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  • Morning Bell: Accelerating Us Off a Cliff

    Speaking to House Democrats at their Kingsmill Resort & Spa retreat last month, President Barack Obama defended his economic stimulus plan, claiming: “[We] are not going to get relief by turning back to the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin. … If you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction.” Our public policy definitely needs a change in direction. But the Obama Administration’s budget is not a change in direction. Instead, it is a foot on the accelerator taking us off that cliff. Consider:

    The only sharp break President Obama takes away from President Bush is the amount of money he takes from the American people. President Bush reduced taxes by approximately $2 trillion; President Obama has proposed raising taxes by $1.4 trillion. Yet even after taking $1.4 trillion more out of the private sector, Obama’s budget still would double the public debt level to $15.4 trillion. Between 2008 and 2013, the budget will add $5.7 trillion ($48,000 per U.S. household) in new government debt. The annual interest on this debt would nearly equal the entire U.S. defense budget by 2019.

    How does the Obama budget raise taxes by $1.4 trillion yet still double the national debt? By exploding government spending. Domestic discretionary spend­ing (including stimulus funds) has been hiked over 80 percent over 2008 levels. Even if we set aside the stimulus spending, and take the Obama Administration’s word that all of that spending will be temporary, the expansion of government under Obama’s budget is historic. In 2007, before the recession, Washington spent $24,172 per household. By 2019, the President’s budget would spend $32,463 per household—an inflation-adjusted $8,000 per household expansion of gov­ernment.

    Summarizing his findings Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Brian Riedl writes: “President Obama has framed his budget as a break from the “failed policies” of the Bush Admin­istration. Actually, his budget doubles down on President George W. Bush’s borrow, spend, and bail­out policies.”

    Quick Hits:

    • White House budget director Peter Orszag rejected Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R-SC) request for a waiver to use a portion of his stimulus money to pay down the state’s debt.
    • Responding to protectionist measures in the omnibus spending bill, Mexico threatened Monday to impose tariffs on American imports worth at least $2.4 billion.
    • Two “handlers” close to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) collected nearly $250 million in federal funding for one Pennsylvania firm that then channeled a significant portion of the funding to companies that were among Murtha’s campaign supporters.
    • Stimulus funds for infrastructure are not being spent as fast as the White House planned.
    • Telecom lobbyists are fighting over how the federal government should spend $7.2 billion in stimulus money set aside for new high-speed Internet lines.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    38 Responses to Morning Bell: Accelerating Us Off a Cliff

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      The U.S. Constitution's preamble clearly states the intent of federal government. It never stated to provide for people's welfare but rather to "…promote the general welfare…" This is best accomplished by creating a secure environment so states and free markets can prosper. In other words, the federal government's main duty is national security. We as a nation need to return to our founders' intent.

    2. Matt in VA says:

      WSJ has a link to a white paper that Liddy wrote for Geithner on the AIG bonuses.
      http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/

      Some of the numbers in there are breathtaking, and really put the bonuses in a context that's missing from all this "evil executives" talk. For example, the guys to whom they’re paying $165 million in bonuses were responsible for $2.7 TRILLION in business.

      These same guys are responsible for areas where a small change (1 basis point on an interest rate, for example) in their business climate could result in $700 million in losses for AIG. So it’s a pretty high-pressure job, and they make decisions worth more than their bonuses every day.

      Under Connecticut law, employees could sue for DOUBLE the amount of the bonuses.

      And failure to pay the bonuses could be construed as a cross default, which would allow many of their partners in the credit default swaps at the root of the current economic mess to jump out, sticking AIG (and the taxpayer, now) with billions in losses.

    3. Dave Knox, Westford, says:

      I think the Republicans had the wrong argument for the stimulus bill that needs to be brought out as the stimulus is rolled out. The argument should have been – What is the maximum number of jobs that could be created for $700B. Then what is the Presidents plan actually going to create. That is the measure of success. The President said that spending is stimulus because it is spending. BUT if the spending does not create a job, then it is just spending and not stimulus. Pelosi is already backtracking on the number of jobs created. I fear in the end that only a few jobs will be created and most of the money will just be spent with no stimulus.

      I would like to see a count of jobs created on a continuous basis (like fundraising with the thermomter that is filled in red as the money is obtained). I think this would be an interesting tracking tool that would put the pressure on creating jobs and not spending money.

    4. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Currently,

      The HF has NO place to DISCUSS ISSUES,

      So, I started TWO -

      1. A Google Doc

      The document is publicly viewable at: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgwzbkk9_1026d4rxqq

      If you will send me your email address

      I will ADD YOU as a Collaberator

      so YOU can edit the file as posted.

      2. A Blogger – Take a look
      http://comments-postedanddiscussed.blogspot.com/

      Send me an Email and I will ADD YOUR NEW Comments or Discussion.

      Ken Jarvis

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

      My comments are started with ***

    5. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      PS. The beltway demagogues have not done a very good job at promoting the general welfare of the American (tax paying) public.

    6. Richard Cancemi,Arli says:

      Obama is a dedicated World Socialist. He must be challenged by Conservatives in no uncertain terms, if our Country is to survive as a free Nation.

      Bush was a fool at the end! Obama has been a "Clear and Present Danger" from the start!

    7. daniel hopper spring says:

      Congress is up in arms about banking taking trips to SPAS and resorts but they are doing the same thing on our nickel. Who's above the law?

      Mertha is criminal if he in fact is paying back his contributors with gov't money funneled to them. Who's above the law?

    8. DannyFLA says:

      Good Morning Bell: I hear Drum Beats. They are the Drumming of the people. Give me my country back. What is the real truth, that we, are pushed to the edge of the Clift.?Why are some countries doing well? including Alaska.? What is the System that ruins a Free Country, and the lives of its people?Anyone who doubts integrity-will on cold nights, and empty stomach- Reach for values not bestowed by man.

    9. Nancy, Ohio says:

      Are we ready to build the case against Obama to start impeachment proceedings? Mismanagement of taxpayer money.

      Socialist puppet destroying our Republic. What grounds can we use?

      When companies fail,they dissolve. When there is abuse of power, people are convicted. How can our government reward AIG and other companies previously bailed out by providing them billions of dollars only for them to turn around and give out bonuses to the people who failed? We do not need corporate prostitutes running our country.

      Who is writing the legislation to pass these stimulus packages? Why aren't they covering all the bases? Remember WWII? One of the ways to destroy a country without firing a shot is to destroy their economy. McCain said it in his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination: "Stand up America, stand up and fight. Fight for your rights. Fight for your freedom. Stand up!" I'm ready.

    10. rebecca kaminski says:

      This is like GOP getting the stats grossly wrong on FDR's era.

      The man has been in office how long?

      Just drumming up hype to get people scared. Is it really helping? Is it Christian? Is all this really in the interest of the welfare of people? Or, just the wealthy who hate getting their gravy messed with?

      Really?

      What IF we all supported the direction of decided plan; praying, encouraging. What if?

      Then, I guess GOP pundits would be out of a job, big bucks.

    11. michael hutchings says:

      LOCATION,THE BRIDGE OF THE SHIP OF STATE,CAPTAIN OBAMA DECIDES TO BE HIS OWN PILOT AND THROWS GOOD SENSE OVERBOARD TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD AND MAKE BETTER TIME,HE ORDERS FULL SAIL TO BE SET WHILE TIED TO THE DOCK.DESTINATION THE SEA OF CHANGE;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;axelrod LETS BE OFF TO THE NEW WORLD THAT LIES OVER THE HORIZON;

      AXELROD;but captain obama what About the LINES;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;SHUT IT axelrod AND LETS BE OFF;

      AXELROD;but the lines captain obama;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;I COULD USE ANOTHER LINE. WHO IS THE ENEMY THIS WEEK AND MAKE IT GOOD;

      AXELROD;but captain obama;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;DO WHAT MY BLACKBERRY TELLS YOU TO DO, AND NO MORE BUT CAPTAIN,I AM THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP OF STATE NOT THE CAPTAIN OF BUT;

      AXELROD; yes but–;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;BACK TO THAT AGAIN ARE WE,axelrod, I AM NOT CAPTAIN BUT OR ANY THING TO DO WITH BUTS DO WHAT I SAY AND KEEP YOUR BUTS TO YOUR SELF I HAVE A COUNTRY TO DECONSTRUCT AND CANT WORRY ABOUT YOUR BUTS SO DONT PUT YOUR BUT ON ME;

      AXELROD;yes b—;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;BELOW DECKS NOW axelrod I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT THIS BABY CAN DO,FIRE UP THE ENGINES WITH CASH AND LEAVE YOUR BUTS BEHIND;

      AXELROD;yes sir, any but i have is yours command;

      CAPTAIN OBAMA;THATS BETTER, WHERE WERE GOING THERE IS NO RETURN AND OUR FOLLOWERS WILL COME WITH US, NO BUTS ABOUT IT,ONWARD TO THE FUTURE WE CANT LOOK AT OUR BEHIND AND GO FORWARD;

    12. Ron, Derry NH says:

      They say one thing , and it sounds right; then they do the usual and call it different. INSANITY comes to mind.

    13. Ardell Nagle , Rexbu says:

      Received an email this morning and thought this would fit nicely:

      I recently asked my neighbor friends' little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she was very inspired by listening to her parents talk about the new President and she also wanted to be President some day.

      Both her parents, very liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?"

      She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."

      Her parents beamed.

      "That is truly a worthy goal" I told her, "But you don't have to wait to be President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds and sweep and rake the yard. I'll pay you $50 for your work and then I'll take you to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house. You can start work on achieving your goal right away."

      She thought it over for a second, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless man come over and do the work himself and you can just pay him the $50?"

      I said, "Welcome to the Republican party!!"

      We need to get back to supporting ourselves and get away from the hand out mentality.

    14. Ireland says:

      First off, Happy St Patrick’s Day

      I don't know, maybe the American public can hold our elected officials accountable for their actions and make them responsible politicians but we can have that can we? What I believe is that Obama has thrown AIG under the bus. AIG was given billions in taxpayer’s money and they couldn't have cared what they did with those funds. But if the media learned what they did with the money, he would set them up as the "fall guys." If they did place accountability, transparency and stipulation on how these bailout funds should be used. This was a major sticking point for a few representatives from both parties in Congress and they refused to sign onto the first Bill from the Fall, 2008 and create a covenant scapegoat should the American taxpayer’s get wind of its misuse.

      Let us remember that AIG had already misused those funds the first time. They were given federal government monies, taxpayer’s money and committed $85 billion to bail out AIG, executives of the giant AIG insurance company whereupon they headed for a week-long retreat at a luxury resort and spa, the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California. Upon learning what they did with those funds, Congress said they would look into investigating AIG and their usage of bailout funds. So, the Democratic leadership in the House sent Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) to look into how the money was spent. AIG documents obtained by Waxman's investigators shows the company paid more than $440,000 for the retreat, including nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges (I wonder if they left a tip?). Boy, they really did relax on our dime. Their irresponsible spending gave our congressional leaders a way out and also gave them the idea that they too, needed to relax and clearly, Nancy Pelosi saw a wrinkle on her face and panic set in. AIG Executives voted Obama into Office as did the Wall Street criminals crowd, all were liberal democrats, now suddenly we are suppose to believe he’s grown a conscience? They already knew that AIG would misuse these funds; they also may have encouraged it, if they were truly concerned about AIG and they're spending habits they wouldn't have sent a child to do a man's job. The House’s Sherlock Holmes learned when their top investigator dug deep into an inch of rancid soil.

      While AIG Executives were relieving their stress this October and while the House representative were relieving theirs in early February. Americans were concerned about paying their mortgage as well as everyone else’s. In October our fuel prices were on the decline, while Obama and McCain were campaigning, using private jets to reach out to American voters. Telling us they really cared.

      All that stress was too much for those poor Executives who needed to relax and let loose. They really were just following in our House leadership footsteps who also misused the public funds. Let me remind you that the House democrats and republicans both attended an annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, Va., and President Barack Obama made his debut on Air Force One as president and made a quick hop to Williamsburg to see them to congratulate their duplicity. At least the Republican didn’t use taxpayer’s dollars, they used lobbyist money, which is still pretty bad, but using taxpayers dollars to relax while the Country panics about their 401k retirement funds, the fall of the stock market and Congresses over spending, unnecessary pork projects, State earmarks, special taxpayer project all telling us it was best for the Country and would create jobs. Anyone here find new employment from the Stimulus Package? Anyone, anyone?

      So how can they now lambaste the AIG Executives, when our elected officials did the same thing? America needs to wake up and start demanding that our elected officials start listening to We, the people. And if those leaders refuse to listen, then STOP VOTING FOR THEM. Take a gander at the Senate longest servicing candidates who will tell you just how long we’ve been conned. http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/four_c

      We need to stop placing them on life support and just pull the plug. Put them out of our misery.

      They reality is these current crop of robbers have no idea how to fix it, they only know how to destroy. That they are doing a good job. Look at the bright side, they are finally successful at something. Whew, I was worried they for a moment.

    15. David Sayers, NC says:

      Again, Obama has proven that he really doesn't have a clue and should resign. Not only is he in way over his head but can only articulate what the teleprompter tells him to say. Maybe a tea party on the White House lawn would get the point across to Obama and his politburo that Americans don't want anthing to do with his never ending spending and his socialist ideas.

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    17. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      CAN YOU SAY SOCIALISM?????

      That is all the dems and obama understand for this country. I need them to explain how we as employees are going to make enough money to pay back this huge debt they are creating. Our great grandchildren will be the ones to work for nothing in order to pay the bill. The days of working to help ones self is over, now we work for the socialist governemnt that has been put in Washington D.C..

      It is past time to get back to the basics of free enterprise where hard work is the norm and we as workers reap the benefits of that work.

    18. Mike Carlson, Oregon says:

      Hay we're doing great we can have anything from our big brother and he'll pay for with money that he does not have and does not care. The facts show the obvious that is; were going socialistic.

      Why even think about it they the Presidents team is making sure of that. They will not listen and the agenda was site before they even got into office, look at how fast these bills were pasted. There is no deveating from that agenda.

    19. Eileen says:

      :Nancy, Ohio writes: Are we ready to build the case against Obama to start impeachment proceedings? Mismanagement of taxpayer money.

      Socialist puppet destroying our Republic. What grounds can we use?

      Lying, cheating, stealing come to mind. But the reality is TREASON. They took an oath to UPHOLD the Constitution and they are putting it though the paper shredder and will at least recycle it.

      Webster Dictionary explains Treason as "the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family."

      Also added traitor = one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty, that duty being to protect, defend the Constituton of the United States

    20. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      I just heard over the radio Sen. Grassley and Sen. Schumer about the AIG bonuses. Grassley asked those receiving the bonuses at AIG to commit suicide following in the footsteps of Japanese culture. Schumer threatened AIG that they would get the money back one way or another- reminds me of storied Stalin tactics.

      The government knew about those retention bonuses when they decided to bail out AIG. They didn't do anything then. Now, it has become politically embarrassing when the payouts are materializing. The government now says that contracts do not matter. Why should any citizen that receives any government handout should feel safe if they can arbitrarily threaten and pass selective laws to punish those they do not favor?

      The government that we now have is a fascist regime. If Americans think that they are safe with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, think again. The country as founded is gone!

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    22. Tom K., from Communi says:

      Is it any wonder to anyone here, as to why Holder and the Dim cronies are so desperately urgent to confiscate citizens firearms?? How about, because they know we are so farkin' pessd off that we're ready to use them? Maybe they're smart enough to see that, and maybe not.

      How, exactly how, much more, of their billshot, are we, the owner's of this governing batch of buffoons, going to sit by, and swill down, whilst they prep and serve yet another batch, of quantitively greater, shite-stew, and then serve that up to us as well??

      We as a nation, not hardly united, except in title, have been rammed in the behind, so long and hard, that we are choking on it, and yet no one is offended beyond a statement of, 'That's outrageous', or 'Don't they understand what, We they People, means', etc., etc.

      The 'Dumbing Down' of America, meaning us, has been in the works since the socialist commies have infiltrated our media, government, school systems, and our system of law. We call them Liberals as a title, but that's like labelling Adolph Hitler as a somewhat anti-social individual. There agenda, these liberal elite, is to destroy the freedoms of the many, while driving our economy into oblivion, and becoming immorally rich in the process. Even the petty millionares will seccumb to their plan. It's called 'the Redistribution of Wealth'. This plan takes from the masses, and enriches the few. Like Robin Hood in reverse.

      What happens to a society who travels the world correcting foolishness and corruption, but fails to clean it's own house and yard?? Why it's destroyed from within, of course, to the amusement of those it tryed to correct.

      Is there not one person of authority and position, who can step in and take 'righteous' charge of this nation and situation?? And when will WE, the American people, stop enriching the traitorous sell-outs and mis-informers of the people, i.e., the movie makers, TV execs, newspaper owner's, and the screen actor's guild,aka, the masters of spin and mis-information. All of these have their own self-interests in mind, along with their personal fortunes….Streisand, Winfrey, S(ch)pielberg, etc.

      But hey, we all live for the betterment of the few, right? Forego the retirement, kids college, paying off the mortgage, etc., so we can make these tyrannists, these Constitutional assassins, more wealthy, right?? Anything for the rich and famous……and hey, maybe they'll let us shake their hands, or wash their cars, or something warm and meaningful like that!!

      For those of you who think the sarcasm is too thick…..it's a safe way of doing what I'd really like to, but dare not try to do……..rid us of the likes of them……and restore our nation to common sense, right governing principles, if there ever were any.

      One Still Patriotic

    23. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Yet another example of both how the facts don't count to the Socialist Left (such as Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and their Comrades in government, academia, the media, and elsewhere) only their Socialist government elitist agenda counts; how they're "banking on" people's short attention and memory span, the truism of "repeat a lie often enough and it becomes perceived as the truth", and thus also how they have to count on their Orwellian Newspeak/PC (Political Correctness) ability to re-write history and re-define things, even into their opposites.

      Of course against such government elitism we have been repeatedly warned by many people and things, including our Founding Fathers, our founding documents, and even a Leftist writer named George Orwell through his book entitled "1984" in which he foresaw only too well, ironically enough, where such Socialist government elitism leads ("Big Brother"/"Nanny Government", "Newspeak", "Thought police"/"Political Correctness", and etc), including such re-writing of economic and other history, and re-defining of things, even into their opposites.

      So, it isn't as if we haven't been warned, and warned repeatedly, against such Socialist government elitists as Obama and his Comrades, but evidently enough people have ignored the warnings, and even denied them as such long enough, and so now we have all have to suffer the consequences of their repeating their false claims of "changing direction", counting on people having short attention spans and memory, counting on the truism of "repeat a lie often enough and it becomes perceived as the truth", and all their other "1984"-style Orwellian machinations of re-writing history and re-defining things into their opposites, including the direction of their government growing, taxing, and spending practices and policies as if they are the “reverse” of similar practices and policies by their “Liberal” government elitist predecessors.

    24. mary green says:

      Just worrying about all the spending for unneccessary things….programs…cutting programs for the veterans…

      Worrying…..about cutting things that we need, since we live on Social Security..

      I cannot trust what is going on….Can anyone at Morning Bell enlighten me on my fears?

      Is the government going to send a stimulus check to individuals ??, once we heard 400 , now we don't hear anymore about it….Last year indivduals got 600 or 300 back depending on a person's income.

    25. Betty Dunkel, PA says:

      Join the American Tea Party movement now. The rallies are going on all over the country through several groups who are working to take our country back. Rallies are planned for Phila. on April 15 and April 18.

      Log on to http://www.freedomworks.org
      and http://www.usateaparty.com
      emails,ideas and plans are at american-tea-party@googlegroups.com

      Please join us.

    26. John Rosina, Bordent says:

      Mike, Not only to you babble unsupported claims yourself, you are hypocrite enough to accuse those you disagree with of your own malady.

      Not only are you painfully verbose, you are redundantly painfully verbose.

      And didn't you just utter yesterday that (sic) "Leftist Liberals resort to name calling"?

      You better reread your last 6 or 7 comments before you simper foul.

      Caveat: Keep it simple and try not to be hypocritical!

      Other than that – party on!

      PS: The other day, by implication, (which is sloppy), you painted me a liberal leftie. Would the fact that I supported Ron Paul with my Wallet and work put a finer point on your wild observations of someone you do not know?

    27. Claude Cornell says:

      The Socialist agenda is really to bring the U.S.

      down to the level of the European countries so that the One-World Government can be instituted.

      The U.S. is the only one that is holding that back. That is why Obama doesn't care about how much debt he creates.

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    34. Len, Alexandria,KY says:

      SO, Who is going to get off their Collective Rears and Derail the Oblahblah express to Socialism??

      May be amassive TEa Bag Party on the Washington Mall Screaming " We Have Had IT" and Throw Congress and the WH occupant overboard in the pool might send a real and Clear Message???

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