deficit spending

Dems do not want to talk about ObamaCare

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that a prominent liberal advocacy group was telling supporters of ObamaCare to avoid talking about claims made by Democrats during the debate over the legislation in Congress earlier this year, such as the mythical claims of deficit reduction.

Now, another group, Health Care for America Now, is encouraging supporters of ObamaCare to avoid discussing ObamaCare entirely with voters:

The progressive coalition Health Care for America Now fought hard to pass health care reform. Now it’s fighting hard to help reelect lawmakers who voted for the bill — even if it means not talking about it.

While polls show that health reform has become slightly more popular since passage, it’s still a polarizing issue, particularly in districts where Republicans and conservative groups have bombarded voters with negative ads.

Now, HCAN’s field crews are finding that the best way to support reform-friendly lawmakers is to talk about something else: jobs, the economy or other issues likely to resonate more with voters.

“We want to be flexible in talking about what is most relevant to constituents, whatever issues are most motivational,” said HCAN’s national field director, Margarida Jorge, who organizes a daily call with their partner organizations. “We can have a high level of focus on health care but also understand at times the focus is going to shift.”

HCAN activists say they are not dodging their key issue; rather, they want to keep pace with voter concerns, which have markedly shifted over the past year.

Podcast: $13 Trillion Debt, BP Oil Spill, Alvin Greene, 2011 Budget, and Economic Failing Guests: Mike Hassinger, Doug Mataconis

This week, Jason and Brett gathered a crack team of drinkers, fiscal conservatives, or both to “celebrate” the recent record-breaking $13 trillion national debt.

The discussion covers:

Plug the Damn Hole!

For months now, the American people have watched in horror as a dark, viscous fluid has hemorrhaged out of a well. It continues every minute of every day, day in and day out, with no end in sight. Even though we know it threatens the livelihood of everything and everyone in its path, we have been unable to stop it. We have elected officials that we have called upon to put an end to it, yet they have thus far proven completely incompetent, unable to get the job done and end the leak. Indeed, most of the time, despite the grandstanding and the bold talk, it seems as if the government is not only unable to end the leak, but unwilling. For, despite the rhetoric, the actions of government thus far have not been the kind that will end this disaster.

“Plug the damn hole!” our president cried in frustration. I agree. But…

As bad as the oil spill in the gulf most certainly is, the leak I am talking about is the unending gusher of red ink which comes from the “well” in Washington, D.C. This leak is doing far more damage to our country and will take much longer to correct than the leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Its effects are far more problematic for the health of our country, yet far less is being done to combat it. At least BP is making an effort to stop their leak, even if most attempts have proved futile so far. In our nation’s capitol, everyone talks about the need for fiscal responsibility, but few have shown they believe those words by allowing the danger to galvanize us into action.

Porkulus III Passes Senate With Republican Help

The Senate passed Porkulus III by a vote of 70-28 with 13 Republicans demonstrating their party’s new found fiscal conservatism by crossing over to vote with every Democrat present for the bill. Like the first Porkulus signed by George W. Bush in 2008 and the Porkulus II passed last year, Porkulus III forks over billions of borrowed dollars to fund various special interest projects and tax gimmicks in the name of “creating jobs”.

The gimmicks funded in this lastest round of Porkulus include a tax holiday for the remainder of the year on Social Security payroll taxes, but only if the company hires someone out of work for more than 60 days. In addition, Porkulus commits to billions in in more mass transit spending and more highway projects (ie. more pork barrel spending).

The Senate’s version of Porkulus must be sent over to the House where it must be reconciled with the House’s much more expansive $154 billion Porkulus bill. However, the Senate plans to pass more items in the House’s bill one at a time so that Senate Majority Harry Reid and other Democrat leaders can find out how much the prices of the votes of “fiscally conservative” Republicans are.

Included are proposed Senate bills giving away corporate welfare to ethanol producers, which is expected to be supported by farm state Republicans. In addition, there is another planned Senate bill to keep Americans out of work longer by extending unemployment benefits and COBRA.

The RINOs who supported Porkulus III today are:

Vulnerable Senate Democrat who once complained about Washington’s addiction to spending has failed to live up to her rhetoric

Kay Hagan made out of control federal spending and the surge in the national debt an issue during her successful 2008 campaign for U.S. Senate against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

“You only need to look at what kind of state senator I’ve been for the last ten years to see what kind of U.S. senator I’ll be,” said Hagan in a 2008 campaign speech, a clip of which was made available on the NRSC Rapid Response YouTube channel. “While Washington spends itself into a hole and mortgages the future for our children and our grandchildren, I’ve produced five balanced budgets,” she adds before the clip cuts away.

The criticism was valid. Dole had largely toed the party line on spending, approving much of then-President George W. Bush’s domestic and foreign policy agenda in her first and only term in the upper chamber.

CBO once again shows that Washington’s budget deficits will be driven by out-of-control spending, not a lack of revenue

spending

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has, once again, issued a dire warning about the long-term fiscal problems facing the United States. But one has to wonder if how many elected officials on Capitol Hill are listening.

The good news, according to a report released yesterday, is budget deficits are expected to decline over the next few years and Medicare is doing a little better than it was last year. The bad news is that Medicare is still broken, Social Security is even worse off, and the share of the national debt held by the public is at its highest point since World War II and that’s only going to get worse.

“If current laws remained generally unchanged in the future, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next few years,” the CBO report explains. “After that, however, growing budget deficits would push debt back to and above its current high level.”

“Twenty-five years from now, in 2039, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP, CBO projects,” the report continues. “Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.”

The public share of the national debt is currently at 74 percent, almost double what it was in 2008. Here is a look at the debt projections from the CBO report:

CBO sees a bigger river of red ink under Obama’s budget

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that budget deficits will be nearly $1.7 trillion greater under President Barack Obama’s budget than the estimates released last month by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The two agencies frequently conflict on budget projections. The OMB sort of takes a guess on what economic growth will look like over a 10-year period and scores a president’s tax and spending agenda based on those estimates. The CBO, however, is more restrained in its approach.

The discrepancy between the two reports is due to the CBO’s assumption that current law remains largely unchanged. The nonpartisan fiscal research agency also believes that tax revenues will be $1.8 trillion lower than the OMB, which is due to less rosy economic projections over the next 10 years (2015-2024).

President Obama’s budget estimates that budget deficits over the next decade will come in at approximately $4.93 trillion (Table S-1 of the OMB report). But the CBO estimates that deficits will be significantly higher, at $6.56 trillion (Table 1 of the CBO report), or $1.64 trillion greater than the administration’s estimate.

Here’s a look at the year-by-year differences:

Deficits to grow by $7.6 trillion over next 10 years

The Congressional Budget Office expects budget deficits to grow by $7.62 trillion between 2015 and 2024 despite a rise in tax revenue. That, according to updated budget projections released yesterday.

The nonpartisan fiscal research office expects budget deficits to hit $492 billion in 2014, or 2.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), and $469 billion in 2015 before beginning to rise again. By 2020, the budget deficit will hit $804 billion, or 3.5% of the economy.

The main drivers of federal spending are entitlements, known budget language as “mandatory spending” or “autopilot spending,” and debt service. These budgetary items will consume nearly 74% of the federal budget over the 10-year budget window.

Though tax revenues will eclipse $4.9 trillion, or 18.3% of GDP, by 2024, spending will continue to rise at an unsustainable pace. The federal government will spend nearly $6 trillion in that same year. The federal government will spend nearly $48.2 trillion over the course of this timeframe.

Added together, taxpayers will be hit with $7.62 trillion in budget deficits over the 10 year budget window. The share of the national debt held by the public will eclipse $20 trillion by 2024. This, despite higher than average tax revenues collected by the federal government.

The Congressional Budget Office warns of potentially dire consequences if federal lawmakers don’t act soon to deal with the threats to the United States’ long-term prosperity.

ID-02: Club for Growth targets Boehner ally in new ad

Club for Growth Action rolled out a new ad yesterday against Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), an ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), hitting him for backing the Wall Street bailout, votes to increase the debt ceiling, and support for a “bigger Obama stimulus bill.”

The Club for Growth endorsed Bryan Smith, who is challenging Simpson in the Republican primary, in July 2013.

“Career politician Mike Simpson is one of the most liberal, anti-taxpayer Republicans serving in Congress today,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement, “which is exactly why it’s so critical that Idaho voters replace him with a constitutional conservative like Bryan Smith.”

Obama and the Bong-Hit Budgeting Plan

It looks like Obama has reprised his role as the leader of the “Choom Gang,” the uber-cool, pot-smoking rebels of his college days. How else can one explain Obama’s latest budget proposal, in which he will, according to the Washington Post, call “for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency…”

Seriously? And end to austerity? That is like Rosie O’Donnell announcing an end to her era of starvation. That’s like Lindsay Lohan calling for an end to her strict sobriety, or Bill Clinton announcing an end to his marital fidelity.

The thought that the Obama presidency to date has been an era of austerity is so comical, so absolutely farcical, that when I first heard the comment I assumed it had to be from a Saturday Night Live skit. I mean, the utter disregard for spending restraint under Obama is legendary. Obama’s spending makes George W. Bush’s spending seem downright miserly by comparison, and that is quite a feat!

Obama had barely changed the drapes in the Oval Office before he signed off on the $830 “stimulus” bill, an orgy of handouts to Democrat special interests and labor unions under the guise of economic recovery. It was never intended to stimulate the economy, which is why unemployment increased to over 10% and stayed above 9% for his entire first term, and why Obama joked about “shovel ready jobs” not being as shovel ready as they imagined.

 


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