Whether he knew it or not, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) made the case for the Obama Administration during an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley. At 5.6 percent, Virginia’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, well below the national average of 8.2 percent. And the state’s governor concedes that President Obama has helped. “The only thing I can say is he had nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus, and that was one-time spending,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told CNN’s Candy Crowley in response to a question about whether he believes Obama can take any credit for the strong economy in Virginia. “Did it help us in the short run with health care and education spending to balance the budget? Sure. Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no.” – JM Ashby
If You Want Another Debt And Spending Binge, Vote GOP, Ctd – The AP takes the hardest position on Obama and comes up with the following bottom line:All told, government spending now appears to be growing at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent over the 2010-2013 period, rather than the 0.4 percent claimed by Obama and the MarketWatch analysis. I think that’s excessively tilted against the president. But even so, lets accept it for the sake of argument. A 3 percent annualized increase in federal spending would still put Obama in first place for spending restraint since LBJ – which is staggering given the scale of the economic collapse he inherited. A quick comparison? Bush’s first term – with no global great recession – saw spending grow an annualized 7.3 percent. Reagan’s first term? 8.7 percent. And again, remember the Romney claim that started this all off: that “since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history.” — Andrew Sullivan
Now you could argue that Obama should have let the auto industry go fully bankrupt, allow the economy to head into deflation and depression without any fiscal stimulus to counter, cut the unemployed off at the knees – and we would be Greece today, underwater in a deepening and self-reinforcing depression. Can you imagine what Romney would have said about Obama’s record then? And yes, as Suderman notes, the real criticism should be focused on the absence of any long-term deal on entitlements, defense, taxes and spending – a deal that would do a huge amount for business confidence. But seriously: if one side simply refuses to put any serious revenue increases on the table at all, who’s really preventing that effort? There are legitimate issues to debate with respect to the future in this election. But the caricature of the last three years, the knowing lies that interweave with this false narrative, the attempt to describe a pragmatic, sane and successful president as somehow unqualified to tackle this mess – when the US economy has fared better in this period than much of the West – are deceptions, exploiting pain. I’m sick of them, and the cynicism they represent. – Andrew Sullivan
“[T]he rate of spending – federal spending increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors. That is a fact not often noted in the press and certainly never mentioned by the Republicans. [T]his President has been – has demonstrated significant fiscal restraint and acted with great fiscal responsibility. That is also why he has put forward a balanced plan to further reduce our deficit and debt by over $4 trillion….. I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint [sic] with regard to this administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.” – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, speaking to the press corps on Wednesday aboard Air Force One
The military’s new fighter jet project only costs $1.45 trillion – While [Gov. Rick] Scott famously refused $2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail in Florida, deriding it as an expensive boondoggle, his team shows no such hesitations about the $1.45 trillion F-35 project. The most expensive weapons system in Pentagon history, it has suffered technical setbacks, nearly a decade of production delays, and substantial cost overruns; the Pentagon currently estimates each plane will cost $135 million to build and maintain. So it’s no surprise that the Simpson-Bowles commission pointed to halving the Navy and Air Forces’ orders and eliminating the Marines’ version as a deficit-reduction step; in 2009, the Congressional Budget Office floated a similar cut. Any such reductions would lower the $1.59 billion in economic impact that, Lockheed boasts, Florida will get from F-35 contracts held by 95 in-state suppliers. […] During the Republican rebuttal to Obama’s 2012 State of the Union, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ripped the president for trying to “build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars.” Yet just three months earlier, his deputy, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, blessed a report highlighting the stimulus brought to her state’s economy by nearly 40,000 deficit-exploding federal defense jobs. – Mother Jones
Starve the Beast: believe nothing the GOP tells you — Today’s conservatives oppose tax increases so strenuously that many were willing to default on the nation’s debt last summer rather than raise taxes by a single penny. They overwhelmingly believe in a nonsensical theory called “starve the beast,” which asserts that tax cuts automatically reduce spending and tax increases never reduce the deficit because they invariably lead to spending increases. The Clinton and Bush 43 administrations are almost perfect tests of starve-the-beast theory; the former raised taxes in 1993, while the latter signed into law seven different major tax cuts… If there were any truth whatsoever to starving the beast, we should have seen a rise in spending during the Clinton years and a fall in spending during the Bush years. In fact, we had exactly the opposite results. […] contrary to Republican dogma, tax increases did not kill jobs during the Clinton administration. In fact, 23 million jobs were created, compared with one-fourth that number under Mr. Bush. The key reason for this is that real G.D.P. grew twice as fast during the Clinton years as it did during the Bush years: 3.9 percent per year on average compared with 2 percent. – Bruce Bartlett – NYTimes.com
"THE TRUTH IS that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines. But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them. Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt."
In some quarters of the American political system, there are people — predominantly of the Tea Party Republican persuasion — who believe that Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling. If the U.S. government isn’t allowed to borrow any more money to pay its bills, runs their line of thinking, that’s fine and dandy. Finally, we’d be forced to tighten our belts and “live within our means!” Ignore the fearmongers predicting disaster — they’re just trying to scare markets and voters.
[…] Let’s start with the basic numbers. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will have about $172.4 billion in revenue in August that can be applied to $306.7 billion in outstanding bills. If the U.S. Treasury is forbidden from borrowing any additional funds, it will therefore have to cut total August spending by about $134 billion, or 44 percent. …Click on over to this cool interactive widget at Bloomberg Government and decide for yourself who gets paid and who doesn’t if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
[Spreadsheet breakdown above]
[…] Now, there are plenty of Tea Partyers who would no doubt be happy to get rid of the EPA, food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and any number of other government spending programs…
Since this is usually “all about me” when we’re talking teapartyers, and so many teapartyers are receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits, why shouldn’t the rest of us — the working people, the unemployed, the college students — all agree that Social Security / Medicare should be cut if the limit isn’t raised? Those two programs total $77.8 billion out of August’s budget — which is over 25% of all the money due. The majority of us don’t receive those benefits and we’re learning quickly that only two things should matter: ME and MINE as opposed to YOU and YOURS. In other words, boot straps.
…There are lots of different ways to divvy up government spending according to your personal priorities… if the U.S. government cut its spending [by 44%] for both August and September, GDP growth [c]ould drop by 2.3 percent from the previous quarter.
[…] Choose your poison: global market chaos, savage cuts to the social welfare safety net or recession. Or, heck, all of the above. …Slower economic growth means less tax revenue, which would force even more budget cuts. Laying off hundreds of thousands of federal employees would further boost the unemployment rate. And if the U.S. government ever did end up authorized to borrow money again, the yield it would likely have to offer to attract buyers for its damaged goods would undoubtedly skyrocket — putting further pressure on government finances.
Of course despite this alarming situation, those tax cuts for the wealthy are #1 on the list of important things for teapartyers and their corporate sponsors and their Republican leaders — Boehner, Cantor, Kyl and McConnell. This budgeting lesson should clearly illustrate how we’re all paying to provide the wealthy with their tax cuts. There’s no way the federal government obviously needs more revenue, right? We’ll just cut YOUR programs and services instead of mine.
The Paul Ryan Plan President Obama flatly and sternly dismissed Rep. Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” stating the plan would “end Medicare as we know it,” has a “deeply pessimistic” vision for America, and there’s “nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill.”
The Tax Man plan? The crux of the President’s rebuttal is that taxes on our highest income earners not only must go up, but that they should go up — a marked departure from more moderate rhetoric he’s used in the past years, likely due to the opposition’s success in injecting the word “socialism” into the debate.source
Do we even know for sure how much money the Pentagon and Department of Defense lost during the Bush years? This lost money has contributed in a big way to our deficit… where was the Repulican/Teaparty outcry over this news?
Fed News Radio | July 2010: The Defense Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Development Fund for Iraq monies in received for reconstruction in Iraq. This according to a study published today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
More amusing, given this information, the Republican/Teaparty House members are bringing another continuing resolution to the floor for a vote today (a bill written to be rejected by the Democrats) with one of the requirements being that the Department of Defense will be funded through the remainder of the year!
There wasn’t a threat of a government shutdown back then or threats to not raise the Debt Limit until someone “found” the money. Why not?