The Democrat Political Cover Commission

From the The House Republican Conference  •  GOP.gov

On February 18, 2010, the President signed an executive order (EO) to establish the “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,” co-chaired by President Clinton’s former White House Chief of Staff, Erskine Bowles, and former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY).  According to the White House, the commission “will build bipartisan consensus to put forth solutions to tackle our long-ignored fiscal challenges.”  However, the commission fails to take tax increases off the table and would not require a vote on the final recommendations by Congress until after the elections in November (or ever).  In reality, the commission amounts to little more than a political gimmick, allowing Democrats to talk about fiscal responsibility while they continue to bury future generations with record spending, deficits, and debt.

Summary

The President’s EO establishes the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with the expressed mission of “identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.”

Membership :
The commission would be comprised of 18 members who would be appointed by the President, the Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority leader of the House.  Under the EO, 12 members would be selected by Congress.  Three Senators from each party would be appointed by their respective Senate Majority and Minority leaders.  Likewise, three House of Representative members would be selected by the Speaker of the House and three by the Minority Leader.  The final six members would be selected by the President.  The President would be barred from selecting more than four members from the same political party, meaning the President would likely choose four Democrats and two Republicans.  Under that scenario, the commission would be comprised of eight Republicans and 10 Democrats, but Democrats would have control of 12 appointments compared to the GOP’s six.  This means that Democrats would choose which Republ! icans are on the panel.

Mission :
The commission would be charged with identifying and presenting policy recommendations “designed to balance the budget,” including policies to cut deficits by increasing taxes and slowing the growth in entitlements.  According to the White House, “primary balance” in the budget is defined as “achieving deficits of about 3 percent of GDP,” as compared to the projected FY 2010 deficit of 10.6 percent of GDP.  Over the next ten years, deficits will average 5 percent of GDP under the President’s budget.  Specifically, the EO requires the commission to propose “changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.”

Report :
The commission would be required to vote to approve a report containing their final recommendations by December 1, 2010.  The final report must be affirmatively voted on by 14 of the 18 members of the commission, meaning that at least four Republican members of the commission-presumably including the two appointed by President Obama-must vote for the recommendations.  Following the issuance of the report, Congress would not be required to act upon the recommendations.

Issues of Concern

A Powerless Commission :
The commission would be established by an executive order, rather than by a binding statute as other deficit-panel proposals have sought to do.  A commission established by an executive order cannot compel Congress to act on its proposals.  Democrat leadership may say that it would bring the commission’s recommendations to the floor if they retain their Majority, but they could easily change their position or simply ignore the suggestions.  Democrats could also choose to act on “bipartisan” recommendations which they support, like tax increases, and reject the spending cuts.

Taxes on the Table :
Given the Democrats’ track record of raising taxes, it has been widely speculated that the Obama commission could be used by Democrats to propose supposedly “bipartisan” tax increases.  Democrats could use the “bipartisan” panel as a means to say that tax hikes are supported by Republicans.  Many Members may believe that the current recession is the worst possible time for crushing tax hikes and that tax increases need to be explicitly taken off the table.

Politically Imbalanced :
When introducing the commission, the President stated, “the Commission I’m establishing today will build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility.”  In actuality, the commission is politically imbalanced as Democrats control 20 percent more of the panel and two of the Republicans will be selected by the Democrat President.

Timing :
The Commission would not be required to report its final recommendations for nearly a year, well after the federal government spends a record $3.72 trillion in FY 2010.  Many Members believe that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be faced immediately, not sometime down the road.  In addition, the commission would likely conceal its recommendations from the American people until after the November elections.  Some Members may be concerned that the panel is designed to hide its final proposals from the people until after they have voted.

A Lack of Credibility :
Democrats would control a majority of the commission and ultimately decide what tax increases or spending changes to recommend.  Unfortunately, since taking over Congress and the White House, Democrats have an atrocious record of increasing spending, deficits, and taxes.  Since Democrats took control of Congress and started passing their budgets in 2007, the national debt has grown by 42.8 percent.  In 2009 alone, House Democrats passed a “stimulus” bill-which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now predicts will cost $862 billion-a $1.3 trillion health care takeover that raises taxes by more than $700 billion, a $873 billion national energy tax on every American, two omnibus spending bills totaling more than $855 billion, and increased non-defense discretionary spending by 12 percent.

Facing political pressure, Democrats are desperate to feign interest in the rising deficits.  As a result of its nonbinding nature, many Members may believe that this commission constitutes an empty political tactic to convince Americans that something is being done, without actually addressing difficult fiscal realities.

White House Predicting $1.6 TRILLION 2010 Deficit

The downward spiral continues as the most inept and destructive administration in American history works its magic.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will predict a record budget deficit in the current fiscal year and more big shortfalls for the next decade in its upcoming budget proposal, a congressional source told Reuters on Sunday.

In its budget proposal to be released on Monday, the White House predicts a record $1.6 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends September 30, the Capitol Hill source said.

According to the estimate, deficits will narrow to $700 billion by fiscal 2013 before gradually rising back to $1.0 trillion by the end of the decade, the source said.

President Barack Obama will seek to strike a balance between reducing the deficit over the long term and stimulating the economy in the short term to ease the pain of double-digit unemployment.

Criticized by Republicans as a big spender, Obama used his State of the Union address last week to tell Americans he would dig the country out of a “massive fiscal hole.”

That hole is even deeper than previously believed, according to the estimate by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The estimate for the current fiscal year is significantly higher than the $1.35 trillion figure forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week.

Despite the difference, both estimates indicate that the deficit will continue to hover at a level not seen since World War Two, when measured as a percentage of the economy. Last year the government posted a $1.4 trillion deficit.

Notice that the throngs of liberal weasels who were all over president Bush for his deficits – a fraction of what the Obama administration has rung up – are nowhere to be found on this. It’s really quite amazing, isn’t it?

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-Cnation

Senate Dems Just Raised National Debt Limit to $14 TRILLION

Just read this at Michelle Malkin’s site: The senate today voted to increase the debt limit to $14 TRILLION dollars. The vote was, of course, right along party lines. Also – for reasons not clear to me – Senator Paul Kirk from Mass, the man who Scott Brown is supposed to be replacing, is still voting.

Read the whole thing here, and then let your Democrat senator know how you feel about this.

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-Cnation

Creatin’ and a-Savin’….

Competent criminals would have gotten their stories straight ahead of time.

Behold, the smartest administration evah!

I’m just surprised Valerie Jarrett didn’t start talking about puppy dogs and unicorns….

I’m sorry, but if you still support these people, you are a complete and total loser.

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-Cnation

Bank Tax Misses the Real Bailout Deadbeats in Detroit and DC

Facing rising populist anger over his administration’s billion-dollar bailouts, President Barack Obama proposed a $117 billion tax over the next 12 years on financial companies with assets of more than $50 billion. “We want our money back, and we’re going to get it,” the President said. The President is half right. Taxpayers are going to get their money back from the banks that received bailout money … but don’t expect to see any of the money the Obama administration poured into General Motors and Chrysler at the behest of their union allies. That is where the real losses are coming from.

The TARP program has so far distributed $247 billion to more than 700 banks. Of that, $162 billion in principal and $11 billion in interest and dividends have already been repaid. Except for AIG, almost all banks that received taxpayer money are expected to pay back the American taxpayers in full. As The New York Times reports: “The losses from the bailout fund are expected from money paid to rescue Chrysler and General Motors and the insurance giant American International Group, and from a program to help homeowners avert foreclosures.”

So the real deadbeats that are not giving us “our money back” are not the banks, but the union-backed car companies and failed government mortgage modification programs. But guess what? The White House has chosen not to include the car companies among the institutions that will pay this so called “Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee.” Also exempted are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that helped create the crisis.

The plan also will do nothing to help reform the banking system. Financial regulatory analyst Karen Shaw Petrou tells The Washington Post: “The new big-bank tax is just like charging a nickel sin tax on a half-gallon of cheap liquor — it may make moralists feel good, but it doesn’t do much to stop bad behavior.” Instead of protecting consumers, it will just end up hurting them. Financial services analyst Meredith Whitney tells The New York Times: “The irony is it hurts the weaker banks more than the stronger banks. To think that it won’t come out of consumers and businesses is mistaken.” And banking analyst David Hendler tells Bloomberg: “We remain concerned that this is more evidence of the cynical view of the banking industry which prevails in Washington.”

In sum, this new $117 billion Obama tax will penalize firms that already repaid TARP, and some who never accepted bailout money to begin with, while also making it harder for Americans to get the loans they need to help our economy recover, all while letting the real deadbeats get off scot-free. If the President were serious about making taxpayers whole and restoring confidence in the banking sector, then he should end TARP now.

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Democrats Right On Track To Bankrupt Nation

Once again, the party of SPEND is doing everything within their power to ensure America gets into a financial hole that it has no chance of ever, ever getting out of.

On Sunday, the Senate will vote on passage of a $1.1 TRILLION spending bill that will “give Cabinet departments such as Education, Health and Human Services and State increases far exceeding inflation”.

Because that what a congress that’s even remotely interested in fiscal responsibility in times of economic crisis and high unemployment does.

From FOX:

The measure provides spending increases averaging about 10 percent to programs under immediate control of Congress, blending increases for veterans’ programs, NASA and the FBI with a pay raise for federal workers and help for car dealers.

After a 60-36 test vote on Friday in which Democrats and a handful of Republicans helped the measure clear another Republican obstacle, the bill was expected to win the 60 Senate votes Saturday necessary to guarantee passage. A final vote is expected Sunday.

Read the whole thing here.

Does anyone doubt that the names of that ‘handful of Republicans’ will include the RINO twins, Snowe and Collins?

Repeat after me: ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

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-Cnation

WSJ: Stimulus spending doesn’t work

I’m tempted to say ‘Duh’ and leave it at that, because pretty much everyone besides Obama and the idiots in congress understands that the stimulus has had practically zero stimulative effect down here where us proletarians live, breathe, and – for those of us not spending our days on the unemployment line – work.

Businesses aren’t spending money, unemployment is still on the rise, people aren’t spending money. Everyone’s scared silly, mainly due to the tremendous economic and social uncertainty and insecurity caused by this administration’s actions, policies, and proposed legislation, and the prospect of crushing new taxes coming down the road to pay for it all.

Maybe if some of those ‘shovel-ready jobs’ were to materialize people would at least have the illusion of something positive happening, which in turn might generate some actual confidence, but there are no ‘shovel-ready’ jobs. There never were. The only thing ‘shovel-ready’ was, and continues to be, the b.s. flowing out of capitol hill.

Yes, the extended unemployment benefits have helped keep many families afloat, but it’s a band-aid at best. We don’t need band aids, we need competent leadership and sound economic policies, neither of which this disgraceful administration is capable of even comprehending, let alone providing.

Anyway, the WSJ article:

The global recession and financial crisis have refocused attention on government stimulus packages. These packages typically emphasize spending, predicated on the view that the expenditure “multipliers” are greater than one—so that gross domestic product expands by more than government spending itself. Stimulus packages typically also feature tax reductions, designed partly to boost consumer demand (by raising disposable income) and partly to stimulate work effort, production and investment (by lowering rates).

Read the whole thing here

I guess this would be an ideal time to point you to the online version of Economics in One Lesson. Read “The Lesson” and “The Broken Window” at least, a total of about five pages.

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-Cnation

John Boehner: Bloodhound Can’t Find The Stimulus Jobs.

From CNN: GOP says even bloodhounds can’t find stimulus jobs
On the day the June jobs report showed the U.S. labor market shedding 467,000 jobs, House Republicans released a tongue-in-cheek Web video featuring a bloodhound named “Ellie Mae” sniffing out stimulus jobs:

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-Cnation

Un-f@&*ing believable……

Bloomberg: Bailout of U.S. Banks Gives British Rum a $2.7 Billion Benefit
In June 2008, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John deJongh Jr. agreed to give London-based Diageo Plc billions of dollars in tax incentives to move its production of Captain Morgan rum from one U.S. island — Puerto Rico — to another, namely St. Croix.

DeJongh says he had no idea his deal would help make the world’s largest liquor distiller the most unlikely beneficiary of the emergency Troubled Asset Relief Program approved by Congress just four months later.

….Lawmakers rubber-stamped the package of arcane, if innocuous-sounding, tax items with one eye on the calendar. An election was only a few weeks away, and legislators were desperate to return home to campaign for their own re-election. A year later, lawmakers and the public are just now discovering some of the curious subsidies tucked into TARP and the government’s other massive intervention programs.  more…..

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-Cnation

WSJ: Cap and Trade “likely to be the biggest tax in American history”

Wall Street Journal: The Cap and Tax Fiction
Democrats off-loading economics to pass climate change bill.

“Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can’t repeal that reality.”

When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill’s restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.

Note also that the CBO analysis is an average for the country as a whole. It doesn’t take into account the fact that certain regions and populations will be more severely hit than others — manufacturing states more than service states; coal producing states more than states that rely on hydro or natural gas. Low-income Americans, who devote more of their disposable income to energy, have more to lose than high-income families.

Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won’t pinch wallets, behind the scenes they’ve acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming. During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them. more…..

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Human Events: Waxman’s Economy Killer
The House of Representatives will vote Friday on the so-called “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” — a.k.a the “Waxman-Markey” global warming bill. But whatever you want to call this legislative atrocity, if enacted into law, it will go down in history as the death knell of the American standard of living and way of life. If you hate America, this bill is for you. more…..

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-Cnation