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Posts Tagged ‘Federal Budget’

AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 7/27/11 09:52 PM ET Updated: 7/29/11 10:19 AM ET

Neither the House nor the Senate has a clear path forward for must-pass legislation to allow the government to continue to borrow to pay its bills, putting lawmakers and financial markets alike on edge less than a week before the deadline for heading off the nation’s first-ever default.

Without a deal by Tuesday, the Obama administration has said the government will be unable to pay all its bills, and could miss checks to Social Security recipients, veterans and others who depend on public help. In addition, credit rating agencies could downgrade their assessment of the government’s finances, further unnerving financial markets and perhaps causing interest rates to rise for everyone.

Despite his image as a button-down Republican, House Speaker John Boehner walked to the brink of a dramatic and historic agreement to change the government’s spending habits.

But as he twice approached a $4 trillion deficit-reduction deal with President Barack Obama that would have rocked both parties’ bases, Boehner was reeled back in by his caucus’ conservative wing. The muscular, Tea Party-fueled group not only forced him to abandon a “grand bargain” with Obama, it made him scramble Wednesday to secure the votes for a far more modest deficit-ceiling plan, which in turn is all but doomed in the Senate.

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The Real Losers In A Government Shutdown

HuffPost- Howard Fineman

First Posted: 02/18/11 04:44 PM Updated: 02/20/11 07:59 AM

WASHINGTON — The plane hasn’t taken off, let alone crashed, but the pilot and co-pilot are already on the intercom blaming each other for catastrophe.

That’s what’s going on as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner maneuver toward a March 4 deadline for extending or changing this year’s federal budget. They are issuing preemptive “I told you so”s, hoping to insulate themselves from blame if no deal is reached and the government shuts down.

The president moved first. He rarely issues veto threats, never mind carrying them out. But he ordered his Office of Management and Budget to issue one on his behalf last Tuesday. In essence, he said that if Congress sent him a deep-cut bill like the one House Republicans are gleefully crafting, he’d veto it. Having warned them in advance, he was saying, he couldn’t be blamed if the GOP went ahead.

On Tuesday, Boehner — eager to stay ahead of his Tea Party Republican Guard — answered back. For his part, he said, he would refuse to consider a plain bill to temporarily extend the existing budget in its current form past March 4. Having warned the president in advance, he was saying, he couldn’t be blamed for the shutdown.

So, if there is one on March 4 — and we seem headed almost inexorably in that direction — who will suffer the most politically?

History is not really a guide. The last big shutdown, in 1995, ended up being a clear winner for then-President Bill Clinton, but primarily because of the hubris and overreach of the then-Republican Speaker (and potential 2012 presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich managed to make the whole drama look like a matter of personal pique. Go back and look at the famous — and, for Gingrich, devastating — front page of the New York Daily News. It showed Newt as a baby with a bottle; politics is a game of comparison, and he made Bill Clinton look mature.

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Interviewed by John King on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend, former vice president Henry F. Potter Dick Cheney wasn’t really able to tell us why Republicans like himself should have any credibility whatsoever when it comes criticizing the Obama economic plan, considering how well theirs worked out.

Here’s how theirs worked out:

Here’s how Cheney explained it:

Well, there are all kinds of arguments to be made on that point. But there’s something that is more important than the specific numbers you’re talking about, and that had to be priority for our administration.

Eight months after we arrived, we had 9/11. We had 3,000 Americans killed one morning by al Qaeda terrorists here in the United States. We immediately had to go into the wartime mode. We ended up with two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of that is still very active. We had major problems with respect to things like Katrina, for example. All of these things required us to spend money that we had not originally planned to spend, or weren’t originally part of the budget.

Stuff happens. And the administration has to be able to respond to that, and we did.

… We always said — I always said that wartime scenario is cause for an exception in terms of spending. It was appropriate in World War II, certainly, and I think it’s appropriate now.

So his excuse for the sour economy was 9/11 — which happened six years before the economy started heading south — and the Iraq invasion — which turned out not to have been quite as necessary as advertised.

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Dick Cheney – CNN State of Union – John King part 1

Dick Cheney – CNN State of Union – John King part 2

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