Dave Boyer reports: When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal Monday, his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn’t like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.
“The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017. This deal piles on billions of dollars to the national debt by increasing spending over the next three years and then not paying for it for a decade — with half of the offsets not occurring until 2025.”
— Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation
Mr. Obama’s spending agreement with Congress will suspend the nation’s debt limit and allow the Treasury to borrow another $1.5 trillion or so by the end of his presidency in 2017. Added to the current total national debt of more than $18.15 trillion, the red ink will likely be crowding the $20 trillion mark right around the time Mr. Obama leaves the White House.
“Of this $154 billion, about $78 billion is paid for honestly. The remaining $56 billion of the legislation — mostly the war spending increase and interest costs — is not paid for at all.”
When Mr. Obama took over in January 2009, the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011.
“When Mr. Obama took over in January 2009, the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011.”
“Congress and the president have just agreed to undo one of the only successful fiscal restraint mechanisms in a generation,” said Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union. “The progress on reducing spending and the deficit has just become much more problematic.”
“We will be raising the debt ceiling in an unlimited fashion. We will be giving President Obama a free pass to borrow as much money as he can borrow in the last year of his office. No limit, no dollar limit. Here you go, President Obama. Spend what you want.”
— Sen. Rand Paul
Some budget analysts scoff at the claim made by the administration and by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, that the budget agreement’s $112 billion in spending increases is fully funded by cuts elsewhere. Mr. Boehner left Congress last week.
“The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017,” said Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation. “This deal piles on billions of dollars to the national debt by increasing spending over the next three years and then not paying for it for a decade — with half of the offsets not occurring until 2025.” Read the rest of this entry »
Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.
“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”
— the caucus said in its statement
Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)
...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.
The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)
The Wall Street Journal reports:
…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.
“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”
Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
Kevin Glass reports: The Brookings Institution‘s Public Religion Research Institute conducts what they call the “American Values Survey,” and this year have focused particularly on how libertarians fit into the American political fabric. Libertarians are traditionally thought of as being “on the right” and presumed to be most accurately represented, of the two major parties, by the Republican Party.
But is that really true?
PRRI finds that libertarians constitute a very small segment of the GOP and have difficulty making common cause with the other ideological strains of the Republican Party. Specifically, libertarians are repelled by the religious right, which still makes up a significan portion of the conservative movement.
As Brookings’ Ross Tilchin writes:
Ginni Thomas writes: Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa, the GOP’s top government watchdog, warns that we have entered a time to “love my country, fear my government.”
“Right now, there’s a reason to fear the IRS and other agencies, including the EPA, who are loaded with people who feel empowered to bend the rules against those they disagree with,” the California Republican explained.
Issa has been investigating the Internal Revenue Service since Lois Lerner’s May 2013 admission that the agency treated conservative groups differently, and his Sept. 17 committee report details the committee’s progress and findings to date.
Issa now believes that President Obama’s criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court in his 2010 State of the Union address sent an important signal to left-wing activists throughout the federal government that “I can work with the president even if it’s inconsistent with my job or the Constitution.” Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Gillespie observes: Make no mistake about it: the on-going “extended speech” by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has absolutely nothing to do with defunding the Affordable Care Act—or even delaying it for one goddamn day.
As the long list of Senate Republicans who declined to back a full-blown, fill-your-hands-you-son-of-a-bitch filibuster over Obamacare could tell you, it’s a done deal that the president’s consistently unpopular health-care law is going forward even if the government shuts down. Come next week, the enrollment period is going to start, and come January 1, 2014, the plan will kick into gear despite every reason to believe it will be a clusterfudge of epic proportions.
So what exactly was Cruz doing up there, hogging the limelight on C-SPAN’s low-wattage webstream for a couple of hours, if he wasn’t serious about stopping Obamacare? He was playing his part in a pretty goddamned brilliant strategy to win the future not for himself but for the Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »
Rand Paul and Justin Amash have principles that trump party politics. That’s exactly why they are the best hope to stop an American war on Syria
In THE DAILY BEAST, Nick Gillespie writes: If you’re among the majority of war-weary Americans who oppose any sort of military intervention in Syria, thank libertarian Republican lawmakers Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.
If the House and Senate vote against authorizing war next week, the efforts by these two guys will have been instrumental. Indeed, their outspoken, principled pushback is part of the reason that President Barack Obama—the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner—hasn’t already pursued some sort of strike “just muscular enough not to get mocked” by the world while not inciting retaliation by Bashar al-Assad’s allies, Russia and Iran. Read the rest of this entry »