and one I see that I could support myself. The problem, however, is these monies are used to “coerce” members to vote with leadership (p. It is a way to make sure there is a party-line vote whether the member believes the bill to be good or not. Buck’s actions don’t jibe with his words. Here Buck begins a new theme that both parties are the problem (which is true by most measures).

He blames both parties for irrational spending, which again is true to a large degree.6 What I find sad is the lack of insight he provides into why much of the current debt load happened. It is this sentiment that separates Ken Buck’s political view from the rest of political actors, even other Republicans. While, like how Christians view God as being separate from the Universe, Buck thinks the People and Goverment are two different entities, the rest think of the government just being the extension of the People. 1 I actually agree with that member’s sentiment, that a budget is a moral document, but it nevertheless must be a “practical” one that sets realistic spending goals for the federal government. 2 This is where Rep Buck and I begin to part ways. From observing and participating in government for over 50 years, it seems to me that neither, for the most part, the Democrats and certainly not the Republicans felt or acted this way. It only seems true to Buck because of his extreme view on the purpose of government. 3. I have lived in large and small towns, in suburbs and rural settings.

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