President Obama and Jack Lew Are Lying About Whose Idea The Sequester Was–So Says Washington Post’s Bob Woodward–The Sequester is Stupid–Stupid Is As Stupid Does–Obamaquester — Videos

Posted on February 23, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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the-price-of-politics

sequestration

stupid

obama_debt

fiscal_year_2013_budget

2013%20sequester%20impact

budget-control-act-680

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how_congress_spends_your_money

Total Federal Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the gross US federal government debt is expected to be 17.548 trillion dollars. Of this gross amount, debt “Held by the Public” amounts to 10.560 trillion dollars and debt “Held by Federal Government Accounts” amounts to 4.911 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

Projected and Recent US Federal Debt Numbers

Fiscal Year Gross Federal Debt Debt Held by Public Debt Held by Federal Reserve
FY 2013* $17.5 trillion $10.6 trillion $2.1 trillion
FY 2012* $16.4 trillion $9.7 trillion $1.9 trillion
FY 2011 $14.8 trillion $8.5 trillion $1.7 trillion
FY 2010 $13.5 trillion $8.2 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2009 $11.9 trillion $6.8 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2008 $10.0 trillion $5.3 trillion $0.5 trillion

“Gross Federal Debt” is the total debt owed by the United States federal government.\

It comprises “Debt Held by Public”, including foreign governments, debt held by federal government accounts such as IOUs owed to the Social Security trust fund, and “Debt held by Federal Reserve,” debt bought by the Federal Reserve System as part of the monetary base.

Total Government Debt since 1900

At the beginning of the 20th century total government debt was equally divided between federal and state and local debt, totaling less than 20 percent of GDP.  After World War I, the federal debt surged to 35% of GDP.  But by the mid 1920s federal debt had declined to below 20 percent of GDP with state and local debt rising to 16 percent of GDP.

Then came the Great Depression, and President Roosevelt decided to spend his way out of trouble, boosting federal debt to 40 percent of GDP.  So did the local governments, with state debt peaking at over 5 percent of GDP in 1933 and local debt peaking at over 28 percent in 1933. Government debt, including federal and state and local debt rose to 70 percent of GDP.

But it was in World War II that the US really entered new debt territory.  Starting at 45 percent of GDP in 1941 federal debt zoomed, reaching almost 122 percent of GDP in 1946 after the end of the war, with state and local debt adding another 7 percent.  For the next 35 years successive governments brought down the debt, but then came President Reagan.  He increased the federal debt up over 50 percent of GDP to win the Cold War.  President Bush increased the debt to fight a war on terror and bail out the banks. President Obama is increasing the debt to fund a plan to revive the economy in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008.

Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

usgs_chart4p03

 Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

Total US Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the total government debt in the United States, including federal, state, and local, is expected to be 20.541 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/

Bob Woodward Tears Into Obama: ‘Madness That I Haven’t Seen In A Long Time’

Bernanke Warns Sequester Could Slow Economic Recovery

Dr. Coburn on Fox News Sunday Regarding Sequestration

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

Our Lying President – Debate lie on sequestration

Nightline from ABC News:        Obama Revealed: Bob Woodward’s Explosive New Book

Bob Woodward’s ‘The Price of Politics’ Goes Inside the Debt Crisis

The Obama Sequester: He Was For It, Before He Was Against It

Bob Woodward on Fox News Sunday: Sequestration was Obama’s idea

Fox News Sunday Panel Plus – Sequestration » 02-17-13

POTUS’ Sequester Should Be Replaced w/Cuts & Reforms Leading to a Balanced

Boehner to Obama: You Built the Sequester – WSJ Opinion

Hilarious! Hannity Mocks Obama’s Melodramatic ‘Mayan Sequester Apocalypse’

Rand Paul: Many Ways To Handle Sequester Without Losing Jobs – On The Record w

Replacing President Obama’s “Sequester”

Limbaugh on “Sequester Crisis”: “For the First Time in My Life I Am Ashamed of My County

CBO Director Lays Out Dangers Of Obama’s Debt-GDP Ratio

CBO Director On Obama’s $7 Trillion Budget Deficit Over The Next Decade

Will Taxing the Rich Fix the Deficit?

What If the National Debt Were Your Debt?

Funding Government by the Minute

What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt?

Don’t let him lie to you: sequester was Obama’s idea – Woodward says so 

Bob Woodward on ‘The Price of Politics,’ Fiscal Fight 

Obama’s sequester deal-changer

By Bob Woodward, Published: February 22

Bob Woodward (woodwardb@washpost.com) is an associate editor of The Post. His latest book is “The Price of Politics.” Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this column.

Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?

The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later.

There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

A majority of Republicans did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer, which included the sequester. Key Republican staffers said they didn’t even initially know what a sequester was — because the concept stemmed from the budget wars of the 1980s, when they were not in government.

At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew’s nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Lew about the account in my book: “Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Lew responded, “and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States.”

“Did you make the suggestion?” Burr asked.

“Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator [Phil] Gramm and Senator [Warren] Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action.”

In other words, yes.

But then Burr asked about the president’s statement during the presidential debate, that the Republicans originated it.

Lew, being a good lawyer and a loyal presidential adviser, then shifted to denial mode: “Senator, the demand for an enforcement mechanism was not something that the administration was pushing at that moment.”

That statement was not accurate.

On Tuesday, Obama appeared at the White House with a group of police officers and firefighters to denounce the sequester as a “meat-cleaver approach” that would jeopardize military readiness and investments in education, energy and readiness. He also said it would cost jobs. But, the president said, the substitute would have to include new revenue through tax reform.

At noon that same day, White House press secretary Jay Carney shifted position and accepted sequester paternity.

“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney said. Walking back the earlier statements, he added carefully, “and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”

This was an acknowledgment that the president and Lew had been wrong.

Why does this matter?

First, months of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)

Second, Lew testified during his confirmation hearing that the Republicans would not go along with new revenue in the portion of the deficit-reduction plan that became the sequester. Reinforcing Lew’s point, a senior White House official said Friday, “The sequester was an option we were forced to take because the Republicans would not do tax increases.”

In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.

So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.

Read more from PostOpinions: Bob Woodward: Time for our leaders to delegate on the budget Robert J. Samuelson: The lowdown on Lew Jennifer Rubin: Jack Lew’s truth problem Eugene Robinson: The sequester madness

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bob-woodward-obamas-sequester-deal-changer/2013/02/22/c0b65b5e-7ce1-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_print.html

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Playing The Sequester Blame Game: Drama Obama Not Problem Solver But Blame Shifter–Republicans Are Not Problem Solvers But Blame Shifters–Shut Off The Blame Shifters–Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way–Balance The Budget In Four Years By Real Cuts of $250 Billion Each Year To Budget Baseline for Four Years For Total of $1,000 Billion or You Are Out–Tea Party Patriots Proclamation–Videos

Posted on February 20, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Books, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Law, liberty, Life, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama PROMISES To Cut Deficit In Half By 2012

Live Obama speech on debt 23th february 2009

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

Sequester- President Obama says $85B in spending cuts WILL kick in Friday

Judge Napolitano: Facts About Sequester Caught Up To Obama “His Scare Tactics Are Reprehensible”

Obama’s big lie and massive deficits: spending addiction disorder (SAD)

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Crisis and fear mongering as well as blame shifting are again running rampant among the ruling political elites in Washington over out-of-control government spending and what to do about it.

President Barack Obama and progressive Congressional Democrats want to increase federal government spending by increasing taxes through closing so-called “tax loopholes” or more precisely eliminating existing tax deductions and credits in the Internal Revenue code.

House Speaker John Boehner and conservative Congressional Republicans want to decrease government spending and decrease tax rates by also eliminating “tax loopholes.” There is no middle ground to negotiate given the diametrically opposed positions of the political parties. This was not always the case.

Early in his first term Obama delivered a speech in the White House titled “A New Era of Responsibility,” captured on the YouTube video titled “Obama will cut deficit in half FEB 2009.”  He said, “We cannot, and will not, sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation.

“We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone, we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt — one in every 10 taxpayer dollars. That is more than three times what we spent on education that year; more than seven times what we spent on VA health care.

“So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road as our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes, and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they’re saddled with our debts.

“And that’s why today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

The last George W. Bush deficit for fiscal year 2008 was nearly $459 billion. If Obama was serious about meeting his pledge of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term, the deficit should have been less than $230 billion for fiscal year 2012. Obama did the exact opposite of what he promised the American people he would do in February 2009. Instead of cutting the deficit in half, he doubled the deficit to more than a trillion dollars for each fiscal year he has been in office as the table below clearly shows:

Summary of Spending Outlays, Tax Receipts, Deficits (-) or Surpluses, 2005-2013 

      (in millions of dollars)

Fiscal Year

Spending Outlays

Tax Receipts

-Deficit +Surplus

President (Party) House Control Senate Control
2005

2,471,957

2,153,611

-318,346

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2006

2,655,050

2,406,859

-248,181

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2007

2,728,686

2,567,985

-150,701

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2008

2,982,544

2,523,991

-458,553

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2009

3,517,677

2,104,989

-1,412,588

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2010

3,456,213

2,162,724

-1,293,489

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2011

3,603,061

2,303,466

-1,299,595

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2012

3,538,286

2,449,093

-1,089,193

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2013 est.

3,803,364

2,901,956

-901,408

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
Source: The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, Historical Tables, Table 1.1http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist.pdf

These massive and unprecedented deficits required that the national debt be increased to pay for the government’s out-of-control spending and for Congress to increase the debt ceiling to $16.4 trillion. On Aug. 2, 2011 President Obama signed into law The Budget Control Act of 2011. This ended the so-called debt ceiling crisis by increasing the debt-level immediately by $400 billion and allowing Obama to ask for another increase of the ceiling by $500 billion with Congressional approval in the future. The law established the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction, better known as the “super committee,” with the task of reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion by Dec. 23, 2011. The super committee failed to accomplish its assigned task.

This triggered the sequestration provisions in the law requiring across-the-board cuts in government spending of $1.2 trillion over 10 years with a corresponding increase in the debt-level by $1.2 trillion. Both Democrats and Republicans voted for the sequestration when they passed the law. However, the original idea for sequestration came from White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors and Jack Lew, who was then budget director, whom with Obama’s approval presented the idea to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to Bob Woodward as documented in his book “The Price of Politics.“

On Jan. 31, Congress suspended the borrowing limit or debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion for three months until May 19.

By March 1 Congress needed to cut $1.2 trillion from the growth in the Congressional Budget Office baseline for fiscal years 2013 through 2021 or the sequestration would be triggered. These automatic spending cuts had to come from both discretionary and mandatory spending.

Under the sequestration order for fiscal year 2013, signed by Obama on Mar. 1, there needs to be a $85.3 billion cut in growth in federal government budget authority of which $42.7 billion is defense, $28.7 billion non-defense discretionary, $9.9 billion Medicare and $4 billion other mandatory.

For fiscal year 2013 the total federal government spending outlays are estimated to be about $3.8 trillion with estimated total tax revenues of about $2.9 trillion resulting in a deficit of about $901 billion. The sequestration impact for fiscal year 2013 is an estimated $44 billion cut in spending outlays or about 1.4% of total federal government spending.

The crisis and fear mongering and blame shifting is never-ending as Congress must now agree to a fiscal year 2013 continuing resolution by March 31. Meanwhile the U.S. economy is on the verge of another recession with higher unemployment rates and many more millions of unemployed Americans.

The absence of leadership in Washington to budget to estimated tax receipts and by so doing live within the means of the American people is the core problem. The solution would require the repeal of Congress’s baseline budgeting process whereby current spending levels are used to determine future funding requirements by adding increased funding for population growth, inflation and other factors to the current level of spending. The congressional budget baseline process totally ignores estimated tax receipts or revenues as a budgetary constraint. The result is massive unsustainable deficits.

Obama’s new era of responsibility was pure propaganda prevarication. Obama’s age of fiscal insanity and spending addiction disorder continues to destroy jobs, wreck the economy and kill the American dream. Neither progressive Democrats nor Republicans have the will, courage, integrity, wisdom and vision to balance the federal budget. Truly unbelievable.

how_congress_spends_your_money

http://federalbudget.com/

usgs_chart4p04

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history

Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 2000 – 2012

Includes legal tender notes, gold and silver certificates, etc.

The first fiscal year for the U.S. Government started Jan. 1, 1789.  Congress changed the beginning of the fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Jul. 1 in 1842, and finally from Jul. 1 to Oct. 1 in 1977 where it remains today.

To find more historical information, visit The Public Debt Historical Information  archives.

Date Dollar Amount
09/30/2012 16,066,241,407,385.89
09/30/2011 14,790,340,328,557.15
09/30/2010 13,561,623,030,891.79
09/30/2009 11,909,829,003,511.75
09/30/2008 10,024,724,896,912.49
09/30/2007 9,007,653,372,262.48
09/30/2006 8,506,973,899,215.23
09/30/2005 7,932,709,661,723.50
09/30/2004 7,379,052,696,330.32
09/30/2003 6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002 6,228,235,965,597.16
09/30/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
09/30/2000 5,674,178,209,886.86

 http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Budget Control Act Sequestration Would Hit Defense Hardest

budget-control-act-680

2013%20sequester%20impact

verochart

Obama_2013_sequestration_tax_increase

Rand Paul: Sequester Doesn’t Cut Enough – Stossel 2/28/2013

Balderdash! Sen. Rand Paul demolishes Obama’s sequester scare tactics

Hooray for SEQUESTRATION…

Illegal Immigrants Released from Detention Centers…

Bernanke Urges Sequestration Alternative

The Obama Sequester: He Was For It, Before He Was Against It

Obama Then and Now: I was for the sequester and now I am against it

Rand Paul: Obama Claiming To Have Cut Debt By $2 Trillion Is Absurd – 2/13/2013

Paul Ryan confronted on sequester

The Truth about Sequestration

Fiscal Cliff: 5 Facts about the Federal Budget (animated) (2012)

Sequestration 101

Sequestration and transfer authority

Rand Paul: Sequester Is A Pittance – 2/19/2013

Rand Paul to Obama on Sequester: Stand Up, Be a Leader and Just Do the Right Thing

Sen Paul Sequester Barely Cuts Any Icing From Cake

Greenspan:  Odds of Sequestration Occurring Are Very High

Krauthammer: ‘Republicans Should Do Nothing’ On The Sequester

Next big challenge facing DC: The sequester

US military fighting against ‘sequester’ cuts

What is the March 1 sequester!…

Sessions Criticizes Composition Of Sequester, Says Surging Domestic Spending

Understanding the Sequester with David Sirota

Obama Senior Adviser: Haven’t Talked To Congressional Leaders About The Obama

Bob Woodward: Sequester was Obama’s Solution

Drama Obama Pleas For Delay To Sequestration Cuts

Jay Carney: Yes the Sequester Idea Was Put Forward by the President’s Team

Flashback: Obama promises veto stopgap alternative to sequester cuts

Bob Woodward on ‘The Price of Politics,’ Fiscal Fight

In summer 2011, a partisan Congress sparred with the White House on how to solve the U.S. debt crisis. Judy Woodruff talks to journalist Bob Woodward about his new book, “The Price of Politics,” about how Washington’s politicians couldn’t look past their own political aspirations in order to forge a deal.

Our Lying President – Debate lie on sequestration

White House Already Backpedaling On Obama Sequestration Comments

Bob Woodward talks about his new book ‘The Price of Politics’

Fox & Friends Rips Obama On Sequester: Is It ‘Blackmail’ To Get More Tax Hikes

CBO Director: “We haven’t seen a specific proposal” from Obama on replacing

OBAMA despises his OWN idea: the SEQUESTER

Obama:Congress Putting Thousands Of Jobs At Risk

Markets Will React Big When Reality Sets In

Peter Schiff: Obama recession will be worse than the Obama recovery

John Lennon – Give Peace or  Sequester A Chance (Original Video Tape)

John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created

Obama invented the ‘sequester’ in the summer of 2011 to avoid facing up to America’s spending problem.

By JOHN BOEHNER

A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more. In a bit of irony, President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect. Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama’s statements is that it is a product of the president’s own failed leadership.

The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

By law, the sequester focuses on the narrow portion of the budget that funds the operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense. Exempt is most entitlement spending—the large portion of the budget that is driving the nation’s looming debt crisis. Should the sequester take effect, America’s military budget would be slashed nearly half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Border security, law enforcement, aviation safety and many other programs would all have diminished resources.

How did the country find itself in this mess?

During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked toward a plan to reduce the deficit to allow for an increase in the federal debt limit, President Obama and I very nearly came to a historic agreement. Unfortunately our deal fell apart at the last minute when the president demanded an extra $400 billion in new tax revenue—50% more than we had shaken hands on just days before.

It was a disappointing decision by the president, but with just days until a breach of the debt limit, a solution was still required—and fast. I immediately got together with Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to forge a bipartisan congressional plan. It would be called the Budget Control Act.

The plan called for immediate caps on discretionary spending (to save $917 billion) and the creation of a special House-Senate “super committee” to find an additional $1.2 trillion in savings. The deal also included a simple but powerful mechanism to ensure that the committee met its deficit-reduction target: If it didn’t, the debt limit would not be increased again in a few months.

But President Obama was determined not to face another debt-limit increase before his re-election campaign. Having just blown up one deal, the president scuttled this bipartisan, bicameral agreement. His solution? A sequester.

With the debt limit set to be hit in a matter of hours, Republicans and Democrats in Congress reluctantly accepted the president’s demand for the sequester, and a revised version of the Budget Control Act was passed on a bipartisan basis.

Ultimately, the super committee failed to find an agreement, despite Republicans offering a balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenue through tax reform. As a result, the president’s sequester is now imminent.

Both parties today have a responsibility to find a bipartisan solution to the sequester. Turning it off and erasing its deficit reduction isn’t an option. What Congress should do is replace it with other spending cuts that put America on the path to a balanced budget in 10 years, without threatening national security.

Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn’t even voted on a solution, let alone passed one. By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.

The president has repeatedly called for even more tax revenue, but the American people don’t support trading spending cuts for higher taxes. They understand that the tax debate is now closed.

The president got his higher taxes—$600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts—at the end of 2012. He also got higher taxes via ObamaCare. Meanwhile, no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines.

Washington must get serious about its spending problem. If it can’t reform America’s safety net and retirement-security programs, they will no longer be there for those who rely on them. Republicans’ willingness to do what is necessary to save these programs is well-known. But after four years, we haven’t seen the same type of courage from the president.

The president’s sequester is the wrong way to reduce the deficit, but it is here to stay until Washington Democrats get serious about cutting spending. The government simply cannot keep delaying the inevitable and spending money it doesn’t have.

So, as the president’s outrage about the sequester grows in coming days, Republicans have a simple response: Mr. President, we agree that your sequester is bad policy. What spending are you willing to cut to replace it?

— Mr. Boehner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, is speaker of the House.

A version of this article appeared February 20, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495104578314240032274944.html

2013 United States federal budget

The 2013 United States federal budget is the budget to fund government operations for the fiscal year 2013, which is October 2012–September 2013. The original spending request was issued by President Barack Obama in February 2012.[1] The actual appropriations for fiscal year 2013 must be authorized by the full Congress before the budget can take effect, in accordance with the United States budget process.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates caps on discretionary spending, which under current law will be lowered beginning in January 2013 to remove $1.2 trillion of spending over the following ten years. In addition, several temporary tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the beginning of the 2013 calendar year, including the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts on income, capital gains, and estate tax, which had been extended in a 2010 tax deal, as well as a payroll tax cut that began as a result of the 2010 deal and had been most recently extended in an early 2012 tax deal. The combination of sudden spending cuts and tax increases has led to concerns about significant negative effects on the economy in the wake of the weak recovery from the late 2000s recession.

History

Budget Control Act and the Deficit Reduction Committee

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed in August 2011 as a resolution to the debt-ceiling crisis. The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget is the first to be affected by the second of two rounds of budget cuts specified in the act. (The first round of cuts has already been applied to the ten years beginning in FY2012.) For this second round of cuts, the Budget Control Act had formed the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, sometimes referred to as the “supercommittee”, to identify at least $1.2 trillion in cuts over the ten years beginning with FY2013, and specified automatic across-the-board cuts of the same amount, equally split between security and non-security programs, if no such budget reduction legislation was passed by Congress.[4]

On November 21, 2011, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced that it did not reach a deal on the budget-cutting legislation, raising the possibility that the automatic cuts would be activated if the full Congress could not enact its own deficit reduction legislation by December 23, 2011. The supercommittee’s lack of an agreement was attributed to the refusal of Republicans to consider any tax increases, combined with Democratic insistence on including these revenue increases such as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which under current law expire at the end of 2012.[5]

Initial proposals

President Obama’s February 2012 budget message to Congress addressed themes of economic crisis and response, an updated defense strategy, taxation fairness, income equality, fiscal responsibility, and investments in education and research to help the U.S. compete economically. He wrote: “The way to rebuild our economy and strengthen the middle class is to make sure that everyone in America gets a fair shot at success. Instead of lowering our standards and our sights, we need to win a race to the top for good jobs that pay well and offer security for the middle class. To succeed and thrive in the global, high-tech economy, we need America to be a place with the highest-skilled, highest-educated workers; the most advanced transportation and communication networks; and the strongest commitment to research and technology in the world. This Budget makes investments that can help America win this race, create good jobs, and lead in the world economy.”[6]

Key elements of the President’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 included expiration of a variety of tax cuts for couples earning over $250,000 ($200,000 if single), short-term stimulus measures to support job growth, and targeted tax cuts for families and businesses. The budget included 2013 revenues of $2.9 trillion or 17.8% GDP (up from $2.5 trillion or 15.8% GDP in 2012) and spending of $3.8 trillion or 23.3% GDP (similar to the prior year in dollar terms but below the 24.3% GDP in 2012). The projected 2013 deficit was $900 billion (5.5% GDP), down from the 2012 deficit of $1.3 trillion (8.5% GDP).[7]

Over the 2013-2022 period, the budget essentially freezes defense and non-defense discretionary spending in dollar terms, such that these categories shrink relative to a growing economy, from 8.7% GDP to 5.9% GDP. Mandatory spending (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other safety net programs) remain around 14% GDP. Net interest rises from 1.5% GDP to 3.3% GDP. Revenues rise steadily during the period from 17.8% GDP to 20.1% GDP, averaging 19.2% GDP.[8] Debt held by the public rises from $12.6 trillion to $18.7 trillion, but remains flat around 77% GDP during the period.[9]

On May 16, 2012, the United States Senate voted on a 52-page Republican budget amendment billed as a summary of the nearly 2,000 pages in the Obama administration’s 2013 budget proposal. The amendment was defeated by a unanimous 99–0 vote, which paralleled the House of Representatives having voted a similar rejection in March by a count of 414–0. Those defeats of the Republicans’ amendments marked the second year in a row such summary bills met unanimous opposition.[10] In explaining their votes against, Congressional Democrats disputed whether the Republican summary accurately represented the Obama budget proposal; by contrast, Congressional Republicans claimed that their amendment included ample data taken directly from said budget.[11]

Legislation begins to be passed

On July 31, 2012, a tentative deal was announced to fund the government from October 2012 through March 2013 through a continuing resolution, with spending rates slightly higher than the FY2012 levels. The deal was reached because Republicans were eager to avoid a prolonged dispute that could threaten a government shutdown just before the upcoming 2012 general elections.[12] The bill, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, was passed in the House 329–91,[13] passed in the Senate 62–30,[14] and signed by President Obama on September 28, 2012.[15]

On August 1, 2012, the House and Senate passed competing bills on the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The House bill would extend all the tax cuts for one year, while the Senate version would allow taxes to rise on incomes over $250,000. The passage of the bills was reported as being intended as political cover; progress on tax legislation was not expected until after the November elections.[16]

In late December, the Republican House leadership proposed legislation that would allow tax cuts to rise relative to 2012 levels only for annual income over $1,000,000. The proposal was known as “Plan B”, and was intended to force the Senate and the Obama administration to pass it and delay further negotiations until the following month, when Republicans were expected to use the reaching of the federal debt limit as leverage. However, the House vote on the plan was abruptly cancelled on December 20, 2012 after it became clear that the bill did not have enough support to pass, due to conservative members of the House who would not support any legislation that would raise taxes without also cutting spending.[17]

On December 28, 2012, the Senate passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 to provide for $60.4 billion in additional spending to cover recovery costs from Hurricane Sandy, which had hit the northeastern United States in late October. The bill passed the Senate 62–32, but faced uncertain prospects in the House.[18]

At around 2 a.m. on January 1, 2013, the Senate passed a compromise bill, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, by a margin of 89–8. The bill would delay the budget sequestration by two months, and bill includes $600 billion over ten years in new tax revenue relative to extending 2012 levels, which is about one-fifth of the revenue that would have been raised had no legislation been passed. The revenue would come from increased marginal income and capital gains tax rates relative to their 2012 levels for annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples; a phase-out of certain tax deductions and credits for those with incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples, an increase in estate taxes relative to 2012 levels on estates over $5 million, and expiration of the two-year-old cut to payroll taxes, which is applied to income under the Social Security Wage Base, which was $110,100 in 2012. All these changes would all be made permanent.[19][20] House Speaker John Boehner promised a prompt vote on the Senate bill, but the prospect of the House passing an amended bill raised the prospect that legislation might not be enacted by the end of the 112th Congress at noon on January 3.[21]

Analysis

Implications of the Budget Control Act

Main articles: Budget Control Act of 2011 and United States fiscal cliff

The automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion resulting from the absence of a deal from the supercommittee over ten years would be split equally between security and non-security programs, and include $500 billion in cuts to the Department of Defense. The FY2013 defense budget would be reduced 11%, from $525 billion to $472 billion, after already having been cut from $571 billion in the first installment of cuts in the Budget Control Act. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta initially gave the total cut figure as 23%.[22] The planned cuts include reductions in troop levels, a modest limit in pay raises for soldiers starting in 2015, an increase in health fees for veterans, delays in the construction of new naval ships and in the purchasing of new fighter aircraft such as the F-35, and the possibility of a round of base closings within the United States, but cuts to special operations, cyberwarfare, and intelligence programs were avoided.[23] Initial reports had also suggested that the number of carrier battle groups might be reduced from 11 to 10,[22] although it was later determined that the number of aircraft carriers would not in fact be cut.[24] Some Republicans in Congress advocated reversing the cuts to the military, citing the effect on national security, and Secretary Panetta has opposed the cuts, calling them “devastating” and raising “substantial risk of not being able to meet our defense needs.” President Obama has promised to veto any legislation seeking to avoid the cuts, and House Speaker John Boehner also indicated his commitment to following the cuts in the Budget Control Act.[5][25] According to the Center for American Progress, several Presidents have significantly reduced defense spending after wars, without compromising national security. Defense spending in 2011 remained high by historical standards, adjusted for inflation.[26]

The Budget Control Act also specifies automatic cuts of 7.8% to domestic programs and 2% to Medicare, while Medicaid and Social Security will be unaffected. These entitlement programs were protected from cuts in return for the absence of new revenues in the Budget Control Act.[27]

The automatic cuts to domestic programs would include cuts of up to 11% to science research and development agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the U. S. National Laboratories run by the Department of Energy. It is anticipated that this could cause federal grant acceptance levels to fall into the single digits, a consequence which has been called catastrophic for academic institutions by Michael Lubell of the American Physical Society. The cuts could also endanger politically controversial research such as climate change research programs in NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.[28] Due to the role of scientific research in economic growth and job creation, and given international competition in this field, the cuts have been opposed by professional and academic organizations, and federal support of research and development has been called “an area of U.S. investment too critical to be cut” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[29][30]

Ten-year projections

Annual rates of increase in major revenue categories budgeted for the 2012-2022 period were:

  • Individual income taxes: 8.4%
  • Corporation income taxes: 8.2%
  • Social insurance (mainly payroll) taxes: 6.6%
  • Total tax revenues: 7.6%

Annual rates of increase in major spending categories budgeted for the 2012-2022 period were:

  • Defense: 1.8%
  • Non-defense discretionary: 1.6%
  • Social Security: 5.8%
  • Medicare: 6.6%
  • Medicaid: 8.5%
  • Net interest: 14.2%
  • Total spending: 5.0%[31]

Changes in revenues primarily represent a return to the long-run average. Tax revenues historically have averaged around 18% GDP. The subprime mortgage crisis resulted in significant declines in revenues due to high unemployment and reduced economic activity, with revenue falling to a record low 15% GDP. President Obama’s budget preserves the Bush income tax cuts for couples earning below $250,000, while eliminating some tax exemptions and deductions (tax expenditures).[32]

Defense and non-defense discretionary expenses are essentially frozen in real dollar terms for the 2013-2022 period, growing at or below the rate of inflation. Department of Defense spending rose at an annual rate of 8% between 2000 and 2011; this amount includes both the baseline and war spending. Non-defense discretionary spending rose at an annual rate of 6.6% between 2000 and 2011. Mandatory spending is mainly driven by demographic changes (i.e., an aging population, with fewer workers per retiree), healthcare cost increases per capita, and Social Security cost of living adjustments. Interest costs represent a return to more typical interest rates as the economy recovers along with the growing public debt.[32]

Total revenues and spending

The Obama administration’s February 2012 budget request contained $2.902 trillion in receipts and $3.803 trillion in outlays, for a deficit of $901 billion.[33] The budget projects a reduction in the deficit to $575 billion by 2018 before rising to $704 billion by 2022.[34]

Total receipts (in billions of dollars)::

Item Requested[33]
Individual income tax 1,359
Corporate income tax 348
Social Security and other payroll tax 959
Excise tax 88
Customs duties 33
Estate and gift taxes 13
Deposits of earnings and Federal Reserve System 80
Other miscellaneous receipts 21
Total 2902

Total outlays by agency (in billions of dollars):

Agency Discretionary Mandatory Total
Department of Defense including Overseas Contingency Operations 666.2 6.7 672.9
Department of Health and Human Services including Medicare and Medicaid 80.6 860.3 940.9
Department of Education 67.7 4.2 71.9
Department of Veterans Affairs 60.4 79.4 139.7
Department of Housing and Urban Development 41.1 5.2 46.3
Department of State and Other International Programs 56.1 3.4 59.5
Department of Homeland Security 54.9 0.5 55.4
Department of Energy 35.6 –0.6 35.0
Department of Justice 23.9 12.7 36.5
Department of Agriculture 26.8 127.7 154.5
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 17.8 –0.02 17.8
National Intelligence Program 52.6 0 52.6
Department of Transportation 24.0 74.5 98.5
Department of the Treasury 14.1 96.2 110.3
Department of the Interior 12.3 1.2 13.5
Department of Labor 13.2 88.4 101.7
Social Security Administration 11.7 871.0 882.7
Department of Commerce 9.5 –0.5 9.0
Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works 8.2 –0.007 8.2
Environmental Protection Agency 9.2 –0.2 8.9
National Science Foundation 7.4 0.2 7.5
Small Business Administration 1.4 –0.006 1.4
Corporation for National and Community Service 1.1 0.007 1.1
Net interest 246 0 246
Disaster costs 2 0 2
Other spending 34.0- 61.7 29.5
Total 1,510 2,293 3,803

References

  1. ^ Riley, Charles (February 13, 2012). “Obama unveils $3.8 trillion budget”. CNNMoney. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  2. ^ Hensarling, Jeb (November 22, 2011). “Why the Super Committee Failed”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  3. ^ Murray, Patty. “Deficit-reduction chair says she’s not done working for compromise”. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Lisa Mascaro; Kathleen Hennessey (July 31, 2011). “U.S. leaders strike debt deal to avoid default”. Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b Steinhauer, Jennifer; Cooper, Helene; and Pear, Robert (22 November 2011). “Panel Fails to Reach Deal on Plan for Deficit Reduction”. The New York Times: p. A18. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  6. ^ President Obama-The Budget Message of the President-February 2012
  7. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Tables S5 and S6
  8. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S-6
  9. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S15
  10. ^ Dinan, Stephen (16 May 2012). “Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate”. Washington Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  11. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/house-and-senate-unanimously-reject-obama-budgets-or-do-they/
  12. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (1 August 2012). “Leaders Reach Tentative Deal on Spending to Avoid Fight Before Election Day”. The New York Times: p. A11. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  13. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (14 September 2012). “House Republicans Welcome Back Ryan, and His Vote, on a Spending Measure”. The New York Times: p. A13. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  14. ^ “U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress – 2nd Session: On the Joint Resolution (H.J.Res. 117)”. United States Senate. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  15. ^ “Status of Appropriations Legislation for Fiscal Year 2013″. Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  16. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2 August 2012). “House Approves One-Year Extension of the Bush-Era Tax Cuts”. The New York Times: p. A12. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  17. ^ Weisman, Jonathat (21 December 2012). “Boehner Cancels Tax Vote in Face of G.O.P. Revolt”. The New York Times: p. A1. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  18. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (29 December 2012). “Senate Passes $60.4 Billion for Storm Aid; Bill’s Fate in House Is Unclear”. The New York Times: p. A15. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  19. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (1 January 2013). “Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise”. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  20. ^ Hook, Janet; Hughes, Siobhan (1 January 2013). “Fiscal-Cliff Focus Moves to House”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  21. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer; Weisman, Jonathan (1 January 2013). “G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage”. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  22. ^ a b Bumiller, Elisabeth (23 November 2011). “Despite Threat of Cuts, Pentagon Officials Made No Contingency Plans”. The New York Times: p. A20. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  23. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth; Shanker, Thom (27 January 2012). “Defense Budget Cuts Would Limit Raises and Close Bases”. The New York Times: p. A12. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  24. ^ Stewart, Phil (21 January 2012). “U.S. won’t cut carrier fleet to fix budget, Panetta says”. Reuters. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  25. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (23 November 2011). “Automatic Military Cuts May Stand in Congress”. The New York Times: p. A20. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  26. ^ Center on American Progress-A Historical Perspective on Defense Spending-July 2011
  27. ^ Bendavid, Naftali (21 November 2011). “Congress’s Deficit ‘Bomb’: Scary or Not?”. Washington Wire. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  28. ^ Hand, E. (2011). “Debt deal sets day of reckoning”. Nature 476 (7359): 133–134. doi:10.1038/476133a. PMID 21833060. edit
  29. ^ Ham, Becky (25 November 2011). “Science, Engineering Groups Urge Lawmakers to Protect R&D”. Science 334 (6059): 1079. doi:10.1126/science.334.6059.1079.
  30. ^ “Open Letter to the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction”. Stand With Science. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  31. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S4 and S5
  32. ^ a b CBO-Long Term Economic Outlook-January 2012
  33. ^ a b “Fiscal Year 2013 Budget of the U.S. Government”. United States Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  34. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2012-02-10). “Obama Budget Bets Other Concerns Will Trump the Deficit”. New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-22.

Further reading

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget

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