Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily
Spending Daily | January 7, 2012
Quote of the Day: “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.”
Stephen Moore editorializes in The Wall Street Journal, “What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: ‘At one point several weeks ago,’ Mr. Boehner says, ‘the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’ ‘ … The president’s insistence that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called ‘a health-care problem.’ Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—’They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system’—he replied: ‘Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.’ He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: ‘I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.'”
Video: “Tax increases aren’t going to fix our problem.”
Joe Scarborough today commented on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “… Tax increases aren’t going to fix our problem. That tax increase paid for five days of government next year.” Andrea Mitchell responded, “And in fact, until Democrats get their arms around the reality that they have to deal with entitlements, and that this White House has to deal with entitlements, there’s not going to be a conversation with the Hill. And you’re right about the fiscal cliff being nothing, but the next one is going to be a lot more serious, because defaulting on the debt is a completely different animal.” Click here to watch the video.
Dems Looking for $1T in New Tax Revenue
According to The Hill, “Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending. Democratic leaders have had little time to craft a new position for their party since passing a tax deal Tuesday that will raise $620 billion in revenue over the next ten years. The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes. This sets up tax reform as one of the biggest fights of the 113th Congress, which began on Thursday.”
McConnell: “The tax issue is finished.”
The New York Times reports, “The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, made clear on Sunday that he would oppose any effort by the Obama administration to raise more tax revenue and that he remained focused on finding ways to cut spending as the government grapples with its debt. ‘The tax issue is finished,’ Mr. McConnell said on the ABC News program ‘This Week.’ ‘Over. Completed. That’s behind us.’ … Mr. McConnell’s stance on taxes countered calls from Democrats, and even some House Republicans, to revamp the tax code to close some provisions and raise new revenue.”
Will Lawmakers Shoot The Hostage?
Politico reports, “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t say on Sunday whether he was prepared to ‘shoot the hostage’ and allow the country to default on its loans if Democrats balk at serious spending cuts in the next round of the fiscal fight. Some high-profile Republicans have threatened opposing a debt-limit increase if Democrats don’t cave on deep spending cuts — a move which would result in the nation defaulting on its loans and prompt a government shutdown. Asked on ABC’s ‘This Week’ by host George Stephanopoulos if he was prepared to ‘shoot the hostage,’ McConnell demurred: ‘It’s not even necessary to get to that point. Why aren’t we trying to solve the problem? Why aren’t we trying to do something about reducing spending? … Waiting until the last minute is no way to run the government.’”
Obama Signs Pared Down Sandy Aid Package
CNN reports, “President Barack Obama signed into law Sunday a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package following delays over fiscal cliff bickering, warnings of dwindling federal funds and swirling controversy over millions of dollars for unrelated projects. The measure passed the House on Friday, 354-67. The Senate approved the measure unanimously and without debate. … House leaders initially balked at immediate consideration of a big spending bill just after concluding the excruciating negotiations around the fiscal cliff. House Speaker John Boehner preferred to wait a few days at least before holding a vote on a Sandy bill. The original storm legislation also included what some Republicans saw as congressional ‘pork,’ or money for unrelated pet projects. Budget hawks viewed the extra funding as wasteful in an era of record deficits.”
“Are ‘Grand Bargains’ Still Possible?”
Chris Cillizza editorializes in The Washington Post, “Here’s a radical idea: What if a ‘grand bargain’ — or any sort of large legislative measure requiring significant bipartisan compromise — simply isn’t possible anymore? For much of the past decade (or more) in politics, the idea of our government coming together to solve debt and spending issues, the immigration conundrum, or that most forgotten of issues, a comprehensive energy solution, has always seemed within sight but slightly out of reach. In the past 18 months, attempts to address the country’s uncertain financial future in some grand way have failed twice: first in the summer of 2011, when discussions between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the debt ceiling collapsed amid anger and finger-pointing, and then last month, when discussions between Obama and Boehner collapsed amid anger and finger-pointing.”
“If we can’t kill farm subsidies, what can we kill?”
Robert J. Samuelson editorializes in The Washington Post, “Symbolic of the debate we’re not having about government’s size and role — the essence of the deficit problem — is the future of farm subsidies. Running $10 billion to $15 billion annually, they don’t do much good. For starters, they haven’t saved small farms. Since the 1930s, when subsidies began, the number of farms is down 70 percent. Nor do farmers need subsidies to stay profitable. Farmers’ income for 2011 and 2012 ($135 billion and $133 billion, respectively) were the highest and second-highest ever and would have been without subsidies. … Subsidies qualify as ‘low hanging fruit’ in cutting federal spending. What’s instructive is that no one is doing it.”
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