American Elephants

A Tsunami of Debt, and the Democrats Refuse to Pay Attention. by The Elephant's Child

You may already have seen this video of the Tsunami ravaging Kesennuma Port.  It seems almost unimaginable, yet it  happened before our eyes.  Japan’s Cabinet Office on Wednesday estimated the cost of the catastrophe  as causing losses between ¥16 trillion ($198 billion) and ¥25 trillion ($309  billion).

At American Thinker, writer Lee DeCovnick made a very important observation:

“Do I understand this correctly; all those coastal cities and towns that were leveled, the tens of thousands of cars and homes that were pulverized, all the stores, shops, factories, warehouses, schools, freeways, roads, ships, aircraft, trains, port facilities and infrastructure reduced to rubble and it will only cost as much as the US Federal deficit for a couple of months.”

First a quick look at the Congressional Budget Office report for February, 2011. Two sentences stand out.

[The] CBO estimates that the deficit in February 2011 was $223 billion, which is very similar to the deficit recorded in February 2010.

[The] CBO estimates that the federal government incurred a budget deficit of $642 billion for the first five months of fiscal year 2011, $10 billion less than the shortfall recorded in the same period last year. [emphasis added]

With a war in Libya, an effort to help the earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japanese, continuing war in Afghanistan, rising gas prices damaging our economy, and a devastating unemployment rate, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Democrat leadership are refusing to accept  a modest agreement to fund the federal government through the end of the year. Senator Reid is fussing over possible budget cuts of a mere $51 billion, which amounts to just a few days of government deficit spending.

Democrats in Congress refused to pass a budget (their duty) when they were in charge of both houses. Congress has until April 8 to reach an agreement on a long-term budget (only through the end of the 2011 fiscal year in October), pass another short-term stopgap budget, or face a partial government shutdown.

Last May then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that for the first time since 1974, the House would not pass a budget resolution. Rather than curb government spending, liberals in Congress opted to keep on spending, and borrowing.  They are simply putting politics before the national interest.

House Republicans passed a FY 2011 budget which cut spending by $61 billion.  Yesterday Senator Schumer, on a conference call didn’t realize that reporters were already listening, and instructed his fellow Democrat Senators to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.  Make sure, he said, “to label any GOP spending cuts as extreme.” Democrats hope to engender a shutdown and blame it on Republicans.

This is disgusting.  The nation is in desperate financial straits, and Democrats cannot get beyond their usual political games. The Obama administration tripled the debt left by the Bush administration with useless stimuluses, bailouts, and subsidies for every improbable scheme.  We had a recession, but it didn’t have to be this bad, and we didn’t have to have unemployment this high. They thought that they could fix everything just by spending money—borrowed money.

It’s like the pimply kid you send off to college for his first year with his first checkbook. You were sure he had some sense.  He didn’t.

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