Follies from Jackass Bend on the Potomac

I’ve been screening the headlines since Friday.  Obama set a deadline for raising the debt limit.  The House passed a bill to raise the debt limit.  It also contained a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. That item is known as Cut, Cap and Balance.

The House and Senate dems screeched and declared it dead.  BO said that 80% of Americans want taxes increases.

Well the first may be true.  As long as the dems hold the majority of the Senate and toe the party line, the House bill will die.  The second however is another Obama lie. 

Editorial: No, Americans Don’t Want Higher Taxes

Budget: Four of five Americans are “sold” on higher taxes to solve the deficit impasse, according to President Obama. Either he’s deceiving himself or he completely misunderstands how the public really feels.
The president on Thursday cited a recent Gallup poll that purportedly shows, in his words, “80% want higher taxes” as part of a deal to slash the deficit. “The American people are sold,” he said. “The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.”
In fact, a quick look at the polling data referenced by the president shows this isn’t true. Not even close.
Gallup itself breaks it out: Those who say they want the deficit reduced “only/mostly with spending cuts” total 50% of those polled. Those who say they’d like it done “only/mostly with tax increases” total 11%. That’s not 80%.
Americans aren’t fools. Democrats just think they are. Whether its a $4 trillion “grand bargain” or a smaller $2.4 trillion cut in the expected $10 trillion in deficits over the next decade, if tax hikes are part of the deal it will sink the economy. Tax hikes are a nonstarter.
Americans see the explosion of $1 trillion-plus deficits stretching for decades to come, $107 trillion in unpaid bills for entitlements and a failed two-year Keynesian experiment that has pushed up federal spending by 25%. They know taxes didn’t do this — spending did.
That’s why Republicans should ignore Obama’s demand for tax hikes. In our own IBD/TIPP Poll, 60% of Americans said they’d be “less likely” to vote for someone who supports increasing the debt ceiling without “major spending cuts.” Heck, 58% said they either “somewhat” or “strongly” oppose raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling at all.
In our June poll, 74% of Americans opposed tax hikes as a way of getting out of our economic mess, while 80% also opposed more government spending.

I think BO is a pathological liar. He lies when there is no need. But, be that as it may, I’m not confident the ‘Pubs have the moral fortitude to stand firm.

There is no need to raise the debt limit.  As has been documented here, there is sufficient continuing income to service our debt, SS, Medicare, Veterans and the Military.

Other government spending, however, would be affected.  But, if the administration chooses wisely—more likely forced by Congress, there is a plethora of discretionary spending that can be blocked. 

The Heritage Foundation has a proposal to cut $343 Billion from the budget.  It’d be a good start.
 

Table 1: Spending Cuts for FY 2012
(in millions of dollars)
Agriculture
$15,000
Replace farm subsidies with Farmer Savings Accounts and improved crop insurance.
$2,033
Eliminate the Foreign Agriculture Service.
$1,500
Merge all four agriculture outreach and research agencies and cut their budget in half.
$1,000
Fund the Food Safety and Inspection Service with user fees.
Commerce
$500
Eliminate business subsidies from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Community Development
$6,000
Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program.
$598
Eliminate the Rural Utilities Service.
$523
Eliminate the Economic Development Administration.
$480
Eliminate NeighborWorks America (formerly the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation).
$200
Consolidate the Rural Housing and Development Programs and convert them into block grants.
$73
Eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission.
$48
Eliminate the Denali Commission.
$31
Eliminate the Minority Development Business Agency.
$8
Eliminate the Delta Regional Authority.
Education
$8,000
Return Pell Grants to their 2009 funding level of $24 billion, which is still double the 2007 level.
$2,000
Trim Head Start by $2 billion and convert it into vouchers.
$2,000
Scale back the Education Department bureaucracy.
$1,500
Eliminate dozens of small and duplicative education grants.
$298
Eliminate state grants for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities.
Energy and the Environment
$6,500
Reduce energy subsidies for commercialization and some research activities.
$600
Block grant and devolve Environmental Protection Agency grant programs.
$200
Restructure the Power Marketing Administrations to charge market-based rates.
$63
Eliminate the Science to Achieve Results Program.
Government Reform
$44,000
Halve federal program payment errors by 2012, especially by reducing Medicare errors and earned income tax credit errors.
Tighten oversight by spending $5 billion on new resources, such as updated computer systems, and then recover $49 billion in payment errors.
$20,000
Rescind unobligated balances after 36 months.
$12,500
Halve the $25 billion spent to maintain vacant federal properties.
$10,000
Cut the federal employee travel budget to $4 billion (half of FY 2000 spending).
$3,000
Freeze federal pay until it can be reformed.
$1,000
Suspend acquisition of federal office space.
$600
Trim the federal vehicle fleet by 20 percent (a reduction of 100,000 vehicles).
$300
Cut the House and Senate budgets back to the 2008 level of $2.2 billion.
$215
Eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
$100
Tighten controls on federal employee credit cards and cut down on delinquencies.
$70
Require federal employees to fly coach on domestic flights.
Health Care
$6,200
Reform Medigap.
$5,000
Repeal Obamacare (larger savings in later years).
$3,700
Require Medicare home health co-payments.
$673
Eliminate the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.
$414
Eliminate Health Professions grants.
$327
Eliminate Title X Family Planning.
$150
Eliminate the National Health Service Corps.
$98
Repeal Rural Health Outreach and Flexibility grants.
Homeland Security
$2,700
Eliminate most homeland security grants to states and allow states to finance their own programs.
Income Security
$500
Better enforce eligibility requirements for food stamps.
Interior
$1,500
Open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing.
(The savings are leasing revenues, which are classified as negative spending in the federal budget.)
$200
Suspend federal land purchases.
International
$2,636
Eliminate the Development Assistance Program.
$625
Eliminate the State Department’s education and cultural exchange programs.
$321
Eliminate the International Trade Administration’s trade promotion activities or charge the beneficiaries.
$183
Eliminate the Democracy Fund.
$68
Eliminate the International Trade Commission and transfer oversight of intellectual property rights to the Treasury Department.
$56
Eliminate the Trade and Development Agency.
$29
Eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
$19
Eliminate the East–West Center.
$17
Eliminate the United States Institute of Peace.
$2
Eliminate the Japan–United States Friendship Commission.
Justice
$7,334
Eliminate all Justice Department grants except those from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice,
thereby empowering states to finance their own justice programs.
$398
Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation.
$32
Eliminate the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service.
$30
Eliminate the duplicative Office of National Drug Control Policy.
$26
Reduce funding for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division by 20 percent
because of its policy against race-neutral enforcement of the law.
$4
Eliminate the State Justice Institute.
Labor
$4,300
Eliminate failed federal job training programs.
$2,000
Eliminate the ineffective Job Corps.
$576
Eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
National Science Foundation
$1,700
Reduce National Science Foundation funding to 2008 levels.
$86
Eliminate National Science Foundation spending on elementary and secondary education.
Transportation
$45,000
Devolve the federal highway program and most transit spending to the states.
$1,900
Privatize Amtrak.
$1,009
Eliminate grants to large and medium-sized hub airports.
$554
Eliminate the Maritime Administration.
$125
Eliminate the Essential Air Service Program.
Treasury
$26,646
Eliminate the additional child refundable credit.
$103
Eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
Veterans
$2,500
Cap increases in Department of Veterans Affairs health care spending.
$1,930
Reduce Veterans’ Disability Compensation to account for Social Security Disability Insurance payments.
Cross-Agency and Other
$60,000
Repeal unspent stimulus spending.
$8,000
Switch to using the “Superlative CPI” in funding calculations.
$6,000
Repeal the Davis–Bacon Act.
$2,250
Eliminate Federal Communications Commission funding for school Internet service.
$2,000
Ban project labor agreements on all federally funded construction projects.
$1,000
Eliminate the Small Business Administration, which unnecessarily intervenes in free markets.
$736
Eliminate the National Community Service programs, such as AmeriCorps.
$253
Eliminate the Institute of Museum Services and Library Services.
$140
Eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities.
$133
Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.
$61
Eliminate Army Corps of Engineers funding for beach replenishment projects.
$10
Eliminate the Commission of Fine Arts.
$8
Eliminate the National Capital Planning Commission.
$5
Eliminate the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Total
$343,207 million

Like I said, it’s a good start…but it’s just the start.                   

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