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11-18-2011 04:34 PM  6 years agoPost 1
Dennis (RIP)

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America’s $15 Trillion Nightmare

Mike Brownfield November 18, 2011

This week, the U.S. national debt clock hit a nightmarish milestone: a record $15 trillion. Words can’t even begin to describe the scope of borrowed federal spending, but it is no doubt a staggering figure that has risen dramatically in the last decade and is more than $4 trillion higher than when President Barack Obama took office less than three years ago. Unfortunately, Washington does not appear poised to take action to rectify the problem, and those with their hands on the wheel are ignoring the root of the problem: spending.

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday said of the news, “Today marks an infamous day in American history. It is the day that the national debt has surpassed the $15 trillion mark. This debt is hurting not only our economy today, but will result in our children and our grandchildren experiencing a diminished future.” Ryan is right. Future generations will be shackled by today’s debt. And Heritage’s Alison Fraser explains how federal spending is headed toward a cliff of terrifying proportions:

Federal spending, at about 24 percent today, is significantly over the average of 20 percent of GDP, but in a decade it will top 26 percent. Within a generation it will reach nearly 35 percent of GDP. Before the end of the decade taxes will have recovered from their recession-driven levels and will continue to rise thereafter.

So what’s Washington doing about it? Fighting over how high to raise taxes instead of getting to the root of the problem. By Thanksgiving, the 12 members of the congressional “super committee” are required to reach agreement on a plan to achieve $1.2 trillion in deficit-reducing measures–a mere drop in the bucket when measured against America’s spending crisis. Yet even that task appears out of their grasp. Fraser writes that Democrats on the committee have said no to several actions that would alter America’s crushing spending path, such as increasing the Medicare retirement age or changing in the measure of inflation used to calculate entitlement benefits, including Social Security:

Sadly, there are few additional changes on the list for them even to react to — and their so-called bold changes from several weeks ago have all but dried up. The Democrats’ intractable attitude on entitlement reform defies logic.

The facts are simple: Entitlements are going to generate European style debt levels unless they are reformed. Paying for it without bringing down their spending would require constant, crushing tax hikes on all taxpayers — not just the top 1 percent.

Fortunately, there are actions that Congress could take to rein in entitlement spending (which already comprises 40 percent of all federal spending), and those include bold reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But the same old ineffective approaches to cutting costs of years before–like cuts to doctors, hospitals, and other providers–will cause more harm than good and should be scrapped.

And there are some in the House and Senate who understand the problem and are advocating significant action. Seventy-two Members of the House and 33 Senators are standing against continued overspending, over-borrowing, and overtaxing. In a letter yesterday to the super committee, the House Members wrote, “It is evident that America has a fiscal crisis because Washington spends too much, not because it taxes too little,” and warned, “Increasing taxes on Americans would destroy jobs, erase all hope of an economic recovery, and simply serve to feed out-of-control spending in Washington.”

The Heritage Foundation, too, has called upon the super committee to “drive federal spending down — including by fixing ever-expanding entitlement programs — toward a balanced budget, while preserving our capability to protect America, and without raising taxes.” And Heritage vice president David Addington writes, ”The super committee has a chance — one chance — to get it right. More taxes means more government and a worse economy. The super committee should recommend legislation that rests on three pillars: (1) cut non-security spending, (2) maintain defense capabilities, and (3) do not hike taxes.”

There are 15 trillion reasons that show how deeply America’s fiscal house is in disorder, and there are 12 members of the congressional super committee who can propose a solution that helps the country turn the corner without raising taxes, without weakening our defense, and without burdening future generations. But getting there will require serious leadership, action, and an understanding that doing business as usual will not bring this nightmare to an end.

Reminder: Next Tuesday, November 22, at 8 p.m., The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are co-hosting a GOP presidential debate on national security and foreign policy, broadcast on CNN.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/18...=Morning%2BBell

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11-18-2011 08:00 PM  6 years agoPost 2
spaceman spiff

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We aren't the leaders in the race to the bottom of the barrel, but it makes no difference who gets there first, we will get there just the same, no one here has a foot on the brakes.

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11-18-2011 08:31 PM  6 years agoPost 3
shawmcky

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No NO,once you get rid of Obama,everything in the garden will be rosy and you will all live happily ever after.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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11-18-2011 08:40 PM  6 years agoPost 4
dschertz

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and don't forget the debt clock was taken down during Bush's term.

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11-18-2011 09:36 PM  6 years agoPost 5
spaceman spiff

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http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Here's one dschertz.

Reqires dual core processor to keep up these days.

The debt per tax payer is now over 133,000 $ Those nit wits can't even slow down much less reverse the debt. They dont even attempt to produce a budget... not even a bad one. Astounding.

We are quite screwed.

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11-19-2011 03:21 AM  6 years agoPost 6
drdot

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fwiw..

Agree this is a mess...But as long as SS, Medicare amd Medicaid are on the table, everything is a non starter...
There are far too many of us who have paid into these systems for too many years to have them evaporate now...And we vote.. As much as I agree with most conservative views fiscally, I do not believe the "entitlement" mantra....For much of my working life, I've paid half of what I make to the government(s)...Time to collect...Not my fault if the money was squandered.....Don't care...Don't have to care...

BC

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11-19-2011 07:31 AM  6 years agoPost 7
shawmcky

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If i was on a sinking ship,i would expect "ALL" hands to help save it,bickering in a time of crisis is unpatriotic when you are charged with looking after the interests of all on board,elected or otherwise,not just feather your own nest and ignore the plight of others.If the world has become all about"ME"we are finished in the moral sense.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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11-19-2011 11:32 AM  6 years agoPost 8
dschertz

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A lot of the problems could be solved if it wasn't for the "Republican this and Democrat that" crap, as long as that is going on it will never get better. If one hasn't noticed, both parties are pretty much the same now. Screw the people, give the money to big business, banks and government. Not going to work as we all can see. (maybe not everybody)Oh, and how much was the Iraq war? probably was enough there to cover the bill.

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11-19-2011 12:33 PM  6 years agoPost 9
fla heli boy

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not really. Total Iraq war costs topped 1 trillion sometime recently. Though this hasn't helped the cause, it's by far NOT the reason for our troubles.
Medicare and SS should be off the table....totally. This is the system we all pay into our entire working lives. These are NOT entitlements. If the average person were to have put the same amounts into a simple interest earning savings account their entire lives, the end result would be a much larger nest egg than you receive from SS. This could have all been solved years ago if they would've just kept the lock on the so called "lock box" that was SS. The only people to blame there are the lawyers (oop, I meant politicians) than unlocked that box. We need to look at the defense budget in general and ALL entitlements if we're to have a shot at digging out.

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