If China or Iran did it to us.... Other Topics, posted by Nicholas Kristof, a resident of another community, on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm
70 times we've raised the debt limit since Nixon, 7 times under Bush with votes from Boenher McConnell and Cantor. What's different now?
Republicans, Zealots and Our Security
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Here is a link to this column in the New York Times: Web Link
[ Editor's note: Please do not copy articles from our publications or websites and paste them in Town Square. You can refer to them by providing a link, and then your comment. We replaced the text of this article with the link above. We don't have the right to republish an article, but we can link to it as long as the website makes it available to the public.]
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm
We can point fingers all day long about past administrations and who did what. We should be looking forward. Regardless of past practices, the question still remains, should we raise the debt limit? Is Washington spending too much money?
I read an editorial recently which said that if families have to balance their budgets, why should government be any different. Unless we get spending under control, government will always be in debt and asking us to pay more for their out-of-control spending.
The next question -- if you don't stop it now, then when?
Posted by old time resident, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm
One of the primary reasons we are in debt is that we haven't been paying our bills, not just because we keep spending. The Bush tax cuts were made at the same time Bush invaded Iraq and Afganistan and started unlimited Medicare drug benefits. All unfunded.
So he increased spending and reduced the payments. The cost of his adventures was about 3 trillion plus his tax cuts another trillion. Now we are talking serious money. It's time for his supporters to quit whining and pay for his mistakes.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 10:14 am
Good to see you participating. Sorry I didn't get a chance to read your post before it was removed. Vitriol?
A while back in another thread, where you falsely slammed the President on a Medicare issue, I asked a question you've yet to answer. Look forward to your answering it now.
The GOP *passed* House Budget (the Ryan plan) cuts taxes for millionaires and billionaires, adds trillions to the debt, doesn't balance the budget for decades, requires multiple debt ceiling extensions and ends Medicare as we know it by privatizing it with coupons and vouchers.
Hank Lawrence: do you agree with the Ryan/GOP plan to end Medicare while giving tax cuts to billionaires?
Odd that the GOP had no problem with raising the debt ceiling earlier this year under Ryan, eh?
Follow Reagan's advice: pass a clean, one sentence bill that raises the debt ceiling.
As was done 17 times under Reagan and 7 times under Bush (with votes from Cantor, Boenher, Mcconnel, etc..)
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 10:42 am
We've heard your arguments and you've heard ours. We should probably agree to disagree.
This is less about raising the debt limit - which BOTH SIDES AGREE should be done - and more about how we will approach our future.
To put things in perspective, the US government spends $10 BILLION A DAY. All of these efforts and arguments to try to save a whopping $1 trillion over a ten year period will reduce that $10 BILLION daily spend by just $274 MILLION.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 11:00 am
Thanks. I seem to recall that you did not support Ryan, if I'm in error, please correct me. To your first point, Hank has strenuously avoided answering the question.
To your second point: if both sides agree NOT raising the debt limit is a recipe for a potential catastrophe, why not do what we've done SEVENTY times and pass a single sentence bill allowing America to pay it's congressionally approved debts?
Why did the GOP sink the single line bill to raise the debt ceiling earlier this year? Drama Queens? Hold the American economy, and all Americans hostage?
Pass the clean bill, then we can get serious about eliminating tax loopholes, fix Medicare, expire the Bush cuts for the wealthiest Americans, end the boondoggles that are our current "wars", and get back to creating the jobs that will get us out of this recession.
Time to get back to Clinton era budgets. The first step is to build our way out of this economy. Growth, not austerity, gets America back to Clinton-type budget surpluses.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 11:35 am
I have no problem raising the debt ceiling with a simple one sentence resolution. You conveniently ignore the fact that Congressman and Senators typically vote against raising the ceiling when their opposition is in the White House. This is 100% politics, pure and simple.
I think many Republicans and Democrats have come to the conclusion that many of us have long realized - the current level of federal spending is simply unsustainable. Apparently the credit rating agencies think so also, because they're going to downgrade our rating regardless of the debt ceiling resolution.
I saw an interesting fact on tv (Nightline, I think). Federal spending, which is $3.6 trillion a year now - will be $5.9 trillion in ten years. If we had "Clinton era" spending (no wars, reducing military, booming housing market, very frothy economic times...), federal spending would be $3.7 trillion in ten years. I think that shows you the incredible level of spending that has gone on during the Bush and Obama administrations - and we haven't even started paying for the Affordable Health Care Act! (Sorry if my numbers are off a bit, I'm doing this from memory. You get the point.)
Well, for the fourth or fifth time, I support the recommendations of President Obama's bipartisan debt commission. If I recall correctly, President Obama selected 11 of its 18 members and then both he and Congress ignored it. It calls for elimination of all loopholes - for oil companies, corn farmers, mortgage interest, charity, etc. - in exchange for lower, but progressive tax rates and a far broader tax base.
Now, our politicians want to convene another commission and they'll ignore that too. I think that's why one party is taking the opportunity to force the issue now. Because future Congresses can ignore the cuts (these are "budgets" after all) they simply don't believe promised spending cuts will materialize. That's why they want them up front.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm
They didn't ignore the commission. It's mandate required the commission pass a recommendation by the terms it was created - and they didn't meet those terms.
What you refer to as "the recommendations of President Obama's bipartisan debt commission" was only the recommendation of the two co-chairs. The recommendation failed in it's mandated vote, therefore I assume politicians are hiding behind that to avoid bringing it to a floor vote.
Unless I'm mistaken, has the House voted on it? I thought the only budget action they took was the House GOP/Ryan "plan" which we agree was a political joke*.
(* defining "joke" as: in these times of everyone crying about mounting debt, giving away revenue in the form of tax cuts to billionaires, while privatizing Medicare)
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm
[Portion deleted. If a poster doesn't choose to answer your question, that's the poster's choice. Please don't keep hounding him.]
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re: your link - sorry, that's an op-ed blog, not a poll.
The reason the Left is unhappy with the President is because he's a moderate who caves in to the GOP far too often. Witness the December deal where he caved on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans without even negotiating the debt ceiling extension. The GOP proved they don't care about debt at that very moment they added billions in debt.
The only place Obama acts like a socialist is in your mind, Hank.
Speaking of 2012 - who's your choice to beat him? Mitt the socialist healthcare designer? Timmy snore? Michelle the I-take-taxpayer-money-to-pray-away-the-gay? Rick the $22-billion-deficit man?
Chris Christie, the helicopter-to-little-league-limo-100-yards-to-seat guy?
Who's your guy in 2012, Hank?
I can't imagine you'll be on here in 2012 bragging about your vote for Mitt.
Posted by Hank lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I don't know who will get the GOP nomination. But you can bet that the American public won't be hoodwinked by that slick socialist again. It is almost a sure thing that Obama will be a one term prsident. People have an innate instinct for survival and the best way this country can survive is to end the abysmal socialist experiment in November 2012. None of the GOP candidates are outstanding. That is until you compare them to Obama and then they seem stellar by comparison.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm
[Portion deleted. Please don't hound other posters. A poster can choose not to answer a question.]
... please define socialism for us. Is it like the VA system, where doctors and nurses are government employees working in government owned buildings providing government paid healthcare? Isn't that the perfect definition of socialism? (please don't bother whining "but they deserve it" - of course our vets deserve it.)
Is it like the fire department? Or the police? Is socialism involved with the interstate highway system? Or like Ronnie said in '65 - does/did Medicare put us on the road to socialism?
Is socialism about giving tax loopholes and taxpayer funded subsidies to the most profitable corporations in the world, like Exxon, who don't pay much, if any, taxes?
Is it like Michelle Bachmann using taxpayer money for her husband to "cure" gays? Or her mortgage being backed by fannie or freddie, despite being a millionaire, despite vowing to fight both?
Please let us know what you define as socialism.
btw: I didn't ask who will get the nomination - I asked who was YOUR guy! Who do you hope to vote for in November, 2012?
Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm
My preferences are Chris Christie at the top of the ticket and Marco Rubio for the Veep slot. BTW, Christie paid for his helicopter flight. Obama goes on dates in New York costing the tax payers millions of dollars and does not pay it back. However, on the plus side the date is with his wife. On the minus sides it is costing us a bundle. Clinton on the other hand, went on plenty of dates that did not cost the tax payers a penny. The only problem was that is was with women barely older than his daughter.
Socialism is the Government taking over private enterprises and then ruining them and collapsing the economy in the process. Capitalism creates prosperity Socialism creates poverty.
Posted by Tommy, a resident of another community, on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Imagine a family that earns $50,000 a year but is spending more than $88,000 with a credit card balance of $330,000. The discussions around the kitchen table are likely to be a little tense.
Proportionally, that’s where Washington’s finances are today, and that’s why the national discussion is a little tense, too.
Even these figures belie the magnitude of the fiscal crisis. Shutting down the entire federal government and firing every federal employee is no longer enough to balance the budget. Mandatory spending – mainly entitlements – consumes more than the government takes in.
Fortunately, revenues vastly exceed debt payments, so threats of an actual default are so much flimflam. The President has both the legal authority and Constitutional obligation to prioritize payments to prevent a default. The problem is that a lot of other bills would go unpaid, causing a downgrade to the nation’s triple-A credit, forcing up interest costs, wiping out all of the savings now on the table and jacking up everything from mortgage interest costs to family credit card rates.
But avoiding a downgrade will take more than just raising the debt limit. Without a credible plan to place the Treasury back on the path to fiscal solvency – which Standard and Poors defines as reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade -- the nation’s credit will be downgraded no matter what happens with the debt limit.
So what to do?
The President wants to raise taxes on “corporate jets” and “millionaires and billionaires.” But the awful truth is that there aren’t enough corporate jets or millionaires and billionaires to make more than a dent in these numbers.
That’s why the President has actually proposed raising taxes on those earning $200,000 per year ($250,000 for couples). These are families who are already paying more than half of all income taxes, many of whom are struggling to keep up with upside-down mortgages while putting kids through college without financial aid. Worse, over 80 percent of small businesses’ net income would be subject to the president’s “millionaires and billionaires” tax at a time when we’re depending on them to produce 2/3 of the new jobs that people desperately need.
The folly of the Left’s tax nostrums is to assume that high taxes are the path to prosperity and an antidote to deficits. They are neither.
As Adam Smith warned, raising taxes in a recession makes as much sense as a shopkeeper raising prices in a sales slump. New revenues are needed, but the healthy way is to remove the burdens that government has placed on the economy and produce those revenues through economic growth. Prosperity is the only true source of revenue.
Nor are taxes an antidote to deficits. In fact, they’re close cousins: a deficit is simply a future tax. Both are driven by spending. It’s no coincidence that while annual spending increased by $1.2 trillion in the last five years, the annual deficit increased by $1.4 trillion. It’s the spending, stupid.
So how do we reduce spending when promised entitlements are pushing the nation to bankruptcy? A family grappling with a problem as big as the federal government’s would rapidly come to several conclusions.
First, it’s going to need a work-out plan, starting with a family budget. In March, the House passed the first Federal budget since 2009. It would ultimately balance the budget and pay off the debt. The Senate tore it up.
Second, that family’s going to have to review its spending and pull out everything that it can do without. The House has begun that process but has a long way to go. The Senate frets over losing the “Cowboy Poetry Festival.”
Finally, it’s going to have to renegotiate any promises it has made but just can’t keep. And that’s the biggest budget challenge, because an entire generation of Americans has made retirement plans based on those promises.
For example, an average couple earning $89,000 and retiring in 2011 will have paid $110,000 into Medicare and will consume $350,000. Is anyone really surprised the system is collapsing?
Paul Ryan has done the nation a great service by offering an alternative that stops provider flight and guarantees seniors the choice of the health care plan that best meets their own needs, underwritten by a solvent Medicare system in a manner that provides higher support to those who are sicker, poorer and older.
Facing grim financial reality after decades of profligacy is a difficult, time-consuming and thoroughly unpleasant process. But there’s an infinitely worse alternative.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Hank: Thanks - both very popular. Well, Christie can't carry his own state, but other than that...
Rubio is formidable.
Christie paid for his flight only AFTER he was caught in that great video of him getting out of a DHS/war on terrah funded helicopter on the little league field, walking over to the state police chauffeured car for a couple foot drive a chair. Christie won't run until 2016, anyway. You'll see the confirmation for 2016 when he pulls a Huck and loses a hundred pounds. In that endeavor, I sincerely wish him all the best.
You spend a lot of time trashing Obama for using the normal security and travel arrangements of the office of the president. [Portion deleted.]
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Socialism: by your definition, was Ronnie was right about Medicare? Virtually every industrialized country that provides healthcare in a more effective manner and a far less costly way than us - are they practicing socialism?
Can you name any specific programs the President has "taking over private enterprises and then ruining them and collapsing the economy "
Other than bailing out banks, trading firms, AIG and other socialistic endeavors? (oops! that was his predecessor, wasn't it?)
I know you can do better than the GM loan, can't you?
In your mind, are there any of examples of socialism (your definition) where the government should run something?
Regulatory agencies? Military? Police or fire? The VA?
Geez, I almost missed your attempt at Clinton wit! So clever! You must of been a great fan of the 2008 GOP presidential candidate whose second wife was YOUNGER than his daughter. Please provide me with a link where you lambasted Thompson back in 2008.
I sure you were just as witty about ol' family values Fred.
Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2011 at 6:15 am
How about Chrysler and General Motors. He confiscated those companies then took away profitable dealerships, then stiffed the owners of preferred stock who have preference on debt payments over owners of common stock.
Then loses big time on both confiscations by sticking the American Public with the Tab.
Obama then steals 1/2 Trillion dollars from medicare and has the nerve to publish ads showing Republicans pushing granny in a wheel chair over a cliff. [Portion deleted.]
Posted by you ordered it, you pay for it" to Congress. It's only fair and just., a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:45 am
. When the House (and specifically the GOP) voted for bills and appropriations in the recent past they were aware that those bills had to be paid for. Now they are refusing to pay for the obligations they themselves created. A comparison would be someone who gives an order to the gas station attendent to fill up with gas and then once the car tank is full refuses to pay. That's what the GOP is doing. And that's why the debt ceiling has to be raised. It's nothing more than the gas tank owner giving himself permission to go and open his own cash drawer. Many other discussions can be entertained as a matter of ideology (except those on this thread that lack civility and manners) but in the matter of the debt ceiling it's " you ordered it, you pay for it" to Congress. It's only fair and just. The GOP is putting the country and us all at risk while refusing to admit its own hand in the matter and while refusing the simple healthy financial norm that in order to be rid of debt one has to BOTH cut spending and increase revenue. I, for one, and many I know are ready to pay a little (it's little guys) more in order to have a healthy infrastructure and to go back to what Clinton left us with- a healthy economy with a surplus. I don't care about ideology.
Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2011 at 9:20 am
What nonsense posted above. The Democrats have controlled the two of the three entities responsible for bills being made into law (House, Senate, and White House) since 2006. The House and Senate have to agree upon a bill before it is submitted to the President to be signed into law (reconciliation). The language has to be identical. Then the president signs it or vetoes it. So we have the Democrats controlling two/thirds of the bill into law approval process and somehow the Republicans are blamed? My friends this is liberal logic and you wonder why this country is in such dire straits? If we had fewer liberals in Congress and more people with a sense of responsibility we would have a better country.
Posted by You are right though., a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2011 at 9:40 am
That "sense of responsibility", Ronald Reagan, had the debt ceiling increased nothing less than 19 times. And , Mr. Lawrence, I would like to ask you to be civil at the very least, even if you dont seem to be inclined to leave ideology out of what is a first and foremost a financial matter. I seem to be in good company for my thoughts- the great majority of the American people as per polls and many of some very successful people. Like many I don't care for ideology-let the chips fall as they may- but the country is endangered by the absurd GOP stance that there will be no compromise at all, only what the GOP wants.
Ronald Reagan and G. Bush signed (not vetoed) the bills that gave origin to their own debt ceiling increases.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2011 at 9:57 am
" Editor's note: Please do not copy articles from our publications or websites and paste them in Town Square....."
Yet the copy and paste of McClintock's entire article ("just ask the greeks") does not receive the same consideration.
Ca you elaborate so I understand better?
Editor's note: Sorry if we haven't been consistent about this. The staff tries to watch Town Square 24-7, really in our personal time, and we miss things, and can be inconsistent. Sometimes it's not clear that the article originated elsewhere. Sometimes the author appears to be the one posting the story. The goal is to not rip off articles from other websites. If the website makes it accessible to the public, link to it. Email me a link to the McClintock Town Square post: editor@AlmanacNews.com - Richard Hine
Editor's note: You said the McClintock article was pasted in its entirety in a Town Square post. I can't find that post. Please give me a link to that Town Square post if you can find it. Thanks. - Richard]
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:11 am
It's in this thread: "Posted by Tommy, a resident of another community, on Jul 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm"
Bruce Bartlett, former deputy assistant treasury secretary under the first George Bush and policy adviser to Ronald Reagan, is all over the wealth and income disparity since Reagan's time, has some nice posts as the all-too-rare moderate conservative: Web Link including a summary of polls showing how many Americans believe a blended policy is the way to go - tax hikes and spending cuts
Can/Should the Budget Deficit Be Reduced with Spending Cuts Alone
or Should There Be Some Increase in Taxes?
Some/All Taxes: 66% Spending Cuts Alone 29%
Also does a nice job pointing out the top 400 persons (1/1000 of 1 percent) in this country average an income of $270 million A YEAR and yet pay a much lower tax rate than most middle class working Americans.
$270 million a year.
Shared sacrifice, anyone?
Bartlett reminds us that if we stayed on the Clinton track, as the CBO pointed out, that we'd have paid off our debt last year. Read that again. Paid off the national debt. Guess that $120 billion a year surplus that Clinton left in his last year would have added up.
Bring back the Clinton economy and it's job growth, build our way out of this recession, return to Clinton or Reagan era tax rates.
Growth, not austerity.
Quit the games and get started by passing a single line, clean debt increase, just as Reagan demanded. Get to work on the real issue - jobs and revenue.
Editor's note: I searched but can't find the topic. I need the topic headline or the link. - Richard
Posted by you ordered it, you pay for it, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:09 am
The Clinton era of spending had a lot of outrageous GOP and also some democratic pork barrel. Is that's what would satisfy you or when you talk about spending you are talking only about letting infrastructure go and not making adequate provisions for all american, including schooling , Medicare, social security provisions? You want good roads, good schools, decente health care (medicare and medicaid), pensions (that were paid for) etc? Pay for them, through both revenue and cuts. No ideology need apply.
Posted by bob, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Hank re your comment about GM and Ford if those dealers were profitable GM and Ford would not have been in trouble. Also debt has priority over pfd stock and common holders are at risk in any company. Also look at the budget increase from 2000 to 2008, get off your Obama bashing. It doesn't seem to matter who is an power.
Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm
Good Lord Almighty... Tuned into the House action tonight on the debt ceiling and there they are...
Debating the naming of a post office?
Boehnor sure knows how to prioritize with the important stuff while whipping his votes in line!
Meanwhile, even the IMF states that BOTH Reids's and Beohner's plans will make the recession worse, not better Web Link
"Similarly, authorities such as the International Monetary Fund have dismissed (pdf) the idea that austerity measures would help an economy such as the United States’ in the short term, pointing out that few cases exist where sharp cuts led to fast growth in countries where employment was robust, interest rates were high (so the monetary authorities could compensate for the cuts), and exports were strong — conditions that don’t apply to the United States. More normally, they concluded, “a fiscal consolidation equal to 1 percent of GDP typically reduces GDP by about 0.5 percent within two years and raises the unemployment rate by about 0.3 percentage point.”" Web Link
Is Congress nuts?
No post office name bills. No austerity programs.
Where are the JOBS bills, Mr. Boenher? Let America build and grow it's way out of this recession.
The GOP doesn't want a balanced budget. They never have. When's the last time a republican president balanced a budget? Bush the First? Bush the Lessor? Ronnie? Nixon? Ike? Ford? Hoover, the architect of the First Republican Depression?
How does this happen time after time and no one calls them on their hypocrisy? Newt calls for a balanced budget amendment in his contract, but when the GOP takes over the White House, Senate and House a few years later, nary a peep.
Oh, wait a minute, I found the answer right here...
GOP Playbook Rule 87:
- Dem in charge? Demand a a balanced budget amendment!!!!
- repub in charge? shhhhhh, nothing to see here...
Doesn't that explain the whole thing?
Pass a single line debt bill like Reagan demanded and get America back to work!
Posted by E.CAYCE, a resident of another community, on Aug 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Somehow, after reading all that, I did not come to any kind of opinion-----the massochist in me after reading the Chinese news via satellite and the never ending repetition in the news (with a lot more to come)has to give a person an iron constitution.....not the old paper one.
At this time, a comet or a major natural disaster would just be the icing on the mess.