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Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Old 01-26-10, 10:02 AM
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Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31899.html

Trying to win the votes of fiscal moderates, President Barack Obama formally endorsed legislation Saturday creating an independent commission with the power to force Congress to vote on major deficit reduction steps this year, after the November elections.


Obama’s statement gives new momentum to efforts in the Senate now to attach such legislation this coming week to a pending debt ceiling bill. But the endorsement comes so late that it risks being seen as just a ploy to win over swing Democratic senators whose votes the White House needs to lift the federal debt ceiling.


“The President is demonstrating exactly the kind of leadership we need to tackle our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a lead sponsor of the legislation to create an independent deficit commission. “His support shows that he is determined to do what is necessary to put us back on a sound long-term course.”


But support in the Senate has so eroded in the past month that one Republican senator told POLITICO Saturday that “the horse is already out of the barn,” and getting the 60 votes needed for passage will be next to impossible.


In this light, Obama’s endorsement may be most important politically on two fronts: aligning him with fiscal moderates and throwing a challenge down to Republicans.


If the Senate votes Tuesday to reject the Conrad plan, the White House can then step forward in Wednesday’s State of the Union address with what has been the administration’s preference to date: a commission created by executive order that would leave more discretion to House and Senate leaders as to how to address its recommendations. And having shown his support for the moderates’ cause, Obama will be in a stronger position to ask Democrats like Conrad to support the debt ceiling increase.


The challenge to Republicans is more subtle but very real after the Democratic defeat in Massachusetts’s Senate election last week.


Obama no longer has a 60-vote filibuster proof Senate to work with, and Saturday’s statement made a strong pitch for Republicans to come forward and work with him. And at a time also when Obama wants Republican votes for the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, it gives the president a chance to look bipartisan and split off old-line fiscal conservatives in the GOP.


“These deficits did not happen overnight, and they won’t be solved overnight,” the president said. “We not only need to change how we pay for policies, but we also need to change how Washington works. The only way to solve our long-term fiscal challenge is to solve it together – Democrats and Republicans.”


“That’s why I strongly support legislation currently under consideration to create a bipartisan, fiscal commission to come up with a set of solutions to tackle our nation’s fiscal challenges – and call on Senators from both parties to vote for the creation of a statutory, bipartisan fiscal commission.”


Powerful Democrats, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), are adamantly opposed to the commission. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), in a letter to colleagues Friday, warned them against being “stampeded” into ..............


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I'm generally opposed to the idea of 'separate commissions' to do the job that congress should do. However, congress has clearly demonstrated it can't or won't take the steps necessary to control the deficit. Regular order has not worked.

It stands little chance of passing the Senate since both the majority leader & the minority leader are opposed to it.

Last edited by classicman2; 01-26-10 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:19 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

How soon before he appoints David Gergen to be White House Chief of Staff?
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Old 01-26-10, 10:48 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Seen a few articles about this lately.

I saw one that said Reid wants to make paygo law instead of just rules so it is harder to bypass. This is waht happened in the 90s that helped balance the budget. The article said the GOP probably woudldn't support it. So much for fiscal conservatives.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:53 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

The spending freeze, expected to be proposed by Obama during the State of the Union address on Wednesday, would apply to a relatively small portion of the federal budget, affecting a $477 billion pot of money available for domestic agencies whose budgets are approved by Congress each year. Some of those agencies could get increases, others would have to face cuts; such programs got an almost 10 percent increase this year. The federal budget total was $3.5 trillion.



For those playing along at home that is a freeze on 13.6% of the budget.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:12 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Seen a few articles about this lately.

I saw one that said Reid wants to make paygo law instead of just rules so it is harder to bypass. This is waht happened in the 90s that helped balance the budget. The article said the GOP probably woudldn't support it. So much for fiscal conservatives.
PAYGO is already in effect. The problem is that nobody bothers with it.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:13 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Seen a few articles about this lately.

I saw one that said Reid wants to make paygo law instead of just rules so it is harder to bypass. This is waht happened in the 90s that helped balance the budget. The article said the GOP probably woudldn't support it. So much for fiscal conservatives.
I wonder when so-called fiscal conservatives will learn that while neither party is particularly fiscally conservative, the Democrats come a hell of a lot closer.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:14 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I wonder when so-called fiscal conservatives will learn that while neither party is particularly fiscally conservative, the Democrats come a hell of a lot closer.
Has there really been a difference in either?
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Old 01-26-10, 11:15 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
PAYGO is already in effect. The problem is that nobody bothers with it.
The article (too lazy to search for it now) said there was a difference in the paygo in the 90s (that expired in 2002) and what we have now
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Old 01-26-10, 11:17 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Has there really been a difference in either?
From what I've noticed of recent, i.e., post-war, history, once you remove all the presidents whose last name is 'Bush', no, there's not much of a difference.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:31 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
From what I've noticed of recent, i.e., post-war, history, once you remove all the presidents whose last name is 'Bush', no, there's not much of a difference.
President Reagan may have had a record-setting deficit or two in his time.

From what I can tell, from the time we paid off the World War II debt until the Reagan administration, presidents were pretty much the same regardless of party -- we would generally run a small deficit. Since 1981, the Republicans have run huge deficits, President Clinton shrank the deficit until it was a surplus (or not, if you're classicman, but even classicman will admit, I hope, that President Clinton came far closer to surplus than we have been since 1981), and it's too soon to tell with President Obama, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:18 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

maybe the Brown election started the Clinton move early. That would be good.

Here is what I don't think I follow. Obama thinks that stimulus is just spending money. That's what stimulus is. He has talked about another stimulus bill. Why cut spending now if spending more is what will turn this economy around?
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Old 01-26-10, 12:29 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

This fiscal conservative recognizes that both parties suck at fiscal discipline but that the best scenario is split party control. Now there are certain individuals within both parties that have demonstrated fiscal discipline in gov't or at least recognize that it is an important thing to strive for (beyond mere change-hope lip service).
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Old 01-26-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I wonder when so-called fiscal conservatives will learn that while neither party is particularly fiscally conservative, the Democrats come a hell of a lot closer.
Well, that one tops them all.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:48 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
The article (too lazy to search for it now) said there was a difference in the paygo in the 90s (that expired in 2002) and what we have now
There are some differences. What remains the same is that paygo can we waived with a 3/5 vote. Often there's not even an objection from the floor that a piece of legislation violates the budget act.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:48 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Well, that one tops them all.
Link?
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Old 01-26-10, 12:51 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

So, I was told that we needed to spend a shitload of money to improve the economy (ie, stimulus package).

Now, I'm told that we need to freeze spending to improve the economy, except that freeze won't impact a future stimulus package.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:52 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
President Reagan may have had a record-setting deficit or two in his time.

From what I can tell, from the time we paid off the World War II debt until the Reagan administration, presidents were pretty much the same regardless of party -- we would generally run a small deficit. Since 1981, the Republicans have run huge deficits, President Clinton shrank the deficit until it was a surplus (or not, if you're classicman, but even classicman will admit, I hope, that President Clinton came far closer to surplus than we have been since 1981), and it's too soon to tell with President Obama, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
There was a surplus during 1997-1998 (I think those were the years) using the way they are currently calculated. It's phony, but that's the way it is figured. Fritz Hollings had it correctly - 'truth in budgeting.' I'm afraid we're never going to have that.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:56 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Link?
Neither party has demonstrated budget restraint.

You can look up how much that Reagan 'borrowed' from the various trust funds as opposed to how much Bush I borrow as opposed to how Clinton borrowed from the trusts, etc.

I don't care to do so.

The amount(s) affect the deficit.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:08 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

The Senate has rejected the commission idea.

It fell short of the 60 votes needed. 56 voted for it.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:27 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Another Obama endorsement seals the deal.
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Old 01-26-10, 08:49 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

CBO was actually projecting a decline in non-defense discretionary spending over the next few years (from $682 billion in FY 2010 gradually down to $640 billion in 2014). It's right there in Table 3-1 of the CBO report. The reason is all the "temporary" spending programs that were enacted the first year of the Obama Administration. This is like the weatherman taking credit for a sunny day--it was happening anyway. In fact, freezing this spending is actually a hike in projected spending over the next several years.

http://www.atr.org/mr-freeze-hardly-...pending-a4444#
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Old 01-26-10, 09:40 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I wonder when so-called fiscal conservatives will learn that while neither party is particularly fiscally conservative, the Democrats come a hell of a lot closer.
Please tell this to the Democrats in Massachusetts. I would be eternally grateful, thanks
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Old 01-26-10, 09:57 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
President Reagan may have had a record-setting deficit or two in his time.
From what I can tell, from the time we paid off the World War II debt until the Reagan administration, presidents were pretty much the same regardless of party -- we would generally run a small deficit. Since 1981, the Republicans have run huge deficits, President Clinton shrank the deficit until it was a surplus (or not, if you're classicman, but even classicman will admit, I hope, that President Clinton came far closer to surplus than we have been since 1981), and it's too soon to tell with President Obama, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

The Democrat controlled congress had little to do with it huh?
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Old 01-26-10, 10:24 PM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

Originally Posted by BKenn01 View Post
The Democrat controlled congress had little to do with it huh?
Most -- all I think, but I don't feel like double checking, so we'll go with most -- most of the budgets passed during President Reagan's presidency were lower than what he had proposed.

But if you prefer, feel free to give credit to the Democrats in Congress in the 80s for bankrupting the Soviet Union and winning the Cold War.
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Old 01-27-10, 12:00 AM
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Re: Obama Formally Endorses Budget Deficit Commission Idea

I wonder if the Senate killed it because they want to actually cut some spending rather than freeze it.

I only mention that because I was looking up budget stuff to see how this would compare, and found this.... http://earth911.com/blog/2009/05/14/...by-34-percent/

In 2009, Obama increased the EPA's budget by 34%. Heck of a COLA there. And now we should be impressed that he has the fortitude to freeze that budget?

I haven't checked out other departments to see if they are similar, but hey....way to have some balls, Obama.
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