|$15 trillion USD|
It's a lot of money, whether or not it dwarfs the Statue of Liberty, but the graphic puts it into an interesting perspective.
|$15 trillion USD|
While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends.... I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.Thankfully, his Muslim counterparts believe that his change of heart is sincere. Leaders from the Muslim group say that Cain was able to clear up some of the misinformation that had been fed to him, enabling Cain to draw fruitful parallels between the plight of Muslim-Americans today and that of African-Americans during Cain's childhood. This was a linkage Cain had refused to making in his original discussion with Fox New's Chris Wallace.
Mr. Bush and Republicans did prove after 9/11 that the Washington urge to spend and borrow is bipartisan. Republicans launched a Medicare drug benefit, record outlays on education, the most expensive transportation bill in history, and home ownership aid that contributed to the housing bubble. The GOP's blunder was refusing to cut domestic spending to finance the war on terrorism. Guns and butter blowouts never last.Whatever nuanced disagreements one has with this argument, the fact is clear that the federal government is spending far beyond its means. Much of this is arguably the by-product of a process that encourages a lack of forward-thinking. The American system - and to some degree human nature - encourages politicians to dole out perks today while placing the costs on future citizens. As time progresses, entitlements are increasingly piled on and rarely are forward-looking politicians able to remove these newly constructed "rights". Political and moral arguments are marched out to defend these handouts and so the fiscal burden grows.
It turns out the federal government is sitting on some extra cash.
Thanks to an inflow of tax payments and maneuvering by the , the government can probably continue to pay all of its bills for several days after Aug. 2, providing potentially critical breathing room for Congress to raise the , according to estimates by several Wall Street banks and a Washington research organization.
The consensus is that the government will not run short of money until Aug. 10, when it would be unable to cut millions of checks without borrowing more money. ...The government will exhaust its ability to borrow more money on Aug. 2, which is equivalent to maxing out a credit card. But there still will be cash in the federal wallet. Some Republicans have expressed skepticism about the Aug. 2 deadline, describing it as an artificial line drawn by the Obama administration for political reasons. Analysts emphasize, however, that the deadline is real; it’s just the date that is inexact.Obviously this does not obviate the need for some deal to, at least in the short-run, raise the debt ceiling with concomitant cuts in spending and some tax reform. It does however provide the markets with some much needed time before "crisis" hits. If these numbers are legitimate, it would be prudent for the White House and congressional leaders to seize upon them to quiet market psychology. Winning a political battle is not worth sinking the economy.
For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in “poverty,” but the bureau’s definition of poverty differs widely from that held by most Americans. In fact, other government surveys show that most of the persons whom the government defines as “in poverty” are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term. The overwhelming majority of the poor have air conditioning, cable TV, and a host of other modern amenities. They are well housed, have an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food, and have met their other basic needs, including medical care. Some poor Americans do experience significant hardships, including temporary food shortages or inadequate housing, but these individuals are a minority within the overall poverty population. Poverty remains an issue of serious social concern, but accurate information about that problem is essential in crafting wise public policy. Exaggeration and misinformation about poverty obscure the nature, extent, and causes of real material deprivation, thereby hampering the development of well-targeted, effective programs to reduce the problem.The report continues by discussing the standard of living experienced by most "poor" Americans and how high these are, both in historical comparisons and vis-à-vis other countries. It makes the key argument that there is a need to separate the truly destitute (eg. those that chronically lack shelter, food, or clothing) from those that are just defined as poor. Due to limited resources, this expansive definition of poverty has not only injured the truly destitute but provided for those that are arguably not needy.
[o]ur Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.Cain's interpretation of the First Amendment is undeniably erroneous. The separation of church and state is meant to both protect religious institutions from undue influence from the government and protect individuals from undue influence from a state religion. It was never meant to be used as a weapon by communities to persecute or restrict those of another faith.
...[P]oor parenting is analogous to secondhand smoke in the home—a condition associated with adverse health consequences for the child, but not warranting legal intervention.
...State intervention may serve the best interests of many children with life-threatening obesity, comprising the only realistic way to control harmful behaviors. Child protective services typically provide intermediate options such as in-home social supports, parenting training, counseling, and financial assistance, that may address underlying problems without resorting to removal. These less burdensome forms of legal intervention may be sufficient and therefore preferable in many cases.
...In severe instances of childhood obesity, removal from the home may be justifiable from a legal standpoint because of imminent health risks and the parents' chronic failure to address medical problems.
...Nevertheless, state intervention would clearly not be desirable or practical, and probably not be legally justifiable, for most of the approximately 2 million children in the United States with a BMI at or beyond the 99th percentile.The authors clearly address that such instances of overt state intervention should be severely limited. They are also correct in stating that "[d]espite a well-established constitutional right of parents to raise their children as they choose, the state may intervene to protect the child's interests." One of the primary roles of the state is to protect individuals from abuse or injury caused by others. This constitutional protection has to be extended to children as well - few would dispute such an argument.
If conservatives really want to get the nation’s spending under control, the only way is to win the presidency. Put the question to the country and let the people decide. To seriously jeopardize the election now in pursuit of a long-term, small-government, Ryan-like reform that is inherently unreachable without control of the White House may be good for the soul. But it could very well wreck the cause.This seems to be sage advice. As John Podhoretz reports at Commentary, a recent Quinnipiac poll suggests that if the US defaults on its debt, Republicans will be blamed by a margin of 48-34. Republicans are right to be angry at the left's intransigence and unwillingness to seriously address our crumbling fiscal condition and are correct in the prescribed medicine of entitlement and tax reform. Nevertheless, they must not lose perspective of the broader conflict. It will be impossible to make the needed ideological shifts in our government, if the GOP cannot maintain a position of leadership.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday he's concluded that no deal to raise the debt ceiling in return for serious spending restraint is possible with President Obama, and who can blame him?
The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won't vote for one, then what's the alternative to Mr. McConnell's maneuver?
Republicans who say they can use the debt limit to force Democrats to agree to a balanced budget amendment are dreaming. Such an amendment won't get the two-thirds vote to pass the Senate, but it would give every Democrat running for re-election next year a chance to vote for it and claim to be a fiscal conservative.
Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He'll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He'll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he'll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor's so decides.
We'd far prefer a bipartisan deal to cut spending and reform entitlements without a tax increase. But if Mr. Obama won't go along, there's no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakiri.Essentially, if no deal is possible then McConnell's plan lets Obama take the fall for raising the debt ceiling without cuts (a surefire way to look like an economic dunce), absolve the Republicans of charges of being obstinate and causing economic turmoil, and salvage the economy in the short-run in order to fight the entitlement battle another day. The alternatives? Sign on to the Democrat's plan or allow the economy to run off a cliff. If a deal with the Democrats truly isn't possible, the McConnell plan seems like a healthy way out.
It is becoming a verbal tic — the tendency on the part of the president to tell wealthy Americans (“people like me,” he’s always careful to add) that they have made more than enough money and will have to cough up more of it for the government. Speaking for himself on July 11, the president offered that he had “hundreds of thousands of dollars that I don’t need.”
The president is of course welcome to donate as much of his extra money as he likes to the federal treasury. He knows Timothy Geithner personally and can probably get a guarantee that his check will be cashed without delay. And since the president is so ready to impute unpleasant motives (like greed) to those who oppose tax increases, perhaps we should impute some sort of moral failing to him for not having thus far contributed his spare change to the government.The government should never be in a position to determine who has "enough" and thus claim a moral right to take "excess" from an individual. The government's place is to provide a set of essential services - military, police force, infrastructure, and arguably some minimal safety net (to minimize social disruption). The need for taxes should be based not on some arbitrary definition of "enough" but on the predetermined needs of the state to properly function.
A constitutional amendment to balance the budget is imperative if we are to provide continuity of fiscal responsibility, and ensure we never return to the recklessness of the past and present. It's time Congress passed the amendment and gave the states—and "We the People"—their say.The senators’ argument not only has wide support amongst the base and Republican politicians; all 47 GOP senators have endorsed such an amendment; but is sound and well articulated. The irresponsibility of continuous spending beyond our means is ruinous for the economic future of the United States. As Snowe and DeMint argue, “the only way to compel lawmakers to maintain their [fiscal] responsibility forever is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”
To the unions, and to their allies in the Democratic Party, collective bargaining rights are sacred — and pinching them like this is unforgivable.While Moran is somewhat more generous to private-sector unions than ANR generally feels comfortable with, his arguments regarding public-sector unions are dead-on. The logic seems impossible - for both those on the right and the left - to avoid. Hopefully, Americans will understand this before our budgetary mess permanently destroys our futures.
So let’s look at collective bargaining, starting with the good stuff. Bargaining is what gave us an eight-hour workday, weekends off, basic workplace safety and wages that helped build the middle class in America. We owe all that to the unions, and they did it at the bargaining table.
But those gains were made by private sector unions. And the public sector is different in key ways.
For one, public worker unions have political power and can hand pick the people on the other side of the bargaining table. With money and volunteers, they can dominate local politics, especially in low-turnout elections.
Another big difference: Governments don’t go bankrupt, or move to Mexico. When auto workers negotiate with GM, they know that if they get greedy, they could lose it all. The cops in Edison[, NJ] have no such fears. So why not press for that deal that gives you and your family free health care for life?
Here’s one final difference: In the public sector, the people who pay the bills are the common folk, not the fat cats. The class-warfare language of the private labor movement doesn’t fit here.
Ask yourself this: Is it progressive to ask a senior on a fixed income to pay higher property taxes so that a cop or teacher can avoid paying a reasonable share of their health costs?