Archive for Friday, July 29, 2011

House approves GOP bill extending debt limit; Senate promptly rejects it

July 29, 2011, 5:40 p.m. Updated July 29, 2011, 11:37 p.m.


— In an unforgiving display of partisanship, the Republican-controlled House approved emergency legislation Friday night to avoid an unprecedented government default and Senate Democrats scuttled it less than two hours later in hopes of a better deal.

“We are almost out of time” for a compromise, warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled at the prospect of economic chaos next week. The Dow Jones average fell for a sixth straight session.

Lawmakers in both parties said they were determined to avoid a default, yet there was little evidence of progress — or even significant negotiations — on a compromise during a long day of intense political maneuvering.

The House vote was 218-210, almost entirely along party lines, on a Republican-drafted bill to provide a quick $900 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority — essential to allow the government to continue paying all its bills — along with $917 billion in cuts from federal spending.

It had been rewritten hastily overnight to say that before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress must approve a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification. That marked a concession to tea party-backed conservatives and others in the rank and file who had thwarted House Speaker John Boehner’s attempt to pass the bill Thursday night.

“Today we have a chance to end this debt limit crisis,” Boehner declared, his endgame strategy upended by rebels within his own party.

But the changes he made to the House GOP bill further alienated Democrats. And they complicated prospects of a compromise that could clear both houses and win Obama’s signature by next Tuesday’s deadline.

At the other end of the Capitol, Senate Democrats rejected the measure without so much as a debate. The vote was 59-41, with all Democrats, two independents and six Republicans joining in opposition.

Moments later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., unveiled an alternative that would cut spending by $2.4 trillion and raise the debt limit by the same amount, enough to meet Obama’s terms that it tide the Treasury over until 2013.

Reid invited Republicans to suggest changes, saying, “This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default.”

The Senate GOP leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, accused Democrats of “rounding up ‘no’ votes to keep this crisis alive,” and noted the House had passed two bills to raise the debt limit and the Senate none.

The House, eager to return the Senate’s favor rejecting the Boehner bill, set a vote to reject Reid’s proposal on Saturday. The Senate set a test vote at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, a middle-of-the-night roll call that underscored the limited time available to lawmakers.

At the same time Reid appealed for bipartisanship, he and other party leaders accused Boehner of caving in to extremists in the GOP ranks — “the last holdouts of the tea party,” Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois called them.

Republicans conceded that the overnight delay had weakened Boehner’s hand in the endgame with Obama and Senate Democrats.

But the Ohio Republican drew applause from his rank and file when he said the House, alone, had advanced legislation to cut deficits, and that he had “stuck his neck out” in recent weeks in hopes of concluding a sweeping deficit reduction deal with Obama.

Boehner’s measure would provide a quick $900 billion increase in borrowing authority — essential for the U.S. to keep paying all its bills after next Tuesday — and $917 billion in spending cuts. After the bill’s latest alteration, any future increases in the debt limit would be contingent on Congress approving the constitutional amendment and sending it to the states for ratification.

“With conservatives insisting on the addition of a balanced-budget amendment requirement, Speaker Boehner’s bill will now cut, cap and balance” federal spending, said Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona as Friday’s scheduled vote approached.

The White House called the bill a nonstarter. Press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that called it a “political exercise” and said congressional leaders should turn their efforts to a compromise that Obama can sign by Tuesday.

The developments occurred one day after Boehner was forced to postpone a vote in the House for fear the earlier version of his measure would suffer a defeat. But by forcing a delay the conservative rebels upended the leadership’s strategy of making their bill the only one that could clear Congress before a default and win Obama’s reluctant signature.

“Everybody acknowledges that because of the dust-up yesterday we’ve lost some leverage,” said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, an ally of the speaker.

The rebels said they were more worried about stemming the nation’s steady rise of red ink.

Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., a, a first-term lawmaker, issued a statement saying his pressure had paid off.

“The American people have strongly renewed their November calls of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. I am blessed to be a vehicle driving their wishes to fruition,” he said. “This plan is not a Washington deal but a real solution to fundamentally change the way Washington operates.”

Administration officials say that without legislation in place by Tuesday, the Treasury will no longer be able to pay all its bills. The result could inflict significant damage on the economy, they add, causing interest rates to rise and financial markets to sink.

Executives from the country’s biggest banks met with U.S. Treasury officials to discuss how debt auctions will be handled if Congress fails to raise the borrowing limit before Tuesday’s deadline.

But Carney said the administration did not plan to provide the public with details Friday on how the government will prioritize payments.

The day’s economic news wasn’t very upbeat to begin with — an economy that grew at an annual rate of only 1.3 percent in the second quarter of the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average suffered through a sixth straight day of losses, and bond yields fell as investors sought safer investments in the event of a default.

At the White House, Obama cited the potential toll on the economy as he urged lawmakers to find a way out of gridlock.

He said that for all the partisanship, the two sides were not that far apart. Both agree on initial spending cuts to take effect in exchange for an increase in the debt limit, he said, as well as on a way to consider additional reductions in government benefit programs in the coming months.

“And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that, too, if it’s done in a smart and balanced way,” he said.

That went to the crux of the conflict — his insistence that Congress raise the government’s borrowing authority by enough to avoid a repeat of the current crisis during the heat of the 2012 election campaigns.

Republicans have resisted, accusing him of injecting purely political considerations into the debt limit negotiations.

But Boehner’s failure to line up the votes for his legislation Thursday night seemed to embolden Democrats.

Obama asked his 9.4 million followers on Twitter to send tweets to Republican lawmakers.

“The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan (hash)compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet,” Obama wrote in a tweet, signed “-BO.”


geekin_topekan 6 years, 11 months ago

Sooooo, Repubs have decided to blow off paying the bills huh?

DOnt want to hear one word about the homeless' being irresponsible when Repubs are doing exactly what the haters accuse the homeless of doing. Bwaa haa haa . .

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Huh? The republicans are the only ones that have passed a bill raising the debt ceiling, not one Dem AKA party of no voted for the bill. The Dem controlled senate said they won't pass it so have can you say the repubs have decided to blow off paying the bills?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 11 months ago

The Dems would have passed a reasonable bill. This isn't. The GOP decided to play chicken. And the Senate will shoot it down. The real truth is, the GOP may have just slit their own throats.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Why isn't this a reasonable bill? Just because you don't think so? Why is it ok for the dems to oppose something when they don't like it, but when the GOP did it, they were labeled the party of no. Why is having no Dem vote for the bill different - are they now the party of no?

218 Congressman representing millions of Americans voted for the bill so obviously not everyone agrees it is unreasonable.

angelbear 6 years, 11 months ago

why should the U.S. Constitution be rewritten this bill is a mistake i hope the Senate does not pass it on that alone.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Are you opposed to a balanced budget requirement? If so why? Why should we spend more than we bring in? And, it won't be Congress deciding if we have this amendment, it will be the people.

angelbear 6 years, 11 months ago

really my belief was congress senate then president it does not come back to us

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

How is the Constitution amended? Article V of the Constitution prescribes how an amendment can become a part of the Constitution. While there are two ways, only one has ever been used. All 27 Amendments have been ratified after two-thirds of the House and Senate approve of the proposal and send it to the states for a vote. Then, three-fourths of the states must affirm the proposed Amendment.

The other method of passing an amendment requires a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States. That Convention can propose as many amendments as it deems necessary. Those amendments must be approved by three-fourths of the states.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Get real, fred. All the bills currently under consideration are configured as an acknowledgement of the Republicans' (tea partiers, especially) to drive the world economy off a cliff if they don't get their way.

And how do they react to the spinelessness of democrats? By making ever more extreme demands.

This isn't about compromise, this is about extortion-- do as we say (throw grandma off the cliff) or we throw everyone off that cliff.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

That should read " acknowledgement of the Republicans' (tea partiers, especially) EAGERNESS to drive the world economy off a cliff...."

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Instead of name calling why not present your analysis of why this bill isn't a good bill and how you would have made it a better bill? What parts of the bill are "stupid" and why?

Corey Williams 6 years, 11 months ago

"It had been rewritten hastily overnight to say that before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress must approve a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification" That's how it was a dumb bill. How would it be enforced?

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

It is simple to enforce it. We want to consider raising the debt limit - amendment passed - proceed. Amendment not passed, don't proceed cause it is the law that we cant consider raising the debt limit until we pass the amendment.

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

It is no good because it does not raise taxes on the wealthy or eliminate loopholes. 900 M is far less than the 4 trillion Obama has proposed.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 11 months ago

Clear to who?We can make as many cuts as we want,but at some point there has to be an increase in income.And who in their right minds wants to see this circus all over again in a few short months.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

We have a balanced budget requirement in our state Constitution so why not in our nation's? Congress passing the balanced budget amendment doesn't mean it becomes law, it still must be ratified by the states so the people will have a say so why not do it?

Which members of the GOP are not paying their bills? And does it really matter?" Look at the Dems that don't pay their taxes - we've got losers on both sides of the aisle. And the bill as passed by the GOP provides the funds to pay our bills - it is the Dems actions that places paying our bills in jeopardy.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

As I said, it is not relevant to the discussion as both sides have losers on it. Does the fact that leading D's have not paid their taxes negate the worth of any bills they vote on? I dont think so.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Not in this context no unless as I pointed out earlier that not paying taxes by the dems negates the validity of any bill that they support. Losers on both sides and while ethics are important they are not relevant to this discussion.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 11 months ago

If Kansas has a balanced budget requirement then how is it that we go into debt to fianance things like highway construction and state capital improvements?

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 11 months ago

Which member is not paying their bills? Google "Joe Walsh". The man is $117,000 behind in child support. I'm shocked his wages are not being garnished. Talk about a deadbeat.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

The GOP just passed a bill that increases the debt ceiling so your point is inaccurate.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Uh no, immediately means right now. Yes, we'll have to do it again, but not immediately and so what? How does it hurt to raise the debt limit incrementally and not all at once? I think I am far from mindless or ignorant but if it makes you feel superior to think of me that way go ahead.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

"No increase in borrowing is a reasonable choice."

That may sound like a reasonable choice, but that is certainly not the case.

There are many tens of millions of people who are expecting money which they believe to be entitled to to be arriving next month. They will have a very rude awakening if it does not show up.

Here in the United States, gun ownership is very common. For those who do not yet own one, acquiring one is not at all difficult.

So, that means that if one out of 10,000,000 gun owners were insane and decided to take matters into their own hands, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives could be easily and quickly eliminated.

And that is not even mentioning the riots in the streets.

Don't think that couldn't happen here, similar things have happened many times in the past.. It would rate only an asterisk in the history books of the future.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Of course, borrowing by the federal government will have to be reined in, there is simply no other way out of the current situation.

But doing it all at once with no warning is not the way to do it.

Jonathan Fox 6 years, 11 months ago

Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., a, a first-term lawmaker, issued a statement saying his pressure had paid off. "The American people have strongly renewed their November calls of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. I am blessed to be a vehicle driving their wishes to fruition," he said. "This plan is not a Washington deal but a real solution to fundamentally change the way Washington operates."

Why do the democrats keep thinking they get to decide what's reasonable. The democrats are already getting a pass to continue outrageous spending, why do they think they get to ask for tax hikes, and refuse to balance the budget despite proof that government spending is not going to help the economy enough.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Good point. Also, just think how many people the 218 republicans that voted for it represent. Apparently, millions think cutting spending is reasonable.

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't suppose you noticed because judging from your comments so far it is readily apparent that you are ignorant... but the Senate had a significant amount more of bipartisan support against the bill from the House then the other way around.

The real question is why some of the Republican representatives in the House would throw our economy off a cliff because that is exactly what they are doing. This wasn't a compromise. This was extortion. There was zero chance that this bill would be passed by the Senate and even less than a zero chance that a balanced budget constitutional amendment would ever be passed yet the House Republicans still passed it. This was a partisan political move, period.

I hope the majority of Americans (obviously you can't) actually can see the lunacy of politicians using our nations economy to extort radical demands from the rest of the government. In a time of crisis one would hope that the different sides in our government would work together to compromise on a plan to move forward and solve the problem but instead it is weeks, months, years of political bickering for radical objectives causing nothing to occur.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

I actually believe that I am not ignorant, but I am rather well-informed - perfect no, open to changing my mind when presented with facts, absolutely, but having a different opinion than you does not make me ignorant.

The Republicans are not throwing the economy off a cliff. They passed a bill that would allow us to pay our debt. Yes it had a catch, but so what? Let the people decide if they want a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. A bit of hardball politics - definitely, but no different than the Dems did with health care reform when they were in charge.

I don't see how spending no more than you bring in is radical. Makes good fiscal sense to me.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

I guess we really don't know how many of the senate oppose the bill since they never got to vote on it. Since it was tabled immediately there was no vote, no debate and no opportunity to amend it. Why not vote it up or down?

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

There was no vote on the bill itself. Yes, there was a vote to table the bill and yes, you can infer that those 59 that voted to table were expressing their opposition to it, but again there was no debate on the bill itself, no attempt to amend it, etc. so yes, I was being truthful.

notaubermime 6 years, 11 months ago

According the a Pew poll (, around 60% think that the best way to reduce the federal deficit is to cut spending AND increase taxes. Only 1/5 or fewer of the American public agrees with the Republican stance of only cutting spending.

Mike Ford 6 years, 11 months ago

the dumblicans got this country into Afghanistan and Iraq between 2000 and 2008. Unlike previous wars where taxes and bonds paid for wars and there was a functioning guns and butter economy, the dumblicans got China to pay for our wars. You know the dumblicans can never raise taxes to pay for expansion, they're just born rich and they want to keep others from having theirs. Even funnier are the delusional tea partiers who flip history on it's head to support their lunacy. Boston Tea Party lesson number one for american idiots; between 1755 and 1763 a war was fought between Great Britain and France for trade control of the thirteen colonies. Great Britain won the war at a great cost. Great Britain expected the colonists whose freedom they fought for from France to pay Great Britain back and they raised taxes on the colonists to pay for the war. One should pay for services rendered right? Instead the freeloaders in the Boston Harbor poured tea over the side of a ship protesting responsibility for debt and services rendered by Great Britain. Insert China into this role and what difference is there. Some people in this country are still willing to freeload themselves while calling out others. China was duped by Dubya like the sane part of this country has been. Why should I sacrifice my social security because wealthy dimwits act like Leona Helmsley and say taxes are for the little people. I rebut gop amnesia.... Bush got us into two wars and indebted us to China all the while neglecting domestic issues like any good republican does. Once Mr. Obama spends money domestically these amnesia crippled dimwits scream taxpayers waste but where was this outrage when the dimwits voted for Dumya? you can't talk out of both sides of your mouth and not be busted.

Phillbert 6 years, 11 months ago

Short version of the House Republican "plan": Amend the Constitution or the country gets it.

Not just vote on the amendment, pass it, or else there's no debt ceiling increase and America's economy crashes.

This is extortion, pure and simple.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

It is politics and it's done all the time. So what if Congress passes the amendment it doesn't make it law until the states, aka, the people ratify it. What's wrong with letting the people speak?

Orwell 6 years, 11 months ago

Like how a strong majority supports raising taxes on the well-to-do? Why won't the Republicans respect the public will on that?

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Because a strong majority doesn't support it. Maybe in Lawrence, but not in the nation. If you were correct then why wasn't it done when the dems controlled both houses? They rammed obamacare through they could have increased taxes.

notaubermime 6 years, 11 months ago

Poll after poll for the last two years has shown that the majority of Americans do not support the Bush tax cuts for people >$250,000.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

So if I demand that you sell me your house for ten bucks, or I blow it and your family up, is that just politics?

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

Nope, that is a crime. Politicians play by different rules or haven't you noticed?

Phillbert 6 years, 11 months ago

Making it so a bare majority of one house can force both to pass a Constitutional amendment goes against the very Constitution conservatives claim to revere.

And the interest rate on U.S. treasuries is near record lows, showing that the debt isn't a problem for the markets. Meanwhile corporations are hoarding cash because there is no consumer demand. Cuts just make that worse.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

None of the money is real, so none of the investments are real, either. So what difference does it make who is doing the investing? Or?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Yea, but it's not gold, so it can't represent real wealth, can it?

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Without demand, investment would be fruitless.

What's the point of investing in a business if you won't have any customers?

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

It's a circle.

If you produce goods and services, and nobody buys them, you can't trade them for money.

But your other point is correct, without jobs, people can't buy things. That's why it would be better for companies to keep jobs in this country, rather than outsourcing them.

Which they might do, if they weren't engaged in trying to maximize their profits.

angelbear 6 years, 11 months ago

okay i have said it before take away all the expence accounts and thier pay and you have saved or cut spending costs buy about 2 or 3 trillon a year. just in unearned paychecks.

Brock Masters 6 years, 11 months ago

You might be onto something. Think how much Pelosi wasted with her private jet. Good point.

angelbear 6 years, 11 months ago

no kidding think they say they are there doing what we want but let us be honest it is about them not us so put their money where their mouths are if it is really for us thenthey can do it for free or as my dad would say put up or shut up

corduroypants 6 years, 11 months ago

angelbear you really hit the nail on the head with this one or hit it out of the park as they sometimes say and i don't know who they who really says that sometimes but it is probably our congress and obama who thinks he is a messiah but rest assured the tea party will win this one and as my mama used to say before she passed out from drinking too much whiskey that democrats are annoying and republicans are aholes and im a long time listener first time caller and ill hang up and listen off the air thanks for you time

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"and ill hang up and listen off the air thanks for you time"

I have a feeling you'll pass out long before you hear this response.

Corey Williams 6 years, 11 months ago

That's because the crybaby can get a nonstop flight home from dc. And since the speaker is third in line to the presidency, there has to be some security involved in his travel. This idea that Pelosi chose to fly privately was debunked years ago.
So, going to bring up birth certificates, too? Maybe something about Obama being muslim? Or are you going to compare the size of gavels that pelosi/boehner used?

Franklin 6 years, 11 months ago

Can someone please explain to me why a balanced budget amendment is a bad thing.

angelbear 6 years, 11 months ago

it is not a bad thing just the way it is written

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, I could give you several scenarios where borrowing money is a wise, long term investment. Do you own a home? Long term history suggests that borrowing money to purchase a house is a wise investment. Imagine not having the ability to borrow that money. Houses wouldn't get purchased and wealth would not accumulate. But if government wanted to build a bridge, knowing that drivers will be using it for the next fifty years, why not spread the cost over the years so that those using it in the future will help pay for it. And of course there is the emergency of war. We can't risk our national security fighting a war on a pay as you go basis. A balanced budget is a good thing, a balanced budget amendment to the constitution is not a good thing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"We can't risk our national security fighting a war on a pay as you go basis."

Unless you're BushCo (and now Obama,) so you just borrow the money from the Chinese and wealthy Americans who used to pay taxes (but now instead loan that money to the US government, repaid with interest.)

Franklin 6 years, 11 months ago

"before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress must approve a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification." I am still trying to figure out the problem here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

What the heck is an "eligible (sic)" resident? Is that anything like an "eligible bachelor?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

I hate the spell checker on the new mac OS-- you can't even misspell on purpose.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Where would I look it up? In the Book of Daffy's Made-Up and Meaningless Phrases?

I bet you don't even know what "sic" means.

Corey Williams 6 years, 11 months ago

Maybe if they made enough money to pay taxes, then they would.

notaubermime 6 years, 11 months ago

"The problem is there are too many people not paying federal taxes. These unpatriotic outsiders need to get some skin in the game. Figures have it that half the population of eligble residents do not pay."

Here is what the Tax Policy Center (which is what you are quoting) says about the myth you are purveying:

Basically, the percentage of people who paid no federal tax is actually 14%. Of the 47% who paid no federal income tax, all but around 5% were seniors.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 11 months ago

Because some expenditures benefit future years it makes sense to borrow money to finance them. Kansas state and local governments claim to have balanced budgets, when infact they do not. For example the Lawrence School District has around $80 million of debt they have accumulated to build and improve school. The City of Lawrence will be borrowing around $18 million to build a new library.

lunacydetector 6 years, 11 months ago

the democrats don't want to balance the budget............they want business as usual in washington. what a bunch of losers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

No, this is Democrats spinelessly caving (again.) "Compromise" is nowhere to be found.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

Waste of time. Doesn't it take 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate, and 2/3 of the states to pass a constitutional amendment? It would take longer than a summer.

Mike Ford 6 years, 11 months ago

okay detector, your dingbats wrecked the economy through two terms of Bonzo, one term of tokyo throwup, and two terms of tokyo throwup's son. Supply side is bs according to David Stockman who worked for Bonzo, so what are you dingbats bringing to the table? protect the rich or else????? that's what's going on right now. FYI when one side takes from 2000 to 2008 to wreck an economy and then has amnesia and blames the next guy that's bs. I have stones...I will call bs. If you read the book the Wrecking Crew you'd know we're onto you all and will call bs till the end. You can't claim the debt concern high road when you all wrecked the economy by fighting wars on the yuan. I took my 401K out of the market through most of Bush because I had a conscience and didn't want to profit from a stock market during an unjust war and I took it out again two days ago. I've called the joker (Lynn Jenkins) and the chameleon (Kevin Yoder) and told them to stop being held hostage by the tea party which fell on deaf ears as they drank the Kool-Aid of lunacy. the dimwits are about to have their rapture at the expense of the rest of us. please separate church and state so these churchlicans can go to Guyana or somewhere and stop wrecking this country.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Who is "you?" Is it you? You clearly love the internet.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

This is nothing but a big game, folks. The repubs and demos are working in concert to bring the country down.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

The left/right BS is just that...designed to keep the citizens divided. It's an illusion of choice. The sooner we realize this, the better.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

You may not see at as "left-right," but you see it through a very powerful partisan lens of your own.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

OK, one more time, I believe in a balanced approach to both government and economy.

You? Clearly not so much.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

I would get rid of loop-holes and off shore banking. Then I would cut Defense and homeland security spending, end the War on Drugs and release all non-violent prisoners. Finally, legalize, tax and regulate drugs and prostitution...That would be a helluva start.

Mike Ford 6 years, 11 months ago

I love the internet because I say the things that make your head spin....what I say is a lot more interesting than the libertarian &$#@ you spew all the time that will never happen. I'm a Democrat who loves it when Ron Paul makes the GOP heads spin because he's honest but the dumblicans will never elect him due to their demogoguery. Keep talking the dimwits are about to wreck the centralized government so that dimwits like my state representative can run things like a pta meeting. the dumbing of america is happening before our eyes.

lunacydetector 6 years, 11 months ago

"compromise" obama tweets......where is his plan? oh, he's never had one.

bring the debt ceiling up where it doesn't have to be revisited until after the next presidential election is all he cares about.

obama wants to wreck our economy. that's all he's ever wanted. then he can become our first dictator and all the glassy eyed obamabots will fall in line.

Mike Ford 6 years, 11 months ago

lunacy denier, you're a bushbot. you ignore financing two wars by borrowing from China and bringing the whole world into our speculative economy much as the laissez faire dumba$$es of the 1920's aka Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, and Herbert Hoover who were also denying republicans. I'm a historian who loves dealing with the dimwits who post on here. Why did it take FDR four terms to fix the mess?? because the dumblicans did such a great job destroying this country in the 1920's. Like the late Kaw sellout Charles Curtis you have things backwards and upsidedown until you wind up like Alf Landon getting his a$$ handed to him in the 1936 election. If it smells like lunacy it must be.....

jayhawxrok 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad the Dems killed Boehner's lame bill. The tea party House freshman have been behaving like children, oblivious to the consequences of their actions. Bush ran the economy into the toilet and the Reps have opposed every sensible measure to dig us out of the resulting mess....yet these morons think we will trust them to deal with the budget? No way, all it will be is the end of evergy gov service and protection we have and welfare for corporations, tax breaks for the vey other words, all the same bad policies that got us here.

jmadison 6 years, 11 months ago

From the article "bond yields fell as investors sought safer investments in the event of a default". The usual response to risk of default is demanding higher interest rates as there is a greater risk for non payment on the bond, i.e. rates on Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, debt are much higher since the chance for repayment has decreased. The bond yield decrease was most likely related to the weakness of the GDP reports. The AP needs to get better journalists who understand financial matters.

tbaker 6 years, 11 months ago

A lot of people on this blog procede with the assumption the American people actually want, and are willing to pay for the size and scope of our current federal government. The fact not in dispute is we can no longer afford to borrow 40 cents of every dollar the government spends. Deficit spending has to stop. The national debt is a disaster and is getting worse very fast. So what can be done? Even if we raised taxes on the >$250K people to 100% it would not cover even half of this year's deficit, so tax increases, regardless of your ideology, don't even come close to being a feasable solution, even using the most favorable economic conditions to estimate revenue. Reducing spending is the only real answer. To close the deficit gap, whole government cabinet-level agencies need to be done away with. This debt limit argument is a side show compared to the tough work the politicians are avoiding. Nothing of substance will be solved. This problem will require an election to fix. One side or the other will need a commanding majority in congress to tackle the really tough work that needs to be done.

nouseforaname 6 years, 11 months ago

Cutting government spending would be akin to doing nothing at all since the US Dollar is like the de facto world currency and the world economy is lubricated with US debt. Plus, 70% of our economy comes from consumer spending, and the median age for the United states is getting into the 40s which means we have more elderly people, most of which are dependent in some from on governmental spending, than we do young people able to be more self-reliant (i.e. employable). Reducing governmental spending on policies that were not a direct cause of the runaway deficit is disingenuous, idiotic, and akin to shooting yourself in the foot to death. The best thing that the government could do if it was really serious about the deficit would be to cut military spending and end the Bush-era tax cuts. Those are the two main policies that were directly responsible for the ballooning debt these past few years. Wanting to change those two policies would be a major starting point, but the Republican party would rather throw our domestic economy under a bus than to clean up their own mess.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"Cutting spending would the first step towards recovery."

What spending would you cut? Grandma's SS and Medicare?

tbaker 6 years, 11 months ago

You could end both wars and close DoD entirely and still cover slightly more than half of the $1.26T deficit this year. The constitution says we will have a military. It doesn't say we will have a department of education, or half a dozen other wasteful agencies.

JohnBrown 6 years, 11 months ago

Remember 1937.

The way the US, Germany and England got themselves out of the depression was by deficit spending. In 1937 the Republicans demanded a balanced budget and they got it. In 1938 the depression deepened. In 1939 we went back to deficit spending, then the war came, our debt skyrocketed and spending increased even more. And the depression ended.

This is not the time for a balanced budget. Even Bush realized this in the end, when he spent $700 Billion for a bail out.

In the short term we need to spend another $2 Trillion in WPA type projects on infrastructure. Once the Bush Recession is over THEN we can worry about balanced budgets.

Since 2008 the Republicans have fought tooth and nail to 1) blame the economy on O'Bama, and 2) keep the recovery from happening (b/c they fear O'Bama would get the credit.). The Bush Recession isn't recovering because we didn't do enough in stimulus. If we miss next Tuesday, OR pass the Tea Party "Compromise" then we will have a Tea Party Depression next year.

Then Tea Party will have accomplished what Bin Laden could have only hoped for: the destruction of the US economy.

Oh and a question for Fred Mertz: Why haven't the Bush Tax Cuts stimulated the economy? After all, we've had them now for 10 years. [HINT: the Bush Tax cuts contributed to the $5Trillion debt the Republicans created during that same time].

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 11 months ago

The Palinist Teabaggers have never ceased to proclaim their disdain of the balck non-citizen President of the United States. This is the basic issue, the facists and klansmen in the congress wanting to destroy the opposing party and win the next election with another George Bush look-alike. That is the basic issue. They choose to do this by trying to derail the economic welfare of the country.

Republican Terrorist Palinist Teabaggers were elected by an enormous group of stuck on stupid voters who wholly agree with the bigoted and prejudiced segment of the American public who would just as soon see the current occupant of the White House dragged down a gravel road with a log chain and hung in a tree. Those who say prejudice is not an import element in this huge debacle are simply denying fact. I have heard enough from people I used to work around about the damned ni&^&*(r in Washington to last me forever. The bigots and klansmen and other facists are out there and are stirring up the country to justify their prejudice. It really angers me that none of the talking heads have visited this issue, because I know that it exists.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 11 months ago


Facist Neoconservatives aka RINO’s still control the former republican party. Which is to say “getting in the way” is their favorite tool.

Keep in mind a prospering america can overcome fear mongering.

The Repub party aka neocon Tea Party is afraid of:

  • A dramatically improved quality of life for all americans

  • Jobs Jobs Jobs for americans

  • New USA industry thus new wealth for america

  • New cleaner energy sources because it would create so many new jobs

  • Improved Medicare Insurance for All = huge tax dollar savings to government

  • Green Collar Industries which produce jobs that cannot be outsourced

  • Repubs fear educated Americans because WE ask questions

  • Losing of tax incentives/tax breaks for the wealthy that actually create tax increases for entire spectrum of the middleclass

  • Repubs should want a dramatically improved quality of life for all Americans but they keep saying NO

  • Repubs should want Clean air, clean water, clean energy and healthy green space scattered throughout America however they always vote NO

  • Face it dramatically improved quality of life for all WOULD keep them out of control for decades.


Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

If the U.S. does not pay its bills, the the federal deficit will go up because of the added interest.

To lower the deficit, we have to pay our bills strategically. If one loan is at a higher rate, then focus more than a minimum payment on that loan while paying minimum amounts on the others. That's probably already being done. Some bills are fixed amounts and must be paid.

Maintain a balanced budget which does include paying the bills. The last big snafu was giving tax cuts and starting a war at the same time. We could only afford one or the other.

Revamp the tax code.

Paying off our loans would be faster, if we increased revenue. Some money could be saved by assessing and trimming programs, but not enough.

An amendment to the constitution should be approached with great care. Comparing tax cuts to caps and balance may not be mathematically sound and lead to unintended consequences. Like comparing the production of Ford trucks to the production of green beans.

Last night on CNN, I heard a conservative congressman say that he supports the amendment, tax cuts, program cuts, and he would not harm Medicare, Medicad, Social Security, or any other sensitive programs. He would not support increased taxes. He promised lots of stuff, but he's totally unrealistic.

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

We have an un-sustainable health care system, and rising costs over the last decade are contributing greatly to defecits by draining Medicare and Medicade funds. But we still do not have the will to address this issue in a meaningful way.

We have high unemployment and underemployment which means less tax revenues.

We are paying for two wars and have troops all over the globe. Afghanistan alone costs 10 Billion a month.

We are outsourcing good paying jobs.

These are some ideas that could go a long way to balancing future budgets: 1) Raise the debt ceiling so that we do not incur increased interest charges (2-3 trillion by some estimates). 2) Leave Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday. 3) Raise the tax rate on net income > 500k to 39%. 4) Eliminate the home mortgage interest itemized deduction. 5) Social Security and Medicare means testing. 6) Remove the ceiling on medicare/medicade taxes (employee part) 7) Overhaul the military budget and and cut it atleast 50% 8) Treat capital gains as ordinary income, subject to regular tax rates.

I'm ok with the idea of a balanced budget, but I think there needs to be some wiggle room for emergencies like natural disaster, conflicts, and severe economic downturns.

Sorry for the long ramble folks.

coloradoan 6 years, 11 months ago

I disagree on no. 4. Even though I don't have enough interest to deduct, I still think it has some value overall; however, the deduction for SECOND HOMES should be eliminated. There's no societal value to subsidizing some well-off folks' cabin or condo in the Rockies or Branson or wherever.

Also, make the Congress subject to the same health program we have, and to Social Security, not the special plans they now have - their attitudes might differ on how to manage the programs to be solvent.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 10 months ago

Are second homes deductible?

We could grandfather #4. It could affect new home purchases only. That would slow potential buyers and their lenders from buying more of a house than they can afford without entrapping current homeowners. We did not always have a tax deduction for mortgage interest.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

Good points, Camper.

"We have high unemployment and underemployment which means less tax revenues." We need to increase revenue while there are still people who can pay taxes. We are in a revenue tailspin.

"We are outsourcing good paying jobs." We have focused on service industries. That's too soft, and not everyone has the skill set. Even service industries can be outsourced. Somehow, we need to bring back manufacturing.

"We have an un-sustainable health care system, and rising costs over the last decade are contributing greatly to deficits by draining Medicare and Medicaid funds. But we still do not have the will to address this issue in a meaningful way." The Affordable Health Care Act does not fix health care. It attempts to fix health care financing, but it's not complete. Best that could be done under the circumstances.

Are some of these points from the president's task force?

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

"Are some of these points from the president's task force?" I'm not sure hear_me. Just observations from an arm-chair quarterback (me). I'm astonished how terrible poliitcs are these days. Political affiliation over the good of its citizens and country. I guess it has always been that way.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 11 months ago

O.K., it is 2008, McCain and Palin have been elected. Let's look at this. McCain and his Republican Party have refused to "bail out" the auto companies and the banks. Palin has fled Washington for Wasilla to keep an eye on the Russians.

GM and other auto companies have declared bankrupcy or something similar. Thousands have been laid off. The banks have failed and millions of dollars of investors money has been lost.

GM is no longer paying taxes or buying parts from suppliers, more layoffs and bankrupt auto manufacturer suppliers and tax collections.

So now that McCain and the Republicans have put a significant part of the American economy on life support, and millions more are collecting unemployment from states who are already strained, what to do? Go look for Palin and the tea baggers to dig us out of this economic disaster?? What would McCain do?? Who would have money to send to Rush Limbaugh to buy his cheap dittocrap, coffee mugs, t-shirts, ball caps and newsletters praising the great and glorious Republican party success in the American economy.

I want some of you die-hard Republican supporters to illuminate me on how the McCain No-Palin ticket would handle this disaster? How would he do any better than the present President? What could we have expected from the teabaggers on this issue with their white war hero in the White House? Come on, let's hear if for the guy who defeated the Kenyan-muslim dude who was dumb enough to leave his senate seat to the corrupt governer in Illinois and try to think he could be President of the United States.. Let's hear how the solution to the situation would be any different. Or better.

tbaker 6 years, 11 months ago

Hows this sound (from John Stossel)

Defense cut by 2/3: $475 billion (Federal Budget, pg. 58)

Medicare/Medicaid*: $441 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security Means Testing: $170 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Dept. of Education (includes Pell Grants): $106.9 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security*: $85.7 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Transportation: $84.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Tax Amnesty: $80 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Eliminate Dept. of Labor*: $78.6 billion (Department of Labor and White House)

Eliminate HUD: $60.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Agriculture*: $33 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut civilian employee compensation: $30 billion (Cato Institute)

Stop maintaining vacant federal property: $25 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Foreign Aid: $21.2 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Energy*: $20.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate NASA: $19.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Federal Drug War: $15 billion (White House)

Earmark moratorium: $16 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Fannie/Freddie Subsidies: $14 billion (Federal Housing Finance Agency (p. 10))

Eliminate Dept. of Commerce: $13.9 billion (Department of Commerce)

Eliminate Dept. of Interior: $12 billion (White House)

Legalize Pot, Online gambling, Immigrants: $12 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Privatize Army Corps of Engineers: $10.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut federal employee travel budget: $10 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate National Science Foundation: $7.4 billion (National Science Foundation)

End EPA’s State and Local grants: $6.5 billion (Cato Institute)

Repeal Davis-Bacon: $6 billion (Republican Study Committee)

Privatize TSA: $5.7 billion (Federal Budget)

Cut Dept. of Justice’s State and Local grants: $5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Privatize Post Office: $4 billion (White House)

Eliminate Small Business Administration: $1.8 billion (Small Business Administration)

Lease coastal plain of ANWR: $1.5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Federal Flood Insurance: $1.3 billion (CBO, pg. 3)

Abolish SEC: $1.3 billion (SEC)

Eliminate Corporation for National Community Service: $1 billion (Cato Institute)

Suspend acquisition of federal office space: $1 billion (Heritage Foundation)

End subsidies for public broadcasting: $500 million (Cato Institute)

Eliminate the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp: $480 million (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate the FCC: $439 million (FCC)

Eliminate the Endowments for Arts/Humanities: $332 million (NEA/NEH)

Total Cut: $1,882,619,000,000

Current deficit: $1,645,000,000,000

Surplus Achieved: $237,619,000,000

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

"Eliminate Dept. of Interior: $12 billion (White House)" "Eliminate Dept. of Agriculture*: $33 billion (Cato Institute)"

That has to be two of the worst ideas I've ever seen on these boards. Do you have any idea what those two groups do?

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, I deal with them on a regular basis.

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, the USDA makes our food cheaper and safer. I really hate that. The USFWS helps to preserve the US's wildlife and freshwater fisheries. I hate that too. Also included was the Department of Commerce. The one thing that I hate more than regulating marine fisheries is actually receiving warning that there is dangerous weather in the area. If you can dodge a tornado, you can dodge a ball.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

Not saying you're wrong, I just never heard that USDA makes our food cheaper. Please explain how they make it cheaper?

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

The USDA monitors and controls the importation and spread of invasive plant pests. These animals, plants and fungi already cost the agriculture industry at least tens of billions of dollars each year. The damage would be much greater without the regulations the USDA has in place.

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I'm sure its not that I just have no interest in playing games. If you want to list harms that you see to be weighed against their benefits, that's one thing. To expect me to make your argument for you is ridiculous.

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

Believe whatever you want about me, if that is what you need to believe.

tbaker 6 years, 10 months ago

Any idea you say. Yep. Sure do. Take AG for starters:

From CATO:

The Department of Agriculture provides an array of subsidy programs for farmers and imposes extensive regulations on agricultural markets. It operates food assistance programs, such as the food stamp and school lunch programs, and it administers many subsidy programs for rural parts of the nation. The Forest Service also forms part of the Department of Agriculture.

The department will spend $152 billion in 2011, or more than $1,200 for every U.S. household. It operates about 235 subsidy programs and employs 98,000 workers in about 7,000 offices across the country.

The department's food subsidy activities—food stamps, school lunches, and WIC—are properly local and private functions. They should be devolved to the states, with each state determining appropriate policies for its own residents. Such reforms would save federal taxpayers about $98 billion annually. Some states may decide to fund food subsidies on their own, but competition between the states would likely result in smaller, more innovative programs.

Forest Service subsidies to state governments and private businesses should be ended. Congress should also explore options to transfer the national forests to the states or to new independent trusts that would be self-funded from forest-related receipts.

These reforms would eliminate more than 90 percent of the USDA’s budget, saving federal taxpayers $131 billion annually, or about $1,100 per U.S. household. Under the proposal, the USDA would retain responsibility for animal and plant health inspections, food safety, grain and packing inspections, and conservation activities.

Hows that?

notaubermime 6 years, 10 months ago

Now I'm confused. Do you want to cut USDA programs that you don't like or do you claimed in your original post and "eliminate the Department of Agriculture"?

Heck, the person you quoted has the following page: in which it says to eliminate the department with the exception of food programs for the needy. The fact that you talk almost entirely about cutting food programs for the needy makes me wonder whether you even read the webpage you are quoting.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

"...When Obama was safely ensconced as a backbencher in the US Senate, raising the debt ceiling in 2006 (to $8.95 trillion) was “a sign of leadership failure.” Five years later, Obama’s colleagues passed $4.5 trillion in new debt ceiling limits while controlling Congress, and now Obama wants another $2.7 trillion...."

Carol Bowen 6 years, 10 months ago

Obama should simply admit he was a newbe.

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