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A real balanced budget means nothing is sacred - Comments (6) View Comments
Carole McWilliams - 6/10/2010
The hot new campaign topic for conservative politicians seems to be a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.
I don’t have a problem with balanced budgets. But I have a problem with the standard Republican approach to achieving them.
Newt Gingrich and Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman recently touted (in a Denver Post column) the benefits of balanced budgets during the 1990s – when Democratic arch-fiend Bill Clinton was president, by the way, and when the dot.com boom was in full swing.
We had budget surpluses at the end of Clinton’s second term, until George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans undid them.
Gingrich and Coffman said annual federal spending increases in the ‘90s were the lowest since the 1920s.
Maybe that’s because we weren’t fighting the two wars George W. started in his first term. Okay, so the first one in Afghanistan was in response to the al Qaida terrorist attacks on 9-11. If Bush had stuck with that instead of getting us into a second war, maybe we wouldn’t still be fighting both.
Things were so good in the ‘90s, Gingrich and Coffman say, that 2.5 million families left the welfare roles. Maybe that’s because they were forced off by the welfare reform bill Clinton signed, in 1996 I think. It doesn’t mean those families were suddenly better off.
It’s inherent during recessions for federal deficits to increase, because more people need government safety net programs while tax revenues are falling. Federal stimulus money has kept state safety net programs from imploding.
Theoretically the deficit spending is repaid when the economy gets better. The problem now is that no one knows when (or even if) that will happen.
I think we’re all worried about the ever increasing federal debt, including us godless socialist liberals (i.e. anyone who isn’t extreme right wing conservative).
But Gingrich and Coffman, like most Republicans, want to balance the budget solely with spending cuts. So all those people who have called on government safety net programs would be left to sink or swim. Many of these people are in desperate need through no fault of their own.
Gingrich and Coffman want to “reward” savings and investments, which most likely is code for more tax cuts for the rich.
These two Republican stalwarts neglect to mention that federal taxes were increased during the 1990s, maybe one of the reasons the government had surpluses at the end of Clinton’s second term.
Even the sainted Ronald Raygun was willing to increase taxes in the 1980s when it became apparent that previous tax cuts coupled with big increases in military spending had caused the debt to increase (surprise!).
Everything needs to be on the table as well for spending cuts, if we are serious about balancing the budget. That includes military spending. It’s time to say we can’t afford to spend more on this than every other nation combined!
Congress needs to get serious about fixing long-term funding for Social Security. We know what the fixes are. Any of them will anger some voting block, so it doesn’t get done.
And it seems many Republicans would rather privatize Social Security than fix it. If they had their way, the same thing could happen to your Social Security as happened to the value of your 401K last year. And there’ll be no bailout for you, Bunky. Every man for himself. It’s the American Way.
Maybe a balanced budget amendment is a good idea. It’s certainly better than some of the other stuff Republicans have tried to get attached to our Constitution in recent years.
But if they actually are serious about balanced budgets and cutting the federal debt, everything has to be on the table, including Republican (as well as Democratic) sacred cows.
I am writing this letter in support of Dean Boehler. Dean is running to be the next Colorado State Senator representing us here in Southwest Colorado.
I am supporting Dean because he is passionate about keeping government in its’ place. He has made his living in the real world, paying his taxes, living his life quietly, raising his family. He has been on the receiving end of “government thinking it knows what is better for us than we do” just like the rest of us. And he is fed up with it. He is an intelligent man who knows that good government is small government. He knows that the private industry, organizations, and individuals have shortcomings. He also knows that involvement from Capitol Hill, in most cases, will not fix those problems, but only MAKE THEM WORSE.
Dean saw firsthand as a missionary in Russia what a terrible thing it is when a government becomes socialistic. He is not just talking rhetoric he has seen the DEGRADED RESULTS of a nation that chose to make government its god, of a nation that turned to its government to fix all of its’ problems.
And that is why Dean decided to run for office… because we need strong leaders both in state and federal offices, who will keep the governmental beast in line and firmly tethered to the Constitution. And that is why I am only too proud to support him in the CO 6th Senate race. I hope others will do the same.
Re Carole McWilliams, PRT page 2, 30 July 2010.
Lets make it personal. Take 50 of the 40 of McWilliams income that she has control of (the government already gets the first 60 one way or another). Shes so bent on income redistribution, surely she cant possibly mind sending that in. Lets see if we have this straight. On Page 2 McWilliams scathingly chastises those of us who think "killing the government" (Hold on, FBI, those are her words) is a great idea, financially speaking. On Page 8 shes congratulating Bayfield for fiscal responsibility and a fat bank account. Fine! Give it back to the people who earned it! Yes, I do want the sales tax to decrease. Yes, I do want schools to economize just like the rest of us. If FLC needs new classrooms so badly then how does the new empress of FLC figure to justify raising salaries - try using the funds for classrooms! And by what convoluted logic does the empress think FLC government servants (our employees) somehow deserve raises when the entire nontenured world is conserving, reducing, cutting fat? Then theres Prop. 61, requiring the state to use - Oh, my gosh! - CASH to fund capital projects. Cant possibly mean the state would have to behave like we consumers and actually pay for something up front, instead of forcing us taxpayers further into debt? Cant pay it back in the allotted time? GREAT! Dont do it! Yes maam, we certainly would like to see some power returned to the people just as our founding fathers intended.
Art Maureen Charette
This emotional appeal lacks facts. Governments job is not to support citizens. IT is to keep them safe from external or internal attacks. Over 43 of Americans dont pay taxes yet they use the services provided by these taxes. They rely on other Americans to provide for them. Let those who are too lazy to work or who wont take jobs offered, stand up for themselves. Personal responsibility is what they need. And you illogically paint all republicans with a broad brush showing you are either a Democrat or someone who is taking money from the public dole ad doesnt want his gravy train uninterrupted. Get your facts in order and then write an educated piece on balanced budgets!
This emotional appeal lacks facts. Governments job is not to support citizens. IT is to keep them safe from external or internal attacks. Over 43 percent of Americans dont pay taxes yet they use the services provided by these taxes. They rely on other Americans to provide for them. Are you one of them? Personal responsibility is what all Americans need. Please dont illogically paint all Republicans with a broad brush. Instead, get your facts in order and then write an educated piece on balanced budgets!
Ken Buck says man-made global warming is a hoax. If Buck is elected, and Republicans win control of the Senate, we should expect Buck to support an investigation/ witch hunt of the National Academy of Sciences, to find out why the nations most prestigious scientific organization is promoting this "hoax." Is this what Coloradoans want?
Your still such a great read. My thoughts exactly.
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