Running On Empty

Actually, we’re running beyond empty now. The United States can’t legally borrow any more money until Congress acts to raise the debt ceiling.

US government hits debt ceiling, lighting 11-week fuse

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress on Monday that the United States has reached its legal debt limit, setting off a ticking time bomb that could explode in less than three months if lawmakers can’t bridge differences and allow more government borrowing.

In hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling – the limit on how much the government can borrow – the Obama administration on Monday began temporarily halting payments to the retirement and federal pension accounts of federal workers and started borrowing from those funds, to be restored later.

Geithner sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning that the government can move money around for about 11 weeks but if a new debt ceiling isn’t agreed to by Aug. 2, the U.S. government could effectively default on its obligations to its creditors. He warned of “catastrophic economic consequences for citizens” unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

An increase of about $2 trillion is expected, enough to get the issue past the 2012 elections before Congress would have to lift it again.

Republicans who control the House of Representatives vow to link raising the debt ceiling to cuts in government spending of at least equal measure. In a combative statement Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, upped the ante.

“As I have said numerous times, there will be no debt limit increase without serious budget reforms and significant spending cuts, cuts that are greater than any increase in the debt limit.” Boehner has called previously for $2 trillion in spending cuts as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling.

See also:
US hits $14 trillion debt limit
US Hits Debt Ceiling, But Treasury Market Rules Out Default For Now
Deja Vu, But No Disaster: U.S. Government Hits Debt Ceiling
U.S. Hits Debt Limit, Sky Doesn’t Fall
U.S. hit debt limit today
Treasury Tapping Federal Retirement Accounts to Stave Off Default
Turbo Tim Raids Pension Plans
With Debt Limit Maxed Out, Lawmakers Hold Firm On Remedy
Rep. Jordan: U.S. won’t default if debt ceiling isn’t raised
U.S. National Debt Clock

Well, we hit the debt ceiling and, despite all the Democrat Chicken Little hysteria, the Sun didn’t explode, the seas didn’t boil, and the markets didn’t plunge thousands of points. Go figure.

/all I can say is that the Republicans had better stand firm and hold their ground this time and hold out for concrete, verifiable spending cuts that at least equal the amount of any debt limit increase

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A Line In The Sand?

Does he mean it this time or will he cave to the out of control spending Democrats yet again?

Boehner says ‘trillions’ in cuts loom on debt vote

The top Republican in Congress wants trillions of dollars in spending cuts as part of must-pass legislation permitting the government to continue to borrow to fund its operations and meet obligations to investors.

House Speaker John Boehner, in a speech prepared for delivery Monday night, says it would be irresponsible to raise the so-called debt limit beyond its $14.3 trillion cap without a major effort to curb the spiraling deficit. He says the cuts should be larger than the amount of the permitted increase in the debt.

See also:
John Boehner’s tough talk on debt limit: a departure from history
Wonkbook: Boehner’s debt-ceiling demands
Boehner: Spending cuts should be greater than debt limit increase
Boehner really isn’t asking for that much to raise debt ceiling
Wall Street Takes Boehner Debt-Limit Speech In Stride
Speaker Boehner: Tax hikes are ‘off the table’
Speaker Boehner: Tax Hikes Are ‘Off The Table’
Republicans Rule Out Tax Increases in Battle With Democrats Over Debt Cap
John Boehner’s debt pitch has risks for GOP
Boehner’s debt-limit speech: Reactions from the Hill
Democrats and Republicans Spar Over US Debt Ceiling
Boehner reiterates GOP’s ransom demands
Obama aide: Boehner shouldn’t hold debt limit ‘hostage’ to spending cuts

So, have Boehner and the Republicans finally grown a spine? They talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? They’re on the right side of fiscal reality and American public opinion in this all the marbles battle for the country’s very economic survival. The stakes for our future literally couldn’t be any higher.

/hopefully, they won’t chicken out again, the last time they promised to stand their ground on spending cuts, it ended in a humiliating disaster for Republicans

What Was The [Expletive Deleted] Point?

First they promised to cut $100 billion, then said what they really meant was that they’d hold out indefinitely for $60 billion, then they totally caved in to the Democrats, compromising on $38 billion, and in the end all we got was a lousy $352 million in cuts. What a gyp, shame on the spineless Republicans.

Budget deal: CBO analysis shows initial spending cuts less than expected

A federal budget compromise that was hailed as historic for proposing to cut about $38 billion would reduce federal spending by only $352 million this fiscal year, less than 1 percent of the bill’s advertised amount, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Although that analysis dampened enthusiasm for the deal among many Republicans on Thursday, the House and the Senate approved the measure with bipartisan support. President Obama is expected to sign the bill Friday, officially ending the prospect of a government shutdown.

The findings from the budget office warned that the deal may never come close to delivering on its promises. The analysis found that $13 billion to $18 billion of the cuts involve money that existed only on paper and was unlikely to ever be tapped.

See also:
U.S. Budget Analysis Shows Smaller Savings
CBO Says Budget Deal Will Cut Spending by Only $352 Million This Year
Forget $38B: Budget only cuts $352 million this year
Deal Approved but Debate Continues Over Actual Extent of Spending Cuts
Budget cuts too small for many conservatives
Spending cuts fall short of $38 billion: CBO
How Washington Turned $38 Billion Into $352 Million
CBO: 2011 Budget Cuts Far Less Than Promised
Editorial: Washington’s $38 Bil In ‘Cuts’ Are Bogus

This is insane, the United States is $14 trillion in debt, the world bond markets could decide to cut up our national credit card at any given moment, the laws of mathematics dictate that the American economy will completely collapse by 2037, and these congressional buffoons spent the entire last month arguing over cutting $352 million?

The 2012 elections can’t come fast enough. We need to start with a new President and Republicans taking control of the Senate and keeping control of the House. It’s apparent that one party rule, with a party that’s serious about restoring fiscal sanity (and that ain’t the Democrats), is going to be required to stop this country from careening off the cliff of financial ruin.

/and, if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to get us some new Republicans starting in 2014