Budgets (page 254)

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    Hanson explores the president’s curious about-face on deficit spending

    Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest column at National Review Online explains that opposition to President Obama’s budget proposals “reflects genuine puzzlement — and, yes, anger — over a president addicted to debt, who suddenly wants to preach to others about their responsibility to pay back what he…
    Mitch Kokai, July 28, 2011
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    Tara Servatius joins the Meck Deck

    Columnist. Radio star. Professional gadfly. Add Meck Deck blogger to Tara Servatius’ impressive resume. She’s sinking her teeth into Charlotte-Mecklenburg news today with an initial entry on the local school system’s “oh-so-broke shuffle.” Welcome, Tara!…
    Mitch Kokai, July 27, 2011
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    Cato’s Tanner questions congressional commitment to ‘austerity’

    The great sage Inigo Montoya once quipped: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Montoya was referring to the word "inconceivable," but he could have been addressing members of Congress who utter the word "austerity." The Cato Institute's Michael Tanner explores the austerity of congressional debt-limit proposals in a new column for National Review Online: "It is clear we must enter an age of austerity,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi mourned as she endorsed Harry Reid’s proposal for raising the debt ceiling. Austerity? Really? The Reid plan would theoretically cut spending by $2.7 trillion over ten years. Even if that were true, it would still allow our national debt to increase by some $10 trillion over the next decade. But, of course, the $2.7 trillion figure is mostly fiction. About $1 trillion of the savings would come from the eventual end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, savings that were going to occur anyway. Senator Reid might just as well have added another $1 trillion in savings by not invading Pakistan. Another $400 billion comes not from cuts but from assuming reduced interest payments. And, of course, there are $40 billion in unspecified “program-integrity savings,” meaning the “waste, fraud, and abuse” that is the last refuge of every phony budget cutter. The plan rejects any changes to Medicare and Social Security, despite the fact that the unfunded liabilities from those two programs could run as high as $110 trillion. But those liabilities generally fall outside the ten-year budget window, so Reid — unlike our children and grandchildren — doesn’t have to worry about them.
    Mitch Kokai, July 27, 2011
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    Barnes analyzes Obama’s role in the debt-limit drama

    Fred Barnes‘ latest Weekly Standard column examines the notion President Obama presents of being “the nonpartisan adult in the room in the struggle over raising the debt limit.” One might think from the president’s claim of aloofness that he acted as a fair and…
    Mitch Kokai, July 27, 2011
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    Does Washington Post poll suggest people are getting the message about government overspending?

    Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner’s “Beltway Confidential” suggests the answer is yes: “More than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base,” The Washington Post…
    Mitch Kokai, July 27, 2011
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    Heritage Action group takes aim at debt-limit deal

    From Jessica Anderson at Heritage Action for America: July 26, 2011 Dear Congressman, Earlier this summer, Heritage Action for America announced we would be a “no” on a deal to raise the debt limit “unless a deal rises to the level of the substantial fiscal challenges which face our nation.” Unfortunately, neither the Boehner Plan nor the Reid Plan meets this criteria and we will be key voting “no” on any votes on either. Our nation is in the midst of a fiscal crisis, but it is one that has nothing to do with an August 2 “deadline” for a deal or President Obama and Secretary Geithner’s fear mongering over recent days and weeks. The crisis is one of over $62 trillion in unfunded obligations that are the loudest warning bell possible of the systemic problems plaguing our nation. Washington should not ignore or postpone dealing with this problem once again.
    Mitch Kokai, July 26, 2011
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    Sowell calls for dropping the debt-ceiling law

    Amid the debate about raising the federal debt ceiling, Thomas Sowell‘s latest column offers an alternative idea: Scrap the debt ceiling law entirely. Too many policies, programs, and institutions are judged by what they are supposed to do, rather than by what they actually…
    Mitch Kokai, July 26, 2011
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    DeMint stakes out opposition to debt-ceiling compromises

    Details that have emerged about a potential debt-ceiling deal have done nothing to pacify South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, as the Washington Examiner‘s “Beltway Confidential” reports. He explained that “the plans released by both parties today fail to take our debt crisis seriously and…
    Mitch Kokai, July 26, 2011