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  • Morning Bell: Struggle to Solve Debt Limit Crisis Goes On

    Last night, the House of Representatives was set to vote on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R–OH) plan to raise the debt ceiling, as the projected August 2 deadline looms. Failing to round up enough votes to secure the bill’s passage, House Republicans closed up shop for the night and are scheduled to reconvene this morning, hoping to bring a bill back to the House floor with enough support to pass, as Politico reports. Inside baseball, last-minute vote wrangling aside, a much larger problem remains: Even if the Boehner bill passed and became law, America would continue its downward spiral into a fiscal abyss with no end in sight.

    Why can’t the Congress take these issues seriously? One reason is a lack of presidential leadership. Throughout the debt ceiling debate, President Barack Obama has attempted to portray himself as taking America’s spending crisis head on while calling for “shared sacrifices” to return the country to a course of fiscal sanity. Yet the President has replaced leadership with spectatorship. While the House passes bill after bill on the budget, the President can only carp, while the Senate can only bluster and stew.

    Leadership requires speaking plainly and directly to the American people. Instead, the President prefers code to disguise his intentions. To the President, the phrase “shared sacrifices” means tax increases, and his end goal is to keep up his big spending ways. After all, he sees government spending as the best way to create his vision of society in the long term and the best way to spur economic growth in the short run—even though his hundreds and billions of dollars in stimulus spending have left the economy stuck in the mud. Unemployment remains at 9.2 percent, and economic growth is stagnating. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that U.S. GDP rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter (lower than economists’ expectations), and first-quarter growth was revised down sharply to a 0.4 percent gain from 1.9 percent.

    The President’s strategy is no surprise. Heritage called Obama out on his fiscal policies at the start of his Administration, noting he was pursuing a “glut the beast” strategy: Pump spending up as high as possible, trigger a crisis, and use the crisis to force through higher taxes. Obama has, at least, played true to form.

    Sacrifices, though, aren’t the only things he would like to share. With the nation’s focus now squarely set on massive deficits, the President has attempted to shift the blame for the country’s woes away from his policies—namely, to prior Administrations. The President repeatedly claims that “neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this problem” and often points to the George W. Bush Administration as the root cause of the crisis.

    That’s simply not true. One simple number explains it well: the budget deficit figure in 2007, the last Bush year prior to the recession. The tax cuts were in full effect, both wars were raging, and the recession had not yet struck, yet the budget deficit in 2007 was $160 billion, or about a tenth of Obama’s deficit this year. Without a doubt, deficits during the Bush Administration were too high, especially in the early years, and more should have been done to restrain spending. But those deficits were puny compared to what Obama and his congressional allies have inflicted.

    Obama’s budget would set America on a dangerous fiscal course that leads to massive deficits well into the future—hitting $1.2 trillion in 2012 and, after dipping slightly, rising back to $1.2 trillion again by 2021. (You can see an illustration of where those deficits are headed here.) Even after the massive tax hikes included in Obama’s budget, federal deficits total $9.5 trillion. Under the President’s budget, the national debt would more than double in just 10 years, pushing America over a fiscal cliff.

    The problem, in short, is too much spending—not a shortage of taxes. And the biggest driver of that spending is entitlements (though Obama’s stimulus certainly didn’t help). Terrifyingly, those entitlements (which include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) will consume all tax revenues by 2049 if taxes remain at their historical norms, as this chart shows. And even under the President’s budget for 2012, entitlements consume 58 percent of spending.

    Disastrous entitlement spending has fallen by the wayside in the debt limit debate. President Obama speaks grandly of America coming together to solve this collective problem, but he ignores the real long-term problem, all while economic growth slows and unemployment remains high in the Obama economy. As the White House and Congress continue to focus on a fix to the debt ceiling crisis, they ought to take a look in the mirror and see the real cause of America’s fiscal mess.

    Quick Hits:

    • U.S. soldier Pfc. Naser Abdo, 21, was arrested in Killeen, Texas, on Thursday for planning a terrorist attack on troops near Fort Hood. Authorities said they discovered bomb-making materials in his hotel room and an article from an al-Qaeda magazine.
    • Business groups may take their fight against the Dodd–Frank Wall Street reform law to the courts. Their concern centers around a whistleblower rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission under that law.
    • Libyan rebel commander General Abdul Fattah Younis was killed in Benghazi on Thursday. His death came as the rebels’ council was seeking Younis for questioning on alleged ties to Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi.
    • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will go on trial next week in Cairo for corruption and murder charges related to his 30-year reign. It follows the 18-day revolution last spring.
    • WEB CHAT: Join us today from 12 to 1 ET for a live Web chat on the explosion of federal regulations and how they affect your life. Click here to join in!
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    78 Responses to Morning Bell: Struggle to Solve Debt Limit Crisis Goes On

    1. The Dove says:

      This is not the first complaint I've seen about the president being a "spectator" in this budget matter. So what? The president is supposed to be a spectator until a bill is passed. The Constitution (anyone in DC remember that?) clearly states where the responsibility to raise and to spend money lies. The House needs to pass a bill and send it to the Senate, and tell Obama to butt out until the time comes for him to either sign, veto or ignore that bill.
      What they send to the Senate should include drastic, and I mean that literally, drastic cuts in such things as foreign aid. Yes, I know that money is a drop in the bucket, but when the Senate rebels against the cuts, it will be up to Reid to explain to the American taxpayer just why it's a good idea to borrow money from one country in order to give it to another country, leaving said taxpayer to foot the bill. A good example to use would be borrowing from China to give the money to Pakistan, which harbored for nearly ten years the man responsible for killing 3,000 innocent American civilians. I gotta hear that one.

    2. Robert, TX says:

      Thank God for those republicans that stood up to Boehner, Obama and Reid. The Speaker's plan was worse than his spending resolutions, complete with accounting tricks and ten-year cuts (that would never happen). A real plan would attack welfare spending; address draconian payroll taxes and other burdens to job creation. $ 300 billion would be a nice start. And yes, we should only give them four months worth of borrowing authority – so they would have to come back before the elections and show us their colors again.

    3. Jack Krohn says:

      can't the same be said of John Boehner? is he serious about this issue?

    4. Double Ace says:

      This reminds me of the old AAMCO transmission commercials. You remember the one where the guy says you can pay me now or pay me later? The budget deal is the same. We have Obummer saying we need to increase the debt ceiling to prevent is from defaulting. Well the way I see it if we don't approve the debt ceiling increase we will pay it now, and if we do increase the debt ceiling we will pay it later. What the heck is wrong with our elected representatives? Do they know something we don't? Are they hiding the real issues? Something just smells fishy about this entire fiasco. Now we have McConnell and McCain in the Senate both sounding more like liberal progressives than conservatives. Maybe Harry Reid has a contagious disease that makes him so stupid and it is spreading? Then on the other hand we nor have the speaker of the House who I think is a good man and wants to do what's right trying to compromise with the Devil in the White House? WTF?

    5. Patch says:

      The House passed Cut, cap and Spend and it should have been the Senate's responsibility to then propose an alternative rather than just calling it dead on arrival. Why on earth have the Republicans in the house let themselves carry this on their shoulders? This whole process has been a mess and it started with the democrates doing nothing for 2 full years. They crammed through Obamacare without anyone knowing what it said and here they are refusing to put something out in detail and in time for people to read their actual position. Where on earth is this coming from? This is the real issue here. I feel bamboozled.

    6. Crystal says:

      How can increaseing taxes and spending help to solve the debt. That’s like increasing your credit cards to get out of debt.

    7. Dorrence says:

      The Government is too big. Obama will not lead. Pelosi and Reid will not lead. Boehner BETTER lead and do the job of the House. Set the budget, which they have already done. If the President and Senate do not like that then too bad. If the default happens, follow the Constitution, pay the bonds, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans, Military and then start laying off staff. If the PEOPLE of the USA learn they can survive and live without the bureacracy of the Federal Government being in place, maybe just maybe they will learn to be less dependant. Basically, my opinion is shut it down and start laying off workers!!!

      • kintatsu says:

        you got that right. we could probably cut 1/3 of the government and hardly anyone would miss it.

      • Bob Wilson says:

        I like your idea – but they should also zero-out all the non-constittutional discretionary expenditures [think ethanol subsidies, as an example] as well as the bureaucracies that manage them. Then refuse to appropriate any more $$ to those discretionary categories.

    8. COOLNIKE says:

      Tax and spend OBAMA. That is his nickname.
      RECESSION IS WHEN YOUR NEIGHBOR IS OUT OF WORK;
      DEPRESSION IS WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF WORK;
      RECOVERY IS WHEN OBAMA IS OUT OF WORK.

    9. Dennis says:

      I am not here to blame any one group for the fiscal chaos. All share in that mess. The problem is we have a President that doesn't have a clue as to what to do to straighten it out. It's plain they need to reduce spending yet the president calls for a tax increase. I do not understand why the congress does not look at the bigger picture; What is best for America! We have a President that can't lead and an indecisive Congress. I remember when America was a can do nation and we just got it done. This group is pathetic on both sides and I hope everyone remembers that when they vote in the next election. We have many Senators and Congressmen that have overstayed their welcome, vote them out!

    10. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      The lack of leadership, both in the Executive branch and in the Congress, is outrageous. The purpose of government is lost; the representation aspect of a republican form of government is at risk with the polarization being encouraged by a left wing, union backed president, who supports and encourages discord and animosity. Also, if one wants to attack entitlements, here are a few that need to be addressed: term limits: the founding fathers did not say that being elected meant a job for life; free medical care and lifetime pensions for elected officials; insane attacks on freedom to do business in this country such as the NLRB's attacking Boeing for moving to South Carolina; excess regulation and lack of congressional oversight on most governmental agencies; governmental meddling in trying to control professions such as real estate appraisal; regulating industries so that bigger is better and allowing large financial institutions to dominate rather than serve their customers; cutting back on military spending, when it needs to be increased. In December, 1941, the United States Navy and Marine Corps had about 439,000 personnel in total; as of July 11, 2011, the numbers were almost identical, except for the Marine Corps. We need a government that is not in business for the sake of itself, but for service to its people. This government is an outrageous, onerous, and backbreaking entity that is beginning to destroy its people and the fabric which keeps them together.

    11. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Less than a decade ago, the rating agencies such as S&P and Moody's were giving Enron, WorldCom, Fannie, and Freddie high rating, just days before they collasped. Today, we are depending on these same agencies to determine the finical future of this nation. Why? Since when does a rating agency call a meeting with Congress? Do we not recognize the same manipulation is taking place again. This time it's Obama.

    12. Richard D Smith says:

      The problem is with the Congressional Republican party as well as the Democrats. For some reason, the GOP refuses to actually cut spending. What gives with these folks?

      Dick Smith

      • Robert, TX says:

        I agree with the first statement. As for why, ask your friends. The vast majority of "wake-up America" e-mails that I receive come from unemployed people (who are over 50) and other people over 55 that are scared to death about "their" social security money – and they all consider themselves republicans. They don't want to cut welfare, they don't want to cut unemployment, and you can be sure they do not want to touch social security or medicare, except to increase the payments.

    13. Ray Reed says:

      The reason President Obama cannot show leadership is because he would have to admit that he is wrong. He would have to admit that government (spending and income redistribution) cannot return the economy to prosperity. He would have to tell his supporters that what they want cannot be achieved because, as Margaret Thatcher is credited with saying, “Liberals eventually run out of other people’s money to spend.”

      What Speaker Boehner should have done was “drawn a line in the sand” once the House passed Cut, Cap and Balance. He should have explained clearly and concisely that the purpose of the debt ceiling was to make the federal government rein in out of control spending by forcing it to stop spending money the government does not have. He should have put the onus directly and squarely on the president and the democrat party by telling America that they would be the ones to blame for any repercussions for their failure to pass and sign into law Cut, Cap and Balance.

    14. bjoc says:

      You are so right on about entitlements. I am 78 years old and have been paid 3 times what I paid in to Soc. Sec.. In addition the federal Government pays me 25 K MORE THAN I pay in federal taxes. I can be means tested. Your suggestion that those over 100K should give up Soc. Sec. is a good one.

    15. Laura says:

      In everything I read, the only entitlements listed are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Nothing is ever mentioned regarding welfare checks, unemployment (99 weeks) or food stamps. How do those numbers figure into the equation? Are they even being considered in the calculations of how much is needed to keep things running? There are other entitlements as well. My guess is that there is a lot more money needed than what we currently pay into the government monthly. All of the spending in this country needs to be addressed now.

      • SG Guest says:

        Why are the figures for the wars being waged around the world never displayed? Entitlements are a problem, especially when immigrants, legal and illegal, and refugees are informed by the organizations paid by the government on how to get signed up for benefits. There are citizens in this country who have paid into this scheme for 40 years, and they are entitled to benefits of their money back. We should be examining the cost of "policing the world" along with all other expenditures, and preventing those who have not paid in from receiving benefits. I agree, ALL spending in this country needs to be addressed now.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Nor does it mention all the intitlements members of Congress get for life nor their generous pay inctreases they voted them selves while no COLA for retirees. Another thing you see little of is the FRAUD assoc. with medicaid and food stamps, what about the Lottery nwinner getting food stamps? BHO said he was going to have an online audit of every dept. of the Gov't. Instead he keeps adding, how about his nonvented csars and all her aides, then how about "Cash for clunkers",this cut revenue for car dealers and pushed the price of used cars way up, all the money in TARP and his other spending as well as buying GM and Chrysler, I could go and on, the waste starts in Washington, D.C.

    16. Laura says:

      All redundant spending needs to be cut out immediately. Areas that are better tackled by state and local governments should be handled there without all the federal regulations. We should not be the "savior of the world" always paying for everyone else's crises when we don't have the money. The federal, state, and local budgets must be balanced to the amount of money coming into the system. Everyone should have to pay their own fair share. Having almost 50% of the population taking but not paying anything must stop!! The debt and the deficit must be cut. In order to balance the budget, cuts must be made to real current costs. I know it will take sacrifice from everyone; however, in our own households, that is what is required. It should also be required of the government.

    17. Beth Smith says:

      Add to the bill:
      l. Repeal Obamacare-return the $500bil to Medeicare and create a rough plan for beginning to write a new non-government plan…..it HAS to be done.
      2. Repeal Cap and Trade
      3. Stop QE3
      4. Create a Cap on the budget and a Balanced Budget Amendment
      Downgrade problems will be solved….if this isn't enough cuts, Send Education Dept, EPA and Energy Dept back to the states.
      70% of the country will love you! This is serious.

      • Ray Reed says:

        Agreed!

      • SG Guest says:

        Items One through Four–check…Dismantle the Education, EPA, Energy, and Interior Departments…the states do not need these departments either. The Interior Department is responsible for handling the leases on our petroleum resources, and we all know that energy independence is a must for this country to survive. Congress to participate in Social Security and Obama care—immediately place their funds in SS; No more cost of living increases until national debt paid, and then to be decided by the people; term limits; limits on retirement ; they can go home and work like the rest of us
        To include Executive & Judicial Branches; Obama and his wife's can pay for their own extravagant lifestyle and secret service…if they feel they need protection; our posterity should not be responsible for the upkeep of two individuals who are not proud of their country, determined to bankrupt the country, and have gone around the world apologizing for America. Of all the audacity, 26 servants;

    18. Charles Nystrom says:

      As matters unfold, nothing is being done to change the trajectory of deficits and debt. Current legislation papers over the peril with Washinton's version of "cut".

      In short, Obama will be able to contiue his path of destruction of our economy as we have known it.

    19. AZVick says:

      This post is right on. Congress continues to boil over something that does not begin to address the fiscal problems we are facing and the blame can be placed squarely on Barack Obama, Democrats who continue their tactics of lying to the American people, and big-government GOP who fail to understand the meaning of the 2010 election. The congressional conservatives who continue to hang onto their no votes are my heroes. I am amazed and heartened by their fortitude.

    20. linda soikklei says:

      they should fire everyone in congress, all of them should not get paid. even obma. he should be ashmaemed of him self

    21. Bobbie says:

      It's like the President refuses mental capacity to think beyond his words. America can't afford this…
      He is extremely unfair and discriminative regarding his "entitlements." A broad term that can go anywhere!
      He encourages people to spend money they don't have to keep the economy going while he runs America out of money putting his acts of corruption for Republicans to take the time to figure out while he deprives his obligations to the elderly and military! We can't accept irresponsibility and with no accountability when it's out of our control. No matter what happens the Republicans will be "blamed" so please, stay true to America and if you want sincere votes, correct this ugly government mess!

    22. Jim Torpey says:

      This entire "debt crisis" show going on in Washington is nothing more than that. The debt problem is due to our government's growth of ever-expanding bureaucracies created & funded in direct violation of our Constitution, aided and abetted by the "Federal" Reserve's monetary inflation of our currency. Until these systemic problems are addressed, we will continue our downward spiral into inevitable bankruptcy.

    23. snydrhrry says:

      Have I descended into paranoia, or do I have a valid observation? To wit: Is this Obama guy from the mean streets of Chicago, with no known experience in national government, a consummate expert in all things political and economic? Or is he merely the mouthpiece and front man for a cabal of "advisers" and mentors who are the real "powers behind the throne?" He came from nowhere, a very honored guest at the 2004 Democratic Convention reading skillfully a speech on a teleprompter, and thereafter was feted and inflated by the Dems and a compliant Media as a perfect black candidate for the U.S. Presidency who would face a weak Republican in 2008. The junk mortgage scandal was blamed on greedy Republican fat-cats on Wall Street. ignoring the Democratic fat-cats there who faithfully and profitably supported Democrat agendas. And now we have "the one'" (and only!) Barack Hussein Obama in he Oval Office (technically, at least, since he seems no to be there very often) and a radical Democrat agenda which will indeed "transform" the nation, but…..into what?

      • Ray Reed says:

        Obama is from the world of academic elitist "progressives". They think they are the smartest people in the room. However, for all the degrees they may have, what they do not have is any true real world experience. They have never run a business, let alone created and had to work within the constrains of a budget. They have never had to figure out how to sell a product or service. They have never had to make a payroll. They have never had to let a person go from their job because they failed to make the right decision about their company.

        When it come to admitting their mistakes–that their glorious ideas simply do not work in the real world–their egos will not allow them. How can the smartest people be so wrong? Because they do not live in the real world.

    24. Whicket Williams says:

      All intelligent people with the ability to think knows the true agenda is a one world currency. The destruction of the U.S. is just a small part of the overall strategy

    25. Trevor Adams says:

      We should, from the very beginning, have given the president two options: sign Cut, Cap, and Balance to cut the deficit immediately and cap government spending/provide for a path toward the ratification of a Balanced Budget Amendment in the future, or be forced to balance the budget immediately by the debt ceiling. Unfortunately, our representatives didn't have the courage to elect a speaker outside of the Republican establishment, and so we conceded early on that we would agree to raise the debt ceiling with few Democratic concessions. Boehner's laughably weak embrace of CC&B while letting on that we intended and were willing to simultaneously draft a plan B in case it didn't pass croaked our chances in the senate. Now we're down to the wire and we look like idiots for not being willing to do what our speaker implied we would over the past several months. It won't happen, but our gameplan right now ought be separating ourselves from Boehner. We lose leverage as well as the American people's faith every time he goes out there and says we have to raise the debt ceiling or we'll default.

      • Reagan Reep says:

        I have come to the conclusion the politicians are NOT well informed about the economy or the implications of their actions on our country or the world. They obviously do not see, listen or read anything to prepare themselves for the position they hold.

    26. Bob Wilson says:

      Entitlements are certainly the long-term problem; however, focusing short-term on discretionary spending outside strict constitutional limits would help quite a bit in assuring the public & the markets that they are serious about controlling spending. Eliminating non-constitutional discrettionary expenditures should indicate where the bureaucracy should be trimmed also.

    27. Don DiMaggio says:

      I for one am tired of this debate. Both parties are at fault in getting us into this mess. While I blame Obama and the Democrats for exaberrating the deficitand the president's lack of leadership in bringing a resolution to this problem, I am not happy with the Republicans holding out for a balanced budget amendment ( there are times where unforseen crises and wars would not be able to be funded under such an amendment). Still, the repubicans must demand real cuts in spending and work diligently at repealing or not funding the multitude of new programs the Obama and the previous congress put in place.

      • Ray Reed says:

        Remember that this "crisis" is created by the democrats and their dutiful scribes in the lamestream media. If we default–fail to pay the interest on the debt–it is solely President Obama's decision and fault.

        Obama and the democrats created this "sense" of panic as a way to create a "crisis" for them to take advantage of just like they did in 2009 (when Rahm E. basically said, "A good crisis is a terrible thing to waste." or something to that like.)

        • Ray Reed says:

          Oy! Must be my old eyes.

          How I intended to end my post was with "…or something to that effect" or "…or something like that."

    28. Jim Buzzell says:

      I am amazed that with all the knowledge, experience, and insight available to Heritage you still continue to put leadership in the hands of the president, he leads the Executive Branch, not congress. His job is to carry out the dictates of congress once enacted, and signed into law by him/her, or if his veto is overridden; it is his job then to provide executive leadership, and management of the enacted laws, and statutes. Congress on the other hand is charged with the responsibility to lead our nation; I realize over the years they have abdicated those duties, and responsibilities to the presidents; but that is not what our constitution says. You cannot escape the final responsibility any action when you transper the responsibility and authority to someone else, the ultimate responsibility still remains in your hands, the congresses of the past have manage to skirt their duties, and responsibilities very well by baffling We the People. It is time to correct this matter and that is exactly what the new freshmen class is trying to do; but the establishment conservatives, the RINOs, are not listening to the message sent to congress in 2011 with the new freshment congressional class of leaders.

    29. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Obama is leading exactly where he wants the nation to go…in the toilet. This is a man intent on being remembered as a 3rd world African country leader. He wants to be a tribal leader with absolute power. One way to do that is to destroy a capitalist nation, then make everyone dependent on Chief Obama. He will not be satisfied until Africa starts sending aid to the United Stated. And guess what? For many years the lifer- Republicans in Congress have been so compliant they have set the stage for him to do it.

      I realize this will not be printed…but I'm just glad I had an opportunity to get it out…

    30. WCLamb says:

      I paid in cash for my social security! Just because the government borrowed (or stole) the money, that doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout! Congressional benefits, a.k.a. free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare… and they have the nerve to call my retirement “entitlements?”

      • Bob Wilson says:

        You paid after-tax cash into Social Security ….that makes it ever more maddening to have it taxed a 2nd time when they dole out your "entitlement". They did steal it from us – no other way to put it.

    31. WCLamb says:

      You say " …biggest driver of that spending is entitlements … Terrifyingly, those entitlements (which include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) will consume…"

      Entitlements?
      Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged $30K/year over your working life, that’s close to $220,500 paid in by you and your employer. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contributions) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that principal amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had.

    32. Pingback: Prosigue la lucha por resolver el límite de la deuda | Heritage Libertad

    33. Russ says:

      What's wrong with eliminating some unnecessary "services" such as the DOE, and EPA to name two, and if we adopted the Fair Tax we could eliminate the IRS as well.

    34. KC - NM says:

      The debt ceiling issue is not the only indicator of the Obama's failed economy. The lack of growth shown today in GDP is much less than planned, unemployment is still above 9%, we continue to spend, and we continue to supply much of the world with expensive aide. All of these activities go on continually and yet our infrastructure is failing, schools are failing, morality and ethics are failing, and business along with growth opportunities are failing. Why can't the media and liberals understand this issue from a big picture view?
      It is evident from Obama and many of the professional politicians on the liberal side, that just having a legal background from the big "ivey league" schools does not make the individual credible to run an enterprise like the USA. We need business and engineering leadership in Washington who have the big picture and visionary leadership style to drive the changes we need to survive and re-build this great country. The republicans are lacking this skill set as well when the potential front runner candidates are compared. It is time to make a difference – time for change in 2012.

      • Ray Reed says:

        It makes you wonder if this is truly intentional. Contrary to their words, are the democrats and Obama intentionally sabotaging the American economy to collapse it to then use that "crisis" to literally "take over" the country?

    35. The Farmer says:

      Sorry folks I fail to see a "strrugle" going on to resolve the so called "debt crisis"!

      That has already been done, or is in the works as for now, doing anymore before the Senate acts on the bill they received from the House,(the 2C&B bill) or writes their own bill is pure foolishness!

      In my opinion what is going on right now is the RINO's are trying to sound like one of us while they negate everything us Tea Party folks are trying to accomplish!

      We need to broom the rest of the RINO's out next election!

    36. guest says:

      "The President’s strategy is no surprise. Heritage called Obama out on his fiscal policies at the start of his Administration, noting he was pursuing a “glut the beast” strategy: Pump spending up as high as possible, trigger a crisis, and use the crisis to force through higher taxes. Obama has, at least, played true to form."

      Can I borrow your tin foil hat?

      • Clearhead says:

        No need for you to borrow ours, mr. 'guest'. You obviously have one of your own which is oversized and so thick that information has a hard time getting through it.

    37. Michael A. Gabel says:

      Even if government could collect enough tax to reduce the deficit and pay down the debt to a reasonable level, it would not address the real problems which are profligate government spending and reach.

      This is the true ideological war raging within our country. Liberals want an overreaching government that imposes cradle to grave entitlements and massive regulations. Conservatives want to peel back government power and resources in favor of the individual, and promote individual responsiblity and private property rights.

      So, regardless of any "deal" or political fallout from the current debt ceiling debate, we won't solve the real problem until we decide what we want our country to be.

      I stand firmly with conservatives and I reject the left's ideology.

    38. GregD says:

      my understanding is that the president proposed $3T in cuts to expenditures (including entitlements) and $1T in additional revenues (eliminating fat cat / corporate tax loopholes). that sounds pretty reasonable to most of us in this country (see numerous polls) and certainly better than a default, which will cost us more in additional interest payments than republicans have proposed cutting in the latest boehner plan.

      but the tea party folks would rather risk a default that will put us further behind the 8 ball, than some reasonable compromise that will start us in the right direction. i remember when elected officials considered what was best for the country, rather than hold to radical, unyielding positions that could cause this country great harm. god help us all.

      • F.D. O'Toole says:

        Greg:
        If you look into the $3T in cuts proposed by the President, you won't find any details… just talk.
        He got mad at a reporter this week who asked for something in writing. What about the cuts he described verbally?
        "Cuts" are often reductions in proposed spending. Or, cuts to future year's expenses, that everyone knows will never happen. But revenues (tax hikes), are real and immediate…and they never go away.
        We have a spending problem. Forty cents of every dollar the government spends is borrowed. Think about that.
        The President wants to spend more. His budget was full of new spending but it was rejected by both houses in the Spring. The credit card is maxed out. Time to rein in the spending, not boost the debt limit.
        Hopes this helps you in forming an opinion on this most serious matter.

        • GregD says:

          federal spending is indeed too high, at the highest % of GDP in 60 years. BUT federal revenues are at the lowest level, as a % of GDP, in 60 years. (see the chart elsewhere on this site, to show i'm not blowing smoke). if you look at those numbers, without bias, you will realize that BOTH need to be changed, if we are going to get out of the fiscal mess we are in.

          those folks who believe we can keep revenues at this low level (as % of GDP) and solve the problem solely on the expenditure side are either ignorant about public finance or have an agenda – starve the government, no matter what the consequences.

          your statement "time to rein in the spending, not boost the debt limit." is scary. it is very necessary that we do BOTH. i can't even imagine the thinking, or lack of, that leads one to believe that we don't need to boost the debt limit, so i hope that you just misspoke and don't really believe that.

        • Ray Reed says:

          If we are, indeed, talking about "baseline budgeting", then it is likely true that Washington views reductions in proposed increases "cuts" in spending. That is, if program's funding is scheduled to increase by, say, 10%, but then is reduced to 5%, the party that is for that program will claim it suffered a cut even though funding did, in fact, increase by 5%!

          That's baseline budgeting for you!

    39. Roseanne, Dayton says:

      How about a bill that contains absolutely no pork. It's time for those in Congress to vote on the issue at hand without having to bribe someone for their vote. Do not cut defense. Pay social security, medicare and Medicaid, but also pay to monitor and delete fraudulent claims. Cut off funding to countries that never pay back, and demand repayment of "loans" to other countries. Use our own oil, natural gas and coal, and build refineries. Freeze all government salaries, including Congress. Weed out ridiculous government programs that found their way into the federal pockets via pork. I repeat, No Pork, no add-ons, no more tax increases.

    40. kaydell bowles says:

      The average American better understands the debt ceiling and spending money that one does not have that Congress. It is time for Congress to tuck up its gut and do the right thing for the American people and Country. However it is all about political party power and their beholden to their constitutents. HENCE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LOOSE!

    41. Jill Maine says:

      Look where entitilement has gotten BHO? In the words of Dennis Miler, He lives "as a rich man but he never earned the rich life he's living." He must think there is endless amounts of money to be taken from the productive people in our society. I can't wait to see him and Michelle fly off the White House grounds to resume their life in Chicago.

    42. Jakes says:

      This article is biased. It's obvious that the GOP is the problem. Anyways, they never intended to move the nation forward.

      • Ray Reed says:

        So, are you fine with saddling your children and their children and their children with more and more crushing debt?

        Also, how do you progress from the individual's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when you insist on pushing the country further down an unsustainable path that will infringe more and more upon those creator-endowed rights?

    43. and2therepublic says:

      The USA has given the grand socialist experiments ( the progressive income tax, SS, Medicare, etc.) enough time to prove how marvelous they are. They are a huge failure. They are the most responsible factors contributing to our debt problem, deficit problem, and to the overall lack of happiness dwelling across this once great land. When will we face the truth and throw these programs out with the trash? When the US is bankrupt and no one will receive anything? If you think the riots in Greece were/are bad, just imagine when they occur in the US. I concur with Patrick Henry, when in his most famous speech he proclaimed:

      " For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to prepare for it."

      March 23, 1775.

      Who will say this far, no further?

    44. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Thank you, once again, for not publishing what I wrote. It only strengthens my believe that Heritage is like CNN, publish all the news they agree to support their point of view.

    45. Taum says:

      I am paying into social security of MY taxed income. I pay into madicare with MY taxed income. Seeing as how it is MY money going into those "funds', How is it considered an entitlement. Lets be more clearer on this point.

      • Ray Reed says:

        If you fail to receive those payments, it will be because President Obama has chosen not to pay you.

        You should be directing your anger at the politicians who could not keep their grubby little hands off of YOUR money because they wanted to spend it on other things. Social Security is a much bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff's. That is what we all should be concerned about.

    46. Taum says:

      Seems to me as if Boehner has already forgotten why he has the job he has and who put him in that office. As I have always said, just because one claims to be something or stand for something doesn't mean anything till one is put to the test. The VERY reason I do my best to avoid ultimatums.

    47. Reagan Reep says:

      The politicians should be better read about Worldly affairs, econmics. They come off as being ignorant.

    48. Todd says:

      The House passes yet another Republican proposal while the White House shoots down questions saying "that's just a Fox question". Meanwhile Obama has yet to lay out any type of plan while attacking and pointing fingers at Republicans. It seems also that the Senate will not even take up any of the plans passed by the House which is repulsive and should be realized by Americans. However it seems in the end that Republicans will yet again get the blame for not dooing something about the debt ceiling just like in '97. I only hope that w/ technology and all the various media outlets that enough Americans are intouch with this reality and will not allow the Democrats of the hook on these resolutions. However I think in the end we'll be let down as most people are asleep or not paying attention.

      Just A Point of View

    49. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama, should grow up.

    50. Deaton says:

      My family has two types of spending: (1) necessity (budget; such as, food, rent, utilities,etc.) and (2) luxury (discretionary; such as, dining out, theatre, etc.). When money gets tight, the first thing that goes is discretionary spending! Why isn't Boehner, et al., insisting on a halt to ALL discretionary spending?

    51. Denver says:

      I think that more honest and responsible government would have avoided this situation entirely. It's also telling that real solutions are impractical and compromise means doing only what the liberals want. If they achieve the third-world society they so desperately pursue, will they they really be satisfied ?

    52. Nicholas Voss says:

      I thought Obama was going to bring the world together, as one?

    53. Pingback: Is Obama killing the U.S. economy? » Goodizen.com

    54. Richwood7 says:

      The Republican Party makes al Qaeda look like a bunch of kids playing in a sandbox. They murder 50,000 Americans a year and W(acko) Bush destroyed America. It took ten years and WWII to recover from the Depression. IDIOT Bush put us into another one. He should be held for treason as should all Republicans. Obama has more brains in his finger than the Republicans have collectively.

    55. Pingback: Budget Control Act of 2011 Passes House with Berg Support – The State Column

    56. Michael says:

      Can the State Prosecuting Attorneys issue warrants to arrest members of congress for "misappropriation of funds"? The constitution gives the Congress the right to make laws about the "Defense and general welfare of The United States". They can't make laws about the welfare of individual citizens.

    57. Fischer says:

      I am having a very hard time understanding all of the folks who seem to think that our massive deficits began with the Obama administration in 2008. Someone commented in an earlier post that the budget deficit for 2007 was only $160 M — have you all forgotten that from the very inception of the Iraq war in 2003, the costs of the war were all run outside the budget? That we, the people who were paying for the war were not even allowed to know what it was costing us? Well, guess what: we racked up trillions of dollars in debt during those five years (including billions that disappeared without anyone claiming to know where it went – hence the special law passed by Congress to allow Halliburton to not have to account for a missing $9 billion, as just one example). Of the projected 13+ (or 14, or whatever) trillion dollar deficit, more than 60% is attributed (by independent auditors, not political flacks) to the Bush administration due to tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely common sense tells us as well that tax cuts coupled with waging two wars simultaneously is extraordinarily expensive? But more importantly, what difference does it make? We owe what we owe, and we have to deal with that. The reality is that people who are unemployed or underemployed don't pay much in taxes, so tax revenue is down significantly. And we're still paying for two wars, and will be paying the costs for injured soldiers for many years. The middle and working classes have gone without pay raises for such a long time, and had to pick up increasingly large portions of their health care coverage (assuming they have any), that there is not much more that they (we) can be expected to give. And we are still mired in recession, while the financial markets (and the investor class, as distinguished from those of us who work for a living) fully recovered from the recession a year or more ago. I guess the rich are planning to increase their spending on luxury items by 23% this year, on average, according to JSK, the trade magazine for the jewelry industry. I guess I am, too, it's just that my "luxury item" is gas for my car. Folks, when Warren Buffett pays taxes at a lower marginal rate than his employees, as he has often said is the case, there is something seriously wrong with our system (and he agrees). Asking the rich to pay their fair share is not Socialism. And while cutting all the social programs looks easy, do you want your 70-year old father to not be able to afford by-pass surgery because there is no Medicare? I know I don't have that quarter million in MY bank account. All the cuts that have been made have already had an impact on the recovery, slowing it down, although not reversing it (we hope), and have thrown many more thousands of people — teachers, municipal, state and some federal employees – out of work. When they lose their jobs (like everyone who became unemployed before them), their belt-tightening results in less money spent in their local communities, which means that small local businesses are hurt, which means, at best, that they can't expand, and at worst, they fail altogether. Everything we do will have ripple effects throughout the economy, and the pain can't all be borne by the working/middle class. But it seems to me that we would be much farther along the road to recovery if people would look at facts rather than throwing around baseless (and offensive) accusations – "Obama is leading exactly where he wants the nation to go…in the toilet. This is a man intent on being remembered as a 3rd world African country leader. He wants to be a tribal leader with absolute power." Are you kidding? I think it would be much more helpful if we would assume that we are dealing with people of good will, even if we disagree with them about their methods or ideas. It would help if our senators and congressmen would do the same.

    58. George E. Haksch says:

      I say Amen to that, and cross my fingers, that this won't fizzle out, as the "return of Christ" dates. I'm a refugee from a communist (formerly) country. Came to the US in 1957. Since the mid 60s, got convinced, that the TV newspeople, with college professors, entertainers, etc.,etc. are, with certain politicians, are convinced, that Communism is a good thing. The Russians were stupid, they assert, and went the wrong way to establish a World Government. "We" are going to show how it should be done.—And now you can see. how it is done! — In my opinion Obama is The American Lenin. He is, regardless whatever he is saying publicly, he is relentlessly working toward a World Government!!!—I am convinced,that "they" infiltrated almost all the "good" Associations, Foundations, etc. and from the background steering the spotless, honorable (somewhat but dimwitted) Chairmen, Presidents, etc. toward their end, thereby shaping public opinions.
      Are we smart enough, strong enough, resolute enough to stop this insidious, and relentless push?!

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