The two debt-reduction plans

So House Majority Leader John Boehner has a debt reduction plan on the table.  It is competing with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan.  (Notice how both sides are cutting President Obama out of the discussion.)  Both plans cut spending by $1.2 trillion.  Neither plan involves a tax increase.  In fact, the two plans are extremely similar.  Philip Klein gives us a useful comparison:

Similarities:

– Both plans claim to reduce discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion.

–Both plans create a joint, bipartisan, Congressional committee to find future savings.

– Neither plan includes specific entitlement reform.

–Neither plan includes specific tax increases.

Differences:

– Reid’s plan wants to raise the debt ceiling all in one chunk (and boosts the claimed deficit reduction number by relying on savings from the expected wind down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), but Boehner it raised in two parts.

– While both plans endorse a joint committee, the Boehner plan makes the second debt limit increase contingent on Congress passing $1.8 trillion in additional deficit-reduction based on its recommendations.

– Boehner plan would ensure a vote in both chambers on a Balanced Budget Amendment.

– Boehner proposes caps to future spending.

Possibilities for compromise:

– It would be easy for Reid to allow a vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment.

– The differences over whether the debt limit increase should be short-term or last through the 2012 election is not an ideological-based disagreement, so it seems either side could give way on that one.

– Depending on the level of the spending cap, there may be some compromise there.

via Boehner and Reid plans aren’t that different: a comparison | Philip Klein | Beltway Confidential | Washington Examiner.

And yet, for all of the similarities, both sides are still at each other’s throats. Not only that, Boehner’s own party is in revolt against his plan.   I’m not sure why.  Surely the Republicans are getting what they want, over a trillion dollars in cuts and no new taxes.  The main issue now is political:   Reid is proposing a two year package, tiding things over until after the 2012 elections, while Boehner wants to go through all of this again in a year.

Meanwhile, the country faces default and probably worldwide economic collapse if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2.

Under President Clinton, the ascendant Republicans  in Congress shut down the government, sparking a popular backlash that re-elected the unpopular president.  I suspect the same thing will happen again:  Today’s ascendant Republicans, giddy with having taken the House of Representatives, will show themselves willing to shut down the economy, sparking a popular backlash that will re-elect President Obama.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Rose

    Re-elect Obama? Heaven forbid. One affirmative-action election is enough. Mr. Obama had no leadership credentials as a governor or legislator. In a crisis requiring negotiating skills, he is inept.

  • Rose

    Re-elect Obama? Heaven forbid. One affirmative-action election is enough. Mr. Obama had no leadership credentials as a governor or legislator. In a crisis requiring negotiating skills, he is inept.

  • Dan Kempin

    “Surely the Republicans are getting what they want, over a trillion dollars in cuts and no new taxes.”

    Actually, the “cuts” are only theoretical, in that they are spread out over ten years and this congress really only has the authority to control next year’s budget. The borrowed money, however, is quite real and will be spent up within the year. So it’s “loan me $100 to spend right now, and I’ll offer a non-binding promise to cut back by $100 over the next ten years.” Yeah. Going in the right direction, perhaps, but not exactly cause to say “crisis diverted.”

    (Plus, I think the future “cuts” are based on the premise that spending will increase every year by 7.5%.)

    And please, the country is NOT facing default! Failing to raise the debt ceiling would result in a forced spending cut. We would still be quite able to service our debt. The greater danger is a rise in interest rates due to a lower credit rating, which is not connected to the debt ceiling but to the fact that we continue to spend far more than we take in.

  • Dan Kempin

    “Surely the Republicans are getting what they want, over a trillion dollars in cuts and no new taxes.”

    Actually, the “cuts” are only theoretical, in that they are spread out over ten years and this congress really only has the authority to control next year’s budget. The borrowed money, however, is quite real and will be spent up within the year. So it’s “loan me $100 to spend right now, and I’ll offer a non-binding promise to cut back by $100 over the next ten years.” Yeah. Going in the right direction, perhaps, but not exactly cause to say “crisis diverted.”

    (Plus, I think the future “cuts” are based on the premise that spending will increase every year by 7.5%.)

    And please, the country is NOT facing default! Failing to raise the debt ceiling would result in a forced spending cut. We would still be quite able to service our debt. The greater danger is a rise in interest rates due to a lower credit rating, which is not connected to the debt ceiling but to the fact that we continue to spend far more than we take in.

  • Dan Kempin

    (Sigh) Baited by another political thread. When will I learn?

  • Dan Kempin

    (Sigh) Baited by another political thread. When will I learn?

  • Michael Z.

    @ Dan :-) I give that a +1

    My question is regarding this:
    “Reid is proposing a two year package, tiding things over until after the 2012 elections, while Boehner wants to go through all of this again in a year.”
    Doesn’t Congress normally have to write a budget every year…Asking them to do their jobs doesn’t sound too demanding…

  • Michael Z.

    @ Dan :-) I give that a +1

    My question is regarding this:
    “Reid is proposing a two year package, tiding things over until after the 2012 elections, while Boehner wants to go through all of this again in a year.”
    Doesn’t Congress normally have to write a budget every year…Asking them to do their jobs doesn’t sound too demanding…

  • Dennis Peskey

    I’ve heard a great deal about “excessive spending” and the need to cut the size of the Federal Government during this current debate. So, rather than deal with useless political hyperbole, I choose to go to the information source for government spending – the GAO (Government Accounting Office).

    Has the US Government had a significant increase in spending during the past ten years and why? There is no doubt we’ve leaned heavily upon our Federal credit card and spent like there is no tomorrow. It’s the why given by the GAO which I hear nothing about during this current debate.

    The GAO office attributes the significant increase in debt to two factors – 1. A decrease in revenues attributable to the recession which began in September, 2007 and 2. Federal Government response to an economy headed straight for the toilet. see: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/feddebt/feddebt_ann2010.pdf

    When my memory revisits 2007, I can not recall a significant outcry against bailing out the major financial institutions which brought this economic trial to our land. (There were voices in Congress, Republican and Democratic, who cautioned against the proposed spending increases – these voices were not heeded.) We spent literally billions to shore up weakened financial institutions (banks, investment firms, etc.) and insurance companies under the premise that failure of these institutions would be unacceptable for our economic future. The only reservation I heard came when General Motors sought financial protection – but they were only looking for a few million dollars which, depending upon your sources, has (or has not) been repaid. I do seem to recall AIG receiving a much larger sum but I have not heard of any repayment.

    We survived the economic downturn in a weaken state but the recession and it’s consequences continue today. Our economy is built upon consumerism and we just don’t spend as in the past. The irony of the reduced spending by the ordinary consumer and its subsequent impact on out economy is surreal. Where we used to spend freely, now our government takes up the slack. If our government chooses to follow suit and adopt draconian cuts to address our debt – well, are we prepared to accept the consequences?

    We found this solution unacceptable in 2007; now, in 2011, it seems to be the only solution. What changed? Do you seriously propose entitlements changed that dramatically in four years? Actually, we are spending less on military commitments due to the reduced presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And, I do not hesitate to add the current President did render justice to the late Bin Laden.)

    The credit card bill has arrived in the mail – time to pony up. It is not time to default on the debt we have amassed. I am not a prophet but I could foresee the hugh increase in federal debt absent a significant increase in taxes. When anyone proposes a solution to our current financial quagmire which does not include revenue increases, they are either a fool, a liar or running for office next year. It’s time we owned up to our responsibility – we spent it, now deal with the bill.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I’ve heard a great deal about “excessive spending” and the need to cut the size of the Federal Government during this current debate. So, rather than deal with useless political hyperbole, I choose to go to the information source for government spending – the GAO (Government Accounting Office).

    Has the US Government had a significant increase in spending during the past ten years and why? There is no doubt we’ve leaned heavily upon our Federal credit card and spent like there is no tomorrow. It’s the why given by the GAO which I hear nothing about during this current debate.

    The GAO office attributes the significant increase in debt to two factors – 1. A decrease in revenues attributable to the recession which began in September, 2007 and 2. Federal Government response to an economy headed straight for the toilet. see: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/feddebt/feddebt_ann2010.pdf

    When my memory revisits 2007, I can not recall a significant outcry against bailing out the major financial institutions which brought this economic trial to our land. (There were voices in Congress, Republican and Democratic, who cautioned against the proposed spending increases – these voices were not heeded.) We spent literally billions to shore up weakened financial institutions (banks, investment firms, etc.) and insurance companies under the premise that failure of these institutions would be unacceptable for our economic future. The only reservation I heard came when General Motors sought financial protection – but they were only looking for a few million dollars which, depending upon your sources, has (or has not) been repaid. I do seem to recall AIG receiving a much larger sum but I have not heard of any repayment.

    We survived the economic downturn in a weaken state but the recession and it’s consequences continue today. Our economy is built upon consumerism and we just don’t spend as in the past. The irony of the reduced spending by the ordinary consumer and its subsequent impact on out economy is surreal. Where we used to spend freely, now our government takes up the slack. If our government chooses to follow suit and adopt draconian cuts to address our debt – well, are we prepared to accept the consequences?

    We found this solution unacceptable in 2007; now, in 2011, it seems to be the only solution. What changed? Do you seriously propose entitlements changed that dramatically in four years? Actually, we are spending less on military commitments due to the reduced presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And, I do not hesitate to add the current President did render justice to the late Bin Laden.)

    The credit card bill has arrived in the mail – time to pony up. It is not time to default on the debt we have amassed. I am not a prophet but I could foresee the hugh increase in federal debt absent a significant increase in taxes. When anyone proposes a solution to our current financial quagmire which does not include revenue increases, they are either a fool, a liar or running for office next year. It’s time we owned up to our responsibility – we spent it, now deal with the bill.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Jon

    Rose @1 said about the election of Obama, ” One affirmative-action election is enough.”
    And some still scratch their heads at why those moving to a more historic, liturgical church walk right by the Lutherans.

  • Jon

    Rose @1 said about the election of Obama, ” One affirmative-action election is enough.”
    And some still scratch their heads at why those moving to a more historic, liturgical church walk right by the Lutherans.

  • Joe

    Dennis – the entitlement problem has been around for many years it only gets worse the longer we put off dealing with it. The fact that people refused to deal with it in the past is no reason to continue our ostrich policy. What has changed is that people are paying closer attention now.

    As for the an outcry re: the bail out – check out the 2010 mid-term elections. That was the out cry.

  • Joe

    Dennis – the entitlement problem has been around for many years it only gets worse the longer we put off dealing with it. The fact that people refused to deal with it in the past is no reason to continue our ostrich policy. What has changed is that people are paying closer attention now.

    As for the an outcry re: the bail out – check out the 2010 mid-term elections. That was the out cry.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#7) Thanks for reiterating my point re: entitlements. I’ve survived many more years under Republican presidents and Congress than Democratic yet I am stunned by the sounds of silence during republican administrations regarding spending. Their (republican) outbursts ring loudest during periods of Democratic control. If they truly believed in their current bombast – why was this not pursed under the Bush presidency (when they did hold both branches of government). Their current protestation lacks validity.

    As to the outcry re: bailout in 2010, the initial proposals came from the sitting Republican President and were adopted by the Democratic incumbent. Regardless of party lines, it is more than a bit late to cry “fire” after the house has burnt down (i.e., where were these voices in 2007 when the stock markets and insurance companies ran to the federal trough to drink deeply)?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#7) Thanks for reiterating my point re: entitlements. I’ve survived many more years under Republican presidents and Congress than Democratic yet I am stunned by the sounds of silence during republican administrations regarding spending. Their (republican) outbursts ring loudest during periods of Democratic control. If they truly believed in their current bombast – why was this not pursed under the Bush presidency (when they did hold both branches of government). Their current protestation lacks validity.

    As to the outcry re: bailout in 2010, the initial proposals came from the sitting Republican President and were adopted by the Democratic incumbent. Regardless of party lines, it is more than a bit late to cry “fire” after the house has burnt down (i.e., where were these voices in 2007 when the stock markets and insurance companies ran to the federal trough to drink deeply)?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@6: I don’t think Rose’s comment has anything to do with Lutheranism. Is Rose even Lutheran?

    Admit it: Occasionally you think to yourself, “Gee, isn’t it great that we elected a black president?” Even I do it, and I’ve otherwise been an opponent of Obama’s since 2004. There’s a tincture of the spirit of affirmative action in Obama’s election. How else can we explain the election of a candidate with almost no experience governing anything? Well, there’s also the fact that McCain was an unworthy opponent. And the fact that Americans were momentarily sick of Republicans.

    But that’s neither here nor there. The fact is that this default “crisis” has been manufactured by both sides. If Republicans don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re not going to default in the apocalyptic sense that “news” anchors on CNN, Fox, the Democratic Party, etc., are proposing. Meanwhile, the real crises–the crises related to unfunded entitlements and soaring debts–are barely scratched by the supposedly intransigent demands made by Republicans. It all makes for a rather entertaining, if depressing, circus. I think we would all be better off if D.C. were nuked from orbit. The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots from time to time, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jon@6: I don’t think Rose’s comment has anything to do with Lutheranism. Is Rose even Lutheran?

    Admit it: Occasionally you think to yourself, “Gee, isn’t it great that we elected a black president?” Even I do it, and I’ve otherwise been an opponent of Obama’s since 2004. There’s a tincture of the spirit of affirmative action in Obama’s election. How else can we explain the election of a candidate with almost no experience governing anything? Well, there’s also the fact that McCain was an unworthy opponent. And the fact that Americans were momentarily sick of Republicans.

    But that’s neither here nor there. The fact is that this default “crisis” has been manufactured by both sides. If Republicans don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re not going to default in the apocalyptic sense that “news” anchors on CNN, Fox, the Democratic Party, etc., are proposing. Meanwhile, the real crises–the crises related to unfunded entitlements and soaring debts–are barely scratched by the supposedly intransigent demands made by Republicans. It all makes for a rather entertaining, if depressing, circus. I think we would all be better off if D.C. were nuked from orbit. The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots from time to time, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dennis@8: Great points. The Republicans have no credibility in this debate. Which merely adds to the comedy, yes?

  • Cincinnatus

    Dennis@8: Great points. The Republicans have no credibility in this debate. Which merely adds to the comedy, yes?

  • Dennis Peskey

    Cincinnatus (#10) A very tragic comedy for the laughter is long gone.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Cincinnatus (#10) A very tragic comedy for the laughter is long gone.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Joe

    Dennis are you not aware that the GOP has been challenged from both within and without during the 2010 election cycle? You may have noticed that many of those freshman who won in 2010 came with to DC different views on spending than the established GOP (who mostly lost their credibility right around Medicare Part D).

    There is an effort to reform the GOP. It may ultimately fail, those freshmen will certainly not be perfect in their efforts, some will no doubt prove to me all talk and no substance, but this effort is why you are hearing more people willing to speak about these issues and try to effectuate change.

  • Joe

    Dennis are you not aware that the GOP has been challenged from both within and without during the 2010 election cycle? You may have noticed that many of those freshman who won in 2010 came with to DC different views on spending than the established GOP (who mostly lost their credibility right around Medicare Part D).

    There is an effort to reform the GOP. It may ultimately fail, those freshmen will certainly not be perfect in their efforts, some will no doubt prove to me all talk and no substance, but this effort is why you are hearing more people willing to speak about these issues and try to effectuate change.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#12) Reform the GOP to “WHAT”. The current speaker of the House, John Boehner, was elected in 1990. President Obama was not installed as President until January, 2009. While Rep. Boehner has accomplished a memorable body of reform legislation within the Federal Government, I must repeat my inquiry, “Where was his voice during the Bush Presidency”? (I also will add my reluctance with seeking direction and guidance from freshmen legislators which harkens back to the “what” query.)

    On a more humorous note, I noticed this add upon bringing up the USA.gov website: : Be Informed Whether you need information about credit reports, managing debt, or saving and investing, find some helpful tools on USA.gov. If you can not see the humor in this, you need to spend more time on Monty Python reruns.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#12) Reform the GOP to “WHAT”. The current speaker of the House, John Boehner, was elected in 1990. President Obama was not installed as President until January, 2009. While Rep. Boehner has accomplished a memorable body of reform legislation within the Federal Government, I must repeat my inquiry, “Where was his voice during the Bush Presidency”? (I also will add my reluctance with seeking direction and guidance from freshmen legislators which harkens back to the “what” query.)

    On a more humorous note, I noticed this add upon bringing up the USA.gov website: : Be Informed Whether you need information about credit reports, managing debt, or saving and investing, find some helpful tools on USA.gov. If you can not see the humor in this, you need to spend more time on Monty Python reruns.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Pingback: Trust The Boehner Plan — You’d Better Read On | Sandia Tea Party

  • Pingback: Trust The Boehner Plan — You’d Better Read On | Sandia Tea Party

  • helen

    Cincinnatus @ 9
    The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots from time to time, etc.

    You’d only hit patriots accidently by “nuking” the self servers that largely inhabit our capitol!

  • helen

    Cincinnatus @ 9
    The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots from time to time, etc.

    You’d only hit patriots accidently by “nuking” the self servers that largely inhabit our capitol!

  • helen

    Dennis, I’m laughing thru tears, and I’ve never watched Monty Python.
    USA.gov website: : Be Informed Whether you need information about credit reports, managing debt, or saving and investing, find some helpful tools on USA.gov. If you can not see the humor in this, you need to spend more time on Monty Python reruns.

  • helen

    Dennis, I’m laughing thru tears, and I’ve never watched Monty Python.
    USA.gov website: : Be Informed Whether you need information about credit reports, managing debt, or saving and investing, find some helpful tools on USA.gov. If you can not see the humor in this, you need to spend more time on Monty Python reruns.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Meanwhile, the country faces default and probably worldwide economic collapse if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2.”

    There will be no default. The bond holders will get paid first.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Meanwhile, the country faces default and probably worldwide economic collapse if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2.”

    There will be no default. The bond holders will get paid first.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Admit it: Occasionally you think to yourself, “Gee, isn’t it great that we elected a black president?” Even I do it,”

    I don’t.

    The man should be elected based on the policies he will promote and entirely race/color blind.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Admit it: Occasionally you think to yourself, “Gee, isn’t it great that we elected a black president?” Even I do it,”

    I don’t.

    The man should be elected based on the policies he will promote and entirely race/color blind.

  • Joe

    Well Dennis you have created a nice little no win situation. Can;t trust the old guys AND you can trust the new guys. Heck I guess we ought to just pack it in and go home. No sense trying …

  • Joe

    Well Dennis you have created a nice little no win situation. Can;t trust the old guys AND you can trust the new guys. Heck I guess we ought to just pack it in and go home. No sense trying …

  • Lou

    Dennis: Good stuff #5 & #8.

    Here are the choices as I see them if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2nd:

    1) defaulting; i.e. stop paying creditors holding US debt
    2) stop paying public employees and the military,
    3) put benefits payments on stand-by or eliminate them.

    I do not consider any of these options as acceptable and responsible choices for people in government leadership.

    #1 is obvious. #2 is only acceptable if the leaders making this decision voluntarily take the pay cut themselves, which they will never do. The public employees that will suffer from a pay stoppage did NOT create this problem and should not be made political scapegoats. #3 eliminating or putting entitlement payments on hold.

    Yes, entitlement reform does need to to be addressed by Congress (like five years ago!). BUT changes to entitlements should most definitely NOT be forced into action by such a back door, round about, underhanded political move. Let’s keep in mind, some of the things that are being called ‘entitlements’ are NOT. Social Security is not an entitlement. People pay into it for their entire adult lives. You, Congress, should not have been using it for anything other than what it was intended for. And why are our government representatives so willing to put Medicare on the table, but completely ignore subsidies to foreign oil, global bankers, agri-industry, big media, and don’t forget the billions and billions of foreign aid we send overseas… Why is none of this being included in Congress’s proposals?? It’s mind boggling to me.

    While ‘debt holders’ will be paid first — before American military members, American public servants, American elderly, poor, sick and homeless citizens, I cannot see how such a thought should be of any consolation whatsoever to a true patriot.

  • Lou

    Dennis: Good stuff #5 & #8.

    Here are the choices as I see them if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2nd:

    1) defaulting; i.e. stop paying creditors holding US debt
    2) stop paying public employees and the military,
    3) put benefits payments on stand-by or eliminate them.

    I do not consider any of these options as acceptable and responsible choices for people in government leadership.

    #1 is obvious. #2 is only acceptable if the leaders making this decision voluntarily take the pay cut themselves, which they will never do. The public employees that will suffer from a pay stoppage did NOT create this problem and should not be made political scapegoats. #3 eliminating or putting entitlement payments on hold.

    Yes, entitlement reform does need to to be addressed by Congress (like five years ago!). BUT changes to entitlements should most definitely NOT be forced into action by such a back door, round about, underhanded political move. Let’s keep in mind, some of the things that are being called ‘entitlements’ are NOT. Social Security is not an entitlement. People pay into it for their entire adult lives. You, Congress, should not have been using it for anything other than what it was intended for. And why are our government representatives so willing to put Medicare on the table, but completely ignore subsidies to foreign oil, global bankers, agri-industry, big media, and don’t forget the billions and billions of foreign aid we send overseas… Why is none of this being included in Congress’s proposals?? It’s mind boggling to me.

    While ‘debt holders’ will be paid first — before American military members, American public servants, American elderly, poor, sick and homeless citizens, I cannot see how such a thought should be of any consolation whatsoever to a true patriot.

  • Lou

    Also, here’s the latest from the Wall Street Journal on how Main Street is reacting to the debt ceiling stalemate, just as an fyi:

    “In a recent survey by the Association of Financial Professionals, which represents treasury and finance executives, half of the 305 respondents said failure to reach an agreement by the Aug. 2 deadline would have a detrimental impact on their access to capital and short-term investment strategies.

    Half of the respondents planned to take defensive actions, such as a freeze on hiring, reducing capital spending and drawing on credit lines to build cash, the AFP said….A quarter of the companies surveyed that hold U.S. Treasury securities said they would sell at least some of them if Congress and the White House failed to reach a deal.”

  • Lou

    Also, here’s the latest from the Wall Street Journal on how Main Street is reacting to the debt ceiling stalemate, just as an fyi:

    “In a recent survey by the Association of Financial Professionals, which represents treasury and finance executives, half of the 305 respondents said failure to reach an agreement by the Aug. 2 deadline would have a detrimental impact on their access to capital and short-term investment strategies.

    Half of the respondents planned to take defensive actions, such as a freeze on hiring, reducing capital spending and drawing on credit lines to build cash, the AFP said….A quarter of the companies surveyed that hold U.S. Treasury securities said they would sell at least some of them if Congress and the White House failed to reach a deal.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The public employees that will suffer from a pay stoppage did NOT create this problem and should not be made political scapegoats.”

    The guy working in a factory is not at fault when sales go down.
    He is the one who is laid off because the company does not have the money to pay him.

    The teacher working in a school is not at fault when enrollment goes down.
    He is the one who is laid off because the school cannot afford to pay him.

    Employees are not scapegoats because there is no money to pay them. They can just do a different job for which there is demand. Demand as in someone willing and able to pay them to do it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The public employees that will suffer from a pay stoppage did NOT create this problem and should not be made political scapegoats.”

    The guy working in a factory is not at fault when sales go down.
    He is the one who is laid off because the company does not have the money to pay him.

    The teacher working in a school is not at fault when enrollment goes down.
    He is the one who is laid off because the school cannot afford to pay him.

    Employees are not scapegoats because there is no money to pay them. They can just do a different job for which there is demand. Demand as in someone willing and able to pay them to do it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “A quarter of the companies surveyed that hold U.S. Treasury securities said they would sell at least some of them if Congress and the White House failed to reach a deal.”

    No problem. The Federal Reserve will buy them. They always do.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explains:
    http://www.frbsf.org/publications/federalreserve/fedinbrief/guides.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “A quarter of the companies surveyed that hold U.S. Treasury securities said they would sell at least some of them if Congress and the White House failed to reach a deal.”

    No problem. The Federal Reserve will buy them. They always do.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explains:
    http://www.frbsf.org/publications/federalreserve/fedinbrief/guides.html

  • Carl Vehse

    Someone once said, “The reason there are laws against political assassinations is not to protect the politicians, but to prevent a shortage of ammunition.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Someone once said, “The reason there are laws against political assassinations is not to protect the politicians, but to prevent a shortage of ammunition.”

  • Lou

    SG: You only continue to highlight what is actually wrong in this country.
    If the factory can’t make sales, then the sales people, particularly the VP of sales, not the factory workers should be the first ones held responsible. I know that is not how we do things anymore in this country, but it is only common sense to do so. The trouble is there is no one doing it.

    If the school enrollments are down, the teachers should not be handed pink slips in knee jerk reaction, instead, the administration needs to be addressed and held accountable.
    But again by whom?

    What ails us is the same all across the board – terrible leadership (or a lack thereof) and no accountability.

  • Lou

    SG: You only continue to highlight what is actually wrong in this country.
    If the factory can’t make sales, then the sales people, particularly the VP of sales, not the factory workers should be the first ones held responsible. I know that is not how we do things anymore in this country, but it is only common sense to do so. The trouble is there is no one doing it.

    If the school enrollments are down, the teachers should not be handed pink slips in knee jerk reaction, instead, the administration needs to be addressed and held accountable.
    But again by whom?

    What ails us is the same all across the board – terrible leadership (or a lack thereof) and no accountability.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#18) – Welcome to the world of the independent voter. It is definitely not nice, long ago it ceased to be little and there will be no winners. The question which must be addressed is what type of loss is acceptable.

    As Lou (#19) pointed out, we can not cease payments to our creditors. They actually own the debt and defaulting against them is fiscal suicide. (They might foreclose on our country and if option two became a reality – even the Swiss could name it and claim it.)

    Option two – not paying government employees and the military is even more destructive. If anyone thinks government employees are “less than efficient”, try making them work without pay. And we may not desire to attempt to continue a military without payment – these guys have a lot of weapons and know how to use them (don’t kick a tiger in the mouth – you may get his attention).

    The third option – benefits payments on hold (no politician has the guts to eliminate freebees – its how they legally bribe voters) – won’t address the scope of the debt issue.

    Spending must be cut but it is still possible to use a scapple instead of the chainsaw massacre being proposed. We also need to reassure foreign creditors and our own financial markets of a serious intent to address this issue. This means we must increase revenues (and not the phony benefit/supplement/incentive reduction plans). I don’t like taxes (especially since I retired – its real difficult to earn overtime in retirement). But if this foolishness is not settled by August 2, I know I’ll pay a lot more for everything. I simply will not live long enough to witness the end of the consequences nor will my grandchildren. If you think inflation is bad – try hyperinflation (when you can’t cash your check at a bank and make it to the store for bread and milk before the price rises.)

    The GAO identifies the start of the current recession in September, 2007. Personally, I believe it began a few years earlier. Our country was so busy buying in the mortgage ponzie scheme we didn’t notice the lack of foundation in our economy. We’re not going to escape the reality of this recession by closing our eyes but by openning up our wallets and reducing our demands. If we do this, we can call it a “win-win” survival; what we can not do is allow the current demogoguery to dictate financial suicide.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Joe (#18) – Welcome to the world of the independent voter. It is definitely not nice, long ago it ceased to be little and there will be no winners. The question which must be addressed is what type of loss is acceptable.

    As Lou (#19) pointed out, we can not cease payments to our creditors. They actually own the debt and defaulting against them is fiscal suicide. (They might foreclose on our country and if option two became a reality – even the Swiss could name it and claim it.)

    Option two – not paying government employees and the military is even more destructive. If anyone thinks government employees are “less than efficient”, try making them work without pay. And we may not desire to attempt to continue a military without payment – these guys have a lot of weapons and know how to use them (don’t kick a tiger in the mouth – you may get his attention).

    The third option – benefits payments on hold (no politician has the guts to eliminate freebees – its how they legally bribe voters) – won’t address the scope of the debt issue.

    Spending must be cut but it is still possible to use a scapple instead of the chainsaw massacre being proposed. We also need to reassure foreign creditors and our own financial markets of a serious intent to address this issue. This means we must increase revenues (and not the phony benefit/supplement/incentive reduction plans). I don’t like taxes (especially since I retired – its real difficult to earn overtime in retirement). But if this foolishness is not settled by August 2, I know I’ll pay a lot more for everything. I simply will not live long enough to witness the end of the consequences nor will my grandchildren. If you think inflation is bad – try hyperinflation (when you can’t cash your check at a bank and make it to the store for bread and milk before the price rises.)

    The GAO identifies the start of the current recession in September, 2007. Personally, I believe it began a few years earlier. Our country was so busy buying in the mortgage ponzie scheme we didn’t notice the lack of foundation in our economy. We’re not going to escape the reality of this recession by closing our eyes but by openning up our wallets and reducing our demands. If we do this, we can call it a “win-win” survival; what we can not do is allow the current demogoguery to dictate financial suicide.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, Dennis, withholding some federal salaries (which is what would happen; we’re not talking about a total government shutdown) is neither destructive nor unprecedented. It last occurred in 1995 if I remember correctly. Generally, employees receive back pay once a budget is finalized. I’m not advocating such an outcome, but your hysteria is no better than the apocalyptic nonsense I’m hearing on CNN at the moment.

    Though you are quite correct in noting that America’s creditors will get paid even if the ceiling is not raised.

    Interestingly, Minnesota’s government shut down for several weeks this month. Did anyone notice? Other than a few complainers, the shut down was remarkable in that no one really cared nor noticed. I suggest that roughly the same would occur were the federal government once again to shut down non-essential services for a few days/weeks/months. And make no mistake: there are lots of non-essential services.

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, Dennis, withholding some federal salaries (which is what would happen; we’re not talking about a total government shutdown) is neither destructive nor unprecedented. It last occurred in 1995 if I remember correctly. Generally, employees receive back pay once a budget is finalized. I’m not advocating such an outcome, but your hysteria is no better than the apocalyptic nonsense I’m hearing on CNN at the moment.

    Though you are quite correct in noting that America’s creditors will get paid even if the ceiling is not raised.

    Interestingly, Minnesota’s government shut down for several weeks this month. Did anyone notice? Other than a few complainers, the shut down was remarkable in that no one really cared nor noticed. I suggest that roughly the same would occur were the federal government once again to shut down non-essential services for a few days/weeks/months. And make no mistake: there are lots of non-essential services.

  • Lou

    “It last occurred in 1995 ” – and it cost us more than we saved.

    ” America’s creditors will get paid even if the ceiling is not raised” – but the trouble is that they will all start cashing in, just like they do with the stock market.

    Geez, why is that some people just can’t seem wait to get the government shutdown?? This is like the fifth time this fiscal year we’ve been in jeopardy and each time, these guys are just so giddy about a shutdown. I don’t get it.

    Congress created the government that we have. They need to fund it. If they want less government, then they need to make those changes. The American public can’t just go out and buy stuff on their credit and then when they decide they have too much stuff they don’t need or if they start to get buyer’s remorse, they can’t just say, I’m not going to finish paying for it. We can’t let Congress get away with doing that either. Because we’re not talking about “stuff” here. We’re talking about real people, for Goodness sake.

    Yes, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed with the federal government. But good grief, the members of Congress are the ones who go to work every day to make this thing work. Let’s not get confused on where the root of the problem needs to be addressed. (hint: it’s not by taking it out on public servants, military members, the elderly, the sick, or the homeless ).

  • Lou

    “It last occurred in 1995 ” – and it cost us more than we saved.

    ” America’s creditors will get paid even if the ceiling is not raised” – but the trouble is that they will all start cashing in, just like they do with the stock market.

    Geez, why is that some people just can’t seem wait to get the government shutdown?? This is like the fifth time this fiscal year we’ve been in jeopardy and each time, these guys are just so giddy about a shutdown. I don’t get it.

    Congress created the government that we have. They need to fund it. If they want less government, then they need to make those changes. The American public can’t just go out and buy stuff on their credit and then when they decide they have too much stuff they don’t need or if they start to get buyer’s remorse, they can’t just say, I’m not going to finish paying for it. We can’t let Congress get away with doing that either. Because we’re not talking about “stuff” here. We’re talking about real people, for Goodness sake.

    Yes, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed with the federal government. But good grief, the members of Congress are the ones who go to work every day to make this thing work. Let’s not get confused on where the root of the problem needs to be addressed. (hint: it’s not by taking it out on public servants, military members, the elderly, the sick, or the homeless ).

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If the school enrollments are down, the teachers should not be handed pink slips in knee jerk reaction, instead, the administration needs to be addressed and held accountable.”

    Kansas City recently closed half of its schools because of low enrollment. There is no reason to pay to maintain excess capacity in education or in industry. Rather, those folks need to do jobs that are in demand. That would mean providing goods and services that people need and want and are willing and able to pay for. It is more efficient than just going with the inertia of keeping folks in positions that there is no money to pay for. Far better for them to serve the needs of others by doing work that there is demand for.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If the school enrollments are down, the teachers should not be handed pink slips in knee jerk reaction, instead, the administration needs to be addressed and held accountable.”

    Kansas City recently closed half of its schools because of low enrollment. There is no reason to pay to maintain excess capacity in education or in industry. Rather, those folks need to do jobs that are in demand. That would mean providing goods and services that people need and want and are willing and able to pay for. It is more efficient than just going with the inertia of keeping folks in positions that there is no money to pay for. Far better for them to serve the needs of others by doing work that there is demand for.

  • Lou

    26 Cincinnatus: I do agree that CNN and other media outlets are broadcasting an almost apocalyptic message with regard to the situation, which is clearly not helpful (or truthful).
    I would not want you to think I’m trying to make their case. Not at all. I’m just a bit flustered at the 545 in Washington.
    Thanks.

  • Lou

    26 Cincinnatus: I do agree that CNN and other media outlets are broadcasting an almost apocalyptic message with regard to the situation, which is clearly not helpful (or truthful).
    I would not want you to think I’m trying to make their case. Not at all. I’m just a bit flustered at the 545 in Washington.
    Thanks.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lou@27: Who’s giddy? I don’t want the government to shut down (unless the shutdown is permanent ;-) ). I’m merely claiming that such a shutdown wouldn’t be uniformly disastrous. Politician from both sides are painting portraits of apocalypse to score electoral points; the media are doing the same to garner ratings. In reality, if Congress is so incompetent as to neglect their August 2nd deadline–and I’d be unsurprised if this happened–the results won’t be as disastrous as we think.

    Congress has to pay for the systems and services they create, you say? Isn’t that the problem? Isn’t it the case precisely that Congress cannot fund all the exorbitant liabilities it has created itself? As you well know, I am sure, we can’t keep racking up debt forever. The creditors will come calling whether sooner or later, and even tax increases can’t solve the problem. Time to get serious. I honestly don’t care if a shutdown must occur for Congress and the American people to get serious, just so long as they do.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lou@27: Who’s giddy? I don’t want the government to shut down (unless the shutdown is permanent ;-) ). I’m merely claiming that such a shutdown wouldn’t be uniformly disastrous. Politician from both sides are painting portraits of apocalypse to score electoral points; the media are doing the same to garner ratings. In reality, if Congress is so incompetent as to neglect their August 2nd deadline–and I’d be unsurprised if this happened–the results won’t be as disastrous as we think.

    Congress has to pay for the systems and services they create, you say? Isn’t that the problem? Isn’t it the case precisely that Congress cannot fund all the exorbitant liabilities it has created itself? As you well know, I am sure, we can’t keep racking up debt forever. The creditors will come calling whether sooner or later, and even tax increases can’t solve the problem. Time to get serious. I honestly don’t care if a shutdown must occur for Congress and the American people to get serious, just so long as they do.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lous: As for the 545, I totally agree. I think they should be publicly flogged, if not executed, for their incompetence and misdeeds…ha.

    But since that isn’t likely to happen at this time, unfortunately, I must withdraw back into my shell of cynical apathy.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lous: As for the 545, I totally agree. I think they should be publicly flogged, if not executed, for their incompetence and misdeeds…ha.

    But since that isn’t likely to happen at this time, unfortunately, I must withdraw back into my shell of cynical apathy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    But good grief, the members of Congress are the ones who go to work every day to make this thing work. Let’s not get confused on where the root of the problem needs to be addressed. (hint: it’s not by taking it out on public servants, military members, the elderly, the sick, or the homeless).

    Congress can’t change the natural laws. As long as people can make money selling munitions to the government, they will keep producing munitions. As long as the government keeps recruiting folks for the military, they will keep joining. As long as Medicare will pay hospitals, they will keep ordering treatments. As long as the sick can get someone else to pay for their treatment, they will reserve their money to pay for the things they want, secure in the knowledge that the community will be forced to pay for their needs. The homeless are mentally ill in the general case and don’t respond to incentives. Hey, you can’t fix everything.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    But good grief, the members of Congress are the ones who go to work every day to make this thing work. Let’s not get confused on where the root of the problem needs to be addressed. (hint: it’s not by taking it out on public servants, military members, the elderly, the sick, or the homeless).

    Congress can’t change the natural laws. As long as people can make money selling munitions to the government, they will keep producing munitions. As long as the government keeps recruiting folks for the military, they will keep joining. As long as Medicare will pay hospitals, they will keep ordering treatments. As long as the sick can get someone else to pay for their treatment, they will reserve their money to pay for the things they want, secure in the knowledge that the community will be forced to pay for their needs. The homeless are mentally ill in the general case and don’t respond to incentives. Hey, you can’t fix everything.

  • Martin

    SG: No, the “folks” who are running things need to be held accountable (I agree with Lou on that part).

    Besides, I would rather have my taxes pay for more teachers and have smaller classroom sizes for students than I would to pay for corrupt the politicians and administrators who created the problems and who get paid at least twice as much.

  • Martin

    SG: No, the “folks” who are running things need to be held accountable (I agree with Lou on that part).

    Besides, I would rather have my taxes pay for more teachers and have smaller classroom sizes for students than I would to pay for corrupt the politicians and administrators who created the problems and who get paid at least twice as much.

  • Martin

    SG: The federal budget is not a natural law. Congress makes the budget and only they can change it. Period.

    (has anyone every told you that your views on our Soldiers, the sick, the elderly, the poor and homeless are nauseating and downright scary?)

  • Martin

    SG: The federal budget is not a natural law. Congress makes the budget and only they can change it. Period.

    (has anyone every told you that your views on our Soldiers, the sick, the elderly, the poor and homeless are nauseating and downright scary?)

  • Cincinnatus

    Martin, how are her views scary, not to mention nauseating? Seems a bit of an overreaction. Most of her statements are based either in fact (the vast majority of American homeless are clinically insane, and should be institutionalized, not given handouts) or economic axioms (welfare handouts create dependency via perverse incentives; not for everyone, but for most–most “poor” Americans, after all, own a car, a television with cable, and a computer).

  • Cincinnatus

    Martin, how are her views scary, not to mention nauseating? Seems a bit of an overreaction. Most of her statements are based either in fact (the vast majority of American homeless are clinically insane, and should be institutionalized, not given handouts) or economic axioms (welfare handouts create dependency via perverse incentives; not for everyone, but for most–most “poor” Americans, after all, own a car, a television with cable, and a computer).

  • Joe

    Dennis the independent voters spoke in the last election – that is kind of the point. People who had not voted recently or who don’t always vote GOP participated in primaries and the general and it yielded a crop of freshman who came in with a focus on reducing spending and balancing the budget. Your “you can’t trust the new guys” mentality is not independent thinking, it is simple pessimism.

  • Joe

    Dennis the independent voters spoke in the last election – that is kind of the point. People who had not voted recently or who don’t always vote GOP participated in primaries and the general and it yielded a crop of freshman who came in with a focus on reducing spending and balancing the budget. Your “you can’t trust the new guys” mentality is not independent thinking, it is simple pessimism.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the “folks” who are running things need to be held accountable”

    What do you mean?

    The folks who are running things hired more workers than they can pay. Okay, reduce every gov’t agency by 5% and reduce the salary of every retained employee by 5%. They won’t starve. And they are free to find something better if they can. The government doesn’t owe every person it hires a job for life. That is just silly.

    Besides, I would rather have my taxes pay for more teachers and have smaller classroom sizes for students than I would to pay for corrupt the politicians and administrators who created the problems and who get paid at least twice as much.

    We don’t have the money to do either. So, expenditures for both should be reduced. In the Kansas City example, it wasn’t teachers that were fired, rather school buildings were closed. It is possible to cut staff by just not hiring and not replacing those who retire.

    (has anyone every told you that your views on our Soldiers, the sick, the elderly, the poor and homeless are nauseating and downright scary?)

    Goofy.

    Why is it moral to have a huge military?

    Why is it immoral to expect people to save their own money to pay for their own healthcare?

    The elderly had their entire lives to plan and save and guilt their kids into taking care of them.

    Why is it immoral to expect the poor to work for everything they get?

    The homeless, I gave a pass. So, what is the problem?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the “folks” who are running things need to be held accountable”

    What do you mean?

    The folks who are running things hired more workers than they can pay. Okay, reduce every gov’t agency by 5% and reduce the salary of every retained employee by 5%. They won’t starve. And they are free to find something better if they can. The government doesn’t owe every person it hires a job for life. That is just silly.

    Besides, I would rather have my taxes pay for more teachers and have smaller classroom sizes for students than I would to pay for corrupt the politicians and administrators who created the problems and who get paid at least twice as much.

    We don’t have the money to do either. So, expenditures for both should be reduced. In the Kansas City example, it wasn’t teachers that were fired, rather school buildings were closed. It is possible to cut staff by just not hiring and not replacing those who retire.

    (has anyone every told you that your views on our Soldiers, the sick, the elderly, the poor and homeless are nauseating and downright scary?)

    Goofy.

    Why is it moral to have a huge military?

    Why is it immoral to expect people to save their own money to pay for their own healthcare?

    The elderly had their entire lives to plan and save and guilt their kids into taking care of them.

    Why is it immoral to expect the poor to work for everything they get?

    The homeless, I gave a pass. So, what is the problem?

  • Martin

    Hi Cincinnatus – As a Christian, I do not view people in pragmatic, axiomatic fashion. Probably wouldn’t make a good politician, I know.

  • Martin

    Hi Cincinnatus – As a Christian, I do not view people in pragmatic, axiomatic fashion. Probably wouldn’t make a good politician, I know.

  • Cincinnatus

    This has nothing to do with being a Christian, Martin. The coercive state isn’t an instrument of Christian charity. I’m not opposed to safety nets in principle, but arguing that they are mandated by your Christian beliefs is an inappropriate rhetorical power-play. I know Christ also says that we should sell all our possessions and give them to the poor. Does this mean we have to bankrupt our government too?

    Didn’t think so.

  • Cincinnatus

    This has nothing to do with being a Christian, Martin. The coercive state isn’t an instrument of Christian charity. I’m not opposed to safety nets in principle, but arguing that they are mandated by your Christian beliefs is an inappropriate rhetorical power-play. I know Christ also says that we should sell all our possessions and give them to the poor. Does this mean we have to bankrupt our government too?

    Didn’t think so.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Let’s keep in mind, some of the things that are being called ‘entitlements’ are NOT.”

    Right, like MedicAid. People are not entitled to force doctors and hospitals to work for free or try to force the community to pay their fees.

    “Social Security is not an entitlement.”

    Yes, it is.

    “People pay into it for their entire adult lives.”

    That is exactly why they are entitled to it.

    See, if I put my money in the bank, the bank legally contracts with me to have the funds available, therefore I am entitled to take the money out. It is my money.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Let’s keep in mind, some of the things that are being called ‘entitlements’ are NOT.”

    Right, like MedicAid. People are not entitled to force doctors and hospitals to work for free or try to force the community to pay their fees.

    “Social Security is not an entitlement.”

    Yes, it is.

    “People pay into it for their entire adult lives.”

    That is exactly why they are entitled to it.

    See, if I put my money in the bank, the bank legally contracts with me to have the funds available, therefore I am entitled to take the money out. It is my money.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The federal budget is not a natural law.”

    True, but people’s reaction to incentive is.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The federal budget is not a natural law.”

    True, but people’s reaction to incentive is.

  • Lou

    “It is my money.” Well apparently you’re not getting it if Congress has anything to say about it.

    I don’t disagree with your definition of entitlement in the legal sense; however, this is not the popular political definition. Typically, I think when the word is used in a political context, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a “sense of entitlement” – an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.) That was my intended use of the word, sorry that I wasn’t clear about that.

  • Lou

    “It is my money.” Well apparently you’re not getting it if Congress has anything to say about it.

    I don’t disagree with your definition of entitlement in the legal sense; however, this is not the popular political definition. Typically, I think when the word is used in a political context, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a “sense of entitlement” – an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.) That was my intended use of the word, sorry that I wasn’t clear about that.

  • Lou

    “This has nothing to do with being a Christian, Martin.” I agree this is true. Yet even the Pagans are adverse to throwing our Soldiers, elderly, poor, and sick under the bus during a time of crisis. If SG’s natural law predicts the sinful reaction of man to incentives, then just as surely common grace and general revelation written on the hearts of all mankind testifies to the injustice of shifting the debt burden incurred by Congress onto the least of these.

  • Lou

    “This has nothing to do with being a Christian, Martin.” I agree this is true. Yet even the Pagans are adverse to throwing our Soldiers, elderly, poor, and sick under the bus during a time of crisis. If SG’s natural law predicts the sinful reaction of man to incentives, then just as surely common grace and general revelation written on the hearts of all mankind testifies to the injustice of shifting the debt burden incurred by Congress onto the least of these.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lou: Huh? When the proverbial feces strike the circulating cooling device on our collective ceiling, everyone is going to “suffer.” If not upon those who actually receive government funds that we can’t afford, where exactly would you like to “shift the burden”? I submit that there is nowhere else. Sure, we can raise a few taxes, close some loopholes, etc., but no attempted revenue increase can “save” the budget and avert either a debt or entitlement crisis. The math doesn’t work. Spending will have to be trimmed massively, either before or after August 2nd. I don’t really care when, though I’d prefer we take measures sooner rather than later. In other words, I’d rather we clear our own accounts by our own efforts rather than being forced to do so when China, etc., come to collect.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lou: Huh? When the proverbial feces strike the circulating cooling device on our collective ceiling, everyone is going to “suffer.” If not upon those who actually receive government funds that we can’t afford, where exactly would you like to “shift the burden”? I submit that there is nowhere else. Sure, we can raise a few taxes, close some loopholes, etc., but no attempted revenue increase can “save” the budget and avert either a debt or entitlement crisis. The math doesn’t work. Spending will have to be trimmed massively, either before or after August 2nd. I don’t really care when, though I’d prefer we take measures sooner rather than later. In other words, I’d rather we clear our own accounts by our own efforts rather than being forced to do so when China, etc., come to collect.

  • Lou

    Martin, you used the capital “S” for Soldiers, too. Are you in the service? I work for the military as a civilian and our organization always uses the capital S. Sometimes banks use capital “C” for Customer. It helps them place the emphasis on why they are there and who they are working for. Just curious.

  • Lou

    Martin, you used the capital “S” for Soldiers, too. Are you in the service? I work for the military as a civilian and our organization always uses the capital S. Sometimes banks use capital “C” for Customer. It helps them place the emphasis on why they are there and who they are working for. Just curious.

  • Cincinnatus

    To frame the dilemma another way, Lou, the options have already been outlined by Dennis:

    1) Renege on sovereign debt.
    2) Enact a partial shutdown (i.e., lay off federal workers, shut down non-essential services, etc.)
    3) Cut entitlements.

    Option 2 is most likely, and Option 3 will soon be mandatory. But you don’t want us to select either of these options, correct? So you would rather select Option 1? Really? That would produce disastrous results for everyone, poor and rich alike.

    Of course, there’s always Option 4: continue to punt the crisis into the future.

  • Cincinnatus

    To frame the dilemma another way, Lou, the options have already been outlined by Dennis:

    1) Renege on sovereign debt.
    2) Enact a partial shutdown (i.e., lay off federal workers, shut down non-essential services, etc.)
    3) Cut entitlements.

    Option 2 is most likely, and Option 3 will soon be mandatory. But you don’t want us to select either of these options, correct? So you would rather select Option 1? Really? That would produce disastrous results for everyone, poor and rich alike.

    Of course, there’s always Option 4: continue to punt the crisis into the future.

  • Lou

    “I’d rather we clear our own accounts by our own efforts rather than being forced to do so when China, etc., come to collect.” Amen to that!
    Yes, I guess we have quite a quandry to consider. For me it is just so hard to comprehend the overall situation. I mean, there are top execs making billions and billions of dollars salary per year. A mask of Casey Anthony just sold on Ebay for a million dollars. Football celebrities make millions of dollars just for putting on their jerseys and standing on the sideline. Megacorporations pay millions and millions of dollars for a thirty second commercial. Famous Hollywood actors and actresses buy their own islands. I just can’t wrap my head around who we are anymore as a country. And I know so many people personally, in my church, in my neighborhood, in my family, who really are seriously struggling financially.
    You’re right. It is a quagmire. I don’t know the answers. But I am also very, very skeptical, because to me it seems like we are about to completely wipe out the middle class in this country. It makes me sad.

  • Lou

    “I’d rather we clear our own accounts by our own efforts rather than being forced to do so when China, etc., come to collect.” Amen to that!
    Yes, I guess we have quite a quandry to consider. For me it is just so hard to comprehend the overall situation. I mean, there are top execs making billions and billions of dollars salary per year. A mask of Casey Anthony just sold on Ebay for a million dollars. Football celebrities make millions of dollars just for putting on their jerseys and standing on the sideline. Megacorporations pay millions and millions of dollars for a thirty second commercial. Famous Hollywood actors and actresses buy their own islands. I just can’t wrap my head around who we are anymore as a country. And I know so many people personally, in my church, in my neighborhood, in my family, who really are seriously struggling financially.
    You’re right. It is a quagmire. I don’t know the answers. But I am also very, very skeptical, because to me it seems like we are about to completely wipe out the middle class in this country. It makes me sad.

  • Lou

    Actually, I was the one who proposed those three options. I said none of the above also. In my mind, we’ve got to look at subsidies, let the Bush-era tax credits expire, then reform the tax code to share the burden more evenly, put a hold on most, if not all foreign aid, and reform entitlements. I have some other ideas too, but need to go to a meeting.

  • Lou

    Actually, I was the one who proposed those three options. I said none of the above also. In my mind, we’ve got to look at subsidies, let the Bush-era tax credits expire, then reform the tax code to share the burden more evenly, put a hold on most, if not all foreign aid, and reform entitlements. I have some other ideas too, but need to go to a meeting.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Over the next decade Boehner and Reid’s plans would increase the national debt to over $22 trillion.

    I don’t see how that’s tolerable.

    Neither Boehner or Reid actually cut the budget. They simply agree that we’ll increase government a bit slower over the next ten years. That’s something they really can’t make stick anyway as we’ll have several elections over that time.

    Our record spending and loose monetary policies are counterproductive because our problem isn’t related to a lack of capital or a temporary drop in demand.

    Our economic problems are due to inadequate consumer _income_ and weak consumer balance sheets.

    So federal spending should drop because it won’t solve our fundamental problems and is rapidly adding to them.

    If the government desired, it could write off student loans and put a lower cap on new student loans. They could also use FHA to get banks to write off improper mortgages from the housing bubble. That would do more to stimulate the economy than all this wasteful spending.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Over the next decade Boehner and Reid’s plans would increase the national debt to over $22 trillion.

    I don’t see how that’s tolerable.

    Neither Boehner or Reid actually cut the budget. They simply agree that we’ll increase government a bit slower over the next ten years. That’s something they really can’t make stick anyway as we’ll have several elections over that time.

    Our record spending and loose monetary policies are counterproductive because our problem isn’t related to a lack of capital or a temporary drop in demand.

    Our economic problems are due to inadequate consumer _income_ and weak consumer balance sheets.

    So federal spending should drop because it won’t solve our fundamental problems and is rapidly adding to them.

    If the government desired, it could write off student loans and put a lower cap on new student loans. They could also use FHA to get banks to write off improper mortgages from the housing bubble. That would do more to stimulate the economy than all this wasteful spending.

  • fws

    There is only one difference here that is being argued.

    the republicans want this to be revisited right before the presidential elections. that is what they are really pushing for.

    the democrats will accept just about any plan so long as it does not require a revisitation of this issue until after the presidential elections in 2012.

    It is really that simple! This is precisely why the two plans look so very similar but still no compromise is possible. it is not about no new taxes vs balancing vs whatever….

  • fws

    There is only one difference here that is being argued.

    the republicans want this to be revisited right before the presidential elections. that is what they are really pushing for.

    the democrats will accept just about any plan so long as it does not require a revisitation of this issue until after the presidential elections in 2012.

    It is really that simple! This is precisely why the two plans look so very similar but still no compromise is possible. it is not about no new taxes vs balancing vs whatever….

  • Dennis Peskey

    I’ve returned for one final entry. The one consistent ramification of a default I’ve heard from all sources is what President Obama termed “a deep financial crises” in his July 25 speech. I can (and have) listened to various financial reporting and they all seem to concur with this scenario. If the credit rating of our government is downgraded we all will pay much more for our everyday living.

    While I think Frank (#50) has highlighted the real issue (timing – not the debt), I find myself in agreement with our current President’s latest speech, especially this portion. I should like to know if you agree or disagree with this analysis:

    The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare — and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.

    If they only problem a particular representative has with this solution is it’s timing – then he/she is not representing my (nor my country’s) interests. I do not believe there are any among us who would consider defaulting on a credit balance we incurred. If this is good for the sheep – it’s good for the shepherds as well.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I’ve returned for one final entry. The one consistent ramification of a default I’ve heard from all sources is what President Obama termed “a deep financial crises” in his July 25 speech. I can (and have) listened to various financial reporting and they all seem to concur with this scenario. If the credit rating of our government is downgraded we all will pay much more for our everyday living.

    While I think Frank (#50) has highlighted the real issue (timing – not the debt), I find myself in agreement with our current President’s latest speech, especially this portion. I should like to know if you agree or disagree with this analysis:

    The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare — and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.

    If they only problem a particular representative has with this solution is it’s timing – then he/she is not representing my (nor my country’s) interests. I do not believe there are any among us who would consider defaulting on a credit balance we incurred. If this is good for the sheep – it’s good for the shepherds as well.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #52 The problem with our current President’s speeches is that they have no relation to what he does or what he actually wants passed. If he doesn’t support reducing spending from last year’s levels, how can he expect to balance the budget in our lifetimes?

    Currently non-defense spending is growing 7.5% per year. Obama’s proposal is to reduce that rate of growth to 6.7%. That hardly makes a difference.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #52 The problem with our current President’s speeches is that they have no relation to what he does or what he actually wants passed. If he doesn’t support reducing spending from last year’s levels, how can he expect to balance the budget in our lifetimes?

    Currently non-defense spending is growing 7.5% per year. Obama’s proposal is to reduce that rate of growth to 6.7%. That hardly makes a difference.

  • Cincinnatus

    SAL makes a good point. Baseline budgeting is one of the greatest deceits in modern history.

  • Cincinnatus

    SAL makes a good point. Baseline budgeting is one of the greatest deceits in modern history.

  • Martin

    Dennis, #51 I agree! “If this is good for the sheep – it’s good for the shepherds as well.”
    Lou #45, yes I used to be Army. I’m out now, but the Army will never be completely out of me!

  • Martin

    Dennis, #51 I agree! “If this is good for the sheep – it’s good for the shepherds as well.”
    Lou #45, yes I used to be Army. I’m out now, but the Army will never be completely out of me!

  • DonS

    Great points above. We need always to remember that we have never actually cut domestic spending in our lifetimes. When politicians speak of cuts, they are speaking of slightly reducing the amount by which they would like to increase spending. When they speak of tax hikes, those, unfortunately, are always real.

    Both yesterday and today, President Obama has made a point of saying that we have the power to “solve” this debt limit crisis — by just increasing it!! Um, I’m not really sure how that does anything but postpone the crisis that is almost certainly coming down the road. Just kick the can one more time, is his mantra.

    Of course, in 2006 Obama himself voted against increasing the debt ceiling, with an explanation that our government needed to start being accountable for the increasing debt !!!! Now, he says he regrets that vote, and only did so because he knew it would pass anyway: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/gibbs-senator-obama-only-voted-against-raising-debt-ceiling-in-2006-because-he-knew-it-would-pass-an.html

    Well, that’s comforting. And great leadership!

    I am glad we are protracting this debate now, whatever the supposed short term risks to the markets because we are “scaring” them. Who cares about that? We need a little shock and awe to snap us out of this financial idiocy we are mired in. The jolt that’s coming, when the real debt limit arrives, due to our credit-unworthiness, will make this one look like playtime. This is our chance to get serious before it is too late.

  • DonS

    Great points above. We need always to remember that we have never actually cut domestic spending in our lifetimes. When politicians speak of cuts, they are speaking of slightly reducing the amount by which they would like to increase spending. When they speak of tax hikes, those, unfortunately, are always real.

    Both yesterday and today, President Obama has made a point of saying that we have the power to “solve” this debt limit crisis — by just increasing it!! Um, I’m not really sure how that does anything but postpone the crisis that is almost certainly coming down the road. Just kick the can one more time, is his mantra.

    Of course, in 2006 Obama himself voted against increasing the debt ceiling, with an explanation that our government needed to start being accountable for the increasing debt !!!! Now, he says he regrets that vote, and only did so because he knew it would pass anyway: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/01/gibbs-senator-obama-only-voted-against-raising-debt-ceiling-in-2006-because-he-knew-it-would-pass-an.html

    Well, that’s comforting. And great leadership!

    I am glad we are protracting this debate now, whatever the supposed short term risks to the markets because we are “scaring” them. Who cares about that? We need a little shock and awe to snap us out of this financial idiocy we are mired in. The jolt that’s coming, when the real debt limit arrives, due to our credit-unworthiness, will make this one look like playtime. This is our chance to get serious before it is too late.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @50

    very astute observation

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @50

    very astute observation

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