Monday, February 28, 2011

58% Favor Government Shutdown Until Spending Cuts Are Agreed Upon

58% Favor Government Shutdown Until Spending Cuts Are Agreed Upon

As Republicans and Democrats in Congress haggle over the budget, most voters would rather have a partial shutdown of the federal government than keep its spending at current levels.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters would rather have Congress avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at the same levels as last year. Fifty-eight percent (58%) says it's better to have a partial shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending to cut. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The partisan differences are striking. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats prefer avoiding a shutdown by going with current spending levels. But 80% of Republicans -- and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party -- think a shutdown is a better option until the two sides can agree on spending cuts.

Congress never passed a budget for 2011 but authorized spending for a few months. That authorization will expire soon, and Congress must act quickly or some federal government services could be shut down. Payments for things like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would continue, however.

A plurality (48%) of all voters believe that a partial government shutdown would be bad for the economy. Twenty-five percent (25%) say a shutdown would be good for the country economically, while 15% say it would have no impact.

Democrats are worried about the economic impact of a partial government shutdown. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of those in the president's party say a shutdown would be bad for the economy. However, Republicans and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided on the topic with nearly as many saying a shutdown would be good for the economy as bad.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 24-25, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

In general, just 27% of all voters think Congress should now authorize spending for 2011 at the same levels as last year. Six percent (6%) want more government spending, but 61% say Congress should authorize less spending that there was the year before.

The majority of voters for years have said that cutting taxes and reducing government spending are best for the economy.

The federal government was last partially shutdown for five days in 1995 and 21 days in 1996. In both cases, CNN reports, the stock market moved higher on the news. 

Republicans want to cut $57 billion more out of the federal budget for the current year than Democrats do. As negotiations continue on a long-term agreement, the two sides on Friday agreed to a two-week budget extension that includes $4 billion in cuts.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters say they are following news reports about the federal budget debate at least somewhat closely, with 49% who are following Very Closely.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats think Congress should authorize spending at the same levels as last year, while another 14% think there should be more spending. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans and 67% of unaffiliated voters believe Congress should approve less spending than there was the year before.

This is another issue that the Political Class and Mainstream voters don't see eye-to-eye on.  Seventy-six percent (76%) of those in the Political Class would rather see spending continue at current levels to avoid a shutdown; 70% of Mainstream voters prefer a shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on spending cuts.

Voters have consistently rated cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term as the more important of several budget priorities the president listed early in 2009, but few voters expect him to hit his goal. 

The documents the White House includes with the president's $3.7 trillion proposed budget for 2012 project that government spending will top $4 trillion in the next two to three years, but most voters aren't aware of that increase amidst all the talk of spending cuts.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters say, generally speaking, that the president's new budget proposal cuts government spending too little, but despite House Republican plans to cut substantially more, a plurality of voters don't think the GOP goes far enough either.

Then again, 70% of voters think voters are more willing to make the hard choices needed to reduce federal spending than politicians are.

Though a plurality still gives Congress a poor grade, voters are showing slightly less negativity towards the legislators than they have in several years.  Now that the new Congress is fully settled in, favorability ratings have dropped for all of the top leaders except House Speaker John Boehner. 

Voters now trust the GOP more than Democrats on all 10 of the most important issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports including the economy and taxes.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it's free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Survey toplines and crosstabs are available to Platinum Members only.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

WI Assembly Passes Budget Bill, Most Assembly Democrats Didn't Notice

Nice people, those Democrat representatives... Such civility :(
Hey, when my budget doesn't balance, I have to cut, and cut DRASTICALLY!
So why not government?
It really doesn't matter why there is an unbalance. The fact remains that there is and it HAS to be addressed by cutting spending.

February 25, 2011

WI Assembly Passes Budget Bill, Most Assembly Democrats Didn't Notice

After 60 hours of debate, the state Assembly passed Governor Walker's Budget Repair bill, which among other things limits the bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public sector employees.

The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill — and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it — appear far from over.

The Assembly's vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote and say they won't return unless Republican Gov. Scott Walker agrees to discuss a compromise. Republicans who control the Senate sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.

...Democrats launched a filibuster, throwing out dozens of amendments and delivering rambling speeches. Each time Republicans tried to speed up the proceedings, Democrats rose from their seats and wailed that the GOP was stifling them.

Debate had gone on for 60 hours and 15 Democrats were still waiting to speak when the vote started around 1 a.m. Friday. Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, opened the roll and closed it within seconds.

Democrats looked around, bewildered. Only 13 of the 38 Democratic members managed to vote in time.

Republicans immediately marched out of the chamber in single file. The Democrats rushed at them, pumping their fists and shouting "Shame!" and "Cowards!"

The Republicans walked past them without responding.

I love the idea that any Democrat can call a Republican a coward while praising state Senate Democrats who ran away and hid rather than exercise their sworn duties.

While this is the first hurdle for the plan, the Senate still can't act on major portions of the bill so the focus remains on forcing Democrats to do their constitutional duty and actually to the jobs they were elected to do.

Meanwhile for practical and possibly political reasons, Walker is still opposed to splitting the the collective bargaining measures (which doesn't require the presence of Senate Democrats) from the budget cuts (which does).

I still think it's important to keep it intact. Because one [part of the bill] goes with the other. If you fail to get one, it makes it hard to balance the rest of the budget. So our hope, our focus is still on trying to figure out a way to make it possible for those state senate Democrats to get back.

Meanwhile, our new Golden Age of Civility continues. The networks simply refuse to report on Democratic Congressman who called for union violence, as if they need someone to tell them to do that. . 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paul Ryan shames the Wisconsin fleebagers



by Dan Spencer on 2/25/11
Congressman Paul Ryan gets it exactly right concerning the Wisconsin legislators fleeing the state to avoid their duty to vote.

I didn't like the legislation that was moving through Washington the last two years — I didn't like cap and trade, I didn't like ObamaCare, I didn't like the stimulus. But I didn't walk out. We stayed and did our jobs. We voted, we tried to amend, we made our debates . . . Elections have consequences. They won, we lost. That's the way it works. So I just don't understand this lack of respect for the rule of law." — Congressman Paul Ryan

Congressman Ryan went on to talk about how achieving fiscal responsibility does not have to be a partisan issue.

Watch the video:

As Erick has also pointed out, the Obamacrats are making a huge mistake here. They are taking another very unpopular stand just like they did with ObamaCare.


listen to reason

America is losing an entire generation: By dismissing reason to satisfy ideology, the administration condemns America's future.

Monday, February 21, 2011

freedom, limited government, state and local leadership, and private-sector innovation.

The United States became the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world not through central planning and bureaucracy but because our Founders chose a different course: freedom, limited government, state and local leadership, and private-sector innovation.

Barack Obama doesn't get it

Something momentous is happening in the United States right now and Barack Obama doesn't get it.

Obama and Wisconsin set stage for 2012

QOTD: Christiane Amanpour: So, George, Wisconsin. Is this the sort of battle that we're going to see shaping up around the country? Is this really the sort of political and philosophical debate that's going on right now about what these cuts are going to mean?

George Will: It would have been even if the president hadn't intervened. But in the span of three days, Christiane, he first submits a budget that would increase the federal deficit and, two days later, he mobilizes his party, his own political machine, and organized labor, which is an appendage to his party, to sabotage Wisconsin's attempt to do what he will not do, which is deal with the insolvency of their government. In doing so, he has set the stage for 2012 by saying the Democratic Party is the party of government, not just in having an exaggerated view of the scope and competence of government, but because its base is in public employees.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fwd: The Real Jefferson

Bassani shows that Jefferson was a special kind of libertarian. He did not believe in government, but for one or two areas. Nor did he believe in the "union" much less the nation state. He was a radical individualist who had no use for the political collective. This is where we find the very core of his thought.

Liberty, State, and Union

Jefferson is a national icon, and has been from the early years of the American Republic. He is also one of the most enduring figures in intellectual and political history.

But how much do we really know about what he believed? The author of this great new study on Jefferson argues that we know little, due to wild distortions that have been made of Jefferson during the 20th century.

Incredibly, Jefferson has been re-rendered as a kind of proto-New Dealer and statist, or perhaps a Luddite who doubted the merit of progress, or perhaps a believer in global democracy run by the nation state.

None of this is true. Bassani shows that Jefferson was a special kind of libertarian. He did not believe in government, but for one or two areas. Nor did he believe in the "union" much less the nation state. He was a radical individualist who had no use for the political collective. This is where we find the very core of his thought.

Author of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat in France, leader of the opposition to the Federalists in the 1790s, president of the United States from 1801 to 1809, critical conscience of the country until his death on July 4, 1826, Thomas Jefferson is the most widely studied, fascinating and genuinely representative American intellectual.

Bassani surveys Jefferson's views in the twofold articulation—the rights of man and states rights—that represents the core of all his political ideas. While recent scholarship on the subject tends to portray a union devotee, nonindividualistic, antiproperty rights Jefferson, with possible communitarian, if not even protosocialist undertones, this work does Jefferson justice.

After careful examination of his political theory, the readers will recognize the third president as a champion of liberty, natural rights, and antagonism of the states towards interference by federal powers.

This scholarly book is both thorough and passionate, and, in the end, absolutely decisive: it takes back Jefferson for the causes he believed in his entire life.


Here is Albert Jay Nock's classic study on the life and thought of Thomas Jefferson, a book which draws out points other biographers have missed: his radicalism, his opposition to all centralized government, his attachment to liberty and property, and his dedication to the idea of revolution. In the process, Nock tells a story of the founding that you have likely never heard.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Future PAIN if government cuts are not instituted NOW!

Why cut? You claim that it is bad to cut government spending because of the pain it will cause.
Perhaps a little pain, but how about this pain, this future pain to the entire economy!

 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) framed the stakes during an interview on Mark Levin's radio program on Monday:  

I asked the CBO for these numbers, I know them off the top of my head. My kids are 6, 7 and 9 years old... by the time my kids are my age -- I'm 41 -- I asked the CBO, "What will the future tax rates have to be if we don't get this debt under control?" And this was before the current budget, which makes it worse.

 They said the lowest tax bracket, now at 10%, goes to 25%. Middle income tax brackets go to 66%. And the top bracket goes to 88%. We've had those numbers run.

 Look, the CBO -- their own economic model breaks down in 2037. Because the computer at the Congressional Budget Office basically says [it] can't conceive of the economy continuing past 2037 because of the strangulation of debt. Because of the debt burden.

 So they think the economy crashes well before my kids are even raising their own kids.

 Is it morally correct to hamstring future generations this way, for this purpose, for any purpose?

Congressman Proposes Cutting Funding For Obama's Teleprompter - would save $10 Trillion

The House formally began debate, which is expected to last three days, Tuesday afternoon following some wrangling over the hundreds of amendments lawmakers want to attach to the package. More than 400 amendments were filed Monday night. Among them were a proposal from Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., to eliminate funding for the president's Teleprompter and one from Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, to strip funding for the alteration, repair or improvement of the executive residence of the White House and instead divert that amount to deficit reduction.

Womack pulled the proposal because he couldn't determine an actual figure about how much money it would save.

Actually, it could save up to $10 Trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Without the teleprompter, he won't get re-elected president!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WSJ: Banks Push Home Buyers to Put Down More Cash

The down payments demanded by banks to buy homes have ballooned since the housing bust, forcing many people to rethink what they can afford and potentially shrinking the pool of eligible buyers.

Last week, the Obama administration called for gradually raising down payments to a minimum of 10% on conventional loans, meaning those that can be bought or guaranteed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And mortgage data show that private lenders are already pushing sharply higher the required down payments, mainly to mitigate their risk as home prices continue to fall.

The median down payment in nine major U.S. cities rose to 22% last year on properties purchased through conventional mortgages, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by real-estate portal That percentage doubled in three years and represents the highest median down payment since the data were first tracked in 1997.


The move to force home buyers to lay out more cash is driven mostly by banks, who have found that larger down payments discourage delinquencies by increasing the buyers' exposure to loss and reducing the impact of declining prices. Many home buyers placed little, if anything, down during the boom.

A 2009 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis study concluded buyers who made smaller down payments were more likely to default during "unfavorable economic circumstances, such as a housing market slowdown or job loss."

Higher borrowing costs and heftier down payments could send housing prices falling further. Last week, 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose to 5.05%, their highest level since April. "If there is a scenario where the government talks about raising down payments to 20% on conventional loans, you would absolutely crush the housing market," said Peter Norden, chief executive of Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc., an Edison, N.J., brokerage.

For now, borrowers who can't afford such amounts are flocking to alternative programs, such as loans for veterans or those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, creating a parallel—and growing—nonconventional mortgage market for riskier borrowers and those who don't qualify for conventional loans.

FHA-backed mortgages, which require 3.5% up front, made up about half of loans for home purchases last year, according to housing-research firm Zelman & Associates, but borrowers often pay higher interest rates and must pay private mortgage insurance, often driving their monthly payments higher.

"There's no question that the tightening of criteria unquestionably prices households out of the market," said Zillow economist Stan Humphries. "The middle ground buyer is the one having to fight to get a conventional mortgage."

Nikki Lavoie is among them. Six years ago, she and her then-husband bought their first home in Middletown, Del., through a veteran's loan, and have very little equity in the property. Recently divorced, Ms. Lavoie expects to make a small profit on the sale of the four-bedroom home, now under contract.

That leaves her with a 5% down payment for a town house she plans to buy and share with her 14-month-old daughter. Once, that would have been enough.

"A conventional loan…unless I had 20%, that is not even an option for me," said Ms. Lavoie, a 29-year-old who works for Delaware state government.

Because the town house is in a rural area, Ms. Lavoie qualified for a United States Department of Agriculture loan, which requires no money down. She is saving what would have been her down payment for appliances and furniture.

The median down payment hovered around 20% in the late 1990s and began to creep downward in 2001 in the nine cities Zillow analyzed: Chicago; Stockton, Calif.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Phoenix; San Diego; San Francisco; and Tampa, Fla.

It fell as low as 4% in the fourth quarter of 2006, and in some markets came close to zero. Economists say it is no coincidence that those are the same markets sinking deeper underwater, meaning the value of homes is less than the debt owed on them.

The mortgage industry has long grappled with the question of how much of a down payment is enough. As home prices rose at faster rates than Americans' incomes in recent decades, banks began to accept lower down payments to create greater affordability and spur home-buying.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair told an industry conference last month she supported minimum 20% down payments.

Mr. Norden, of the Real Estate Mortgage Network, said a better solution would be to demand high down payments from riskier borrowers seeking conventional loans, while allowing those with better credit histories to qualify with a lower amount, such as 10%, down.

For banks, "the good news is lower leverage means less risk. The bad news: lower leverage means less activity," said David Berson, chief economist of the PMI Group. "A balance between the two is best."

Another byproduct of higher down payments will be a reduction in what some families can afford—or a rethinking of whether they should buy at all, said John Courson, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"Many people will turn to the multifamily market," he said. "Or if you don't have whatever is deemed to be the appropriate down payment, the alternative is to be a renter while you accumulate that. You can't put a formula down that is going to fit every borrower's profile."

—Nick Timiraos contributed to this article.

Write to Mitra Kalita at

Copp: decline of "real journalism" justifies federal involvement

Doesn't this total moron Copp know that the media is called the 4th rail exactly BECAUSE they are there to WATCH government to keep them from doing funny business? The media is an outgrowth of our 1st amm. Free Speech: and that is to protect the rights of the individuals from tyranny that grows naturally in government.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copp says that the decline of "real journalism" justifies federal involvement.  Wait, what??

Sounds very much like an Orwellian statement if I ever heard one.

The Pro-Growth Case for Spending Cuts

The Pro-Growth Case for Spending Cuts

By Rep. Paul Ryan

Addressing the spending problem now is the key to restoring prosperity. Right now, businesses are holding back on hiring and investment, partly because they are worried that we are headed for a future of large tax hikes and interest-rate spikes. Washington's spending spree has fueled this uncertainty.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee this week that one of the best things Congress can do to get businesses hiring and the economy growing again is to demonstrate that we have a serious plan for tackling our fiscal problems.

Since being entrusted with the Majority only a month ago, we have been taking steps to do just that. One of our first official acts was to cut Congress's own budget by five percent. Next, we voted to cut trillions in future government spending by repealing the irresponsible new health care law. And when it comes to funding the government for the rest of this year, we are engaged in a debate that is refreshingly different by Washington standards. We are debating, not whether to cut spending, but how much spending to cut.

In these debates, we started with a simple goal: reduce the budgets for most government agencies back to where they were before the bailouts, before the stimulus package, and before the spending binge. Over the last two years, many federal bureaucracies received budget increases of 30 percent, 40 percent, or - in one case -100 percent. The numbers grow even larger when the failed stimulus is added in.

Our spending cuts are critical first steps to earn back the trust of a skeptical public - a skepticism that is surely justified. More must be done to restore confidence to a private sector that will remain cautious until it is convinced that we are serious about controlling spending. As House Budget Committee chairman, it will be my job to help chart a new course: a path to prosperity.

Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you - to show you how we intend to do things differently. We're going to cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs. We owe you an honest debate about our biggest fiscal challenges. If we act soon, and if we act responsibly, we can gradually phase in reforms to our major entitlement programs to save them from bankruptcy and ensure that people in and near retirement will be protected.

It appears President Obama will present a very different vision in the coming days - and in my view, one that takes the nation even further in the wrong direction. And he recently asked Congress to raise the debt limit to accommodate all of the spending and borrowing that he and his party have already committed us to. But the debt crisis that is currently crippling Europe teaches us that we cannot keep making unaffordable promises without eventually hitting a real debt limit - a limit on our borrowing imposed by credit markets in a state of panic.

We must act responsibly and send a clear message: Endless borrowing is not a strategy. Spending restraint must come first. It won't be easy, but America is an exceptional nation, and Americans have risen to greater challenges and prevailed in the past. To restore prosperity today, leaders must rise to the occasion and demonstrate to families and entrepreneurs that they need no longer fear for tomorrow. Until we accomplish that, our work will not be done.

Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin's First Congressional District and serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

IBD: Death Panels And Job Losses

CBO Director Elmendorf and former Speaker Pelosi seem to be about 4.8 million jobs apart. AP

CBO Director Elmendorf: ObamaCare will destroy 800,000 jobs

Reform: As the head of Medicaid and Medicare services testifies in favor of ObamaCare, the CBO director says it will destroy 800,000 jobs. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once famously said that we'd have to pass ObamaCare to see what was in it. She also boasted that the health care bill would create 4 million jobs — "400,000 of them almost immediately."

Now that we've seen what's in it, we realize the possible consequences for our physical and economic health. And congressional testimony before GOP-led committees has given us fresh reasons for repeal.

Contradicting Mrs. Pelosi, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Thursday that one of the unintended consequences of ObamaCare would be a reduction in employment by half a percent by 2021.

In an exchange with Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., Elmendorf confirmed the analysis contained in a CBO report issued last August. "That net effect reflects changes in incentives in the labor market that operate in both directions," he said.

"The way I would put it," Elmendorf said, "is that we do estimate ... that employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000." That number is 50% more than all the people who work for GM, Ford, and Chrysler combined.

ObamaCare mandates and costs will reduce hiring while some workers will have less incentive to enter the work force. In fact, Elmendorf's number may be quite low, considering it's been estimated that ObamaCare will impose $500 billion in new taxes and will actually cost more than $2.3 trillion in 10 years.

"Since day one," said John Murray, deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, "Republicans have opposed ObamaCare for a simple reason: It would destroy jobs. (House) Minority Leader Pelosi, (Senate Majority) Leader Reid and others said we were wrong. Guess not."

Meanwhile Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama's choice to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee on ObamaCare's implications for those two programs and the seniors they serve. He also testified on his past admiration for the rationing and cost-effectiveness standards applied at Britain's National Health Service (NHS).

In questioning Berwick, committee chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., noted that "Medicare actuaries predict that because of the cuts in the Democrats' health care law, 725 hospitals, 2,352 nursing homes and 1,587 home-health agencies will become unprofitable." Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, said 300 doctors in his state have already dropped Medicare.

The Screwtape Budget and the "In Ten Years" Deficit Solution

Putting it all into perspective.

If we don't fix it now, it will be harder still down the road

The Screwtape Budget and the "In Ten Years" Deficit Solution


We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now.... THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Damage Obama Has Done

This table tells it all! And why doesn't the MSM report on this? Can you say 'bias'?

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN    Printer-Friendly Version

The mainstream media does not cover the full extent of the damage the Obama Administration has inflicted on this country. Even FOX News often doesn't have the time to go into sufficient depth to explain what is happening.

From our friend Ruth S. King comes a chart which all of us should read and absorb, sobering though it may be:

  January 2009 Today % chg Source
Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S. $1.83 $3.104 69.6% 1
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel) $43.48 $99.02 127.7% 2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel) $38.74 $91.38 135.9% 2
Gold: London (per troy oz.) $853.25 $1,369.50 60.5% 2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL $3.56 $6.33 78.1% 2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL $9.66 $13.75 42.3% 2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob $13.37 $35.39 164.7% 2
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall 7.6% 9.4% 23.7% 3
Unemployment rate, blacks 12.6% 15.8% 25.4% 3
Number of unemployed 11,616,000 14,485,000 24.7% 3
Number of fed. employees, ex. military (curr = 12/10 prelim) 2,779,000 2,840,000 2.2% 3
Real median household income (2008 v 2009) $50,112 $49,777 -0.7% 4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10) 31,983,716 43,200,878 35.1% 5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10) 7,526,598 9,193,838 22.2% 6
Number of long-term unemployed 2,600,000 6,400,000 146.2% 3
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009) 13.2% 14.3% 8.3% 4
People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009) 39,800,000 43,600,000 9.5% 4
U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings 5 9 n/a 10
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10) 29.9 23.5 -21.4% 11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date) 140 164 17.1% 12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate 89.76 82.03 -8.6% 2
U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim) 1,575.1 1,865.7 18.4% 13
U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim) 8,310.9 8,852.3 6.5% 13
National debt, in trillions $10.627 $14.052 32.2% 14

(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury

Rep. Paul Ryan: Obama's budget is "debt on arrival"

ABC News reports:

Republicans like House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan didn't want to pronounce President Obama's 2012 budget proposal dead on arrival before it was unveiled. Now that the budget has been released, they're calling it something else. 

"Debt on arrival. D-E-B-T on arrival," Ryan said at a press conference today. "Look, he raises spending everywhere. He raises taxes everywhere, increases borrowing. The trajectory of this budget is in the wrong direction. It would be better if we did nothing than actually pass this budget." 

"Our problem is we are running out of road to keep kicking this can down," Ryan said. "And so what did we just get today? We got a punt. The president punted on the budget and he punted on the deficit and on the debt. That's not leadership."

Reagan or even Clinton

The Cato Institute's Daniel Mitchell says that if we want to fix our budget, we need to bring back Reagan ... or even Clinton.

One Chart to Rule Them All: the Obama Budget Apocalypse

Doug Ross modified an excellent Wall Street Journal graphic to illustrate just how tragic and ineffectual President Obama's proposed budget cuts are.

Consider the anticipated spending trajectory over the next decade as entitlement spending and interest payments balloon.

I've marked the Obama cuts in yellow. Repeat: I've marked the Obama cuts in yellow.

Mr. Obama's budget, to be released Monday, calls for spending cuts and tax hikes that would slice about 14% of the approximately $8 trillion in cumulative federal deficits that would occur over the next 10 years without action being taken. It estimates the deficit will fall to $1.1 trillion next year as the economy picks up and the president's proposed spending freeze begins to have effect...

The current projected budget deficit is $1.6 trillion, a figure twice revised upwards from a starting point of $1.3 trillion. other words, in less than six months, the FY 2011 budget—which has still yet to pass, scheduled for a vote this coming March 4—has had a deficit which has risen 23%.

And in response the president proposes to cut less than $100 billion a year from his bloated federal budget.

As for the President's vaunted "deficit commission"? Predictably, Obama blew them off.

Ask congressional Republicans about President Barack Obama's fiscal 2012 budget proposal and they will seethe about an abdication of presidential leadership on the deficit... [but ask] former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson about it, and he shrugs. Reached at his Cody, Wyo., home, the former co-chairman of President Obama's debt commission does not believe the commission's work to bring down the federal debt has been abandoned, just because most of its recommendations are nowhere to be found in the budget plan.

...White House officials say there's a reason why the president did not lay down his cards on what to do to curb the growth of Social Security and Medicare, to overhaul the tax code to bring in more revenue or to radically pare back spending. That moment will come soon, behind closed doors when Republicans and Democrats sit down together to work through the nation's debt troubles...

I adapted the chart immediately above to reflect the timing of these disastrous budgets.

You see, dear reader, we have a president who has no interest in stabilizing the country's fiscal situation. Nor does he have any inclination to tackle the tough issues of entitlement reform.

This President is a walking, talking disaster and that's what the liberals are saying:

"...this president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests... To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you're fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama's cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts."

That's Andrew Sullivan, formerly Obama fan numero uno in the blogosphere, now coping for the second time in eight years with crushing disappointment from a president he ardently supported. Ed's already written a bunch about the budget today so I won't belabor it, but have a look at Andrew Stiles's bullet-point list of the lowlights if you missed it. $26.3 trillion in new debt — repeat,new debt — alone over the next decade. Says Jake Tapper, summing things up in a single harrowing line, "At no point in the president's 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it's taking in."

U.S. debt overtakes entire U.S. economy

The Washington Times reports:

President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equalling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years' time.

Amid the other staggering numbers in the budget Mr. Obama sent to Congress on Monday, the debt stands out — both because Congress will need to vote to raise the debt limit later this year, and because the numbers are so large.

Mr. Obama's budget said 2011 will see the biggest one-year jump in debt in history, or nearly $2 trillion in a single year. And the administration says it will reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to reach 102.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached.

let's go Egypt on Obama next election!

"If the attempt is not even made to defund Obamacare, repeal it or whatever, then we go Egypt on Obama next election -- and, by the way, he can't complain, 'cause he said that's how democracy works." -Rush

The President Chickens Out on Spending Cuts

At a time when our deficit is $1,600,000,000,000.00
 (and our debt is  14 Trillion),
we need to propose a budget which actually balances the books, not one that is the same as last year, which is already over 30% more than the 2008-2009 budget, and that's not even including the Trillion dollar stimulus boondoggle.. Let's go back to that budget, and perhaps we would be closer to balance.

The President Chickens Out on Spending Cuts

Despite the record $1.6 trillion deficit this year, and the consensus that exploding spending and debt is pushing the nation toward catastrophe, the Obama administration has completely chickened out on spending reforms in its new budget. Even though Obama's own Fiscal Commission proposed many good spending-cut ideas, the new Obama budget takes a complete pass.

The budget has 2012 spending falling a bit from record 2011 levels, but that's because "stimulus" spending is winding down, war costs are supposed to fall, and unemployment benefits should decline as the economy improves. Let's look at some of the new budget data (all data for fiscal years):

● Total federal spending jumped from $2.98 trillion in 2008 to $3.82 trillion in 2011. Obama's budget has outlays at $3.73 trillion in 2012, but that's still up 25 percent from 2008. Spending in 2011 is the highest share of GDP since WWII at 25.3 percent.

● Non-defense discretionary spending jumped from $522 billion in 2008 to $655 billion in 2011. Spending is supposed to fall to $611 billion in 2012, but that's still up 17 percent from 2008. 

● Defense spending jumped from $612 billion in 2008 to $761 billion in 2011. Spending is supposed to fall to $730 billion in 2012, but that's still up 19 percent from 2008.

● Entitlement spending jumped from $1.59 trillion in 2008 to $2.19 trillion in 2011. The budget has entitlement spending at $2.14 trillion in 2012, which is up a huge 35 percent from 2008.     

Obama took a "shellacking" in the November elections as a result of his big-government policies. Does his new budget reflect any movement to the fiscal center? Not at all — spending levels in his new budget are virtually the same as in last year's budget.

● Last year, Obama proposed total spending for 2012 of $3.76 trillion. His new budget proposes 2012 spending of $3.73 trillion. So, in response to huge and growing concerns about overspending in Washington, the administration has essentially not changed next year's spending target at all.

● Last year, Obama projected spending in 2020 at $5.71 trillion. His new budget has spending in 2020 at $5.42 trillion. So the new focus on fiscal restraint in Washington has convinced the administration to trim just 5 percent off of its previous budget by the end of the decade. The new proposal for spending in 2020 is 42 percent higher than spending this year.

● Last year, Obama's budget showed public debt rising to 77 percent of GDP by 2020. Yet despite all the administration's expressed concern about rising debt, the new budget has exactly the same debt target in 2020 of 77 percent.

● Last year, Obama proposed 2012 discretionary outlays of $1.30 trillion. This year, Obama proposed 2012 discretionary outlays of $1.34 trillion.

In the administration's mind, apparently absolutely nothing has changed on fiscal policy in the last year. Obama hasn't shifted toward fiscal responsibility an inch. The Tea Party movement, the November elections, the government debt crises in Europe, and the Obama Fiscal Commission have all been totally ignored in the new federal budget.

 Chris Edwards is editor of the Cato Institute's