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home : opinions : letters May 26, 2016

2/7/2013 2:53:00 PM
Letter: Was election for president or an emperor?


A recent Rasmussen poll found that 7 of 10 Americans want our government to reduce spending - not slow it down - reduce.  Some 62 percent would prefer across -the-board cuts. They understand the consequences of our unsustainable spending binge. However, only a little more than 40 percent believe it will happen - and with good reason. Democrat leadership, including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Nancy Pelosi all claim there is no spending problem. I can't attest to the intelligence of Reid or Pelosi.

Their public pronouncements do not inspire confidence, both have become millionaires in public office - Reid has been implicated in shady land deals, Pelosi the moving force behind legislation that has enhanced both her and her husband's wealth. But the president is known to be an intelligent man.

So, he must understand what nearly every economist in the country understands - that our country is headed for financial Armageddon.  But, he has made it plain that he does not intend to slow down the spending. That means he either has no common sense to go with his intelligence, or he is so ideologically rigid that he doesn't care.

Just as during his re-election campaign, during which he avoided debating the economic condition by making his campaign about everything but the economy, Mr. Obama is using the same tactic in the coming fight over raising the debt ceiling.

He, and a complicit, fawning media, wants us to believe it's about paying our debts. It is not. The debt ceiling debate is essentially about borrowing. Without an increase in the ceiling there can be no borrowing for greater spending.

Mr. Obama and his cohorts say that, without a higher ceiling (he wants it to be unlimited) the country will default on its debt. Actually, there is enough revenue coming into government coffers monthly to cover 60 percent of current spending.

The argument is about the 40 percent that we are borrowing. Those revenues must be spent, first, to cover the interest payments on the national debt - about $200 billion a year right now - and government owed pensions.

That is required by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (a document Liberals find to be very inconvenient). The rest would be required to cover "essential "government services. Other debt would have to be delayed or shuffled as revenue came in, but that does not mean that unfilled contracts could not be cancelled and non-essential personnel furloughed.

Mr. Obama also claims that there is no way spending can be cut without damaging the economy or reducing services. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just put the lie to that claim, releasing a report detailing $4.6 trillion in optional cuts that will not hurt either the economy or services.

A small sample (ten year savings): raise the earliest eligibility age for Social Security ($142 billion), limit highway funding to expected highway revenues ($86 billion), adopt a voucher plan for federal employees health benefits program ($73 billion), limit medical malpractice lawsuits ($64 billion), eliminate intercity rail subsidies ($30 billion).

And the list goes on, ready for Congress to simply lift the suggestions from the report pages and transfer them to a bill. The CBO suggests that just cutting funding for all agencies, other than defense, by a mere one percent would save $932 billion over 10 years. I would venture to say that there is a minimum of 10 percent waste and fraud in any given government agency - the Education Department, alone, has dozens of programs that are duplicates.

If a program fails, it isn't shut down; a new one is begun. CBO goes on to suggest that a 1 percent reduction in just the growth in defense spending would save $862 billion over 10 years.

  So, the president could very easily satisfy Republican demands for spending cuts in exchange for a higher debt ceiling. But since his re-election, Mr. Obama has become even more confrontational, more inflexible and, yes, more arrogant in his dealings with his opposition.

He has said that he has no intention of even negotiating with the House of Representatives - where all revenue bills must originate - on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. In regard to the election he says "I won, you lost." It has apparently not fazed him that the voters returned the Republicans to the majority in the House. Perhaps he believes the election was not for president but for emperor.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: M J

I hear that president barry is interested in the position that just opened up for Pope, so he can also add that title ....
His Holiness Rex barry the First.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: m J

Re: bob grant
If you and your ilk can prove Haliburton was able to steal money with the help of Good Old dick Cheney .... then take it to court.First you need proof.
Darn it!!! That darn proof stuff ... DARN! : Walter McIntosh
Spoken like a true liberal .... instead of saying something like, "I don't agree with you" .. your response is to ban or limit someones free speech rights.
Liberals ... there is something wrong with them.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: Re, bob grant

Show me the proof of the $7 billion or so Haliburton stole. How many people are employed by Haliburton? If Haliburton is a thief as you stated why have vast numbers of employee's not quit the company for being the bad guys? Give me a break!

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: bob grant

Hows about going after the $7 billion or so that Haliburton was able to steal with the help of Good Old dick Cheney.Of course repubs will whine about the president but are ok with The war profiteering of the VP

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: Gary LaMaster

There is absolutely no evidence that the quote, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic," was ever said or written by Benjamin Franklin nor any other founding father. It's just another lie told by conservatives to give their ideas more credence than they deserve.

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

None at the moment, Mr. Bassett. I've been very careful to keep my life totally unconnected to shifts in federal policies and spending, and I taught my children to do the same. But if you ask again this time next year, I'll probably have a couple for you.

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Article comment by: Re, Peter Yavapai County,

What do you mean by start with the bases that are no longer needed? From 1989 to present date over 1/3 of all Air Force bases have been closed, I'm not sure of the other branches of service but they were hit hard also. So, with all the closures what has happened to all the saved money? I've heard all the false promises but have yet to see where it went other than to people on welfare getting IPhones they don't disereve and yet you want to close more bases. You must be nuts, we are now so under manned that if mainland America were attacked we would need every military asset we have to win. If you want cuts how about stopping the lifetime retirement for congress for only 4 years of work. How about making elected officals pay for there own medical benefits and pay into social security?!!! You liberals are killing America and are to blind or stupid to see it!

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

He is just following GW Bush fiscal rules. He learned from the master of deceit.

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Article comment by: Johnny Johnson

The GOP has no credibility with fiscal restraint. None whatsoever.

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Jim says, "I would venture to say that there is a minimum of 10 percent waste and fraud in any given government agency..."

If lawmakers can't agree on what to cut, fortunately there is a backup plan: Budget Sequestration will soon kick in and that will make you very happy.

The looming budget sequestration will cut the Pentagon budget by only 7%. High priorities such as troop deployments are exempt from the cuts. And there is waste in the Pentagon: Start with the bases that are no longer needed, and runaway health-care costs.

Now, everyone knows the BIG savings must be wrung from Medicare, Social Security and Defense. Don't worry Jim, the cuts are coming!

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Question for Danny Smith

@ Danny. Do you have some website references to the unlimited debt ceiling raise and the 2 new spending bills plus 10 billion? The only information I could find in my search was from 2011. Thanks.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Just Ask and You Get Answers.

1. The head line asked:

"...Was election for president or an emperor?..."

Answer by Obama follower: "Since not qualify
for president the answer is emperor".

2. A comentor observes:

"...The Bush administration started with a clean
slate and no debt..."

Answer by fed gov follower:

Not true. Since the mid 1940s the fed gov has
via their book-keeping (Cooking the Books)
has in fact been in a deficit mode and a debt
accumulation mote. This includes every president from Truman up through Obama.
Oh, and yes, Obama did inherit a mess. And
guess who made the mess...us.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Walter McIntosh

It is time to limit Mr. Barber to one letter of Dribble per quarter. This man does not play with 52 Cards.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Bassett

You know what I'd like to see in these reader comments is an example of just how badly you have been effected by any of President Obama's policies or laws that have been passed during his presidency. You personally. Just one example of a bad thing...loss of a job, loss of your own money, loss of your health, taxes raised, additional expenses due to increased regulations, loss of your favorite gun...come on, anything? If you lost someone in Iraq or Afghanistan you have my deepest sympathies, but I think you know what I'm getting at here.

I didn't think so. Admit it, your life in our little corner of the world is very much the same this year as the last.

So, in the absence of any honest to goodness anecdotal evidence that your life has been ruined by President Obama, I respectfully suggest that y'all think carefully before you blast our legally and constitutionally elected president for policies you only imagine are bad.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Budget Deficits

The numbers speak for themselves! Obama is out of control with his spending.

Budget Deficits by Fiscal Year

President Barack Obama: First Term = $5.073 trillion. •FY 2013 - $901 billion.
•FY 2012 - $1.327 trillion.
•FY 2011 - $1.299 trillion.
•FY 2010 - $1.546 ($1.293 trillion plus $253 billion from the Obama Stimulus Act that was attached to the FY 2009 budget).
President George W. Bush: First Term = $1.267 trillion. Second Term = $2.027 trillion. Total = $3.294. •FY 2009 - $1.16 trillion. ($1.416 trillion minus $253 billion from Obama's Stimulus Act)
•FY 2008 - $458 billion.
•FY 2007 - $161 billion.
•FY 2006 - $248 billion.
•FY 2005 - $318 billion.
•FY 2004 - $413 billion.
•FY 2003 - $378 billion.
•FY 2002 - $158 billion.
President Bill Clinton: First Term = $496 billion. Second Term = ($559 billion surplus). Total = ($63 billion surplus). •FY 2001 - $128 billion surplus.
•FY 2000 - $236 billion surplus.
•FY 1999 - $126 billion surplus.
•FY 1998 - $69 billion surplus.
•FY 1997 - $22 billion.
•FY 1996 - $107 billion.
•FY 1995 - $164 billion.
•FY 1994 - $203 billion.
President George H.W. Bush: First Term = $1.03 trillion. •FY 1993 - $255 billion.
•FY 1992 - $290 billion.
•FY 1991 - $269 billion.
•FY 1990 - $221 billion.

Now tell me who spends the most? These numbers don't lie.

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