Letter to Senator Mark Pryor concerning debt ceiling debate July 26, 2011

Dear Senator Pryor,

The President asked us to contact those representing us in Washington and that is exactly what I am doing today. Let make a few points.

First, in the past few months I have responded to your request to provide SPECIFIC SPENDING CUT SUGGESTIONS to your office. I have done so over 100 times and I have also posted them one at a time on my blog www.HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com .

Second, I have also written many posts concerning your political views and many of these articles have got lots of hits on my blog. In fact, when I started in December of 2010 I was only getting a handful of hits every week, but now I have got over 60,000 hits in the first 7 months on my website and I have you to thank for a lot of those hits.

Third, Arkansas is turning conservative and I wonder if you will change with Arkansas. Just recently you went across the state saying that the Republicans wanted to push granny off the cliff. Does that sound like you are open to making changes to make sure that Medicare survives?

Fourth, you wanted me to give you specific suggestions to cut federal spending. I have an easy one for you: Eliminate the Dept of Education!! That would save over 100 billion right there!!!

Fifth, if you want to raise taxes on the job creators during this time then you will be guilty of  destroying the recovery. You have already been guilty of slowly down the recovery with the silly stimulus bill. Every prediction that President Obama made about the stimulus have proven to be incorrect!!! Everyone of them!!!

I have done my duty that my President asked me to do by contacting you. Below you will find a letter that says perfectly what I think about this current debt ceiling crisis. Recently I got to hear Ernest Istook the president of the Heritage Foundation speak in Little Rock. He did a great job.

Below is an excerpt from a letter that went out today from the Heritage Foundation:

Our nation is in the midst of a fiscal crisis, but it is one that has nothing to do with an August 2 “deadline” for a deal or President Obama and Secretary Geithner’s fear mongering over recent days and weeks. The crisis is one of over $62 trillion in unfunded obligations that are the loudest warning bell possible of the systemic problems plaguing our nation. Washington should not ignore or postpone dealing with this problem once again.

Twice already this year, the House of Representatives has voted for plans that would address our fiscal crisis and save our nation from a creditworthiness downgrade. In April, the House passed a bold budget, which would place our nation on a different, more sustainable and prosperous course. Last week, the House passed the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which would force future Congresses to live within their means and rapidly bring down our nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio. Unfortunately, both of these responsible proposals were defeated by an ideological Senate, which has offered few ideas of its own.

Clearly, the most blame belongs to the President and the Senate – a President who comes up with no useful fiscal plan of his own and a Senate that refuses to pass meaningful legislation to save the American dream from a fiscal tsunami. We cannot, however, continue business as usual by raising the debt limit without substantively addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. The entire purpose of the debt limit is to put an end to borrowing when it reaches a point that our nation finds unacceptable. There is no point in having a debt limit if the option of using it to address overspending and overborrowing is so intimidating that it is unilaterally taken off the table.

 

Speaker Boehner’s most recent proposal to raise the debt limit is regrettably insufficient to our times. Step one of the Speaker’s proposal would cut $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending. Assuming all of these cuts materialized, this would reduce our nation’s projected debt at the end of the decade from $24.9 trillion to $23.7 trillion. Step two would create a special committee, which has three major problems: (1) The “deficit reduction” of $1.8 trillion remains insufficient for our times; (2) “Deficit reduction” is a well-known codeword for “tax increases”; and (3) 17 blue-ribbon panels, commissions and the like since 1982 have gotten our nation into the mess we are in and there is no obvious reason as to why the 18th will get us out. Further, this proposal would outline a fast track proposal that unduly limits the rights of the congressional minority.

All in all, under a best case scenario where all of the cuts envisioned in the Boehner plan come to fruition, they would only reduce our nation’s projected debt-to-GDP ratio from 104% to 92% – a ratio far higher than its current 62 percent, which Moody’s has already said must come down to maintain our nation’s stable outlook.

Harry Reid’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling is equally unacceptable. It appears to be the latest in a line of proposals that began with the McConnell Proposal, morphed into the McConnell-Reid Proposal, further deteriorated into the Gang of Six Proposal, and has now resurfaced as the Reid Proposal. Each of these insufficiently bold ideas would lead to an increase in the debt limit in exchange for few, if any, actual cuts off existing spending levels. In normal times we might take these as one step toward a path of fiscal sanity.  But we do not have the luxury of taking that kind of small first step at this juncture.  The rating agencies are poised to downgrade us within months if we don’t pass something like the House of Representatives’ first two attempts . . .  The last thing our country needs is a clean debt limit increase with some fancy window dressing to try to fool the American people.

All in all, Heritage Action remains where we were at the start of the summer: absolutely convinced our nation is in fiscal crisis and certain that bold political leadership is necessary to save the American dream. Congress should drive down federal spending on the way to a balanced budget, while protecting America, and without raising taxes. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be what we will get from Washington, which has irresponsibly turned its back on the only real plans out there: The House Budget and the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. As such, Washington should be forced to live under the current debt limit until it’s ready to make tough choices – choices that it should make, and has time to make, this week.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer

___________________________________

Thank you for your time. I know that you are very busy.

From Everette Hatcher

Alexander, AR 72002

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Brummett is fooled by Pryor’s assurance that gang of 6 offers real cuts now

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