There are lies, darn lies, and Treasury Department pronouncements. The Obama Administration understandably wanted an increase in the debt ceiling but they wanted it on their terms this last time and not Republicans as happened before. They decided to scare the public into pressuring Congress to "do the right thing", according to newly released subpoenaed records from the Treasury and New York Federal Reserve Bank. The claims that the Republicans were delusional when they claimed that the government would not default because debt payments would be prioritized including entitlements. Well, the New York Federal Reserve had just those plans ready to go in the event that we hit the debt ceiling. They called Treasury Department orders to keep those secret from Congress "crazy and counter productive". Made public for the first time, records turned over to the Committee in response Read more
I received an email stating the worst budget deal since the H. W. Bush not tax pledge betrayal passed in the middle of the night. I starting studying the budget deal and it really isn't bad. It really isn't good either. I doubt that I would vote for it, but it really does not deserve the hyperpassion it is eliciting in some circles. I think it is more about fundraising than substance. I am not a fan of the budget deal passed in the middle of the night in Washington D. C.. It really was too much of a capitulation. Yet, I am not upset about it either. It kept the deficit under control. We cut the deficit 75% in 4 years. It funds the national defense which was being starved. The increase in domestic spending was only 40 billion a year and half of that was saving Social Security disability from running out of money and forcing a 20% cut in benefits and preventing a 53% hike in Medicare Read more
By Staff Writer: Wolf von Baumgart General Assembly Considers Options The Delaware General Assembly met twice earlier this week to consider funding options for Sussex Technical High School District. The Sussex County Delegation (consisting of nine state representatives and five state senators) continues to study Sussex Tech’s impending financial crisis. Five budgetary proposals were originally included in a study attendant to House Concurrent Resolution 2, previously passed in January. Subsequently, other options have emerged for consideration. Sussex Tech administrators have been steadily seeking legislative approval to more than double the STHSD’s current property taxes over the last two years above the current limit as currently permitted by statute. Delaware's three state-created countywide vocational school districts are legally empowered to raise school taxes (with the Read more
For Immediate Release Date: February 3, 2015 Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Rendell, Gregg Comment on President’s Budget President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget would bring debt held by the public down slightly from today’s 74 percent of the economy to 73 percent in 2025. That means debt will remain at record high levels seen only since World War II. The budget misses an opportunity to prompt action on our long-term debt problem. The following is a statement by Fix the Debt co-Chairs Gov. Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, and Sen. Judd Gregg, the former Republican senator from New Hampshire. Senator Judd Gregg: “The President’s budget has too much debt and little reform of our tax and entitlement programs. Outside of some modest Medicare savings, the budget doesn’t do much at all to prepare for an aging population and growing health care costs, nor Read more
Maybe the government needs to shut down once a year. The stock market is up 8 weeks in a row. 204,000 jobs were added. The feared economic losses never materialized. No, I did not and do not support the shutdown strategy. I just never believed it was the crisis the media made it to be. Now we are proven right and the chicken little wanna be forecasters were wrong. We have had what--17 of them in the last 40 years including a number when Carter and his fellow Democrats went toe to toe? Why is this true? Sorry "progressives", the government is not the economy. Money will just be spent elsewhere and not lost from the economy. The Forbes article linked here explains the economics of the situation well. The debt ceiling was much more important and that was never really in doubt. Don't fall for the political rhetoric about a side show; keep your eye on the ball. The real problems are Read more
In the past, America has a history of overcutting defense spending after wars and regretting it. George Washington warned against such a sentiment so it is not new. This time America is overcutting its defense during a war in anticipation of it being over. We may not have to wait to regret it. Enter our hero, Senator Jim Inhofe R-OK (full disclosure- a personal friend before he was senator) is leading the charge to have an orderly drawdown of our Armed Services and stop blind sequestration cuts which have no defense logic behind them. In a article in Stars and Stripes, he called it the way he saw it and the way many in the services see it. In announcing an end to the 16-day government shutdown this month, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Republicans would insist during the budget conference talks that sequestration continue, saying preserving it was “critically Read more
There are smart offsets to sequester cuts that would not devastate military training and readiness or hurt programs giving nutrition to the poor. Sequester has helped get our deficit under control despite the spendthrift, incompetent U. S. Senate. For 3 years, the GAO has been issuing a report requested by Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn-R, showing the saving that could be had by stopping duplication of programs. Money could actually go into programs instead of bureaucracy and the taxpayers could save many tens of billions a year. These are cuts that everyone should welcome, yet only 22% of them have happened. Senator Chris Coons D-DE is on the budget conference committee, will he champion some smart cuts?
Congress should take a bow. The deficit will be only 700 to 750 billion FY 2013. The previous year, we had trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye could see. In 2009, the administration had a 1.89 trillion dollar deficit. Even with the downturn over, its lowest deficit was 1.23 trillion. Republicans cut spending 4% in real dollars 127 billion after a bitter show down with spendthrift administration and Harry Budget Free Reid's Democratic Senate. While 4% did not sound like a lot, that is instead of 11 percent increases so it was like a 15% cut. This allowed the natural 13% growth in revenues from economic activity to outpace spending and cut the deficit half a trillion dollars. The trillion dollar deficits were threating everything. House Republicans were right to tie it to spending restraint. Now a deal is a deal. The debt ceiling is not like spending bills. It is important Read more
Follow up on the story last month where the Tuition Assistance was stopped. From the GoArmyEd.com
The Army is committed to education and understands the tremendous benefit that it provides to our Soldiers and is dedicated to maintaining a stable and supportable TA program. As such, the Tuition Assistance (TA) functionality in GoArmyEd was turned back on Wednesday 10 April 2013 at 0001 hours EDT. Soldiers are again able to apply for TA for the remainder of FY13 under the rules that governed TA usage prior to the suspension.
New rules have been imposed by the accounting powers on state and local governments to show future liabilites. What if the Federal government had those same rules apply? Economist W. John Williams has the numbers. The 2012 fiscal condition of the United States suffered its worst annual deterioration in the history of the Republic. Based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP-based accounting), the actual federal deficit hit a record $6.6 trillion in the year ended September 30, 2012, a level that was fully 42% of the nation’s annual GDP. The GAAP-based annual deficit differs markedly from the headline cash-based accounting version, which showed a $1.1 trillion cash shortfall in the government’s 2012 day-to-day operations. Using GAAP-based accrual accounting, though, as typically used by private corporations, the government’s day-to-day operations were shown Read more
Could the popular Thunderbirds be grounded by budget cuts right in time for Daytona? Is that an accident or a political statement by the administration?
Caught in his own trap, in an effort to propose an ultimatum so laughable and obvious that it backfired, Obama could have caused a lose-lose situation for his administration and the country. Jack Lew, former director of Obama's office of Management and Budget and Rob Nabors, the president's Legislative affairs director brought the idea of a "sequester" to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid July 27, 2011. The idea evolved and a failure of Congress and the White House to agree on substantial deficit reductions would trigger automatic accross-the-board budget cuts. Members of both parties voted for that provision and Obama signed it into law. But the New Year's 2013 deal that raised taxes to avoid the "fiscal cliff" also delayed the sequester's impact -- $85 billion over the rest of this fiscal year -- until March 1. Democrats expected all along that some agreement would exterminate the Read more
I have to say that I am proud of Senator Tom Carper for stepping up Tuesday and voting against the Fiscal Cliff deal. It is his reasoning that pleases me. I had said just hours before to some friends that I often feel like that I have no representation in Washington from Delaware. Then someone surprises you. Coons voted against FISA. Carper voted against the cliff notes to deficit reduction because they left out the key element, reforming spending. It is spending stupid. This administration immediately increased spending 23% in the middle of the fiscal year as an emergency measure. The problem is that much of the spending never went away. Entitlement reform is met with scorn. The nation's debt is now in the danger zone. We were not supposed to reach 100% of GDP for a decade. We already have and exceed it. The debt is stagnating growth. One way debt is hurting growth is Read more
I believed that Republicans had a bad hand in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Why? All the Democrats had to do was nothing to win. Republicans passed their bill back in August. Yet the media acted as if Republicans were the problem. Democrats did not even have a plan until this week. Then some so called Conservative groups opposed the Speaker's plan B. It seems they did not understand in the American Constitution, you need to pass two houses. As a result, we got a Biden crafted bill crammed down our throats at the last minute. We will know what's in it later. I am sure there are interesting provisions that will percolate to the surface. What we know is not thrilling. Spending cuts will come later and tax hikes now. 77% of the people will see some tax hikes breaking a 20 year commitment to lower taxes. Voting down the bill would be worse. At least this legislation finally gave Read more
The federal spending rate under Clinton was 1/3 lower than today. Democrats talk about going back to Clinton era tax rates, how about Clinton era spending rates too?
The debt ceiling is reflective of a basic function of the Congress. The founders did not want a monarchy or a dictatorship where the executive could obligate or spend money. The put the purse strings in the hands of the People's House. If the house falls to White House bullying and gives up its Constitutional role to the executive on debt, why not give him budget and tax powers too. Then they could go home and make him an Egyptian style President ruling by decree. Let us be spent into a European style Democratic Socialist state. Before they go, they can pass a resolution renaming us the United Socialist States of America. It is not only bad constitutional precedent, but bad economics to allow us to build debt without a plan to limit it. We already are indebted to a level equal to our economy. Our problem is not a fiscal cliff, but fiscal suicide if we don't start making the tough Read more
Compromise: When Republicans agree to do what Democrats want even if they believe it will harm the country. That seems to be sole focus of the media on the so called fiscal cliff. The media drumbeat has been a constant refrain to watch to see if Republicans stand in the way of President Obama and force the country off the fiscal cliff. The fact is the country is already heading off a fiscal cliff by following current spending patterns. We do not even have a budget. We just appropriate wild sums of your money then tell the Congressional Budget Office to make sense of it. For those who think the problem is the GOP if negotiations fail, read this. Nancy Pelosi is working overtime to ensure failure so she has an issue to run on to retake the house. That is fine, but letting her do it while putting the responsibility elsewhere is media malpractice. The facts are that the Read more
When I think about the fact the national debt crisis is the most avoidable crisis since Y2K, our avoidance of it makes me sick. Our national debt has officially exceeded 100% of GDP and reached 15 trillion dollars. Americans have been fed a line that Republicans refuse to work with Democrats. Tea Party Republicans are intransigents and would rather protect the 1% than save America. The media drumbeat has been incessant. Yet we see that not only has the President been disengaged, he blows up every deal that gains traction. Republicans passed serious proposals and Democrats couldn't even agree on one among themselves. Finally they abandoned thinking big and proposed basically raising taxes to close the minimum threshold. Republicans believe that would slow the economy and make the deficit worse never the less they tried to meet them part way and the Democrats wouldn't even Read more
What is behind the half of billion dollar OOPS that turned a surplus into a deficit in 4 short months? Read the entire report here. A State budget deficit already?! The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Committee (DEFAC) met on September 19th and the news isn’t encouraging. Read more
Politically speaking of course, and here is one reason. Read more
Obama refuses or is incapable of leading and instead has decided to play the, "blame game." After wearing out his welcome with the American people by blaming Bush for all his woes, he has chosen a new target, the Tea Party. Obama's lack of any presidential quality in handling the debt crisis shows just what he is made of. "Look, he (Obama) is accusing because it (Tea Party) threatened default for causing this," said Charles Krauthammer on the Fox News Monday night's, "Special Report." Krauthammer went on to say, "he himself said openly he would veto any debt ceiling extension that wasn't long enough to get him into 2013. He was going to veto it over the length, which incidentally turns out to be, as you point out irrelevant. He got what what he wanted on length and we still got the downgrade." American citizens clearly want and need a president that the world respects, a president Read more
If the U.S. loses its AAA, then analysts have asked why not France and Britain? France is said by S&P to be in the danger zone. Britain was on that path just a year ago, but the new Conservative government has made tough reforms that even a American Tea Party faithful would love. It is seen as secure. A couple of years ago Britain was running a deficit of around 10% of GDP but it is now on an austerity budget. Even though the numbers look bad, the future course looks good. France made some entitlement reforms in 2010 which has given it some stability and is proposing a balanced budget amendment to its constitution. The vote this autumn should determine its AAA fate. The U. S. could do the same if we came up with a balanced budget plan. Our Economy is stronger. We are wealthier and have a much greater revenue potential. Read more
I hate to agree with Red China, but our largest creditor warned us about this two years ago. They are just plain correct though some parts of their solution are self serving. Obviously China would love international supervision of the dollar. That is a nonstarter. They are just salivating over defense cuts. Some are inevitable, but we should be cautious and surgical. It is time to leave Iraq except for Camp Victory which can provide communications and other practical support to keep the Iraqi military superior so we do not have to return. We need to stay out conflicts that do not involve us right now. No more Libya type conflicts. I can't find where their assessment of the problem is wrong. Imagine China, the S & P and the Tea Party are all in agreement. It is time for the ruling Democrats to face reality and join it. The Bible said the borrow is Read more
The markets around the world went up because Italy proposed to deal with its debt woes for real. Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/33c589d8-bf7b-11e0-90d5-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1UCY8gli0 News of the Italian plans were welcomed in Berlin, where action in both Rome and Madrid has been seen as top priority for restoring the credibility of both countries in the debt markets. The talks in Rome, joined by Gianni Letta, cabinet undersecretary, represented the first significant departure from Mr Berlusconi’s failed efforts to ride the storm by largely blaming external forces and market “speculators” for the sharp increase in Italy’s borrowing Read more