ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
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)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Washington Spending 101: How to Stop the Explosion of Debt

Republican Study Committee :As President Reagan said, "Only a constitutional amendment will do the job. We've tried the carrot, and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government's squandering, overtaxing ways, and save our economy."

The growing momentum toward requiring Washington to actually balance its budget shows that House Republicans have connected with the American people. Leading Democrats are another story. Senator Reid and President Obama are still trying to fool the American people into thinking we can keep borrowing and spending like there is no tomorrow.

Tags: RSC. Republican Study Committee, Cap Spending, balanced budget amendment, Republican, Cut, Cap, Balance, debt limit, debt ceiling, exploding, coke, illustration, video
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Where's Obama's Plan?

Video Source: Where is President Obama's plan for cutting spending, balncing the budget and raising the debt ceiling. We haven't read anything - all smoke and mirrors.

Tags: President Obama The White House, Press Secretary, Jay Carney, Congress, leaders, debt ceiling To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Anti-Private Business Bureau

The below letter to the editor is by Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. He is a Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative and active in the Oklahoma Republican Assembly.

Bob McDowell
By Bob McDowell: While in the campaign for the presidency, President Obama was quoted, and heard on replay, as stating that he was going to put the coal mining industry out of business. His administration seems to never miss an opportunity to carry out that agenda. In a story in the daily paper dated July 8 the headline screamed "EPA targets 26 power plants". The story was rather lengthy and included a picture of the PSO generating plant at Oologah, one of those targeted.

The agenda of EPA to accomplish the abolition of coal fired generating plants is to mandate such strict, onerous, and unnecesary emission restrictions, on top of those already in place from previous mandates, that the owners would be forced to spend millions to comply and might simply shut the plant down instead.

If such was to come about, the increase in electric costs to we consumers, both residence and business, would be rather substantial. It seems that those now in charge of the EPA have an almost hysterical opposition to any 'fossil fuel' use for beneficial products for us. In addition, the mandates proposed would be placed in force so soon that the operators
would be forced to actually shut the plants down, according to AEP-PSO statements, for as long as two years, simply because it would be physically impossible to make the modifications in the time allowed by EPA.

An ancillary action to this is the push by some natural gas producers, especially Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City, in their attempts to get more gas fired generators to raise the price of natural gas that they produce. If successful in this effort, we would also end up paying more for our heating gas in the winter.

A bare week later a story appeared that stated the whole Congressional delegation from Oklahoma had accused EPA of trying to kill the entire coal mining industry in the State. Many do not know that there is a viable coal mining operation in Oklahoma, although the product is not as 'clean' as is the low sulphur coal mined in Wyoming. In fact, information furnished to me, first hand, several years ago indicated that there had been a previous rule established that the such plants had to reduce their sulphur emissions by a certain percentage, the number of which no longer is in my memory.

This forced the GRDA, and perhaps others, to turn to a mix of Oklahoma coal, with its sulphur, in order to attain the reduction in emissions. In addition, this rule resulted in the loss of a market for one half of the fly-ash from the Choteau generating plant because of the sulphur in it and forcing GRDA into setting up a land-fill for that which was non sellable on a continuing basis. The fly-ash sets up like cement when wetted and can, and is, mixed with dirt then wetted to make a more firm base for the fill for street and road construction.

All of this obviously will have, and has had, the result of substantial job losses, with more to come in the future. It has been thought, with some confirmation, that the Obama administration agenda is to destroy the private sector economy and establish a Communist/Socialist dictatorship in the USA with him, and his supporters, as the surviving dictatorship. In fact, it has been reported that he has already established private armies, within the existing bureaucracy such as BATFE that are not constrained by the "Posse Comitatus" statute against using federal troops against the citizens of the USA and within the borders.

Perhaps that is why he has been so intent on using the National Guard so much on over seas operations, so that they will be unavailable here to protect the citizens and state governments. This is a scary thought!

Tags: Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, Barack Obama, Administration, anti-business, EPA, power plants, energy production To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

A One Horned Maverick McCain

“Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth.” ~ Sen. John McCain

“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees." ~ Sen. John McCain, referring to two losing Tea Party candidates for the Senate in 2010.

Sanity Patrol:
“I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll... in reading the books, the hobbits were the heroes. They overcame great obstacles.” ~ Sen. Rand Paul
by A.F. Branco:

Tags: John McCain, one horned, RINO, hobbit, political cartoon, A.F. Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The House And Senate Deficit Ceiling Plans

Update 8:40 pm:   House, Senate Democrats on Friday night tabled, 59-41, House Speaker John Boehner's bill to raise the debt limit.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will now try to broker his own plan with Republicans and the White House before the debt ceiling expires on Aug. 2.

Update 7 pm: The Republican-controlled House voted 218-210 Friday passed Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the federal debt ceiling, after it was revised to include a balanced-budget amendment. Meanwhile the Democratic majority in the Senate stood ready to reject the measure.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded to House bill: “The House has now passed its second bill in two weeks that would prevent a default and significantly cut Washington spending. . . . the Democrat majority here in the Senate has been wasting precious time rounding up ‘no’ votes. Rather than come up with a bill that can pass, they’ve been busy ginning up opposition to everything else. Now it’s time for them to act.”
Today in Washington, D.C. - July 29, 2011:
Senate resumed consideration of S. 1323, the vehicle for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) debt limit proposal. Reid filed his plan as an amendment to the bill and has filled the amendment tree, preventing further amendments.   Reid announced that he plans to move ahead with his bill today, regardless of what the House does.

House Republicans began a conference meeting - putting together votes for Speaker Boehner debt plan.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, deficit ceiling plans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Stall Their Own Debt Bill

Earlier Today Democrats Said ‘Too Much Is At Stake To Waste Even One More Minute,’ Yet They Refuse To Vote Tonight>

DEMS ADMIT: ‘We Are Running Out Of Time,’ ‘We Have Hours – I Repeat, Hours – To Act’

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:> “…as I said earlier, we are now running out of time. It’s important for everybody to step up and show the leadership that the American people expect.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On The Status Of Debt Ceiling Negotiations, 7/29/11)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Time is short, and too much is at stake to waste even one more minute.” (Sen. Reid, “Senate Majority Leader Reid Delivers Remarks on ‘Senate Will Act to Avert Default, Keep the Economy Alive,’” 7/29/11)

REID: “We have hours - I repeat, hours - to act. That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action...” (Sen. Reid, “Senate Majority Leader Reid Delivers Remarks on ‘Senate Will Act to Avert Default, Keep the Economy Alive,’” 7/29/11)

REID: “The bottom line though is this. There's only one bill in Congress that is a true compromise. We're running out of time.” (Senate Democratic Leadership, News Conference, 7/27/11)

REID: “Time is of the essence. We are running out of time…” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 7/21/11)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “We are too close to the debt limit deadline, and there is no margin for error. This is crunch time. The clock is ticking.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.4496, 7/12/11)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “But we are down to 5 days. We are running out of time. We have to get this done.” (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.4999, 7/28/11)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “Every day it gets a little bit worse because day by day our country grows closer to defaulting on our sovereign debt.” (Sen. Feinstein, Congressional Record, S.4978, 7/28/11)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): “We are simply running out of time.” (Sen. Brown, Congressional Record, S.4932, 7/27/11)

SEN. MARK UDALL (D-CO): “…time is not our friend here and we cannot delay action any longer.” (Sen. Udall, Congressional Record, S.4933, 7/27/11)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “…time is running short.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.4934, 7/27/11)

Tags: Senate, debt bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

College Students Travel to DC: Delivers Letter to Senator Pryor

Today, members of the Executive Committee of the Arkansas Federation of College Republicans hand-delivered a letter to the office of Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. A copy of said letter can be found below.
Honorable Senator Mark Pryor
20510 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Pryor,
As you are well aware the national debt is well over a staggering fourteen trillion dollars, with an excess of five trillion dollars owed in interest. Arkansas’ unemployment rate, currently at 8.1%, is steadily on the rise. This paints a very troubling picture for college students and other young Arkansans. This means that after working hard to put ourselves through college, the chances of finding gainful and meaningful employment is grim, at best.

The cost of President Obama’s out of control spending spree is on our generations tab. For the rest of our lives my peers and I will pay for the failed economic policies of the current administration. But, why?

Mr. Senator, I was raised by Arkansan values. Those values taught me that it was never the wrong time to do the right thing. But, I’m afraid that you do not hold dear to the same Arkansan values that I and the rest of the people of Arkansas do. Otherwise, you would have already stood against to the irresponsible Obama agenda, or, perhaps, you would of lead a budget proposal in the Senate, something that has not happened in over 800 days.

Mr. Senator, my generation is being robbed of the same freedoms and liberties that you once enjoyed, yet you continue to remain silent. You have abandoned the next generation all for the sake of your own political future. What a disappointment to the people of Arkansas that entrusted you to represent them and their values but neglect to do so.

As aforementioned, it is never the wrong time to do the right thing. With that said, Senator Pryor, I, on behalf of the Arkansas Federation of College Republicans, the voice of Arkansas’ young conservatives, call on you to actually lead. You as an elected official have a job to do, to lead our country through these challenging times. So stand up, raise your voice and do the right thing – fight for the next generation.

Skot D. Covert, Chairman
Arkansas Federation of College Republicans

Tags: U.S. Senator, Mark Pryor, Arkansas College Republicans, Skot D. Covert, Chairman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Do We Want Obama To Win?

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Here we go again. Republicans and conservatives in the last 48 hours have formed the battle formation they seem to prefer the most: THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD.

John McCain took to the Senate floor yesterday and blasted Tea Party purists. Oh sure, he took shots at Harry Reid too. But the media predictably highlighted only the slap down of the Tea Party folks.

How did that help the cause, senator?

A Tea Party leader spoke at a rally on Capitol Hill yesterday and demanded that Speaker Boehner step down from his leadership post. Really? And be replaced by whom? No Speaker -- not even "Captain America" -- could perform miracles and run the U.S. government from the House of Representatives.

How did firing at Boehner help the cause?

Conservative websites like the Free Republic (which I love) were filled with postings from grassroots activists, many demanding cuts of $6 trillion this fiscal year. Many posters threatened never to vote Republican again. Talk of a third party filled the blogosphere.

How would permanently splitting the conservative movement help the cause? Is it realistic to think that conservatives could in two years, with control of just the House of Representatives, repeal 40 years of big government liberalism?

Reality check for John McCain, my Tea Party friends and fellow conservatives: The mess we are in is not the fault of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. America is not headed toward a cliff because of the Tea Party movement. We are in this position because the man in the Oval Office is willing to do virtually anything to get his way -- even when it deeply damages our constitutional republic.

He has ignored federal court rulings (the drilling ban). His lawyers argue that our Constitution requires us to buy what he wants us to buy (the insurance mandate). He and his attorney general have "decided" that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional -- a call only the Supreme Court can make.

He routinely uses raw class warfare in an attempt to divide our country. He has alienated our allies while apologizing to our enemies. He has accumulated more debt in less time than any president before him, and he demands more spending now. While jobs evaporate, he demands higher taxes on job creators. The list goes on.

Conservatives do not run Washington, D.C. Obama does. The media carry his water, and countless bureaucrats rush to work every day excited to impose his regulations on our economy and our families. As each day passes, there are more federal judges willing to do his bidding because he appointed them.

Disagreements on strategy are inevitable. But there should be no disagreement on our most important goal -- ending the Obama presidency, taking control of the Senate and maintaining control of the House. Only then can we do the things that we desperately need to do.

Disband the circular firing squad. Tone down the family feud and aim your ire where it belongs -- at Obama and his big government army.
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, politics, republicans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Chillin’ At The Polls

by A.F. Branco:

Tags: A.F. Branco, political cartoon, Debt ceiling, Debt Crisis, Debt Default, debt limit, Obama budget plan, Obama Spending, Stupid Democrats, Tea Party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dems look to Make Obama's Reelection Campaign Easier

By William Warren
Ending the Day in Washington, D.C - July 28, 2011:
Today the Senate resumed consideration of S. 1323, the vehicle for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) debt limit proposal. Reid filed his plan as an amendment to the bill and has filled the amendment tree, preventing further amendments.  In other words, Reid does not care what the Republican Senators wish to consider in the bill. Reid then announced that when the House sends Speaker Boehner’s plan to cut spending, raise the debt ceiling in two installments, and create a joint committee to consider spending cuts to the Senate this evening, Reid will hold an immediate vote so Democrats can vote the bill down.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 100-0 to confirm FBI Director Robert Mueller for two more years as director. Wonder if he will ever look into Eric Holder's actions which have bordered on the criminal or into the DHS and ATF's "Fast and Furious" scandal. Is Mueller playing for the Obama team verses team USA. There was a time in our past when the American people knew the FBI had their back and would protect them from illegal acts even going on down the street in other Federal agencies.

In the House, Speaker Boehner has been trying to garner enough votes for his plan. But unlike Sen. Reid, Boehner is listening to his other Representatives. While some Representatives are saying they will vote no on any bill that raises the debt ceiling, their actions may result in worse consequences.  Boehner was expected to call for a vote this evening but has had to postpone the vote in the House to possibly tomorrow. Boehner needs 261 votes to pass the bill that Democrat Senator Harry Reid threatens to be dead on arrival in the Senate.

If this bill doesn't pass, any compromise bill with the democrats will offer Republicans less spending cuts and a capitulation on raising the debt ceiling past 2012.

The New York Times notes, “[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid sent [Speaker] Boehner a letter signed by all 51 Senate Democrats and two independents assuring that his legislation, which would raise the debt ceiling for roughly six months — far less than President Obama wants — faced certain failure in his chamber. ‘Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months,’ the letter said.”

But as Leader McConnell said, “Even more shocking is the fact that Democrat leaders and the President himself have endorsed every feature of this legislation except one: and that’s the fact that it doesn’t allow the President to avoid another national debate about spending and debt until after the next Presidential election. This assurance is the only thing the President and Senate Democrats are holding out for right now.”

In other words, Senate Democrats are threatening to block a bill to prevent default and cut spending solely so they and President Obama don’t have to face the consequences of their reckless spending spree closer to November 2012.

Leader McConnell elaborated, “The Democrats can try to justify their opposition to the House bill any way they want.  They can claim they’re worried about a stalemate six months from now. They can ignore the fact that of the 31 times Congress and the President have raised the debt limit over the past 25 years, 22 of those debt limit increases lasted less than a year. Why? To make the President’s reelection campaign a little bit easier.”

Meanwhile, CBS News reported, “In a press conference on Wednesday, Reid argued that the Democratic plan was the only ‘true compromise’ on the table, and urged lawmakers to rally around it. ‘We're running out of time,’ he told reporters. ‘It's time to get serious about finding a compromise.’”

Yet this morning, Democrats own Budget Committee Chairman, Sen. Kent Conrad, told Fox News, “Senator Reid has a plan here, but I think it's likely that at this moment that won't get cloture, won't get 60 votes.”

So Democrats are looking to block the only measure that’s likely to have passed even one House of Congress.

[Be Sure to read Sen. Jeff Session's "Reid’s Accounting Hoax And Dem Leaders’ Budget Law Defiance Has Brought Us To 11th Hour"]

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, debt ceiling, debt, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sessions: Reid’s Accounting Hoax And Dem Leaders’ Budget Law Defiance Has Brought Us To 11th Hour

ARRA Editor: What a difference between the words of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacking the TEA Party, must be listening to much to his RINO daughter, and the below words by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who clearly delineates the situation. While Sen. Sessions is indeed the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, he would be the first to tell you that nothing gets done correctly with regard to budgeting when the ranking democrat leadership is unwilling to hold bipartisan committee meetings, unwilling to to budgeting in the budget committee verses in Harry Reid's office, and are not willingly to represent their constituents instead of thuggery out of the White House and Senate Leader's Offices.

“If the year had begun with a serious budget proposal from the president, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now… Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have refused to pass a budget in 820 days or even present one this year… Democrats defied the law and sound policy all year long and now we are paying the price…

There have been suggestions that Republicans are simply unwilling to budge from their position. But the Boehner proposal represents only a small portion of the cuts Republicans would like to achieve… We’re going to be fighting for cuts in spending bills, omnibus bills, continuing resolutions—everything we can do to impose discipline in Washington…

The president says he wants a balanced approach to the deficit… Creating real balance, the right balance, means shifting power away from Washington and placing it in the safe hands of the American people.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, spoke on the Senate floor today to address the competing debt limit proposals currently under consideration in Congress: "There are currently two bills headed for a vote to raised the debt ceiling and reduce spending. One of those bills, from House Speaker John Boehner, cuts about $1 trillion in spending and raises the debt ceiling by $1 trillion—until the end of the year. The other bill, from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, cuts about $1 trillion and raises the debt ceiling about $3 trillion—or past the 2012 election. This is because the president has said emphatically: ‘the only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.

"In a sense, it’s really quite simple: Speaker Boehner’s bill lives up to the principle that every dollar in debt ceiling increase should be tied to a dollar in cuts. Sen. Reid’s bill is a hoax. It uses Washington gimmicks designed to make it look three times as large. In reality, it hikes the debt ceiling three dollars for every one dollar in cuts. The House bill is 1-to-1; the Senate bill is 3-to-1. We have demonstrated this exhaustively in a Budget Committee analysis.

"The House approach is honest and straightforward and achieves one dollar in cuts for every dollar in debt ceiling increase. It allows us to return to the table in a few months, assess our progress, and begin working toward the greater cuts that are needed. Reid’s bill relies on accounting tricks, takes the debt limit off the table until after the election, and exchanges a record $3 trillion debt hike for only one-third the cuts.

"My colleagues on the other side of the aisle signed a letter vowing to defeat the Boehner plan. I find this a little shocking. It seems Democrat leaders and the president are prepared to shut the government down in order to avoid continuing to work toward further spending reductions in the coming months. Is it the position of Washington’s Democrat majority that $1 trillion in cuts, over ten years, is all we need to achieve between now and 2013? Is it their view that a dollar in cuts for every dollar in debt limit increase is too steep? Or is this a political effort to protect the president by pushing the debt ceiling past the next election? To the extent that, for this sole reason, the Democrats would cause this financial disruption?

"Let’s step back for a moment and look at the wider context. Washington is often consumed by political fights and blame games. It can be hard to differentiate between facts and talking points. But I’d like to try to provide as honest an assessment as I can so to why we find ourselves in this unfortunate situation in the 11th hour.

"We have a statutory process to arrive at a budget deal every single year. It’s written into law. The president is required to submit a budget and each chamber is required to pass one separately and then agree on one together. If the year had begun with a serious budget proposal from the president, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. But he submitted a budget that would double our debt in ten years while claiming it would not add to the debt. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have refused to pass a budget in 820 days or even present one this year. The Majority Leader said it would be ‘foolish’ to produce a budget.’ These are facts. Democrats defied the law and sound policy all year long and now we are paying the price. A last-minute, take it or leave it, panic vote.

"If the White House or Senate Democrats had taken the budget process seriously at any point in the last year—if they had presented a single credible plan to cut spending—we wouldn’t be here right now in the 11th hour. Instead, Washington Democrats insisted on secret meetings that shielded them from making their budget plans public. That shielded them from any real votes on spending and debt. And those meetings failed.

Democrats campaigned for control of Washington and they chose, in a time of fiscal crisis, not to engage the budget process in a serious way. In fact, Senate Democrats are apparently so determined to avoid the public budget process that the Reid bill even includes language designed to circumvent that process for two more years. So you’ll forgive me if I’m a little perturbed by all these attacks on the Tea Party. They didn’t start the fire—they sounded the alarm.

Before last election, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, every conversation was about increasing spending. Congress passed the stimulus, it passed the president’s massive new health care entitlement, it passed the president’s requests for extraordinary increases in discretionary spending—a 24 percent increase over the last two years. We’ve added $4 trillion to our gross debt since the president took office. Just in the time since Senate Democrats last passed a budget, we’ve spent more than $7 trillion.

"But, after the 2010 election, and the emergence of the Tea Party, we finally started to look at Washington’s spending problem. Now, instead of just raising the debt ceiling with no spending cuts—as the White House initially and repeatedly demanded—we’re trying to cut spending. People in the Tea Party, and those who share their concerns, should not be vilified. They are good, decent, patriotic Americans whose only crime is rightly fearing for the future of this nation.

"The last point I’d like to make is about the issue of compromise. There have been suggestions that Republicans are simply unwilling to budge from their position. But the Boehner proposal represents only a small portion of the cuts Republicans would like to achieve. This is a truly critical point—and one the White House will not acknowledge.

"The House budget cuts $6 trillion in comparison to the president’s request. The Toomey budget in the Senate cuts about $8 trillion. The House passed a plan, which I cosponsored, that not only cuts and caps spending, but also requires the passage of a constitutional balanced budget amendment. In fact, all 47 Republican Senators have cosponsored a balanced budget amendment.

The $1 trillion in cuts that the Speaker is asking for would be just be a modest first step. But, under his plan, we’ll return to the table in a few months. This is far from the level of savings Republicans would enact if we controlled Washington as Democrats now do. We are going to spend around $45 trillion over the next ten years and are projected to add as much $13 trillion to our gross debt. It is clear we have a lot more work to do. We’re going to be fighting for cuts in spending bills, omnibus bills, continuing resolutions—everything we can do to impose discipline in Washington. We must control spending and conquer the debt. The president says he wants a balanced approach to the deficit. But balance is not a tax hike that bails out the big spenders. Creating real balance, the right balance, means shifting power away from Washington and placing it in the safe hands of the American people. That’s what the voters said last year when they gave a shellacking to the big spenders. That’s what we should do.”

Tags: Senator, Jeff Sessions, Harry Reid, accounting hoax, budget, deficit, (R-AL) To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Writing His Debt Default Speech

A.F. Branco Obama has demonstrated he is concerned about only two things: 1) the 2012 election, and 2) not-compromising with the Republicans. America and the American people be damned.

Tags: AF Branco, political cartoon, Barack Obama, speech, debt ceiling, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ARRA News Service Attacked By A Virus

Bill Smith, Editor: Late last night, I was performing an edit review of links suggested to readers. The links are to conservative bloggers, activist organizations, government sites and places recommend by the editor. Half way through the process, when visiting a link to a Washington, D.C. site, I noted the site was no longer being maintained and was in the process of deleting the link.
Within seconds a virus from the dormant site attacked my main computer over-riding all of the virus software, firewalls, and protection on the computer. The symbolism of the attack is interesting since it was from a D.C. blog. Are conservatives disliked that much :).

Although I shut down immediately to protect the ARRA News Service and other blogs, the virus rendered normal operation of the computer useless. Although the virus was been removed quickly, it has prevented our using the computer other than in "safe mode."

Unfortunately, this caused reporting to fall behind today. But we are online - just behind. Tomorrow, I will be blogging and tweeting from the Smart Girl Summit in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Tags: blog, ARRA News Service, virus attack, Smart Girl Summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

90 Seconds to National Debt Crisis


Tags: Barack Obama, debt, debt ceiling To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Balance the Budget: Now is the Time

Tina Korbe, Hot Air said: When “Cut, Cap and Balance” failed the Senate and both chambers of Congress regrouped around new plans, the first to go of the three crucial elements in the House’s original plan was a balanced budget amendment. Neither of the deficit reduction plans presently on the table provides for the passage of a BBA. It’s also the element of CCB most frequently decried as unrealistic. But political lights from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan have called for such an amendment, as this video from GOP Labs illustrates.

Let President Obama say, “We don’t need more studies; we don’t need a balanced budget amendment.” If ever any unfolding drama proved the need for such an amendment, the drama of the past week has been it. Leave cuts to Congress and what do you get? CBO-certified gimmicks on both sides — even on the side of one sincerely trying to garner savings, one who says he also “wanted more.”

President Reagan Said in a Speech to the Nation on Federal Budget, 4/29/1982:
As former President Ronald Reagan says in this video, “Most Americans understand the need for a balanced budget and most have seen how difficult it is for the Congress to withstand the pressures to spend more. … We tried the carrot and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government’s squandering and overtaxing ways and save our economy.”

Tags: balanced budget amendment, President, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, video, economic recovery, conservative, the Economy, taxes, bankrupt, Balance the Budget, Thomas Jefferson, American people To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Would The President Really "Veto The Nation Into Default

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 27, 2011:
The Senate confirmed Gary Locke as ambassador to China by unanimous consent. The Senate then resumed consideration of S. 1323, the vehicle for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) debt limit proposal. Reid filed his plan as an amendment to the bill and has filled the amendment tree, preventing further amendments.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 98-0 to confirm Paul A. Engelmayer to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

In he House Speaker Boehner is seeking to revise his debt ceiling bill. However he is facing opposition by various Republicans who want no compromise even if it means shutting down the government. A vote on the plan may be as early as tomorrow. More on this and Sen. Reid' plan later in this report.

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Yesterday afternoon the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy which said that when the legislation Speaker Boehner is now revising reaches the President’s desk, unnamed senior advisors will recommend that the President veto it. I have a question for these senior advisors: what about this legislation is so offensive that you’d rather see the nation default on its obligations than have the President sign it into law? From what I can tell, the only thing in this bill the President hasn’t already expressed his support for either publicly or privately is that it doesn’t get him through his election without having to engage in another national discussion about the debt crisis that’s brought us to this point.”

The Wall Street Journal editors note, “Mr. Obama recognizes these stakes, threatening yesterday to veto the Boehner plan in a tactical move to block any Democratic support. The White House is afraid that it will pass the House and then become the only debt-ceiling vehicle if Mr. Reid can't get 60 votes for his own proposal in the Senate. This would short-circuit Mr. Obama's plan to blame the GOP for a U.S. credit downgrade, any market turmoil, a possible default, and the lousy economy too.”

As Leader McConnell said, “So I would ask these senior advisors whether that’s a position they want to put the President in. Do they really intend to suggest that he veto the nation into default for political reasons? That’s how I read the threat. And I think that’s how the rest of country would read it too.”

Indeed, Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin observes, “Despite his pose of moderation, President Obama has maintained an obstructionist attitude throughout the debt ceiling crisis. By demanding higher taxes and engaging in class warfare rhetoric, the White House demonstrated that what it wanted was not a solution to the problem of how to raise the debt ceiling but to avoid one.”

Contrasting the plan House Speaker John Boehner proposed with the lack of specifics from President Obama, Leader McConnell said, “Unlike the President, [the speaker] not only put forward actual legislation to prevent this crisis, he's keeping his promise to cut spending more than any increase in the debt limit – with no tax hikes. And what about the President’s plan? Well, when asked the President’s plan, his aides point to a speech and a veto threat. With all due respect, Congress can't vote on a speech, and a veto threat won't prevent default. The fact is, Republicans have offered the only proposal at this point that attempts to get at the root of the problem — and which actually has a chance of getting to the President’s desk. That’s why we’ll continue to press for the legislation Speaker Boehner has proposed.”

As reported last night, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is reworking his two-stage debt plan after the Congressional Budget Office revealed it bout $400 billion less than the advertised figure of $1.2 trillion. The House isn’t expected to vote until Thursday or Friday. Meanwhile, conservatives remain highly suspicious. Heritage Action has announced its opposition to the original Boehner plan and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) doubted Boener's bill has enough support to pass.

Reid's Smoke and Mirrors plan:
Today, The CBO has  finished scoring Sen. Reid's debt-limit plan which is euphemistically being called the Senate plan.  Many see the CBO numbers as misleading and the bill being full of Reid's specialty: "smoke and mirrors." However, the CBO did identify that Reid's plan also comes up short of what has been promised. They reported that Reid's plan would raise the debt cap by $2.7 trillion, would reduce deficits by $2.2 trillion.  This means the Reid's plan does not meet the demand by Republicans that spending cuts exceed any increase in the debt ceiling. Of course Reid normally does not give a damn as to what the Republicans want.

As for smoke and mirrors, Reid claims falsely something that is not true.  As pointed out by the CBO, the Reid plan brazenly takes credit for cutting $1 trillion in war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are already drawing down in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the CBO identified Reid's savings could only be claimed if we assumed as CNN Money identified that the war was projected to continue for the next ten years. And this is not going to happen. Besides, Mr. Reid and others do not know where or when we may be attacked next or even when President Obama may opt to commit or even waste military resources such as he has done with Libya.

When asked, Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker Boehner, responded, “This report shows the Senate plan for what it is: a grab-bag of gimmicks that gives the President a blank check. In contrast to the bill House Republicans have offered, the Senate Democratic bill counts as ‘savings’ a trillion dollars in war money that would never have been spent - and on top of that, slashes the defense budget in a manner that would hurt our men and women in uniform in a time of war. It relies on smoke and mirrors for half of its ‘savings,’ yet still cuts $500 billion less than promised. In reality, the Reid plan would only save taxpayers about $1 trillion while giving the President the largest debt limit increase in history. Despite previous claims, it significantly falls short of the requirement that we cut more than we increase in the debt limit.

“For too long Washington has pulled the wool over the eyes of the American people – but those days are over. We have made a promise to cut spending more than we increase the debt limit, and we are revising our legislation to ensure this pledge is met. This debate boils down to two choices: we can continue business as usual in Washington, dressing up legislation with gimmicks and giving a blank check to the President; or we can start making some tough choices to bring down the deficit and hold the President accountable. Today’s report makes clear the House plan is the only one with a pathway to the President’s desk, and we would urge him to sign it.”

Warning About Polls:
Bobby Eberle warns today to "Watch Out for the Spin."  With all the chatter about the debt, the debt ceiling, federal spending and maybe a potential government shutdown.  Eberle says, "Does anybody really know what's happening in Washington? Are legislators moving closer to a solution (note I didn't say "deal") on our massive debt and spending? Most of you have opinions on what should be done, but what do other people think? That is the question, and the media are trying to provide the answer. But beware... in poll after poll, the devil is in the details.

There is no doubt our liberal media will try to influence the American people on the direction Washington should take in dealing with the debt and spending. They are clearly in Obama's corner, and more spending and higher taxes are their only solutions. What they will try to do is convince you that that is what everyone else believes too. But just because their information comes from a poll doesn't mean it's a fact.  . . .

"The problem is that you can't weight what questions are asked and how they are asked. Questions can easily be worded to steer respondents to a particular outcome.
 Please check out the poll results yourself. Did you find anything else that hints of spin or bias? It's all around, but most people won't even realize it until they are already drinking the kool-aid."

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, debt, debt ceiling , CBO, polls To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fact Checking Obama Using Reagan In Debt Ceiling Debate

Figures don't lie but liars figure! ~ Mark Twain
When a small man can't do the job, he seeks to hide behind a big man! ~ Ozark Guru

Regan Obama Parody
Have you noticed that President Barack Obama has been slipping in a Ronald Reagan reference every chance he can get? What you may not know is how distorted some of those insertions are for the debate at hand. Obama has justified his huge debt ceiling hike by saying that the United States raised the debt ceiling 18 times during Reagan's term. This is very misleading. Did Obama really believe that us old "Reganites" would not notice?

The facts are:
  • Reagan’s debt hikes were comparatively small and usually were temporary (thus the high number of changes)
  • Obama in two years has already added a trillion dollars more debt than Reagan did in eight
  • Total debt hike under Reagan ($1.865-T) was almost identical to under Clinton ($1.805-T)
  • As a percent of GDP, all later Presidents’ hiked total debt notably higher than under Reagan
Charting the Data:
Below is chart from the 2011 Heritage Foundation Budget Chart Bookthat illustrates some of the points:

Tags: Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Debt Ceiling, fact checking, facts, Heritage Foundation, chart To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

House Speaker Delays Debt Vote; Looking For More Spending Cuts

Evening Update - July 26, 2011: According to the Washington Post, the White House continues to threaten today to veto any legislation pending in the House to avert a threatened default. The ARRA News Service editor has seen the White House's Statement of Administrative Policy on Speaker Boehner's version of S. 627 – Budget Control Act of 2011. The advisory reads, "The Administration strongly opposes House passage of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to S. 627. If S. 627 is presented to the President, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill."

It does not say the President will veto the bill. In response to this advisory, there appears to be potential "wiggle room." Brendan Buck, a Boehner Spokesman, said “The House plan is the only one with a pathway to the President’s desk, and we appreciate his apparent willingness to sign it. By signing the House bill, the President could quickly end the crisis atmosphere he’s created and demonstrate he’s serious about cutting spending.”

Speaker Boehner has stopped action to vote on his proposed debt-ceiling bill being but together by several House members and his staff. The vote originally scheduled for for Wednesday may now be held on Thursday.

The reason is that the Congressional Budget office (CBO) scored the proposed house bill and reported late today that Boehner's plan to raise the debt limit would fall short of the savings expected by the bill. The CBO projected that the present bill would save about $840 billion over the next decade which is about $400 billion less than the planned figure of $1.2 trillion.

Michael Steel, the speaker's spokesman, said that Boehner's staff is "looking to rewrite the legislation" and that “We’re here to change Washington – no more smoke-and-mirrors, no more ‘phantom cuts.’ We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit – with no tax hikes – and we will keep that promise. As we speak, Congressional staff are looking at options to re-write the legislation to meet our pledge. This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review – which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman Republican Study Committee, shook up things today when he said he doubted Rep. Boehner had enough support to pass his plan. The Boehner bill would provide an immediate debt ceiling increase but would require further action before the 2012 elections. Many House Republicans want permanent cuts established now. Jordan is one f the authors and promoters of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill that passed in the House and was tabled by the Senate.

President Obama also opposes that last requirement to revisit spending and cuts before the 2012 elections. Obama argues that it would reopen the delicate and crucial debt discussions to unending political pressure during next year’s campaigns. Again as detailed in a prior article, Obama is focused more on the 2012 Elections than his present responsibilities which includes saving American both from financial default and from wrecking our country with our of control spending which he and his cronies Sen Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi released in his first two years as president.

Notice the connection, Pelosi corrals the House Democrats and keeps them from supporting responsible bills, and Sen. Harry Reid tables them when they arrive in the Senate. "Chicago Style" Business as usual. These liberal progressive democrats are making respectable democrats sick and they don't care. Obama wants 5 1/2 more years in the White House, Sen. Reid already has 5 1/2 and Rep. Pelosi from the City of Fruits and Nuts want to be Speaker again but this is doubtful so she just serves as the drag on positive efforts in the House.

Tags: US House, debt bill, CBO, spending, Barack Obama, veto threats, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Long and Short of the Deficit Crisis & Opinions of the Muni Market

Bill Smith, Editor: This article was reprinted with permission of Galvin Murphy, Editor-In-Chief, of The Bond Buyer. The original article is offered via subscription to their readers. Anyone wishing to copy, reprint or use this article should contact the original publisher. Links to this article are acceptable. Also, Rick Calhoun, a contributing author to the ARRA News Service, is quoted in the article.

by Christine Albano, The Bond Buyer:: With Congress facing an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling and the threat of a U.S. default looming, municipal market professionals are concerned about possible long-term credit affects stemming from the would-be solution crafted by Republicans and the White House to resolve the deficit crisis.

While experts agree there is a lot of uncertainty and few answers as to how and when the impasse will be resolved, they are somewhat divided over how the dilemma is currently affecting investors’ behavior and trading activity.

Overall, the market was mostly steady through Friday despite the arrival of a record $8.3 billion of new municipal supply for 2011, some slight Treasury weakness, and the announcement last Tuesday that Moody’s Investors Service put five of 15 triple-A rated states on review for a possible downgrade.

The action, which targeted Maryland, South Carolina, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Virginia, is a result of the states’ fiscally sensitive relationship with the United States’ sovereign credit and affects $24 billion of rated debt.

The muni market also showed no immediate reaction to news Friday that the Senate rejected a House plan to substantially cut government spending and raise the $14.3 trillion limit contingent on a balanced budget proposal.

Moody’s also earlier in the month put the triple-A rating of the U.S. government on review for a possible downgrade.

It said the five states could be downgraded if U.S. debt is downgraded due to a default — a move that municipal experts say could cause investors to demand higher yields to compensate for the potentially less-than-stellar credits.

Meanwhile, the rating agency also suggested that the United States should eliminate its statutory limit on government debt to reduce uncertainty among bond holders.

The current wide divisions between the House and the Obama administration over the debt limit creates a high level of uncertainty and “causes us to raise our assessment of event risk,” Moody’s analyst Steve Hess said in a recent report.

Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson, a Montana-based brokerage and money management firm, on Wednesday advised investors to be optimistic and patient during the conflict resolution. “We think there is a one-in-100 chance that the government will not raise the debt ceiling,” he said. “We looked at the various events like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the oil price spike, and European debt crisis, and we think that this crisis, at worst, would lead to some short disruptions, and perhaps a 2% to 3% drop in the stock market.”

The Bond Buyer asked a handful of municipal experts to weigh in about how they think see the debt-ceiling dilemma affecting the muni market overall, and if they think Congress will meet the Aug. 2 deadline.

Clark Wagner, director of fixed income and a portfolio manager at First Investors Management Co. “It’s just another one of the many uncertainties in the fixed-income market in general right now. If we saw a large issue from one of the states that were put on credit watch, that would be more interesting than a couple of bonds from Maryland trading [in the secondary market.]

“There is so much uncertainty, but you’re not seeing much trading in anticipation of changes in credit ratings and you haven’t seen credits trading cheaper. There is very good demand in the market right now. … There is a lot of money in the market and the main theme is cash looking for bonds.

“The muni market will probably react to the type of agreement, and we will follow what the Treasury market does until we get some resolution and then the impact will be on credit. The broader concern is what will the effect be on muni credits. [Standard & Poor’s] just said there is a 50% chance of a downgrade of the U.S., which would affect prerefunded and escrowed bonds, and the five states that were put on credit watch, and so many other credits that are linked to the U.S. government, like grant anticipations, hospitals, and housing bonds.

“With so many different linkages, it’s really hard to follow all the threats. [A downgrade] is not going to be good overall, but it’s not going to be a disaster either because the ratings would probably go from triple-A to double-A-plus.

“That’s the bigger issue — what does it mean for an issuer whose bonds were prerefunded and now might be escrowed in double-A bonds that were triple-A? There are so many questions hopefully we won’t have to answer.”

Rick Calhoun, First Vice President Sales at Crews & Associates in Little Rock, Ark. “Low rates combined with a degree of uncertainty from Washington continue to suppress bond trading and retail activity. We have been getting many calls from surprised investors who own prerefunded munis or municipal issues that are escrowed in U.S. Treasuries since they have now gone on Moody’s credit watch for possible downgrade. The same is true for housing and other issues that are collateralized in government bonds or guaranteed by government agencies, such as [the Department of Housing and Urban Development].

“I don’t see investors dumping prerefunded and escrowed bonds. So far, at least, none of our clients have. That’s not to say they won’t in the future if, in fact, U.S. debt is downgraded. Their immediate response has been great surprise that their holdings have been put on credit watch, especially since the original purchase was made because of their perception that an escrowed bond guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury is as good as it gets.

“The market had just begun to recover from the Meredith Whitney flu when investor confidence was dampened by the debt-ceiling talks in Washington. However, many muni investors have become more savvy and are looking at bond fundamentals closer than ever before. I am not at all confident that there will be a swift resolution because Washington is more polarized than ever.”

Howard Mackey, manager of underwriting, sales and trading at Rice Financial Products, and president of its broker-dealer division.
“Our view is that they are going to get something done, even if it’s a temporary fix by the Aug. 2 deadline. I don’t think Congress would put the U.S. Treasury debt into question to a point where there is a downgrade or potential default.

I think it’s a lot of political jawboning, but I don’t think the market is reacting to the headlines. We haven’t found any customers that have been terribly concerned about it. There was a little weakness in Treasuries on Thursday, but I don’t think it’s anything related to these debt talks.

“The municipal market is pretty steady. Any changes by [Municipal Market Data] have been very slight bumps and cuts, and there is nothing in the municipal market that suggests there is a problem. We have gotten deals done, even with the heavy calendar, so there is no evidence that this is a worry for our credit markets.

“I think if they were not able to pass the measure, then I think a lot would depend on how other nations that hold our debt react. China and other nations own a tremendous amount of our debt, and if they started selling or voicing strong concerns, that could have a fairly substantial effect on the municipal market.

“At this point, it would be interesting to see if there is any significant issuance out of the states [that were put on review by Moody’s]. Overall, I think [the review for downgrade] was expected, but I don’t think it is causing a major amount of concern. With some fund managers it might have an effect, and they will demand more yield to compensate for the change in the credit ratings, but at this point you are not talking about defaults or any changes in the stability of these particular credits.”

Richard Ciccarone, managing director and chief research officer at McDonnell Investment Management in Oak Brook, Ill. "The sword of Damocles gets a little heavier each day that the federal debt ceiling is not passed. The muni market doesn’t appear to be heavily weighting the risk into pricing levels, but that’s likely to change if Treasury bond yields start to rise and the market begins to worry about specific cash hold-backs to governments and municipal agencies. The market may well begin to pay up for credits that are essentially immune from federal payments.

“At this point, the probability of solving the crisis by Aug. 2 is about 65%, in my opinion. We continue to monitor the situation and keep it in mind as we make investment decisions. Panic transactions are rarely worth doing. However, at the moment, market prices don’t seem to be moving much on names that could be more directly impacted.”

Tags: The Bond Buyer, muni markets, national deficit, Deficit Crisis, Christine Albano, Clark Wagner, Rick Calhoun, Howard Mackey, Richard Ciccarone To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Boozman Supports Prioritizing Social Security and Military Pay

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) helped unveil bicameral legislation that requires the U.S. Treasury Secretary to prioritize interest payments, Social Security and active duty military pay as Congress works to address a solution to fulfilling our nation’s financial obligations.

Ensuring the Full Faith and Credit of the United States and Protecting America’s Soldiers and Seniors Act requires the Administration to make payments to these programs should debt ceiling negotiations continue to the August 2 deadline given by the Secretary of Treasury.

“This is commonsense legislation that shows our commitment to reassuring Americans who rely on Social Security and our men and women in uniform that they will continue to be paid as Congress negotiates a debt ceiling increase. It is my hope that we won’t have to implement this but we need to be prepared for problems that may occur if no agreement is reached by the Administration’s deadline,” Boozman said.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center resources will be available in August to pay these commitments. From August 3 to August 31 total revenue will be at least $173 billion which would sufficiently pay for the $81 billion it would cost to pay interest on our debt, Social Security and active duty military.

The Senate legislation was introduced by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and cosponsored by Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman, Chambliss (R-GA), Coats (R-IN), Coburn (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Heller (R-NV), Hoeven (R-ND), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Johnson (R-WI), Kirk (R-IL), Lee (R-UT), Lugar (R-IN), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Vitter (R-LA.) and Wicker (R-MS).

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, protecting, social security, military pay To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Wrench In the Plans - Obama!

by William Warren
Today In Washington, D.C. - July 26, 2011:
Senate will vote on the nomination of Paul A. Engelmayer to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Following that, there will be a voice vote on the nomination of Ramona Villagomez Manglona to be Judge for the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

Then Senate resume consideration of S. 1323, the vehicle for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) debt limit proposal. Reid filed his plan as an amendment to the bill and has filled the amendment tree, preventing further amendment. Reid continues to be a major stumbling block whereas Obama is the "Wrench in the plans" for any debt ceiling plans.

House Speaker Boehner and other Republicans are moving forward with another plan since the Senate tabled and refused to debate the bipartisan House "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill.

Reactions to Yesterday's Evening speech by the "Wrench" (President Barack Obama):
The Wall Street Journal editors pointed out, “One irony is that Mr. Obama's demands for tax increases have already been abandoned by Members of his own party in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid knows that Democrats running for re-election next year don't want to vote to raise taxes, so he's fashioning a bill to raise the debt ceiling that includes only reductions in spending. But Mr. Obama never mentioned that rather large fact about Mr. Reid's effort.”

Ed Morrissey notes, CNN’s Gloria Borger said last night, “What was interesting, also, is that the debate that we were having in Washington today seems to have moved beyond the tax increases—at least in the short-term—nobody today is talking about tax increases except Barack Obama, who still talked about that tonight in his speech.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, “Last night the President rejected not just the only proposal that has passed either house of Congress, he rejected the only plan the Democrats have proposed as well – a plan that would increase the debt limit without raising taxes. Just a few days ahead of a potential default, the President announced that he’s the only person in Washington still calling for a massive tax hike, even as his party has dropped their own demands for what we know will make the current unemployment situation even worse.

“In short, the President is now clinging to two things we all know Congress can’t support: a massive tax hike and the biggest debt-limit increase in history aimed, in his own words, at getting him past the next election. As Speaker Boehner said last night, that’s just not going to happen. There’s bipartisan opposition to it in Congress. So it was deeply irresponsible in my view for the President of the United States to present the American people with a false choice last night between tax hikes and default. The real choice is this: a bill that can get us past this moment of crisis, cuts Washington spending, and actually get through Congress, or one that can’t. Republicans have offered the only proposal that attempts to get at the root of the problem — and which actually has a chance of getting to the President’s desk.

“The President can claim to be concerned about this impending crisis. But one question continues to linger above every press conference he’s called or every speech he’s delivered: where is his plan to resolve it? Republicans have proposed multiple plans that have support in both parties. It’s time for the President to put his electoral interests and preferences aside and do what’s needed. Americans are waiting for the President to do what they elected him to do: not to lecture, but to lead.”

Bill Wilson, President, Americans For Limited Government, "Credit rating agencies Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch have explicitly warned that if Congress does not enact a fiscal consolidation plan totaling at least $4 trillion over the next ten years, the nation’s Triple-A credit rating will be downgraded." In other comments he said, "Washington is getting caught up in meeting Obama's arbitrary August 2nd deadline for increasing the debt ceiling, and is therefore not focused on putting a proposal on the table that would actually preserve the nation's Triple-A credit rating. Now, the metric being used is whether a proposal can pass, not whether it is sufficient to set the nation on a fiscally sustainable path."

Doug Patton notes: "[M]any Americans still seem perplexed that after two-and-a-half years, Barack Obama is a walking contradiction. He cannot seem to lead; he can only follow and dictate. He has no policies, only vague concepts and Marxist ideology. He starts wars and calls them something else. He simultaneously makes Congress responsible and yet irrelevant. He refuses to be held accountable for anything." He also added, "House Speaker John Boehner has said that dealing with this president is like negotiating with a bowl of Jell-O. That is because he has no intention of cutting spending. Barack Obama’s inclination is to raise taxes and spend more money, period. Ronald Reagan once compared the federal government to a newborn baby: an insatiable appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. That, in a nutshell, is Barack Obama."

Mike Brownfield responded, "Americans tuning in last night to watch President Barack Obama’s prime-time address from the East Room of the White House might have thought they stumbled upon yet another re-run from the networks. Instead of hearing news that Washington finally broke the debt ceiling stalemate, viewers were treated to more of the same from their President. He still had no plan for dealing with government overspending and over-borrowing, and he repeated his never-ending call for tax hikes."

Tags: Washington. D.C., Barack Obama, speech, Debt Ceiling, Obama, William Waren, Political Cartoons, Taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Norwegian Terrorist No Christian

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Both the Washington Post and the New York Times have run headlines labeling Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer, a "right-wing Christian." These are the same two newspapers that go to great lengths to avoid using the word "Muslim" to describe Islamist murderers.

They regularly warn us not to jump to conclusions about any jihadist attack, and they lecture us not to reach any conclusions about the role the Muslim religion might have played. All of these "rules" have apparently been cast aside as the two papers, and countless other commentators, try to make Breivik into a conservative Christian.

I can assure you that Anders Breivik was not a follower of Jesus Christ. I can say that with confidence because neither he nor anyone else can cite one word from the teachings of Christ that would justify his evil actions. His murderous rampage is a repudiation of the whole body of Christ's teachings. The same cannot be said about the teachings of Muhammad, which contain many statements that can be used to justify murder.

No one can find one Christian theologian, reputable pastor, denominational leader, Christian author or philosopher who will attempt to defend Breivik's actions. Unfortunately, many imams, Muslim leaders and mosques will defend Islamists who intentionally kill civilians, including children.

In Breivik's 1,500 page "manifesto," it is clear that he hates Islam and wants Europe to rediscover its Christian culture. Breivik likes violent video games. His favorite TV show is Dexter, a series that glorifies a serial killer. One also finds in his ramblings that he is a follower of Charles Darwin, seldom if ever prays, says it is possible to be a "Christian atheist," and adds, "I'm not going to pretend I'm a very religious person."

Breivik doesn't have to pretend he is a religious man -- the Washington Post and the New York Times will pretend for him.
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, terrorism, Norway, Anders Breivik, murder, mass murder, not Christian To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama’s Default: Taking The “Closing The Washington Monument” Maneuver Thermonuclear

Editor's Note: title to post has been corrected. "Obama" was typed as "bama." It may even have been a Freudian slip in posting the title. :) "Bama" sure sounded better than Obama of the past.

President Obama Spoke in Default Mode
About Raising the Debt Limit [July 26, 2011]
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: President Barack Obama is on the verge of terminally discrediting himself by playing some very bad games very badly. The means of avoiding default are crystal clear. Obama is not just ignoring them, but evading them. He is guilty of playing Russian Roulette with America’s creditworthiness. His administration is playing Three Card Monte with the American people.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) show true courage walking away from the president’s bad faith “negotiations.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shows himself a worthy strategist in proposing, as an emergency Plan B, to force the president to suffer the consequences of his cynical tactics if it comes to that.

The Republican leadership has taken, so far, a no new taxes stand that is principled and practical. It also is a stand that is overwhelmingly popular with the American people. That is something (Mr. President, technically it’s called “the consent of the governed”) right from the Declaration of Independence.

President Obama dismisses the value of integrity, of keeping one’s word: “… for us to be more worried about … what pledge we signed back when we were trying to run … instead of thinking about those folks is inexcusable.”

Mr. President? The voters sent their representatives to Washington in part because they made that pledge. To consider yourself somehow superior to the people who elected you to keep your promises and therefore exempt from showing integrity is naked elitism and ethically bankrupt.

Speaker Boehner has said: “Dealing with [Obama and administration officials] the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-o.” “Dealing with Jell-o” seems to be an excellent metaphor for the president’s attitude toward keeping one’s word.

The president’s response to the conservative Republicans drawing a line in the sand determined, as best they know how, to begin to stop the spending madness? Obama and his minions such as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) heap sanctimonious vilification upon the Republican leaders.

The president and his allies are keeping up a nasty slander campaign against those who stand, as best they know how, for free markets, spending cuts, and limited government. Boehner and Cantor show real courage, knowing they will be defamed for so doing, in walking away from the table every time the Democrats pull yet another “Three Card Monte” trick — like attempting to slide in an extra hundreds of billions in tax hikes.

The president is entitled to his opinion (even against all evidence) that big government is beneficial to working people. He has put America into this mess by failing to adopt the job-creating policies that would generate more revenue. His posture is weird but that’s politics. He, however, is not entitled to pretend that he is anything less than aggressively, negatively, nastily, partisan.

The president now, with the debt ceiling negotiations, is playing one of the oldest and most reprehensible bureaucratic tricks in Washington: the Closing the Washington Monument maneuver. When told that their budget must be cut senior bureaucrats do not root out wasteful programs. Rather, they pick highly popular programs as sacrificial lambs. “To achieve these cuts we will have to close — possibly dismantle — the Washington Monument.”

Playing the angles, the permanent government of which Obama is the avatar more often than not, cunningly manages to bluff the politicos into folding. Threatening default is the Washington Monument maneuver gone thermonuclear. The GOP, and Boehner, do not appear to be falling for it.

Obama is offering a narrative of “shared sacrifice” as a means of hiking taxes and permanently growing the federal government’s share of the economy. The government permanently grows and the private sector permanently gets less. It is reminiscent of the Brezhnev Doctrine, “What’s ours is ours, what’s yours is up for grabs.”

The Republican Congressional leadership is offering — and, at last, seems to be ready to fight for — real spending cuts and no new taxes to achieve smaller government and economic growth. If Obama really wanted change he would not be vilifying conservatives as tools of the rich who are intent to loot the middle class. He’d stop with the veiled insults. But this president — a basketball player, not a baseball player — nonstop trash talks his opponents.

The game isn’t over yet but so far Boehner, Cantor and other fighters for spending cuts such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) deserve three cheers from smaller government, free market, budget-cutting economic growth conservatives. King laid out the Democrats’ shabby hustle with extraordinary clarity in an interview on ABC News:
We have about $200 billion a month coming into our coffers from tax receipts before we start to borrow money from American people and from abroad. That $200 billion is plenty more than enough to pay our military and service our debt. … It is irresponsible of leaders to step up and say we are going to default. America is not going to default. We are just trying to scare people into being stampeded into a debt ceiling increase. We would hold our full faith and credit together regardless unless the president had decided to punish America by refusing to pay our bills.
King pointedly notes that the debt payments and military salaries together add up only to 15% of government revenue. Chance of a reality-based default? Zero. And there are ample funds left over to pay every one of our elderly their social security and, beyond that, meet other essential outlays. Before borrowing.

How did Obama respond? Did he make a firm and credible ironclad commitment not to default to our creditors, our warriors, and our seniors? No. He used his public comments to raise anxieties and pour on the sanctimony. Rather than reassuring the American people, our allies, trading partners, and our creditors that under no circumstances will America default, the president’s comments he slyly held out default as possible and attempted to frame the Republicans to take the fall.

This is, of course, the very “politics as usual” that the president superciliously deplores and has proved himself not so much a masterful practitioner as an addict. As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who also has shown real integrity in this showdown, earlier stated, the president “is poisoning the wells.”

And as Rep. King bluntly stated: “We would hold our full faith and credit together regardless unless the president had decided to punish America by refusing to pay our bills.” (Emphasis supplied.)

It would be shocking but not unthinkable that this president has decided it is time to “punish America.” If that is not his intent it’s time for him to end the theatrics and make an unshakeable commitment that America will not default. If, instead, he continues to play Russian Roulette with America’s reputation as an honorable borrower in order to try to get his longed-for tax hikes he will have accepted full blame when he pulls the trigger one time too many.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, a lead participant in the Iowa Tea Party’s upcoming Bus Tour. He co-led the gold standard breakout session at the Tea Party Patriots’ American Summit and is the editor of the Lehrman Institute’s The Gold Standard Now This article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Ralph Benko.

Tags: Ralph Benko, President, Barack Obama, default, debt limit, threats, politics, Washington, D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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