While influential 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes would say it’s best to increase deficit spending in tough economic times, only 11% of American adults agree and think the nation needs to increase its deficit spending at this time. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% disagree and say it would be better to cut the deficit.
In fact, 59% think Keynes had it backwards and that increasing the deficit at this time would hurt the economy rather than help.
To help the economy, most Americans (56%) believe that cutting the deficit is the way to go.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans, in fact, say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.
Now if we could only get some of that wisdom to Washington.
“To close that credibility gap, we have to take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, to end the outsized influence of lobbyists, to do our work openly, to give our people the government they deserve.” - Barack Obama, on January 27th in the State of the Union address
“In terms of lobbyists, I can stand here unequivocally and say that there has not been an administration who was tougher on making sure that lobbyists weren’t participating in the administration than any administration that’s come before us.” - Barack Obama, on January 29th during a meeting with House GOP Conference
You know all that populist pandering on special interests and lobbyists by the president? It’s not true, as Tim Carney points out:
More than 40 former lobbyists work in senior positions in the Obama administration, including three Cabinet secretaries and the CIA director. Yet in his State of the Union address, Obama claimed, “We’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.”
Did Obama speak falsely?
Well, it depends on what the definition of “excluded lobbyists” is.
Sure, some of Obama’s 40 ex-lobbyists are like that anti-smoking activist, but many are of a different stripe, such as William J. Wilkins, the general counsel of Obama’s IRS, a former lobbyist for the Swiss Bankers Association.
Or Monsanto’s former VP for public policy, Michael Taylor, who Obama tapped as deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration.
Well, this was inevitable:
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday voted to allow the government to go $1.9 trillion deeper in debt – or about $6,000 more for every U.S. resident.
The measure, approved 217-212, would raise the cap on federal borrowing to $14.3 trillion. That’s enough to keep Congress from having to vote again before the November elections on an issue that is feeding a sense among voters that the government is spending too much and putting future generations under a mountain of debt to do it.
Already, the accumulated debt amounts to roughly $40,000 per person. And the debt is increasingly held by foreign nations such as China.
Passage of the bill would send it to President Barack Obama, who will sign it to avoid a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations.
“I can’t think of a more reckless or irresponsible act. Defaulting is not an option,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. “If the United States defaults, investors will lose confidence that the U.S. will honor its debts in the future.
Do you really think that anyone believes that we’re good for that $ 14 trillion Congressman?
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, several Democrats on Capitol Hill are advocating a Constitutional Amendment:
Democrats in Congress want to amend the U.S. Constitution to say free speech does not extend to corporations in response to the Supreme Court’s decision allowing freer corporate spending in political campaigns.
On Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Maryland Democrat, introduced an amendment to combat “the flawed ruling by the Supreme Court allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.”
The amendment will undo the Supreme Court decision and allow the government to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations for political speech, according to a release.
“It is time we remove corporate influence from our policies and our politics. We cannot allow corporations to dominate our elections, to do so would be both undemocratic and unfair to ordinary citizens,” Edwards said.
Conyers said the “idea that corporate political speech is no different than an individual citizen’s political speech was not the law when the Constitution was written.”
The proposed amendment, introduced in the House, says that the government “may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity.” The proposal adds: “Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.’’
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is still working with members of his party in both chambers of Congress to figure out how to shove ObamaCare down the throats of taxpayers.It looks like reconciliation is what we’re looking at.
However, in his comments to the media, Reid noted that it may not be procedurally feasible for the Senate to move first on the controversial legislative tactic:
Emerging from a meeting Tuesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hopes Democrats can decide by next week on a way to move the health care bill forward.
“We had a discussion and we have a number of options,” Reid said. “We don’t have anything finalized yet.”
In terms of procedure, Reid said the Senate cannot pass a reconciliation bill before the House does because revenue measures must start in the House .
“We can’t go first,” Reid said. “I don’t know how procedurally we can start reconciliation.”
But Reid acknowledged that there is consideration of the House passing the reconciliation bill first, followed by the Senate. The House could then pass the comprehensive Senate bill.
The Constitution is clear in Article I, Section 7 that “[a]ll bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.” That is why Reid is saying this, not that he ever cared what the Law of the Land said, otherwise they wouldn’t be pushing this bill.
In the State of the Union Address President Obama again attacked banks and proposed a special tax on those businesses because of the big bonuses they are giving out:
To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.
Attacking banks for giving out big bonuses is simply ridiculous, and here’s five reasons why:
1) Unless you have ownership in the company, it shouldn’t matter to you
Let’s say that a company like Home Depot decides to pay out big bonuses to their managers. The only people who should be upset are the stock owners. These owners could have received some of this money as dividends but instead it was used to pay big bonuses to the managers. This should be the same concept related to the banks: their bonuses really have nothing to do with you, unless of course you are owner of the company stock.
2) But the taxpayers own part of the banks!
Yes it is true that we “bailed out” the banks. Here’s the problem: Americans should be upset at the government for being irresponsible with their money. If the manager of your investments put a high percentage of your cash into a company that was likely going to fail sometime soon, wouldn’t you be upset? That’s what our government did: bailed out failing companies. If anything your anger should be directed at our government for even MAKING us owners of these failing institutions.
Here is an economics lesson from DuckTales:
The brain consists of about a hundred billion neurons, which is about the same as the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. A hundred billion is 1011, or a 1 following by 11 zeros: 100,000,000,000. That’s about what Obama plans to spend on Veterans Affairs ($57 billion) and Homeland Security ($43 billion) combined. It’s a huge number. It is literally an astronomical number. But that’s nothing. A trillion is a thousand billion. How much is a trillion?
Start counting seconds as “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…” and when you get to 86,400 that’s the number of seconds in a day. When you reach 31,546,000 that’s the number of seconds in a year. When you get to 315,460,000 you will have been counting for ten years, but you are still not even close. Add another 0 to get to 100 billion, and another 0 still to get to 1,000 billion, and you will have finally reached one trillion seconds. If you make it that long you will have been counting for about 30,000 years. Now, do that 3.8 times and you will have counted out the number of dollars that the Federal government plans to spend in just one year.
Rand Paul’s campaign for United States Senate in Kentucky is airing its first ad, purchasing $50,000 worth of air time on the Fox News Channel.
In the ad, Rand Paul discusses national defense and keeping accused terrorists at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:
This ad is going to make many of Ron Paul’s supporters very angry, much like his comments blasting Barack Obama over trials for Gitmo detainees back in November. He risks alienating a lot of people. However, the overwhelming majority of them aren’t casting a ballot in Kentucky Republican primary on May 18th.
It’s certainly smart politics, I don’t dispute that, but I don’t like that he is towing the fear-mongering party line.
Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) will be sworn into office Thursday, a week earlier than expected, officials in Washington said Wednesday.
Brown’s admission to the Senate will officially end the 60-vote majority Democrats have held for much of the last year and give Republicans enough votes to band together and block legislation as they choose.
Congressional Republicans said privately that seating Brown earlier could help them block Democratic nominees opposed by the GOP, specifically noting the nomination of Craig Becker, whom Obama has nominated to join the five-member National Labor Relations Board. Becker isan associated general counsel for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO. A Senate committee is due to vote on his nomination Thursday, setting up a confirmation vote on the floor by next week.
Republicans blocked Becker’s nomination much of last year, after complaints from business groups that he is too biased in favor of labor unions to serve on the NLRB. But the Obama administration renominated Becker to the post last month.
Supposedly, Brown was not set to be seated until February 11th, but with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) certifying the election results tomorrow, he wants in immediately.