Tag Archives: deficit

Obama Double-Speak

8 Feb

John Stossel, in a recent essay titled, “Obama Is Not King”, points out the seemingly huge disconnect between the man’s words and his actions.  I present a sample of Stossel’s case below, but the full essay can be found at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_john_stossel/obama_is_not_king

Excerpt:

Just a few years ago, when George W. Bush was president, the Congressional Record shows that Senator Obama said this: “I rise, today, to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure and our government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

Right!

Sen. Obama went on: “Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased from $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion — and yes, I said trillion with a ‘T’!”

Again, he was right to worry about the debt and right to call it “a hidden domestic enemy … robbing our families and our children and seniors of the retirement and health security they’ve counted on. … It took 42 presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just five years.”

It’s hard to believe that Obama chose those words just seven years ago, because now his administration has racked up another $6 trillion in debt.

It’s also a shock that Barack Obama believed this: “America has a debt problem. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Yet this year, he demanded Congress raise the debt limit without conditions .

I want the old Barack Obama back.

End of excerpt.  It speaks for itself.

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A Ray of Hope? Or at Least, Realization?

6 Jan

As one of our Senators, Joe Manchin, recently stated:

“Something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to the American economy is the American Congress.”

On a positive note, I understand that the approved pay increase for our illustrious congressmen has been quietly cancelled.

Who Really Controls the Purse Strings re: Deficits and Debt?

10 Sep

Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, reminds us in this essay, entitled “Who May Tax and Spend”, that the Constitution gives appropriation authority not to the President, but to the House.  So he asks the question – Are the Presidents’ deficits really the Presidents’ deficits, or is Congress ultimately responsible for the deficits and the debt?

 I have excerpted from the essay below, but you can find the full essay at

http://www.creators.com/conservative/walter-williams.html

 Excerpts:   [Emphasis is mine]

 .  .  .  .  The first clause of Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, generally known as the “origination clause,” reads: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.Constitutionally and by precedent, the House of Representatives has the exclusive prerogative to originate bills to appropriate money, as well as to raise revenues.   .  .  .

There is little intellectually challenging about the fact that the Constitution gave Congress ultimate taxing and spending authority. My question is this: How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens continually make and get away with statements such as “Reagan’s budget deficits,” “Clinton’s budget surplus,” “Bush’s tax cuts” and “Obama’s spending binge”?  .  .  .  .

Seeing as a president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate, what meaning can we attach to statements such as “under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent” and “under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent”? You ask, “Williams, are you saying Obama is without fault?” Let’s look at it.

Knowing which branch of government has the ultimate taxing and spending authority is vital.  

No matter how Obama’s presidency is viewed, if we buy into the notion that it’s he whose spending binge is crippling our nation through massive debt and deficits, we will naturally focus our attention on the White House. The fact of the matter is that Washington has been on a spending binge no matter who has occupied the White House. In 1970, federal spending was $926 billion. Today it’s $3.8 trillion. In inflation-adjusted dollars that’s about a 300 percent increase. Believing that presidents have taxing and spending powers leaves Congress less politically accountable for our deepening economic quagmire. Of course, if you’re a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want.  .  .  .

Most members of our Republican-controlled House of Representatives say they’re against Obamacare. If they really were, they surely would attach a legislative rider or some other legislative device to the Department of Health and Human Services’ appropriation bill to ban spending any money on Obamacare; they have the power to. But they don’t have the political courage to do so, and their lives are made easier by the pretense that it’s the president controlling the spending. And we fall for it.

 [End of excerpts]

How does one respond to this?

The Biggest Issue America Faces

11 Jul

John Stossel has written a great column called “Budget Insanity”.  I have excerpted that column below, but the full piece can be found at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_john_stossel/budget_insanity

[Begin excerpts]        (Bolding is mine)

Last year, Congress agreed to $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, unless politicians find other things to cut. They didn’t, of course. So now, with so-called sequestration looming in January, panic has set in. Even the new “fiscally responsible” Republicans vote against cutting Energy Department handouts to companies like Solyndra and subsidies to sugar producers. Many claim that any cut in military spending will weaken America and increase unemployment.

It’s another demonstration of the politicians’ addiction to spending .  .  . “One more infrastructure bill” or “this jobs plan” will jumpstart the economy, and then we’ll kick our spending addiction once and for all.    

But we don’t stop.  .  .  .     

Progressives say: If you’re so worried about the deficit, raise taxes! But it’s a fantasy to imagine that taxing the rich will solve our deficit problem.  .  .  .      

It’s the spending, stupid.   

Even if you could balance the budget by taxing the rich, it wouldn’t be right. Progressives say it’s wrong for the rich to be “given” more money. But money earned belongs to those who earn it, not to government. Lower taxes are not a handout.    

That’s the moral side of the matter. There’s a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation.   .  .  .   

Politicians promise to balance the budget by getting rid of what is wasteful, redundant or unnecessary. There’s plenty of that, but they have promised to eliminate it for years. They cannot. It’s just in the nature of the beast. Centrally planned monopolies do things that are wasteful, redundant and unnecessary.    

What will bankrupt us first are the wealth transfers to my generation: Medicare and Social Security.  .  .  . 

Few of us realize that most of us get back up to three times what we paid in, that politicians have promised Social Security and Medicare recipients an impossible $46 trillion more than will exist and that our sense of entitlement will ruin America much faster than foreign aid, subsidies for NPR or foreign wars ever will.    

Amazingly, we could grow our way out of debt if Congress simply froze spending at today’s levels. That would balance the budget by 2017.  .  .  .

But the politicians won’t do even that.  .  .  .  

[End of excerpts]

Your thoughts?

 

Whence Goest Thou, America?

26 Jun

Buddha is reported to have said:

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

I believe this is true of nations, as well.  What fate do we think falls upon the United States if our elected officials continue to refuse to address this country’s huge financial problems [spending, deficits, debt, wasteful programs, entitlements, immigration, too-big-to-fail corporations, etc., etc.]?  And soon?