Last Updated:April 17 @ 08:50 am

Budget Battle Lacks One Key Ingredient: Guts

By Bobby Eberle

Mark your calendars. No, I'm not talking about Thanksgiving. I'm talking about the day before. That day -- November 23 -- is when the so-called "Budget Super Committee" is supposed to come up with a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. And guess what? About the only thing they seem to be talking about is increasing your taxes. We have a budget problem, because the country spends too much. Yet those tasked with solving this problem don't have the guts to make the cuts.

As Fox News reports, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that the panel "is under great pressure to get a deal done to chop $1.2 trillion from the 10-year budget, but he believes its members can succeed by Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving."

The Super Committee is stuck on the trade-off between revenue increases and spending cuts. If it fails to reach a deal, the law that it is operating under requires automatic cuts, called "sequestration," to take effect. That would entail chopping $600 billion from the defense spending budget and another $600 billion from the entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid.

Even the law which will force the committee's hand is stupid. Half of the mandated cuts would come from defense? Come on! That is one of the reasons we exist as a country... so that we can have a military to defend our interests. Where America has gotten out of control is in entitlement spending.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before Congress on Monday and said that "deeper defense cuts would leave the military with the smallest ground force since 1940." Panetta also foresaw "possible months-long furloughs of civilian employees" and the country being forced to accept a national security setting of "substantial risk."

"Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable -- you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building and seriously damage other modernization efforts. We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily and, because the reduction would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target," Panetta wrote in a letter.

By his calculations, "we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history" at the end of the decade, Panetta said.

All you have to do is look at the numbers to see that our leaders in Washington are not serious about cutting spending. This year alone America had a $1 trillion budget deficit. The Budget Super Committee is charged with cutting $1.2 trillion over TEN YEARS! Take that along with the fact that almost every time a Washington politician talks about a "cut," what he or she is likely talking about is not increasing the budget for a program as much as planned. Thus, spending continues to rise, and politicians hold press conferences patting themselves on the back for all the "savings" they negotiated.

It's a complete mess in Washington. Not only is the Super Committee not doing what needs to be done, but Congress still has not put together a budget for the 2012 fiscal year. All they can muster is yet another "stopgap" bill that will keep the government running past a scheduled shutdown this weekend.

Lawmakers face a midnight Friday deadline to act on the measure. House and Senate leaders promised votes this week.

The legislation would represent the first concrete step to implement a contentious budget pact sealed by President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans this summer, which traded a $2 trillion-plus increase in the government's ability to borrow to meet its obligations with promises of future budget cuts.

What a joke! They talk about the "promise of future budget cuts" and expect Americans to believe it. Yet, some do. It's the only way these people continue to be reelected.

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19 Comments

  1. teapartyproudComment by teapartyproud
    November 15, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    These despicable lawmakers have such contempt for their constituents. They schedule these things for the times when citizens are the most distracted, and hope they won’t be noticed and get much coverage. This one the day after Thanksgiving and the Obamacare bill on Christmas eve. They certainly aren’t proud of their work when they try to sneak it in under the radar.
     
    On top of that they concoct these schemes designed to take the responsibility for these acts away from themselves. The cuts are now “automatic” if no other action is taken, so they can conveniently say “not my fault”. The cuts are then made in the last place they should be. National security – governments number one job! Part two is chopping medical care which coincidentally will bolster a “need” for Obamacare.
     
    The Republicans who negotiated this deal just bent over for the democrat cause. The citizens lose again and pay the price again. Vote out these traitors, and that means your guy who agreed to this stuff. It doesn’t matter if he’s a nice guy or did something to bring a project or dollars to your town, he’s killing America and you must vote him out!

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    • newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
      November 15, 2011 @ 9:25 am

      I couldn’t agree more with your commentary.  Just another scheme to excuse themselves from any culpability whatsoever, and a surefire means of reducing our defense budget to the bone.  The security of the American people is not foremost on the minds of this administration as they prepare for their global economy and the amalgamation of foreigners into our land.  Their goal was supposedly 1.2 trillion dollars in cuts in a program that was initiated in August — here we are close to the deadline and still no progress.  It would be nice if we could vote them out of office, unfortunately, it no longer appears to be something that the public is in control of anymore thanks to Unions, Acorn, et al. 

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  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    November 15, 2011 @ 9:22 am

     
    Why else is Obama quickly pulling the Trigger to pull out all our troops from Iran? He knows that his Liberal Democrat lawmakers on this panel have already been given their marching orders to undermine any sane agreement to cut spending. His leadership results will end up castrating the power of our military just like his DADT program. This is a Kabuki dance and the final end to the tragic opera has already been orchestrated by Obama.
     
     Not getting a deal works for him so he can Paint the Conservatives as the Big Bad Wolf before the next election, when it is he and his minions who are the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
     

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      November 15, 2011 @ 11:46 am

      Not Iran iluminatuo but with the talk and bluster of Mitt or Gingrich… we might find our bankrupt selves in yet another war with even a far bigger country, Iran.  Israel would rather have us take out the Iranian Nuclear Program than clean up their own freakishly insane “neighborhood”.  All Israel has to do is tell Iran that they will gleefully use their own nuclear weapons of which they have hundreds, should Iran do something really stupid.  It worked wonders with The Soviet Union that had tens of thousands of nuclear devices.  Nuclear Deterrence was proven to work and the Soviet Union even fell into the dustbin of history.   Bet there is still room in that dustbin.
       
      Team Obama  dropped the ball in negotiating with Iraq earlier per not exposing our troops to Iraqi prosecution for any deaths that they deemed criminal worthy.  This amateurish blunder is not talked much about by the media and surprisingly by The Republican Establishment.
       
      Per cuts, I am assuming that those in Washingtoon are of the like mind that our Nanny State have so many near countless Zombie minions dependent on the various handouts and programs that to cut the insanity directly would result in riots… .  Medicaid & Medicare, well I guess such Nanny minions are just too ill and too slow to fear.  Time for riots then.  Better now than later when the whole charade fails.
       
      It seems that the politicians have found rearranging the deck chairs on our Titanic Ship of State far more preferable than actually taking care of the messy leaks and broken mechanics.  Not surprised, just look at who the electorate elects.
       
      Interesting enough that the auto cuts built in have a direct focus on the military, an easy big target that ironically does not shoot back or shuffles towards you… . 
       
      No effort in reversing de-industrialization either as too many Players are still making money at this.  So as we go down so goes our military and China is smirking.  Hello Soviet Empire, 3rd Reich, Rome… !  Must stock up on antizombie stuff.

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  3. knorskeComment by knorske
    November 15, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Bobby…Thanks for scaring us thoroughly!  The real problem, of course, is the “average citizen” doesn’t seem to be concerned about–or probably even aware of–the tremendous troubles our country faces.

    It would seem we must hit the absolute bottom before a majority of our citizens realize we’re in trouble.  Climbing back up might prove to be too much of a burden, and we just might stay in the depths of despair.

    All concerned citizens need to pray God Bless America–our best hope of repair.   

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    • newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
      November 15, 2011 @ 10:37 am

      I couldn’t agree more with your advice to pray as He is “our best hope of repair.”  I love being on this forum surrounded by people who love God and are not ashamed to admit it regardless of the consequences.  Being a theologian ticks some people off especially when I mention God, the Bible, etc., which is nothing unusual, but still causes some people to get angry.  However, reading commentaries like yours that openly express prayer and God gives me hope in a world that literally detests Him.

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  4. JRComment by JR
    November 15, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    The budget battle is not really about budgeting.  It’s a battle over whether to tax people more or give less back to the people.  I’ve heard little about foreign related expenditures (such as military, world org funding, foreign aid, etc.) or bringing back troops from over 130 countries abroad.  They obviously plan to continue their big give aways/increasing govt at US citizen expense.

    It is very frustrating.  I am 60 and apply to all kinds of job prospects everyday, do garage sales for pennies or nothing, make things, do odd jobs around neighborhood and still am lucky if I have 10 dollars on hand at any given time for toilet paper, paper towels, gas, cleaning supplies, etc..  Every minute of every waking day is struggle, worry, and helplessly watching loss and decline of everything I struggled and worked for, for decades.  My unemployment ran out in early October.  On that it was a struggle (slowly loosing), but without it decline has accelerated.  Mine was a single income household, so when I hit zero…it is really zero income.

    The real reason though this is happening is the looting of America.  Our jobs shipped overseas, our resources shipped overseas, our property and resources sold or leased out to foreign interests….it’s obvious if people just open their eyes.  How could this be?  Our government has betrayed us for globalistic ambitions.  We have but one last hope and that is for  true constitutional conservatives to be elected in 2012, otherwise hang on for a seat on the third world country express.

    The globalists took away our ability to find work. That left only unemployment and with it limited and no work, the next thing to happen for a laid off older worker is homelessness or if lucky death.

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  5. peddlar06Comment by peddlar06
    November 15, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Someone must have the guts to organize a COMPLETE review , from page one, line one, of the federal budget. Examine EVERY LINE ITEM. If it does not apply directly to the operation of the Government of the United States of America, CUT IT! If it does apply to operation of the government examine it, if it can be reduced, REDUCE IT!

    How is that for a hallucination!

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  6. ter334Comment by ter334
    November 15, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    The time has come to nationalize the fed res so the govt can borrow money from itself, aka just printing money w/o any interest payable to banks, bond holders, private citizens, foreign govts, enemies of the nation such as iran.  The whole concept of the got borrowing from banks, owners of the fed res, or in europe private banks as middle men between the big spenders PIIGs govt and the Germn and Freench govt is fundamentally flawed.  The flaw is the whole idea of govt borrowing from anyone is illegal since the Constitution empowers the fed govt to put  money in circulation.

    Also our elected officials get to spend all the money but the taxpayers are shafted with the obligation to pay off the national debt!  The only prople that benefit financially from the existing financial structure are the owners of the fed res. 

    W/o the fed res as a middlee man between the govt and the economy the govt could spend as much money as they wanted,  a la Germany before WWII, as existed in Argentina in the 70s I think it was.  Big time inflation, but we have had inflation here since WWII almost w/o exception.  So our pols need to print an excess of dollars and then when they appear as surplus via taxes, they will be used to retire the govt interest bearing notes, thus reducing interest paid by govt for borrowed money. 

    Our elected officials are honor bound to uphold the Constitution.  since many of them, including O, seem to think of this as just a piece of paper all those seeking re-election should make a public declaration they will personally honor their commitment and defend the Constituton.  If they don’t they essentially become a”illgal immigrants” that lie like muslims can when they take the oath of office.

    And we need them to make a commitment to start down the path of driving the national debt to zero!  And all future candidates needd to continue down the path of responsible spending. 

    Europe probably needs to nationalize their middle men banks and have them owned by the EU until all their debt to PIIGS is satisfied by the PIIGS, then they can be sold to investors in the various countries.    

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  7. Jack TComment by Jack T
    November 15, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    the following article give an historical perspective to what is needed in Congress–i.e. cut spending!
     
     
    Trusting in Tough Times
    Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy – Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)

    Genesis 47 [13] There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine.  [14] Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace.  [15] When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food.  Why should we die before your eyes?  Our money is used up.”  [16] “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.”  [17] So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys.  And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.  [18] When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land.  [19] Why should we perish before your eyes–we and our land as well?  Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh.  Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”  [20] So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh.  The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them.  The land became Pharaoh’s, [21] and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other.  [22] However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them.  That is why they did not sell their land.  [23] Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground.  [24] But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh.  The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”  [25] “You have saved our lives,” they said.  “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”  [26] So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt–still in force today–that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh.  It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

    Joseph was a wise administrator but it wasn’t easy.  Under his leadership the people were saved from starvation but there were tough decisions to be made.  Why did Joseph take land from the people?  Why did he “reduce the people to servitude”?  Isn’t that a rather harsh abuse of power?

    Apparently this sort of austerity was the only way to save the people and bring about an economic recovery.  This was no ordinary economic slump.  This was much more than a Great Depression.  An African famine was devastating.

    We know in modern times that famines in Africa are very difficult to deal with.  When there is “relief” brought in, it is a two-edged sword.  When food relief arrives to a famine stricken area, what is left of the economy totally collapses.  It is the law of supply and demand.  All planting and productivity ceases when free food floods the market.  Joseph was wise enough to know this.

    Joseph also knew that welfare destroys the work force.  If he passed out free food no one would ever work toward a recovery.  By reducing the people to servitude, Joseph was able to plant seed as the famine neared its end.  He was able to meet the needs of the people and create the economy of the future.

    Doing the right thing is not always easy.  Taking land away from the people and putting them in servitude to Pharaoh was a tough decision but Joseph was up to it.  In fact, he was the perfect person for the task.

    It is generally observed that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  But not with Joseph.  Somehow Joseph was able to keep his head straight in all this. There is no sign that Joseph was ever harsh or severe in his rule over the people of Egypt.

    Servitude is a terrible thing but it must have been the only way for the nation to survive this battle.  Like a general conscripting citizens for war, Joseph drafted the people to battle the economic war that was upon them and they survived.

    Hopefully you and I will probably never face a circumstance or a situation of leadership such as the one Joseph did.  But we will face times in which we have to make difficult decisions.  Whether in family, business, church, or government, there are times when the belt must be tightened and hard decisions must be made.  The good news is that the same God who guided Joseph 3800 years ago is till on the job.  He is there to guide us today.

    The wisdom of Proverbs tells us, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 3:5-8).

    Father God, I am trusting You.  Make my path straight this day.  I am not wise but You have all wisdom.  I honor and fear only You.  In Jesus’ name.

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    • newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
      November 15, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

      Amen!

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  8. JDZComment by JDZ
    November 15, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    Bobby, you are right on in that Washington is really unable to solve any real problem anymore, and this “super committee” is just another example of how these career politicians cannot manage themselves out of a paper bag. I have said this before that our government has grown to such a huge behemoth that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing anymore.

    Over 60% of the cost of running the federal government is on “automatic” which means that the budgeting each year is never challenged and is set to increase at some predetermined amount (usually around 7%) each year. In this category of “automatics” are all of the entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), domestic subsidy programs like food stamps, welfare, etc. and many other areas that Congress decided qualified as being “untouchable”. How stupid is that? How would you like to run a large organization where you never have to justify your budget performance and always get a budget increase every year? Most of us that have held major management positions in the past could do these jobs and not really breathe too hard. When there are no incentives to streamline or cut costs, or any measures to improve performance while saving money, it takes much of the challenges private companies have to deal with on a day to day basis to stay in business off of the table.

    Our government, then, does not even address these “automatics” to any significant extent when looking for budget cuts other then maybe how much they maybe can cut out of the “automatic increases” and no real cuts.

    If the government hired an outside group of business executives to perform a topdown restructuring of the federal government and empowered them in such a way that the government HAS to implement their recommendations, this national debt and financial problem we have with the cost of government could be totally solved in 6 months.

    The super committee will never really do anything worthwhile.

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  9. FlaJimComment by FlaJim
    November 15, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    The super committee has been a non starter and joke from the get go.  Aside from its constitutionality, no one ever really thought they’d come to any agreement.  Now, we have reports from several sources that Pelosi and Reid have ordered their minions <i>not</i> to come to any agreement.  Part of their election strategy.

    It’s reminiscent of the downfall of Rome when the ruling class tried to keep the masses distracted by bread and circuses while neglecting their armed forces.  Slowly, because the empire was was great, it began to diminish in power until it ended with a child on the imperial throne.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      November 15, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

      Caligula actually forced the wives of the Senators into prostitution to raise money, after making it with his sister and his horse. We have not degenerated to that piont yet but thanks to the secular progressive Liberals, we are certainly on our way.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      November 16, 2011 @ 7:57 am

      Do recall we have the lump of lisping bipeds like Barney Frank whose boy toy ran a prostitution ring out of Frank’s swank Washington digs.  Or Teddy Kennedy, now finally gone, who could let a girl drown and make up excuses and stayed on as a Senator for life.  And of course we have the horse’s ___ in The White House acting as President.  Someone who could not remotely pass ANY security clearance and in my opinion is not legit in having not met even the native birth requirement.  Both Political Parties allowed this.  So we are pretty close to emulating the tawdriness of Rome and certainly the spirit, the zeal of it’s downfall.

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  10. brucefeherComment by Bruce Feher
    November 15, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    Don’t worry folks! One thing you can be sure of is that private sector taxpayers will get it right between the eyes, again!
    Besides, if the fools in DC had ANY idea as to what to do, they would have done it by now AND they haven’t……

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  11. billwvComment by billwv
    November 15, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    ‘East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.’  The old writer sure said a mouth full BUT it has bearing on what is going on today.  The deadlock and impasse that our country is in [especially the 'Super Committee' (really don't know what is super about it !)] I can’t help but believe someone (Democrat or Republican) will have to put America and her people first.  We certainly don’t need more taxes and we certainly need spending cuts.  Why is it so hard for this committee to see that until we cut our debt and spending: there will be no economic recovery. I’m not a ‘brain surgeon’ or ‘rocket scientist’ but I can see that.  Only the Lord of Heaven can make the difference in this stalemate and my prayer is that sense [less] people will come to their senses.  And that’s more than I have ever posted in my life. 

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  12. thedoveComment by thedove
    November 16, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    I don’t disagree with anything in today’s column, Bobby, but it’s unfortunately a bit late to the dance.  Make that a lot late.  Too many conservatives lost their backbones decades ago, which is how we got to where we now are.  Even if a majority could now grow one, it will probably be a case of too little too late.  I steadfastly held on to the optimistic hope that things could be reversed in time, but, frankly, that hope dwindles a little more each time the liberals get away with one more play.  Yet I continue to hope.  Maybe I’m just stupid.

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  13. BeverlyComment by Beverly
    November 16, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    This topic concerns the Supercommittee. You are welcome to post your issue in a new topic in the forum section of the website.

    Please do not post off-topic in established threads.

    GOPUSA Staff

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