Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily

| February 11 2013

Spending Daily | February 11, 2013

Bankrupting America: “Show Us Your Cuts!”
In honor of Mardi Gras and the State of the Union address, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, between 8:00-9:30 a.m., Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, will hand out Mardi Gras beads and doughnuts on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with a simple message for Washington: “Show Us Your Cuts!” There’s been a lot of talk in Washington about a “balanced approach” to reduce the federal debt, but so far we’ve only seen tax hikes. Tomorrow night’s State of the Union address offers President Obama an opportunity to outline his specifics for cutting spending.”

Obama Expected to Call for More Spending In Address
Bloomberg reports, “President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address this week to focus on job creation and the struggles of American families, marking a renewed emphasis on the economic issues that defined his first term. The president will offer proposals for spending on infrastructure, clean energy and education, according to a senior official briefed on the speech. He will also stress the agenda laid out in his inauguration address, pushing Congress for action on immigration, gun control and climate change. Obama previewed his Feb. 12 speech in remarks before House Democrats meeting in Virginia last week, where he advocated an economy that works for everybody.’ ‘I’m going to be talking about making sure that we’re focused on job creation here in the United States of America,’ he said.”

Pelosi: We Don’t Have a Spending Problem
CNN reports, “As lawmakers continue looking for ways to reduce the federal deficit, House Democratic leaders remain committed to a program that includes tax increases and some spending cuts. That was the message from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said Sunday that cuts, if they come, must be from subsidies to oil companies rather than from Medicaid, Social Security or Pell grants. ‘What we do need is more revenue, and more cuts, but I would like to see that a big, balanced, bold proposal,’ Pelosi said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ She reiterated her stance that Republicans are promoting a ‘false argument’ by saying America has a spending problem.”

“McCain says ‘maybe’ to new taxes to avert sequestration”
The Washington Post reports, “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he is willing to consider supporting new tax revenue as part of a plan to avert $85 billion in looming budget cuts, as the White House pushed back against Republican lawmakers who say President Obama is solely responsible for the spending reductions. McCain made the comments as he once again warned about the adverse effects of the spending reductions, known as sequestration, that will require federal agencies to slash $85 billion in spending by Sept. 30 — including $43 billion at the Pentagon. ‘Republicans and Democrats are responsible for this new cliff and I’ll take responsibility for it for the Republicans,’ McCain said of the spending cuts. ‘But we’ve got to avoid it. We’ve got to stop it.'”

Were 2011 Spending Cuts ‘Smoke and Mirrors’?
David Fahrenthold writes in The Washington Post, “Late on the night of April 8, 2011, Washington’s leaders announced that they’d just done something extraordinary. They had agreed to cut the federal budget — and cut it big. ‘The largest annual spending cut in our history,’ President Obama called it in a televised speech. To prevent a government shutdown, the parties had agreed to slash $37.8 billion: more than the budgets of the Labor and Commerce departments, combined. … Nearly two years later, however, these landmark budget cuts have fallen far short of their promises. … ‘Many of the cuts we put in were smoke and mirrors,’ said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a hard-line conservative now in his second term. ‘That’s the lesson from April 2011: that when Washington says it cuts spending, it doesn’t mean the same thing that normal people mean.’ Now the failures of that 2011 bill have come back to haunt the leaders who crafted it. Disillusionment with that bill has persuaded many conservatives to reject a line-by-line, program-by-program approach to cutting the budget.”

“How will he pay for it? Fiscal realities put Obama agenda in question”
NBC Politics reports, “Less than one month into his second term, President Barack Obama looks to complete the outlines of an ambitious agenda in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. In his inaugural speech, the president telegraphed several initiatives he wants Congress to pursue and pass this year: gun control legislation, a bill to create a legalization process for many of the nation’s illegal immigrants, subsidies for renewable energy technologies and legislation to respond to climate change. Obama will likely return to those topics Tuesday night, but the White House has signaled that this speech will focus more on the themes that dominated the past four years — jobs and theeconomy — with new initiatives aimed at improving the prospects of growth for both, and a particular emphasis on the middle class. ut any new policies orprograms will have a cost to both present and future taxpayers, and it willtake some time to figure out that cost because the president hasn’t yet presented his budget proposal to Congress. And when he does, the ongoing standoff between Republicans and Democrats over everything from how to continue funding the government to looming spending cuts still leaves plenty of uncertainty about any fiscal policy in Washington.”

President to Focus On Middle Class Prosperity In State of the Union
The New York Times reports, “President Obama on Tuesday will seek to move beyond the politics of the moment to define a second-term agenda built around restoring economic prosperity to the middle class, using his State of the Union address to unveil initiatives in education, infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing. Having secured four more years in the White House by arguing that the nation’s economy is tilted against ordinary Americans, Mr. Obama will vow to use the power of his office to recapture robust job growth and economic expansion, according to White House officials who have seen the speech. Both eluded him during his first term. Mr. Obama will insist that only ‘a thriving middle class’ can stimulate long-term growth and that Americans must be given the tools to succeed, according to the officials, who discussed the speech on the condition of anonymity. His call for new government investments — many of which Republicans successfully blocked in his first term — is an effort to shift the emphasis away from simply reducing the deficit and will serve in part as an answer to Republican criticism that he has not focused enough on jobs.”

“Examiner Editorial: Obama ignores Medicare warnings”
The Washington Examiner editorializes, “As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reaffirmed in a new report this week, the U.S. national debt will skyrocket in the coming decades without significant changes to current law. By 2023, gross debt will soar from $16 trillion to $26 trillion, and will grow ‘sharply’ thereafter. The CBO attributes this to a combination of the aging of the population and rising health care costs. Medicare is the program where these two factors converge. With more and more seniors demanding increasingly expensive medical care, the program has become unsustainable. Even though these plain facts have been staring him in the face, more than four years into his time in office, President Obama has not only refused to produce a plan that puts the program on a sustainable trajectory, but he’s flouted the law in doing so.”

GOP Leverages “Do-Nothing Congress” Reputation to Their Advantage
POLITICO reports, “You’ve heard of the do-nothing Congress? House Republicans are now trying to wield the term to their political advantage, intentionally postponing passage of any tax bills until the party decides whether to reform the Tax Code. … In fact, the House hasn’t passed a single measure this Congress that either raises or cuts revenue. But the no-new-tax-bills strategy also has another effect: It will stop the Senate from raising revenue as part of any plan to replace the sequester. Since all revenue bills need to originate in the House, the strategy will effectively halt Senate Democrats from raising revenue in a deal to blunt the sequester. If the Senate passes a bill to increase taxes on millionaires as part of a sequester replacement plan, for example, the House cannot take up the legislation.”

BankruptingAmerica.org is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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