House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says that you should celebrate ObamaCare when you’re sitting down with your friends and family this Independence Day.
During a press conference yesterday, Pelosi marked the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision upholding major parts of ObamaCare as a reason to “observ[e] health independence” and said that the law “captures the spirit of our founders.”
“Soon we will all be leaving for the Fourth of July recess next week. When we celebrate Independence Day, we also will be observing health independence. This week, this marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It captures the spirit of our founders, a spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi told reporters. “The Affordable Care Act offers just that, a healthier life, the liberty to pursue a person’s happiness, to be free of constraints, be job-locked because they are policy-locked.”
“So, we have had Social Security, Medicare, and now health independence,” she added. “And that’s something our Members will take home to celebrate over this Independence Day.”
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) seems a litte confused about what party he belongs to. During an appearance on CNBC, the Alaska Democrat tried to distance himself from his the Leftist-wing of his party by telling the hosts that he is a “Rockefeller Republican”:
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) on Monday said he’s closer to being a Rockefeller Republican than a Pelosi Democrat.
“Probably a Rockefeller Republican,” the Alaska senator told CNBC Monday morning when asked whether he was closer to identifying as that or as a Pelosi Democrat.
The comment signifies Begich’s efforts to put some distance between himself and national Democrats in the libertarian-leaning state.
Well, that’s flatly absurd. Begich, who serves on Democratic leadership in the Senate, is no doubt nervous about running for re-election in a state that Mitt Romney won by 14 points. In 2008, he barely defeated then-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who was found guilty of lying about gifts he’d received from an oil company (that conviction was reversed last year).
While Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has become a tool for his Democratic colleagues to move the budget into conference committee, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) continue to express there concerns that these negotiations will be used for a stealth debt ceiling increase.
The issue at hand is that that a conference report could be passed by a majority of the chamber, bypassing a filibuster, as per Senate rules. Sneaking through a debt limit hike, as part of a budget agreement that only requires a majority, is objectionable to these members. And they’re right.
During a speech from the floor on Thursday, Lee explained why he and several other fiscal conservatives in the Senate want assurances from leaders that a debt ceiling hike won’t be part of the conference report on the budget.
“For sixty-one days, several of my colleagues and I have objected to the majority’s request for unanimous consent to circumvent regular order to go to conference with the House on the budget,” said Lee. “They want permission to skip a few steps in the process, and jump straight to the closed-door back-room meetings.”
“There, senior negotiators of the House and Senate will be free to wait until a convenient, artificial deadline and ram through their compromise – un-amended, un-debated and mostly un-read,” he continued. “And with the country backed up against another economic ‘cliff’ crisis, we are concerned they will exploit that opportunity to sneak a debt-limit increase into the budget.”
“We think that’s inappropriate,” he added.
There has been some squabbling in the Senate over the appointment of members to a conference committee with the House try to iron out the differences between the chambers over their separate version of the FY 2014 budget. Conservative members of the Senate — led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) — have objected to the appointment of conferees over concern that a budget agreement would be used for a backdoor national debt increase.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) once again attacked these fiscal conservatives. “What we’re saying here on this side of the aisle is we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority,” said McCain, according to Bloomberg.
Cruz responded to McCain yesterday on the floor of the Senate, noting that the fiscal mess in which the United States finds itself is the creation of both parties.
“Madam President, [McCain] urged the body to trust the Republicans,” said Cruz. “Let me be clear — I don’t trust the Republicans. And I don’t trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”
“You know, my wife and I have two little girls at home, they’re 5 and 2. When Caroline was born, our national debt was $10 trillion,” he noted. “Today, it’s nearly $17 trillion. In her short five years of life, the national debt has grown by over 60%. Madame President, what we are doing to our kids and grandkids, I think, is immoral.”
Watch the full video of Cruz’s response to McCain below:
Many on the Left are praising a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showing that President Barack Obama’s budget, which was submitted two months late, would lower deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years:
President Obama’s most recent budget request would reduce borrowing by $1.1 trillion over the next decade compared with current law — almost entirely through higher taxes on the rich, large estates and smokers, congressional budget analysts said Friday.
In addition to raising nearly $1 trillion in new taxes, the president’s blueprint would also cut spending modestly, according to the analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
So…more tax hikes, which seems to be the end-all, be-all for this White House. Remember, the $1 trillion in new taxes that President Obama wants would come after a tax hike earlier this year that raised taxes on 77% of American households.And President Obama wants to raise your taxes again.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still living in Fantasyland when it comes to ObamaCare. During an interview on MSNBC, a frequent mouthpiece for Leftists, the ex-House Speaker claimed that ObamaCare is responsible for bringing down the budget deficit:
“Many of the initiatives that he passed are what are coming to bear now, including the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “The Affordable Care Act is bringing the cost of health care in our country down in both the public and private sector. And that is what is largely responsible for the deficit coming down.”
The CBO reported last week that the federal budget deficit declined in the first seven months of fiscal year 2013 compared to 2012.
It’s true that the budget deficit will shrink this year, but that’s because of increasing tax revenues, not because of ObamaCare. Additionally, we’re finally — after nearly four years — coming out of a recession, so tax revenues inching up is not surprising.
Health insurers are already seeking premium hikes, which could rise even higher, to deal with the added strain of the law and implementation efforts are becoming a disaster, both of which have caused many Democrats to become concerned. Even more troublesome is the effect that ObamaCare is having on businesses, including moves to cut hours to prevent from having to offer workers insurance benefits.
Washington is determined not to kick its spending habit. During his press conference yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that “[w]e can’t cut our way to prosperity,” a line that has been used frequently by President Barack Obama. The comment prompted this tweet from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
I agree with @speakerboehner: We can’t cut our way to prosperity.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 9, 2013
After four years of $1+ trillion budget deficits, Washington needs to begin taking steps to dam the river of red ink. And if there is question as to the severity of the fiscal mess President Obama and Congress has left us, here’s some perspective from Bankrupting America:
With another debt ceiling fight potentially brewing, the House of Representatives passed the Full Faith and Credit Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), which would require the Treasury Department to prioritize debt service and Social Security payments to keep the United States’ credit rating intact:
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would allow the government to borrow money above the debt ceiling, but only to service U.S. bondholders and make payments related to the Social Security Trust Fund.
The Full Faith and Credit Act, H.R. 807, was passed in a 221-207 vote that saw all but eight Republicans favor the bill, and every Democrat oppose it.
Republicans said the bill creates a necessary option for the government to extend its borrowing ability in the event that it bumps up against the debt ceiling. Republicans and Democrats are expected to begin talks this month on increasing the debt limit.
You can view the roll call vote here.
President Obama, who has pledged a veto should it pass the Senate, Democrats have attacked the measure because it would take one of their favorite talking points off the table. President Obama has frequently claimed during debt ceiling fights that Social Security checks could be held up if the statutory national debt limit is not raised.
Democrats are completely out of touch when it comes to the national debt. Rather than look at the past four years of $1+ trillion budget deficits, they pretend like it didn’t happen. Take the comments of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), for example. These two recent told Politico that Congress can’t make anymore spending cuts because it would hurt the economy:
But aided by a pile of recent data suggesting the deficit is already shrinking significantly and current spending cuts are slowing the economy, more Democrats such as Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen are coming around to the point of view that fiscal austerity, in all its forms, is more the problem than the solution.
“Trying to just land on the debt too quickly would really harm the economy; I’m convinced of that,” Kaine, hardly a wild-eyed liberal, said in an interview. “Jobs and growth should be No. 1. Economic growth is the best anti-deficit strategy.”
Some conserative groups, like the American Enterprise Institute, are in agreement that austerity could be hurting the economy. But let’s think about that for a second. It’s true that the economy is still lagging, yet to pick up steam in terms of post-recession job creation and growth. However, businesses are dealing with the effects of tax increases that took effect at the beginning of the year and increased regulation, including ObamaCare. It’s no surprise that economy is being as productive as it should be. Moreover, Congress hasn’t actually cut spending. They’re just cut the rate of growth in spending increases.That’s not austerity. That’s a joke.
On Friday, the House passed legislation already approved by the Senate that would undo politically motivated furloughs for air traffic controllers that were implemented due to the sequester. But the fix will cost taxpayers. Over at the FreedomWorks blog, Jon Gabriel notes that undoing furloughs will add around $6 million to the deficit over the next 10 years:
From what little has been publicized, the bill appears to increase outlays this year in return for a promise of reductions in later years. Much like Lucy promised Charlie Brown that this time she wouldn’t yank the football.
But even the promised reductions wouldn’t cover the entirety of the bill’s cost. According to the House GOP website, “most, but not all, of that near-term increase would be offset by corresponding reductions in outlays in future years, resulting in net increases in outlays totaling $4 million over the 2013-2018 period and $2 million over the 2013-2023.”
One thing is clear: this “fix” will increase the deficit for 2013 and beyond.
This amount of money doesn’t even amount to a rounding error in the broader scheme of the federal budget, but it’s not about that. As had been noted several times at United Liberty, the sequester isn’t even really a spending cut in terms of actual outlays. It’s just a cut to the rates of spending increases. The sad thing is that these relatively unsubstantial “cuts” come after years of dramatically increased spending under both the Bush and Obama Administrations.