Ezra Klein is a columnist for the dishonest Washingtno Post, and a regular on the even more dishonest MSNBC (now owned by Comcast, as dishonest--as are they all--cable companty that has nowe become more dishonest). Here is what Klein, in his rfole as liar and propagandist, said on MSNBC a day or two ago:
"What you need to realize is that the debt ceiling has nothing to do with new spending. Extending the debt cieling merely allows us to pay for obligations we already have. It is like a family running up debt and not paying it. It is like having a mortgage, and failing to pay it."
AP Fact Check (oops!! I forgot that EVERY AP reporter is examinging EVERY word Michele Bachmann ever said, leaving them not time for any other fact checks): The above quoted statement (somewhat paraphrased, but accurate) by Klein is an outright LIE. All right, it is 99%, a LIE.
The fiscval year, for the United States government, ends of September 30. NO spending has yet been aurhorized for the year beginning October 1. Further, the United States has NO obligation to spend much of AnYTHING for the year begining on October 1. Oh, sure, there are some relatively MINOR contractual obliations, but what are called "entitlements" are not really "entitlements". Yes, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are NOT "obligations" of the United States Government. There are merely government programs that can be CANCELLED. It has long been held that no one has a RIGHT to a certain Social Security payment. Benefits can be changed, or taken away, at the whim of the government. That is the major flaw in Social Security No one OWNS an accunt. That was an FDR istake for which we are all still paying. People shoulld OWN a retirement account. It should be a REAL ENTITLEMENT, rather than merely a voluntary payment by the Federal Government out of money collected from YOUNGER people-who get NO "rights" from payng that money to senior citizens.
Now you might argue that these entitlement programs must be CHANGED by Congress, or we have some sort of oblicaton to "fund' them. But there is no need to get to that argument, which is a political one. Klenin said that just like a family has to meet its PAST obligations, so does the government. There are FEW "past OBLIGATIONS" of the government for NEXT YEAR> Just like a family in financial trouble can CANCEL planned vacations not already paid for, the United States Government can MODIFY its lplans for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as change spending for almost every other planned item. In other words, and this is the cenntral Klein LIE, the United States government CAN "live withint its means" for NEXT YEAR. That is, the United States government can limit its spending to the aount of revenue it has, without "defaulting" on any legal obligaton it has. To say otherwise, as Klein did, is an outright LIE--worse than any "falsehood" Michele Bachmann has ever uttered.
What about this year? After all, the date we hit the debt ceiling is somewhere around August 2, although you can expect gimmicks to make that date still uncertain. Well, Congress COULD change the spending autahorizations for this year to avoid any kind of alleged "default" on its obligations. The same logic really applies, as it does to next year. As to money NOT YET SPENT or contractually obligated, Conngress could CHANGE the spending. Notice that there are two kinds of "default" here. And August 2 is not a ture deadline for either one, if the debt ceiling is not raised. There is default on our debt, and the debt ceiling has almost nothing to do with that. What happens when we rach the debt ceiling? All that happens is that we are then LIMITED TO LIVING WITHIN OUR MEANS--to limiting our spending to money coming in. We can still choose to pay our debt payments FIRST, and just because we have reached the debt ceiling is no reason for a debt default. This is a deliberate Klein LIE--to confuse the debt default with a "default" on our overall "obligations".
Yes, spending has been AUHORIZED for THIS YEAR (not next year, where no appropriatons bill has been passed, although the "law" actually requires themto be passed by now). Therefore, you can argue that failing to raise the debt limit by 1000 bllion, or maybe 150 billioinn--enough to gt us through this fiscal year ending on September 30, represents a "default" on our "obligations". That is hwere you can argue that Klein is only making a 99% LIE. Now, as stated, this is not quite true, in the sense that a DEBT default need not occur, and Congress could legally CHANGE the spending (not alrready done) for the rest of the year. Still, you could argue that we have some sort of obligation, although it has nothing to do with a debt default, to meet our spending commitments for THIS YEAR (ending September 30).
That is why I have suggested that the REPUBLICANS in Congress merely raise the debt ceiling enogh to get us through September 30, and then DECIDE how much they are willing to spend for next year. No one can FORCE the Republicans in the House to SPEND ANY MONEY for NEXT YEAR. They have the POWER, if they want to use it, to BALANCE THE BUDGET for next year. Remember, the Obama Administration is NOT asking for an increase in the debt limit merely to get throught this year. The Obama Administration is asking for an increase int he debt limit of more than TWO TRILLIOIN dollars. You can see just how much of a LIAR Klein is to suggest that we will merely be paying for PAST OBLIGATIONS. That is like saying the family has alrady paid for a non-refundable trip in the amount of $110,000, and that makes it perfectly all right to enter into 10 MILLION dollars in vacationi obligations for next year, even though the family knows there is no way to ever pay that money back Absurd.
Q.E.D. Klein is a LIAR.
Minor lies and deceptions. No, the debt ceiling does NOT prevent future borrowing. It merely says that there cannot be any NEW, NET borrowing The debt ceiling is now at something like 14 TRILLION dollars. If we do not raise that ceiling at all, we STIL will be in debt 14 TRILLIOIN dollars, and we can keep BORROWING to replace expiring debt. All that happens when we reach the debtg ceiling is that we can't INCREASE our debt Klein was attmepting to suggest otherwise. But we have established Klein is a LIAR.
No, I am not suggesting that we actually balance the budget next year, or drastically reduce Social Security and Medicare payments. Medicaid is someting of another matter, were I agree with Ryan that it needs to be turned over to the STATES. But we are not going to be able to "balance the budget" next year. At the same time, it is ONLY the spending for next year, or maybe the next 3 years, that matters. Sure you can worry about long-term spending. But we can't afford PRESENT SPENDING. And once you get beyond THIS YEAR< an mabye the current two or three years, THINGS CHANGE> Elections happen. There is NO WAY to say that any "cuts" propsed for TEN YEARS FROM NOW will ever take place. It may be important to start planning for ten years ahead, but that does not change that NOW is all we can really control. That is why Republicans are going to be TOAST if they agree to some spending "deal" which makes no real cuts this next year. Hang it up, Republicans, if you enter into another one of those SHAM "deals' keeping the current deficit, or even raising it (as you did at the end of 2010, without even considering the Bush "tax cuts"). If lthe CUTS all occur in the far future, and the SPENDING is NOW, then we are doomed. More importantly for politicians, YOU amy be DOOMED. As far as I am concerned, you certainly will be, no matter how much you bleat about a "balanced budget amendment".
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). It should not bother Klein, as he sees only what he wants to see, anyway. He could read this article and come away with the idea it praised him. For people like Klei, black is white, if that is what they want it to be. And yes, I still think Republicans should put the debt ceiling and the fiscal year on the SAME timetalbe, so that spending bills (or one stupid, large bill) have to be passed at the SAME TIME the debt ceiling is raised. Again, if Republicans end up with EITHER an "omnibus spending bill", or "continuing resolution" on psenindg, or both, then the Republican Party and I PART WAYS FOREVER. Third prty here we come. Boehner promised 17 separate appropriations bills, ON TIME. I hold hm to that, even if it means shutting the government down And I am more and more convinced that Republicans should decide what they are willing to spend, and HOLD THAT LINE---increseing the debt ceiling for ONE YEAR only AFTER the spending for that year is SET.