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Posts Tagged ‘Government Spending’

Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama’s campaign speech on July 3, 2008? 

Answer: Apparently, it is irresponsible and “unpatriotic” to add $4 trillion to our national debt.

Interesting… Especially when this headline showed up on CBS News a couple days ago:

National debt has increased $4 trillion under Obama

The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama’s watch.

The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.

It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s [first] term.

According to Obama, his own failed policies must have an “unpatriotic” element to them. After all, it was Obama and his Democratic Congress who managed to add another $4 trillion to our national debt in a quick two and a half years.

Democrats are trying to push back against Republicans who are using this story as ammo against President Obama’s campaign. They are attempting to use the dismal approval ratings of Congress to shutdown Republicans. The problem with this strategy is that the Democratic Party held the majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate, but I guess they’re hoping the American people will be hit with amnesia. Also, if it is Congress’s fault for the extreme increase in our national debt, then wouldn’t it be then-Senator Obama’s fault for the trillions of dollars added on to our national debt under President Bush? Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways Democrats.

As for the Republicans, this video/audio clip is political gold for the 2012 presidential campaign and will soon be featured in dozens of political advertisements. Just wait and see.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked the Democrats’ claim that they can solve the country’s fiscal problems by raising taxes on the so-called “rich”?

Answer: There’s not enough of those “rich people” to raise taxes on. 

Props to the Wall Street Journal and Power Line for reporting this story:

This chart from the Wall Street Journal tells you pretty much all you need to know about the credibility of the Democrats’ claim that they can solve the country’s fiscal problems by raising taxes on “the rich.” The chart, based on 2008 IRS data, shows how much total income was reported by Americans in each income range.

Click to enlarge.

Notice where all the money comes from.

The problem with rich people (or, more properly high income earners) is that there aren’t enough of them. Upper-income taxpayers are already paying around double their fair (pro rata) share of federal income taxes on the average, and there simply aren’t enough dollars at the high end to pay for the Democrats’ spending spree, even if the Dems try to steal them all. The only way to balance the budget through tax increases is by going where most of the money is–the $50,000 to $500,000 adjusted gross income range.

In the end, if President Obama wants to solve our fiscal problems by increasing taxes, he would have to go after the middle-class. Good luck proposing that plan to the American people.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked Vice President Joe Biden during President Obama’s failed budget speech?

Answer: He appeared to be a little tired.

Oops!

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Vice President Joe Biden was given another big job by President Obama on Wednesday and the burden may have driven Obama’s go-to guy into a moment of sleep or, at least, contemplation.

Biden, who has more than a nodding acquaintance with deficits, debts and federal budget woes, was caught apparently deep in thought or catching a few winks while Obama outlined his plan for dealing with the deficit.

Don’t worry, because Joe Biden did not miss much. President Obama simply resorted to a bunch of recycled rhetoric he has used in the past. His plan to fix our deficit: Spend more taxpayer money, borrow more, tax the so-called “wealthy”, and cut defense. In other words, it was all expected. President Obama is a liberal who adores big government and tiptoes around our enormous entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) which are pushing us closer to the edge of a real crisis.

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It’s official folks! US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his budget plan that cuts $6.2 trillion in spending over the next ten years. Also, he released an awesome Path to Prosperity video to go along with it.

His plan eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs, reflects the ban on earmarks, curbs corporate welfare, brings government spending to below 20 percent of the economy, and much more!

US Rep. Ryan (R-WI) and the House Committee on the Budget reports:

The current path – which the President’s irresponsible budget commits us to – will result in a debt-fueled economic crisis, the shredding of the safety net, and a diminished future. Americans deserve better than empty promises from a government going broke. The budget advanced by the House Budget Committee ensures real security through real reform. The House Budget Committee’s FY2012 Budget Resolution helps spur job creation today, stops spending money the government doesn’t have, and lifts the crushing burden of debt. This plan puts the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

When it comes to addressing the crushing burden of debt, Rep. Ryan’s budget plan tackles it:

By continuing Washington’s spending spree, the President’s budget adds $13 trillion dollars to the debt over the next decade. Under his budget, debt held by the public would double by 2016 compared with the President’s first year in office, and triple by the end of the budget window.

By failing to address the unsustainable growth of autopilot spending programs, the President’s budget commits this nation to a crushing burden of debt. The CBO estimates that under the President’s budget, debt held by the public will near 90 percent of the entire economy by the end of the decade. The explosive growth of debt will continue in the years ahead. The CBO projects debt as a share of the economy to grow to 146 percent in 2030, 233 percent in 2040, and an unfathomable 344 percent in 2050.

If policymakers continue down the present course, the consequences will be dire.  American families are still reeling from the hardships of the recent economic downturn, and millions of individuals remain out of work. Yet Washington continues to erect to new barriers to growth, to raise the hurdles to sustained private-sector job creation, and – most distressingly – to accelerate the nation ever-faster toward a debt-fueled economic crisis.

[…]

The Path to Prosperity lifts the crushing burden of debt, making it possible for the economy to grow and for Americans to prosper. This budget would cut trillions of dollars from the debt relative to the President’s budget in every year of their long-term analysis. In 2022, the debt would be over 25 percent lower than would be the case under the status quo; 56 percent less in 2030; 79 percent in 2040. By 2050, this budget would cut the debt in half relative to where it stands today, lifting nearly $120 trillion of debt relative to the President’s path.

Click here to view full report!

Although I have only scratched the surface here, I am extremely excited about Rep. Ryan’s Path to Prosperity. There are some mighty big numbers in there and naturally it has quickly come under attack from the Democrats. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has already decided to share her baffling two-cents.

WARNING: Statements about grandma being forced to eat dog food because of heartless Republicans and their insane crusade for solvency will be a staple of Democratic talking points, especially with the White House desperate to win back seniors alienated by ObamaCare.

Oops… It has already started. Go figure.

*UPDATE* – May 25, 2011 – 9:55 pm

Reminder: Americans 55 years old or older will not be affected by Rep. Ryan’s plan, but does that fact stop the opposing political party from creating misleading ads like this?:

Nope.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked the Democratic Party two years ago?

Answer: They passed the failed $787+ billion Stimulus Package.

Props the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for the advertisement.

The Speaker of the House Blog reports:

Two years ago today, President Obama signed the trillion-dollar “stimulus” amid promises it would keep unemployment below eight percent and create jobs “almost immediately.”  Today, the Obama Administration has little to show for its trillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded “investment” except for more red ink and more out of work Americans.  Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the budget-busting, job-destroying failure that is the President’s “stimulus”:

  • U.S. Debt on February 17, 2009: $6.48 trillion
  • U.S. Debt today: $9.5 trillion
  • Number of jobs the “stimulus” was supposed to create: 3.5 million
  • Private sector jobs lost since the “stimulus” was signed: 1.8 million
  • Obama Administration’s projected unemployment rate at the two-year mark of the “stimulus”: 7 percent
  • Actual unemployment rate: 9 percent

Do you remember this chart the Obama administration presented to the American public before the failed Stimulus Package was passed into law?:

I realize the chart above is a little outdated, but the unemployment rate is still above 9 percent. Also, just two years ago, our national debt was $10.79 trillion and now it has topped $14 trillion. That’s equivalent to adding an additional $39,660 per household.

Just like the political advertisement said above, “two years of liberal economics have failed America.”

It’s time ignore the spin and wake up to reality: The Stimulus Package has FAILED.

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After receiving reports of misuse, the Michigan Department of Human Services decided to crackdown on Bridge Card Abuse.

This is wonderful news. The Lansing State Journal reports:

Beginning in April, thousands of university students in Michigan will become ineligible for a controversial Bridge Card program.

Currently, about 15,000 of the nearly 26,000 students statewide receiving the food assistance are eligible for the card mostly because they attend a college or university. But the state Department of Human Services said Tuesday it will begin to follow federal guidelines in April and not allow student status to be a key qualifying factor.

College students will be eligible for the electronic food stamp program only if there are other factors, such as the student caring for children while working a low-wage job, officials said.

This is a great step towards reforming Michigan’s inefficient Bridge Card program.

As I have stated in a recent post, Bridge Cards are an electronic version of food stamps that are issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS). A lot of students, who are not dependents of their parents, are eligible to receive government assistance because they have a so-called “low income”. Some students claim they need them in order to survive fiscally through school. Unfortunately, this is not true and many of these students are abusing the system. Not only do they use the Bridge Card to purchase an unnecessary amount of food, but some also use it to purchase alcohol and cigarettes with the money they are able to get back with it.

According to a 2008 report from the Office of Inspector General, Michigan lost $17.3 million during a three-year period (2006-2008) from users abusing the system. Also, the Department of Human Services’ estimate last fall of 10,000 to 18,000 college and university students who are receiving food assistance statewide was incorrect:

The total statewide number of 25,923 was much higher than the department’s estimate last fall of 10,000 to 18,000 statewide. The department offered the estimate in response to a request from the State Journal for a story examining whether abuse was rampant among college students.

We should all be embrace the Department of Human Services’ decision to  crackdown on the abuse. Michigan has one of the worst economies and the second highest unemployment rate in the United States. Not only are these students hurting the people who actually need the assistance, the abuse is also contributing to Michigan’s $1.8 billion budget shortfall. Eliminating the fraud is an absolute must and appears to be a priority in Michigan.

Unfortunately, a lot of individuals will attack the abuse crackdown, because they feel entitled to this temporary safety net program. Earlier this morning, I posted the Lansing State Journal link on my Facebook page and I have already been attacked for wanting to “strip poor people of their benefits.” Nothing could be further from the truth, but this is a common mindset for those who feel they are entitled to every dollar promised to them by the government. Sadly, not everyone has the time to focus on the political world around us, but above all, we must realize these programs are funded by the taxpayers (i.e. other peoples’ money). I know this is a tough concept to comprehend in an entitlement world, but eliminating the fraud out of a government program is not stripping the poor of their benefits. There is nothing wrong with improving a system that is naturally inefficient. In my opinion, it is refreshing to see politicians (especially in a collapsing state, such as Michigan) ask for some responsibility within their monstrous government bureaucracies that they established.

In the end, those who actually need the assistance, will get it. And yes, it might involve filling out a few more pages of paperwork. Truth is, if an individual truly needs the program to feed their family, the time spent on paperwork should be worth the effort.

Look at the bright side, at least well-off college students won’t be able to easily take advantage of this welfare program anymore… Hopefully.

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“My spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security or Medicare.” – US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

Sen. Paul (R-KY) and The Wall Street Journal reports:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third consecutive year in which the federal government is running a deficit near or greater than $1 trillion. The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis must begin by cutting spending in all areas, particularly in those that can be better run at the state or local level. Last month I introduced legislation to do just that. And though it seems extreme to some—containing over $500 billion in spending cuts enacted over one year—it is a necessary first step toward ending our fiscal crisis.

My proposal would first roll back almost all federal spending to 2008 levels, then initiate reductions at various levels nearly across the board. Cuts to the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation would create over $42 billion in savings each, while cuts to the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development would save about $50 billion each. Removing education from the federal government’s jurisdiction would create almost $80 billion in savings alone. Add to that my proposed reductions in international aid, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and other federal agencies, and we arrive at over $500 billion.

My proposal, not surprisingly, has been greeted skeptically in Washington, where serious spending cuts are a rarity. But it is a modest proposal when measured against the size of our mounting debt. It would keep 85% of our government funding in place and not touch Social Security or Medicare. But by reducing wasteful spending and shuttering departments that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as the Department of Education, we can cut nearly 40% of our projected deficit and at the same time remove thousands of big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency.

Hey, it is a start.

The most interesting proposal in Sen. Paul’s plan is the elimination of the Department of Education. Not since President Ronald Reagan campaigned on abolishing the Department of Education had anyone seriously proposed cutting the federal government.

Now it is on to the entitlement cuts!

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