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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Brian Riedl
The demonstrably false party line being peddled by President Obama and the Democrats in the budget battle is that tax increases must be a large part of the deal because corporations and the rich don't pay their fair share.
If President Obama's proposal to reduce the nation's deficit is to work, the economy is going to have to grow a lot faster than a lot of experts — including congressional scorekeepers — think is plausible.
The Obama administration seems to have a serious problem with its hearing or its memory, possibly both. In November, the voters said loud and clear that government is too big and spends too much, but 3 1/2 months later, the White House has forgotten that midterm election message.
Uncontrolled government spending is far worse than projected just a few months ago, driving the federal budget much more deeply into debt that threatens our economy and our future standard of living. This fiscal year's budget
A reporter once asked Thomas Edison how it felt to fail thousands of times while attempting to create a working incandescent light bulb. Edison replied that he hadn't failed - he'd simply found thousands of ways that didn't work.
For the first time in years, House lawmakers will soon have the chance to vote on a standalone measure to increase the federal debt limit next year under the new Republican majority — a vote that's shaping up as the first early test of the GOP's commitment to spending restraint.
In the first of what could be a nationwide spate of austerity-prompted spending cuts, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday canceled an over-budget $9-billion-plus commuter train tunnel between his state and Manhattan — shrugging off the Obama administration's efforts to save it.
President Obama says the federal government needs more revenue, while House Minority Leader John A. Boehner says it needs to spend less.
It's no secret what the average American family does when income drops: It spends less and saves more. In fact, we've seen just that during these past two recessionary years. The personal saving rate, barely 1 percent of income in the first quarter of 2008, reached 5 percent last year and remains above 3 percent.
The pay-as-you-go rules President Obama is resurrecting as a solution to runaway federal spending have been repeatedly violated by Congress and the White House, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to be spent without the required spending cuts or tax increases.
I was interviewing one of the most liberal House Democrats, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, when suddenly he surprised me by saying, "I hope the president vetoes the farm bill, and if he does I'll try to round up votes on my side of the aisle to sustain the veto." Mr. Blumenauer added, if the veto is sustained, "then we can start over and do it right." President Bush did veto the bill Wednesday. But a clerical error in the bill is likely to force the House to vote on the bill again and prompt another veto.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer yesterday predicted that the battle with the Bush administration over spending will escalate with the White House's selection of a former Republican lawmaker to head its budget office.
The Democrats, flush from their 2006 election gains, took over Congress in January, promising to end the legislative stalemate and pass a sweeping agenda for reform.
He said the law in place through the 1990s specifically excluded Social Security and anti-poverty programs from the mandatory cuts and prevented cuts in Medicare by more than 4 percent.
"Pay-go is designed to fail. Congress cancels the enforcement, and even if they didn't there are virtually no programs that are available to be cut to bring these policies into balance," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. "It's unworkable."