Fix The Problem, Not The Blame

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The first step is admitting you have a problem. That is the foundation of all recovery programs.

We have a problem.

We spend money like Michelle Obama on taxpayer-funded vacation. Even worse, forty cents out of every dollar we spend is going on our national credit card. We’re up to our eyeboobs in debt.

Here’s an example of how we spend money:

Watchdog sees pork in Sandy relief bill

As Congress takes up the second slice of relief money for Superstorm Sandy, the influential Club for Growth said Monday it will seek to punish the lawmakers who support the $51 billion package because it includes wasteful spending and pork that have nothing to do with reconstruction efforts in the Northeast.

The dueling messages underscore the divisions within Republicans ranks over the relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment —- that the House is expected to vote on this week.

Earlier this month, Congress approved a $9 billion relief package to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood insurance program.

But Mr. Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and other elected leaders from the Northeast — and both sides of the political aisle — have been waiting on Congress to approve more emergency funding and harshly criticized the delay.

The funding was expected to be voted on two weeks ago, but House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, changed gears and pulled a proposal after Republican lawmakers raised questions about some of the spending that was unrelated to the relief efforts.

Still, the Club for Growth and other budget watchdogs, such as Taxpayers for Common Sense, say the $51 billion package that Congress is expected to consider this week also includes millions of dollars for Amtrak upgrades, FBI salaries and road projects in states not affected by the storm.

[...]

In a letter to lawmakers on Monday, Andy Roth, the Club for Growth’s vice president of government affairs, said lawmakers should oppose the Sandy relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment — that Congress is expected to take up this week and said disaster relief legislation should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere and not larded up with what the groups calls pork projects.

[...]

“Congress shouldn’t keep passing massive ‘emergency’ relief bills that aren’t paid for, have little oversight, and are stuffed with pork,” Mr. Roth said. “Also, Congress shouldn’t use disasters like Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to spend billions on long-term projects that should be considered during the regular appropriations process.”


$17 billion in aid and $34 billion in pork. That’s how you end up OVER $16 TRILLION in debt.

Denial is not a township in Ohio. Whenever someone on the right tries to discuss our spending problem, someone on the left inevitably responds with something like this:

Republicans didn’t give a damn about the debt during Dubya’s presidency. Or Poppy’s. Or Reagan’s. And it was always pretty clear that Romney didn’t care about the deficit except insofar as he could use it as an excuse to destroy entitlements.


Personally, I blame The Gipper for starting this mess. He promised to cut taxes and spending but only cut taxes. So the debt started piling up. It kept piling up under Reagan, Bush, Bush II and now Bush III. The Clinton years (but not all of them) were the only time we were “in the black” on spending.

Classic Keynesian economics calls for deficit spending (going in debt) by government in times of fiscal slowdown to stimulate the economy. I’m not going to debate the efficacy of that policy on the economy except to say that correlation is not causation.

But Keynesian theory does not call for deficit spending during good economic times. Quite the opposite in fact – the good times is when you’re supposed to pay back the money you borrowed.

But it really doesn’t matter who ran up the debt or what we spent it on. What matters is the fact that we are now OVER $16 TRILLION IN DEBT. Whether we spent it wisely or foolishly irrelevant. We spent it and now we have to figure out how to pay it back. We need to fix the problem, not the blame.

We are in a deep hole, and the First Rule Of Holes is “When you’re in one, stop digging”. The Keynesians out there would tell us that this is the wrong time to stop digging, but they’re kinda vague as to when the right time will be.

As it’s a sure bet that when the economy finally turns around (and it will eventually) we’ll hear cries for tax cuts and increased spending under the theory that “now we can afford it.”


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40 Responses to Fix The Problem, Not The Blame

  1. votermom says:

    Great po … mmm bacon :)

  2. myiq2xu (D) says:

    AOSHQ:

    Far from being a bulwark against this out of control spending and growth in federal partner, the GOP has been at best an enabler and at worst a perpetrator.

    And I don’t blame the GOP one bit.

    Political parties and politicians are about winning elections. In the end the best way to win an election is to give a majority of the people in the electorate what they want. What far too many Americans want (even some conservative Republicans in good standing) is other people’s stuff.

    How many people who voted for Mitt Romney or actual conservatives for Senate and the House want their Social Security and Medicare left untouched? How many of them give lip service to a flat tax proposal but would freak if their various tax credits and deductions were eliminated? How many of them talk a good game about getting rid of the Department of Education but would freak if aid to their kid’s district were cut?

    Of course Republicans are going to respond to these people. But these people who support all sorts of government spending while talking about “the damn government” and taxes are the problem.

  3. HELENK says:

    corporate welfare has to be looked into. too much well it does not matter if they do a good job and have cost overruns, they contributed to my campaign I owe them. do not know if we will ever get rid of that thinking in government but it cost the taxpayers billions.

    look at the money wasted on the green companies

  4. Mary says:

    23 Executive orders. 23.

    And not a one of them would have stopped Newtown.

    • myiq2xu says:

      1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

      2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

      3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

      4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

      5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

      6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

      7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

      8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

      9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

      10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

      11. Nominate an ATF director.

      12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

      13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

      14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

      15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies

      16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

      17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

      18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

      19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

      20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

      21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

      22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

      23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

      • DandyTiger says:

        My favorite: 7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

        IOW, promote gun ownership. Score.

      • DandyTiger says:

        Also: 23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

        That’s going to drive people nuts.

      • Mary says:

        Thanks for posting that. I was just coming back to correct myself—apparently these are executive “actions,” not “orders,” and are basically just recommendations to Congress.
        Leahy says his committee in the Senate will start hearings to craft legislation to enact all into law.
        That’s all I know so far. :)

      • Mary says:

        Oh…..and I don’t see anything in there about violence in games or movies.
        Guess his Hollywood sponsors got a pass.

  5. votermom says:
  6. DandyTiger says:

    The circus came to DC and never left.

  7. HELENK says:

    Florida Sen. Rubio: ‘Pres. Obama’s frustration with our republic and the way it works doesn’t give him license to ignore the Constitution’ – @KellyO

  8. HELENK says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-asks-doctors-help-deal-guns_696121.html

    isn”t a doctor – patient confidentially law in the states?

  9. HELENK says:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/15/houses-reading-of-constitution-speaks-volumes/

    could not show up for reading of the Constitution.
    bet they showed up for every event given by a lobbyist

  10. votermom says:
  11. myiq2xu says:

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