Comments about ‘Congress should take one more vote — to abolish debt ceiling’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Earmarks may refer to an expenditure, paid from the general fund, that has been specified to apply to a particular local project, usually within the congressional district of the provision's author. (These typically called "pork")

An earmark may also refer to the dedication of a discrete revenue stream to a particular program within the federal budget, regardless of whether that program is local or national in scope. Earmarked revenues are used to fund programs of various sizes, ranging from Social Security and Medicare to conservation projects funded from General Service Administration property sales.

One rarely noticed aspect of earmarks is that they typically do not have the force of law. But despite the fact that the administrative agencies are not legally required to pay for projects earmarked in committee reports, they uniformly do so to avoid being punished in the next years appropriations process.
(Harvard Law School)

Burke, VA

Mountainman and Lost - I'm not aware of anyone occupying the White House named Slick Willy. Your sophomoric names for someone who served the nation well for 8 years is truly disheartening.

Now, regarding the debt, I previously acknowledged that the Republican Congress played a part in balancing the national budget. But you would be less than honest of you didn't acknowledge that the tax increases proposed by the president didn't play a major role in that balancing. That's not reckless spending, that is responsible money management. Your assertion that the total number of civilian federal workforce actually raised under Clinton is just nonsense. According to OMB, the total reduction was 282,000. Of that, most came from the Department of Defense but they were all civilian employees. The end of the cold war had a great deal to do with this reduction. But the military did not suffer.

The debt has increased quickly under President Obama because of the reductions in revenue caused by the Bush Administration mentioned by me previously and by the reduction in tax revenue caused by the economic downturn. But the rate of increase in spending is lower than at anytime since the Eisenhower Administration.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Then, pray tell, how did he increase the national debt from about $10 trillion to more than $16 trillion in just under four years in office?"

2009 is actually a bush budget year since budgets are for fiscal years starting in october so the 2009 budget year started October 2008. Since then spending has barely increased at all comparing the 2012 budget (most recent completed fiscal year) to the 2009 budget year. As such the 1.5 trillion dollar deficit in 2009 is now only 1.1 trillion in 2012 since spending stayed flatish while revenue increased as we moved out of the recession. Also, the recession and tax cuts caused revenue declines which increases deficits.

Your numbers are correct but are somewhat misleading. 2009 was a Bush budget year, but the spending amount that year was increased due to post-Obama-inauguration policies like the stimulus. Factcheck considers 200 billion of the spending in 2009 to be due to obama policies. Compared to 3.6 trillion a year and divided out over the years since one gets a 1.25% increase in spending each year on average.

Everett, 00

One question --

How could GW Bush and his friends in Congress start 2 wars, pass Medicare Part D, AND lower taxes for everyone?

Republicans can whine and cry about debts and fiscal cliffs 'til the cows come home.

They have no-one but themselves to blame for most of it.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Joe Capitalist -- instead of penalizing Federal Workers by cutting their pay, why not cut the pay of our Senators and Congresscritters? They have set themselves up with automatic annual pay increases while the Federal Workers (who, as opposed to members of Congress, actually do work) has been frozen.

Wouldn't it better to cut the pay of those who make the bad decisions? (Of course, they have other sources of income so they might not even notice. Now if the lobbyists and campaign contributions and bribes from corporations and others dried up, than something good might happen. But I wouldn't count on it.)

one old man
Ogden, UT

No, Alfred, Truth Seeker is right. Most of the spending you and others are blaming on Obama are actually spending policies that were engraved in stone by previous presidents and Congressional lawmaking.

No President can stop the rolling monster of lavish laws inflicted upon him by his predecessors.

You, sir, have become a victim of a vicious propaganda machine provided to the right by courtesy of hate radio.

Hayden, ID

airnaut. Al Qaida stated two wars, when they attacked us! Remember 9/11 at all?

Orem, UT

Truthseeker: ""Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%."

So you take the biggest federal budget EVER which was bloated with a huge "stimulus" package to try and "prevent" an economic meltdown and make that the new base level for future budgets. Then you point out that it actually INCREASED from there (instead of decreasing substantially like it should have) and you use that as evidence that Obama is some kind of tightwad with federal spending. Seriously?!??

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mountain, but shouldn't President Cheney and his little friend have paid up front for the wars rather than putting them on the credit card?



Do you understand what the debt ceiling is?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) explains: "The debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations. Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred." The apparent redundancy of the debt ceiling has led to suggestions that it should be abolished altogether.


Get out of foreign wars. Restrict "defense" spending to actual defence. End foreign aid. Allow most government departments to die out by ending new hires. Outlaw "bailouts".
Require e-verification. Restrict spending to those items specifically listed in the Constitution. End all further deficit spending. Restore social security funds to the states of origin for local administration, and let the states collect them too. Restore states' rights according to the Constitution with every duty not SPECIFICALLY ennumerated in the US Constitution reverting to the states and the people of those states.

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