Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling
Those of you who’ve been reading my posts and comments for the past year know that I’m a huge fan of Dr. Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas (and until the Tea Party freshmen were elected, the only member of the House who apparently had read, and understands, the entire Constitution.) If a bill is unconstitutional, he votes “no.” End of discussion. No dealmaking, no backroom shenanigans, no focus-grouping or posturing or patronizing.
I voted for Ron Paul, I helped raise money for him, I’ve read his books and admire his principles.
And I’m just as excited about Ron’s son Rand, an ophthalmologist from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Rand Paul defeated the entire GOP establishment in Kentucky and ran on a Tea Party platform to become the State’s newest Senator. Named for freedom philosopher and author Ayn Rand, Rand Paul has quickly established himself as a champion of individual liberty, just like his father.
Yesterday Rand Paul published an open letter about the horrible “compromise” bill that passed the House of Representatives and has been sent to the Senate. It’s so good, I’m publishing it in its entirety.
Open Letter: Why I Oppose the Debt Ceiling Compromise
by United States Senator Rand Paul, M.D.
Aug 1, 2011
To paraphrase Senator Jim DeMint: When you’re speeding toward the edge of a cliff, you don’t set the cruise control. You stop the car. The current deal to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t stop us from going over the fiscal cliff. At best, it slows us from going over it at 80 mph to going over it at 60 mph.
This plan never balances. The President called for a “balanced approach.” But the American people are calling for a balanced budget.
This deal does nothing to fix the overreaches of both parties over the past few years: Obamacare, TARP, trillion-dollar wars, runaway entitlement spending. They are all cemented into place with this deal, and their legacy will be trillions of dollars in new debt.
The deal that is pending before us now:
- Adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years. The deal purports to “cut” $2.1 trillion, but the “cut” is from a baseline that adds $10 trillion to the debt. This deal, even if all targets are met and the Super Committee wields its mandate – results in a BEST case scenario of still adding more than $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. That is sickening.
- Never, ever balances.
- The Super Committee’s mandate is to add $7 trillion in new debt. Let’s be clear: $2.1 trillion in reductions off a nearly $10 trillion,10-year debt is still more than $7 trillion in debt. The Super Committee limits the constitutional check of the filibuster by expediting passage of bills with a simple majority. The Super Committee is not precluded from any issue, therefore the filibuster could be rendered moot. In addition, the plan harms the possible passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Since the goal is never to balance, having the BBA as a “trigger” ensures that the committee will simply report its $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan and never move to a BBA vote.
- It cuts too slowly. Even if you believe cutting $2.1 trillion out of $10 trillion is a good compromise, surely we can start cutting quickly, say $200 billion-$300 billion per year, right? Wrong. This plan so badly backloads the alleged savings that the cuts are simply meaningless. Why do we believe that the goal of $2.5 trillion over 10 years (that’s an average of $250 billion per year) will EVER be met if the first two years cuts are $20 billion and $50 billion. There is simply no path in this bill even to the meager savings they are alleging will take place.
Buried in the details of this bill is the automatic debt limit increase proposed a few weeks ago. The second installment of the debt ceiling increase is initiated by the President automatically and can only be stopped by a two-thirds vote of Congress. This shifts the Constitutional check on borrowing from Congress to the President and makes it easier to raise the debt ceiling. Despite claims to the contrary, none of the triggers in this bill include withholding the second limit increase.
Credit rating agencies have clearly stated the type of so-called cuts envisioned in this plan will result in our AAA bond rating being downgraded. Ironically then, the only way to avoid our debt being downgraded and the resulting economic problems that stem from that is for this bill to fail.
This plan does not solve our problem. Not even close. I cannot abide the destruction of our economy, therefore I vigorously oppose this deal and I urge my colleagues and the American people to do the same.
Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator
In this clip, Rand Paul explains to Anderson Cooper that sometimes it’s important to stand on principle.
This commercial literally made me gasp at its awesomeness–I just saw it on the Food Network. It is a big, in-your-face, F-U to all the big spenders in Congress and the White House…and in the Cocktail Party GOP. And because it’s so edgy, well-written and well-acted, it may actually break through the Entertainment Tonight fog that surrounds a lot of low-information independent voters.
It’s genius…and it needs to go viral. So watch it. Then scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the “like” button. You may also want to visit the main site, WashingtonCouldLearnALot.com, and download some fact sheets…they’ll make it easy to drop debt ceiling factoids into the conversation.
Here’s the script:
America could learn a lot…from a drug addict.
Even though this country’s $14 trillion in debt – Washington raised the debt ceiling 10 times in the last 10 years.
Each time – it’s like another hit – another spending hit.
But you’re the junkies.
41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed – from places like China.
So – China is like your dealer…
And your addiction and your dealer control your life.
To borrow less – You need to spend less.
Yeah – Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict.
Everybody wants a debt deal so that we can avoid a financial meltdown (haven’t we already melted down?). I bet every back room in Washington has lawmakers in them trying to become the next American hero. Financial experts have reviewed both Boehner and Reid’s plans to save America and they all agree that neither plan will stop us from suffering a credit downgrade (not enough spending cuts). Apparently the only plan that will allow us to keep our AAA rating is the Cut-Cap-Balance plan.
Erick Erickson over at RedState is asking anyone and everyone to call their congressman to let them know that this is the plan we want. No compromise.
Here’s Erick’s plea….
Tell them to hold the line on Cut, Cap, and Balance.
A host of conservative organizations are coming out against Boehner’s plan because, among other things, it only cuts $6 to $7 billion and punts major reform to a commission of 12 that will only need 7 votes to raise taxes.
Call your congressmen and senators and tell them to hold the freaking line.
I think the congressional switchboards have been in overload status all day but Erick has a direct link so that you can bypass the switchboard.
Let’s get going on this.
Today…Harry Reid presented his debt plan and the GOP presented their debt plan today. Of course, each side doesn’t like the others sides plan. I think this leaves us in the same place we have been…..nowhere.
Here are the basic points of Harry Reid’s plan (as best I can tell)
1. His plan doesn’t reform entitlements…at all.
2. His plan counts on a lot of savings from the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. (a big gamble, I think)
3. His plan counts heavily on discretionary spending cuts.
4. His plan doesn’t include tax increases. (I’m suspicious of this one)
5. His plan will carry through until the end of 2012…and the elections.
The Republican leadership has just announced their plan so I am still trying to learn the specifics. It isn’t exactly cut-cap-balance but it’s close (according to Speaker Boehner). It only increases the debt ceiling by $900 billion. They also generate revenue by cutting discretionary spending by 1.2 trillion.
The big difference is that Obama is demanding that the plan extends through the end of 2012 (and through the elections) and the GOP’s plan only carries through until early 2012.
I think Harry Reid’s plan has a lot of “fuzzy” math involved and basically tries to throw a bone to both sides….no tax increases to please the GOP and no debt debate again until after the 2012 elections to please the White House. Reid is such a mealy mouthed schmuck…I have a very hard time watching him. Listen to his news conference (given just a few hours ago). He blames the Tea Party “extremist” for controlling the GOP and says that these extremists are ignoring what the American people want. (Warning…grab your barf bag before hitting the play button)
Hey Harry…..these “extremists” are the American people and it is YOU and your goons who are ignoring us.
From what I can tell by listening to the beltway pundits on TV right now, neither side is going to go for the other’s solution. It looks like they will be heading back to the drawing board unless someone surprises (or disappoints) us.
Obama is addressing the nation AGAIN tonight at 9pm.
What can we expect him to say? I’m sure he’ll say that he is the reasonable mature one and it’s the Republican leadership that’s holding our nation hostage.
I feel like we are hostages right now and it’s Obama who’s writing the ransom note.
Elected in an historic anti-Democrat landslide in November of 2010, the GOP leadership, who owe their election to profound voter discontent with Democrat party policies in general, and deficit spending and the National Debt in particular, gathered today at a JoAnn Fabrics location in Falls Church, Virginia, to plan their epic capitulation to the losing side in November’s electoral bloodbath.
In a massive show of force, the House GOP leadership today caucused on upholstery fabrics for deck chairs located on the Titanic’s Boat Deck, location of the First and Second Class promenades, and, not coincidentally, the unsinkable ship’s inadequate fleet of lifeboats.
A Congressional aide who spoke on condition of anonymity reported that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R?-Ohio) lobbied for a tasteful polished Chintz from Laura Ashley featuring English ivy and cabbage roses. “It’s an excellent compromise,” the Speaker was quoted as saying. “We don’t want to ruffle the Administration’s feathers with something outlandish. Tomorrow’s another day. We have to be able to play golf these people after the election, after all,” the Speaker is reported to have said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R+/-, Va.) fought hard for a more durable cotton duck, expressing regret that the Federal government’s current $14.7 trillion dollar deficit made it hard to justify the cost of a Laura Ashley design. “I love cabbage roses as much as the next person,” Cantor was quoted as saying. “But we really need to get practical here. In the few hours we have left before the hull fills with watery death, we’ll need to get as much use out of these deck chairs as possible. Cotton duck is the only rational option. Normally, I would have lobbied for ScotchGard, but in the middle of a fiscal crisis, we need to demonstrate that we’re serious about being good stewards of our Chinese lenders’ money.”
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell (RINO-Ky.), proposed a plan that would put the Obama adminstration in charge of navigating the ship in a circular pattern that would allow the luxury liner to hit the killer iceberg more than once. McConnell’s plan would also put the Obama White House in charge of assigning seats in the few remaining lifeboats. “That way we can’t be accused of favoritism,” said McConnell. “When this boat crashes into the ocean floor, the Obama administration will totally own that, and the mainstream media will finally stop being mean to use for no reason. There won’t be any way the New York Times can blame this on us.”
Media criticism was a repeated theme in the meeting, leading to contentious arguments that were audible as far away as the Beading & Jewelery-Making and Knitting & Crochet departments. According to an insider who was eavesdropping on the meeting from behind a display of Novelty Cotton Prints and Panels, If there was still time after completing the comprehensive reupholstery project, the GOP leadership reportedly also plans to re-arrange the Titanic’s deck chairs in a way they hope will “make Chris Matthews like us.”
Currently, the Federal government borrows 43 cents of every dollar it spends. According to a random sample of 1,018 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, only one in five Americans are in favor of Congress raising the federal debt ceiling, allowing the United States to borrow even more money. The poll has a margin of error of ±4 percentage points.
A Gallup poll released Friday reveals that only 8% of Republicans, 33% of Democrats and
46% 15% of Independents polled favor raising the debt ceiling. Which means that every politician who votes for it is poking his or her constituents in the eye.
According to Gallup,
The May 5-8 Gallup poll suggests that a vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling could be a difficult one for many members of Congress, particularly for Republicans. …
By a 47% to 19% margin, Americans say they would want their member of Congress to vote against raising the U.S. debt ceiling, while 34% don’t know enough to say. Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling by 70% to 8% and independents by 46% to 15%. Democrats favor raising the ceiling by 33% to 26%.
So, Hillbuzz readers, how do you feel about the debt ceiling debate? Take our unscientific poll and tell us what you think!
(Updated May 16, 2011 with help from an alert Hillbuzzer–thanks)