"If crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending marks a great
victory for America, one can only wonder how bitter a defeat would be for our
future."The "victory" claims of the past week were not
about a celebtration of unbridled spending. They were about the Congress
finally coming to their senses and realizing (at least the majority of them did)
that destroying the full faith and credit of the United States was no way to
make a point about government spending. It is especially ironic that the
extremists who caused the shutdown were claiming they were worried about
unbridled spending but their little stunt cost us over $24 billion. And if we
are all honest with ourselves we will admit that their efforts were more about
denyimng the president of a vistory than it was about saving taxpayer money.Despite what this author and many others wish to claim, appropriations
bills have been passed in recent years, usually after several continuing
resolutions have kept the government operating while the Congress rangles over
issues. It will take honest brokers, not childish clowns, coming to the table
on both sides for us to solve our fiscal issues.
Some people don't know the difference between the National Debt and the
National Deficit. And, I think they're sadly doing this on
purpose. Why? Because focusing on the debt allows them
to ignore what got us here and blame Obama for everything. If they really cared
about fixing this problem, they'd also look at the national deficit and its
recent 30 year history. If they were to do this, they'd find that their own
would be indicted as the biggest spenders, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. While Obama
and Clinton would be seen as the cutters that, in reality, they were. So the real motive behind this "Debt Scare" is political. The right
wants back into the White House without making any real changes to its platform.
They'd rather scare us into voting for them rather than actually attracting
us and bringing us into their tent.Sad really. I used to be a
Republican. But I didn't leave the party, it left me.
The last time we had a balanced budget was from the Clinton years. It took a
high degree of skill and COMPROMISE between the president and the house and
senate. After Bush/Cheney made such a hash of the country President Obama has
cut the deficit in half. There is every reason to be optimistic if only the
conservatives will come up with solutions, not merely opposition.
While I can sympathize with Steve, this recent exercise was too little and to
late by several decades. Republicans have been every bit as complicit in
creating economic decline as Democrats. The Medicare prescription bill passed by
Republicans was every bit as monstrous as "Obamacare." This is not to
mention the build-up of the military welfare state Republicans seem to be so
fond of. Not mentioned enough is the primary result of the stand-off: campaign
contributions rose significantly for politicians on both sides. So it depends on
how you define victory.
To ECR and othersHow long do you think the "Full faith and
credit" of the United States can last with this continued and growing debt?
As well as, what the author mentioned, all of the "unfunded" obligations
which now are reaching 100 trillion dollars? Any thoughts? Mine are, not long
if the rest of the world does not see any move at fiscal responsibility coming
soon. And soon is not the next 3 years of Obama, but hopefully a conservative
thinking President beginning in 2017. Otherwise, there could be a run on the
bank by the bond holders who will, rightfully, fear inflation of massive
proportions on the U.S. dollar.
There is no question we must get both our deficit (spending vs. revenues) and
thereby our debt under control.There is also no question that this
sort of political gamesmanship does not accomplish that.We have
divided powers. You need a broad consensus in order to proceed.Anyone who believes otherwise is either a fool or a liar. Neither are fit to
"crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending"...Steve,
you've made me an opponent of unbridled hyperbolic rhetoric.
Who owns the Federal Reserve?
@ECRThink long term, please, when you think about full faith and
credit.@Twin Lights "You need a broad consensus in order to
proceed."Yes, and the consensus needs someone to sound an alarm
and wake them up. Their current course is unsustainable.
David Stockman, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan,
said recently that the expanding debt was not caused by Democratic spending.
Rather it was caused by the Republican belief that deficits don't matter as
along as they are caused by tax cuts.
People wanting something for nothing havie caused our problems in America;
citizens who don't care who pays, as long is it someone else. Politicians
pander to those citizens, not caring that those programs are not authorized
duties of government. Then the most unprepared President in American history
dictates to us his Marist ideas where some "rich guy" will pay for
everythign.Meanwhile, some newspapers that once respected the
Constitution, have signed on to protect that President instead of pointing out
to America that the government has no authoritity to do what it is doing.Other newspapers cower in the background, fearing that if they print
anything derogatory against this administration that they will face the
President's wrath.So what? If the principles that have made us
free can be so easily traded for a moment's security, we do not deserve to
be free.Obama thumbed his nose at America. Harry Reid thumbed his
nose at America. The media cheered even as they smear those brave Congressmen
who stood for the Constitution.A just God cannot bless the
corruption that is taking place in America nor can just people ask for
God's blessings on their corrupt leaders.
Roland KayserStockman did not like the tax cuts by Reagan and has
always had a chip on his shoulder that in fact during Reagans years the economy
did quite well. And, if one tries to blame Republicans for the expanding debt,
are you saying that the Republicans have been cutting taxes for the last 5
years? Obama and the Democrats have had the majority power during this last 5
years where the debt went from 10 trillion to 17 trillion. Your point just does
not wash with what has been happening these last 5 years. I remember back when
Senator Benson of Texas was running for VP in the debate said he could create
the illusion of prosperity if he could write 200 Billion dollars in hot checks.
Well, how come Obama has not been able to create prosperity (illusion or
otherwise) with 7 Trillion in hot checks?
Great letter. Congratulations to Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee for standing up
against obese, overreaching government. Too bad we don't have a lot more
politicians with the same wisdom and courage.
Until we increase revenues this will never go away. European economies are
rampant with examples of austerity. If we could get the trillions of cash stash
back into our economy making goods and offering services, things that really
make an economy run, things would look rosier overnight. This depression of debt
conservatives expound is really guilt from pouring money down the foxholes of
the middle east for no real discernible reason and giving carte blanche to the
five sided building in Arlington.
SCfan, The Reagan years were the foundation of current economic policy and debt.
"If Reagan taught us anything it was that deficits don't matter,"
SCfan and T Party - You are right that there is an urgent need to cut costs and
reduce, and eventually eliminate, deficit spending. Cutting the deficit in half
in four years as promised is a start but it is certainly not enough. The so
called "entitlements" should be re-examined based on current cost,
technology, life span and every other aspect that has changed in the last 50
years. But that doesn't mean destroying or "defunding" them.
Other things need examination as well. It is estimated that fossil fule
companies receive as much as $52 billion in subsidies every year and the the 3
largest fossil fule companies in the U.S. made over $80 billion in profit in
2011. Our defense budget, while necessary and important, equals the sum total
of the next 9 industrialized nations and is a higher percentage of our GDP than
any of those coountries except Saudi Arabia. More than 50 nations - most of
them industrialized nations - have a higher personal income tax rate than the
United States.While it is urgent to look at this serious problem,
shutting down the government and costing us $24 buillion is not the way to do
Patty Murray, as Senate Budget Committee Chair, called for conference on the
budget 20 times this year (over the past 6 months once both chambers passed
budgets) but was rejected by Republicans every time. @SCfan"Mine are, not long if the rest of the world does not see any move at
fiscal responsibility coming soon."This years' deficit is
projected to be 700 billion, only half as much as it was a couple years ago.
Here's the stability indicator, we actually don't need a balanced
budget, we just need the debt:GDP ratio to not be growing, and preferably to
decline. Consider our 17 trillion dollar debt. If GDP increases 2% a year
(roughly what it has during these sluggish growth years) then that would suggest
the debt should increase less than that so that the debt:GDP ratio moves in the
right direction. 2% of 17 trillion is 340 billion. So a deficit of 250 billion,
for example, would be sufficient to put us on the right track.
Responding to ugottabkidn and ECRSo you go by what Dick Cheny says?
You've got to be kidding. Besides, in those days of Reagan, 200 billion,
even then, is nothing compared to the trillions we've run up in record
time. We've gone from a trickle of deficit spending to a flood. ECRAll reasonable thoughts. So just where is anyone in Congress
or the administration talking like that? I do see it a little on the Republican
side. It may take the pain of 24 billion in two weeks lost by a couple of
voices in the wilderness to finally get the attention to do some of the things
you propose. Or at least begin talking about them. How close is Burke, VA to
D.C.? Maybe you ought to get over there and do some lobbying because the way
it's going now is definately not the right direction. I worry about
running out of time to fix the problem before the dam breaks and the flood of
inflated money hits the economy.
To "The Real Maverick" we don't blame Obama, we see him as a major
contributor to it. But, maybe we should listen to Obama's opinions on the
debt and hold him to those ideas. Obama said "The problem is, is that the
way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from
the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from
$5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his
lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have
to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s
irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic."If adding $5 trillion to
the debt is irresponsible and unpatriotic, what should we think of adding $7
trillion on top of that?From ABC's story "Obama’s
Broken Deficit Promise" we find that Obama promised "I’m pledging
to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in
office." He tripled the deficit after that.
I'll be happy to endorse cutting Grandma and Grandpa's Social Security
and Medicare, and will willing give up MY Veteran benefits IF -- Corporations loose their Corporate welfare by the same per Percentage....My loss of $700 annualy, to their loss of over $700 Billion
annually.Seems only fair.But I have yet to have anyone
from the GOP or Tea-Party willing to compromise with me like that.
Re: "The 'victory' claims of the past week were not about a
celebtration of unbridled spending."Yeah, they were.The common sense faction, led by Cruz and Lee tried desperately to stop
reckles, feckless Democrat vote-buying, but were opposed at every turn by
tax-and-spend liberals, of both parties, who are now attempting to take cover
under a modification of the old Kerry duck-and-cover -- "I was against it
before I was for it, and now I'm against it again."Theyv
Hopefully instead of another tantrum, the tea party will review the framework of
government, modern economy or have Texas secede and move there.
@ECR "It is estimated that fossil fule [sic] companies receive as much as
$52 billion in subsidies every year."Then let's eliminate
those subsidies, along with subsidies to any other businesses -- including green
energy companies. If a company needs a subsidy from the taxpayers in order to
stay in business, it shouldn't be in business."While it is
urgent to look at this serious problem, shutting down the government and costing
us $24 buillion [sic] is not the way to do it."It takes two
sides to shut down the government. Your side proved it was willing to shut down
the government in order to retain Obamacare, which promises to be a worse
budget-killer than anything else going. Obamacare is already a fiasco, and will
end in disastrous failure.Not just the website: the entire
program.We had to try.
If proof is in the pudding lets take a closer look. Guess what...the recent
democratic presidents have reduced deficits significantly compared to their
republican predecessors and indeed the stock markets have also done better under
democratic white houses. Lets hope voters are taking note.
louieThe power of the purse is with congress. You might want to
check which party was in power in congress for the biggest deficits (democrats),
and which party has been in control of congress during the 'balanced
budget' years (republicans). The largest deficit ever was the
year the democrats had the house and senate and presidency, 10/2009-9/2010,
during the planning and the execution of the budget process. Yes the
deficit is dropping, now that the republicans have the house.Actually I don't think you wanted to know that, but there it is anyway.
atl134At 2% growth, paying off our debt is like paying off a credit
card by making minimum payments. We need much more growth than that, and so
far it hasn't happened. Even I, who knew Obama was not up for the job,
thought that the economy would recover on its own before 5 years. What's
stopping it? Not Bush.louieJust need to jump in as
Badgerbadger said. The real increase in debt, going from about 10 trillion to
todays 17 trillion began when Obama, Reid, and Pelosi had 100% control of
government. No fillabusters possible from the GOP. They are still there. Bush
is long gone. I hope voters are taking note.
A couple of things that still shock me. I know it shouldn't but it does.
A complete lack of acknowledgment on the part of the right as to why 7 trillion
was added to the debt the past 5 years. Maybe because it's now beyond any
reasonable argument that a demand driven recession (the worst one in modern
history) has to have government spending to avoid a depression. 7
trillion is just 7 trillion. The second thing that still shocks me
is couched in the falsehood that Obama broke his promise to cut the deficit in
half by 2013. 1.4 trillion to 700 billion, on track to be 500 billion in
2016..next stop 0 (Hillary). Cutting deficits to nearly a third of what they
were when he took office (Bush-1.4 trillion), all the while preventing a
depression should logically earn him credit as a fiscal conservative. But, no
he's a spend crazy socialist. What ever happened to facts?
m.g. scott and BadgerAs hard as you try you cannot blame the Obama
presidency for the recession and the immediate aftermath. the final Bush
budget, effective through September 2009, saw a deficit spending of over a
trillion dollars. The subsequent deficit totals are less than half of your $7
trillion estimate. By the way, had taxes on the wealthy been raised to the
Clinton Era levels we would have seen less deficits. In addition,
since the peak of the recession, end of 2009, job growth in the private sector
has been approximately 6 million, probably the highest in any four year period.
To "louie" actually we can blame the Obama presidence for all of the
aftermath that the nation has suffered since July 2009, when the recession
ended.Obama has seen to it that the number of regulations and laws
that businesses have to comply with has increased significantly. His policies
are seen as anti-business. You can't get businesses to grow and expand
when the government is not only telling the nation that CEOs are evil but are
also enacting regulations that cost a lot to comply with.If you want
to go back to Clinton Era tax rates can we also go back to Clinto era
RedShirt, no we can't go back to Clinton Era regulations, unless you want
to completely ignore the fact it was Clinton Era regulations that were primarily
responsible for the great recession. Even Bill Clinton has said ooops, my
To "pragmatistferlife" How about we go to Pre-Clinton era regulations.
That way we avoid the Clinton era policy that pushed banks to lower their loan
requirements and end up with many sub-prime loans. I would think that going
back to Reagan era regulations and tax rates would be better.The
point is that if we rolled back the tax laws and regulations back to a pre-2000
level, then took appropriate action to further remove government from the
banking and health insurance industries, you would actually help those
industries. If banks were held 100% responsible for their loans, you
wouldn't have as many bad loans. If insurance companies were not mandated
to do as much as they are, they could provide insurance to us at a cheaper price
with more benefits.
RedShirtI do not understand your argument that taxes should be less
when regulations increase? And why do you feel the growing disparity between
the wealthy and the middle class needs to be nurtured by reducing taxes on the
wealthy? What are the measures that suggest Obama is not anti-business. The
stock market has doubled in three years, profitability of companies are at all
time highs, and productivity of the average American worker is at an all time
We can either voluntarily slow and stop the train speeding toward the cliff, or
pour on the coal and pretend the cliff doesn't exist. The "full faith
and credit of the United States" will mean nothing when the interest bubble
bursts and the federal government is unable to meet its obligations. But
everybody seems to be more interested in pointing fingers and blaming someone
else than in finding the resolve and the strategy to cut back the scope and role
of government.The only sustainable solution is to restructure
entitlement programs to make them sustainable in the short term, phasing them
out in the long run; return responsibility for individual well-being back to
individuals, and divest much of what is done by the federal government back to
the states where it can be accomplished competitively among the states. Can we
do it? Only if we support folks like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, who seem to be the
only ones who get it.
To "louie" it is simple. You claim that if we raised tax rates to the
same Clinton levels that the federal government would be able to collect more
taxes. That is a lie because since the Clinton era new taxes and loopholes have
been added. Just those new taxes and loopholes would result in less tax
revenues. Along with the tax loopholes you have added regulations that cost
businesses money. If businesses are spending money on compliance with
regulations, then they have lower profit margins or fewer products sold. Lower
profit margins or few things sold means that there is less profit to collect
taxes on.The other problem is that the US is experiencing its lowest
labor participation rate in over 30 years. That means you have fewer people
earning money and paying taxes.So, tax rates are just a superficial
argument that does not really resolve anything. The loopholes and regulations
are what really cause problems for tax collection.