Democratic debt position is laughable

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In his recent press conference, President Obama chided Congress, even going so far as to compare legislators to his two daughters.

The president stood at the lectern as if he is the only serious adult in the room as we attempt to face our nation's debt crisis. But after listening to Obama, who is really serious here? Republicans have taken a responsible stand in demanding a dollar saved for every dollar by which we raise the debt limit. In other words, if we're going to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion, then we must offset it by $2 trillion in savings.

Employing typical liberal class warfare, Obama derided Republicans for protecting tax breaks for corporate jet owners and oil companies. There's just one detail: Eliminating the corporate jet tax credit would raise only $3 billion in revenue over 10 years. The figure is similar for oil subsidies.

I am not defending these tax breaks. They may be very worthy targets. But it is totally disingenuous and not serious at all to cite these tax breaks as if they get us even close to $2 trillion in savings.

Obama mentioned them only because they are good talking points. Yet, he made no mention of entitlements such as Medicare, a program that threatens to devour the budget in the next decade. So who is serious here?

The solution is simple. Republicans should call Obama's bluff and concede to eliminating both tax breaks, robbing him of that talking point. Doing so would force him to focus where the real money is.

Democrats insist we have a revenue problem more than a spending problem, similar to when your kid comes to you after spending all of his allowance and tells you the problem isn't his spending but that his allowance isn't big enough. Laughable right? So is the Democratic position.

Herbert A. Edney IV

Augusta

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Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 07/11/11 - 11:59 pm
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How much debt is too much

How much debt is too much debt?

If we raise the debt ceiling, can you give a dollar amount that is too high that we should not hit?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/12/11 - 07:07 am
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$14 trillion debt so let's

$14 trillion debt so let's have $14 trillion in cuts? Let's just not run the government for the next 6-7 years. BTW, the figure for ending oil subsidies is $21-$40 billion over 10 years and that's similar to 3? Of cource, the Bush tax cuts added $479 billion to the def(CBO estimate through 2012) and would add $1.6 trillion over the next decade. I don't remember the GOP screaming for spending cuts to offset these when passed (and don't even mention Medicare Part D).

copperhead
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copperhead 07/12/11 - 07:28 am
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The debt ceiling should be

The debt ceiling should be $100 trillion!

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/12/11 - 07:36 am
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There shouldn't be a debt

There shouldn't be a debt ceiling.

allhans
23645
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allhans 07/12/11 - 08:38 am
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I agree Grandaddy. The time

I agree Grandaddy.

The time to set a limit is BEFORE you spend more than you take in.
That's what ordinary folks do.
The others file bankruptcy.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 08:42 am
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" The fact that we're here

" The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means 'The buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 2006.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 07/12/11 - 08:42 am
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How do we know the extra
Unpublished

How do we know the extra money from raised taxes won't just be more for congress to spend? BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT!

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 08:57 am
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Presidential and

Presidential and Congressional pay should be inversely indexed to a balanced budget.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 09:00 am
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I fully support Obama's

I fully support Obama's position as regards raising the debt ceiling.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 09:12 am
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Yes.

Yes.

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 07/12/11 - 09:25 am
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Congressional GOP leadership

Congressional GOP leadership says any agreement involving raising the debt limit must include cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare. This outrageous demand comes less than a year after they won the 2010 midterm election playing off peoples' fears that 'Obamacare' would threaten Medicare as we know it. They also argue that no agreement on the debt ceiling can be reached that includes an increase in revenues (i.e. higher taxes on the rich) despite the fact that it would bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in government revenue and dramatically reduce the deficit.The GOP backs up this absurd stance by claiming that raising taxes on "job creators" is bad for the economy. However this claim is false. The higher taxes would come in the form of the expiration of Bush-era tax CUTS, which would raise taxes to the level that they were at during the Clinton Presidency, which saw massive economic growth and a budget surplus. Clearly, Clinton-era tax levels are not detrimental to economic growth. ONE Party has tried to harm Medicare. ONE party is looking out for business and special-interests rather than the general well-being of the nation. ONE Party is playing politics and refuses to compromise. The Congressional GOP is a poison, and the most effective antidote is disseminating the truth among the massive amounts of disinformation being spread by those with powerful influence and vested connections.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 09:26 am
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In what way?

In what way?

allhans
23645
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allhans 07/12/11 - 09:43 am
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What they(meaning Obama and

What they(meaning Obama and his yes men) don't tell you is the
"cuts" won't take effect for ten or more years. The Dems want you to believe that your small SS check will be less - Not true. The change in the age of eligibility, and not a cut in pay.
Obama said just a few days ago that social security recipients could expect less in 2012 due to the COL. There has been no raises since he took office, due he said, to the COL. Well, which way is it?
They intend to give you less next year are setting the Republicans up to take the blame. Those Chicago politicians are slick!

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 07/12/11 - 10:01 am
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In my "humble" opinion,
Unpublished

In my "humble" opinion, obama's narcissism has evolved into a form of insanity evidenced by a pathological liar.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/12/11 - 10:35 am
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Does anyone here really think

Does anyone here really think that the folks who got us into this disasterous economic mess can get us out of it?

The democrats are laughable & I doubt they'll ever get it. Plus their party has been co-opted by the socialists & the communists so I don't even know who they are anymore. The republicans "say" they've changed but I still don't trust them after years of progressive policies & bending over backwards to appease the liberals and the progressives. You know, George Bush's strategy of "meeting in the middle"? Which really meant, giving in to the liberals to keep the peace.

We need sweeping political change. It's our only way out of this mess.

mtxbass1
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mtxbass1 07/12/11 - 10:50 am
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Where were these people who

Where were these people who are crying about raising the debt ceiling during the FIVE times we raised it during the Bush Administration? Why were there no demands to reduce spending then, but there are now?

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 10:55 am
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You're right, chillen, and I

You're right, chillen, and I don't see it happening. The Tea Party is the last great hope, I'm afraid, and it's being attacked, vilified, and marginalized by both political parties. I haven't given up yet, but the cards are stacked against us in a great many ways.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 11:32 am
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While I tend to agree

While I tend to agree philosophically with Mr. Edney, I disagree with the tactics he suggests in his letter. Specifically, I disagree with this statement....."The solution is simple. Republicans should call Obama's bluff and concede to eliminating both tax breaks, robbing him of that talking point. Doing so would force him to focus where the real money is."

I think it would be simple enough to call his bluff. The Republicans could easily cave on the corporate jet credit (a credit that Obama himself created) and on subsidies to oil companies. Oil companies could get by without them easy enough. Most people forget these "loopholes," "subsidies," and "tax breaks" are all written by Congress and approved by the President. Many of them are developed to encourage oil companies to to spend their money on certain research and development the government desires, or to otherwise behave in ways the government thinks best. The real point here is that in both cases, the same government who created these loopholes for the purposes they desired, now vilifies companies who do what the government encouraged them to do in the first place.

Secondly, about taking this particular talking point away from the Administration. My only comment here is that the one thing the democrats don't lack is talking points. If they lost this one, they'd have a sack full of others just waiting to take its place.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it's the principle involved here. I know many people think it's obsolete, quaint, or even silly to do things for the sake of principle, but others don't. In the 2010 election, voters gave the Republican party control of the House and near parity in the Senate with the mandate to get control of runaway government spending and to not increase taxes. To increase taxes simply go remove a talking point would be to renounce promises lots of Congressmen and Senators made to their constituents and to admit that the problem we face is "too little taxation." To many voters this would be an unforgivable breach of trust and a collapse of judgement and fortitude by those who caved to the democrat pressure.

I say "hang tough, we're counting on you."

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/12/11 - 11:36 am
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Hey Harley. I hope I didn't

Hey Harley. I hope I didn't offend you in out debate yesterday. I thought we were just having a spirited discussion, got the "If you can’t be respectful in your conversation, then don’t comment to each other. This isn’t a place for the two of you to “have it out" email from the AC. I sure didn't feel insulted in any way, we just disagree, and I hope the same to you. Peace.

The Tall Man
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The Tall Man 07/12/11 - 11:51 am
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Chillen it wasn't just

Chillen it wasn't just democrats that got us here. Republicans have just as much of the blame at their door as the democrats do. Your party is no better or worse than what you rail against. When Reagan became president the National Debt stood at $900 billion. When he left office it was nearly 3 times that amount. He lowered taxes and increased spending. Same for Bush 1 and Bush 2. Don't blame this only on democrats, republicans borrow and spend, democrats tax and spend, but they both SPEND. Personally, I prefer we pay as we go, but obviously you prefer to borrow and now we're screwed because of people like you.

Why do Republicans think a programs (Medicare and Social Security) that we all pay in to for the majority of our lives are entitlements but a dude that makes a billion dollars gets to keep 85 cents of evey dollar he makes (opposed to someone who makes $40,000. a year gets to keep around 70 cents on every dollar? Isn't that an entitlement? Stop catering to the rich while robbing the middle-class and the poor!

How do the republicans dare??? First they screwed this great country up by creating the highest debt in history by literally giving the surplus from the Clinton administration away to Halliburton, Wall Street & Co. And now they want to fix it by taking from the poor and giving to the rich. One can almost say that these people are completely unamerican and unpatriotic. They hurt the USA - locally and worldwide!

allhans
23645
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allhans 07/12/11 - 11:52 am
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Obama did give us a good line

Obama did give us a good line for the future. For years it was "let them eat cake" now it can finally be replaced. The new slogan "we have to eat our peas".
Hilarious.

burninater
9583
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burninater 07/12/11 - 11:55 am
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For the past two weeks Obama

For the past two weeks Obama has EXPLICITLY AND REPEATEDLY discussed Medicare cuts on the record. He has offered TWO TRILLION in cuts in part for, as the LTE writer points out, a few tens of billions In revenue increases.

This is one independent voter who thinks the comparison to children is not too far off the mark.

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 11:56 am
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Techfan...not to worry.

Techfan...not to worry. Please. I wasn't at all offended and I didn't take from your comments that you were either. Actually, I thought we were having a witty exchange with an occasional "rhubarb," that I found rather enjoying. In fact, I thought it was "robust and respectful," just like the doctor ordered. Anyway.....no problems on this end.

Kumbaya!

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/12/11 - 12:01 pm
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Good to go. I sort of thought

Good to go. I sort of thought arguing different points of view was the purpose of these things. But what do I know? Gotta get, just wanted to make sure we were cool. Also,mtx: I think the debt ceiling was raised 7 times under Bush 2.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/12/11 - 12:18 pm
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Tall Man. PLEASE read my

Tall Man. PLEASE read my posts before you comment. I did not say it was just the democrats. You did the same thing on another article/letter yesterday.

I'm also so glad that you seem to know me personally. You said: "obviously you prefer to borrow and now we're screwed because of people like you" You can go through years of my posts and not find one supporting post for borrowing money (of which King Messiah Obama is the champion).

Again. Research & read. You know what happens when you ASSUME.

P.S. Your wealth envy is really, really showing. Self Check Time.

Chillen
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Chillen 07/12/11 - 12:28 pm
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Here's a few interesting debt

Here's a few interesting debt tidbits I saw in an article:

•Not one penny of US debt has been repaid for 51 years
•97% of today's funded debt has been accumulated since August 1971
•The US govt borrows 40-50 cents for every dollar it spends. A balanced budget would mean cutting govt spending in half
•Implementing a balanced budget would not reduce current debt outstanding. It would merely stop it from growing

Folks. Our economy is in trouble!

Harley, you are so right, the Tea Party is the last gasp & it is under fire & attack by the progressive media, politicians & citizens. I'm afraid the battle is almost lost. Different philosophies might require our nation to split. I know which side I'd choose - freedom, independence & self reliance! I'm willing to move for it.

burninater
9583
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burninater 07/12/11 - 12:29 pm
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This is off-topic, but

This is off-topic, but Chillen did you see my response to your post about solar yesterday? If you really have an interest in it, and thought it was unfeasible because someone told you a gross falsehood about needing an acre to power a home, you should reconsider. Running the numbers, a conservative estimate of daytime power generation indicates that the average home needs a 50th of an acre, or about 800 sq ft.

And if the "acre of solar panels to power a home" information came from a source that you rely on for information regularly, recognize that in at least this case, whatever the motivation, they "informed" you with a bald-faced lie (unless your home uses the power of fifty hones, in which case I take all this back).

burninater
9583
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burninater 07/12/11 - 12:31 pm
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*homes

*homes

harley_52
23310
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harley_52 07/12/11 - 12:48 pm
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There is an aspect to this

There is an aspect to this National Debt issue that is rarely addressed. Interest rates. They've been unusually low for several years, continually lowered in failed attempts to invigorate the markets. All the while interest rates have remained low, we've been borrowing, borrowing, and borrowing. What happens when these securities start to mature and interest rates normalize to around six or seven percent, or even spike higher?

The Tall Man
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The Tall Man 07/12/11 - 12:57 pm
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Your point of view is grossly

Your point of view is grossly misinformed. While the Democrats did win Congress in 2006, and take control in early 2007, the damage that lead to the economic catastrophe with which we're still dealing had already taken place. The writing was on the wall. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had already occurred, tax cuts for the wealthy, the loophole which incentivized out-sourcing and the deal with Big Pharma had already been passed by the Republican Congress. None of those extremely costly items had been funded and paid for. The money was either borrowed from the Social Security fund or China.

When the Democrats finally did win Congress and the White House, the Republicans immediately adopted a slash & burn strategy, where they decided to oppose EVERYTHING that the first African-American president supported, whether it was good for the country of not. Jim DeMint made his Waterloo remark and Mitch McConnell proclaimed that his top priority was to make Obama a one-term president. This resulted in most blatant obstructionism since the mid-19th century and an unprecedented use of the filibuster. Just the threat of a filibuster kept important bills from even coming up for a vote. It is a miracle that Obama was able to get anything done at all, and he did.

The behavior the GOP in this fight to raise the debt ceiling is indefensible. Calling people idiots who understand how vital it is to lift that ceiling is and that any such deficit reduction deal must be a balance of spending cuts and raising revenues is just ... well, it's idiotic.

Also when I use the term "rich", I'm not so much speaking of folks who make 250,000-500,000 as corporations who spend millions just to figure ways to avoid paying taxes at all. Do you remember about GE not paying any tax last year? The tax code needs to be straightened out to plug a bunch of these loopholes that have crept in over the years.

In 2013 the federal income tax will be 100 yrs old. Over the course of that century Congress responsibly raised tax rates during times of war and lowered them during times of peace. That pattern was broken in 2003. At a time of war in 2 countries Congress lowered tax rates. Result? Exploding deficits and debt. VP Cheney stated that 'deficits don't matter'. Obviously, they do. Otherwise we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now. The GOP now believes that deficits DO matter. The President agrees and is urging Congress to fulfill their constitutional power to legislate a solution. All he can do is sign or veto whatever they come up with. And even if he vetoes Congress can override that veto. Seems to me that the President is fulfilling his Constitutional obligations. It's time for Congress to do the same.

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