It's going to take more

Taming federal spending will require a convergence of factors

  • Follow Editorials

The scandal-ridden, Vegas-partying, tax-wasting General Services Administration was told by a senator this week that “the party’s over.”

But is it?

We’ve seen Congress get mad before. We’ve seen detailed reports of outrageous government spending come and go. Yet, the outrages only seem to get worse – though it’s hard to imagine much worse than the GSA’s party in Vegas, the multiple “scouting” trips that preceded it, the 17-day Asian excursion by one GSA official and his wife, and the videos in which GSA employees yuck it up about blowing our money with impunity.

Hopefully that impunity will burst; we’d really like to see some criminal charges.

But the truth is, reining in federal spending for any amount of time at any agency will require more than the short-term bluster of congressmen and senators who are itching to make someone else look bad for a change.

It’s going to take a president and congressional leadership who understand what public service really means, and who take a machete to the overgrown federal budget. The current president promised to, line item by line item. What a crock! Instead, Mr. Obama has become the first president in history to ring up $5 trillion in debt – more than every other president combined in the country’s first 219 years.

It will also require a news media that don’t reflexively support unquestioned government spending, as the media do today. They trumpet the so-called “Buffett Rule” for higher taxes on the rich without the least bit of curiosity as to how that money will be spent.

The “mainstream” media have become the biggest and loudest special-interest group in the nation’s history. Some of us at The Chronicle are just old enough to remember when the news media’s mission was to question authority, not rubber stamp its budget requests.

It will also require that the news media have a little discipline and focus – a game plan, as it were. They may start talking about government waste when a GSA-style scandal erupts, but then they drop everything the first second a pretty blonde goes missing somewhere. Or they do their best to demonize conservatives for proposing to save the ship and all the passengers on board by doing a little bailing of water.

Lastly, trimming the toenails of the federal goliath will require forbearance and strength and courage of the American public, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the patriotic days of World War II – when selfless and steadfast countrymen sacrificed for the good of the whole.

When was the last time a president actually asked us to do that?

And could such a statesman ever be elected again?

Until then, they’ll lay low, and when they figure Congress and the media and the taxpayers have gone on to other things, the party will be back on.

Comments (30)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 04/20/12 - 01:02 am
3
0

question authority, but only

question authority, but only as long as it affects the bottom line? jebus! people are getting violated in the name of security on a number of fronts, how about addressing that! i could care less about how much buffett, koch or the republican boogeyman soros get hosed. You want a return to patriotic days of World War II? Sacrifice? Is this a roundabout way of saying, hey lets stop putting the war on the Chinese credit card and implement a war tax?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 04/20/12 - 01:04 am
4
0

or heavens forbid, bring the

or heavens forbid, bring the troops home and suspend construction of bombers and anything else that costs more than a solid gold toilet seat

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 04/20/12 - 01:52 am
5
8

There will be crisis after

There will be crisis after crisis until hussein MUST declare martial law to save us! IT'S COMING! Notice that the farther hussein's popularity falls-the more crisises seem to pop up! When it is clear he will not be re-elected,BOOM! martial law! Bring the troops home?!? hussein is involving us in yet another war!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 04/20/12 - 03:04 am
3
2

Our federal government fiscal

Our federal government fiscal crisis is symptomatic of the lack of self-discipline exhibited by the majority of us Americans. Most of us don't discipline ourselves in one or more areas as diverse as finances, health, family and citizenship.

Prodigality begins and ends in the mind of the person whose face each of us sees in the mirror each morning.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 04/20/12 - 03:55 am
3
6

So Craig Spinks,you are

So Craig Spinks,you are saying that the $50,000 that you owe the chinese is your fault?(assuming you are an American)

Riverman1
70568
Points
Riverman1 04/20/12 - 04:09 am
11
1

When the feds give the East

When the feds give the East Augusta Community Development Corp. $344,000 with little control it's obvious they are not watching the checking account of the treasury.

carcraft
20671
Points
carcraft 04/20/12 - 05:44 am
2
4

Well if worse comes to worse

Well if worse comes to worse I under stand Obama and Michelle have some great recipes for dog, and it is a low fat healthy meat!

carcraft
20671
Points
carcraft 04/20/12 - 05:45 am
2
2

The Government tracked

The Government tracked stimulus money that went to a congressional districk that didn't exist!

Rhetor
851
Points
Rhetor 04/20/12 - 06:47 am
10
0

To reduce government

To reduce government spending, the conservatives must first present a realistic and specific list of programs that they want to cut. Few of them have the guts to do this and, when they do, they often sound like fools. Rick Perry, in his "oops" moment, wanted to cut the depts. of Education, Commerce, and Energy. Apparently neither he nor his advisors knew that Commerce's main functions are the National Weather Service and NOAA and that Energy operates our Strategic Petroleum Reserve and maintains our nuclear weapons stockpile. Do conservatives really want to eliminate those programs? Seriously? Of course not. In his own open-mic glitch, Romney told his uber-rich supporters that he would eliminate or consolidate several departments, but won't say which ones. Typical. Budget guru Ryan says he'll cut spending, but refuses to specify where. The truth is that, despite the GSA's nonsense, most government spending is worthwhile, and conservative leaders know it, and they know that they can't realistically cut it very much by eliminating small but necessary departments. In the meantime, most federal spending is Social Security, Medicare, and Defense. Are the American people who so foolishly vote for conservative candidates prepared to get rid of those three programs? Really? The truth is that you can't balance the budget by cutting spending unless you are prepared to make massive cuts in SS, Medicare, and Defense. Do the elderly people who make up much of the Tea Party core really want that? No, of course not. They're just, like most conservatives, and like most Americans, hopelessly uninformed. Almost all of us think that the government should attack waste (like the GSA stuff), but it's mathematically silly to think that cutting waste will balance the budget. Again, let conservatives list the actual programs they want to cut and then defend their choices. Until they do, they need to calm down. It's easy to rant at big government in the abstract, but budget cutting requires hard choices that liberals, conservatives, and the people at large are not prepared to make. That leaves taxation as an option, which most people also oppose. Good luck to us all.

Bizkit
21916
Points
Bizkit 04/20/12 - 06:51 am
4
4

Y'all miss the point. It's

Y'all miss the point. It's part of Obama's plan to spend his way out into prosperity and out of debt. It doesn't work if you don't spend, spend, spend. heeheehee

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/20/12 - 07:18 am
9
1

"Obama has become the first

"Obama has become the first president in history to ring up $5 trillion in debt – more than every other president combined in the country’s first 219 years." Do the editors not have anyone who can fact check, or do they just like to spead partisan lies? The US debt on Jan 21, 2001 (Obama's first full day in office) was $10,625,053,544,309.79. April 20, 2012 it's $15,660,736,663,887.96. That's an increase of $5,035,683,119,578.17. Would the editors like to explain how $5 trillion is more than $10.5 trillion? Also, the US plunged into recession in late 2007. That, coupled with decreased tax rates led to 2009 revenues being $79,798 billion more than they were in the year 2000, while (thanks to two wars and homeland security spending) expenditures were over $3 trllion per year in 2009 vs under $2 trillion in 2000.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/20/12 - 07:28 am
5
0

BTW: China only owns around

BTW: China only owns around 8% of US debt.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/20/12 - 07:37 am
5
3

Tech, Tech, Tech. You know

Tech, Tech, Tech. You know better than to confuse these folks with facts that don't match their "feelings" toward our President.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/20/12 - 07:42 am
5
1

Maybe we should tax the

Maybe we should tax the bottom 80% more. After all they do earn a whopping 12.75% of the income.

dichotomy
26649
Points
dichotomy 04/20/12 - 08:46 am
4
0

"Maybe we should tax the

"Maybe we should tax the bottom 80% more."

You might as well because they will be the ones that end up paying it anyway through higher prices. Anyone who thinks that higher taxes on corporations and people who own businesses don't get passed down to the consumers are not very realistic. You MIGHT take a little more money from them in taxes but they will just take it back from you through higher prices.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/20/12 - 08:51 am
0
0

tech...doesnt matter what

Unpublished

tech...doesnt matter what percentage we owe china we still dont have the money to pay it

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/20/12 - 08:53 am
0
0

and maybe we would understand

Unpublished

and maybe we would understand your president more if he would run on his record.....ooops cant really do that since everything hes done is tainted with bribes fraud or all out scandal.....or gasp outright lies

burninater
6809
Points
burninater 04/20/12 - 09:45 am
1
0

Lastly, trimming the toenails

Lastly, trimming the toenails of the federal goliath will require forbearance and strength and courage of the American public, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the patriotic days of World War II – when selfless and steadfast countrymen sacrificed for the good of the whole.

When was the last time a president actually asked us to do that?

And could such a statesman ever be elected again?
___________________________

Remember, those were the days of top bracket marginal tax rates greater than 90%.

There's a cause-and-effect here that some people just don't seem to understand. They're beating the "patriotic sacrifice for the good of the nation" drum harder than anyone else -- while consistently opposing the very policies that they claim to pine for.

Such a statesman may very well be elected again, and will have to continue to deal with an obstructionist Congress whose agenda is personal wealth first, country last.

burninater
6809
Points
burninater 04/20/12 - 10:05 am
1
0

You MIGHT take a little more

You MIGHT take a little more money from them in taxes but they will just take it back from you through higher prices.
__________________________

Dichotomy, competitive markets are still a powerful force in price-setting.
Taxes on the highest levels of income have zero bearing on the cost of production for whatever goods or services produced that income. At those income levels, we're talking about the skimming of pure profit.

carcraft
20671
Points
carcraft 04/20/12 - 12:17 pm
1
1

We now have the highest

We now have the highest corperate tax rates in the World and our captial gains rates are higher than 16 other industrialized countries. Our business, evironmental and employee laws are subject to bureuacratic whim (look at Gibson guiter company, charged 3 years ago and the case still isn't resolved). Now explain to me why some one in a Foreign country would want to open a business in America? Why would some one in America open a business here when they can get better deals over seas and make their profits more competative here?

carcraft
20671
Points
carcraft 04/20/12 - 12:33 pm
1
2

OK, Lets see the Democrats

OK, Lets see the Democrats and Obama's deficit reduction plan. Didn't Obama say he was going to cut the deficit in half? Last I checked Obama has run up more deficit spending in 3 years than Bush did in eight! The other problem is that when you dump that many extra dollars on the economy you get inflation. Inflation is now running at about 8% and I would expect it to start rising even more. Then there is that fact that fewer people are working now than when Bush left office and the increasing inflation rate is going to further hurt the the poor, elderly and folks on Fixed incomes, ie food stamps, and unemployment, and Social Security the very little darlings the Democrats are so concerned about!

burninater
6809
Points
burninater 04/20/12 - 01:08 pm
1
0

Now explain to me why some

Now explain to me why some one in a Foreign country would want to open a business in America? Why would some one in America open a business here when they can get better deals over seas and make their profits more competative here?
--------------------
It's actually very simple -- here's just three powerful reasons:

1) Taxes are not the primary operational expense of a business. Supply chain costs, delays in production times caused by freight delivery times, access to and cost of energy, education level of local workforce, etc all need to be offset against tax costs. For many companies, staying in the US is the far more profitable option despite tax levels.

2) Most services -- our single largest economic sector -- cannot be outsourced. When was the last time you applied for a work visa for a Vietnamese plumber? Shipped your car to Beijing for a brake job?

3) Stable markets with good infrastructure are safer for longterm investment. A healthy tax base creates this.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/20/12 - 02:51 pm
1
1

We've cut taxes to the point

We've cut taxes to the point that defense spending takes up almost half of our revenues (DOD plus all other agencies that have defense or security spending rolled in total between $1.0 and $1.4 trillion against total revenues of around $2.3 trillion).

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/20/12 - 03:34 pm
0
0

techfan well we need defense

Unpublished

techfan well we need defense obama has weakened our global image and well there are alot of countries that would really love to see the end of america........but ok 1.2 trillion where did the rest of the 4 trillion go hmmmmmm

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/20/12 - 03:36 pm
0
0

oh and rheotr the african

Unpublished

oh and rheotr the african crotch washing is an example of good government spending or the effects of cocaine in chimps

raul
3368
Points
raul 04/20/12 - 04:00 pm
2
2

The GSA incident is but a

The GSA incident is but a pimple on (you fill in the blanks) compared to the wastefulness that went with the Obama stimulus plan.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/20/12 - 04:36 pm
1
2

Although it created more jobs

Although it created more jobs than any Republican plan.

carcraft
20671
Points
carcraft 04/20/12 - 05:35 pm
1
1

Still not enough jobs to keep

Still not enough jobs to keep unemployment below 8% like Obumbler promised, uh, lets see, yes we are still above 8% ...umm umm umm...I think you will find more jobs were created under Reagan than Obumbler!

KSL
105784
Points
KSL 04/20/12 - 06:28 pm
1
1

Is it true that Obumbler now

Is it true that Obumbler now wants to allow people to keep their unemployment benefits while they check out a job? I see that being totally abused. Where do these idiots in this Mickey Mouse administration get these ideas? The reference to Mickey Mouse is a related to another brilliant attorney in the Obama administration. Check it out.

harley_52
19524
Points
harley_52 04/20/12 - 08:39 pm
1
1

Techfan said "Although it

Techfan said "Although it created more jobs than any Republican plan."

Really? How many jobs did it create? What was the cost/job?

Which Republican plan are you comparing it to? When was said plan adopted and implemented?

Back to Top

Top headlines

New chair gets vet off-road to fish

Army veteran Henry Kent's new Action Trackchair has attachments for fishing, with a holder for his fishing pole and a built-in tackle box, but others can be outfitted with gunracks for hunting.
Loading...