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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Crisis in Washington

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talk about a circus! It has been a rope-a-dope bar none. I'm reminded of watching Curly and Moe on black-and-white TV.

So far it has been sheer entertainment except for the fact that it is also deadly serious business. I writing of the goings-on of Congress this past week continuing and unresolved as I write this Sunday evening.

It seems that the moss back old party, go along to get along, Republicans are frustrated with their freshman colleagues. Their "Tea Party" freshmen are holding fast to their campaign promises to the voters that elected them, saying no new taxes, and no need to raise the debt ceiling no matter what.

The Democrats and the old party Republicans cry compromise, compromise, let's get this deal done! Whenever I hear a politician beg for compromise I think of pregnancy, either you are or you aren't, there is nothing like being just a little bit pregnant. When you compromise, you give up what you stand for in the first place and accept a halfway measure far from the original goal.

The issue isn't resolved as of this minute but I think that the Tea Party has the upper hand. Those freshmen Senators and House members who were elected because they promised no new taxes seem to be winning. No new or increased taxes what a relief, what a victory.

The debt ceiling has been raised some 75 times and what has it gotten us to date? The liberal promise is to raise taxes and increase borrowing now and we will cut spending down the road, maybe 10 years from now.

Of course, the rule is that today's Congress cannot commit a future Congress to anything, so the promised cuts are ignored. President Reagan learned from experience when he signed legislation to raise taxes $1 for $3 in future spending cuts. He was forever bitter at the broken promise because the cuts never happened and taxes got raised by $3 with no offsetting cuts in spending. It is time to put a stop to forever increasing tax-and-spend for the good of the country. This may be the point in history when we finally get started down the road to fiscal sanity. One can only hope.

Personally I think the President Obama and his liberal ilk in Congress are running scared. The American people, at least those who pay taxes, are crying foul no more increased taxes!

The Liberals have always, since about 1935 at least, been able to spend our tax money in creative ways to buy reelection.

Sadly, Republicans learned the same lesson and Sen. Murkowski, Alaska, was a prime example and his daughter, Lisa, the current incumbent is no better. Suddenly, with the rise of the Tea Party, unaffiliated patriots who want to adhere to the Constitution, earmarks, those proven vote-getters, are no longer popular. Even Sen. Ben Nelson has sworn off earmarks and we will see what that does for his current reelection campaign.

The call for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is a breath of fresh air. Having sat on elected boards/councils for 12 budget cycles, I can attest that it isn't too tough. First, you project what your governmental entity will generate in taxes for the next year, and then you budget your projected spending to be no more than that amount. If you need to borrow more, for a building project for instance, you project how it will be paid back in the future and then ask the voters to approve the plan.

Not too tough. All governments, local and state, do it every year. Even if the hoped-for Balanced Budget Amendment is adopted, I have little faith that members of our U.S. Congress will comply, because they are really good at wriggling out of every commitment.

An example is the present Senate refusing to even create a budget going on three years and counting. At least the hoped-for passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution would be a great first step toward fiscal responsibility.

I find it interesting that our current administration is crying doom and apocalypse if the debt ceiling is not raised when the Treasury breaks even on Aug. 2.

They predict that Social Security checks won't be paid, food safety will be threatened, the weather service will shut down, the military won't get paid, the world banking system will collapse and all sorts of financial havoc will happen if the ability to ever borrow more is not increased immediately.

I'm reminded of school boards in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma wanting to float a bond for a new more expensive schoolhouse. If the public shows resistance, the boards only have to threaten to shutdown the football program and voila' the public immediately loosens the purse strings and the bond issue passes. The administration, aided greatly by a liberal news media, is crying wolf the same way, but they are the ones who set priorities and allocate funds and threatening Social Security and the rest is calculated to get an uninformed public on their side. If Armageddon happens, it will be only because the current Administration wants it to happen.

Now if Congress really wants to cut expense. I can suggest several departments that could be eliminated and the country would better off with them gone. I'd nominate for elimination the total of the EPA, the Department of Education, and the National Labor Relations Board for starters. Get those monkeys off the back of business and we would see a great resurgence of job creation in this nation. The states could do a much better job of running education in my opinion and the federal government should keep their nose out of it. Someone needs to take a much closer look at what we waste on foreign aid and prune that budget appropriately. Why in the world do we send funds to countries like Venezuela and Cuba? While they are at it Congress could completely eliminate any funds allocated to the United Nations.

I'm sure that any of you readers could add to the list of ongoing expense that no one other than highly overpaid bureaucrats would miss.

Stay tuned, the circus is far from over. I'm cheering for the Tea Party conservatives.

That is the way I saw it.

Dick Trail


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Hummm! Eliminate the Department of Education? No one would notice, except half of the college students in the state, and of course, their parents. Have you heard of PELL grants? Student Loans? No one would notice.

-- Posted by mickhaney on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 2:53 PM

Bush raised the debt limit seven times. Under Reagan, there were 18 debt-ceiling votes -- although one of them didn't raise the limit but rather changed its effective date. Reagan raised the debt by more than $1.8 trillion in his two terms in office, going from about $935 billion to about $2.8 trillion. And Bush raised the debt limit by more than $5.3 trillion, going from about $5.95 trillion to $11.315 trillion. National Defense is 20.1% - here's a good start of cutting the budget now that we're pulling out and ending wars. Oh, but no one is giving Obama credit for that are we?

And you think Democrats have a spending problem? Seems to me Republicans have done their fair share of spending... GET IT UNDER CONTROL - BOTH PARTIES ARE TO BLAME EQUALLY!

-- Posted by Rural Citizen on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 3:26 PM

I haven't checked any sources, but I dont believe the President has the power to add or deduct from the national debt or budget. Is that not a function of congress? Who controlled congress during the years you quote for adding to the national debt?

But, I will agree that BOTH PARTIES ARE TO BLAME EQUALLY!

And please give me your idea on why conservatives regained control of congress in 2010.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 5:57 PM

doodle bug

Maybe you should spend a minute and check your sources. Except for a brief span(2001) in which Senator Jim Jeffords from Vermont switched from a Republican to an Independent and sided with the Democrats - Republicans held both Chambers of Congress as well as the Presidency until 2007.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_controlled...

During those years of Republican dominance were the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars as well as the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts - which contributed to well over $3 trillion in new debt.

We probably should also mention the 2004 tax holiday when $362 billion dollars were Repatriated at an astonishing rate of 5.2%.

As far as your question concerning why conservatives regained control of congress in 2010 - it might have something to do with Corporations now wanting to Repatriate $2 trillion dollars kept in offshore subsidiaries classified as tax havens. Yet people still wonder why we have a revenue problem in our country.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09157.pdf

http://www.greenlining.org/resources/pdf...

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 7:29 AM

Dick Trail hit a bullseye. Even though Reagan raised the debt ceiling, it was a tiny amount compared to what Obama has done in his two and a half years. And we are over 800 days without a budget that must be presented by the President. This is intentional as the administration wishes to buy majority support. What would be best is to freeze the debt ceiling, and make serious cuts to the social programs first. Then you will witness a feeding frenzy amongst the Democrats who will turn against each other with a fury. Right now the Tea Party is gaining ground with every politician elected as they know that that is where the power is transferring to. No matter how the media or the public view it, the Tea Party is winning.

-- Posted by jam24u on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 10:59 AM

jam24u

I believe the "Budget and Accountng Act of 1921" does require the Presdent to submit a budget proposal and President Obama has complied with that mandate. Following is a link to all Budget Proposals of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget

It is the House of Representatives and the Senate who actually formulate a budget and forward to the President for review. If all parties cannot reach a comprimise then we end up with short term extensions - Continuing Appropriations - like what we are seeing now.

What really complicates the process are those nastly little things we call Riders. There are two forms - Budgetary and Social -. Just take a few minutes of your time and review the following link which shows about 60 Budget Riders attached to H.R. 1 (the most recent Continuing Appropriations).

http://www.ombwatch.org/files/budget/OMB...

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c1...

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 12:04 PM

are geezer and rural citizen alter egos? I will freely admit that the Bush admin ran up huge deficits. Would you agree that Obama makes Bush look like a piker? And I could very easily agree with closing the tax loopholes.

And the democrats held all three branches of government from 2008 to 2010.

I still believe conservatives regained the House in 2010 due to out of control government spending. I believe there is a very good chance that conservatives will again control all three branches starting 2013. I am one of those fools who think the tea party is having an effect.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 12:17 PM

doodle bug

I wouldn't agree with your comparison of Obama making Bush look like a piker for one reason. Bush had a $236 billion budget surplus and a revenue stream that could have easily paid off all our national debt by 2006 when he took office.

When Obama took office he had a $1.3 trillion budget deficit and a projected revenue shortfall of over $3 trillion dollars.

There is no comparison.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 12:45 PM

jam, to paraphrase dick, raising the debt ceiling is like being pregnant, either you are or your not. either you raise it or you don't.

-- Posted by president obama on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 4:51 PM

thanks geezer. I completely agree with you that Bush spent "like a drunken sailor". I still believe that Obama's spending policies are completely out of touch with mainstream America and drives us to the brink of financial disaster.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 6:15 PM


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Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It