Posts

House and Senate agree on Fiscal Cliff legislation – Nothing fixed

Failure was not an option. The Fiscal Cliff senario was set up by Congress to force Congress to deal with the serious policy and financial issues facing the federal government. They created a worst-case-senario that would punish everyone with higher taxes across the board and major federal spending cuts. In a 24 hour period, Congress looked back a the agreement made in August 2011, and simply said “never mind.”

Read more

Treasury secretary proposes infinite debt limit

Hey, when you’re trying to run an expanding federal government, seeking permission from the people to spend more and more money we don’t have is a bloody inconvenience. When asked if we should ditch the debt limit all-together, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner agrees with Alan Greenspan – spend away!

“Well, this is something only Congress can solve,” Geithner said. “Congress put it on itself. We’ve had 100 years of experience with it, and I think only once–last summer–did people decide to use it to threaten default on the American credit for the first time in history as a tool for political advantage.  And that’s not a tenable strategy.”

Hunt then asked: “Is now the time to eliminate it?”

“It would have been time a long time ago to eliminate it,” Geithner said. “The sooner the better.”

What? Is the debt limit and the national debt such a “pure” economic concept it should not be discussed within the political arena?

I understand you can derive a debt limit using a dollar figure like we do now, but we could also set a debt limit based on a percentage of GDP or something could we not? But note the attitude of Geithner … he thinks the entire idea of a limit is stupid.

A question for Geithner. What is wrong with the limit? Is there some sort of economic issue with having a limit? If we got rid of the limit, would that somehow improve the economic outlook of the United States? Is that looming debt limit holding us back in some way, shape or form?

I’ll argue that having a limit – even if Congress has to discuss raising it at regular intervals – certainly does not hurt the economy and it brings forward the spending discussion to the American people on a regular basis. That’s a good thing.

But people like Geithner do not like that idea simply because the unwashed masses don’t understand economics like he does…

The debt ceiling, and something to think about

While the President was negotiating with Congressional leaders last week about the debt ceiling, he advocated a “really big package” that would raise the debt ceiling by $4 trillion.  When that seemed to be going nowhere, he said he would “settle” for a $2.4 trillion increase.  This smaller amount, per the President, would get us “through” the 2012 elections without having to go through another “raise the debt ceiling” fiasco.  Think about that for a moment. Read more

What the debt negotiations aren’t

The negotiations on spending cuts and deficit increases (somewhat of an oxymoron) are basically being conducted in secret.  This alone conjures up visions of Obamacare, which, now that we can see what’s in it, is becoming more and more unpopular.  But, even though the “negotiations” are being held behind closed doors, we have learned what the President will not talk about. Read more