• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Our Work Has Only Begun

    My fellow conservatives,

    Americans are disappointed. They are disappointed that the debate over our debt limit was about the needs of politicians instead of the needs of the country. They are disappointed with a broken government that refuses to fix itself. And they are disappointed that the Budget Control Act that passed the House last night and is likely to pass the Senate today does not make the transformative changes this nation requires.

    There are several elements of this plan that are simply unacceptable, even when framed inside the narrow political confines that limited a better outcome (i.e., the White House and Senate are still controlled by spend-tax-and-borrow liberals).

    No AAA Reassurance: This plan is insufficient to protect our nation’s AAA credit rating. On Friday, Moody’s stated that neither the Boehner nor Reid proposals would restore our solid credit footing. This plan did not improve upon those. Economists from Barclays Capital in London said of the deal: “Overall, our first impression is that the agreement by itself is unlikely to be sufficient to cause S&P to remove the U.S. from being on ratings watch for possible downgrade.” Ajay Rajadhyaksha, head of U.S. fixed-income strategy at Barclays, was blunter: “The chances of a downgrade after this deal remain substantially high.”

    Irresponsible Defense Cuts: There are two rounds of defense cuts that risk our national security. If all are imposed, we will have a trillion dollars less than we need to protect our nation and defend its interests. Despite increased risks from Iran and North Korea and ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, this deal further cripples a defense budget already sized for peacetime and ignores the real problem—runaway entitlement spending.

    More Tax Hikes: Yesterday, White House officials took to the airwaves to assure their liberal base that the new “special” committee would recommend tax hikes. This is one White House assurance you can take to the bank. This deal sets the conditions for a massive tax increase from expiring lower rates and committee horse-trading. Even President Obama agreed in December 2010 that raising taxes to discourage job-creating investments in the middle of a recession was a bad idea. It’s still a bad idea.

    An Unclear Balanced Budget Approach: Conservatives are united behind the idea that Congress should balance its budget year-in and year-out, but the devil is in the details. The debt limit deal is a missed opportunity to drive spending down toward a balanced budget. Moreover, the debt limit deal does little to advance the cause of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Not all balanced budget amendments are created equal. We need an amendment with proper taxpayer protections so that Congress can’t simply hike taxes to balance the budget.

    Punting Responsibility: The American people don’t send politicians to Washington in order to appoint special committees and duck responsibility. They must make tough choices to reform entitlements. We’ve had enough commissions be ignored. This half-Democrat, half-Republican committee will probably deadlock, too (or worse, push a tax hike), so we’ll get little out of it.

    These are just some of the problems identified in the $2.5 trillion debt deal. There are others.

    Conservatives put up a good fight for the non-defense spending cuts needed to reduce the size and cost of government. While Senate Democrats sat on their hands for 800-plus days, doing nothing, House conservatives introduced and passed the Ryan budget plan and the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, each of which was a step in the right direction.

    The debt limit deal is a disappointment, but conservatives have made a real difference. We can be proud of the progress we made changing the dialogue in Washington. Just as with the Ryan budget plan, we are talking in terms of spending cuts for a smaller, less costly government, not spending increases. Popular opinion is with the conservative philosophy of limited government.

    But this debt increase was the highest in history. This is not surprising, given the record spending increases and deficits we’ve witnessed over the past two years. We cannot maintain this course and keep our creditworthiness or create jobs and economic growth.

    Given the framework we are now living under, and the water that has passed under the proverbial bridge, it is now up to conservatives to:

    Pursue Entitlement Reform: Social Security is operating in the red and faces a long-term deficit of nearly $8 trillion. Medicare is the most costly, and least efficient, federal program. Obamacare is simply an abomination that must be repealed. Congress must move to make significant reforms to entitlement programs. We can no longer accept weak recommendations and a lack of political courage. There can be no more budget-related debates in Washington that ignore this looming and preventable crisis.

    Pursue Revenue-Neutral Tax Reform: The current tax system is too complex and penalizes productive work. Lawmakers see job creators and entrepreneurs as easy targets to soak so that they can spend more. It’s a terrible cycle that is costly to our economy. The committee set up by the debt framework should take up tax “reform” rather than simply tax “hikes.” Creating a simple, flatter system that protects low-income workers, encourages investment, and fuels business growth would be a major step on the road to economic recovery.

    Maintain a Strong Military to Defend America: With nearly a trillion dollars in cuts to our military on the table during a period of heightened risk and global operations, it is imperative that Congress ensure that these cuts do not eliminate badly needed resources for our fighting men and women and that they have the best equipment and technology to keep America safe. As Heritage Vice President Kim Holmes stated: “America is different from other countries for a lot of reasons, but surely one of the biggest is that we are masters of our fate. We are fortunate to have an armed force that not only defends us but keeps us from being at the mercy of other countries, many of whom wish us ill.”

    Get Serious About Spending and Regulation: Washington has a unique way of taking one step forward and three steps back. We must remain vigilant about preventing new spending and regulations that hinder economic growth, stifle job creation, and grow the federal government.

    To drive spending down toward a balanced budget, reduce the share of the economy devoted to public debt, preserve America’s ability to protect the nation, and shift to a job-creating tax system without raising taxes, The Heritage Foundation has published “Saving the American Dream: The Heritage Plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity.” The Heritage plan does what Congress should have done and failed to do. Conservatives: Continue to fight for what is right for America.

    Onward!

    Edwin J. Feulner
    President, The Heritage Foundation

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    71 Responses to Morning Bell: Our Work Has Only Begun

    1. GLV says:

      I agree with Ed Feulner – we must have deep spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment. We must also have a budget. Our country is sinking fast under the current leadership. The will of the people is being ignored and, I believe, the mainstream media is acting in a tyrannical manner by mis-informing the American people.

    2. Rick says:

      It was very dissapointing to see the results of this debate. The sad part is the fact the main focus was missed. It was more about who was going to get re elected and not where this country is going. The fact remains we need term limits to get the corrupt ppl in washington out and hopefully give back to the people a choice. Today the people have no say. The ones holding office don't listen its two flocks and vote on what you don't even know what's in a bill. Better yet the line starts with pay offs as to what easch one gets for there vote. The future of this country is sad and deppressed the childern burdenedf with debt. Higher taxes and nothing in return all to make up for our corrupt goverment mistakes. How can they fix when they have no idea what there doing but spend our money and to waste to boot. Love our country fear those who run it just like china becomming a country where goverment abuses its people. So sad to see our dreams gone because of greed and power

    3. toledofan says:

      HF another great article. I would suggest that you sent this article to every member of Congress and I would, also, forward a copy to the White House. It's clear from the past month and especially the last two weeks that our political process is broke and business as usual can't be way Washington works anymore. We have some serious problems that have to be addressed and it's up to us to make that happen at the voting booth, but, I'm sure it's going to take a couple of election cycles to get the country back on track. I can say it's a good thing that we have those freshmen in the House because they kept the process from completely getting out of control. So, to those who stood on their principles, keep up the good work.

    4. Mom in NC says:

      Accurately and succinctly stated. If conservatives felt they had a fight before, we surely have been shown that the fight has just begun. Hang tough. Our very country depends on us.

      • Robert, TX says:

        At what point do "we" fight. We have seen better opportunities in the last six months than Waterloo, Trenton and San Jacinto combined! If Boehner and McConnell were in charge of D-Day, they would have turned around and headed for the U.S. They can't even spell fight.

        • EL CID says:

          We fight to ensure FISCAL CONSERVATIVES get the majority in the senate and get the presidency. Conservatives have been able to do as much as they could with only half of the congress. The House, Senate and Presidency, 3 power centers, and fiscal conservatives have only one of the three. None the less, the conversation has changed from spend to CUTS. Not bad.

          After we get the senate and the presidency then the WAR for our future and the future of our children and grandchildren REALLY begins. And business as usual in Washington DC will depend on the pressure we place on our new 'hires' to do their job, as we've INSTRUCTED!

          Keep the faith and stay actively informed to advise your family, friends and contacts.

    5. Robert A. Hall says:

      Excellent article; I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog. Every day we drift closer to the abyss. It grows increasingly difficult to see how we avoid a fiscal collapse, followed by a political and social collapse. Personally, as long as I don’t think about my granddaughter, postponing the implosion is good; I’m 65 and have pulmonary fibrosis, which is eventually terminal, so I may escape the coming desperate years. Unfortunately, the changes needed are so politically painful, they will only happen when the pain of not changing is greater. I hope I’m wrong, but I greatly fear that will involve riots and bloodshed in the streets.

      Robert A. Hall
      Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
      (All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)

    6. Whicket Williams says:

      This was all A LIE. The American Voter is the dumbest animal on the planet, and as all dumb animals are, they are devoured by predators, and will soon be extinct, when the country is no more. which will now happen sooner rather than later.

    7. Whicket Williams says:

      Everybody Ignores the places that Cuts can and must be made We must REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY HALF The Half AGAIN

    8. B Eric says:

      The current Deal is bovine poop. The so-called spending cuts are not cuts at all. If you plan to spend an additional 25000$ but only spend 20000$ you have not cut your spending. All you have done is reduced your additional spending. When will the idiot politicans on both sides of the aisle realize that we can't continue to spend more than we take in. As they say in the country "if the hole gets to big stop digging."

    9. Cathy says:

      OMG Really?? What I want to know is how do we fix this?? Vote everyone out?? I don't think we can wait that long. What can we, the American people do now?? Stop all our spending to not bring in taxes?? Max our credit cards with purchases to bring in taxes?? This does not make sense and who wants to tackle this problem?? How are we ever going to fix this problem??
      If we all ran our households and business' like Washington is running the government, we would not have our business' and households. How do we get this to stop and put America back in the black??

      • Robert, TX says:

        It will never happen, but if people cancelled their newspaper subscriptions; and cancelled their cable TV or satelite TV contracts – I guaranty you they would get the message. Every dollar of every cable TV bill funds the mainstream media, and what's left ends up with the DNC or major hedge funds (who speculate on our gasoline and oil, making us pay $ 3.75 for gas that should be $ 2.99) who also contribute to democrats. I cancelled my cable years ago with hoots of laughter from my smarter, republican friends.

    10. davenhockley says:

      This debt ceiling bull is a sham. It is the Emporers new suit. If we can raise the ceiling every time we reach it then there is no ceiling, now is there.

    11. My Congressman of the 22nd District of Texas received the following email from me this morning.

      Congressman Pete Olson, I am very disappointed in your vote (yes) yesterday in support to increase the debt limit.This was a compromise that will likely ensure Obama's re-election. However aside from that Conservatives didn't get the balance budget ammendment they were fighting for. What happened to the promises made to the Tea Party by you and other Representatives? For example posting a Bill for the people to read 3 days before a vote is cast.I will be seeking an alternative Congressman with those convictions of Conservative Principals to support and vote for in the next election cycle. I vote in every election and influence a minimum of 5 other people in their choice for candidates, just so you understand that it is not only my vote you will not enjoy in the next cycle. Respectfully Jeff Lowry

    12. rojas says:

      "Americans are disappointed"

      Some more than others and deservedly so depending on one's vantage point. We can quibble on numbers, but signing on for a mere $29 trillion deficit a few years down the road as opposed to $30 trilion as previously 'scheduled' is not even a step in the right direction. One 'unexpected' change to the model over the next decade wipes out this 'rounding error' of a fractionally less rapid increase. Conservatives did not even have a horse in this race. Universal 'obamacare waivers' needs to be front and center in any meaningful debt solution debate.

    13. Robert, TX says:

      The real news is John Boehner and Mitch McConnell protected every single dollar of welfare benefits (as well as providing for annual increases to those benefits) for over 100 million recipients, along with every single ($300 billion at a minimum) wasteful dollar of federal spending, along with every single federal mandate (that accounts for over 80% of every state's budget) for the next ten years. And that is called "making government smaller, taking our country back, and reducing spending da, dum, da, dum, da, dum." Plus, no repeal of Obamacare (or defunding) to add to the list of republican failures. I wonder how this "deal" affects the Ryan "plan"? There is NO victory here, only complete and utter defeat.

    14. brassia says:

      Conservatives out up a good fight?
      Are you kidding us…you think we are THAT gullible! WE KNEW all along that crying Boehner was in secret negotiation with Obama and Reid!
      Time for innocent trust is over….The progressive republicrooks establishment only proves they are traitors to our country, their allegiance is only to their personal interest and their own pockets- they are despicable bastards …I assume each one has a chunk of land in Peru (like Bushes) or other country to escape once they destroy the country that gave then everything!!!!

    15. Frank says:

      I basically agree with Ed Fuelner & today's "Morning Bell", but I would like to stress the need for the USA to cease being "the world's policeman", close most of our foreign bases & bring home tens of thousands of troops that we now have in over 100 countries around the world. I agree, the Budget Control Act could be used to gut our military, but Congress should be prepared to prudently move us away from being the world's policeman and at the same time modernize our forces to meet future risks. Our Founding Fathers would want a strong, modern military prepared to defend the homeland & they would probably not be happy with what we have today.

      Neither would our Founding Fathers have wanted us to continue increasing our debt, continuing with a corrupt Central Bank, fiat money or having a Federal welfare/retirement/medical system. The Federal welfare/retirement/medical system should be repealed, privatized, phased out or passed on back to the States if they so chose to continue them. They are totally Unconstitutional & a gross Federal overstep of responsibility.

      Finally, we need a "small government" alternative to the two major "big government" parties we now have.

    16. Pingback: Nuestro trabajo solo ha empezado | Heritage Libertad

    17. HOTNIKE says:

      SAD, VERY SAD!!

    18. Rebecca Schwarz says:

      I would like to know why everybody focuses on cutting social security and medicare. These are programs that have been paid into by all working Americans in the promise of retirement and health care for the elderly. Why doesn't anyone talk about the fraud and waste in Medicaid, or the free health care given to illegals (against the law to give illegals any subsidies), or why don't they talk about the fraud in Welfare payments. Let's get real for a change and quit trying to rape the elderly who in good faith paid their dues to these programs. Where is the Supreme Court in defending the Constitution against the tyranny of this administration and democrats in Congress. Where is the protection that we as citizens were promised? All these organizations wanting us to fund their projects to stop the treasonous work of the administration, but they do nothing but send out bulletins begging for more money. I want to see someone do something. Where is the Congress that is to prevent the usurping of power of one branch of government over another? Where are the people that we have put faith in to defend and uphold the Constitution? Who is holding them accountable? Why are we as citizens not allowed to file lawsuits against this administration and Congress when they fail to do their jobs? The fraudulent elections are no longer a recourse to remove those who are leaders that are breaking our laws on a minute by minute basis. Who is going to prosecute the Congress for creating a "Super Congress" of 12 out of 535 members to decide on what happens. This is unconstitutional; the Constitution lays out in great detail the process of passing legislation, so who is going to fight for this one? Who is going to fight for our freedoms?

    19. Charles Nystrom says:

      We have just lived through several months of Kabuki theater. It's beem an elaborate staged drama with true intentions carefully masked There never was an intent to "fix" this nations fiscal and economic woes.. The proof is in the fact that the 2012 descretionary spending will be cut $12 billion or 0.1%.

      The more serious issue is that the Senate is permeated with self interest, not national interest. But the members have the vote and Heritage foundation, for all its work, does not.

    20. Daver says:

      So the first thing the Debt Commission needs to do is put Obamacare on the table and the minute–Defense Cuts are mentioned, reduce Obamacare by equal $. The first time they try to raise taxes–defund Planned Parenthood.

      Ask the Dems to suggest changes to Medicaire and Social–then endorse them in their names.

      If real cuts aren't forthcoming–refuse to send next year's budget.

      This is a War–who will we send to fight it?

    21. RogCol says:

      Compromise means we all lose. We as citizens, lost.

    22. Guest says:

      Now you know why they took Obama and guided him up through the political ranks. He makes Clinton (the spin master) look like an amateur.

      The debate is over, Obama ducked responsibility and came out shining, the Senate did nothing till the last minute and came out unscathed. The Republicans are the fall guys. A new commission will be appointed and then ignored and the Dems will say they can’t come to an agreement, vote a replacement deal and go on lining their pockets and squandering our tax dollars. Of course the “automatic cuts” won’t happen because someone has to tell that person to ‘pull the plug’ You can bet money BO will not give that order so in all likelihood all we’ve accomplished is giving BO a new credit card to continue on with his socialist agenda. God help our grandchildren. We better start teaching them Chinese in the schools.

    23. James Bullard says:

      While I agree we need tax reform in this country, I am not convinced that it must be revenue neutral. If in tax reform we broaden the base (income tax rates go down), we could see an increase in money coming into the government, which would help attack the debt. Additionally, with loopholes that allow a company like GE to not pay any corporate tax, we could eliminate those loopholes which again would broaden the base and potentially bring more money into the coffers while citizen tax rates still go down.

    24. Don Evans says:

      Excellant article. How do I add a new subscriber and how can I recommend an outstanding person for your 2012 summer intern program? (rising Junior majoring in Journalism at Washington and Lee )

    25. Ardath Blauvelt says:

      I hope I may be forgiven for taking personal time off from politics. We were rolled. Plain and simple. I am so disgusted by all that has passed it risks my health and well being. We just okayed a $2+ Trillion coffer for the Charlatan-in-Chief's re-election; decimated the defense of the Western World and hiked taxes on what there will be left to tax — and we are supposed to believe we changed the "conversation"?! The Liberals got everything and more than they could ever have dreamed of — and undoubtedly went to bed eventually after celebrating their triumph over their spineless, dimwitted, equally power driven so-called "rivals". I hold out no hope that these people will be defeated because they want for themselves everything they intend to take from us. Do not be fooled – we were rolled — and frankly that's exactly what it feels like today.

    26. Ervin Ackman says:

      On Friday, 22 Jul, the Task Force on Job Creation sponsored by the Democratic Caucus released its report. The report serves, as a guide for implementation of a bi-partisan set of initiatives to address our country’s economic and job creation crisis.
      On page 30 (page 16 if you are looking at the PDF side panel page display in the full report) is the recommendation for deployment of the Socrates Gen-3 system as a national planning asset. The "Socrates Gen-3 system" is the pivotal component for execution of the report’s other fifteen long-term recommendations addressing a range of issues including: Rebuilding manufacturing, trade, green jobs, youth unemployment and the infrastructure crisis. Project Socrates was originally the product of the Reagan administration to restore US competitiveness. It worked then and Gen-3 will work now.

    27. Bill-Duluth GA says:

      I'm a sixty-seven year old African-American male who was told to eat outside when driving through Alabama in 1969 on my way to report for Viet Nam and who was a Democrat until I listened carefully to Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California. Today we don't have the media, political will or national courage to find, support or elect a person of that calibre again. These past few weeks in Washington prove we need term limits and publicly funded elections if we are to get this nation back on track. We can't retain the two-party system with strong intelligent representation from both the right and the left or get a balanced budget amendment, entitlement reform, tax reform or any of the constituency sensitive issues intellegently addressed until reelection is removed. Tea Party politicians learned this lesson this past week. If they stay too long and start to worry about reelection or protecting the Speaker or holding on to republican seats, etc.,etc. they will lose their resolve and become just another Washington insider. The answer also is not a totally conservative government running both houses of congress and the White House. With term limits we will have people who can make the tough decsions required to save this country.

      • Frank says:

        I sympathize with most of what you have to say, but you also need to realize that the main problem is we really only have one political party running for office: the "Big Government" Party (ie left wing Democrats & right wing Republicans). We do not have an alternative "Small Government" Party to chose from among the 2 "major" parties. The Tea Party was hopeful in making the Republican Party into a "Small Government" Party, by they are not succeeding. Even with term limits, you will only end up with term-limited "Big Government" politicians.

    28. The Farmer says:

      Thank you "Heritage.org" for your effort in trying to inform us, we can see the problem on both sides of the isle. Please concider a new direction or at least a new service we need. We need a reliable org. to vet the folks who seek office so we don't continue to get hood-winked into voteing for folks who say one thing and do something different! Maybe you could compose a set of positions the candidate could except and sware too, if they want our suport.

    29. Jeff says:

      It's amazing that most Americans realize that making a budget is all about making priorities. Our politicians struggle with those priories. If they only had a document that could clearly spell out the role of spending money for the general good. I believe its called the Constitution.
      We the people in this Washington institution have lost focus and are losing the country.

      Maybe they should start with the small things, like the Post office or the Amtrax budgets. Or how about the
      budget to run the White House with all the trappings.

    30. Brad S., Detroit, MI says:

      This is a farce. Let's boil these shenanigans down to someone's household budget so everyone can understand.

      Annual Income (Tax revenue) : $ 50,000 / year

      Mortgage (Debt) : $290,000 at 2% interest

      Interest on debt : $5800 (12% of the household budget)

      Avg. yearly spending (2009 thru 2011) : $84,000 / year (added $34,000 to mortgage every year)

      Avg. yearly spending (2012 thru 2020) : $88,000/ year (add $38,000 to mortgage every year)

      Interest on debt (2020) : $ 12,640 (25% of household budget)

      Please. Can I get one person to agree that this is a path to fiscal sanity ? You would have been laughed out of the Bank if you showed your income statement of $50K and tried to buy a $300K house, especially with other expenses like 2 new cars (Social Security & Medicare), an RV (Medicaid) and maybe a yacht (Defense spending). So, basically, Congress is going to ask us to go ask for a raise (raise revenue or the new euphemism for tax increase.)

    31. Tom says:

      I'm sure there is plenty of waste that can be cut, and we can cut the gov., making it a lot smaller. We have to pay more people for special comissions, why are we paying all these politians the big money and benefits? I can't wait for election time to come, so we can clean house, dems and a few of the rep.s too. It's time for some of the old ones to go like McCain and the other liberal republiocans, not to mention 90% of the dems, and of course # 1 prioroty: obama!

    32. Clearhead says:

      Very little fiscal progress will be made for the average American as long as non-mandated (in their opinion) morons have control of our purse strings. The only way most of them will listen to anyone else is if their own actions affect THEM personally as much as they affect everyone else. This is a question of HONOR over political and personal GREED. Greed has virally infected our 'administration' epidemically. If most candidates had any HONOR about them during their campaigns, you would hear them say — "I tell you that I want this job so that I can act on your behalf…….but the REAL reason I want it is so that I, along with my fellow employees of the people can soak every dime and every modicum of control out of this crumbling society for myself." Ever hear someone running for office say that? Ever hear of anyone IN office DOING that?

    33. Roseanne says:

      There was no reason to rush this vote. I had hoped to see more backbone from the Republicans. We are cutting majorly from the single most important obligation of our country according to the constitution as it was originally written – to defend our country. Defense should be increased to keep illegals out of our country. Look at how Iran has treated two people who strayed across their borders. Why do we tolerate such leniency in our country? I feel like we've given Obama a blank check and it will get worse when his committees get started. I would like to see accountability for $'s spent and an overhaul of our tax system with serious consideration given to the "Fair Tax". We'll still have to monitor how the money is spent, but everyone would pay tax according to what they purchase (even illegals).

    34. Joe F. Holder says:

      Patriots, I have enjoyed following the debates, but there is something glaringly missing. With all the American think tanks working overtime. Why are not the People informed of the overall 10, 15 , and 20 year plan's of each party? Who came up with the idea of a world wide FREEZE on the value of currency's, products, wages etc? The population of the world is still growing, Keynsian economics can not be stopped overnight. Why is the President allowed to take the debate to the public? Why is Nationalism ignored while world powers influence the World Political Plan? Why do an elite few govern over an ignorant public. Why is the American Press not telling the people the Whole Truth. This is an , CONSPIRACY.

    35. John Olofson says:

      Our work for 2012 is clear… Bye, bye Boehner; hello more "tea party" candidates.

    36. J. Guidry says:

      Theater of the absurd. That's all this was all along. Probably dreamed up after the Nov. '10 election to show the conservatives in a bad light. The citizens of this nation did not stand a chance against the combined forces of the RINOs and the liberals in D.C. The odds need to be improved come NOV. '12. Like getting rid of all liberals in the administration and congress. Somehow we need to find the candidate which will beat the libs in that election. Still looking for Reagan.

    37. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Complete capitulation…What did you expect, lifer Republican politicians…supported by Heritage & the big blow hards on the radio…Guess what? Heritage is going to write another paper to let them know what they did wrong….This will not be printed….

      • Robert, TX says:

        Yes, sir Dr. Sinopoli. It's pretty obvious that the republican "leadership" is not interested in ANYTHING the Heritage Foundation is doing. But I guaranty you, when Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer or any HMO calls, little johnny jumps.

    38. Laurie says:

      Entitlement reform…….Simple logic, You can only take out, what you put in….If someone put in 100,000 worth of social security money (forced savings by our government), that should be the cap of what we get out. If someone puts in 10,000 total in their life (from their income earnings), that should be the limit of what they get out. The illegals or whoever who work a few months and get free surgeries, lifetime of social security is what is sinking our great ship!!! Basic eonomics…or comuter stuff…..when you add up 2 and 2, we will never get a total of 1000. Please American, do not steal from our honest citizens who were forced to "saving through social security" and have the money stolen by those who worked a few months here to get free stuff for life. Have mercy on our honest seniors. Cap the entitlements according to what was put in by the individual!!!

      • Frank says:

        If you are talking about something like a "retirement" program (like SS), the whole idea should be for someone to invest your retirement premiums so as to build up a nice "nest egg" for when its needed. You might only invest $100,000 worth, but over 25-30 years have it worth MUCH more. Unfortunately, the government doesn't do that, they take $100,000 in & immediately spend it on something else & leave just an "IOU". Same idea for other "insurance" premiums… they were meant to be invested, not just spent immediately. This is why these government plans would best be privatized… but better yet, just phase them out since these big Federal "entitlements" are Unconstitutional over-reaches anyways. Let the States do them, if the voters insist on them.

      • Robert, TX says:

        It's actually worse than that. If any citizen put just 3% of their earnings into any average mutual fund, or better yet, a permanent life insurance policy they would earn 7.5% APR and by the time they were 65 they would have MORE than social security pays – and social security takes 12.4 % right off the top! Privatization is NOT the answer. Privatization protects the government's 17% slice of the pie. If any business treated people like social security they would not last one month (except Madoff).

    39. Laurie says:

      Cap the social security income to be the amount which each individual has put in during his lifetime.
      It is unfair to steal this money from our seniors who worked their whole life to be impoverished for someone who worked a few months to get someone's else's benefits. That is like going to lunch with someone who drinks lots of martinis and I drink none and have to pay for his. NONSENSE!!!!!

    40. Gaylon says:

      I have a line of credit set up at my bank for business expenses. I'm debating if I should call the bank and tell them I'm going to default on my loan unless my line of credit is increased.

    41. kaydell bowles says:

      The reduction of debt is a farce. How can one claim a reduction in debt when all they did was reduce the rate of the increase in government spending that is a 'given'. Example each year the Congress allows an 8% increase over the previous year spending. This rate is not a needed figure but a given that who ever gets the money can increase their spending from the previous year. This deal only reduced it a percent to come up with a reduction. The American people have been hoodwinked. In the end down the road we would not have a larger debt than we can affort. We are offering our children as slaves to pay for all our wants and not needs.

    42. wayne says:

      I have never read a comment by myself, apparentally they are never heady enough. Well, here`s my least heady and most direct of any prior comments. I`m a Vietnam era veteran ; a product of the daft who thought he was doing the right thing. Get out of ALL the wars we`re in;everywhere!!!!! The president, vice president, and the secretary of state ? all tea party affiliation. You don`t run this country ignoring the constitution, this is what you end up with.The fundimental problems are endless, and I won`t even start; and if the pubs lose their
      way here with this debt ceiling/ no real solutions. we`re COOKED ! Kick the can again till Nov, NUTS!!!

    43. Richard Arena says:

      Yes, the battle has just begun, but few in our camp understand the ground upon which the war must be won.

      As recent elections and countless polls reveal, we are a nation divided almost evenly on the role of government and the efficacy of the constitution. That should come as no surprise, for the secular left has been molding the world view and circumstances of American youth and the gullible for over fifty years though their domination of the media – news and entertainment – the nation's education system and addictive government largess.

      Americans of traditional values will not conclusively prevail at the ballot box unless and until the left's dominion over the vehicles that are most influential in shaping public opinion are no longer exclusively in the hands of secular progressives.

      Talk radio, the Internet and Fox News are helpful, but so far their influence is largely with mature audiences. To secure victory, we must effectively reach beyond the choir and communicate our truth in ways that engage and inspire the young.

    44. blvd says:

      The DC brouhaha has been staged as a cover for the biggest ever Obama reelection
      spending spree.

      The largest holder of U.S. Treasury debt is the Federal Reserve Bank of the
      United States, the central bank of the United States. Texas Congressman Ron Paul
      has proposed the Federal Reserve simply cancel the $1.6 trillion in Treasury
      debt it holds. The Federal Reserve owns the bonds, so the Treasury is paying the
      Fed interest. The Fed in turn refunds the interest back to the Treasury. This is
      theatre of the absurd.

      Go to
      http://www.thedailycrux.com/content/8258/Governme

    45. Don says:

      IT IS QUITE EVIDENT THAT THE RINO'S ALONG WITH MOST OF THE TEA PARTY DID NOT DO WHAT WE ELECTED THEM TO DO. THEY MUST GOOOO. WE MUST NOW FORGET PARTY POLITICS. RON/RAND PAUL ARE SOUNDING MORE LIKE THE PARTY THAT I HOPE MY GRAND KIDS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO, TAKING THIS NATION FORWARD IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. I DON'T CARE WHAT LETTER THEY HAVE AFTER THEIR NAME AS LONG AS THEY TAKE US DOWN THE RIGHT PATH.WHY DID THE MEN AND WOMAN SERVING OUR COUNTRY GIVE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR THIS TYPE OF PATHETIC GOVERNMENT?

      • Frank says:

        More than anything else, that is what bothers me the most: the idea that so many suffered & died for what we have today & it's all going down the drain so fast. Why suffer & die for a pathetic government?

    46. Charlie says:

      After witnessing the debacle of the Republican cave in, there is no hope. The debt creation charade must run its course. New taxes will stifle any future growth driving this once proud Country into the abyss of financial Armageddon. Following that, pensions, IRAs, 401ks will be nationalized, just like in Argentina. The inevitible march to Marxism/socialism continues unabated. I at least knew America when it was good.

    47. Al from Fl says:

      The liberals/progressives are on a path to smaller gov't, believe it or not. Think about it. In 10 – 20 years, the interest payments on the debt will eliminate all spending except defense (yes, I know, the liberals would choose welfare over defense). The one good thing that came out of this latest debate is that the system began to work somewhat – elections have consequences and the people elected dems in the senate and W/H. Remember that in 2012. The debt ceiling debate/agreement was a dissappointment but it did remind us of the consequences of elections and exposed the democrat party for what it is. The question is will the voters wake up and vote the dems out. I hope so.

    48. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Obama got part of what he wants, this commitee will be picked so he continues to get what he wants, particuraly on the Dem. side. I heard, for the first time yesterday, what I have been advocating for weeks, cut Congress' salaries back to 2008, I still haven't heard anyone question, WHEN ARE THE AUDITS OF ALL AGENCIES, going to take place?? I abhore cutting DOD unless it's closing overseas stations, if another country wants our help, let them pay for it, here we are in Oil rich nations, giving our aid and they raise the cost of crude. Also what about the debts never paid by nations to us. If there is a disaster, then churches, Red Cross etc can send help not USA gov't. and we need to get the H—- out of NATO and World Bank.

    49. Pete Kleff says:

      The current U.S. Congress may well have presided over the beginning of the end of the United States. This law is a scam and a lie. But one lesson is clear. The majority of Congressional Republicans cannot be trusted. They neither represent what the vast majority of Americans want nor do they have the best interests of the country at heart. Perhaps in a desperate attempt to bring back our country from the brink of disaster, a new political conservative party may well be necessary.

    50. blvd says:

      The DC brouhaha has been staged as a cover for the biggest ever spending spree to reelect Obama.

      "The largest holder of U.S. Treasury debt is the Federal Reserve Bank of the
      United States, the central bank of the United States. Texas Congressman Ron Paul
      has proposed the Federal Reserve simply cancel the $1.6 trillion in Treasury
      debt it holds. The Federal Reserve owns the bonds, so the Treasury is paying the
      Fed interest. The Fed in turn refunds the interest back to the Treasury. This is
      theatre of the absurd." $1.6 trillion of the Fed debt is just an illusion.

      Go to
      http://www.thedailycrux.com/content/8258/Governme

    51. Derek F says:

      Contrary to what Feulner says, defense can be cut. The US currently spends as much as the rest of the world does on defense. Per capita spending on defense is $2,700 with the next closest nation at approximately $800. Being the world's policeman has not helped our national security it has hurt it greatly and it has given the government a reason to intrude, unconstitutionally I might add, into our lives.

    52. RennyG says:

      SAD!!!! This reminds me of playing poker with a child!! You deal them four "aces" they turn around and draw three cards then say "look what I have??" We have, generaly speaking, a weak republican party that just gave the "guy" enough money to buy enough voters to win the next election. WE HAD HIM AND HIS RUTHLUSS WAYS!! As one article read, we gave him a "grand slam!!!" I bet the family are going on vacation for a week or so to spend some of the money we just gave him!!!

    53. Bill Person says:

      I hope my Heritage membership fee, as small as it is, goes to defeating all those RINOs in the Congress and the Senate. That is the only way we will restore our nation. Please make this part of your communications to Republicans in the Congress and Republican Senators!!!!
      Sometimes a Lion kills the spawn of a previous pride when claiming a new lioness. We need to do the same!!

    54. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      My faith in Heritage…renewed. They actually posted a comment that demonstrates they can be criticized. Unfortunately life will go on and Boehner will get to play golf with Barry O.

    55. stevenbiot says:

      Horrible deal! Increased taxes on the table; increased spending. We have got to tackle entitlements and decrease spending.

    56. Robert Phillips says:

      It amazes me that the HF can write such consistently rational and reasonable responses to the debt crisis fiasco, even offering its own plan for dealing with the problem, while refusing to admit that they, and the American people, have been hoodwinked once again by the Obama Administration, the Congress (including the House!), and instead choose to see this travesty as a first step in the right direction. If we consider nothing more than what HF has written in this most recent article, it's plain to see that the Democrats (assisted by the Rhinos and the weak Tea Party-ers) won. The score? Democrats: 2.5 trillion more spending, 1 trillion dollars in defense cuts, continually-growing deficits, assured tax hikes, continued out-of-control growth of government, etc., etc. The American people? We get the shaft. Now, my fellows Americans, bend over, grab your knees, and prepare for the pain!

    57. Denver says:

      We expected something positive and disciplined!!?? Not until we have a greater number of representatives of the people in both houses and the presidency. The honorable thing for this govt. to do would be to commit hara-kiri and gut itself, removing about 2/3 of the over-paid personnel in all departments, but that would be honorable…and unlikely. It's a disgrace that we have so many unsolved problems, like major flooding ( of all kinds!) and drought and noone in Washington with the desire or intelligence to even recognise the problems, let alone solve them. Let's see now: No coal mining,no dirty oil, no nasty manufacturing, and soon no agriculture. Would someone please tell me where the revenue is going to come from to finance all the "fun" in Washington?

    58. Barry says:

      I disagree with half of what was said in this article. Apparently the heritage foundation isn't paying attention either.

    59. Robert Harkins says:

      TALES OF TRAVESTY AND RUIN.

      Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), raised up naked from the primordial muck Leviathan, a creature not of God but man, a State of ever waxing power conceived of necessity and ending in arrogance, oppression and cultural ruin. Hobbs likened Leviathan to a human being with arms and legs, a cretin face, an avaricious mind, malicious ambition and an artificial soul; for by the art of man he wrote,
      … is created that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMON WEALTH, or STATE… which is but an Artificiall Man, thought of greater stature and strength than the naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Sovereign is an Artificiall Soul, as giving life and motion to the body; The Magistrates, and other Officers of Judicature and Executive, artificiall joints; Reward and Punishment….
      That the American people have condemned Leviathan matters nothing. It is still proof against the diminishment of its burgeoning power, outrageous waste, and insatiable hunger. The trillions in “spending cuts” so called, when translated from Orwellian New Speak to plain English cuts not a wit from the present spending. Now as before Leviathan waxes ever more bovine; it will confiscate more of the people’s wealth and substance. Nothing has changed. The bipartisan anorexic reductions in future spending, too little, to late, may well be repealed by a future congress.
      The American people rejected Leviathan in the November 2010 elections. Why then is their voice ignored? There is only one stark explanation: While there are two parties—there may as well be ten, twenty or a hundred— for there is only one constituency and its name is Leviathan. The state, of course, in order to grease the wheels of its ascendant power will permit the politician to save face a bit, “to strut and shout his hour upon the stage and be no more,” to mouth euphemisms that pass for truth. Are we not yet sick unto death of ten thousand speeches warning that we are bequeathing to our children an outrageous debt, that something must be done about it— right now even—this from the squanderers of American wealth?

    60. Robert Harkins says:

      And so what did our warriors sent to Congress in November 2010 do? Most bowed their heads to a 2.6 trillion-dollar tax increase. Of course, they characterize the tax increase as a raising of the debt ceiling; in fact, however, it is a tax increase. Who after all is on the hook to pay the 2.6 trillion dollars, and its billions in interest but the American taxpayer? Finally, Republicans and Democrats characterize as austere, a ten-year increase in the tax deficit of 7-8 trillion dollars. The deficit will then be more than twenty trillion dollars.
      Americans may well ask when will Republicans and Democrats extinguish the deficit and limit the size of government? The deficit in ten years will be 7-8 trillion dollars more than it is today. Why did they not act now? Why have they decided to do nothing but wait ten years. Will it be easier to pay a twenty trillion plus deficit than a fourteen trillion dollar deficit?
      In emphasizing the importance of Constitutional government, the great 19th century Edmund Burke raged against the great evil that governments sooner or later visit upon their citizens. His words fit well this modern Congress and its too prominent and vulgar political celebrities.
      Many of the greatest tyrants on the records of history have begun their reigns in the fairest manner. But the truth is, this unnatural power corrupts both the heart and the understanding. And to prevent the least hope of amendment, a king is ever surrounded by a crowd of infamous flatterers, who find their account in keeping him from the least light of reason, till all ideas of rectitude and justice are utterly erased from his mind….
      Unbounded power proceeds step by step, until it has eradicated every laudable principle. It has been remarked that there is no prince so bad, whose favorites and ministers are not worse. There is hardly any prince without a favorite, by whom he is governed in as arbitrary a manner as he governs the wretches subjected to him. Here the tyranny is doubled.
      The Founding Fathers knew too well that Leviathan would not keep safe a people from its implacable power. They realized that it is in its nature to wax more powerful, to consume by degrees the substance, wealth and freedom of its people, to debase their currency, to bind them to unquenchable debt, to engage them in fruitless and destructive wars, to demean their creed, and finally to disgrace, defame, impoverish and take them down to ruin. The debt ceiling deal is a tale of travesty and ruin. The people Americans voted into power are about to fulfill Burke’s prophecy.
      The government’s stock and trade is travesty. It speaks in the empty, symbolic language of compassion, equality, social justice and the redistribution of wealth. Ultimately, it attains a savagery that history records is boundless, irrational and unrestrained. “Unbounded power proceeds inexorably until it has eradicated every “laudable principle.” In this way Leviathan casts off the constraints of law. What follows in the end is always serfdom.
      Like Roman soldiers, the Republicans clamor to the Senate and the People: “Hail and Victory! Though our wives lay despoiled by the carnal lust of the Huns, still we fought, even as they sold our children into slavery, burned our ancient olive trees, laid waste to our land with fire and sword, sacked sacred Rome, imposed indemnities and desecrated the temples of our gods—still we fought. Hail Victory. But one more such victory and we are lost.” Hail and Farewell.

      My new book, Renegades, Their Betrayal of America. Her Revolution and Renaissance is now available at Amazon.com and will soon be available on Kindle. Type in Renegades and Robert Harkins. Thank you.

    61. Duncan Keill says:

      The REAL US military budget: $1.2 Trillion

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×