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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)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are Democrats Prepared To Cut This Kind Of Waste?

Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 30, 2012:
The House was not in session. The Senate was in session but no bills were considered. The Judicial Committee began hearing on potential gun legislation today.

At some point in the next few days, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may bring up the House-passed bill to raise the debt ceiling through May. Yesterday the Senate voted 94-3 to confirm Sen. Kerry to be Secretary of State.

This morning the to the latest report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis latest report showed the U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Christmas holiday shopping and the 2012 election spending made no dent on the  economy other than to mask how bad things really were.  Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson responded:"The economy is once again shrinking despite White House and economists' expectations of 1.1 percent growth for the quarter. And all in spite of renewed quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, which will be pumping $1 trillion of new 'stimulus' into the economy every year perhaps for the rest of our lives. Half will go to buying government debt, and the other half to bailing out financial institutions still weighed down with dodgy mortgage backed securities from the financial crisis.

"None of which will boost growth, as can already be seen. A printing press is no replacement for real productivity, a lowered cost of doing business, and regulations that welcome company creation. Instead, we have a spiraling national debt backed only by the Fed's useless paper trade, taxes that were just increased on small businesses, and a regulatory environment in health care, the environment, and labor that would make Soviet Russia blush. The result is sustained high unemployment and no growth. We're in another depression.

"This is simply unsustainable. The only problem is that seemingly nobody in Washington, D.C. is listening. To get the economy back on track, we must get our fiscal house in order, roll back regulatory agencies in the nation's capital that are holding back growth, and return to sound money. We got into this mess because of too much debt, and yet more of it from Congress, the White House, and the Fed will never get us out."
It was four years ago that Senate Democrats last passed a budget, and in that time our national debt has ballooned to more than $16 trillion. Reducing that debt burden on future generations is one of the keys to promoting long-term economic growth and avoiding another credit downgrade. The only way to do so is to get spending under control – and that starts with passing a budget.

When asked by Harper Polling whether they “support or oppose the [GOP] plan to give Congress and the President three months to pass a meaningful budget or Congress will stop getting paid,” more than 72 percent said they support “no budget, no pay.”.

The Associated Press summed up “the logic behind ‘no budget, no pay’” like this: since “passing a budget is the core responsibility of Congress … why should lawmakers get paid if they don't do their main job?”

“Congress should do its job,” argues the Seattle Times. “Or be ready to make some personal financial sacrifices.”

But Americans not only expect a budget from lawmakers – they want one that actually addresses our debt. A recent Pew survey found the same number of respondents – 72 percent – say “reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, up 19 points from four years ago.”

This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell again made the case that now is the time for Congress to tackle our out-of-control federal spending. “A few weeks ago, President Obama reportedly said that America doesn’t have a spending problem. Well, he’s wrong. This is completely at odds with what independent experts tell us. And last week, I brought this chart:
"As everyone knows, we’re already running trillion dollar deficits. What this chart shows is that the gap between government spending and revenue just keeps getting wider and wider in the years ahead. . . . Clearly, we need to address spending. There’s simply no other way to solve the problem.

“We also need to shine a light into every corner of the budget, especially the dark corners that often evade real scrutiny. And we need to root out waste, which will serve as the first real test of Democrats’ seriousness in this debate. I mean, why is the federal government funding Chinese studies on pig manure, and research into the smoking habits of Jordanian college students, and reality TV shows in India? Are Democrats prepared to cut this kind of waste?”

Following him on the Senate floor was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a liberal Democrat from Rhode Island. Interestingly, Sen. Whitehouse candidly admitted, “So yeah, do we have a spending problem? Of course we do.” Unfortunately, he followed that up by suggesting that he’d be skeptical of cutting pig manure studies because that could lead to cuts in Social Security.

Of course, this precisely illustrates Leader McConnell’s point. If Democrats aren’t prepared to cut even this obvious waste, he said, “there’s really no hope of ever putting our country back on a path to prosperity.” As he concluded, “For those who want to pretend that our country does not have a spending problem, now is the time to face reality. We can take on this challenge together if both sides are ready to do the necessary work to reform spending. But we have to get started today. Not next week. Not in April. Today.”

Tags: government spending, government waste, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. economy shrank. the economy, economy 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 4:29 PM - Post Link


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