Archive for the ‘federal spending’ Tag

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Bill Maher “In America we talk a lot about entitlements, and who are the takers and who are the makers, and here’s the bottom line from the current issue of Harper’s. Federal yearly spending per child $3,822. Federal yearly spending per senior $25,455. Seniors keep asking what kind of world are we leaving for our grandkids. Well, one where Head Start, nutrition assistance, and child welfare are being cut. These days, when grandpa finds a quarter behind your ear, he keeps it…..Let’s not kid ourselves where our dollar goes. It goes to grandma because she votes, and young people don’t.”

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Ezra Klein “Republicans won in 2010, and they leveraged that win to secure the roughly $1 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act. Democrats won in 2012, and they intend to leverage that win to secure the roughly $1 trillion in revenue from the expiration of the high-end Bush tax cuts.

After that’s done, the White House is proposing another $600 billion in spending cuts and another $600 billion in tax increases. Add in the $1 trillion or so in expected savings from ending the wars, and you’ve got about $4.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. Add in the savings on expected interest payments and you’re at almost $5 trillion. Subtract the White House’s stimulus request, and you’re somewhere a bit north of $4.5 trillion. That’s their opening bid.

But that’s not all: There’s also a proposal to end debt-ceiling crises forevermore.

The idea comes from a most unlikely source: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), who proposed in July 2011 to permit the president to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling unless Congress affirmatively voted to stop him. And even if Congress did vote to stop him, the president could veto, and then Congress would need to overturn his veto.

The effect of this policy would, in general, be to finish off the debt ceiling. Republicans are laughing this off as a ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky proposal. McConnell abandoned this plan shortly after he proposed it, and he certainly doesn’t support it now. But it’s actually a great idea — one that could do more to protect our economy than anything else in the debt deal. Even better, it would cost us nothing. Measured by its cost-effectiveness, it’s perhaps the best idea in American politics today.

The debt ceiling is an anachronism. It’s an accountability mechanism from the days when Congress didn’t much involve itself in federal budgeting. Today, Congress exerts full control over the federal budget. The debt ceiling isn’t imposing accountability on the executive but calling into question whether Congress will pay the bills it has already chosen to incur.

But it’s not an adorable anachronism, like grandfather clocks. It’s a dangerous one, like bloodletting, lobotomies and burning people you suspect to be a witch. If we crash through the debt ceiling, a global financial crisis could — and likely will — result. Even once we return to sanity and begin paying our bills again, America’s borrowing costs are likely to be permanently higher, and the market’s confidence in our political system is likely to be permanently harmed. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that the near-miss we had in 2011 cost us $18.9 billion. That’s $18.9 billion we spent for no reason. It didn’t buy us one service or lower taxes by even a dime.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/30/the-best-idea-in-american-politics-kill-the-debt-ceiling/