Open letter to Congressman Crawford concerning debt ceiling increase: Rising Deficits Drive U.S. Debt Limit Higher, Faster

December 18, 2012

Congresssman Rick Crawford

2400 Highland Drive, Suite 300
Jonesboro, AR 72401

Dear Congressman Crawford,

This is the second time I have written you about this. I have enjoyed getting your weekly emails this last year and I can’t thank you enough because of your strong pro-life voting record. There is another pressing issue that I wanted to write you about today and it is the fact that President Obama will be soon wanting to raise the debt ceiling again. You have 66 friends in Congress who I have posted about that have stood against Obama on this. My efforts to get Senator Pryor to see the light have failed though.

It is obvious to me that if President Obama gets his hands on more money then he will continue to spend away our children’s future. He has already taken the national debt from 11 trillion to 16 trillion in just 4 years. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over I have written Speaker Boehner and written every Republican that represents Arkansans in Arkansas before (Griffin, Womack, Crawford, and only Senator Boozman got a chance to respond) concerning this. I am hoping they will stand up against this reckless spending that our federal government has done and will continue to do if given the chance.

I have written and emailed Senator Pryor over, and over again with spending cut suggestions but he has ignored all of these good ideas in favor of keeping the printing presses going as we plunge our future generations further in debt. I am convinced if he does not change his liberal voting record that he will no longer be our senator in 2014.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. However, his policies have not changed. He is committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell.

Evidently the Republicans have proposed raising tax rates as a possible compromise to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. Let me make a few comments about that.

First, if raising the debt ceiling is part of this agreement then we are losing our leverage over President Obama. We have enough votes to block a debt ceiling increase. We want a balanced budget but if President Obama does not get a debt ceiling increase then he will have to balance the budget immediately.

Second, spending is our problem and it is not tax revenue. The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. We almost had a balanced budget in 2007 and if we had frozen spending at 2007 levels then we would be close to a balanced budget now. Instead of controlling spending our spending has gone from 2.7 trillion to 3.8 trillion in just 5 short years!!!

Third, my blog has exploded the last few days with clicks on past posts I have done like the one below. Take a look at this post below and see why it is one of my most popular.

Fourth, I have included some wise words from a fellow Tea Party favorite like you below. Mo Brooks’ words are true now like they were in August of 2011 when he voted against the debt ceiling increase then.

Fifth, let me share these two videos with you that make very good points concerning this issue:

This video belows shows how silly the federal government is when they pass “spending cuts.”

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point.

Please take the time to read Mo Brooks’ words and respond to me and tell me if you will vote against the debt ceiling increase. It is the only leverage we have on President Obama. Others have responded to me in the past and for that I am very grateful.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, cell ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com, www.thedailyhatch.org

Rising Deficits Drive U.S. Debt Limit Higher, Faster

Everyone wants to know more about the budget and here is some key information with a chart from the Heritage Foundation and a video from the Cato Institute.

Congress first placed a statutory limit on total federal debt in 1917, in the Second Liberty Bond Act. Since 1962, Congress has altered the debt limit through 74 separate measures, raising it 10 times since 2001. Since 1990, the debt limit has been raised a total of $10.1 trillion, but nearly half of that increase has occurred since September 2007.

U.S. DEBT LIMIT

 
Download

Rising Deficits Drive U.S. Debt Limit Higher, Faster

Source: Congressional Research Service and White House Office of Management and Budget (Table 7.3, Historical Tables).

Chart 26 of 42

In Depth

  • Policy Papers for Researchers

  • Technical Notes

    The charts in this book are based primarily on data available as of March 2011 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The charts using OMB data display the historical growth of the federal government to 2010 while the charts using CBO data display both historical and projected growth from as early as 1940 to 2084. Projections based on OMB data are taken from the White House Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The charts provide data on an annual basis except… Read More

  • Authors

    Emily GoffResearch Assistant
    Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy StudiesKathryn NixPolicy Analyst
    Center for Health Policy StudiesJohn FlemingSenior Data Graphics Editor

  • ______________
  • __________Here is another Tea Party hero you need to listen to:
    Rep. Brooks on Fox Business: BBA and the Debt Ceiling Vote

    Print

    Share

     

    Rep. Mo Brooks To Vote No On Obama-Reid-Boehner Debt Ceiling Bill

    08/01/11

    Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) made the following statement concerning his vote on the Budget Control Act of 2011:

    Summary

    The Obama-Reid-Boehner Debt Ceiling Bill is bad for America, bad political process, bad for national defense, does not prevent unsustainable budget deficits, kicks the debt ceiling crises down the road to 2013 (when America will have more debt and less financial strength with which to fix the problem), and fails to satisfactorily decrease the risk of an American credit rating downgrade.

    Overview

    America must, and will, raise the debt ceiling.  The question is not whether Congress will raise the debt ceiling; the question is when and how.  Regardless of when the debt ceiling is raised, every bill and obligation of America to its citizens and creditors will be paid in full (albeit, with the exception of creditors, some payments may be delayed).

    I have voted to raise the debt ceiling provided the debt ceiling bill makes America’s financial condition better, not worse.

    I voted to raise the debt ceiling on July 22, 2011, when I voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan (cutting FY 2012 expenditures by a modest $111 billion in the context of a $1.5 trillion deficit; capping federal government expenditures within historically justifiable 18-20% ranges; and passing a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment that protect future generations of Americans from revisiting the financial mess we face).

    I voted to raise the debt ceiling on July 29, 2011, when I voted for the Boehner Plan (which included a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment requirement).

    I will not vote for the Obama-Reid-Boehner Debt Bill (herein the “Debt Bill”) because it is not up to the financial challenges America faces. 

    Background:  The Problem

    Years of spending binges by the federal government have come home to roost.  America’s debt exceeds $14 trillion.  America has suffered three consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits (and faces trillion dollar deficits into the foreseeable future).

    Annual deficits and accumulated debt force America to confront two major financial threats, both with one common cause: unsustainable budget deficits.

    In the short term, America faces a debt ceiling crisis.  Over the longer term, America faces a debt crisis. 

    If trillion dollar deficits continue indefinitely, America’s insolvency and bankruptcy is certain, thereby risking America’s national defense, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, NASA, and everything else the federal government does.

    Debt Bill Deficiencies That Compel a “No” Vote

    The accumulative deficiencies in the Debt Bill compel me to vote “No.”  The deficiencies are:

    1. Minimal Time for Consideration and Deliberation.

    The Debt Bill is 74 pages of interwoven, complicated legal and budgetary terms.  I have read and studied the Debt Bill in the limited time available.  The Debt Bill forces onto our children and grandchildren another $2.4 trillion in debt burden, yet we are expected to vote on it with less than 24 hours notice.

    This is insufficient time to thoroughly understand the Debt Bill’s nuances, for budget experts to digest the Debt Bill and offer their insights, for the public to analyze the legislation and share their insight, and for Congress to make a wise and deliberative decision.

    While some argue the Debt Bill must pass by the White House’s August 2 deadline; I believe it is better to act wisely than in haste.  The economy will be much worse if Congress, in haste, makes a $2.4 trillion error. 

    2. Significant Defense Cuts in FY 2012 & 2013.

    In FY 2012, the Debt Bill cuts national defense by $2 to $17 billion (the variance is due to different Debt Bill interpretations by the House Armed Services Committee).

    The Debt Bill creates a 12-member Joint Select Committee (six Senators and six Congressmen; six Republicans and six Democrats).  By November 23, the Committee must recommend $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures (spending cuts and/or tax increases).  If the Committee makes a recommendation, Congress must vote on the recommendation on or before January 15

    If the Committee splits 6-6 and makes no recommendation, or if either House of Congress rejects the Committee’s recommendation, then the Debt Bill mandates that the Defense budget be cut $60 Billion in FY 2013 (i.e. – in the fiscal year beginning 14 months from now, on October 1, 2013).

    National defense is the top priority of the federal government.  If the Debt Bill passes, there is an unnecessary and substantial risk that it will trigger risky defense cuts in just 14 months that undermine the defense capabilities of America.

    3. The Bill Does Not Fix the Underlying Problem.

    The Bill makes America’s financial challenges worse by inadequately addressing unsustainable deficits that threaten America with insolvency and bankruptcy and force debt ceiling increases.

    The Debt Bill’s “cuts” bind no future Congresses.  Hence, the only “cuts” that count are those for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.

    In FY 2012, the Debt Bill cuts discretionary federal government spending by only $7 billion (versus FY 2011 levels), while overall federal government spending actually increases (“discretionary spending” is less than 30% of total federal government spending). 

    In FY 2013, the Debt Bill increases discretionary federal government spending by $4 billion (over FY 2012 levels).  Overall federal government spending again increases significantly.

    Hence, in both FY 2012 and 2013, the federal government deficit is estimated to exceed $1 trillion/year if the Debt Bill passes and, under the best of scenarios, the Debt Bill’s “solution” increases America’s debt by $2.4 trillion in less than two years, which makes America’s debt problem much worse, not better.

    4. Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment. 

    The Debt Bill requires a vote of Congress on a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment but does not require that Congress pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. 

    The July 29 Boehner Bill required passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment before the Phase II debt ceiling increase would occur.  The Debt Bill eliminates the requirement for a Balanced Budget Amendment, thereby eliminating the only long-term fix to America’s unsustainable deficits. 

    5. Punting the Debt Ceiling Crisis to 2013. 

    Because of 2012 election considerations, the Debt Bill “kicks the can down the road” to 2013, when a financially weaker America will be less capable of facing yet another debt ceiling crisis. 

    America will be weaker because debt service burdens will be $2.4 trillion more and the total debt of $16.7 trillion will likely be subject to higher interest rates and more onerous payment obligations.

    America must face its unsustainable deficit issue while it is stronger, not weaker.  The longer America waits, the worse the economic outcome will be.

    6. Credit Rating Cuts.

    In my judgment, the Debt Bill substantially increases the long-term risk of a cut in America’s credit rating. 

    Standard & Poor stated on July 14, 2011, that America’s credit rating is at risk if Washington has “not achieved a credible solution to the rising U.S. government debt burden and [is] not likely to achieve one in the foreseeable future.”  Standard & Poor president Deven Sharma reiterated this concern on July 27, 2011 when he testified before the House Financial Services Committee that, “The more important issue is really the long-term growth rate of the debt… that is the more important issue at hand.”

    Similarly, Moody’s stated on July 13, 2011 that, if the debt ceiling is raised, America’s credit rating outlook “would very likely be changed to negative… unless [there is a] substantial and credible agreement [on] long-term deficit reduction.”

    The Debt Bill does not cut America’s short or long-term deficits enough to minimize the risk of downgrade in America’s credit rating… a downgrade that will, in turn, drive up America’s debt service cost and reduce funding for all other federal government programs.  To make matters worse, if America’s interest rates go up; state, local and private interest rates are likely to also go up… thereby hurting all Americans at every level.

    The Solution

    The best solution that protects America from the short term debt ceiling and long term insolvency threats is a debt ceiling increase coupled with a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment that is phased in over a 5 year period.

    Inasmuch as constitutional amendments often take years to pass, time that America may not have, the debt ceiling should be raised in a two-step process.  The first step partially raises the debt ceiling when Congress passes a substantive and effective Balanced Budget Amendment.  If the Senate and House concur, this can be done in as little as a week.

    The second step raises the rest of the debt ceiling requirement when the states ratify the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment.  This process gives the states an incentive to ratify the Balanced Budget Amendment in less than one year (or trigger the effects of not raising the debt ceiling).

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: