Tag Archive: Debt Ceiling


If Only A Snow Shovel Could Dig Us Out Of This

 

Presidential Debt

 

 

” Thanks to Congress, the U.S. now doesn’t have a debt limit for the next year. Let two Heritage experts put this into perspective.

“ President Obama, after less than five years in office, has already increased the debt limit by more than any other president in U.S. history, including President George W. Bush over eight years in office,” report Romina Boccia and Michael Sargent, authors of the newly updated Federal Budget in Pictures.”

 

Read more at Heritage.org ,view these charts and embed them on your site :

 

 

Where Your Money Goes

 

 

  Our “leadership” has surely made a hash of things . As they say a picture is worth a thousand words , or in this case , $17.3 Trillion and climbing …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck In Congressional “Groundhog Day”

 

 

” In the movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray wakes up again and again to find that he is stuck in the same day. This happens multiple times a year now with Congress on the debt limit, which we just hit again on Saturday.

  Depending on which party’s in power, the ones arguing for or against raising the debt ceiling will change—which makes for fun historical quotations like Obama vs. Obama on the debt limit. In our new video, you can see politicians from both sides arguing the debt limit—and vowing that they will not, absolutely not, have this same argument again next year.”

 

But wait , the problem gets worse …

 

” Just since the limit was suspended in the fall, Washington has borrowed nearly $600 billion. So what happens if lawmakers throw up their hands and abandon the debt limit for a year? Romina Boccia, Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow, warns:

  The debt limit serves as an important congressional check on federal spending and borrowing. Without a debt limit, all control over borrowing decisions shifts to the Treasury secretary, who is appointed by the president. Effectively, this concentrates borrowing authority in the executive branch, and hands the president a blank check to borrow against the U.S. taxpayer.

  President Obama is already threatening to disregard Congress and use executive actions to make laws. Will he have all the borrowing power, too? Does Congress do anything anymore? “

 

Courtesy of Heritage.org read it all .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Gonna’ Take This Anymore

 

 

 

 

” The D.C. press corps was giddy last night, declaring that the fiscal crisis had ended. Senators praised “honorable friends” from “great states,” congress members gave standing O’s to their stalwart leaders, and the president saluted bipartisanship while ridiculing Republicans, bloggers, activists and pretty much anyone else who dared oppose him.

To help visualize how up the creek we find ourselves, I created an infographic.” 

 

 

 

 

” Irrational situations provoke irrational responses. Ted Cruz may not have mapped out a winning strategy to end Obamacare, but he energized millions of Howard Beales yelling, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Roger’s Rules

 

 

 

 

” Witnessing the unedifying spectacle put on by our masters in Washington this last week or so, we could only shake our heads sadly. And when we contemplated the action of ordinary citizens — those vets who disassembled the “Barrycades” erected in front of national monuments by a punitive Obama administration — we couldn’t help wondering whether the country was teetering towards a pre-revolutionary state. Take a look at this video showing hundreds of veterans confronting park police in riot gear — riot gear! — in front of the White House. How about this photo of a vet: he lost the bottom half of both legs fighting to protect us from foreign enemies, and here he is now, tearing down those Barrycades, fighting to protect our prerogatives as free citizens, protesting the arrogant, overweening actions of a political elite that more and more views us citizens as serfs:

There is a lot more to be said about the events of the last couple of weeks: the pseudo-shutdown, the ham-handed and ineffectual pontifications of John Boehner, the punitive actions of the increasingly lawless Obama administration. Pundits and markets the world over heaved a collective sigh of relief when this circus of intransigence, stupidity, and preening brinksmanship collapsed on itself yesterday, but what happened is not behind us: it is prelude, not history. We are in the midst of political, social, and moral realignment, the lineaments of which no one’s crystal ball is sufficiently prescient to delineate with anything more than guess and possibilities.

This is a large subject, better suited to a book than a blog post. But let me draw on “The Obamacare Disaster,” an essay by Conrad Black at NRO, to highlight some of the headwinds we face. First, a few data points:

The United States has 5 percent of the world’s people, 25 percent of its incarcerated people, and half of its trained lawyers (who now take about 10 percent of the GDP); the legal system is an embarrassment, and the criminal-justice system is a disgrace, in which prosecutors win 99.5 percent of their cases, 97 percent of them without a trial. The legislators of the country are ultimately responsible for this corruption of what the Constitution and Bill of Rights set up as a just and merciful Society of Laws. The terminal cancer of legal paralysis spreads every week of every year.

Can you doubt that what Black says is true? But what are “we the people” going to do about this metastasizing pathology? “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… Tops $17 Trillion For First Time

 

 

Debt Clock 10:19

As of this morning at 9:01 am EST

 

” U.S. debt jumped a record $328 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week.

The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday.

The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.

The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” — the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.”

 

 

Debt Clock

As of October 15th

 

We knew our math skills were lacking but we didn’t think we would be this far off . Ouch !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potemkin Parliament

 

 

” The least dispiriting moment of another grim week in Washington was the sight of ornery veterans tearing down the Barrycades around the war memorials on the National Mall, dragging them up the street, and dumping them outside the White House. This was, as Kevin Williamson wrote at National Review, “as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.” Indeed. The wounded vet with two artificial legs balancing the Barrycade on his Segway was especially impressive. It would have been even better had these disgruntled citizens neatly lined up the Barrycades across the front of the White House and round the sides, symbolically Barrycading him in as punishment for Barrycading them out. But, in a town where an unarmed woman can be left a bullet-riddled corpse merely for driving too near His Benign Majesty’s palace and nobody seems to care, one appreciates a certain caution.

  By Wednesday, however, it was business as usual. Which is to say the usual last-minute deal just ahead of the usual make-or-break deadline to resume spending as usual. There was nothing surprising about this. Everyone knew the Republicans were going to fold. Folding is what Republicans do. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so good at folding Obama should hire them as White House valets.”

 

 

As usual Steyn is required reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican Winners Of The Shutdown Standoff

 

 

 

” “There are no winners here,” President Obama declared today as he took a victory lap at the final passage of a clean continuing resolution to end the 16-day government shutdown.

There are some early winners — but not necessarily among the key players in the standoff.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) fundraising was a winner, pulling in $1.19 million through his re-election committee and PAC in the last quarter, which included his September marathon speech on the Senate floor, and gathering a lengthy campaign mailing list from more than 2 million petition signatures at the Don’t Fund Obamacare site. But there aren’t indications that the presumed 2016 hopeful has done anything to win votes in a general national election. It also uncertain how Cruz’s young Senate career will proceed or be perceived over the next few years — he’s introduced nine standalone bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress, two of those dealing with the repeal or defunding of Obamacare. A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey released Wednesday confirmed that Cruz’s popularity has soared among the Tea Party, but unfavorable ratings for the Tea Party movement are the highest ever at 49 percent.

Asked by Politico who the winners of the shutdown were, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) replied, “The people that managed to raise a lot of money off this.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has been a potential rising star in his own right but shaped up in the standoff as Cruz’s No. 2 despite his call for a defunding of Obamacare in the next spending bill at the beginning of July.

And House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) outcome remains to be seen. He’s safe in his speakership, but threw up the white flag to end the shutdown after he couldn’t bring his final compromise to the floor for a lack of caucus support. “We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Boehner said, failing to note it wasn’t exactly a fight he was looking to pick.

Yet there are some Republicans who have come out ahead over the course of the shutdown.”

 

PJ Media tells the story

 

Illustration by Nate Beeler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitch Puts U.S. Rating On Negative Watch

 

 

 

” Fitch Ratings Service put the U.S. credit rating on negative watch, as the political leaders in Washington failed to reach on agreement on the budget standoff.

The Fitch warning comes as the House and Senate work on competing plans to raise the U.S.’s borrowing limit and fully reopen the federal government. The Treasury Department, which has used extraordinary steps to continue paying its bills for roughly two weeks, says it will exhaust those powers on Thursday.

Fitch said a failure by the government to honor interest or principal payments on U.S. Treasury securities would lead it to downgrade the U.S.’s sovereign issuer-default rating to “restricted default.”

After the Dow tumbled 133 points during Tuesday’s trading session, Dow futures are down another 122 points in late trading after the Fitch move. The ratings firm maintained its triple-A rating on the U.S. and said it expects to make a call on the rating by the end of the first quarter at the latest.

Fitch warned last week that without a “timely” debt-ceiling deal, it’d put the US’ rating on negative review. Now being two days away from hitting the debt cap, Fitch must feel it’s too close for comfort.”

 

 

As someone wiser than us is wont to say “We’re in the best of hands.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2013 Debt Ceiling Battle Given An Historical Perspective

 

 

Debt Ceiling Timeline

 

 

” About now, many Americans wish they had never heard the term debt ceiling — or knew so much about what it meant. But with lawmakers hesitant to approve an increase in the amount that the U.S. government is authorized to pay for debts already incurred by Congress, this phrase has become a household word, as it were. Although it feels like this latest gridlock between Congress and President Barack Obama is yet another indication of today’s steely partisan politics, debt-ceiling conflicts have been to one degree or another Washington staples for the past four decades. Before the 1970s, not so much.

The first time the debt ceiling came into view was in 1917 with the adoption of the Second Liberty Bond Act, which placed limits on expenditures for large categories of debt such as bonds and bills. Before then, Congress had to authorize loans and other debt instruments individually. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to remove the $30 billion ceiling on Treasury bonds. And soon afterward, Congress eliminated individual limits for specific types of debt, leaving only one aggregate ceiling for the government’s total indebtedness. This gave the Treasury Department more flexibility in determining the types of instruments it issued.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Party Backlash? Not Among Rank-And-File Republicans

 

 

 

” Recent news reports have suggested that the hard line taken by Tea Party and other conservative Republicans in the House in the budget and debt ceiling battles may be producing a backlash among party supporters and donors who are concerned about the political impact of the government shutdown and a possible U.S. default on its debt.

But to whatever extent that pushback may be happening, it’s a point of view not shared by rank-and-file Republicans. Just 18% of Republicans believed their leaders were paying too much attention to the Tea Party, up slightly from 13% two years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last week. Most Republicans said the party’s leaders were either paying the right amount (40%) or too little (24%) attention to the positions of the Tea Party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on Oct 10, 2013

” Only 17% of the Federal employees are essential?!? This highlights Obama’s biggest fear–that people won’t notice how much they don’t rely on government and don’t rely on him. Join Bill Whittle as he chides the Park Service and exposes Obama as a temper-tantrum President.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Dysfunction: A $17 Trillion National Debt

 

National Debt

 

” Once again the media are full of talk about dysfunction and default, as the partial government shutdown threatens to linger until the federal government hits the limit of its borrowing capacity, possibly on Oct. 17. The parties in Congress are still far apart on passing a budget bill to keep the government running, and Republicans are also promising not to raise the debt ceiling without some spending reforms.

Back in that summer of discontent I talked to a journalist who was very concerned about the “dysfunction” in Washington. So am I. But I told her then what’s still true today: that the real problem is not the dysfunctional process that’s getting all the headlines, but the dysfunctional substance of governance. Congress and the president will work out the debt ceiling issue, if not by October 17 then a few days later. The real dysfunction is a federal budget that doubled in 10 years, unprecedented deficits as far as the eye can see, and a national debt bursting through its statutory limit of $16.699 trillion and heading toward 100 percent of GDP.”

 

 

IT’S THE SPENDING , STUPID ! SPENDING HAS DOUBLED IN ONE DECADE ! 

 

 

” And where did all this debt come from? As the Tea Partiers know, it came from the rapid increase in federal spending over the past decade: “

 

 

Federal Spending 2000-2011

 

 

    As the above graphs make plain , we are governed by a bi-partisan group of wastrels . There is no significant difference between the two parties when it comes to spending other than the rhetoric . 

 

Read The Whole Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congress And The Ever-Rising Debt Limit

 

 

 

” Congress has the constitutional prerogative to control spending, and it does so through the debt ceiling, which sets the allowable limit of federal government borrowing. The first chart shows all the times that the debt limit has been raised since 1980, which includes 18 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, and seven times under George W. Bush. Most recently, President Obama raised the debt limit for his fifth time, to $16.69 trillion, $305 billion above the previous statutory limit, which is exponentially greater than when it first reached $1 trillion about 30 years ago in 1982.

The debt limit applies to federal debt held by the public and by the government’s own accounts, also known as intergovernmental debt, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Civil Service Retirement accounts. Of the $16.699 trillion in outstanding debt subject to limit, roughly $11.9 trillion is held by the public, and about $4.8 trillion is held by government accounts.

Simply raising the debt ceiling alone does nothing to address underlying drivers of our debt problem. The persistence of federal budget deficits has led to sustained growth in debt, thus requiring the government to issue increasing amounts of debt to the public. The second chart shows the growing portion of federal debt held by the public. Here are some key observations: “

 

Read On

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz: I Don’t Trust The Republicans

 

 

” Senator Cruz took on the GOP establishment about what he suspects are shady tactics on raising the debt ceiling. The man has guts, unlike most Washington politicians.

“The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans,” Cruz said, referring to Senator John McCain. “Let me be clear, I don’t trust the Republicans. I don’t trust the Democrats and I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans or the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has got us into this mess.” “

 

 

This man gets it 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Debt Ceiling: Assets Available to Prevent Default

 

 

 

 

 

” The debt ceiling, or the legal limit the federal government may borrow, is set currently at $16.4 trillion.[1] In his latest report, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner predicts that the United States will need to increase the debt ceiling sometime between February 15, 2013, and early March 2013.[2] The Congressional Research Service estimates the federal government will have to issue an additional $700 billion in debt above the current statutory limit to finance obligations for the remainder of FY2013.[3]

WHERE WE ARE

Congress is currently considering whether it should raise the debt ceiling. This is not new territory. Congress has raised, extended, or revised the definition of the debt ceiling 78 separate times since 1960,[4] including 11 times in the past 11 years.[5] However, raising the debt ceiling for the 12th time in as many years without recognizing and correcting systemic problems would have consequences beyond merely tapping revenue and assets to meet FY2013 budget commitments. Continuing to pass debt ceiling increases without proper spending reforms would be irresponsible.[6]

 

 

 

 

Don’t Raise Debt Ceiling Without Balancing the Budget

 

 

 

 

 

” All across America, families are balancing their budgets and even paying off debt. Since the financial panic of 2008, personal debt has fallen as Americans tighten their belts and pay back loans. Some, unfortunately, had to declare bankruptcy because their debts got too big. Washington cannot declare bankruptcy; it must instead follow the example of millions of Americans and cut spending to live within its means.

Most state governments, likewise, have managed to balance their budgets, even during these hard times. A few states, notably California and Illinois, continue to follow the federal government’s profligate example. A few raised taxes to get their fiscal houses in order, but most simply reduced spending. Several very large states with financial challenges, like Texas and Florida, balanced their budgets without any income tax at all by reducing spending. They are showing the way.”

 

 

Illustration By Gary Varvel

 

Editors Note : The Deficit Is Now Over $16 ,000,000,000,000 And Not The 14 Trillion Shown . How’s That For Hope & Change ?

Fitch May Downgrade U.S. Credit Rating

 

 

 

” The United States could lose its top credit rating for the second time from a leading credit agency if there’s a delay in raising the country’s debt ceiling, Fitch Ratings warned Tuesday.

Congress has to increase the country’s debt limit, which effectively rules how much debt the U.S. can have, by March 1 or face a potential default. There are fears that the debate will deteriorate into the squabbling and political brinkmanship that marked the last effort to raise the ceiling in the summer of 2011. The U.S. Treasury Department warned then that it had nearly reached a point where it would be unable “to meet our commitments securely.”

If Fitch does move to downgrade the US, it will join Standard & Poor’s, which was so concerned by the dysfunctional 2011 debate that it stripped the U.S. of its triple A rating for the first time in the country’s history. Another major ratings agency, Moody’s, also has a negative view on the U.S. outlook.”

 

 

But we don’t have a spending problem

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: These new tax hikes on the rich are just the first step of “the balanced approach”

 

 

 

 

” Via Mediaite, “balanced approach” is Obama’s Orwellian term for selling tax hikes to the public as a condition of spending cuts even though there’s nothing remotely balanced about our fiscal problems. Spend 10 seconds looking at the graphs in Yuval Levin’s new post at the Corner. That’s the reality that the “balanced approach” pretends to address. As Levin said in another post today, “The fiscal trajectory of our welfare state is not sustainable, no matter how much taxes go up.”

But okay. The left’s new talking point, pushed by The One himself, is that they absolutely positively won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling. No one believes that, but fine. Supposedly, if the GOP wants spending cuts, the debt ceiling is off the table and the price will be additional revenue. One question: Where’s that new revenue coming from? I can’t figure it out. Neither can Megan McArdle:

For starters, there’s a matter of timing. President Obama just successfully raised taxes on the rich. Is he going to go back and do it again in a few months? I’m not sure about the optics here: while I think that a tax increase on the rich was popular and inevitable, I don’t think that Democrats will do well to position themselves as the party that does nothing but demand more tax increases, even on rich people. ”