Posts tagged spending
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) Joins CNBC’s Money in Motion to discuss the impending fiscal cliff.
By CBC News
‘It looks like that’s where we’re headed,’ the Senate majority leader says
U.S. President Barack Obama cut short his holiday and returned to Washington to try to hammer out a deal with congressional legislators to avoid a series of higher taxes and deep spending cuts that could spin the still-fragile economy back into a recession.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the government appears headed over the so-called fiscal cliff because of a lack of bipartisan co-operation.
“It looks like that’s where we’re headed,” the Nevada Democrat said.
Time is running out for legislators to come together on a comprehensive plan to address tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect within a matter of days.
A series of tax cuts that have been extended several times are about to expire, resulting in an extra $536 billion for American taxpayers. At the same time, military and other spending budgets are slated to be cut by $110 billion.
The combination of those two moves, it’s feared, will send the American economy tumbling back into recession. But the two sides can’t agree on concessions to avoid that prospect.
Congress is not expected to return to sitting until Friday, and the Senate is supposed to meet Thursday evening. But some legislators are already back in Washington beseeching each other to strike a balance.
In recent days, Obama’s aides have been consulting with Reid’s office, but Republicans have not been part of the discussions, suggesting that much still needs to be done to strike and pass a deal, even a small one, by Monday.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to congressional leaders warning that the government was on track to hit its borrowing limit on Monday, Dec. 31., unless a law is passed to extend the ceiling by another $200 billion or so to get through the next few months.
Geithner has said he would take “extraordinary measures as authorized by law” to postpone a government default, but he said uncertainty over the outcome of the fiscal cliff negotiations made it difficult to determine how much time those measures would buy.
Jan. 1 is not a hard and fast deadline. Congress could still act in January in time to retroactively counter the effects on most taxpayers and government agencies, but chances for a large deficit reduction package would likely be put off.
Taxes are a major stumbling block. Obama says he wants to come up with a way of extending some of the tax cuts to most Americans while letting taxes go higher for the wealthiest ones.
House Republican leaders on Wednesday urged the Democratic-controlled Senate to consider or amend a House-passed bill that extends all existing tax rates. “The Senate first must act,” they said.
But Reid’s office insisted that the Republican-controlled House act on Senate legislation passed in July that would raise tax rates only on incomes above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.
Meanwhile, Obama has been pushing for a variant of that Senate bill that would include an extension of jobless aid and some spending reductions to prevent the steeper, broader spending cuts from kicking in.
Even if the Senate acts, House Speaker Boehner would have to let the bill get to the House floor for a vote. The chances of accomplishing that by Dec. 31 seem slim.
Whenever the debt ceiling hits, however, it is likely to set up yet another deadline for one more budget fight between the White House and congressional Republicans.
With files from The Associated Press
Republished with permission.
By Tom Woods
I hope you’re sitting down for this: coverage of the “fiscal cliff” is a lot of hype.
Bob Murphy looks at the numbers and concludes that if the government goes over the “cliff,” then some $9 billion in cuts will take place. That’s three-tenths of one percent of government spending. By 2014 U.S. government spending will be above where it was this year.
The deficit will go down by $487 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, if nothing is done to avert the cliff. Of that $487 billion, the aforementioned $9 billion will be due to spending cuts. The other $478 billion will occur thanks to increased tax revenues.
So 1.8 percent of the deficit cuts will come from spending reductions, while the other 98.2 percent will come from increased tax revenues. When the economy fails to revive, this will be blamed on the alleged “austerity” program of the federal government, without noting that the laughable “spending cuts” were vastly exceeded by the tax increases.
Daniel Kuehn, Bob’s nemesis, crunches the numbers a bit differently, but still finds a vast imbalance between spending cuts and tax increases, and agrees with Bob that the panicked talk is overblown.
It’s being reported that Bulgaria has invited the US to send troops to its territory. One Bulgarian daily newspaper says Washington has already pumped around 60 million dollars into rebuilding a training range in the country’s East. The government in Sofia says this will help boost regional security and assist with the training of its soldiers. Anti-war activist Brian Becker says the US is seeking to extend its influence in eastern Europe.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
By CHRISTOPHER BUTLER
County and local officials throughout Tennessee will have to find a way to fund more government services with less taxpayer money in the near future, according to a new report from the state Comptroller’s Office.
In many instances, these county officials do not have the option of making budget cuts in services such as education, health, and public safety — that is because state and federal officials mandate that they provide such services. This happens at the same time demand for these services are on the rise, according to State Comptroller Justin Wilson.
In a new report that focuses on the current financial condition of county governments, Wilson said county officials throughout Tennessee ran up a combined deficit of approximately $490 million during the most recent fiscal year.
Meanwhile, total county-related debt in Tennessee increased $1.4 billion between 2007 and 2011 — even as county officials continue to put off their responsibilities toward paying their debts.
“This debt indicates that many county governments are deferring debt principal payments and other obligations to future years,” Wilson wrote.
Many of these counties received federal stimulus money in 2009.
Making matters worse, health insurance premiums and other liabilities are growing for employees who have already left public service.
“In addition, new accounting standards will require the recognition of significant long-term pension costs. These costs, which previously have not been recorded on the financial statements when they were incurred, will dramatically impact large and small governments alike.”
Furthermore, many county governments do not have staff members who know how to properly handle such complicated financial issues, Wilson wrote.
Christopher Butler is the editor of Tennessee Watchdog and the Director of Government Accountability for the Beacon Center of Tennessee. Contact him at email@example.com
Sen. Rand Paul on Your World with Neil Cavuto to talk more about the fiscal cliff.
Just days before Thanksgiving, the US Senate was planning on taking a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, but there has been a slight delay. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has proposed an amendment halting the vote. In it, Paul reaffirms the sixth amendment guaranteeing a fair a speedy trial to all Americans which has been threatened by the NDAA. Brian Doherty, senior editor for Reason.Com, give us his take on the latest development.
A true statesman and humanitarian, Dr. Ron Paul, simply states the road we are on verses the road we should be on, explaining both consequences and rewards. I feel no individual in office can fill his mighty shoes, but that is not necessary, as the time is now to advance the cause of Freedom and Personal Liberty and the person to carry that cause is you and I, as individuals uniting to create a critical mass, so often mentioned by Bob Schultz and others. The revolution is now in our hands and we each will decide how best to promote the battle for Liberty!
Transcript Location: http://www.campaignforliberty.org/national-blog/transcript-of-farewell-address/
Congressman Paul’s final speech on the House floor before leaving Congress
Below is the transcript of Ron Paul’s farewell address to Congress:
Farewell to Congress
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.
How Much Did I Accomplish?
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”
Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.
I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
At this point I wish I could laugh at the absurdly obvious nature of the federal government’s involvement in the manufacture of domestic terrorism, but unfortunately it is far too serious a matter.
For those who think the most recent case of 21-year-old Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) major role in said case is something of a fluke, think again.
Indeed, the FBI’s business is manufacturing terrorism of all kinds and breaking the law in the process. The two most recent cases I personally covered occurred in February of this year and then in May of this year as well. Let’s not forget that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also thwarted their own little manufactured terror plot in May of this year as well.
The most recent case involving Nafis has not bucked the trend in the slightest. According to USA Today‘s latest update at the time of writing this story, Nafis “allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent who provided him with inert explosives.”
Once again, we learn that the “terrorist” actually never was in contact with any real terrorists (other than those hiding behind the safety of a badge) and was never even able to procure real explosives.
Instead, as is the case with so many other cases of the government thwarting their own plots, we learn that Nafis actually would never have done anything if it were not for the help of the FBI.
The FBI’s narrative asserts that Nafis met the undercover FBI agent at a warehouse in the New York metro region where he “made the bomb, consisting of inert explosives, then assembled the detonator and armed the device in the van as the undercover agent drove to the Fed.”
In other words, as has been the case far too many times now, Nafis never was actually in possession of explosives and was never actually even able to get in contact with anyone but an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist.
For those who still believe that there is some giant horde of bloodthirsty terrorists hiding in American cities waiting to attack, the truths revealed by this latest manufactured terror plot will likely prove problematic.
Like the case of the 82-year-old nun who was able to waltz onto the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” a supposedly highly secure nuclear facility, earlier this year, this case paints a strange picture of the alleged terrorist threat.
Source: http://rt.comRiot police take positions during clashes with protestors at the end of a demonstration against the government’s austerity measures at Neptuno Square in Madrid, September 29, 2012 (Reuters / Sergio Perez)
Sporadic clashes have broken out in central Madrid, with twelve people reportedly injured after riot police moved in to clear the Plaza de Neptune, threatening to arrest those who would not leave.
The demo turned violent when police encircled about 300 protesters who refused to leave the square. The demonstrators chanted slogans, while some threw projectiles at police vehicles.
Twelve people have reportedly been injured as Madrid’s police split up the crowd, giving protesters the choice to either leave or face arrest. Two people have been arrested, El Pais reported.
A group of roughly 100 protesters tried to organize a sit-it, but left without incident, with police not trying to detain any of them.
The organizers of the protest have reportedly agreed to hold a meeting on Sunday to decide on the future actions of the movement.
In Spain, demonstrators spoke out against government spending cuts, tax hikes, and the nation’s alarmingly high unemployment rate.
The protest was centered near the Spanish Parliament building in the city’s downtown district.
Eager to make known their disapproval of the current administration, the crowd let off loud whistles near Parliament and yelled, “Fire them, fire them!”, referring to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government.