Posts Tagged ‘deficit’

Sarah Palin is Not an Idiot

March 3, 2013

 

The conventional wisdom about Sarah Palin is that she is an ignorant snowbilly, too stupid to be trusted with any responsible position. John McCain’s choice of her as his running mate was such an obvious blunder that it cost him the election.

English: Sarah Palin speaking at a rally in El...

Well, if Sarah Palin is really so stupid, how is it that she understands the necessity of the federal government putting its fiscal house in order better than anyone who is actually in Washington D.C. ?

          D.C.: Cut the Drama. Do Your Job.Americans are sick and tired of yet another ginned-up crisis. D.C. needs to grow up, get to work, and live within its means. The real economic Armageddon looming before us is our runaway debt, not the sequester, which the President advocated for and signed into law and is now running around denouncing because he never had any genuine intention of reining in his reckless spending.

Remember that this sequestration deal came about because of the long debt ceiling standoff in the summer of 2011. It wasn’t the ideal outcome for anyone, but it did at least include real deficit reduction of about $110 billion per year for 10 years, which is still nowhere near enough to close our massive deficit. Keep in mind that since the sequester passed, the President has already hit American families and small business owners with his tax increases, or “more revenue” as he likes to call it. The American public doesn’t want tax increases; we want government to rein in its overspending.

If we can’t stomach modest cuts that would lower federal spending by a mere 0.3% per year out of a current federal budget of $3.6 trillion, then we might as well signal to the whole world that we have no serious intention of dealing with our debt problem.

If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done. Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.

If we ARE serious about putting our fiscal house in order, then let’s stop the hysterics, tighten our belts, and take our medicine.

– Sarah Palin

I have to make one small correction here. The 0.3% spending cuts are not cuts at all, at least not in the way that normal people would understand cuts, they are simply cuts in rate of growth.

 

I guess that Sarah Palin lacks the superior intelligence and budgetary management skills of Joe Biden.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Samizdata for posting Sarah Palin’s comments first.

 

 

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ThereThey Go Again

February 27, 2013

Obama and the Democrats continue to use demagoguery and fear mongering over the upcoming budget cuts, which are not really cuts at all but minute cuts in the rate of increase. Here are the latest emails they have sent me.

David —

If Republicans in Congress don’t act by Friday to stop the so-called sequester, there will be far-reaching consequences on our economy.

These disastrous consequences are completely avoidable, and the President has a balanced plan to stop the sequester.

Share the graphic below to make sure your friends know we need to stop the sequester — the more people who spread this information, the better chance we have of convincing Republicans in Congress to avoid these harmful spending cuts:

Here is the graphic.

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First point; as I have explained before, it does not matter in the slightest how many people support what plan. Just because 70% or 19% or 99% support a stupid plan, it does not change the fact that the plan is stupid. Also, it is all too easy for pollsters to get the desired results by manipulating the wording of the questions asked. Second point: President Obama has never shown the slightest interest in cutting spending in any department. He has increased spending more than any other president and seems determined to raise taxes on the undeserving rich, no matter what the consequences to the faltering economy. Third point: Head Start has been shown to be ineffective over and over. If we cannot cut Head Start,or PBS, or cowboy poetry festivals, what can we cut? Fourth point; what can we cut, if according to the president the slightest cut in the rate of spending will have devestating results. At some point we are going to have to cut spending somewhere. Where?

Actually, if we just rolled spending back to 2005 we wouldn’t balance the budget, but at least the problem would be more managable. I do not think that the need for government programs has increased all that much in the last eight years, despite the continuing recessionary economy, and a decrease in the yearly deficit might serve to restore confidence in the economy and spur more investment.

We could also repeal Obamacare and reform entitlements such as Social Security before we are overwhelmed by an aging population. We could encourage the production of oil and natural gas on public lands and have the government benefit through taxes from the US becoming a net exporter of energy. All of this would require leadership and hard work. It is much easier just to frighten people.

David —

Prepare yourself for job layoffs, reduced access to early education, slower emergency response, slashed health care, and more people living on the street.

This Friday is the final deadline for congressional Republicans to stop disastrous automatic spending cuts (known as the “sequester”) that will hurt everyday Americans — including you.

These budget cuts will take a sledgehammer to the budget, and indiscriminately cut critical programs vital to economic growth and middle class families.

If Congress fails to act, we’d see budget cuts pretty much across the board to critical services that teachers, first responders, seniors, children, and our men and women in uniform rely on every day.

It sounds bad because it is. And with all these cuts on the line, why are congressional Republicans refusing to budge?

Because to do so, they’d have to close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, vacation homes, and private jet owners. I’m not kidding.

It’s on each of us to speak up. Share what these budget cuts could mean to you — or someone you know — today. Congress needs to hear it.

President Obama has offered a balanced plan to reduce our deficit, asking the wealthy to pay their fair share so that we can protect programs that are incredibly important for working and middle-class Americans.

But congressional Republicans so far are refusing to compromise.

Here are some of the consequences if Congress fails to act by Friday:

— 10,000 teachers would be laid off, $400 million would be cut from Head Start, the program that makes sure at-risk preschoolers are ready for kindergarten, and 70,000 kids would be kicked out of the early-education program completely.

— The budget for firemen and other first responders to react when natural disasters strike would be cut by $35 million.

— Nutrition programs that help make sure seniors don’t go hungry would be cut by $43 million.

— A program that helps provide housing for the formerly homeless, including many veterans, would be shuttered, putting them at risk of going back on the street.

— A number of programs that help the most vulnerable families and children would be slashed — including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children dropping 600,000 women alone.

Right now, each of us has a responsibility to step up and make sure Congress hears our voices.

Whether you’d be directly affected by these sequester cuts, or whether they’d affect a senior, veteran, or teacher you know, please share what they mean to you:

Again, all of these thing are going to have to be cut anyway. We cannot keep spending a trillion dollars more

English: This is just like File:US Federal Out...

This can’t continue forever.      (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

than we have every single year. It is simply not sustainable. We can either begin the process of cutting

spending responsibly, or we can go right off the cliff. What is going to happen to all of those people who rely on the federal government when the money is simply no longer there and no one is willing or able to lend it to us? Does the person who wrote this email really believe that even if we closed every single loophole that it would even begin to offset the increased spending of the Obama administration? Well, there is no sign that

anyone in the White House knows or cares about the budget.

Meat Cleaver

February 25, 2013

According to the Democrats, the round of mandatory spending cuts required by the sequester are like a meat cleaver slashing away at needed programs.

David —

If you didn’t do your job, you’d be fired.

But when Eric Cantor and John Boehner don’t do their jobs, two million Americans get handed pink slips.

Right now, House Republicans are refusing to even vote on the sequester. If they do nothing, a meat-cleaver will chop away, almost indiscriminately, at essential domestic programs and make life even harder for millions of Americans.

We can’t let that happen.

If we go over the sequester cliff on March 1st, two million jobs could be lost — including law enforcement, first responders and teachers. Essential programs for pregnant women, children and domestic abuse victims could shut their doors. And the economy could be thrown back into a recession.

President Obama made it clear: “This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs.”

Join the DCCC, Democratic Governors, and proud Democrats all across the country calling out Boehner and Cantor before the sequester deadline:

http://dccc.org/Stop-The-Sequester

Thanks,

Brandon

Brandon English
DCCC Digital Director

I only wish they were using a meat cleaver to cut the budget. We badly need to take a cleaver to cut spending. As it happens, the deep sequester cuts are really only cuts in the rate of spending, not actual cuts in spending. Even so, the cuts are hardly deep at all, as Veronique de Rugy explains.

Changes in spending from sequestration result in new budget projections below the CBO’s baseline projection of spending based on current law. The federal government would spend $3.62 trillion in the first year with sequestration versus the $3.69 trillion projected by CBO. By 2021, the government would spend $5.26 trillion versus the $5.41 trillion projected. Overall, without a sequester, federal spending would increase $1.7 trillion (blue line). With a sequester, federal spending would increase by $1.6 trillion (red line).

A further breakdown of the percentage of budget programs reveals that sequestration provides relatively small reductions in spending rates across the board. With sequestration, defense increases 18% (vs. 20%); nondefense discretionary increases 12% (vs. 14%); Medicare roughly increases at the same rate; and net interest increases 136% (vs. 152%).

While the sequester projections are nominal spending increases, most budget plans count them as cuts. Referring to decreases in the rate of growth of spending as “cuts” influences public perceptions about the budget. When the public hears “cut,” it thinks that spending has been significantly reduced below current levels, not that spending has increased. Thus, calling a reduced growth rate of projected spending a “cut” leads to confusion, a growing deficit, and an ever-larger burden for future generations.

Here is the graph that went with that article.

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The so-called deep cuts that will endanger the country and put millions out of work are hardly more than a statistical error. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Obama and the Democrats are simply lying when they describe the spending cuts as indiscriminate. If anything they are not nearly deep enough. There seems to be a certain unreality in both parties of our political class. The Republicans know there is a problem and that we cannot continue to run up astronomical deficits every single year. They are so afraid of being cast as the villains who want to cut the budget to hurt the poor and provide their rich friends with tax cuts that they are afraid to make anything more than symbolic cuts in the rate of increase of spending. They are right to be wary since that is precisely what the Democrats, with their allies in the media will do, regardless of the Republican position. The Democrats, for their part, refuse to admit that there is any problem with spending that raising taxes on the 1% won’t solve. President Obama is not in the least interested in cutting spending. He seems to be more interested in redistributing the wealth of the country in ways that he considers fair than in maximizing revenue. In fact, it may not be too cynical to imagine that Obama has been deliberately increasing the deficit in order to justify the higher, fairer taxes he craves.

Since no one in Washington cares to do their job, managing the resources of the government in a responsible fashion, then I think the best bet is simply to let the sequestration cuts go ahead. There may well be people hurt by the “cuts” but we have to start cutting the budget sometime. There will be a lot more people hurt if the federal government has to start defaulting on its debts or the dollar loses its value. As far as I am concerned the blame for anyone being hurt by spending cuts lies on the people who encouraged dependency with no regard for how unsustainable this sort of spending would be in the long, or even medium term.

 

Weekly Address

July 28, 2012

President Obama had some interesting things to say on his weekly radio and internet address. The transcript can be found here at whitehouse.gov.

But right now, that’s not the case.  Instead of doing what’s right for middle class families and small business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

You see, Republicans in Congress and their nominee for President believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top.  They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we’ll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle-class taxes.

I guess President Obama’s idea on how to grow the economy is to take more money from the people who create the jobs and give it to the government to spend on stimulus projects that reward his supporters. No wonder the economy is heading back in to a recession.

But note that tax cuts are considered to be spending more. It is as if Obama believes that the government owns everything and any income left over after taxes is a gift. Well, that is not too surprising. I think that politicians of both parties believe that.

They’re wrong.  And I know they’re wrong because we already tried it that way for most of the last decade.  It didn’t work.  We’re still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefitted the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn’t lead to the middle class jobs or higher wages we were promised and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits.

He has a lot of nerve talking about record deficits. I will concede the Republicans were responsible for a good portion of the deficits during the Bush years,  but this was more the result of their abandoning their principles and going on a wild spending spree than the tax cuts. But Bush’s deficits are dwarfed by Obama’s.

And if Obama really wants the economy to grow and more jobs to be created, than maybe he should stop disparaging the people who can make it happen.

Our Leader Speaks

July 22, 2011

USA Today ran a piece by President Obama today titled “Go ‘big’ on debt deal”, in which he discusses our fiscal situation. I just want to say that I am beginning to fear for his mental health. I honestly think he has lost touch with reality.

He begins well enough,

For years now, America has been spending more money than we take in. The result is that we have too much debt on our nation’s credit card — debt that will ultimately weaken our economy, lead to higher interest rates for all Americans, and leave us unable to invest in things like education, or protect vital programs like Medicare.

Neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this debt, but both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem. That’s what the American people expect of us. Every day, families are figuring out how to stretch their paychecks a little further, sacrifice what they can’t afford, and budget only for what’s truly important. It’s time for Washington to do the same.

Both parties are, of course, to blame. Both Democrats and Republicans have been spending our money like so many drunken sailors. But I really wish that Mr. Obama would take the blame for the unprecedented amount of “stimulus spending” that his administration has been responsible for these last two years

But over the last few months, I’ve also said that I’m willing to cut historic amounts of spending in order to reduce our long-term deficits. I’m willing to cut spending on domestic programs to the lowest level in half a century. I’m willing to cut defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. I’m willing to take on the rising costs of health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so we can meet our obligations to an aging population.

Some of these cuts would eliminate wasteful spending, weapons we don’t need, or fraud and abuse in our health care system. Still, some of the cuts would target worthwhile programs that do a lot of good for our country. They’re cuts that some people in my own party aren’t too happy about, and frankly, I wouldn’t make them if we didn’t have so much debt.

But the American people deserve the truth from their leaders. And the truth is, you can’t get rid of the deficit by simply eliminating waste and fraud, or getting rid of pet projects and foreign aid, like some have suggested. Those things represent only a tiny fraction of what we spend our money on.

But he doesn’t give any specifics on what he thinks we should cut. So far, I have not heard him even consider cutting spending on any of his pet projects like Obamacare, or all of that stimulus. But next he get what he’s really after.

At the same time, it’s also true that if we tackle our deficit with spending cuts alone, it will likely end up costing seniors and middle-class families a great deal. Retired Americans will have to pay a lot more for their health care. Students will have to pay a lot more for college. A worker who gets laid off might not have any temporary help or job training to fall back on. At a time of high gas prices, we’ll have to stop much of the clean energy research that will help free us from our dependence on oil.

That’s why people in both parties have suggested that the best way to take on our deficit is with a more balanced approach. Yes, we should make serious spending cuts. But we should also ask the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay their fair share through fundamental tax reform. Before we stop funding clean energy research, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don’t get. Before we ask college students to pay more, we should ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. Before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare, we should ask people like me to give up tax breaks they don’t need and never asked for.

The middle class hasn’t just borne the brunt of this recession; they’ve been dealing with higher costs and stagnant wages for more than a decade now. It’s just not right to ask them to pay the whole tab — especially when they’re not the ones who caused this mess in the first place.

That’s right. Raise the taxes on those evil rich who caused the mess we are in. He doesn’t want to cut any of his projects like “clean energy research” that is going nowhere. Of course he has to throw that bit in about corporate jets. That facts of the matter are that eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jets wouldn’t even begin to pay for the increased spending that has occurred on his watch. Confiscating the wealth of every millionaire wouldn’t make a dent on our national debt. Our problems come not because the government is not getting enough revenue but because our leaders can’t stop spending, even if their lives depended on it. Either Obama knows this and is the biggest liar we have ever had in the White House, or he believes what he is saying and has lost it.

Obama would cut deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years

April 13, 2011

I have to say I am more than a little skeptical about any deficit reduction plan put forward by President Obama, considering that he has been the biggest spender, at least since LBJ. Yes I know that Bush was a big spender too, but he isn’t president anymore and Obama is worse by an order of magnitude.


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