Posts Tagged 'trillion'

Don’t Blink

This Saturday morning, July 23rd, the Senate was originally scheduled to vote on Cut, Cap and Balance, the Republican plan to cut $111 billion out of this year’s deficit, trim $4 trillion over ten years, and present a balanced budget amendment to the states.  Instead, Harry Reid moved the vote up to Friday morning, calling it a waste of time and the worst piece of legislation to ever come to the Senate floor.  It failed to pass on strict partisan lines.

Senator Schumer called the bill “Cut, Cap and Kill” because he insisted that the bill would kill Medicare.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz declared in the House of Representatives that the bill would kill seniors and that it was the Paul Ryan plan on steroids.   The only problem is that in three different places Cut, Cap and Balance specifically exempted Medicare and Social Security from cuts and caps.  Had Republicans known, some of them might have been a little bit more up in arms about the bill.  It was actually a very good compromise.  It cut and cap wasteful spending on liberal social programs and government bureaucracy, not hot buttons like military, Social Security and Medicare.

Perhaps that is a more reasonable explanation of why Harry Reid went back on his promise to allow debate on Cut, Cap and Balance and instead moved the vote up.  Perhaps someone in the Senate actually read the bill and told Reid what was in it.  And then, as if scripted, suddenly news outlets started declaring a deal between Boehner and Obama that was so close Reid needed to get this bill off the floor and stop “wasting time” on it.  The only problem is there was no such deal.  Somebody was lying to provide the sense of urgency needed to cut off debate on Cut, Cap and Balance before it got out that Democrats were lying about it killing Medicare.

This has become the name of the game in budget talks.  Neither side is willing to give in because both sides know that 2012 elections hang in the balance.  The difference is that Republicans have actually gone so far as to write a good compromise bill.  Democrats can’t vote yes on it, not because it “kills Medicare” or kills seniors.  They can’t vote on it because passing Cut, Cap and Balance would destroy Democrat re-election hopes for 2012.  It would be a huge Republican victory because Republicans came up with it.

On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan of their own.  They haven’t submitted a budget in over 800 days, and they can’t submit one now or that will also destroy their chances of getting re-elected in 2012.  Democrats can’t write a bill that says “We want to raise taxes so that we don’t have to cut spending as much” and still win in 2012 because the vast majority of the country doesn’t want Democrats to raise taxes so that they can spend more.  They are spending enough already, and we are taxed enough already.  On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan saying “Ok, no higher taxes, just cuts” or they will lose their class warfare base.  The liberal base of the Democrat party does not want a bill that doesn’t raise taxes on the “rich”.  It’s not about raising revenue, it’s about punishing upper classes more.

Republicans submitted a plan and it was a good plan.  Obama has signaled that he is willing to let the country default on its debt rather than compromise with Republicans.  Democrats have proven that they are the party of no on a budget deal.  If Republicans end up caving in order to save our credit rating, I hope Americans get the right message.  It doesn’t mean Republicans are wimps and we need to get rid of them.  It means they can only do so much with just a majority in the House.  We need to give them the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 if we expect anything to get accomplished.

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Shut it down

Memories of 1995 haunt GOP as shutdown talks grow. At least that’s the headline.  But why should the 1995 shutdown haunt the GOP?  Republicans shut down the government in order to force liberal Democrat President Bill Clinton to take a sharp turn to the right and balance the budget.  Clinton has been taking credit for it ever since as though somehow balancing the budget was his idea.  You still hear people (who haven’t read my blog) tout the “Clinton surplus”.  Of course, if you read my blog, you know there never was a surplus.

But Republicans did cause Clinton to drastically drop spending and usher in a period of pretty good economic growth for our country.  It started with a government shut down.

Why should a shutdown haunt the GOP?  Democrat senators in Wisconsin seem to think a government shut down is a pretty good idea.  Maybe if the Senate in DC won’t pass the House’s budget, Senate GOP members should go hide in Illinois with the Wisconsin Democrats.

We are about to head into our third deficit in excess of $1 trillion in a row.  In fact, this one is a brand new record of $1.65 trillion.  Someone needs to put the brakes on.  Especially since Obama’s idea of putting on the breaks is to have one deficit as low as $607 billion over the next ten years.  Bush held the previous deficit record at $458 billion for one of his 8 years in office.  Obama has dwarfed Bush’s entire deficit twice already and is on track to do it again.

Obama doesn’t even have a stimulus bill or healthcare law as an excuse this year.  This deficit is simply government spending beyond its means.

Republicans trimmed a tame $61 billion out of the budget, and Dems have labeled them as oppressive, murdering extortionists.  If the GOP doesn’t take drastic measures, by the time Obama leaves office it would take one year of every American paying 100% of every dollar they make in taxes just to cover his deficits.

Clinton managed to take credit for the results of the 1995 government shut down while demonizing Republicans for it.  The grass roots conservative movements who sent the GOP back in 2010 are ready for a shut down.  the question is if Republicans can speak louder than Obama and the media make sure credit is given where credit is due when it works.

Have you heard the one about Obama’s budget?

Democrats are saying Obama’s budget is strategic genius.  It avoids recommending any unpopular choices or dealing with any difficult topics so that Republicans will have to take those up and be hated by the masses for doing so.  That is the excuse for Obama skipping over any sort of entitlement reform.  Others are saying he is “establishing credibility with the voters” by writing some unpopular budget cuts into his plan so that he can negotiate with Republicans.

So now the President’s responsibility is reduced to a subtle way of taking partisan jabs at his political enemies?

It doesn’t seem that way to me.  It seems to me that Obama’s budget is much more like a bad joke or embarrassing bodily noise that one tries to avoid making in public.

Obama has come out now saying that his budget cuts the deficit and that we “can’t run up the credit card” anymore.  This is an odd claim since Obama’s budget actually runs up an additional $250 billion on the card this year, setting his deficit at a new record of $1.65 trillion.  And he doesn’t even have a stimulus bill to show for it.

The real joke is that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit to $607 billion after ten years.  Of course, Presidential budget projections ten years out are as on target as a superbowl prediction ten years out.  But even if Obama does cut the deficit to $607 billion it will still be over $100 billion higher than Bush’s worst deficit in 2008.

Don’t worry, Obama’s deficit doesn’t have a chance at getting as low as $607 billion.  Obama’s “tough choices” on budget cuts circumvent entitlements altogether, but he does have cuts to education funding and heating for the poor.  That’ll pass.

Obama also includes tax hikes that his own party wouldn’t pass.  This must be part of his genius strategy where he somehow hangs his deficit around the Republican’s neck.  Obama’s spending cuts and tax hikes will never pass.

A liberal friend of mine informed me that the President’s budget really doesn’t matter, what counts is what Congress does.  Apparently he was trying to make me feel better about the President’s embarrassing budget.  I’m fine with that.  Bush was crucified for his last two years in office for high budget deficits.  Nevermind that Obama dwarfed those deficits his first year in office (and again his second and now third year), does this mean we can now blame Pelosi/Reid for Bush’s budget deficits?  The last time Republicans controlled Congress they had a $248 billion deficit.  That is less than the increase in Obama’s $1.65 trillion deficit this year.

Obama is betting on his skills of manipulation and a willfully ignorant voting public.  He has offered a sham budget with hopes that Republicans will do his job for him so that he can blame them for failure or take credit himself for success.  Clinton did the same thing when Gingrich and co. shut down the government and balanced the budget.

Obama’s budget is a shameful joke.  Liberals love him for it because they see his partisan agenda.  Hopefully the majority of voters see it for what it is: a waste of Obama’s time and our tax dollars.

Emotions and Memorials

When a great national figure dies, there is always a movement to memorialize them.  Sometimes it takes a while.  100 years after George Washington’s death, the Washington Monument was built at the mall in D.C. with a $1 million price tag.  We are still waiting for the 9/11 memorial to be built.

There is a predictable push now to memorialize Senator Ted Kennedy by passing the healthcare bill.  Media members are whipped up into a frenzy and are all asking the predictable question if Republicans will have enough respect for the dead to cross the aisle and pass this unconstitutional healthcare bill.  Senator Byrd has suggested naming the bill after Kennedy.

Let’s not be so quick to politicize Kennedy’s death.  Yes, he had many years of service.  He accomplished much for his side.  He supported abortion rights, gay marriage, HMOs, illegal immigration and unconstitutional spending programs.  He also accomplished some for the other side.  He helped Bush pass No Child Left Behind.  He voted for the war in Afghanistan.  He didn’t vote for the war in Iraq, but he did say this of Saddam: “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.

No matter what side of the aisle you are on, you can’t deny that Kennedy affected American politics and should be memorialized.   But are we ready for the $1 trillion pricetag the Kennedy healthcare memorial bill brings with it?   The 9/11 memorial is going to be one of the most expensive in US history.  The Wall Street Journal estimates the price tag at $1 billion.  Multiply that by 100 and you would have the Kennedy Universal Healthcare bill.  That would be 100,000 times the cost of the Washington memorial.  I have a better idea.

Let’s name a bridge after Kennedy.  We can use one of the bridges, highways, or skateparks built with the most recent stimulus bill.  On second thought, maybe naming a bridge after Ted Kennedy would be in bad taste.  Lets build a building on Cape Cod and name it after him.  We can even make it a homeless shelter, not that any homeless people actually lived anywhere near where Kennedy did.

We could build a coast to coast highway and name it after Kennedy and it would be cheaper and more efficient than this healthcare bill.  By all means, let’s build a memorial.  But don’t use his death as a political excuse to borrow a trillion dollars from China and spend it on a failed government takeover of our healthcare.  No one deserves to be remembered that way.

The Glass Isn’t As Empty As It Could Be

AP source: White House projects lower deficit

This is one of the headlines on Yahoo.finance.com this morning.  And it’s true, by canceling $262 billion in additional bailout aid that was originally in the budget as a “place marker”, Obama has lowered the deficit to only $1.58 trillion for 2009.  So already he is cutting the deficit and being fiscally responsible.  Nevermind that Bush’s cumulative budget deficit for 8 years was only $2 trillion.  So congratulations to Obama.

If you want the real truth about debts and deficits, beyond the misleading headlines, read my post: Debts, Deficits, and the Myth of the Clinton Surplus.  By the time you’ve read this much of this blog, our national debt has increased another $1,000,000.

Of course, this is no different than when we learn that 350,000 jobs were lost and Obama came on tv and said he saved or created 150,000 jobs because otherwise the total loss would have been 500,000.  The next month when job losses were 554,000, he had no comment.

After today’s election in Afghanistan, it will be interesting to see if our President takes credit for those who did show up, or blames the low turnout on the last 8 years.


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