Tag Archives: balanced budget

Kerry and Brummett: Downgrade was Tea Party’s fault

They denied that there would be a downgrade. Then they denied it meant anything,  and now they are blaming it all on the Tea Party. The truth of the matter is that the Tea Party has been pushing for a balanced budget. So how could they have been responsible for all this overspending which is the true cause of the downgrade?

John Brummett in his article “Why is this culprit smiling?,” Arkansas News Bureau, August 9, 2011, asserted that Republican leaders “caved to the extreme right and sent the issue to the very brink, compelling S&P’s to downgrade the country’s rating, thus adding further uncertainty to the American economy and threatening the beleaguered every-day American with further equity losses and higher borrowing rates.”

Who were these extreme right people responsible for the downgrade? Brummett identifies them as ” the  tea party-inclined insurgents.”

Daniel Doherty in his excellent article, “Congressman Allen West Defends Tea Party Republicans,” 8/8/2011, Townhall, noted:

During an appearance on Fox & Friends this morning, Congressman Allen West (R-FL) slammed Senator John Kerry for his egregious assertion that House Republicans were exclusively to blame for the U.S. credit downgrade. In 2007, as Mr. West explains on the program, the debt ceiling stood at $8.6 trillion when Democrats held both chambers of Congress. Today, after a $787 billion failed stimulus package and a partisan health care law — the federal deficit has risen to $14.5 trillion.

As Katie Pavlich posted earlier, the Cato Institute has proven in unequivocal terms how our ongoing debt problems stem not from a lack of revenue, but from an addiction to spending. Senator Kerry’s argument, then, that Republicans should be blamed for the impasse – especially when Democrats in the senate have yet to propose a budget in over 800 days – is unfounded and an obvious attempt to denigrate his political rivals.

Furthermore, Senator Kerry’s statement conveniently overlooks the intransigence of his own party. As George Will pointed out today on ABC, 95 House Democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling compared to only 66 House Republicans. The notion, therefore, that Republicans were solely responsible for the near calamitous U.S. default is demonstrably false.


Democrats’ “tea-party downgrade” spin is self-defeating


posted at 8:25 pm on August 8, 2011 by Karl

Various Dems, including but not limited to Pres. Obama’s presidential campaign adviser David Axelrod, Sen. John Kerry, and fmr. DNC Chairman Howard Dean, were busy Sunday blaming S&P’s downgrade of America’s credit rating on the Tea Party. It is bad spin on at least two levels.

First, the spin creates mixed messages. To quote Jim Treacher: “Yesterday, the downgrade was fake. Today, the Tea Party caused it. ‘This isn’t happening… and it’s all your fault!’” In particular, it muddles the Obama administration’s official position, which is that S&P is mistaken. If the administration is trying to stave off similar downgrades from other ratings agencies (even if the impact is more limited than many think), having the president’s campaign flack suggesting a real phenomenon is at work is counter-productive.

Second, the left’s focus on S&P’s comments about GOP opposition to higher taxes (and avoidance of S&P’s comments on entitlement reform) sends a toxic subliminal message to voters. Consider this from the S&P explanation:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

Of course, S&P may not be entirely accurate on this point: Obama blew up a grand bargain with Speaker Boehner that included $800 billion in revenue. But taken on its own terms, S&P’s explanation necessarily assumes not only that the GOP will continue to oppose raising tax rates, but also that the GOP will succeed in doing so. S&P’s analysis implies: (a) the House GOP is unlikely to suffer serious losses in 2012 from their position on the debt ceiling; (b) Pres. Obama may not win re-election in 2012; (c) if Pres. Obama is re-elected, he will likely be beaten a third time on taxes, despite being a lame duck with nothing to lose. These are the narratives being advanced by Democratic spin about a “Tea Party downgrade.”

As the WSJ’s James Taranto quipped: “So the argument for re-election is going to be ‘Don’t blame Obama, he was no match for the Tea Party’?”

Rand Paul against debt deal

John Brummett entitled his article “It is a crafty deal — good too,” Arkansas News Bureau, August 2, 2011, and that is because this deal DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY REAL CUTS TO THE BUDGET IN 2011. IN FACT, IT CUTS 22 BILLION OUT OF THE PROJECTED INCREASE IN THE 3.6 TRILLION BUDGET THAT WILL HAVE A 1.5 TRILLION DEFICIT!!!

Rand Paul hits a homerun with this open letter. That is why he was the number one name in the nation for yahoo search engine searches right now:


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Sen. Rand Paul issued an open letter on the subject of the debt ceiling compromise facing the Senate. Below is that letter.

To paraphrase Jim DeMint: When you’re speeding toward the edge of a cliff, you don’t set the cruise control. You stop the car.

The current deal to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t stop us from going over the fiscal cliff. At best, it slows us from going over it at 80 mph to going over it at 60 mph.

This plan never balances. The President called for a “balanced approach.” But the American people are calling for a balanced budget.

This deal does nothing to fix the overreaches of both parties over the past few years: Obamacare, TARP, trillion-dollar wars, runaway entitlement spending. They are all cemented into place with this deal, and their legacy will be trillions of dollars in new debt.

The deal that is pending before us now:

· Adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years. The deal purports to “cut” $2.5 trillion, but the “cut” is from a baseline that adds $10 trillion to the debt. This deal, even if all targets are met and the Super Committee wields its mandate – the BEST case scenario is still $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. That is sickening.

· Never, ever balances.

· The Super Committee’s mandate is to add $7 trillion in new debt. Let’s be clear: $2.5 trillion in reductions off a nearly $10 trillion,10-year debt is still $7 trillion in debt. The Super Committee limits the Constitutional check of the filibuster by expediting passage of bills with a simple majority. The Super Committee is not precluded from any issue therefore the filibuster could be rendered most. In addition, the plan harms the possible passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Since the goal is never to balance, having the BBA as a “trigger” ensures that the Committee will simply report its $7 trillion in new debt and never move to a BBA vote.

· Cuts too slowly. Even if you believe cutting $2.5 trillion out of $10 trillion is a good compromise, surely we can start cutting quickly, say $200 billion-$300 billion per year, right? Wrong. This plan so badly backloads the alleged savings that the cuts are simply meaningless. Why do we believe that the goal of $2.5 trillion over 10 years (that’s an average of $250 billion per year) will EVER be met if the first two years cuts are $20 billion and $50 billion. There is simply no path in this bill even to the meager savings they are alleging will take place.

Buried in the details of this bill there also appears to be the automatic Debt increase as proposed a few weeks ago. Second half of the debt ceiling is increased by President automatically and can only be stopped by two-thirds of Congress. This shifts the Constitutional check on borrowing from Congress to the President and makes it easier to raise the debt ceiling. This would cede debt ceiling to the President, and none of the triggers in this deal include withholding the second limit increase.

Debt agencies have clearly stated the type of so-called cuts envisioned in this plan result in our AAA bond rating being downgraded. Ironically then, the only way to avoid our debt from downgrading and the resulting economic problems that stem from that is for this bill or the resulting Super Committee to fail, so that a Balanced Budget Amendment can save our country.

This plan does not solve our problem. Not even close. I cannot abide the destruction of our economy, therefore I vigorously oppose this deal and I urge my colleagues and the American people to do the same.


Rand Paul, M.D.

U.S. Senator