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Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing columns on important issues for today.

It is Déjà vu
all over again!

Budget "Deal" Eliminates
Debt Restraints for four Months

October 22, 2013

Let’s take a look at the “Deal” struck in Washington last week by going back about eight months.  At that time the Republican House authored and passed the disastrous “No Budget No Pay” bill.  This legislation provided a great sound bite and was quickly accepted by the Democrats.  Why?  Because what it really did was to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether for about four mouths.  That meant the Administration could borrow and spend whatever it wanted.  During the four months the Treasury Department reported the overall debt swelled by about $300 billion.  The current “Deal” does the same thing. According to Congressman Ted Poe, it eliminates the debt ceiling altogether for yet another four months.  It is Déjà vu all over again!

The Texas conservative Republicans all voted against the “Deal” and all the Texas Democrats voted for it.  Why?  Because the Democrats see no problem with continuing to spend more than the IRS collects and borrowing the difference, with no concern about paying it back!   The Conservative Republicans, being more responsible, understand that continuing to spend beyond our means is the road to ruin.  As heads of households we know it’s important to be responsible.  We know we cannot indefinitely spend more than we earn.

Now, let’s talk politics for a minute!  If you are paying attention you will see a pattern.  It goes something like this:  The sky is falling, quick we must do something to fix it, you have until (add a date) or the world will end!  Want an example?  Earlier this year the automatic sequester cuts took effect.  The Administration wanted to keep up its spending and so tried to make the cuts as painful as possible (threatening to close down air control towers, stopping tours at the White House) but in the end the sequester cuts were the only real reduction in spending taken in a very long time and even the mainstream media admitted the dire predictions were not real. 

Now fast forward to the most recent crisis.  Open-air national memorials and the national mall were barricaded; World War II Veterans were kept from visiting their open-air memorial.  Then there was talk about the government “defaulting” on its debts.  Readers, default is not paying the interest on the debt.  The Treasury, however, takes in ten times the amount needed to pay the debt service.  So if there was to be a “default” the Administration would be responsible for the decision not to pay the debt service, even though the funds are available.   See the pattern?  It is not one of responsible leadership; it’s more like children playing in the sandbox!

The one saving grace in the recent “Deal” is that it keeps intact the automatic sequester cuts.  If an agreement on spending levels is not reached by January 15th two things may happen 1) we could see another government shutdown and 2) we could see another continuing resolution. But on January 15th the second round of automatic sequester cuts will take effect, something the President and the Democrat leadership in Congress diametrically oppose.  Maybe this will force serious cuts to federal spending.

The bottom line?  We have once again kicked the can down the road but at least we didn’t kick it off the cliff!

Bill, Mark, and John