Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Debt Ceiling Agreement - Not Good Enough

There's a debt ceiling agreement. It's yet another half-assed measure. It's not good enough. I don't give a damn about how it was supposedly routine in the past. It should not have been routine, then either.

The only thing acceptable to me is a balanced budget that doesn't raise taxes.

I understand that when you control one house, that you sometimes take what you can get. That was the view of normally strong conservatives Mike Pence and Tim Walberg, who voted for this. It was the view of Paul Ryan and Mike Rogers as well. The reality is this. Nothing significant on the debt will be done as long as the senate and presidency is held by the democrats. In addition, even if republicans control all branches of government, nothing will be done fiscally if Bush types control the purse-strings. ALL of them failed. Bush, Frist, and Hastert set records in 06. Bush, Pelosi, McCain, Obama, and Reid shattered the records in 07-08. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi shattered those records. Now this may possibly be a 1/4 step back to either the 08 levels. The folks that passed that are CELEBRATING this? I can respect a vote for this if it had the truth as a comment. "I voted for this because it sucks less than other options like a default and it is the only thing we could get past Reid and Obama." That's basically what Mike Pence said, calling this a "modest first step".

Walberg's office said this.

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Tim Walberg released the following statement:

"The President with the support of the previous Congress has spent a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus and trillions on a government takeover of healthcare. In less than a year, this Republican-led House has made significant progress to reverse course. We have passed a budget that cuts more than $38 billion for 2011, the first six spending bills for 2012 that return to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels, and the Ryan Budget that will save $5.8 trillion over ten years."

"Unfortunately, the president and majority in the Senate fail to understand the true meaning of fiscal responsibility, but with the pressure of the American people, we have at least brought them to agree to $2.1 trillion in spending cuts, including two-thirds of the discretionary cuts in the Ryan budget, and a vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment. The plan that passed tonight is one more step that Congress has taken to end the culture of government overspending and rapidly mounting debt. But this is not the end, and it's clear a true solution will not occur until America has a fiscally responsible president. I will continue to work to solve our government's debt addiction and encourage job creation so that America can maintain its greatness."

Background Facts:

· At least $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. $917 billion immediately and at least an additional $1.2 trillion either through the work of a joint congressional committee or as across the board reductions.
· This legislation achieves two-thirds of the discretionary spending cuts contained in the Paul Ryan Budget.
· No tax increases. The legislation contains zero tax increases and due to budgetary procedures, it will be practically impossible for the joint committee to propose tax increases. The bill is silent on expiring tax cuts.
· Guaranteed vote in the House and Senate on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
I like Tim Walberg, but this isn't good enough.
  • 1 Trillion immediately? That's the deficit of less than a year of spending.
  • 10 Years is a joke. It's nothing, frankly.
  • A promise of a vote on the balanced budget amendment is nothing.
  • Tax cuts that expire are a tax increase.

From the Argus

About $900 billion would be cut over 10 years through spending caps. Another $1.5 trillion would be sought this fall by a special committee with unique power to force congressional action. If it fails to reach that goal, spending could be cut by $1.2 trillion automatically, divided equally between defense and domestic programs.

Ten years of chump change (relatively speaking)? What a joke. That'll get trumped by the interest alone.

Justin Amash's office has this to say.

As I have said consistently since before I was a Representative in Congress, I will not consider voting to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling unless the vote is tied to fundamental reform such as a repeal of the President’s onerous healthcare legislation or passage of a well-structured balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

“I am open to a compromise that includes some of the elements of the House and Senate plans, but it must also include structural reforms that actually would pull us back from the government’s looming fiscal crisis.

“The House’s Budget Control Act raises the government’s debt ceiling by $900 billion but requires no structural reforms and only $25 billion in cuts next year. It includes a mere pledge to pass a balanced budget amendment in exchange for authorizing another $1.6 trillion of debt next year. The pledge is not binding. It can be ignored at any time.

“It is wrong to continue to burden our children and grandchildren with trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt. Time is up. Congress cannot wait any longer to act responsibly and begin to address its addiction to reckless spending.”

That I agree with. There shouldn't even be discussion of "2008 levels" like it's a benchmark. The 2008 levels suck. Government needs to live within its means, and that means a balanced budget is required without raising taxes. Anything else is unacceptable.

1 comment:

Communications guru said...

“A balanced budget that doesn't raise taxes?” That’s not only impossible, it’s stupid. Federal taxes are at an historic low. This is not about a balanced budget. It makes no sense to cut spending when we are just coming out of the Bush near depression. Really, “Nothing significant on the debt will be done as long as the senate and presidency is held by the democrats?” The last time the budget was balanced was under a Democratic President, and the last time we had zero notational debt was under a Democratic president.