Democrats & Liberals Archives

Finally, Some Spending Cuts

In their final act as the majority Party, Republicans decided to do nothing about a whole bunch of spending bills. Some speculate they didn’t want to associate the Republican Party with a last massive bout of earmarking and pork barrel projects. Others believe they wanted to saddle incoming Democrats with the task to derail their legislative agenda. Either way, the most do-nothing of do-nothing Republican Congresses went out with a whimper — and the incoming Democrats took the lemons and made lemonade.

In a brilliant move, Congressional Democrats decided to extend federal funding at current levels for the rest of the fiscal year. Not only does this allow Democrats to concentrate on their legislative plan for the first 100 hours of the new congress, but it also saves taxpayers billions of dollars by wiping out the thousands of earmarks that had been added to the spending bills over the last year.

Democrats further plan to use this closing of the trough, so to speak, to implement new earmark rules that make the process transparent and remove the provisions that allowed former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham to amass his private little fortune in secret.

This is truly a cause for bi-partisan celebration. Heck, even President Bush congratulated the incoming Democratic Congress for this bold move. It'll piss off the lawmakers and special interests who lose their taxpayer-funded perks, but it's the right thing to do. Bravo!

Posted by American Pundit at December 20, 2006 12:36 AM
Comments
Comment #199887

Wow that didnt seem all that hard , wonder why the staunch conservatives repubs of the 109th couldnt do this.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 20, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #199891

So they aren’t going to balance the budget? They aren’t going to consider the individual needs? Instead of making hard decisions they will continue with deficit spending and screw things up as well? This is what you call “Brilliant”?? I agree that the Republicans screwed up. But now the democrats are telling us they plan to screw up too…and that’s “brilliant”?

Let me take the opportunity to say I told you so…they aren’t going to balance the budget.

And as far as this approach being brilliant…I quote from your article:

“The consequences will be substantial. At the Justice Department, officials said a resolution financing the government largely at 2006 levels would only worsen a severe staffing shortage at offices of U.S. attorneys around the country. The vacancy rate for federal prosecutors stands at about 10 percent on average, and House Democrats reported earlier this year that some larger offices have rates surpassing 20 percent.

The federal court system would not be spared, either. Operating at current funding levels would leave the judiciary with a $270 million shortfall for salaries and expenses, said Dick Carelli, spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Furloughs, layoffs or attrition would be needed to trim the payroll by 7 percent — or almost 3,000 probation officers, court clerk workers and pretrial service staff members — by the close of the fiscal year, Carelli said.”

To me this looks like a cop out. A failure to do with the mess that the Republicans failed to deal with.

Please don’t tell me I’m in for two years of democratic failures and you folks over here calling that Brilliant.

Posted by: Stephen at December 20, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #199893

Does this mean the democratic party will not remove the pork bills? Ear Marks will continue. Once they cange the rules, line up boys and start sending in your “transparent” pork.

How about ELIMINATING EAR MARKS.

Heck, they aren’t even in office yet and it looks as if they have decided no balanced Budgets and the pork will continue to flow.

Well, there’s still hope that they might fix social security or they might fix medicare, or they might shut down the boarder to illegals or fight a better war against the terrorists or come up with a better Iraq plan?

Should I hold my breath? Deficit spending and pork bills. I thought they promised to end that stuff? No?

Posted by: stephen L at December 20, 2006 3:44 AM
Comment #199896

What was that phrase again” Oh yeah…”STAY THE COURSE.”

Posted by: tomd at December 20, 2006 4:30 AM
Comment #199908

Not even in session yet already money saved, yet the repubs cant acknowledge that even small steps after the last 6 years is a good step. Nothing but unrealistic expectations, yet silence and approval for the 109th.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 20, 2006 8:23 AM
Comment #199912

TomD, Stephen L, et. al,-

The breakdown of regular order this cycle — indeed the failure to get our bills done — should be squarely placed at the feet of the departing Senate majority leader,” said outgoing House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.).”

The article goes on to say that this is essential the long in coming result of the way Republicans screwed up the financing and appropriation systems, that Republicans have never gotten all the spending bills in on time, and that their leaders simply decided to punt this to next year.

This is a hard decision with hard consequences, but when faced with the accumulated BS of twelve years of Republican majority, this is what we’re faced with.

We’ll try and get things done better next year, rather than try and beat two budgets together in the next year and rush things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 20, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #199915

“Wow that didnt seem all that hard , wonder why the staunch conservatives repubs of the 109th couldnt do this.”

If you think the Republicans currently in power are conservative you haven’t been paying attention. They abandoned conservative principles long ago and have been emulating the Democrats ever since. That’s why they will soon be out of power.

The Dems haven’t done anything yet except make a lot of noise.


Posted by: traveller, at December 20, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #199921

traveller-
Conservatives they may have no longer been, granted, but conservatives are nonetheless what they claimed to be, and conservatives bought them as such.

Also true: This congress hasn’t been sworn in yet, and so can’t have done anything good or bad. Nonetheless, they made huge, explicit promises knowing that people can use them against them should they renege.

In effect, by making such big announcements, they’ve backed themselves into a bit of a corner, which isn’t a bad thing if you actually plan on doing something.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 20, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #199922

The government is under continuing resolution and the Dems say this will continue to year’s end. It is a way to save some money, since offices will be not allowed to spend any more than last year, which amounts to a defacto 5% cut.

It is not a bad idea, but it is not a solution. entitlements (by far the biggest part of the budget) and mandated programs continue to rise. In other words, you cut the abililty of the government to actually do any business while preventing it from cutting any fixed costs.

So I agree with AP that this is not a bad thing, maybe even a good thing this year, but I cannot share his enthusiasm for a game of kick the can down the road.

BTW - this illustrates one of the points I continually make about the economy and recessions. Next time any of you blame Bush for the bad economy of 2001 remember how the government works.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #199938

Travellor-

True.

Stephen/tomd/etc-

It really doesn’t matter what the democrats say. It only matters what they do. We should have learned our lesson from the 109th. But Stephen D is right, the mere fact that they are backing themselves into a corner is nothing but good for the nation. If they fail, they get bashed. If they do as they said they would, then the only argument against them is that they didn’t go far enough. Well, lets be real. ANY amount of progress on the economic reponsibility front should be encouraged and rewarded.

If we start bashing dems for doing good things only in baby steps, then what is the incentive? After the last few congresses, even a baby step in the right direction is a complete 180 degree turnaround. Lets encourage it, and maybe even foster it in political discourse. It is all too easy to find a seam and start pulling string. But if we destroy the only semblence of responsible and unselfish will in Washington, I guarantee you things will not improve. Gradually, we’ll raise expectations by holding everyone to the standards of the best legislators. But if we simply find fault with every approach simply to be pertisan or cynical, then only the safest and least effective solutions will survive the debate. THAT is the thinking which led us to have to decide between two worthless candidates like Bush and Gore in the first place.

Jack-

“Next time any of you blame Bush for the bad economy of 2001 remember how the government works.”

I don’t know Jack…sounds like a dare to me. How about this: Bush ignores vital intelligence about the 9/11 attacks, which leads to no efforts to stop it, which then leads to an economic recession in the greatest city in America and $500B in emergency federal funding. You’d be hard pressed to not assign at least SOME blame to Bush there. A hard-working president once said the buck has to stop at a logical place…the top. At least in the short term. But I understand the point you were making generally.

And kick the can is not a spectator sport, you’re right not to cheer. Lets wait for the real games to be played before we get out our giant foam fingers and start wagging them.

Posted by: Kevin23 at December 20, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #199941

Kevin

Let’s add a little reality to your speculation. The economy started down in March 2000. If you look at the charts, most of the damage was in train before 9/11. Even granting the spurious assumption that Bush could reasonably have prevented 9/11, subsequent events cannot cause previous ones.

So I promise I will not credit or blame the Dems for what happens in the economy in 2007. That is fair and makes logical sense. Just like you cannot blame Bush for what happened in the economy in 2001.

I hope they can get a handle on spending. If they do, I will still make fun of them and criticize them for the silly PC laws and corruption (which I am sure they will exhibit by the end of next year) but I will lay off their managment of the budget.

I think expecting the Dems to control spending, however, represents the triumph of hope over experience.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #199950

Jack-

For purposes of clarity, I was refering to the collapse of the NYC economy and its reverberating effects. True, they were compounded with the problems left from the creative business practices of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. BUT, many people post 9/11 in NYC lost their jobs solely because of the towers falling. My wife was called and told not to come to work anymore. The economic downturn of 2000 caused problems in a much less direct way.

Now, we can safely say that it is at least possible that Bush may have prevented the attacks that day by heading information actually given to him, then we can say that he caused an economic disaster to that extent. Katrina is a similar story. This is about as close to a direct causal relationship as it gets between presidential action (or inaction) and economic recession. Congrats to Bush.

But again, your general point was not lost on me. But it is ironic to me that the biggest roadblock any of us republicans face in the expression of our ideologies is the fact that this president is often a glaring exception to any general rule. He has done more to harm our party’s ideals by his incompetent attempts at implimenting them than all the democrats with all the MSM airtime in the world.

re: the triumph of hope over experience

I have the nagging feeling you’re right. I just hate to be the one to pee in the cheerios so early on. But I’m a cynic at heart, and experience has only reinforced it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at December 20, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #199953

AP shows how the Democrats plan to save money and all the Republicans complain. It’s a small step. We’re kicking the can down the road. It won’t last. Democrats will soon act as Republicans. Etc, etc.

Attack, attack. Never mind a reason. Just attack. This seems to be Republican philosophy.

Why don’t you at least wait until Democrats do something you do not approve of before you attack?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at December 20, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #199954

Jack-
Better to kick the can than drop the ball. The Democrats at least have things getting paid for, unlike the Republicans, who left that mess behind knowing it would make things more difficult for the government. It’s not the ideal solution, but ideal goes out the window all too often when people get irresponsible.

As for the Economic downturn? You can’t have ups without some downs, and we had a pretty big up. However, the biggest damage was done by the essentially Republican policies concerning the transparency and interest issues of corporate finance and accounting, and the relentless drive to trade trustworthiness for numbers-inflating opacity and looseness of standards.

And what did Bush do? Nothing, besides a largely counterproductive, hard to comply with law that did little to restore people’s trust in business. If people can’t trust what the numbers say, then the average person who’s not looking to get soaked will stay out of the market.

Additionally, he hiked up the deficits. That means increased interest rates and inflation down the road, neither of which make for an encouraging situation. Deficits created difficult problems for American business in the 70’s and 90’s when the bills came due.

As for the triumph of hope over experience, that seems to be the story of the Republican majority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 20, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #199962

Paul and Stephen

Sorry to rain on the Dem parade, but it is kinda hard to hail continuing a continuing resolution as a brave attempt to go where no man has gone before. The Republicans had managed to pull off that little trick until March. It was irresponsible for them to do that. I do not blame the Dems for not picking up the ball (to use Stephen’s metaphor) but I see no reason to praise them either and I do not expect them to do anything about spending. You better get those excuses ready.

Re the economy, I am just being fair. I am saying that I WILL NOT blame them for anything that happens in 2007’s economy. 2007 belongs to the Republicans. If things go seriously wrong in July, it is their fault. If thing are going well, it is their credit. I say that in advance. I know if it is bad, you all will want to blame them anyway, but if they are good you will claim credit.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #199976

Stephen D-

“If people can’t trust what the numbers say, then the average person who’s not looking to get soaked will stay out of the market.”

While I agree with the theory behind the statement, you can’t really say that people have stayed out of the market due to the fiscal irresponsibility. In fact, we are promoting individual investing on a scale unseen in our history via 401(k) plans, 403(b)’s, 529’s, trusts, etc. I do agree that the sudden is all more reason to promote good auditing, transparency and enforcement of regulations. But I’m not convinced we have any idea where the line needs to be drawn between promoting business and making people’s inreasing equity assets grow v. scaring little investors away due to rampant scandelous behavoir. In fact, the two always seem to go hand in hand. Which again leads one to believe it is less about policy and more about economics. Politicians can be bought, after all.

And I haven’t lost all hope in our legislative branch…just too cynical to let it show much. Mostly I’m just glad to see the 109th go.

Posted by: Kevin23 at December 20, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #199992


What the Democrats have done is make a small step towards pay as you go. The only thing they have actually done before asuming power is join with Republicans to extend $40 billion in tax cuts. You can call that a tax cut or a continuation of a tax cut, either way, that is $40 billion less the government will have to spend.

The Democrats have stated thet they will extend federal spending at current levels. Acording to Jack, that will save about 5% of the budget. With a $2.4 trillion budget that is $120 billion.

The Democrats have also said that they are going to cut the pork spending out of the budget. If they do this, that is another $30 billion.

If the Democrats do both, that is $150 billion. Projected spending for Iraq for this coming year is $170 billion. Another $20 billion and they have paid for Iraq. Granted, that is just a small step and doesn’t even begin to get spending under control, but they will do more because they have to if they wish to stay in power.

I have often heard Republicans say that the budget deficits and the debt aren’t really that big an issue because our economy can grow us out of it. In my opinion, this is not possible without getting the budget under control. Does this mean that we absolutely have to balance the budget? I think it does, but if not, at the very least, spending has to be held to well below the rate of growth.

Posted by: jlw at December 20, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #199993
So I agree with AP that this is not a bad thing, maybe even a good thing this year, but I cannot share his enthusiasm for a game of kick the can down the road.

Jack, I never said it was a solution, but — as you say — it’s a 5% cut in spending. That’s something we haven’t seen since the Golden Age of Clinton.

So I promise I will not credit or blame the Dems for what happens in the economy in 2007.

No way, dude. I’ve never bought into that wacky years-long delayed reaction theory of yours. We’re taking full credit for spending cuts in 2007.

As a general comment, I totally understand why all the righties are bitching and moaning. Their guys took the country in the wrong direction and it’s embarassing for them, so they’re going to argue that cutting spending by 5% is bad. Pretty soon you’ll hear them arguing that pay-as-you-go rules are bad as well.

As for the future, real solutions will involve Republicans and Democrats making reasonable compromises. So far, Republicans haven’t shown the ability to compromise — not even with themselves (ie - immigration reform).

I’m going to enjoy calling y’all “obstructionist Republicans.” :)

Posted by: American Pundit at December 20, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #199994
I have often heard Republicans say that the budget deficits and the debt aren’t really that big an issue because our economy can grow us out of it. In my opinion, this is not possible…

That’s not just your opinion, jlw. Every single Bush administration Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Board chairman has said the same thing.

Posted by: American Pundit at December 20, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #199996

Jack-
Timing is not the only thing that assigns blame or credit for policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 20, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #200012

AP

Of course you have fallen into another trap. IF you credit Dems for spending cuts under Bush, you have to credit Repubicans for those “golden age” Clinton.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #200022

Whatever credit the Republicans deserved for cutting spending is swallowed up by the credit they deserve for ballooning it unnecessarily, and approving tax cuts while spending was obviously at high levels.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 21, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #200029
“Since the 1960s, the Republican and Democratic administrations have switched places on economic policy. The pattern is so well established that the generalization can no longer be denied: the Republicans have become the party of fiscal irresponsibility, trade restriction, big government and bad microeconomics.”


The above quote is from an article titled How Bush Busted the Budget dated March 2004. It can be found on the Ludwig von Mises Institute (hardly a Liberal group!) web site at: http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=479&sortorder=articledate

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at December 21, 2006 2:00 AM
Comment #200033

When you spend a few billion here and there, sooner or later you are spending real money.

Meanwhile back in the heartland, I found this article interesting. It is about Mayor White’s (Houston) attempt to address homelessness.

Housing the mentally ill, addicts, dysfunctional, or regular people down on their luck, seems to me better and cheaper than jailing them. The Katrina victims are still having problems from FEMA as well.

Isn’t there some parable about tending to one’s own house first?


Posted by: gergle at December 21, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #200039

Arm and Stephen

We have no need to argue about this. We all think that the Republicans spent too much in the last few years. We all hope the Dems will cut spending. We differ only in that you think they really will.

Posted by: Jack at December 21, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #200066

I applaud any spending restraint, Coburn and McCain should stand on the floor and say the same thing.

When did something “not going far enough” become sound reason for inaction? This logic baffles me to no end, the ball has started rolling lets all get behind it and push like hell…

JT

Posted by: JayTea at December 21, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #200101
IF you credit Dems for spending cuts under Bush, you have to credit Repubicans for those “golden age” Clinton.

Heh. I give credit where credit’s due. :)

Had the budget remained balanced after Clinton left office, then Republicans would clearly deserve credit. As it is, it looks more like Clinton’s vetos were responsible for the fiscal restraint we saw in the 90’s.

But, as you say, we all agree that Republicans screwed up post-Clinton. I’m optimistic that Democrats will rein in spending. They’ve already started.

Posted by: American Pundit at December 21, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #200134

Let’s ask ourselves something: What exactly about fiscal discipline is necessarily conservative?

Put another way, what has been especially fiscally disciplined about the way that Republicans have spent over the past few decades? All three of the recent Republican presidents were huge spenders. All three made tax cuts which the former two took back. Only the third has actually been so blindly committed to them that he’s persisted with them.

The Republican Congress, once it got free of Clinton’s restraint, did indeed go on a spending spree, even as they passed tax cuts and ran huge deficts.

I’m going to venture a dangerous idea here: one of the big reasons why the conservative revolution bought the farm this last year is that people finally realized the whole thing was a sham, that the Reagan/Republican Revolution was just a cover for using demagoguery against the Democrats, labelling them the party of big government, deficit spending and high taxes.

The actions of the Republicans in the time leading up to 2006 brought it all into sharp relief. People realized that neither party was guaranteed to put the fiscal picture back into bettershape.

Now the Democrats understand that for the time being, power is being given to them to undo the damage of the last twelve years

We blow this, I tell you, we deserve to loose power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 21, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #200135

Stephen Daugherty,

Thanks you. I’ve been waiting for that post. A democrat to start posting exuses as to why democrats will not balance the budget. And of course, it’s the fault of the Republicans that the democrats have no plan to balance the budget.

I’ve been saying that here for a long time. Democratic congresses do not submit balanced budgets. Only a republican controlled congress has done that.

I’m sorry to see you guys give up so easily though on blanced budgets. You should be screaming at the “new” democratic leadership that you EXPECT them to balance the budget…because if you don’t…they sure as hades have no plans to balance those budgets. “Transparent” pork ear marks are on their schedule.

Which says to me they are also not really going after the corruption issue. With guys like Harry Reid taking Abramoff dollars and making million dollar “property deals” is that any surprise?

Posted by: Stephen at December 21, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #200148

Speaking of wasted money, Texas recently privatized welfare payments. This article explains why privatisation is often simply a political payoff to a contributor. Taxpayers ended up paying twice, for the company to screw it up, and more state elp to straighten it out. Thanks, Rick Perry.

Posted by: gergle at December 22, 2006 3:46 AM
Comment #200185

Stephen-

After the last 6 years of increased spending in every facet of government by a republican congress, you’re comments are just funny. You should hold republicans to the same standards as democrats. And seeing as the dems don’t even have power yet, your energy seems misplaced. I could bash democrats all day for outdated mis-deeds…it doesn’t make it relevent or constructive. In fact, it brings down the whole discussion to the level of a swiftboating campaign.

Posted by: Kevin23 at December 22, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #200228

We need to define our terms. Earmarks and pork barrel. Tip O.Neal once sad that “pork barrel is infrastucture spelled backwards..” I expect my congresswoman to get federal funds for our district for such things as highway projects,sewer plants and maybe even some help with a musieum and such. That is her job. However I do not expect her to seek tax breaks for the dominant wine industry here although she should be involved in laws and regulations effecting it. Where do you draw the line? Jack et al ,thoughts?

Posted by: BillS at December 22, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #200246

I’m laughing at you pundants who are pretending that Bill Clinton is the god of balanced Budgets.

Newt Gingrich and the Republicans swept into office on a campaign to rid washington of those corrupt, deficit spending dems…they promised they would take over and balance the budgets.

Clinton submitted a DEFICIT budget and was pissed at the republicans for coming up with a balanced budget and killing his “campign promises”. Clinton fought the blanced budget for about 6 months then realizing, a veto would be overridden….signed off on it.

The Republican Congress is the only congress in our life time that has put forward a balanced budget.

Now, instead of spending all your time preaching to me why Bill Clinton diserves the credit for Republicans balancing the budget….why don’t you tell me that the plan democrats have to balance this budget? Why don’t you point to the democratic party statements indicating they will balance the budget? Tell me when this democratic controlled congress will put forward a balanced budget?

Oh….I get it. You democrats, have also come to the conclusion that the democratic party has no plan to balance the budget and will NOT balance the budget….THEY LIED TO US! As I said before the election, during the election, and now after the election….the democratic party does not balance budgets, they will not balance the 07 budget, they will not balance the 08 budget, they haven’t balanced a budget in our life time and they wont.

Not folks, how the debate has shifted on your part from a “responsible democratic party that will balance the budget” to one of claiming Bill Clinton did it and “we don’t want to talk about it”

Let me tell you folks….it’s going to be a long two years. I’m I’m going to be here weak in and weak out saying: “Were are the balanced budgets the democrats promised us and why are they doing all that deficit spending”.

It’s very disappointing seeing left wingers give up on democratic party balanced budgets before they even take office.

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #200249

Another thing to consider when painting Bill Clinton and the democratic party as the great blancers of budgets.

A Democratic congress has not balanced a budget in our life time. And then they had both the congress and the Whitehouse in the Clinton administration they refused to balance the budgets.

It was only a political revolt that overthrew decades of democratic party corruption that allowed the Republican party to balance the budget.

How does that fit into the context of this discussion? Democrats will continue deficit spending. We should all be screaming at the top of our lungs. DEMANDING that CONGRESS balance the budget. Republicans and Democrats have failed us in the past. Going forward, we have a new party in control…..lets keep screaming, demanding that they balance the budget. Don’t pretend they are responsible until the have balanced the budget. Until then, they AREN’T RESPONSIBLE.

Every week I save more than I take in. I’ve worked hard an long in my life. I limit my spending. I refuse to take the easy credit, I pay things off, I don’t charge more than I can pay when the bill comes in. I expect my government to behave the same way.

The number one reason Republicans lost the election…what is it? Iraq? Nope! Corruption! The Republicans became corrupt and refused to do the things we elected them to do…that’s what the polls tells us the number one reason that the Republicans lost.

Want to see the democratic party maintain control of government? MAKE THEM BALANCE THE BUDGET. A corrupt congress will refuse to do that. I say, they are corrupt and will not balance the budget.

Does anyone here believe they will balance the budget? Anyone? Then why tolerate them? DEMAND RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT! DEMAND THE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS BALANCE THE BUDGET.

Why do democrats see deficit spending as something they are supposed to do? Stand up and fight it. Use this board to fight it. Demand that your party balance the budget.

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #200302

Jack

You made two comments that I would like to reply to:

BTW - this illustrates one of the points I continually make about the economy and recessions. Next time any of you blame Bush for the bad economy of 2001 remember how the government works.

It is my opinion that the Federal Reserve plays a bigger role than the president in those parts of the economy that define recession and expansion. It is difficult to find policy changes by the various presidents that would precipitate a recession. On the other hand a case could be made that a rapid increase in the Fed Fund Rates was at least partially responsible for five of the last seven recessions.

I am also of the opinion that the reverse is true. The tax cuts credited for ending the recession became effective after the economy was already in an expansion mode. The Federal Reserve had already, through easier credit, pumped far more money into the economy than the tax cuts would.

We have no need to argue about this. We all think that the Republicans spent too much in the last few years. We all hope the Dems will cut spending. We differ only in that you think they really will.

I do hope that whoever is in control will cut spending. A balanced budget may be beyond hope and a reduction in the national debt may be an impossible dream but the country would be far better off.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at December 24, 2006 11:09 AM
Post a comment