Posts Tagged ‘Politics’
As most of you know I was royally peed off when the lame duck
Republicans caved and gave Obama everything and more. Those miserable whimps! So now we have come to the new House and the new Republicans and I am afraid to hope. the first problems is the debt ceiling and raising it. I say NO! NO! NO! Let our so-called credit rating fail. Not one thing will happen to the life of Brenda B or Joe Blow. the only thing that will happen is that maybe the rest of the world will have to find some other soft touch country to extort billions from year after year. Maybe it will mean our politicians in Washington will not be able to take their little all expense paid overseas junkets and be sucked up to in order to sucker these political thieves into giving up more billions of our money to pay the host countries for their free golf holidays. Abut aside from that the world will not end!
What may happen is that our politicians will have to get serious bout cutting or the government will shut down. Frankly I personally could easily see the country getting by with out the Education Department for half a year or forever. then there is the Transportation Department that I fail to see any real need for. Perhaps some politicians in congress can google “ineffective government programs” like I did and find 341,000 entries. This would be a good place to start in making cuts!
So here I sit watching the big whigs and experts and good old boys tell me again and again how we can not allow the United States to hit bottom by not lifting the Debt Ceiling. I say a big BS to you all. BB
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell
Grousing about the GOP’s timidity in the battle against big government will probably become an ongoing theme over the next few months. Two items don’t bode well for fiscal discipline.
As they prepare to take power on Wednesday, Republican leaders are scaling back that number by as much as half, aides say, because the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, will be nearly half over before spending cuts could become law.
This is hardly good news, particularly since the discretionary portion of the budget contains entire departments, such as Housing and Urban Development, that should be immediately abolished.
That being said, I don’t think this necessarily means the GOP has thrown in the towel. The real key is to reverse the Bush-Obama spending binge and put the government on some sort of diet so that the federal budget grows slower than the private economy. I explain in this video, for instance, that it is simple to balance the budget and maintain tax cuts so long as government spending grows by only 2 percent each year.
It is a good idea to get as much savings as possible for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, to be sure, but the real key is the long-run trajectory of federal spending.
The second item is the GOP’s apparent interest in retaining Douglas Elmendorf, the current director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Many of you will remember that the CBO cooked the books last year to help ram through Obamacare. Under Elmendorf’s watch, CBO also was a relentless advocate and defender of Obama’s failed stimulus. And CBO under Elmendorf published reports saying higher taxes would improve economic performance.
But Elmendorf’s statist positions apparently are not a problem for some senior Republicans, as reported by The Hill.
The new House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), gave a very public endorsement of the embattled head of the Congressional Budget Office during his first major speech as committee head Wednesday night. …“You’re doing a great job at CBO, Doug,” Ryan said after receiving the first annual Fiscy Award for his efforts at tackling the national debt. He added that he looked forward to crunching budget numbers with him in the future.
In the long run, the failure to deal with the problems at CBO (as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation) may cause even more problems than the timidity about cutting $100 billion of waste from the 2011 budget. Given the rules on Capitol Hill, it makes a huge difference whether CBO and JCT are putting out flawed numbers.
I’ve already written that fixing the mess at CBO and JCT is a critical test of GOP resolve, and I actually thought this would be a relatively easy test for them to pass. It is an ominous sign that Republicans aren’t even trying to clean house.
Posted December 23, 2010on:
One of the many messes the unhousebroken Obama Administration and Democratic Congress has made for We the People to clean up is the full federal ownership of the two giant mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. These companies under the influence of Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd have gobbled up every toxic mortgage mortgage bankers made in order to make the initial profit and knowing they could then sell them to Fannie or Freddie. It is probably the biggest mess this last democratic congress has made that we really can not just simply de-fund and therefore destroy as may be the case with Obamacare and some other stupidities. So what will the next Republican controlled House Congress do with the mess? This is the advise of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office which has consistently;y advised against the government control of these once privately held companies.
Posted by Mark A. Calabria
Just in time for the holidays,CBO ( Congressional Budget Office) has released its analysis of the costs and benefits of various alternatives to our current system of mortgage finance, particularly the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The report examines three possibilities:
- A hybrid public/private model in which the government provides explicit guarantees on privately issued mortgages or MBSs;
- A fully public model in which a wholly federal entity would guarantee qualifying mortgages or MBSs; or
- A fully private model in which there would be no special federal backing for the secondary mortgage market.
The report doesn’t really push one option over another, but simply lays out the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some highlights worth keeping in mind as the debate continues into the new year:
“Relying on explicit government guarantees…would also have some disadvantages…If competition remained muted, with only a few…firms participating in the secondary market, limiting risk to the overall financial system and avoiding regulatory capture could be difficult…federal guarantees would reduce creditors’ incentive to monitor risk. Experience with other federal insurance and credit programs suggests that the government would have trouble setting risk-sensitive prices and would most likely end up imposing some cost and risk on taxpayers. In addition, a hybrid approach might not eliminate the frictions that arise between private and public missions.”
“Privatization might provide the strongest incentive for prudent behavior on the part of financial intermediaries by removing the moral hazard that federal guarantees create. By increasing competition in the secondary market, the privatization approach would reduce the market’s reliance on the viability of any one firm. Private markets may also be best positioned to allocate the credit risk and interest rate risk of mortgages efficiently, and they would probably be more innovative than a secondary market dominated by a fully federal agency. Further, privatization would eliminate the tension between public and private purposes inherent in the traditional GSE model.”
It is worth remembering that over the years, the CBO has actually been quite strong in warning against the dangers of the GSE model.** Sadly Congress simply chose to ignore those warnings. Here’s hoping that the CBO has little more influence on this issue than they’ve had in the past.
**The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are a group of financial services corporations created by the United States Congress. Their function is to enhance the flow of credit to targeted sectors of the economy and to make those segments of the capital market more efficient and transparent. The desired effect of the GSEs is to enhance the availability and reduce the cost of credit to the targeted borrowing sectors: agriculture, home finance and education. Congress created the first GSE in 1916 with the creation of the Farm Credit System; it initiated GSEs in the home finance segment of the economy with the creation of the Federal Home Loan Banks in 1932; and it targeted education when it chartered Sallie Mae in 1972 (although Congress allowed Sallie Mae to relinquish its government sponsorship and become a fully private institution via legislation in 1995). The residential mortgage borrowing segment is by far the largest of the borrowing segments in which the GSEs operate. GSEs hold or pool approximately $5 trillion worth of mortgages
Posted November 11, 2010on:
This article from FOXNEWS Home page. I personally am all for every one of them except I don’t think they have gone far enough. Yes, I will be “hurt” by some of the cuts and my children even more so. BUT, my grandchildren and great grandchildren will not have to pay my debts and the debts of my generation. What do you think? BB
U.S. Deficit Commission Recommends Changes to Social Security
Published November 10, 2010
A draft proposal by the deficit commission suggests curbing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age.
A draft proposal by the deficit commission suggests curbing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age.
The co-chairmen of the panel appointed by President Obama to cut the U.S. deficit recommend raising the retirement age to 68. It is currently 67 years for retirees to receive full benefits. The panel leaders also propose reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security.
The increase to age 68 would be implemented by 2050 and then would increase again to 69 by 2075. A “hardship exception” would be provided for certain occupations where older retirement would be unrealistic.
According to a source who spoke to Fox News, the 18-member panel led by former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, also may propose reducing the base rate on corporate taxes, phasing in spending cuts over time, reducing foreign aid by $4.6 billion, freezing federal salaries for three years and banning congressional earmarks. It is unclear how the commissioners would define a congressional earmark.
The proposal would also set a tough target for curbing the growth of Medicare. And it recommends looking at eliminating popular tax breaks, such as mortgage interest deduction. The plan also calls for cuts in farm subsidies and the Pentagon’s budget.
The goal is to reduce $1 trillion-plus budget deficits. The panel, which was meeting Wednesday, was expected to provide a full set of recommendations on Dec. 1.
But any recommendations require a supermajority of 14 members of the panel for approval and that seems unlikely.
Cuts to Social Security and Medicare are anathema to liberals on the panel. Conservatives have difficulty with options on raising taxes.
“This is not a proposal I could support,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. “On Medicare and Social Security in particular, there are proposals that I could not support.”
“It’s a very provocative proposal,” said GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. “Some of it I like. Some of it disturbs me. And some of it I’ve got to study.”
Speaking to reporters after the draft leaked, Bowles said it would be great if Congress could come to some agreement about the plan before the next term, but said there is no need to vote on anything right now. The approved proposals would have to go to the Senate for a vote before heading to the House.
Bowles said he is certain that this is a real plan that Congress can work from, and the draft will help “educate the American people” as to the “massive” task before them.
Bowles also joked that he and Simpson are now headed into “the witness protection program.”
“This is the first time in my memory in Washington … where it’s all there. We have harpooned every whale,” Simpson added.
Another article with comments from some deficit commission members comments:
by Trish Turner | November 10, 2010
The top Republican and Democrat on President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission introduced an ambitious draft proposal Wednesday to slash the nation’s deficit by by $4 trillion over ten years, but both chairmen conceded that the focus is more on starting a national debate rather than actually accomplishing legislative action this year.
The draft, laid out in detail to commission members during two closed-door, hours-long sessions, spares virtually no “sacred cow” programs, proposing dramatic changes to Social Security, once called the “third rail” of politics, pushes for limits to Medicare, axes the popular mortgage interest deduction in favor of lower income tax rates for all, freezes Defense Department salaries and bonuses for three years and noncombat pay at 2011 levels for the same period, and the list goes on.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, a commission member, did not sound confident that 14 of the 18 members could agree on any proposal in order to move it to a vote in Congress. “We’ve had trouble getting 14 people to agree on what time of the day to meet,” the Budget Committee Chairman said.
The often-comedic co-chairman Alan Simpson sheepishly exited the meeting, telling reporters, “We’re entering the witness protection program,” referring to his fellow co-chairman and proposal author Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.
Commissioners mostly commended the chairmen for attacking the problem and offering real, detailed solutions, but to a letter, not one member embraced the proposal, though Simpson and Bowles said they did not expect that. Still another member, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., called the Social Security changes “a nonstarter.”
Schakowsky questioned the equity in the cuts, noted the “growing gap between rich and poor in this country,” and said, “This is not at all something I could support.”
Outside the bipartisan group, members slung arrows at the draft proposal, as well. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., decried the plan as “extremely disappointing and something that should be vigorously opposed by the American people. The huge increase in the national debt in recent years was caused by two unpaid wars, tax breaks for the wealthy, a Medicare prescription drug bill written by the pharmaceutical industry, and the Wall Street bailout.”
But some members cautioned against snap judgments. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a member of the panel, said, “The greatest national security threat facing America today is our national debt and a Congress that has avoided tough choices for decades. The discussion draft describes some of the tough choices facing Congress and the nation,” and warned, “I would encourage taxpayers to view with great suspicion the beltway, interest group culture that often prefers demagoguery over honest debate. In the real world, no family facing tough economic times has the luxury of treating portions of their budget as sacrosanct. Neither should Congress.”
Simpson encouraged people to read the proposal and said there is more than enough time for Congressional action, saying he and Bowles “laid it all out on the table. Let the American people start to chew on it..As I say, we didn’t leave anybody out of the crosshairs.”
But Sanders was having no part of that, particularly the Simpson-Bowles proposal for Social Security that gradually increases the retirement age for benefits, possibly to 69 by 2075. Sanders blasted, “It is reprehensible to ask working people, including many who do physically-demanding labor, to work until they are 69 years of age. It also is totally impractical. As they compete for jobs with 25-year-olds, many older workers will go unemployed and have virtually no income. Frankly, there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.”Commission Executive Vice President Bruce Reed told reporters that the panel intends to reconvene next week to get down into the details of the draft document and offer alternative proposals. And though he said members are still aiming to have a plan released on December 1, Reed did acknowledge that if members do not agree, the co-chairmen will certainly promote their own product separately to the American people.
The Feds mice doing mischief while we were not looking. While we were busy watching the elections returns the Federal Reserve announced they were printing $600 Billion (Confederate) dollars so they could buy US Treasury Notes. Oh yes! Because our dollar is so worthless the rest of the world is now refusing to buy our Treasury Notes giving us the money to continue our suicidal spending we will simply buy our own. This would sound stupid to a child who could see that one can not use Monopoly money to buy bread; it is only the politicians who can understand this kind of thinking.
I can only hope the 37 individual states which now have installed Republican governors and mostly Republican legislatures will pull themselves out of debt so when the federal government goes over the cliff there is a group of relatively solvent states to remake the nation. BB