Once Again, “We’ll Fight Next Time”

Monday, January 14th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Issues

During the fight over the FY 2011 budget in 2011, conservatives were told to stand down and wait for the debt ceiling.  At that point, “we would begin to cut trillions,” promised GOP leaders.  They wound up caving on the debt ceiling in return for nothing.  Then they said we would fight for the FY 2012 budget.  Well, once we agreed to lock in the Obama spending levels under the Budget [Out of Control] Act, we had no grounds to fight then either.

FY 2013 followed the same narrative.  We were told to shirk from a budget fight last year because we were supposed to win the election, and exert more influence later on.  Well, we lost the election, and the rest is history.  Once we lost the election, we supposedly had no leverage to fight on the tax issue, but ‘wait oh wait’ until the debt ceiling and we’ll take their lunch money.

Now there are already signs that they are going to ask conservatives to defer the fight until – you guessed it – the next CR.   Politico has their own agenda, but their observation from interviews with Boehner’s staff sounds all too familiar:

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Pouring Through the Federal Leviathan

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 and is filed under Debt, Taxes, Uncategorized

Have you ever wondered how much the government spends on a particular program?  Spend some time and comb through the financial statements on outlays and revenues for FY 2012 (ending September 30, 2012) from the Treasury Department.  Click on the September issue of FY 2012, and take a look at the leviathan.

Here is a summary of the federal budget broken down by category of spending (in billions):

Category Net Outlays
National Defense  $          680,413.00
International Affairs  $            47,236.00
General Science, Space, and Technology  $            29,226.00
Energy  $            14,760.00
Natural Resources and Environment  $            41,843.00
Agriculture  $            19,711.00
Commerce and Housing Credit  $            40,333.00
Transportation  $            91,206.00
Community and Regional Development  $            26,113.00
Education, Training, Employment and Social Services  $            89,063.00
Health  $          346,707.00
Medicare  $          471,789.00
Income Security  $          542,227.00
Social Security  $          773,288.00
Veterans Benefits and Services  $          124,603.00
Administration of Justice  $            57,557.00
General Government  $            23,436.00
Net Interest  $          222,470.00
Undistributed Offsetting Receipts  $        (103,535.00)
Total  $      3,538,446.00

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The House Must Act Now

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Taxes

Well, we really stuck it to the rich at 1:39 in the morning.  Whew, now we can breathe a sigh of relief.  The 40 Republicans who voted for Obama’s stimulus bill had to swallow hard voting for over $100 billion in new spending just in 2013, but at least those of us who are not super rich won’t see our taxes increase this year.

Oh wait.

The payroll tax rate will revert back to $6.2% for every worker.

Oh wait, the five Obamacare tax hikes, including the 2.3% tax on every medical device under the sun will go into effect.

So Republicans agreed to sell their souls to the devil for what?  It is being widely reported that they traded $41 in tax hikes for every dollar of spending cuts.  But it’s even worse than that.  This ratio comes from the CBO, which scores H.R. 8 as a $620 billion tax hike and a $15 billion spending cut.  Keep in mind that the CBO works with a ten-year budget frame.  So if Congress agrees to spend $100 billion in one day, yet offsets the cost over 10 years of projected savings, they would score it as deficit neutral.

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Happy Debt Ceiling Day

Monday, December 31st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Taxes

It feels like yesterday when John Boehner was bragging how he got 98% of what he desired from the deal negotiated to raise the debt ceiling in August 2011.  Yet just 17 months after Obama was granted a $2.1 trillion debt limit increase to preserve his reelection, we have breached the new ceiling.  In just 519 days, we’ve burned through $2.1 trillion in debt, for a total federal debt of $16.394 trillion.  Will Republicans grant him another lifeline through the end of his second term?

We are on the cusp of repeating the timeless mistake of raising taxes in exchange for notional spending cuts, or perhaps, not spending cuts at all.  We are also on the cusp of raising the debt limit yet again.  At the very least, we should admit that the debt deal of 2011 was a failure, so as not to repeat the same insanity.

Since we ‘solved’ our nation’s debt crisis last August, we’ve accrued over $4 billion in new debt per day, over $168 million per hour.  The amazing thing is that revenue has actually increased over the past fiscal year relative to the previous few years.  Yet we are still having this national conversation about raising taxes on a handful of millionaires, a proposition that would only net enough revenue to cover no more than 2 weeks of debt, even according to a static analysis that fails to account for economic effects of the tax increase.

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Every U.S. Worker Owes $47,482 in Foreign Debt

Friday, December 21st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, News

One of the important components of our federal debt in the share of debt owned by foreign countries.  We like to view ourselves as the pride of the world, but there’s not much pride in countries like China and Mexico owning our debt.  Terence Jeffrey of CNS News reports that our foreign debt has hit a new record of $5.482 trillion, a gain of 78% since Obama took office.  Talk about “outsourcing jobs,” Barack.  Obama is outsourcing the indebtedness of our children and grandchildren to foreign countries.

Our foreign debt is now equal to more than one-third of the entire U.S. economy.  China owns $1.161 trillion of our debt, while Japan is the second largest stakeholder at $1.134 trillion.

For all the talk about the so-called fiscal cliff, nobody wants to talk about the $47,482 cliff.  That’s the amount that every single worker in this country owes to foreign countries.  Jeffrey has all the details:

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Boehner’s Tax Increase to Nowhere

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Taxes

So Boehner plans to introduce a bill on the House floor that increases the top marginal tax rate on those earning more than $1 million per year.  Most likely, Boehner and Obama will ultimately agree on a deal that splits the difference between $400,000 and $500,000.  Many Republicans will shrug their shoulders:  “Who cares about a few rich liberals?”

However, this rationale represents a shortsighted view of our problems with the tax system, the budget, and the role of government.

Obama and the Democrats have engaged in sly marketing to peddle their tax increases.  After spending more than a decade fighting the Bush tax cuts and denying that they lowered the tax burden on everyone, they now co-opted the tax cuts and are demanding that taxes on the rich go up, lest the middle class go over the “fiscal cliff.”  Instead of calling them out for fighting against those very tax cuts for years, Republicans have given into this doomsday notion of avoiding the deceitfully contrived fiscal cliff, and are therefore resigned to raising taxes.

The reality is that the Bush tax cuts primarily benefited the middle class, not the rich.  That’s why Congress will never produce enough revenue from taxing the rich, even without factoring in the damage to the economy from tax increases.  According to the CBO’s monthly budget report, revenues have already increased in just the first two months of FY 2013 as much as they would have yielded the entire year from Boehner’s tax increase.  Yet, the debt actually increased because of new spending, despite the debt ceiling deal.  In that sense, this is a tax hike to nowhere.

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Debt Ceiling Will Be Upon us Before End of Year

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 and is filed under Debt, News

The U.S. Treasury is slated to brush up against the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling by the end of December.  But unlike in 2011, when the Treasury was able to employ extraordinary measures to buy almost three more months of time, they will lack those resources this time, according to The Hill.

The real story here is that we burned through $2.1 trillion of the previous debt limit increase in just 16 months, even though the debt limit agreement was supposed to solve our problems.  Now we are expected to go along and to it again without enacting a balanced budget.  This insanity has got to stop.

Appropriators Planning Massive Omnibus Spending Bill

Monday, November 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt

We are being bombarded with unsolicited advice and admonishment from the media regarding which issues are helpful or hurtful to the conservative cause.  However, I would wager that the budget issue is a big winner with the public, even as Republicans are prepared to cave on all budgetary matters.

Democrats in the Senate have failed to pass a budget in almost 1300 days.  Yet, instead of holding firm on the House budget, Republicans have decided to negotiate with people who have none of their own.  Only a communications-challenged party could fail to take their case to the voters.  Every family knows that they need to formulate a budget.  If Republicans would drive home this point more, the public would support their effort to stand their ground until Democrats come up with their own budget.

Earlier in the year, House Republicans agreed once again to play ball with the budget-less Senate.  They jettisoned their month’s worth of budget work in favor of a 6 month CR that will last until March 31 – the first 6 months of FY 2013.  Now that Congress has had an extra 6 months to do their jobs and pass a budget in regular order (pass each of the 12 appropriations bills individually), one would expect them to finish the appropriations process.  Instead, as Politico reported this morning, they are preparing an omnibus bill to fill out the remainder of the fiscal year.

There is never any excuse for a conservative to vote for an omnibus bill.  There is no way that any senator or congressman has the ability to read a 1200-page bill that contains all of the expenditures of government.  Republicans must refuse to pass any omnibus bill until Democrats agree to pass the budget in regular order.  At this rate, that might take centuries.

Government Spending Inflates GDP Report

Friday, October 26th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis published its report for 3rd quarter GDP and found that the economy is growing at a mediocre 2.0% rate, a slight improvement of the 1.3% growth in the 2nd quarter. Had we not experienced such a deep recession, this number would not concern us. However, in order to recover from such a deep recession we need consistent growth of 4% and some quarters of 5-6% growth.

During the Reagan recovery, there were some quarters when we were growing by 8-9%. Overall, the economy has grown by an average of 1.77% in 2012. Overall, since 2009, the economy has grown by the slowest rate of any recovery in the post-World War II period.

Moreover, the 2% number does not tell the whole story. As is the case with any economic report, you must drill down into the numbers. GDP is comprised of four components, one of which doesn’t belong in the equation – government expenditures. Here is the breakdown of the GDP report:

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The Debt: One Thing Obama did Build

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy, Taxes

Now that we’re just two weeks away from the election, and hopefully on the precipice of defeating Obama, it’s worthwhile to reexamine the numbers pertaining to Obama’s accumulation of debt.  Here are all the latest numbers as of today:

  • Total Gross Federal Debt = $16.196 trillion (10/19/12).  That’s a $5.57 trillion increase from when he was inaugurated.
  • The public share of the debt is $11.347 trillion, which is a $5.04 trillion increase.  It took from our country’s founding until August 2007 to accrue $5.04 trillion in public debt.
  • Share of Debt per taxpayer (based on 81,890,189 tax returns filed in 2009) – $197,775.
  • As CNS’s Terence Jeffrey reported this week, total debt held by foreign creditors is $5.43 trillion. That is $47,494.93 per household, an increase of about $19,841.64 per household since Obama took office.
  • China owns $1.164 trillion of our debtEvery taxpayer owes China $14,214
  • From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964.

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