U.S. Credit Downgrade:Another Obama First!

Ben Johnson,The White House Watch

Three years ago,many well-meaning Americans suspended concerns about Barack
Obama’s experience,judgment,and associations in order to vote for an
“historic”president. To paraphrase H.L. Mencken,they got one —good and hard. Friday
night,for the first time in history,Standard &Poor’s downgraded
the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+. The United States earned the top rating
the moment such rankings began in 1917 —which means we maintained our AAA rating
through the Great Depression,stagflation,malaise,and the 1982 recession. Thirty
months of Barack Obama,and it is gone for the first time in history. Change we
can believe in!

The retrogression is neither surprising nor is it the only “historic”first
The One has perpetrated against the United States. Obama cajoled Congress for
weeks that it had to pass a debt ceiling compromise by August 2 to avoid just
this occasion. But as Rep. Tom McClintock,R-CA,pointed
out
,“The purported cuts,even if realized,are far below the $4 trillion
deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to
preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government.”S&P
used precisely this language in its statement
about downgrading the United States,saying the resultant cuts fall “short of the
amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt
burden by the middle of the decade.”It faults political gridlock and the lack of
“containment”of entitlements. The same administration experts who insisted GOP
sellouts on the debt compromise would stave off Friday’s downgrade also insisted
passing a stimulus plan
would hold unemployment below eight percent
.

Even less surprising is the fact that the Obama administration actually
believed its rhetoric could stop the inevitable. When Standard &Poor’s began
hinting at its actions,anonymous officials began a whisper campaign that the
agency’s math was off. Jake Tapper reported
Friday evening,“Because of the pushback,the Obama administration is preparing
for the downgrade but is not 100% positive it’s going to happen,officials said.
And if the downgrade does happen,officials are not sure when it will
happen.”S&P downgraded the U.S. hours later. Choosing talk over action has
consequences,at home and abroad.

The consequences of his actions are unknown and foreboding. The new credit
rating may cause inflated interest rates to trickle down to states and
localities,or make all borrowing rates rise.

Economic growth would shrink the importance of the national debt —but such
growth is not expected as long as Obama is president. Economists expert growth
in debt,and its attendant economic disintegration,in the years to come. Under
most estimates,debt would amount to 88
percent of GDP
in ten years. S&P warns under its pessimistic
scenario,debt will reach
101 percent
of GDP in 2021. (AFP news service reported on Wednesday,that
U.S. borrowing topped
100 percent of GDP
.) Carmen Reinhart of the Peterson Institute for
International Economics testified
before the House Budget Committee in March that growth begins to slow noticeably
once debt crosses the 90 percent threshold. The European Central Bank suggested
negative impacts begin at the 70-to-80 percent level. Even the adoption of the
debt compromise spooked the stock market,causing a decline for nine out of the
past ten sessions,a streak not seen since
1978
when Jimmy Carter was president.

The other two ratings agencies,Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch
Ratings,are not likely to follow suit…at least,not
yet
. However,Moody’s has warned
the ratio would have to come down to 73 percent by 2015 “to ensure that the
long-run fiscal trajectory remains compatible with a AAA rating.”For its
part,S&P warned “a higher public debt trajectory than we currently assume
could lead us to lower the long-term rating again,”to AA,putting us on par with
such economic powerhouses as Spain
and Qatar
.

You Wanted Obama to Make History? He Has

This slide toward mediocrity is only the latest of a string of historic
firsts in Obama’s presidency. Yes,Obama was the first black president. He has
been called the first….

Read
more
.

Obama’s Dr. Death Tells Indiana to Fund Planned Parenthood

Obama’s Dr. Death Tells Indiana to Fund Planned
Parenthood

June 2nd, 2011

Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com

The Obama administration today denied
Indiana’s use of its new state law that would deny millions in taxpayer dollars
to the Indiana affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion business
.

Governor
Mitch Daniels signed the law
, which would cut off anywhere from $2 million
to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds
via the Indiana government through Medicaid.

Daniels said that “any organization affected by this provision can resume
receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations
that perform abortions.”

However, the Obama administration has told the state it can’t implement the
new law, with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick denying a
request to deny funds saying the federal Medicaid law stipulates that states
can’t exclude providers based on the services they provide.
National
Journal
. “We assume this decision is not unexpected.”

Berwick also said the law makes it so states can’t prohibit access to family
planning, which is provided under federal law. His department released a memo
advising states that they can’t exclude abortion providers from receiving
taxpayer funds via Medicaid.

“Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers — whether
an individual provider, a physician group, an outpatient clinic or a hospital —
from providing services under the program because they separately provide
abortion services,” Center for Medicaid Director Cindy Mann wrote in the
memo.

Read
more

Save America; Get Outraged

Save America; Get Outraged

April 8th, 2011

Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com

Where’s the outrage?
Given what Barack Obama is doing to the Constitution, the economy and our
future, the American people should be up in arms (metaphorically speaking, civility-hysterics
take note). Citizens should be marching on Washington with pitchforks and
flaming brands in hand (also a metaphor).
Every city should see demonstrations to make the most raucous Tea Party rally
look like Sunday night in Pierre, South Dakota.
Instead, it’s a mental fog as usual. Hey, the unemployment rate is now
(barely) below 9 percent! Wasn’t that a cold winter? Gee, I wonder what zany,
drug-induced thing Charlie
Sheen
will do next?
So, while America burns, we fiddle with our iPhones and talk about the
upcoming HBO series about vampire bootleggers and Borgias duking it out in
Camelot.
Other than Tea Party activists, the public seems supremely unperturbed by
Obama’s relentless assault on America. The president’s March 21-27 approval
rating was 45 percent. At the same point in their first terms, Clinton’s
approval rating was only three points higher – Reagan’s three points lower. Both
were re-elected, you may recall.
It’s true that since Obama occupied the White House, his
party’s stock
has taken
a nose-dive
– a net
loss
of 9 governorships, 7 Senate seats, and 60 House seats. But there’s no
guarantee that trend will continue.
The leader of the party that whines incessantly about the influence of money
in politics has announced he’ll spend $1 billion to win re-election….
Read more.

Chaos Summer: Why Wisconsin is Only the Beginning

Chaos Summer: Why Wisconsin is Only the
Beginning

February 25th, 2011

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, FloydReports.comI’m going to bankrupt this country by any means necessary, and if you
try to stop me or slow me down, I’ll shut the government down and blame it on
you. If you try to stop me, you can kiss your political careers good-bye. Isn’t
this essentially what Barack Obama and his allies in the U.S. Senate are saying
to the Republican leaders in Congress?
One thing is certain: it’s not an idle threat. Obama and his allies control
the executive branch of the government and the United States Senate. They also
control
the mainstream media
. On top of that, they control the unions, which they
are sending
into the streets
.
Our great nation is on the verge of bankruptcy. The  national debt stands at
$14 trillion. When the people cried out and demanded that Washington put a stop
to the out-of-control waste and spending, Barack Obama instead responded by proposing a
budget
that, by his own calculations, doubles our already
untenable debt
over the next decade.
Americans wrongly assumed that Obama would change accordingly after taking
his election “shellacking.” He said the day after the elections, “And I told
John Boehner and Mitch McConnell last night, I am very eager to sit down with
members of both parties and figure out how we can move forward together.” His
compromising rhetoric worked
to get Americans to back-off and lower their
defenses.
In reality, when the Republican-led House of Representatives put forth
legislation to cut our out-of-control deficit by $61 billion — a mere 3.7
percent of our deficit and a scant 0.4 percent of our national debt — Barack
Obama and his allies in Congress threatened to shut the government down.
Read
more
.

State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New Normal

State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New
Normal

January 27th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

In his 2011
State of the Union Address
, Barack Obama gave himself five more years of
trillion-dollar deficit spending, a $678 billion income tax hike, a Social
Security tax increase, and the permanent extension of ObamaCare – and he gave
Republicans medical malpractice reform and a joke about a salmon.
Since his inauguration, the president has gone on a two-year spending orgy
unrivaled since the days of Lyndon Johnson or FDR. Faced with a national
backlash against towering debt, he has come up with a “compromise”: Americans
should accept the big government expansion he has forced down their throats and
move on. This follows the president’s familiar pattern of forcing through costly
and unpopular measures, then promising “discipline” after the fact.
The most reported aspect of the speech was Obama’s pledge to freeze
discretionary, non-military spending at their current levels – exempting such
major programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Homeland
Security.
At the risk of stating the obvious, which perhaps no one has yet stated,
there is no “savings.” As President Obama would say, “Let’s be
clear”: Savings is when you reduce the amount of money you are spending. The
president’s proposal is to spend the same amount of money. The only “savings”
would come from the fact that inflation
unleashed by deficit
spending
and quantitative
easing
will devalue the dollar – but this is hardly a cause for cheer.
History shows that spending freezes rarely freeze anything. The most
ambitious attempt was the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which attempted to
control deficit spending by future Congresses, but many of the same politicians
who voted for the bill decided they would not abide by its terms the next year.
Deficits continued to mount. To give a more recent example, last year Congress
approved slightly more
than half
of the whopping $11.5 billion in spending cuts Obama requested
last year.
The amount of the budget actually affected is rather modest, indeed. It would
apply to approximately
12 percent of the budget
. Alec Phillips, an analyst with Goldman Sachs,
estimates that if every Congress for the next five years holds to current
levels, it would “save” $200 billion. The New York Times noted its
higher estimate of “$250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3
percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is
expected to accumulate
over that time.” Obama’s plan would cost
half-a-trillion dollars more
than returning
to 2008 spending levels
, as proposed by the most moderate Republicans. Sen.
Rand Paul has proposed a half-a-trillion
dollar spending cut
this year, which includes cutting food stamps
and eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National
Endowment for the Arts. Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Senator Jim DeMint
introduced a bill to cut
$2.5 trillion
over ten years, eliminating the aforementioned programs as
well as Amtrak and the president’s “high-speed rail” and rolling back spending
to 2006 levels. Obama’s freeze is small beer in its own terms and hypocritical
when paired with his calls for new spending.
The State of the Union made only passing reference to the greatest budgetary
crisis facing us: out of control entitlements (and most of his “solutions” are
bad ideas; see below). “Mandatory” spending alone exceeds projected federal
revenues – the amount of money the government took in all year. If we eliminated
100 percent of discretionary spending – privatized the Post Office, dismantled
the military, and fired every federal prosecutor and judge – we would still run a
deficit
.
Nonetheless, the president instructed us, “The final step to winning the
future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.” As though we
are not already buried under a mountain of debt. As though this were not a
mountain of his own making. As though it were not one he wished to greatly
enlarge
.
What Obama intends to freeze is big government. His proposal to hold-the-line
comes after he jacked
up federal spending by 84 percent
. After inflating the federal government
beyond the free market’s carrying capacity, he now wishes to maintain the status
quo.
As usual Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, had the best analysis of Obama’s spending
freeze, calling it “a plan for deficit preservation.” The day
after the State of the Union speech, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
predicted the deficit for 2011 will be….
Read
more
.

The 100 Worst Cases of Government Waste in 2010

The 100 Worst Cases of Government Waste in 2010

December 30th, 2010

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

Although the United States is $13 trillion in debt, mandatory spending alone exceeds tax revenues, and the Congressional Budget Office is warning of a coming U.S. “fiscal crisis,” Congress felt no need to trim spending. The just-adjourned 111th Congress headed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has published his collection of the 100 most wasteful projects his colleagues deemed worthy of your hard-earned tax dollars this year. Among the most offensive, ridiculous, and startling examples of pork in the Year of our Lord 2010, he found:

  • Nearly $5,000 of stimulus money to hire goats to graze the weeds at Idaho’s Heyburn State Park;
  • $6 billion for ethanol subsidies, which raise food costs;
  • $177,000 for Ohio teachers to travel to China to learn about the Chinese “education” system;
  • $137,530 for a Dartmouth professor to develop “Layoff,” a video game that encourages its players to fire as many people as quickly as possible;
  • $700,000 for New Hampshire researchers to examine “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies,” which are cause by “cow burps, among other things”;
  • $442,340 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam;
  • $823,000 to teach South African men how to wash their genitals after sex. (We reported this one earlier this year);
  • $55,000 to celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Of course, there is no anti-AIDS vaccine, but the “observance is a day to recognize and thank” the professionals “who are working together to find” a cure

Read more.

Defund the United Nations

Defund the United Nations

December 22nd, 2010

Neil Stevens, RedState.com

The United States of America keeps the United Nations afloat. In 2009 we were assessed 22% of the budget of the UN, and paid out slightly under 24% of what was collected, thanks to the Tax Equalization Fund system. So in practice we paid about a quarter of the UN budget. Without us, the UN has to do some serious belt tightening.

So if we’re going to keep alive the UN as we know it, spending $598,292,101 in a direct assessment and surely more in other expenses, we’d best make sure we’re getting our money’s worth. The Obama deficit has gone through the roof and we simply cannot afford frivolous luxuries anymore. If the UN is not achieving its mission, it’s time we stopped paying for it.

This month I believe the UN has finally crossed the threshold of uselessness, and it’s time we defund it….

Read more.

Mrs. Obama Wants $400M to Cut Drive Time Five Minutes

Mrs. Obama Wants $400M to Cut Drive Time Five Minutes

October 28th, 2010

Terrence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews.com

First  Lady Michelle Obama has called on Congress to create a $400   million-a-year program to encourage the establishment of supermarkets in   places she calls “food deserts.”

The situation in these “food  deserts,” as Mrs. Obama describes it, is  quite dire indeed. American  children are growing fat because their  parents cannot get to a  supermarket—to buy fruits and vegetables—without  undergoing the  hardship of boarding a bus or riding a taxi. As a  consequence,  food-desert-dwelling children are forced to eat fast food  and junk  procured at chain restaurants and convenience stores…

In the 2008 farm bill, Congress mandated that the department conduct a $500,000 study of “food deserts.” The study—“Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences”—was published in June 2009.

The  report demonstrates that Mrs. Obama’s depiction of American “food   deserts” is fatuous at best. Lower-income Americans live closer to   supermarkets than higher-income Americans…

There are 23.5  million people who live in “low income” areas that are  more than a mile  from the nearest supermarket. But more than half of  these people are  not low-income, and almost everyone in these  areas–93.3 percent—drive  their cars to the supermarket. On average,  they spend 4.5 minutes more  than the typical American traveling to the  supermarket.

Read more.

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