Free Markets, Free People

Is anyone really serious about the debt?

I keep finding indications that the answer is no.

Why?

Well here’s a good example.  Presently Republican in the House are fighting Democrats about trimming $6 billion dollars from a continuing resolution which would fund government for 3 more weeks (the CR is necessary because Democrats failed to do their most basic job in Congress when they were in the majority – pass a budget).

$6 billion dollars (which Rand Paul says is about 1.2 days of government spending). 

Anyone know what happened Tuesday of this week?

Tuesday we added an additional $72 billion to the debt.  You do the math.  If the GOP is successful in removing $6 billion every three weeks for the remaining 36 weeks of the budget cycle, how much will they have cut?

In essence, zero.  They will have only matched the amount added to the debt on Tuesday.  And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are a bunch more “Tuesdays” coming in the remaining fiscal year.  So even with the cuts the GOP is attempting, they’re not even at the “treading water” level and are being fought every step of the way.

Right now our debt totals $14.2379 trillion ($14,237,952,276,898.69) an increase of $676.3 billion since October of last year.

As CNS reports:

Congress would need to cut spending by $6 billion every three weeks for approximately the next six and a half years (338 weeks) just to equal the $676.3 billion the debt has increased thus far this fiscal year.

Just makes you shake you’re head in profound dismay, doesn’t it?  What in the freakin’ hell do we have to do to get it across to these people that they have to stop this stuff?

~McQ

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20 Responses to Is anyone really serious about the debt?

  • $30,000 a plate fundraisers, $15,000 for 4 tickets, $5,000 for one….
     
    Looks like there’s free money to be had, if you’re fund raising for ELECTIONS.
     
    Yeah, I know, chickenfeed.    Can I just say ‘bwwwwaaaak, bwwwwaaaak, bwwwwaaaaaaaakkkkkk”

  • Hugh Hewitt is talking about McClellan Republicans ( http://townhall.com/columnists/hughhewitt/2011/03/16/the_mcclellan_republicans ) because the Republican Congress won’t close with the Democrats over the debt.

    Good one.

  • Does anyone in D.C. care about the debt?  As you suggested – no.  The liberals, I believe, are simply incapable of even conceiving of cutting ANY spending.  They will continue to spend even after the stage coach has passed over the cliff and is plummeting for the sharp rocks below.  The republicans may say they want deep cuts, at least a few of them might, but their actions speak for themselves over the past few months.  They want to be re-elected, so they will help propel the stagecoach right on over that cliff as well.
    They are arguing about billions in cuts when they should be talking TRILLIONS!  Nothing will be done.  Prepare accordingly.

    • They can’t even cut $400+ million for NPR, a group that says they can live without it.

  • <b>McQ</b> – <i>What in the freakin’ hell do we have to do to get it across to these people that they have to stop this stuff?</i>

    We all know the answer: “I will not vote for you if you do not get the debt under control.  I will not be swayed from my resolve by promises that you’ll do it later, or threats that ‘cutting the deficit’ will endanger Social Security, the economic ‘recovery’, college educations, police officer pay, etc.  YOU WILL END DEFICIT SPENDING AND START PAYING OFF OUR NATIONAL DEBT OR I WILL NEVER, EVER VOTE FOR YOU AGAIN.”

    If enough of us do it, they’ll get the picture.  Unfortunately, too many of us either suck on the government tit or else have somebody near and dead (parent, grandparent) who does, and Uncle Sugar has no problem holding them hostage.

    Bah.

    • No.  They will then appeal to the remaining voting base which on average will care less about he deficit without you than with you.

  • What in the freakin’ hell do we have to do to get it across to these people that they have to stop this stuff?
    … but our fearless leader, Pres**ent Obama has been working tirelessly to remove duplication and waste by going “line by line” through the federal budget  .. or so he promised.

    Now throw in the report that the OMB has forecasted that for FY2011, federal revenues will be outstripped by mandatory spending.  So if we zero out all discretionary spending, we still will be running a deficit.  This wasn’t suppose to happen for decades.
    What in the freakin’ hell do we have to do … beats me.  Excuse me while I go rearrange the deck chairs.

  • Can’t compare debt and deficit, though.
    If we can simply manage to have no deficit, that would be huge and important and good.
    Combine that with paying off more-than-interest on the debt and there’s really no significant fiscal problem at all, long-term.

  • No one in DC is serious about the debt because they are convinced that we are not serious about the debt.

    Politicians organize their whole careers around handing out favors. For most of the last fifty years, it’s been difficult-to-impossible to get elected any other way. A candidate needed money to campaign, and most of the money came from self-interested parties who wanted something in return.

    The current crop in DC has spent their entire lives in that type of politics. It’s simply impossible for them to emotionally grasp the endgame of their own policies. I believe that a few got that far, and subsequently left DC knowing that it wasn’t feasible to work effectively in the Beltway collective with that understanding.

    So, for each individual politician, he knows his personal career is dependent on more government giving out more favors. He might have a vague understanding that “what can’t go on forever, won’t” but that doesn’t affect his career today.

    He tells himself that if he was the first to stand in front of his constituents and the American people and tell them bluntly that we’re headed toward financial meltdown and have to cut spending, that he would get booted in the next election by someone else handing out soothing syrup and promising political favors.

    In many, perhaps most, areas of the country, he would be right.

    This will go on until the signs of collapse are so obvious and tangible that it would take an imbecilic social science professor to deny them. I wish we were at the point that people understood the problems. We’re not. Until people start to fear that they can’t get enough food and they don’t know if they will have electricity to power their iPods, they won’t really believe that debt, spending, size of government, etc., are critical issues. Until then, far too many of them will vote for the person who tells them what they want to hear. 

    The Tea Parties are only the beginning of a counter-movement to make those issues paramount. Their biggest impact is to, at least in some areas, make it more dangerous politically to do business as usual than to actually advocate serious change. (Examples: Bennett in Utah, Crist in Florida.)

    But so far, it has not been shown that the model functions on a broad scale. So the Lamar Alexanders and Barney Franks of the world are going to keep on doing politics the way they’ve done it since they started in the 1970s.

    Let’s be clear. Until politicians fear for their own careers if they don’t control spending and debt, they won’t do anything significant. They may find ways to play ever more clever kabuki about it. The current show put on by Boehner and Cantor falls in that category as far as I’m concerned. But as Bruce points out, this isn’t really going to stop the coming collapse from out of control debt and spending. 

    • Amen.

      This will go on until the signs of collapse are so obvious and tangible that it would take an imbecilic social science professor to deny them.

      I think we will need to get to a point when even those people admit we are in trouble.

    • This is our job.  Dogs will bark.  We have to MAKE our people in DC toe the mark.

  • 3rd Party.

  • Is anyone really serious about the debt?

    Yes, a few are.  I’d say Paul Ryan is serious.  I’d also say some of the tea party caucus is.  But the answer is not nearly enough.

    You know what signifies seriousness in this issue?  Being willing to roll on entitlement reform.  That’s really a bright line dividing point.

    • Entitlement reform is key.  Discretionary spending is small change.  Cutting discretionary spending by a few million there and a couple of billion there is like me saying that since I owe $400,000 on my credit cards when I only make $100,000 a year, it would probably be a good idea to NOT order that $3 dessert at the restaurant when the rest of my meal costs $150.  Its idiotic.

  • It will take the bond market to make something change. If it continues to be so cheap to borrow, the politicians and the media can hide the problem away. The bond market may let us borrow for a long, long time. All of the Asian exporters are continuously buying bonds to keep their currencies low. China would rather face inflation and wage indexation than allow the Yuan to appreciate. Its insane.

  • What in the freakin’ hell do we have to do to get it across to these people that they have to stop this stuff?

    Unfortunately, not ballots or rhetoric, but that third form…which means “It’s all over”.

  • When the French take the military lead America should have, it makes Jimmah Carter look the military genius of 1979.

    Glenn Beck is looking more the prophet and the Øbambi regime looking more like the “Axis of Weasels” (hat tip: Scott Ott)