Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a new plan to allow the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.
You can find the details here.
allows the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.
House and Senate could disallow these requests in 15 days and the president could veto any “disallowals.”
Republicans had already been called out by The Economist:
IN THREE weeks, if there is no political deal, the American government will go into default. Not, one must pray, on its sovereign debt. But the country will have to stop paying someone: perhaps pensioners, or government suppliers, or soldiers. That would be damaging enough at a time of economic fragility. And the longer such a default went on, the greater the risk of provoking a genuine bond crisis would become.
The Journal op/ed sees what’s happening:
Mr. Obama is trying to present Republicans with a Hobson’s choice: Either repudiate their campaign pledge by raising taxes, or take the blame for any economic turmoil and government shutdown as the U.S. nears a debt default. In the former case Mr. Obama takes the tax issue off the table and demoralizes the tea party for 2012, and in the latter he makes Republicans share the blame for 9.2% unemployment.
The McConnell Plan avoids both of these.
It may work…
Most of us know that politicians, left, right and center like spending money, especially money that is not their own.
But there’s another aspect of this that some of us might not realize:
The Milwaukee School Board has spent 20 years ignoring a “fiscal time bomb” in the form of generous and unfunded health insurance benefits for retired MPS teachers and staff that will cost the district $5 billion by 2016, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.
I know. It’s surprising isn’t it?
We’re seeing the same thing in health care where there are plenty of accounting gimmicks. Social Security is another. The alleged trust fund has been raided over the years to pay for deficits in the regular budget.
Yes, there are consequences. But if they are far enough down the road like the MPS and Social Security, the politicians will be long out of office before the piper has to be paid.
For decades, Republicans scraped and clawed to cut money from Medicare. But these days, they’re talking as if they created the popular health care program for seniors.
And Democrats — seeking to trim more than $450 billion from the safety net for seniors over the next 10 years to help finance a sweeping health reform bill — are having to swallow their old rants against cutting the program.
This is nothing new, of course. Political parties have been switching sides for years. Republicans used to be the “progressive” party, then an isolationist party, then the anti-deficit party (well, unless we’re cutting taxes), then….well, you get the drift. Democrats likewise have switched sides with the Republicans.
Sometimes it takes years; at other times, simply months.
At this particular phase, we have Medicare. No one wants to lose the senior vote; they vote most regularly of all the demographics.
Hence the current posturing. Remember a few years back? Republicans wanted to make some changes to Social Security. Democrats said no and so did the seniors and it was dropped never to be heard of again.
If money can be trimmed, I don’t see a problem. But in this day and age of “Gotcha!” politics, the Democrats will yield and a chance for saving money (which Republicans are in favor of, if I remember right) will pass by again.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors went to Capitol Hill earlier this month with a report listing 11,391 infrastructure projects proposed by 427 cities. The mayors claimed the proposal would create 847,641 jobs in 2009 and 2010. [Emphasis mine]
Although one man’s pork may be another’s essential spending, some of these might be debatable. The requests include
plans for a polar bear exhibit, an anti-prostitution program, a water park ride, zoos, museums and aquatic centers, CNN has found.
The polar bear exhibit? It’s to increase attendance at the zoo which “will stimulate the economy in Providence.”
The water park ride? Parks are part of infrastructure.
A $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio?
“People make judgments about the safety of a community by the level of social disorder. Street-level prostitution is clearly a social disorder,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
Museums? “There are plenty of museums that I think people would argue that are part of a fabric of a city,” [Miami, Florida, Mayor Manny] Diaz said.
Maybe Waukesha County Historical Museum should apply for some money so they can finally finish that Les Paul exhibit.
I’m sorry. When I think of infrastructure, I think of roads, bridges, cargo rail and, yes, even mass transit. [UPDATE: For example more along the lines of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett's list.]
It’s a package of about $8.7 trillion dollars’ worth of potential taxpayer commitments for loans, guarantees and other bailout goodies for businesses and distressed homeowners.
Wow. That’s a lot. But there’s good news,
There is a bright side, sort of. Only about $2.9 trillion of the government money, loans and guarantees have actually been spent or committed.
That’s a relief.