And The Spending Continues….

February 7th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

The House of Representatives voted to increase the debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion last Thursday, which combined with the Senate vote on January 28th, will raise the nation’s national debt to approximately $14.3 trillion.

Every single Republican in both the House and the Senate voted against the increase in spending, a fact that the liberal left seems determined to attribute to partisan bickering and obstructionism, rather than a rare remnant of sanity amongst our political class.  Most of the 37 Democrats who voted against the bill in the House were either first or second-termers in competitive districts.  As for the Senate vote, though nobody has said so, I believe that it is almost certainly true that the Senate rushed the issue through so quickly in order to get the bill passed before Massachusetts senator Scott Brown could be seated and destroy the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority.

Many will argue that we needed the extra money to prevent a default on our obligations.  In reality, however, the only thing that raising the debt ceiling will do is make that default worse once we are finally forced to stop this insane spending spree.  If America is to save itself from the prospect of default and collapse, the most important step would be to finally accept the fact that the dictates of reality accede to no one… not even Washington.


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4 Responses to “And The Spending Continues….”



  1. Tom |

    Our nation’s financial situation is a greater threat to national security than terrorism because it’s far more likely to seriously damage or even destroy the country and our way of life. And the problem is bipartisan (the only thing that is in politics these days) — Bush helped create the problem, and Obama is helping make it worse.

    One doesn’t have to be a genius economist to understand one simple fact: the government has to spend within its means, or at least nearly so. We must reduce some spending and increase taxes — take your pick on what spending and what taxes, but it has to be done. However, the politicians (of both parties) who have to get this done don’t have the guts to do it. Simple problem, simple solutions. And virtually impossible.


  2. Bob Nelson |

    “One doesn’t have to be a genius economist to understand one simple fact: the government has to spend within its means, or at least nearly so.”

    Not quite.

    If you append to that phrase a simple clause, “over the long term”, then we agree. That is pure Keynes.

    When the economy prospers, the government must collect enough taxes to draw down the deficit. And when the economy is sluggish, the government must inject money… on credit.

    This is Econ 101. Not rocket science.

    Clinton took a deficit on his arrival, and rode a booming economy to a budget surplus. He did nothing remarkable. Any graduate of Econ 101 knew that he was only doing what should be done.

    And the same graduate of Econ 101 has watched with stupor ever since, as the Bush administration did precisely the opposite of what was needed, reducing government revenue and raising the deficit during good times.

    Did someone imagine that it would be easier to raise government revenue when times turned bad?? C’mon!!

    So… Bush turned a couple hundred billion surplus into a trillion+ deficit… during good times… and now Obama must run a surplus in bad times???

    Do you want him to walk on water, too?

    Econ 101, folks! Not rocket science.


  3. Tom |

    Bob, I agree with most of what you’re saying — well, not the repeated references to Econ 101 and rocket science, meaning that everyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

    I’ve said over and over, in many different places, that Bush did a terrible job on the economy, particularly in regard to spending and taxes. And Obama isn’t heading in the right direction to fix the economy. In particular, in terms of deficits and debt, he doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the problem, if he’s judged by actions instead of words. What we need is a president and Congress with the guts to get things back under control, and I don’t care which political party they belong to.

    We’d all be better served by less blinkered partisanship and more willingness to work together to fix problems. We have to accept that the government can’t do all the things it’s trying to do, and we have to accept that there have to be tax increases. Heck, we might even think about the 40% or so of folks who pay no income tax. Maybe they could contribute just a little? And before you dash out of your corner over on the left and bash me, I also think there could be higher taxes on executive bonuses over a certain amount, corporate profits over a certain reasonable amount, etc.


  4. Brianna |

    Well actually Tom, he’s probably referring to me, seeing as how I actually am a rocket scientist. You have to admit that the chance to accuse a bona fide rocket scientist of stupidity… even falsely… can sometimes just be too tempting to pass up.

    Bush certainly will get little defense from me economically, especially with regards to TARP and the bank bailout. And you are right that debt is not automatically bad. But there’s a difference between borrowing money when your government is basically fiscally sound, and running up record deficits and debts when your government is already chronically in the hole. Sort of like the difference between an individual using a credit card to cover a rough month, knowing full well that their salary the next month will be large enough to pay the money back, and an individual trying to borrow money when their credit cards have all been maxed out, with no expectation that they will ever be able to pay any of it back. As for what subject such knowledge belongs to, that’s not even Econ 101. It’s just basic common sense.


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