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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 1, 2010 - Half the Year Gone - Increased National Debt, Federal Spending & Unemployment

While US House Democrats will not present a proposed budget for 2011, they are working on a War Supplemental Defense bill.  But like we all know, we need to be careful with liars, cheats, gamblers, and of course the Democrat lead Congress.   We will present details on the proposed supplemental bill  in another article.  But as a warm up to bad news, the Democrats  have earmarked 61% of the money for  non-defense spending despite the purpose of bill being war funding.  They are seeking to buy votes on the back of  funding for our military fighting in harms way.  Supposedly, Democrats are planning to try to scale down the bill this week but they will still have it loaded with pork slipped through under one of Congress' biggest Congressional political lies: "it is for the military."  Which ranks right up there with "It is for the children." Wouldn't surprise me if the Democrats actually cut actual funding to the military to keep their pork.

House Republicans came out in force against the Democrats' financial reform bill which will kill jobs, fund permanent bailouts and place the economy more at risky. Here are just a few of their comments:
Rep John Boozman (AR): This legislation is misguided and will only lead to more bailouts and corruption in the financial sector. The government should restore market discipline with the kind of free market solutions that create jobs and protect taxpayers.

Rep. Judy Biggert (IL): I thought its purpose was to rein in Wall Street and end the abuses that precipitated the most massive financial melt-down and economic downturn since the Great Depression. Its purpose is to make Wall Street pay for the abuses – not Main Street.

Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA): ...liberals spent 2,000 pages expanding the reach of the federal government, codifying bailouts, restricting access to capital, and protecting Wall Street over Main Street. Liberals refusal to end bailouts and reform these mortgage giants refutes any claims that this bill is about ‘reform.’

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO): The government has a poor record of managing hard-earned taxpayer dollars, which is why I could not support a bill that actually gives the government even more control of people’s money and continues the reckless meddling of government in our free market system.

Rep. Roy Blunt (MO): This bill is another heavy-handed government intrusion which will cost jobs at the very time we should be working to create jobs,

Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ): The American people are delivering a strong message to those of us in Washington willing to listen. They want less failed government overreach into their lives and into our economy and they want more opportunities to work and provide for their families, without pushing our country into greater debt. Unfortunately, this bill fails on all accounts.

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY): While we are all committed to increasing transparency on Wall Street and preventing another financial meltdown, the last thing we should be doing in the midst of an economic recession is furthering government interference in the free market.

Rep. Mike Pence (IN): We're used to creative titles around here. . . . [D]uring a time of extraordinary economic duress, millions of Americans unemployed, and failed economic policies, it is darkly ironic that a bill that will do anything but restore financial stability is named for that purpose. . . . The American people are not looking at Washington, D.C. and clamoring for more spending, more taxes, and more bailouts. They're . . . saying, ‘When are you going to focus on creating jobs? When are you going to set partisan differences aside, power grabs and big government agendas aside to do something to put Americans back to work? Under the guise of financial reform, Democrats are pushing yet another bill that will kill jobs, raise taxes and make bailouts permanent. . . . [and] will kill jobs by restricting access to credit. It will kill jobs by raising taxes on those that would provide loans and opportunities to small business owners and family farmers. And it makes the bad ideas of the Wall Street bailout permanent.
The Senate is in recess until July 12. Today the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) is lying in repose in the Senate chambers. At 4 PM today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will resume hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan of Massachusetts to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Today’s session will feature the testimony of outside witnesses.

Senate Democrats failed for a fourth time to get the 60 votes needed for cloture on their debt-extending “tax extenders bill,” H.R. 4213. This version would have added $35 billion to the national debt. Republicans have repeatedly offered to extend expiring tax credits and unemployment benefits without deficit spending, but Democrats have objected or voted it down every time. Last night, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell offered a two month extension of unemployment benefits paid for with a stimulus offset that 57 Democrats voted for last month. But, Democrats objected.

Also yesterday the Senate confirmed 99-0General David Petraeus as commanding general in Afghanistan. May the good Lord be with him and those under his command.

The Hill reported yesterday, “The national debt will reach 62 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday. The budget office said the debt will reach its highest percentage of GDP since the end of World War II. The jump is driven by lower tax revenues and higher federal spending in the recent recession.”

And today, The Washington Post adds, “‘Growth in spending on health-care programs remains the central fiscal challenge,’ CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a presentation to [President] Obama's bipartisan deficit commission. ‘In CBO's judgment, the health-care legislation enacted earlier this year made a dent in the problem, but did not substantially diminish that challenge.’”

The United States simply cannot continue on this unsustainable fiscal path. Even President Obama seems to have figured out that this is a serious problem. The Wall Street Journal notes, “Obama said Wednesday that the rising national debt is a ‘real and legitimate concern’ and that the U.S. must reorder its priorities to gain control over federal spending.” And according to the WSJ, “At a town hall meeting, he said that the combination of the economic stimulus measure and bailouts for banks and auto companies added up to ‘serious money’ and had contributed to a sense that federal spending is out of control.”

Of course there wasn’t much acknowledgment that it’s the policies of the Obama administration that have put the country in this situation. The stimulus bill alone cost $862 billion, and the cost exceeds $1 trillion, when interest payments are factored in. The unpopular health care bill, which will actually increase health care expenditures contrary to Obama’s claims, may cost as much as $2.6 trillion in the first 10 years. Meanwhile, the president’s budget would see the country’s debt double in 5 years and triple in 10.

Some Democrats appear to be realizing that this path is unsustainable. The WSJ writes, “Democrats on a blue-ribbon deficit-reduction panel suggested spending cuts would likely have to outweigh tax increases if the nation is to seriously tackle its ballooning financial obligations.”

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats don’t appear to be among those interested in doing something about the record levels of spending and debt. For the fourth time, Senate Democrats offered a version of a bill to extend unemployment benefits and expired tax credits that would add tens of billions of dollars to the debt. The latest iteration featured $35 billion in deficit spending. But each time the Democrats offer a new version, they refuse to try the one thing that could get the bill the 60 votes needed to pass: paying for the bill.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last night, “We’ve offered ways of paying for these programs, and we’ve been eager to approve them. But we can’t support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt. So the only reason the unemployment extension hasn’t passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn’t add to the debt. That’s it. That’s the only difference between what they’ve offered and what we’ve offered.” If President Obama and Democrats on his fiscal commission now claim to understand that the problem is spending money we don’t have, how is it that Senate Democrats still haven’t gotten the message? Americans are being crushed under a $13 trillion mountain of debt and Democrats in Congress still don’t get it.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan, national debt, debt, military, War Supplemental Defense bill, earmarks, waste, financial reform bill, lost jobs, killing jobs, restricting access to credit, jobs, unemployment, raising taxes, farmers, small business To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:45 PM - Post Link


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