Democrats & Liberals Archives

Pay-Go! Pay-Go!

In a matter of days, Democrats have done more to balance the budget than Republicans did in six years. Speaker Pelosi first decided to cut all the pork out of this year’s budget, and then today she reinstated the Clinton-era “pay as you go” rules.

Under the new provisions, the House will for the first time in years be required to pay for any proposal to cut taxes or increase spending on the most expensive federal programs by raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere.

The Washington Post expends a lot of ink in skeptical conjecture about Democrat's commitment to the rule, but the last paragraph in the article quotes Charles Rangel, one of the most liberal Democrats in Congress, saying, "It's not good for me to have pay-go, but it's good for the country. At this point, nobody . . . has convinced me that there should be exemptions from pay-go."

Hallelujah, at last! Democrats are actively working to end deficit spending where Republicans wouldn't even consider it. Three-quarters of Republicans in the House opposed the pay-go rule. That's a shame. I just thank God there aren't enough of them to keep us from making America fiscally strong once again.

Posted by American Pundit at January 6, 2007 2:57 AM
Comments
Comment #201719

AP,

It’s a darn good beginning. Now the new house needs to send simple, one purpose bills to the Senate.

I’m just waiting for Bush to make an excuse to veto a minimum wage increase when it only involves raising the minimum wage, nothing more & nothing less.

In the meanwhile I can still hear the republicans whining about having to work three full days a week.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 6, 2007 6:30 AM
Comment #201721

Pundit—
Reform? Dont believe it. Remember to yell loudly, “j’accuse!” when the Dems doont deliver. They have already balked on Iraq and impeachment. Pork and spending are not a partisan quality. It is how politicians stay in power. “Republicans have been spending money like drunken Democrats.” Dont let your guys off the hook because they are the home team.

Kansas—
All you are doing is talking smack. How about something a little more constructive.

Posted by: JoeRWC at January 6, 2007 6:45 AM
Comment #201723

I’m disappointed that the first thread started on this board to deal with Pelosi’s budget plan is nothing but a very short cheerleading phrase.

Pelosi has decided to extend spending at last years rates. To me, that means we are presently creating NEW DEFICITS at last years rates.

I think that was for the “first 100 hours”. IN what way is deficit spending “pay as you go”. What did she mean when she said “no new deficits” then decided to keep creating new deficits at last years deficit spending rate? How is this creation of new deficits “no new deficits” or “pay as you go”?

It appears to me that the term “balanced budget” is now being avoided by the left as if it were the plague and promises of greater financial responsibility are starting to appear to be false promises designed to fool the voters. I’m basing this on extended deficit spending and a bill to “pay as you go” that in fact has no base deficit spending limit…so the base level of additional defecits may be whatever amount of deficit spending Pelosi desires.

“Pay as you go” has a “feel good” ring to it, but the deficit spending that she so far is not “paying as she goes” concerns me and to me, makes “pay as you go” appear to be something of a hollow promise. The kind of hollow promise we often see from politicians.

My number one desire for the New congress is that they DO show themselves to be responsible and that they put us on a very REAL track to a BALANCED budget.

But so far no one can get an explanation from the democratic party as to what they intend to do, if anything about deficits and if they are even for pushing us to a balanced budget.

This bill has the APPEARANCE OF MOVEMENT but behind the scenes….Pelosi has opted to continue spending unfunded deficits. There is no explanation yet as to how they can run deficits and pretend they are paying as they go or what is meant by “no new deficits”.

Sooner or later, the democrats must put out a budget for this year….will it include massive amounts of unfunded deficits that become the base for deficit spending for as long as democrats are in power? Thus making “pay as you go” a useless effort in political promising?

Democratic pundants were touting balanced budgets to come, the horrors of deficit spending…but nowhere do we now hear the glory of a balanced budget coming from the left. It appears to me that the idea of REAL budget balancing in the democratic party has melted like an ice-cube on a hot sidewalk.

I see this vote as POSSIBLY a positive thing. I have to be honest and admit it COULD be postive.

But it must be coupled with a very real cutting of NET spending, something Pelosi now has promised NOT TO DO in the first 100 hours. And how much longer? She has not said. I”m guessing two years of deficit spending wrapped up in promises of not doing so, …as they move into the 08 elections. In 08 I look for dems to be claiming they solved the deficit spending issue as they continue to have massive deficit spending.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 9:52 AM
Comment #201724

In a matter of days, Democrats have done more to balance the budget than Republicans did in six years.

Pay-Go is paying for a new budget item by cutting something else. It is certainly more responsible, but it only avoids new deficit spending. It does not eliminate current deficit spending, therefore it has nothing to do with balancing the budget.

When President Bush presents his budget proposal to Congress, are the Democrats going to cut enough stuff to eliminate deficit spending? Of course not. They’ll make cuts alright, but the money will be spent on other things.

Hallelujah, at last! Democrats are actively working to end deficit spending where Republicans wouldn’t even consider it.

Nice spin, AP. If you had written “new deficit spending,” this might have had a ring of truth.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 6, 2007 10:22 AM
Comment #201730


Time has shown us that for the last six years, America has endured the most corrupt Administration and the most corrupt Congress in the history of this nation.

Time will tell us if the Democrats will reverse this trend and get us back on track. Let us all hope that they can and will do this. Hope alone is not enough though. We must watch the Democrats, encourage them and be prepared to punish them if they fail to live up to our expectations.

Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2007 12:05 PM
Comment #201731

Bush has asked the democrats to agree to work with him to put America on a path to a BALANCED BUDGET in five years.

The spin value of “pay go” is fastly evaporating now that some are no longer pretending Pelosi will actually stop deficit spending. Pay-Go appears to be a cover for those who want to participate in deficit spending while pretending they oppose it. Will Democrats agree to move America toward a balanced budget or not?

I think Pay-Go has some value but it’s almost meaningless if Pelosi doesn’t agree to lower deficit spending and move toward a balanced budget.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070106/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_1

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #201733

Paygo fiscally responsible? HAHAHAHA!

Another cheap trick by the Democrats to try to raise taxes under the guise of govt responsibility. Even the more liberal media channels (e.g. CNN) haven’t fallen for that!

Various versions of Paygo have been around for ages. This is just a new scheme to prevent long-term budget decisions - like “tax cuts” (the artificial method for reducing Clinton-era wartime-level taxes) that should be permanantly low figures.

Same deal with Democrats’ new scheme on ethics reform. The Republicans tried to pass a nearly identical bill some time ago. This will be stilted legislation designed for good Democrat PR - focusing on Republican corruption, but not their own corruption - of which there is plenty.

Posted by: Gandhi at January 6, 2007 12:36 PM
Comment #201734

If the democrats have any guts, let’s see them shut down the Federal government like the Republicans did in 1995 under Clinton.

Posted by: Gandhi at January 6, 2007 12:38 PM
Comment #201735


The President will submit a balanced budget proposal to Congress. It will include 100’s of Billions more for the military industrial complex, another trillion in tax breaks for the wealthy and the elimination of all other government spending. Those in favor say aye.

How many balanced budgets has the President sent to Congress in his six years in office? Why was it necessary to wait until Democrats controlled Congress?

Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #201738

I See an Opportunity Here for Liberal Democrats ON THIS BOARD to take control of this issue.

It’s clear to me from the discussion that the following is true.

1) Democrats are no longer promising their party will balance the budget.

2) Pelosi’s bill will not stop deficit spending….that is, Pelosi’s bill is not going to bring us a balanced budget.

3) Democrats on the left are already manuvering to DEFEND their deficit spending as opposed to PROMOTING A MOVE TOWARD A BALANCED BUDGET.

The opportunity I see, here, for Liberals HERE…is this:

The real push for a balanced budget that Pelosi and Reid will listen to must come from the grass roots liberals. Liberals must speak balanced budget, promote balanced budget, and particularly cry out to their leaders on the internet to give them a balanced budget plan.

For those of you who know, the blogs that democrats pay attention to are more along the lines of the huffington post and offical blogs connected to the DNC, Congress, and democratic party members.

The opportunity here for the left is to go over to places like the huffington post where Pelosi and Reid post and read and come out for YOUR TEAM to balance the budget. Admit that so far democrats are not talking about reducting the devicit spending and balancing the budget and they SHOULD BE DOING IT.

Tell libs to stop pointing fingers at republicans and defending Democratic deficit spending and start a movement in the left wing to balance the budget.

You folks speak in “liberal”. If you can get fellow liberals to agree that democrats should balance the budget, if you can keep pushing the need to blanance the budget forward, if you can keep hitting Pelosi and Reid for not putting forward a balanced budget plan….you could change the course of events….you could help to make one of the major things this congress SHOULD do…to happen.

That’s an opportunity only those of you on the left can make happen.

We on the right can point out that you are running deficits and not balancing the budget but only you on the left can get a grass roots movement going on your side of the divide to move the nation toward a real balanced budget.

You can steal this issue from the Republicans by making it happen. Or you can fail and defend that failure all the way through the 08 election. Stop blaming the republicans for the lack of will in the democratic party to balance the budget. MAKE it happen. Go over to huffington with an agenda…an agenda for the democrats to really be responsible and to move the nation to a balanced budget.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #201740

Aye! Although there will be plenty of other pork in Bush’s budget, since he’s the most fiscally liberal Republican ever. But the “tax breaks for the wealthy” rhetoric is classic liberal hogwash. If someone steals your wallet and gives you back half of the money, do you chide him for spending his money irresonsibly? Tax cuts do not count as “spending”. And if you are employed, you have the rich to thank for having job opportunities.

Actual spending will go up with the Democrats, well above the inflation level, although net deficits will shrink if the robust Bush economy continues to improve. Legislation won’t change much, provided that Bush has the stomach to veto pork bills that the Dems pass (which I doubt he will do).

Posted by: Gandhi at January 6, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #201741
Under the new provisions, the House will for the first time in years be required to pay for any proposal to cut taxes or increase spending on the most expensive federal programs by raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere.


The only thing the Democrats are gonna cut spending on is the Military. And they sure as hell won’t cut taxes. So guess what that leaves.
The only pork that’s gonna get cut is pork that the Republicans want. They sure aint gonna risk loosing votes by cutting pork in their districts.
If they had any gonads at all they cut ALL pork regardless of where it’s going.
Just politics as usual.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 6, 2007 1:21 PM
Comment #201743

jlw

How many balanced budgets has the President sent to Congress in his six years in office? Why was it necessary to wait until Democrats controlled Congress?

None.
Just a political ploy to make the Democrats look like the bad guys.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 6, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #201749

Stephen,

“We on the right can point out that you are running deficits and not balancing the budget but only you on the left can get a grass roots movement going on your side of the divide to move the nation toward a real balanced budget.”

Where was this great hew and cry when you guys had all of the power?

A Republican controlled Congress and a Republican President, and not a whiff of a balanced budget. I can’t even remember when, or if, it was even brought up.

Supposedly we are at war, and the battle cry has been tax cuts, and spend like our lives depended on it.

What a load of crap!

Posted by: Rocky at January 6, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #201751

Your memory isn’t very long then. We Republicans put Newt G in on the promise that they would bring us balanced budgets. They Did! And the fact that they walked away from their promise after making it happen has much to do with why they were voted out.

But that really is beside the point. What we are all concerned about here is not HIDING behind Republicans but what the democrats do GOING FORWARD right?

Will Democrats balanced the budget?
Will Democrats PROMISE to balance the budget?
Will Democrats move reduce deficit spending?
Will they PROMISE to reduce deficit spending?

Only those of you on the left realy have the power to make your left wing leaders focus on and bring about balanced budgets. It may take years, but a good start is to get them to promise to do it and get them move us in that direction.

Why spend all day defending deficits? Why not instead encourage your leadership to represent you and to bring about balanced budgets?

Notice how the conversation has changed? Democrats before the election were saying vote for us, we will be responsible, we will bring balanced budgets the republicans don’t do.


Now after the elction democrats are saying, you hypocrites, how dare you speak of balanced budgets?

Does that mean the democratic party, now that it’s in power, refuses to balance the budget? I’m afraid so, unless people like you on the left stop defending fiscal irresponsibility and demand your team work toward balanced budgets.

You have the power now…not me.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #201752

The Paygo as currently formulated is a good start. But it has a potentially fatal flaw

Paygo does nothing to address automatic increases in entitlement programs, which currently account for 2/3 of spending and are rapidly growing.

In fact, given what we can project about entitlement programs, Paygo is merely a mandate to raise taxes every year.

So please let’s complete paygo. Get rid of all mandatory increases or at least account for them. Entitlements are by far the biggest part of spending.

If you do not address them, it is like asking, “Besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

All this, of course, assumes Dems will stick to their budget promises, something no Dem congress has ever done.

Posted by: Jack at January 6, 2007 2:31 PM
Comment #201754


The Democrats have the power to undo some of the damage that has been inflicted on this country by fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the Republicans. In January 2009, they will have the power to balance the budget.

Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #201756

Holy Cow. Rocky is right. You righties really need to cut the crap and quit pushing the panic button here. None of you have the right to say anything after demanding nothing whatsoever from your own party for years on end — not even a smidgen of criticism or outrage.
The Democrats have just begun, and dealing with this ungodly mess of a situation created by the Republicans is going to take a little time to work through. We know this, therefore we’re not going to start immediately overreacting — and we’re certainly not going to do so on your command.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 6, 2007 2:46 PM
Comment #201758

jlw,

Your comment is cleverly worded to apparnelty give democrats permission to do nothing about balancing the budget for two years.

The message you are sending to Reid and Pelosi is SPEND…we don’t care about balanced budgets. I’m sorry to hear that.

Congress has the power of the budget. The democrats have both house of congress NOW. And they are going to pretend they don’t have the POWER to put us on track for a balanced budget? Very sad. The presidents budget is only a suggestion and unimportant. It’s the budget that congress passes that matters. And you seem to be saying you expect NOTHING from the democratic party as far as moving us toward a balanced budget.

I’d have to say I agree with you. The democrats will not balance the budget in 07, they will not balance the budget in o8, and they will do nothing at all to move us toward a balanced budget.

That’s very very sad.

And my point to those of you on the left, here and now, is that you MAY have the power to change that.

Go inhabit Huffington Post as yourselves…commited left wing liberals…and go there with an agenda….to get Reid and Pelosi to listen to the left and move the nation to a balanced budget.

It beats spending our childrens future and blaming it on others! The Republicans failed…..will the democrats fail, too? It appears so. Bush is willing to say the word “balanced budget”…can democrats say the words? will they fight for them or against them?

I’m afraid I know the answer, I’m afraid democrats never were for balanced budgets….it was all an act to get elected.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 2:51 PM
Comment #201761

How the hell can they balance the budget with the unimaginable deficit? And you expect them to magically do what the Republicans haven’t done for, what, 6 years?

Give me a break.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 6, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #201763

“All you are doing is talking smack. How about something a little more constructive.”

JoeRWC,

If you consider this republican whining constructive I prefer to just keep talkin’ smack.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 6, 2007 3:55 PM
Comment #201777

Pay-As-You-Go, is just one step of several that will be needed to zero out the deficits. Pulling out of Iraq will help, as well, since much of our participation in the Iraq civil war is borne by deficit spending.

Spending cuts must follow, as well as tax increases on those who can still live very comfortable and affluent lives, after the new tax increases. A billionaire can still live very comfortably on 3/4 of a billion. No suffering will take place, just a few megalomaniac dreams of world control will be dashed, is all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #201783

womanmarine,

You are missing out on the larger picture. The democrats in charge, Harry and Pelosi NEVER promised to balance the budgets. Never indicate they will balance the budget, and never indicate they are willing to CUT SPENDING.

So they are clearly going to continue with deficits and even increase spending by increasing taxes.

Pay as you Go apppears to mean Massive deficit spending coupled with Tax and spend even more!

How about one step at a time here? How about if we can get Harry and Nancy to actually say the words, we will work to balance the budget by year XXXX.? As long as they have no intention of balancing the budget, it’s not going to happen.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 6:44 PM
Comment #201786

Stephen, The president mentioned balancing the budget for the first time of his presidency just now in ‘07. That is pure B.S. since he cannot delete entitlement spending and refuses to leave Iraq while he is president.

Democrats are attacking earmarks, going for Pay Go which at the very least, prevents Republican borrow and spend philosophy from continuing, and forcing either spending cuts, or raising taxes, or BOTH, to insure no more deficit additions.

This is a step in the right direction. At this point in time, it would be foolish of any politician to promise a balanced budget by a specified date unless they are saying it for political expediency, because such promises cannot anticipate the future such as another catastrophe or terrorist attack, etc.

That said, there are millions and millions of Independent voters out here ready and willing to boot Democrat incumbents in ‘08 if their actions do not reflect an earnest effort to halt the growth of the national debt which threatens America’s safety nets.

The only prudent thing to say about Democrats at this time is: Good beginning, but, we will wait and see. Talk is cheap, walking this uphill path toward fiscal responsibility remains to be seen. Give them the benefit of the doubt for now, but stand ready to hold them accountable in ‘08.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #201788

David, you seem to be avoiding the issue by hiding behind George Bush.

George Bush is now talking balanced budgets and how we get there. Why aren’t democrats willing to talk about balanced budgets and how we get there?

Democrats are NOT attacking earmarks.

Not one single ear mark is being denied by the democrat bill. And no limit is set for ear-mark spending. This in nothing but PR.They only require that they be “tranparent”. So what you get is “transparent corruption”.

How about if we reduce the amount of money we allow to go to earmarks? And how about if we reduce the number of earmarks? How about ELIMINATING earmarks? The pelosi earmark plan is nothing but propaganda for the loyal masses to use to declare victory with while earmark money flows out of the treasury.

Newt promised a balanced budget and delivered it, why can’t dems? And lets not fiddle with words, not only are dems not promising a balanced budget by a certain date….they are not even indicating that they are open to the idea of someday trying to balance the budget. Why? Because the defict spending of the new demcoratic congress is now undeway…and there is no way they are willing to do the hard job of gradually balancing the budget.

It’s not a good beginning. Pelosi promised that from day one she would be inclusive and bipartisan working with the Republicans. Then she turned around and said no, I’m not going to do that, Republicans will not be allowed to offer any alternatives in the first several weeks. So much for the “from day one” promise”.

Pelosi promised no new deficit spending. Today she was spending money at deficit level….that’s NEW deficit spending. Shes ADDING to the deficit. So what good is her promise? What does her promise mean? She’s spending at deficit rate and hasn’t even promised to reduce deficits.

And her bill for Pay as you go appears to mean, on top of existing deficits we will tax and spend even more money.

No, it’s not a good start. It’s a poor start. We have a democratic party that cannot say the words: “Balanced Budget”. And we have democrats already defending deficit spending declaring they have no obligation to balance the budget or to work toward a balanced budget.

What would be a good start would be for some of you liberals to angry, start a grass roots, liberal movement to get balanced budgets out of the left wingers who now control our government.

But you,too, are not really concerned about deficits as long as they are democratic party deficits.

I’m afraid it’s a very bad beginning.

I don’t need to give them two years to avoid their responsiblities before juding them. I intend to judge them each and every day on everything they do.

And if they announce they will officaly work toward a balanced budget by year such and such I will praise them. You will see me PRAISE ThEM HERE for doing the right thing.

But that’s a promise I will never have to keep because they have no intention of ever balancing the budget.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #201789

Stephen:

I think you should have asked for those promises you want from the Republicans. I don’t know what you want, and I don’t think you do either. It appears you want promises. I don’t. I will wait and see what they do.

And isn’t the budget you keep referring to as Pelosi’s really the one the Republicans dumped in her lap? I think she’s just letting that one go through to be able to have time to work things out and pay attention to other things off the bat.

You’re being pretty demanding, where have you been the last 6 years?

I think I see the larger picture just as well as you do, perhaps through a different perspective.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 6, 2007 7:38 PM
Comment #201793

In January 2009, they will have the power to balance the budget.

They have it now! They just won’t use that power because many of you seem to think that deficit spending is OK for Democrats.

We, as a nation, are over $8,000,000,000,000 in debt. That’s eight TRILLION and neither party wants to do anything about it. The biggest chunks of the debt are owed to the Treasury (ourselves, in other words) and to foreign powers. We the people must call in our share of the loan so we can be in a better position when certain foreign powers decide to call in theirs.
“Borrowing and spending” by the Democrats is no better than it was under the Republicans. There is no moral high ground here.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 6, 2007 7:58 PM
Comment #201795

TheTraveler, Agreed. There is no moral high ground. Both parties have failed us and it appears this more recent switch in power is leading us down the path to more failure.

The liberal voters themselves could change this if they made it the number one item on their agenda…but they wont. They are too busy defending deficits to sugget to their leadership that they work on balancing the budget.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #201798

womanmarine,

I’m not asking Pelosi to wave a magic wand and make them go way on day one. It would take years to eliminate them. what I do expect on day one if for Democratic party leadership to announce the intend to balance the budget, it will take years, give us a target date and sit down and start working out the details.

I’m not going to ever get that am I? Is that too much to ask, to ask them to announce they intend to get us to balanced budgets? Wasn’t that what all the democratic party voters were telling us democrats would do, balance the budgets the republicans refused to balance?

I want a balanced budget and I don’t care which party does it, I expect it, I demand it, I will be loud, vocal, demanding, and those bastards@ face until they balance it. That may be the rest of my life.

Pray my life is short democrats, I’m not going to stop. I want balanced budgets. I want a FIX for social security. I want a FIX for medicare. I want National Health Care AFTER the first three items are dealt with. I want a boarders that are closed to the millions of illegals that are swamping the social system made for LEGAL citizens. I want the US to be competitive in energy and economy.

But for now, I settle for a balanced budget first.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #201799

The liberal voters themselves could change this if they made it the number one item on their agenda…but they wont. They are too busy defending deficits to sugget to their leadership that they work on balancing the budget.

Yep, the old “We don’t have to do it because the other party should have done it first” argument.
That argument didn’t work for the Republicans either.

Hopefully, it won’t take long for the Democrats to realize that they can’t blame their current actions on the past. There’s only a little they can do about this year’s budget, but as soon as President Bush’s State of the Union address is over, next year’s budget will be in the hands of the Democrats to do with as they please. If they try to blame future deficit spending on Republicans, or even bush, they are going to have a problem justifying the argument.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 6, 2007 8:36 PM
Comment #201800

Like I said Stephen, show me your posts demanding from the Republicans for the last 6 years what you are demanding from the Democrats now.

Fix social security? Are you aware Bush is signing or has signed an agreement with Mexico that lets illegal aliens collect social security after only paying in (under false and/or stolen social security numbers) for 18 months when they become eligible? It takes the rest of us citizens 10 years. I don’t know all the details, I just caught the tail end of a discussion on the news. I need to do some research to get the details.

Do I want the Democrats to do the right thing? You’re damn right. Am I going to wring my hands and get a megaphone if it doesn’t happen immediately? No. I suspect it will take time, and remember, it will take negotiation with this president. Amazing he never uttered the words balanced budget until the Democrats took congressional power.

And, I suppose, based on other posts I’ve seen, that raising taxes would be a bad thing to help accomplish getting rid of this tumor of a deficit? Better to cut what sticks in Jack’s craw, entitlements, since those folks deserve what they get. That’s been a Republican agenda all along. Create a budget where entitlements have to go in order to get things back in control.

Go ahead, yell. But don’t anticipate or ASSume. Just because they aren’t saying what you want to hear doesn’t mean the intent is not there. Perhaps they are working on it before making promises? Nah, couldn’t happen, could it.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 6, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #201803

Stephen and TheTraveler,

If you strip off the partisan labels, this is all very simple. You two think that balancing the budget should be a very high priority. So do what you can do: write and call your congressman, write blog posts, make your case.

Both parties have people who feel strongly about these and people who don’t. Personally, I don’t think that Bush and the Democrats in Congress should make it a top priority, so I am not going to agitate for it. Nobody is obligated to champion someone else’s cause.

There we go. The farmer and the cowboy can be friends.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 6, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #201804

Here’s the agreement I heard on the news today:

link

Posted by: womanmarine at January 6, 2007 9:12 PM
Comment #201808

Stephen said: “George Bush is now talking balanced budgets and how we get there. Why aren’t democrats willing to talk about balanced budgets and how we get there?”

George Bush talked about a lot of things he couldn’t deliver like victory in Iraq, soc. sec. reform, improving the financial situation for working class Americans, homeland security, capturing OBL, and on and on. He is real good at promises he can’t keep.

I don’t want promises that can’t be kept. I want earnest effort and progress. I am seeing some of that from Democrats these first days. No one can set target years out for balancing the budget without a crystal ball. That is just political hogwash. I want to see deficits progressively diminished substantially.

But, with the safety nets needing to dip into deficits to keep them and millions of Americans afloat and out of poor cardboard boxes in alleys and suffering without medical care, it maybe that we cannot afford to create surpluses with the baby boomers retiring. It may be the best we can do is prevent the national debt from rising any further as a percentage of GDP.

You do realize I hope, that the legislation already passed by the Republicans already equal over 10 Trillion in national debt by the time their bills expire, right? Republicans managed to about double our debt in just 6 years. Took Democrats decades to get it to a bit over 5 Trillion. Republicans only 6 years to double that.

The choice, according to history, is quite clear. Democrats are historically fiscally more responsible with the last 6 years added to the book. Reagan did the same thing, radically increasing the national debt. It took a Democratic president using a veto pen with the cooperation of a Republican Congress to get a lid on deficit spending. Then everything went to hell when Republicans got full control.

That’s the history. The Democrats have committed in public to being far more fiscally responsible than the Republicans were. Shouldn’t be too difficult since, Republicans didn’t even try to be fiscally responsible after 2000.

Pay-Go is a good first step. We the people now need to pressure our Democrat representatives to make good on their promise. But, setting a date to insure failure - we’ll leave that to this Republican president. Failure is what he is good at preparing the nation for.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #201817

Woody,

If you strip off the partisan labels, this is all very simple. You two think that balancing the budget should be a very high priority. So do what you can do: write and call your congressman, write blog posts, make your case.

Why do you think I’m posting here? It is important to me. Our nation is not only bankrupt, but $8,000,000,000,000 in the hole.

womanmarine,

And, I suppose, based on other posts I’ve seen, that raising taxes would be a bad thing to help accomplish getting rid of this tumor of a deficit?

I think they should raise taxes for the rich and cut the budget. The extra money should go straight to paying off foreign debt. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of owing foreign governments trillions of dollars. it’s bad enough the government can’t pay itself off, but owing money to other governments is nothing short of criminal in my opinion. This isn’t just about ending the deficits, it’s about paying off the debt.

David,
But, setting a date to insure failure - we’ll leave that to this Republican president. Failure is what he is good at preparing the nation for.

In other words, we don’t need a timetable for withdrawal from the debt quagmire.
I think we need an exit strategy!

If you don’t want a date for failure, here is a date for success: March, 2007. the ‘08 budget will be in the hands of Pelosi and the House. If they really want to kill the deficit and start paying down the debt, they should start this year. If they don’t, I humbly ask that the Democrats (and bloggers like AP) to please shut the hell up about fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 6, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #201828


The Traveler:

Your quite right, I think I’ll just shut the hell up about fiscal responsibility and just make excuses for the Democrats until the Republicans regain control of the government in 2060. Your side has given us many valuable lessons on how to shut the hell up about fiscal responsibility.

Since you insist that the Democrats announce they are going to balance the budget, I am going to email my newly elected Senator and tell him to sponsor a bill to recind the Bush tax cut for everyone making more than $100,000, retroactive to 2001. That would be a good start, don’t you think?

Posted by: jlw at January 7, 2007 12:35 AM
Comment #201830

The Traveler, I agree with your sentiment. But, what we need is realistic political strategy combined with commitment to halt the rise in the national debt. Zeroing out the deficit with a 7 month notice, while escalating the war in Iraq, is asking too much, even of fiscal conservatives, and here is the political reality reason why. The spending cuts and tax increases will need to be phased, as you well know, or else the proposal won’t pass against the mighty lobbyists and campaign donors.

More important than ending the deficit in 2007 is eliminating the power of big money lobbyists to coerce legislation against the benefit of the people and the nation. Only then, can zeroing out the deficit in a relatively short period of time even be possible.

And that is what I will hold Democrats to doing - the ethics reform, true and substantive, which permits the Congress to represent the people and the nation, is of the highest and first order of business. If they fail that by 2008, then the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy push will be stronger than last year.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 12:41 AM
Comment #201831

The Traveler:

I guess that’s my biggest point. In my mind the budget can never be “balanced” when we as a country owe so much money. Pay Go is just a beginning to halt increasing the deficit (of course not counting the interest that accrues). I think this is the worst thing for the country, this deficit. And then you look at the compensation of some CEO’s etc, and you begin to wonder if this isn’t the twilight zone.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 7, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #201833

Womamarine, the debt is what will kill us economically. The deficits are incremental additions to that debt. Small deficits at this time would not be nearly as harmful to our future as these 1/3 trillion deficits per year and more which the Republicans have been adding to the debt.

We are already vulnerable to foreign nations dumping our treasury bonds. More than 40% of our national debt is owed to foreigners. If they dump the bonds, guess who gets left holding them with no choice of action but inflate our currency? The USA government and pensioners and 401K investors with holdings in both stocks and bonds. For, if inflation takes off as a result of inflating our currency, to meet debt obligations, the stock market tumbles, Huge, and the nation faces recession or worse.

That is the potentially vulnerable legacy Republicans have left us, all in the name of profiting corporations to unheard of levels, as in the Medicare Rx drug law that gave tax dollars in the billions to big Pharma by eliminating competitive bidding for the government contract.

It is as if, the Republicans decided this was their opportunity to make themselves and their rich contributors recession proof by making them incredibly rich off American tax dollars. And growing rich investors are now investing overseas. Wise policy given the Republican debt legacy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 12:58 AM
Comment #201835

Pay go is a start.

Funny how Reps are attacking the Dems for keeping spending at levels the Reps put in. FYI That is already a cut because of inflation. It is also temporary until a new budget can be formulated.
You are expecting a miricle in 2 days? If you really want a balanced budget then you need to support a repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy,a major cut in the bloated defense budget, and a repeal of oil company subsidies for starters.Bush is likely to veto these and has said as much.

Posted by: BillS at January 7, 2007 1:02 AM
Comment #201838


I think the President will veto any budget that does’t protect those wealthy investors and the corporations.

Posted by: jlw at January 7, 2007 1:27 AM
Comment #201845

jlw,

The Traveler:

Your quite right, I think I’ll just shut the hell up about fiscal responsibility and just make excuses for the Democrats until the Republicans regain control of the government in 2060. Your side has given us many valuable lessons on how to shut the hell up about fiscal responsibility.

My side? You mean independents? We seem to be the only ones who want to do anything about the debt. All the parties have done so far is run the debt up and get their supporters to make excuses for it.

Since you insist that the Democrats announce they are going to balance the budget, I am going to email my newly elected Senator and tell him to sponsor a bill to recind the Bush tax cut for everyone making more than $100,000, retroactive to 2001. That would be a good start, don’t you think?

Sounds good to me. We need more people involved in the process so the parties will see that this issue is important.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 7, 2007 8:47 AM
Comment #201846

The way to stop all the spending is too… STOP ALL THE SPENDING!
We need to fix social security, which is very expensive, and there is actually very little money going into it. The pork and all the midnight basketball programs are relatively small. Not having to pay SS, would be like not having to pay your mortgage. It would provide plenty of money to pay down any deficit.

Posted by: JoeRWC at January 7, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #201858

“Not having to pay SS, would be like not having to pay your mortgage. It would provide plenty of money to pay down any deficit.”

JoeRWC,

What exactly are you suggesting? Just stop paying benefits but still continue taxing folks at the same level? I’ve not brought home a pay check since 2001 but I seem to recall that Social Security withholding was seperate from Income Tax. (as is Medicare withholding)

What about the tens of millions of Americans that would be left in stark poverty? Perhaps a return to the day of poor houses and poor farms? It all sounds a bit “third world” to me.

Please tell me more.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 7, 2007 11:19 AM
Comment #201868

jlw, Let Bush Veto. My guess is there are enough Republicans with a conscience about fiscal responsibility to side with Democrats on a bill with a veto proof majority that would halt deficit creep provided both spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy were the base of the bill.

That said, the ball is in Democrat’s court to broker that deal with conservatives with meaningful spending cuts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 12:56 PM
Comment #201869

Bills, and putting competitive bidding back into the Medicare Rx drug entitlement - the brain child of Republicans.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #201880

We’re not even a week into the new congress, and already the more partisan Republicans on this site are predicting failure. This is after accepting the hollow promises for reducing spending and the national debt for years on end.

It was obvious three years ago that deficit spending was a major concern for Americans. It was obvious to many that we had little to gain by returning to deficit spending. It’s been obvious for some time that we can’t afford Bush’s tax cuts, whether the intentions were good or cynical. The response by Republicans now is not unlike somebody making a mess, telling us to clean it up, and when we tell them its going to take time, jumping down our throats.

You folks had your chance to pressure your congress to get this over with. Unfortunately, Republicans have a bad habit of waiting for poorly founded theories to be vindicated.

The American people have decided to stop waiting. That doesn’t mean its going to happen overnight. Make no mistake though: the Democrats have much to gain by succeeding where this President and your congress have failed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 7, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #201884

BillS

You are expecting a miricle in 2 days?

Of course, Pelosi was promising them and everyone knows Democrats don’t lie. That’s the exclusive territory of the Republicans.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 7, 2007 2:12 PM
Comment #201890

Ron, its not exclusive territoty its just the repubs seem to exercise it much more often and are better at it.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2007 2:47 PM
Comment #201891

Ron Brown-
The plain fact is, you failed to hold your party to their word. Democrats, knowing that the power of their party is on the line, have no incentive not to push for them to keep their word.

If we fail over the next few years, you can gloat about our failures. Doing so right now is purely partisan, and gives folks later the evidence they need to believe that Democrats couldn’t win whatever they did, that Republicans had set out from the start to badmouth Democrats, before they had anything to support their claims.

Don’t cry wolf now. Wait till you have a real beast to warn people about. The evidence will strengthen your rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 7, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #201922

j2t2

Ron, its not exclusive territoty its just the repubs seem to exercise it much more often and are better at it.

Both parties exercise it the same and are just as good at it.


Stephen
I’m not Republican and I aint gloating. I’m just stating fact. Both parties have failed. The Republicans have failed the last 12 years and the Democrats for 50 years before that. And they will fail now.
The reason for that is both parties have put their personal gain over the better good of the Nation. Neither party has been representing their constitutes. Instead they’ve been representing the special interest that donate big money to their campaigns.
But your right, I failed to hold the Republican accountable. Just like you have. And I have failed to hold the Democrats accountable. Just like you have.
The question now is are we going to start holding ALL our elected officials accountable? Or are we going to just sit by and let them keep doing business as usual?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 7, 2007 6:16 PM
Comment #201942

“Both parties have failed. The Republicans have failed the last 12 years and the Democrats for 50 years before that. And they will fail now.”

And yet, somewhere along the line we became the worlds only “super-power”. Along with that status we’ve earned a great deal of criticism and the big red “bull’s eye” for anyone that fears or envies us.

At the end of the day we’re a work in progress. Some prefer to think we should “stand still” rather than progress with time. It’s been my experience that nothing “stands still”, it either regresses or progresses.

Perhaps the terms “conservative” and “liberal” should be replaced with the terms “regressive” and “progressive”.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 7, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #201962

Ron Brown-
Both parties have failed. However, the Republicans have marketed themselves as superior stewards of fiscal discipline based on the notion that Democrats simply want everybody’s money and want to spend recklessly. What has happened, to put it plainly, is that those on the right have accepted this so unquestionably that they failed to act to confront problems at the beginning.

I don’t think Democrats trust their representatives all that much more than they do the Republicans.

On the subject of holding the Republicans accountable, I can only shake my head. We’ve been complaining about Bush messing up the fiscal situation for years now. We held them accountable, we just couldn’t hold them to full account.

Personally, I’m not going to let them Replicate the mistakes of the Republicans. That’d be just humiliating. I think most Democrats feel that way. I think the leadership knows this.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 8, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #202004

I applaud the Dems for holding true to their word and installing Paygo as quickly as they did. My fear is they may live to regret living up to the Paygo promise.

How are the Dems going to deal with the 23 million Americans who will be slapped in the face at tax time when they find out they are subject to AMT? Here’s the problem. Dems continually tout a middle class tax cut and that they stand up for the little guy. To hold that promise, they will have to come up with the difference in the tax under non-AMT calculations vs AMT calculations. So, to hold true to Paygo, some one has to find in excess of 100 bill to either cut somewhere else or increase taxes. If they ignore the problem, they can not claim their usual loyalty to the little guy.

My income is beyond saving in the AMT scheme. I have no dog in this hunt. And I again applaud their at least superficial efforts at Paygo. I’m not so sure they have thought this all the way through.

Posted by: Chi Chi at January 8, 2007 10:49 AM
Comment #202020

Both parties have failed, Miserably. They seem to be so consumed with competeing with each other that they have totally lost site of why they are in office.
Face it, our country is run by lobbyists and corperations, not by “We the People”. It is a very disturbing trend. I realize it’s been that way for a long time, and this makes it even more disturbing. But it sure as hell doesn’t make it right!
I see everyone pointing fingers at democrats or republicans about who is running our country into the ground. Well, That argument could go on forever. The real culprit is “We the People” for letting the politicians pull the wool over our eyes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Can anybody tell me how much a congressperson (pc) makes per year? What about their retirment benifits? Why is it that the military people, the ones who sign the dotted line commiting to sacrificing everything ,(including their lives),for their country are paid pennies compared to someone who spends a few years in congress? I just don’t get it. As a veteran it really angers me.

The political system this country was founded on is over two hundred years old. It was created when honesty and personal integrity were valued above all else. That is no longer the case. Or so it seems.

I like to believe that there is good in most people. And I would like to believe that our elected represenatives are acting in our best intrest. I REALLY want to believe that. I also want to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and that the moon is made of cheese.

I don’t vote for a party, I vote for an individual. The one whom I feel can best do the job. Any American who does not do that, is doing their country a terrible disservice.

Posted by: Mike Sefsik at January 8, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #202024

Stephen

Both parties have failed. However, the Republicans have marketed themselves as superior stewards of fiscal discipline based on the notion that Democrats simply want everybody’s money and want to spend recklessly.

They sure have. And they’ve proved themselves liars of the last 6 years anyway.
Now it’s the Democrats turn. They’re marketing themselves the same way. Will they prove themselves liars too? Time will only tell.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 8, 2007 12:50 PM
Comment #202025

Chi Chi

I applaud the Dems for holding true to their word and installing Paygo as quickly as they did. My fear is they may live to regret living up to the Paygo promise.

They’ve installed it but will they go by it or will they abandon it? My guess is they will abandon it as soon as they think the public has forgotten about it. And the liberal media will try it’s best to make sure the public forgets it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 8, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #202069

Ron Brown:

They may very well abandon it. I hope not. But, if they do, there will be a political pound of flesh exacted by their opponents, whoever they may be.

I would still like to hear if anyone has heard how they plan to deal with the AMT victims. The vast majority of these folks now fall into the middle class pigeon hole—the folks Dems should be standing up for. Only about 10% of the folks paying AMT are the ones originally targeted for this program—unfortunately, that’s me. The point is that they can not possibly adjust for these folks and still follow thru with Paygo.

Posted by: Chi Chi at January 8, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #202248

Pelosi Just passed a bill to spend Billions but no clue as to how she will pay for it. Billions added to the bottom line and no “pay as you go”.

Ummm, what does “pay as you go” mean again? Uhhh, when do the democrats plan to balanced the budget? Oh my, our childrens children will have to pay for Pelosi’s massive DEFICIT SPENDING.

Posted by: Stephen at January 9, 2007 11:03 PM
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