Washington, D.C., Wall Street, and central bankers around the world rejoiced this week as Congress came to an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. The latest spending-and-debt deal was negotiated by Congressional leaders behind closed doors, and was rushed through Congress before most members had time to read it. Now that the bill is passed, we can see that it is a victory for the political class and special interests, but a defeat for the American people.
The debt ceiling deal increases spending above the levels set by the “sequester.” The sequester cuts were minuscule, and in many cases used the old D.C. trick of calling reductions in planned spending increases a cut. But even minuscule and phony cuts are unacceptable to the bipartisan welfare-warfare spending coalition. The bill also does nothing to protect the American people from the Obamacare disaster.
As is common in bills drafted in secret and rushed into law, this bill contains special deals for certain powerful politicians. The bill even has a provision authorizing continued military aid to opponents of the Ugandan “Lord’s Resistance Army,” which was the subject of the widely-viewed “Kony 2012” YouTube videos. Most of these unrelated provisions did not come to public attention until after the bill was passed and signed into law.
Members of Congress and the public were told the debt ceiling increase was necessary to prevent a government default and an economic crisis. This manufactured fear supposedly justified voting on legislation without allowing members time to even read it, much less to remove the special deals or even debate the wisdom of intervening in overseas military conflicts because of a YouTube video.
Congress should have ignored the hysterics. A failure to increase government’s borrowing authority would not lead to a default any more that an individual’s failure to get a credit card limit increase in would mean they would have to declare bankruptcy. Instead, the failure of either an individual or a government to obtain new borrowing authority would force the individual or the government to live within their means, and may even force them to finally reduce their spending. Most people would say it is irresponsible to give a spendthrift, debit-ridden individual a credit increase. Why then is it responsible to give an irresponsible spendthrift government an increase in borrowing authority?
Congress surrendered more power to the president in this bill. Instead of setting a new debt ceiling, it simply “suspended” the debt ceiling until February. This gives the administration a blank check to run up as much debt as it pleases from now until February 7th. Congress can “disapprove” the debt ceiling suspension, but only if it passes a resolution of disapproval by a two-thirds majority. How long before Congress totally abdicates its constitutional authority over spending by allowing the Treasury permanent and unlimited authority to borrow money without seeking Congressional approval?
Instead of seriously addressing the spending crisis, most in Congress would rather engage in last-minute brinksmanship and back room deals instead of taking the necessary action to reign in spending. Congress will only take serious steps to reduce spending when either a critical mass of Americans pressures it to cut spending, or when investors and foreign countries stop buying US government debt. Hopefully, those of us who understand sound economics can convince enough of our fellow citizens to pressure Congress to make serious spending cuts before Congress’s reckless actions cause a total economic collapse.
Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.
Man, something is off – I find myself agreeing with Dr. Paul again, what’s that 3 times this year?
You’ll come around.
Is this the same Ron Paul shown on 60 Minutes last night shaking hands with his bud Lee Bright and then having it revealed that he employed a number of his kin folk on his “Leadership PAC”?
A practicing NEPOTIST!!
This could change everything for TBG!
Think about it. Who is this list comparing? Which Congressmen/women ran for president? What amount of funding is required to even have a chance in competing with forces like Romney?
Ron Paul carried two presidential campaigns in which yes, family members worked on his campaign. Here is the breakdown:
–“Ron Paul paid 6 people an average of $6,333 per year over 8 years of campaign cycles”
Here’s another list of stats.
PAC contributions (2012 Campaign)
Granted this alone doesn’t represent the entire story, but it just goes to show how perspective plays an enormous role in statistics.
Congratulations 60 minutes.
Adults know you have to curb spending before you spend not after you spend. Apparently Teapublicans do not understand this concept. They seem to be fine with running up the credit card and then refusing to pay the bill.
As far as a bill rushed into law, whose fault is that? The Teapublicans. If they had supported a clean CR, that would not have happened.
“Apparently Teapublicans do not understand this concept. They seem to be fine with running up the credit card and then refusing to pay the bill.”
So your argument is that 10% of the minority party is responsible for running up the credit card?
And exactly how could you possibly have read what I wrote to say that. Typical Teapublican response. Deflect.
“They seem to be fine with running up the credit card”
Does that help you understand how I’m interpreting your observation?
Would you like to make a clarification or remain obtuse?
Billdo apparently doesn’t want to be bothered with facts let alone have his own comments thrown in his face, better you just go away rather than give him a headache.
I’ll answer for him, “I choose obtuse.”
OK, I will try to simplify the concepts. Saying the Teapublicans seem to be fine with running up the credit card bill, cannot possibly be read to say they are alone responsible for running up the credit card bill. They are only complicit in running up the credit card bill.
This round they alone were responsible for refusing to pay the credit card bill they were complicit in running up.
I’ll try to dumb it down even more. I give my daughter in college a credit card. We can both charge on the credit card. We agree we will together not charge more than$1,000 on the credit card. I go out and spend $1000 on fishing gear, and she goes out and spends $1000 on clothes. We get together and say, hey what are we going to do about this. I suggest, we pay the bill and try to prevent this from happening again. She suggest we refuse to pay the bill.
“They are only complicit in running up the credit card bill.”
Ok, let’s see if I understand this right. The “Teapublicans” as you put it, who I generally consider as being people who want balanced budgets(do you disagree?) are partially guilty for the overspending?
I need you to make it more simple for me, as I’m really, really simple.
They are a small minority within the GOP correct? They want balanced budgets, correct?
No, wanting a balanced budget is not determinative of whether you are complicit in running up the debt. All politicians would vote for a balanced budget, if it would not require cuts to what they want funded.
Its like saying I am for small government. That means nothing unless you say what you propose government stop doing. Teapublicans are notorious for not publicly stating what they will cut from government, because they know many cuts are not popular and their government check, government health care, and government retirement are important to them.
For example, I am sure many Teapublicans would be willing to shut down Social Security completely, but they would not come out and say that. Like Mitt. They can’t say what they would actually do until after the election.
If a balanced budget was the only concern, we could get that with increased taxes.
Teapublicans are just like every other politician. They want a balanced budget, but only on their terms. I have yet to see a Teapublicans threaten to shut down the government because we are spending too much on defense.
Ok, fair enough on the issue of them not meaning what they say-I can buy that I guess.
So to clarify, what you are saying is that they voted along with the Republicans on the overspending, but now that the overspending has created the need for a raised debt ceiling they have all of sudden abdicated, right?
Assuming I have all that right, do Teapublicans ever get a chance to say “we made a mistake” or do they have to continually perpetuate the overspending, forever presumably?
When would it be possible for them to say “no more overspending”? During budget debates?(when was the last time a budget was passed? will one ever pass again?)
“If a balanced budget was the only concern, we could get that with increased taxes.”
What is your response to this video showing it impossible to balance a budget?
Bill, using your scenario as an example for Government spending I would say that you are correct to say “we pay the bill and try to prevent this from happening again.” But to be like the government in this scenario you would say we will pay the bill with another credit card and then make the payments on that credit card while racking up interest charges all the while not working to “prevent this from happening again.” We raise the debt limit, which isn’t even a necessity to have one, but we don’t work to prevent needing to raise it again. The underlying issues are not being dealt with, and until they are, we will be hearing this stuff over and over again.
Congress should forget about the ACA that it cannot repeal, as it has not been able to any of the 42 times it has tried, and instead focus on cutting spending. The shutdown and impending debt ceiling issue were not about spending cuts. Republicans fully admitted to and completely ran on wanting to pass every single last penny of spending excluding Obamacare. They knew damn well it would not succeed. In fact, several Republicans, best example being McConnell, secured nice little spending deals for themselves while conceding defeat on the one issue this whole mess started over.
Dysfunction breeds dysfunction.
‘Turn me on,dead man.’