17 July 2011

The Budget Impasse.

Why is the USA in such fiscal straits? President Clinton left a surplus. As a matter of fact, Alan Greenspan concluded in a Budget Committee hearing on 25 January 2001 (5 days after GW Bush took office) that he projected a huge budget SURPLUS over the next decade of 5.6 trillion dollars. He recommended a tax cut. (Coincidentally, the US debt was about 5.6 trillion dollars at the time of his statement). Congress gleefully jumped at the opportunity. They didn't listen to his caveat. He may be wrong in his projections and the Congress should be prepared to reverse direction and raise taxes back up if the surplus disappeared. They instead ran up an 11.4 trillion dollar spending spree on unfunded Medicare Part D, two wars, gigantic tax cuts...and pushed us into the greatest economic challenge in two generations...leaving our current President to clean the Augean stables.  Unfortunately, he isn't Hercules.


It's amazing that the Republicans are now calling for a balanced budget amendment...but when the budget was last in balance, they called for huge tax breaks and off the books spending on wars and unfunded mandates.


Balanced budget amendments have been touted by Republicans for a long while.  Reagan talked it up, big time...but he never submitted anything approaching a balanced budget, nor did Bush X2...Clinton (a Democratic president you may remember), did what the Republicans wouldn't.




Talk is so cheap.

The River

upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded, cratered land, cratered faces  mangled extremities...