Debt Ceiling Drama, 2015 Edition

 

Sinking-dollar-debtDuring the fiscal year just ended September 30, the Federal Government collected $3,018,371,000,000.00 in taxes, an average of $251,530,920,000.00 per month, or $8,269,509,600.00 per day. Everywhere except Washington DC, that is real money.

Is it even conceivable that a supposedly fiscally responsible congressional majority could fathom a way to live within those means, given that they’re an all-time tax collection record in the history of our republic?

During the same fiscal year, Federal expenditures were $3,503,730,000,000.00, incurring a fiscal year deficit of $485,360,000,000.00, an admirably low number given recent history.

The deficit equals 16 percent of tax collection. Is the Republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that they can’t find 16 percent (plus a few percent for rolling debt) in the budget to cut? And this with 10 percent of our population on food stamps, untold more on TANF, WIC, and EITC? The list goes on. Do we need to fund a Department of Education, Labor, Housing, or Commerce?

Half, or more, of the Republicans in Congress have given a speech about a reckless, lawless, shameless executive branch and president. Is the best the center-right can advocate handing that same lawless president another blank check?

And we wonder why more than half of those polled support presidential candidates who’ve never held office. It is one of life’s mysteries.

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  1. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    BrentB67: Is it even conceivable that a supposedly fiscally responsible congressional majority could fathom a way to live within those means that are an all time tax collection record in the history of our republic?

    This is a rhetorical question, right? If not, the answer is no.

    No one who can spend other peoples money stupidly without personal consequence will cease to do so.

    • #1
  2. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait.  That’s right.  Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot.  Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    • #2
  3. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Let’s just have an emperor and be done with it.

    • #3
  4. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Or we could just not raise the ceiling. There is no requirement for the president to sign anything.

    Congress holds the power of the purse. If the ceiling isn’t raised and funds aren’t appropriated there isn’t anything to sign.

    • #4
  5. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Let’s just have an emperor and be done with it.

    When Congress and the president are all on the same side of the ledger, the spending side, what is the difference?

    • #5
  6. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    You’ve had several weeks to prove your suicide theorem. Do we have anything objective? Opinion polls and approval ratings being subjective.

    • #6
  7. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Let’s just have an emperor and be done with it.

    The fiscally responsible ones get assassinated on day 90.

    • #7
  8. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Let’s just have an emperor and be done with it.

    The fiscally responsible ones get assassinated on day 90.

    Frank you are much better than wikipedia arm waving.

    • #8
  9. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    You’ve had several weeks to prove your suicide theorem. Do we have anything objective? Opinion polls and approval ratings being subjective.

    • #9
  10. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Yeah we need the presidency. I though one of the ways you win the Presidency is by showing the voters what you stand for and the policy differences between Republicans and Democrats. Outline a balanced budget, make that your starting point. Theoretically Republicans could use reconciliation to pass the budget with little to no help from Democrats. If Obama refuses both to sign the bill or to negotiate, that could be helpful for Republicans.

    What is not a strong position when controlling both houses of Congress is to state Obama is President so there is no need to even try anything.  Sequester did not make many people happy. That said, it did show if Republicans are serious about reducing spending it can happen, even with Obama as President. No we will not get a balanced budget with Obama, but we could get a “better” deal by trying then we will get by giving up.

    • #10
  11. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Or we could just not raise the ceiling. There is no requirement for the president to sign anything.

    Congress holds the power of the purse. If the ceiling isn’t raised and funds aren’t appropriated there isn’t anything to sign.

    I think this fight is better, using your numbers above, to argue on the Budget. I at least hope more Republicans would be willing to fight about the underlying budget.

    • #11
  12. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    If the House turned republican in 2010 on stopping the Obama agenda, and the Senate turned republican in 2014 on stopping the Obama agenda. How does it follow that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and some of the Obama agenda goes unfunded then republicans will lose the Congressional majorities they won promising to stop the Obama agenda?

    If Congress never had any intention of using the power of the purse to slow the Obama agenda then why didn’t they say that on the stump in 2010 and 2014?

    • #12
  13. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Jager:

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Or we could just not raise the ceiling. There is no requirement for the president to sign anything.

    Congress holds the power of the purse. If the ceiling isn’t raised and funds aren’t appropriated there isn’t anything to sign.

    I think this fight is better, using your numbers above, to argue on the Budget. I at least hope more Republicans would be willing to fight about the underlying budget.

    Jager, it is hard to argue with math. I respect that a 16% cut in expenditures isn’t a walk in the park, but when you line up all the cabinet level agencies, non Medicare/SS welfare state, and even toss in the sliver that is foreign aid there is much in the budget that can not be funded that seems consistent with conservative principals.

    Unless conservative principals are to conserve and preserve the aforementioned institutions and programs and just install new managers. If so, then let them say it.

    • #13
  14. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    And Paul Ryan – who truly understands the impending fiscal crisis – doesn’t have a shot in hell at becoming Speaker.

    • #14
  15. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    EThompson:And Paul Ryan – who truly understands the impending fiscal crisis – doesn’t have a shot in hell at becoming Speaker.

    There is a common theme that has been going on for about a year. Eric Cantor lost his primary. Donald Trump surged in his Primary while Rubio has never really gotten above 10% and now Paul Ryan has people arguing against him for Speaker.

    Immigration reform has become something of a third rail for conservatives. Ryan advocated for immigration reform. Recent history shows that this does not advance ones career.

    • #15
  16. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Curious: How many people who read the post stopped and had to count all the commas in the numbers and try to verify what a trillion looks like spelled out?

    It looks and feels childish typing that stuff, but I hope it gets the point across.

    If conservatives are for limited government then there is no better way to limit government than to stop its unlimited borrowing for our own good.

    • #16
  17. David Sussman Podcaster
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Fly-by comment on this, but the Sequester was a GOP function which caused very limited pain in certain gov’t funded sectors. Even with that we are still .5T deficit (which Obama touts as a result of his policies). But the 2 yuuge budget showdowns will be happening in the next few weeks. 1. Do we raise the $18T debt ceiling, which we already busted through anyway and 2. do we keep the sequester cuts and spending caps in next years budget.

    Voters are angry. but Boehner wants to leave the party acquiescing to Obama, who wants no spending limits and a clean debt level increase. Will Boehner cave? (Best predictor of future behavior is past behavior) and if so, how will that impact 2016?

    • #17
  18. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    BrentB67:Curious: How many people who read the post stopped and had to count all the commas in the numbers and try to verify what a trillion looks like spelled out?

    The ‘commas’ have to be our first priority.

    • #18
  19. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    BrentB67:If the House turned republican in 2010 on stopping the Obama agenda, and the Senate turned republican in 2014 on stopping the Obama agenda. How does it follow that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and some of the Obama agenda goes unfunded then republicans will lose the Congressional majorities they won promising to stop the Obama agenda?

    If Congress never had any intention of using the power of the purse to slow the Obama agenda then why didn’t they say that on the stump in 2010 and 2014?

    Which parts of the Obama agenda do you think would go unfunded? Most of the stuff the Federal government does isn’t particularly related to Obama’s agenda. Suddenly having businesses not be able to hold conferences in the US (visas aren’t “essential”, so they get shut down with shutdowns), having your logging firm shutting down (and yet still having to employ your workers), having people dependent on SNAP (whether or not they should be) go without food, and such isn’t about Obama’s agenda. Shutting down our military is, sort of, but not in a way that’s helpful to us. Lifting e-verify so that illegal immigrants can work is related to his agenda, but only in the sense that we promote his agenda through shutdowns. Putting a hold on civil litigation is not. Having to reschedule countless OSHA inspections, meaning that many businesses have to close down for a while, is not. Most of what the Federal government does, it did under Reagan. Most of the Americans hurt by shutdowns aren’t hurt on a partisan basis.

    We might be able to get some political advantage from shutdowns, but it’s far more likely that Obama would, and we cannot get substantive advantage from a situation where Obama benefits from the harm done to Americans. When Obama has no incentive to swerve, it’s not a good idea to repeatedly play chicken with him.

    Thanks to 2010, the Obama agenda has failed in Congress. We’ve got spending down to 20.5% of GDP. We have a border that is more secure than ever. Obama’s end runs around Congress have partly come to grief. Congress is doing the things that it was elected to do (not all of the symbolic things, but the substantive things), despite the strong support the Democrats have had from the malcontents in our party. We stand every chance of being able to implement a positive agenda in a little over a year’s time.

    • #19
  20. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    James, you make some cogent points as usual, though having just spent a weekend at a competition with a state trooper on the border and thanks to funding DHS and Obama’s amnesty the incentive to come here is larger than ever. We are getting killed on the border after McConnell backing down.

    I agree it is shameful the support democrats have garnered from republican leadership.

    • #20
  21. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Or we could just not raise the ceiling. There is no requirement for the president to sign anything.

    Congress holds the power of the purse. If the ceiling isn’t raised and funds aren’t appropriated there isn’t anything to sign.

    But Congress passed the spending in the first place. They are requiring the President to spend money and then not providing the means to do so.

    Do you have any doubt as to how that would play out politically?

    • #21
  22. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    BrentB67:If the House turned republican in 2010 on stopping the Obama agenda, and the Senate turned republican in 2014 on stopping the Obama agenda. How does it follow that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and some of the Obama agenda goes unfunded then republicans will lose the Congressional majorities they won promising to stop the Obama agenda?

    If Congress never had any intention of using the power of the purse to slow the Obama agenda then why didn’t they say that on the stump in 2010 and 2014?

    Why would Obama, who in this scenario controls how the money is spent, not fund his agenda vs cutting say the military or other programs Republican’s benefit from?

    • #22
  23. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Jamie Lockett:

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Or we could just not raise the ceiling. There is no requirement for the president to sign anything.

    Congress holds the power of the purse. If the ceiling isn’t raised and funds aren’t appropriated there isn’t anything to sign.

    But Congress passed the spending in the first place. They are requiring the President to spend money and then not providing the means to do so.

    Do you have any doubt as to how that would play out politically?

    I think it could potentially be a plus. There is no objective evidence it will cause harm.

    I don’t think Congress should ever pass a budget out of balance.

    • #23
  24. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Jamie Lockett:

    BrentB67:If the House turned republican in 2010 on stopping the Obama agenda, and the Senate turned republican in 2014 on stopping the Obama agenda. How does it follow that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and some of the Obama agenda goes unfunded then republicans will lose the Congressional majorities they won promising to stop the Obama agenda?

    If Congress never had any intention of using the power of the purse to slow the Obama agenda then why didn’t they say that on the stump in 2010 and 2014?

    Why would Obama, who in this scenario controls how the money is spent, not fund his agenda vs cutting say the military or other programs Republican’s benefit from?

    I think that is easier said than done within the scope of the Constitution. However, you may be correct.

    It sets up an interesting scenario. Would choosing to ignore the military, a Constitutional requirement, rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors in public opinion?

    I think it sets ups a great question(s) of the presidential candidates whether they support his actions or not. HRC and other democrats could say they do support Obama, unfortunately they do not have the mixed race flack jacket to mitigate the damage.

    • #24
  25. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67: The deficit = 16% of tax collection. Is the republican response to fiscal conservatives so pitifully weak that there isn’t 16% (plus a few % for rolling debt) in the budget to cut?

    Wait a minute, you have it on some sort of authority that Obama will sign such cuts into law?!?!?!?

    Oh wait. That’s right. Need to win the presidency or engage in suicidal shutdown tactics to do this.

    I forgot. Shouldn’t have gotten excited.

    Frank, despite your recent admirable and enjoyable streak of good sense (which means I agreed with it, natch), this is a false dichotomy, literally the argument from ignorance, and one of the worst fallacies a commenter can commit.

    • #25
  26. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    David Sussman:Fly-by comment on this, but the Sequester was a GOP function which caused very limited pain in certain gov’t funded sectors. Even with that we are still .5T deficit (which Obama touts as a result of his policies). But the 2 yuuge budget showdowns will be happening in the next few weeks. 1. Do we raise the $18T debt ceiling, which we already busted through anyway and 2. do we keep the sequester cuts and spending caps in next years budget.

    The sequester was the result of the unusual and suspect SuperCommittee, which was a portable Congress for Obama to work with.  Sequestration was levied 50% on defense, 50% on nonsense, and 0% on the majority of spending, the so-called “mandatory” spending which will become discretionary as soon as somebody grows a pair.  Sequestration was the nightmare scenario that now serves as a template for how to cut spending without addressing the real problem, the auto-pilot growth of the entitlement state.

    Sequestration was so bad that Arizona Senator and “Gang of Twelve” SuperCommittee member Jon Kyl swore up and down to Hugh Hewitt that the only reason he supported it was as a bogeyman to shake at Obama, that it was “only a law anyway”, so if it passed it could be repealed or modifed, and that he would “personally lead the fight” to do so so if it should come to pass.  Sequestration passed and Kyl the lying coward retired.

    • #26
  27. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    BrentB67: I don’t think Congress should ever pass a budget out of balance.

    Even during war time?

    • #27
  28. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    And we wonder why more than half of those polled support presidential candidates who’ve never held office.

    The immigration problem gives us another reason; see this great column by Jeff Sessions and Dave Brat: 

     …we should only admit as many new arrivals as we can reasonably expect to absorb into our schools, labor markets and communities. We must never admit so large a number that the immigrants themselves are unlikely to enter the middle class or achieve stable incomes. And we have to recognize that there are record millions already living inside our borders in desperate need of a job.

    After nearly half a century of massive immigration it is time to turn our attention to our own residents. It is time to help our own workers, families and communities — immigrant and U.S.-born — rise together into the middle class.

    We need an immigration policy that shows compassion for Americans.

    Anyone running for the White House who cannot publicly commit to these principles should consider a different occupation. Americans should no longer have to wonder for whom their leaders work.

    A big part of Obama’s catastrophic spending is for entitlements for the newly imported voters – and for the rent seekers who are the other “welfare” recipients favored by the statists of the growing ruling Uniparty.

    • #28
  29. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Jamie Lockett:

    BrentB67: I don’t think Congress should ever pass a budget out of balance.

    Even during war time?

    I think a formal declaration of war is a different matter, but even then the declaration should be accompanied by a tax increase on all Americans to support the added expense.

    A war we aren’t willing to fund is a war we are not willing to wage.

    • #29
  30. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Woo, nice FP!

    • #30

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