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Tag Archives: Debt Ceiling

If you aren’t reading Carpe Diem, you should.  Go, right now, check out Mark Perry’s site.

This whole thing started way back when.  I was an avid reader of Rob Neyer over at ESPN.  I was very much into baseball and stats and just the game.  I loved me some Neyer.  Since then, however, ESPN has made his stuff paid content and I no longer go to ESPN.  But whatever, ‘nother story.  One day, a long time ago, Rob mentioned a writer in Minnesota, Twins Geek.  And Twins Geek wrote a blog.   And I didn’t know what a blog was.  But it had the words, Twins, Geek and Neyer, so I checked it out.

And it turns out Twins Geek is a dude from Minnesota who works in an office doing office type work who just loves to write.

And I love that.

So, now I know what a blog is and I start looking for one.  And I trip upon Coyote Blog.  And NOW it’s on.  This is just too cool.  And, after reading Coyote for awhile, I notice he refers us to Carpe Diem on a regular basis.  And Mark Perry is from Minnesota.  And he writes about interesting stuff in a way that just makes sense.

So I read him everyday.

In fact, he is a large inspiration for the stuff I write here.  Only, like, he’s better and smarter, but hey, I have longer hair!

Anyway, via Mark Perry at Carpe Diem comes this:

We have what you call a spending problem.

By the way, if you like baseball and can stand the Twins, check out this most amazing site dedicated to Sabermetrics with a Twin’s twist.  This guy is the hero.  Dropped out of school at the UofM, living in his mom’s townhouse blogging about baseball at 3,000 words a clip.  Gets picked up by NBC sports and is livin’ large.

So, yesterday I posted about a possible solution to the deficit and the debt. In those plans I accommodated those on the right who insist on a plan that includes no new revenues due to tax increases.  Further, I accommodated those on the left who insist on a plan that doesn’t cut; in fact my plan GROWS government each and every single year.

As I ended my analysis I demonstrated a method by which both of those targets were met AND we backed away from the debt limit that we are struggling with today.  The solution began to reduce the the deficit in year 1.  And it balanced the budget in year 19.  It’s the perfect trifecta.

But what if we can do better?  What if we can reduce the amount of time in which we are free of the deficit?

I think we can:

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Well, just finished watching and listening to John Boehner.

Yeah, any good will established by Obama in trying to give the Speaker of the House props for being willing to work with the Democrats is out the window.  John Boehner came out swinging and he didn’t let up.  Almost with a vengeance the Speaker took Obama to task going back to January and the President’s request for more money.  And this after sending America on the largest spending binge of all time.  While I think he’s right, I’m not sure that the approach the Republicans just took is the wise one.

Where Obama made the case that we all need to agree to get along, Boehner went right at the President.  Where Obama looked to build a coalition with the Speaker, Mr. Boehner attacked the President for his priorities and his tactics in the debt talks to date.  Further, by appearing so dug in, the Republican may have set himself up for a situation that he can’t win.  A long time ago I learned that to be successful, you have to create a situation where your opponent can retreat or compromise in honor.  I’m afraid that Mr. Speaker has removed that option from the table.  I can see many things being thrown at the TV in the Democrat Head Quarters.

This is not to say That I don’t agree with the Republicans.  We DO spend too much.  We DO waste money.  Obama DOES negotiate in bad faith.  I know Obama is not a centrist but rather an over-matched Leftist Statist.  However, tonight, America was watching, not just us political junkies.  And America wants compromise more than they want ideology.

Either way, tonight set the die.  How it impacts the debate and the 2012 elections will, of course, remain to be seen.

I’ll be a son of a bitch!  President Obama reads TarHeel Red!

In spelling out what Barack Obama SHOULD say I neatly laid out Obama’s speech for him and he delivered what I think was a very strong message; a very good speech.

Obama DID talk about the battle in Washington.  He did bring into play the question that each side would have to give and compromise.  And he did it while sounding Presidential.

Kudos Mr. President, well done.

Further, I predicted that Mr. Obama would bring up the fact that much of the problems we’re faced with today are the result of Dubya and his policies.  I mentioned that he wouldn’t blame Bush directly, but rather use the code phrase “of the last decade”.  Imagine my excitement as I was proven right within the first 90 seconds.  However, much to his credit, he only ever touched on Bush 2 more time, so I fell short of my “at least 4 times” prediction.  Obama took a shot at Bush giving him credit along the lines of Reagan, Clinton and himself; Obama.  Further, there was a shot when Obama listed the troubles that brought us to this position included tax cuts to the wealthy, 2 wars and a Medicare Part D program.

In describing the talks, Obama made the point that it was himself that compromised and agreed to a path forward that was not popular within his party.  And he did call out Republicans for failing to give ground.  So, while he didn’t credit Democrats [that honor was reserved for him] he also didn’t accuse the Republicans of “leaving him at the altar” as I suggested.

Further, I did say that Obama would mention the strategy Republicans have taken in pushing this debate out only 6 months.  And he did.  But I also said that Obama deride this as politics and blast the “two tiered approach”.  And he didn’t.  Rather, he made well-reasoned arguments against such a strategy; arguments that I tend to agree with.

Finally, I had thought Obama would take advantage of the fact that Democrats were willing to stipulate that there would be no tax increases in the plan.  That in exchange for an extension past the election, they were willing to give on those increases.  I was wrong; Obama made it clear he expects the wealthy to “pay their fair share”.

In fact, I thought the constant “we-they” warfare was a touch over the top.  He again brought oil companies, hedge fund managers and jet owners into the conversation.  He mentioned that those who have benefited the most in the past decade [a nifty wink at Dubya that even I didn’t score against him] shouldn’t be exempt from bearing part of the burden.

However underscored the class warfare argument was, it was overshadowed by some pretty strong points made by the President.  I thought his best moment was when he descried the voters who elected both himself and the House Republicans into office.  His comment that:

They’re offended by that.

Was especially on target and scored several points.  Further, Obama was strong when he mentioned that as recently as 2000 we had budget surpluses, that we need to act in a bi-partisan manner and that both parties need to shape up.  People are, after all, bone tired and are fed up with this three-ring circus.

On one hand, I’m excited that our President delivered a strong speech more leader like than I expected.  I’m humbled some that I was so wrong, but that is tempered by the fact that it’s now clear Obama not only reads my little rantings, but takes them to heart!

😉

The talk of the town is the debt limit.  Raise it or not raise it; and what it would take TO raise it.

Reasonable people can agree on a couple of things:

  1. We are in debt and it’s getting worse.
  2. To balance the budget, there needs to be a combination of an increase in revenue and a decrease in spending.

I honestly feel that if you were to ask this question, hidden in such a way as to bypass the normal political partisanship, every single American would agree.  If the checking account is overdrawn, a second job becomes something to consider and a review of the household spending becomes a priority.

But, how do we agree on such a combination when the discussion changes from the household budget to the federal budget?  How can we get folks who demand that we raises taxes together with folks who demand we don’t?  How do we get people who refuse to cut spending to shake hands with those who feel we HAVE to cut spending?

I propose that we do it by doing neither.

Watch:

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The Hill is reporting that Boehner has ended negotiations with the White House over raising the debt limit ceiling:

House Republican leaders have called off negotiations with the White House over a broad deficit-reduction deal tied to an increase in the federal debt limit and will begin exclusive talks with Senate leaders to avert a government default on Aug. 2, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday.

Boehner told House Republicans in a letter that President Obama is “adamant” about raising taxes and would not agree to “fundamental changes” to entitlement programs.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Obama’s time in the Oval office to date is nothing but speeches that say one thing followed by policy that does another.  To have thought that Obama was serious when he claimed he was willing to cut spending, reform medicare and social security is wishful thinking at best

There isn’t a bone in Barack’s body that’s willing to reduce government spending.  The whole of his life has been spent enlarging government for the benefit of the “less fortunate”.  I’m convinced Obama can’t envision a world where government shrinks.  And reforming the entitlement programs?  HA!  If he speaks about reforming ’em, he isn’t talking about it in the way that you and I would reform ’em.  In his mind those reforms take the shape of ADDING to the revenue side to reduce the deficit of the programs.  Again, there is simply no way this man will shrink that aspect of government either.

There is no way that Obama means “spending cut” in any way that resembles reality as it relates to the common everyday American.

So, the fact that Boehner walked on him is the most positive thing that’s happened in a week.  Or weeks, for that matter.

With only 1 week before the government shuts down, it looks like we’re facing exactly that; a shutdown.  And judging by the reaction in Minnesota, namely — who cares? — and the fact that the Democrat gave in and accepted the Republican’s deal, I say let ‘er go.

America is fed up with the spending and it’s time we address it.

The debt ceiling rhetoric is really building steam.

As we get closer and closer to the date when the debt rises above the debt ceiling, the guys on each side continue to ratchet the discourse.

Of course I don’t think that we’ll not raise the limit.  And, even if we don’t, there is no way that we don’t pay our debt servicing.  So this whole thing is a little silly.

But I like the debate and I like the discussion being had in the offices and the coffee houses and the dance studios.

When we have Obama claiming that he can’t guarantee that old people will get their Social Security check.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August third if we haven’t resolved this issue,” says Obama.

“There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” said the President.

Interesting thins are gonna be said by the everyday people.

But, back to the discussion.  I still don’t get the Left’s rallying cry that the rich “have to pay their fair share!”

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There is a gap.

The United States brings in some amount of money.  And the united States spends some other amount of money.

There is a difference between those two amounts of money; and right now, the bigger amount is the amount we spend.

We’re in debt and getting debt’ier.

All the talk ’round town is that we have to fix this problem pretty soon and the deadline that’s looming is the debt ceiling.  Everyone is looking at August 2nd and working to build a plan by then.

In it’s simplest form, the debate is about narrowing the gap of the spending and the revenue.

How are we gonna do that?

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