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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, April 28, 2011

Budgets and Debt Concerns in Congress -- Silliness and Ship of Fools in the White House

Congress is still adjourned for Easter recess and senators and representatives are traveling around their states and districts holding town-halls and meeting with people. When they return on May 2 both the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader will be faced with the the House's Budget proposal and the decision over the debt ceiling which is expected to be reached in a little over 17 days potentially on May 16th.

Liberal progressive democrats are claiming, "The Republican party is holding us hostage! Our creditors will abandon us! We'll get a bad rating from Standard & Poor's! Whatever that means." These liberals are pandering and pushing political rhetoric verses facts. Neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party are governing our country. There are elected officials who still represent us in this Republic (or at least they should be) and we have a President governing in the White House who wears the Democrat label but who represents only the left progressives of their party. For that very reason, many perplexed  conservative democrats are faced with a dilemma. For it appears, it is only elected Republicans (and some of them are questionable) are open to reigning in spending and reducing the size of government. However, "our dear leader" seems more interested in the Oprah Show and The View verses our debt crisis. Might be a good reason to start asking why?

The non-partisan nonprofit Citizen's Against Government Waste (CAGW)) offered a more informed view of the debt ceiling crisis. Yesterday, CAGW President Tom Schatz, in an email, said, "The national debt, which more than doubled over the last decade, is projected to double again over the next 10 years. We are sinking into debt at the rate of $2.8 million every minute, or $4.03 billion every day! As [reported] last week, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has downgraded the outlook on America's debt from "stable" to "negative." Why is that so alarming?

Right now, because of America's AAA credit rating, our government is able to borrow at extremely low interest rates to finance our massive debt. But even at these extremely low rates, this year's $438 billion interest payment on the national debt is still the fourth largest item in the federal budget behind Medicare/Medicaid spending, Social Security, and the military. If we lose our AAA rating, the U.S. Treasury is going to have to pay much higher interest rates to borrow, which will swell the annual interest payment on our debt until it's the single largest item in the federal budget. [A]s the Associated Press has reported, we will face staggering tax increases, drastic spending cuts (even in entitlement programs like Social Security), or both! That's why it's so vitally important that we rein in America's record deficit spending NOW!"

While the liberal progressives seek shift the subject, the grassroots made up of concerned conservative people from all parties is  causing the stir over the national debt ceiling.  Progressive wish to blame republicans because that is "the brand" they will be opposing at the ballot box after getting rid of conservative democrats.   They do not wish to acknowledge the grassroots movement, aka TEA Parties,  because this grassroots has large numbers of conservative democrats or former conservative democrats and independents. Today, The Hill reports, "Tea Party activists across the country are upping the pressure on lawmakers over the impending debt-ceiling debate just before members head back to Washington.The Tea Party Express on Thursday called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the GOP leadership in the House to say, "Hell no!" to a debt ceiling increase."  Notice they felt free only to address the Republicans because they know the position of the progressive liberals.

Yesterday, when finally releasing his alleged birth certificate for public review, President Obama used "the time" to complain about "not having time" for "this silliness." Obama has found lots of time for "silliness" in his activities while serving as president. It has been clearly documented by the press that he has time for recreation and perpetual campaigning. After using the word "silliness," Obama flew off to be with see Oprah and to visit "The View." Talk about silliness - it has become perpetual word of the day for the White House.

Yesterday, on a conference call, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters that he would be holding a Senate vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget. Of course, the Democrat-controlled Senate still has not offered or voted on its own budget proposal.

In a statement today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will also vote on the budget President Obama submitted in February at the same time as the vote on the Ryan budget. Leader McConnell said, “I understand that the Majority Leader would like to have a vote on the House-passed Ryan budget and we will. . . . But we’ll have a vote on the President’s budget at the same time. Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”

So will Senate Democrats vote for President Obama’s budget, despite its glaring deficiencies?

Certainly, there are Democrats who have been openly critical of a budget The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called “a remarkably weak and timid document.” At a Senate Budget Committee hearing, chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) said, “I believe history will condemn us all if we don't do substantially more . . . than is in this budget. I believe it fundamentally puts at risk the economic security of the country. And I believe that. I believe the evidence is quite strong that the risks that are being run are unacceptable risks.” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, “What we have is a budget proposal from the President designed to get our attention, but given our fiscal challenges, it does not go far enough. This is not what the country needs or expects.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said, “This budget proposal raises a lot of questions about where the priorities of this administration are.” And Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said, “[I]t is clear from the numbers that this budget alone does not address our deficit concerns.”

As Leader McConnell also noted, “Democrats have refused to offer a budget for the second year in a row, failed to protect families from policies that increase the price at the pump, and have yet to offer any serious plan to protect future generations from this administration’s spending spree . . . .” With these budget votes, Americans will have an opportunity to see who is really committed to tacking our fiscal crisis creating an environment to foster job growth, and who is committed to the unsustainable and unaffordable status quo of massive spending and deficits.

Tags: Budgets, Debt Concerns, Congress, Silliness, Ship of Fools, White House, US House, US Senate, Washington, D.C. 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 1:54 PM - Post Link

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