A Democratic senator says no to a huge federal spending bill.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by toomuchtime_, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. toomuchtime_
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    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

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    This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

    The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

    The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.

    Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress's long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work. Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.

    Our nation's current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality. The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion. This is almost double what it was just eight years ago, and the debt is growing at a rate of about $1 million a minute.

    Washington borrows from foreign creditors to fund its profligacy. The amount of U.S. debt held by countries such as China and Japan is at a historic high, with foreign investors holding half of America's publicly held debt. This dependence raises the specter that other nations will be able to influence our policies in ways antithetical to American interests. The more of our debt that foreign governments control, the more leverage they have on issues like trade, currency and national security. Massive debts owed to foreign creditors weaken our global influence, and threaten high inflation and steep tax increases for our children and grandchildren.

    The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet -- and Washington should too.

    The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year's unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.

    Last week I was pleased to attend the president's White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It's about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week -- after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week -- jeopardize their credibility.

    As Indiana's governor, I balanced eight budgets, never raised taxes, and left the largest surplus in state history. It wasn't always easy. Cuts had to be made and some initiatives deferred. Occasionally I had to say "no."

    But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate.

    Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.

    Mr. Bayh, a Democratic senator from Indiana, served as governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.

    Evan Bayh Says Democrats Damage Their Fiscal Credibility By Accepting Barack Obama's Federal Spending Bill - WSJ.com
     
  2. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Finally, some of these knuckleheads are waking up.

    They have to stop this insane spending spree before it's too late.
     
  3. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The title link to the article seems to say the President is the problem, but the article seems to say that congress has their nuts on the line...

    :eusa_think:

    -Joe
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    The solution is to put Americans back to make MAKING STUFF.

    Any stimulus which is not working toward that end is a waste.
     
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  5. michiganFats
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    michiganFats BANNED

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    Evan Bayh has always gotten it. It sounds to me like he's setting himself up for a run in 2012, and if the GOP doesn't get their crap together, Bayh may out conservative the Republican candidate.
     
  6. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    And how does this spending bill encourage such activity? It's all pet projects meant to beautiful the states and rebuild infrastructure. It will put some people to work, but are they making anything that we can sell? No.
     
  7. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    Bayh would have been Vice President had Hillary won the nomination. I sometimes wake up hoping that this was the case, and then I cry a little.
     
  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Yes, that's right.

    Reindustrializing America...odd that that solution isn't suggested, isn't it?

    Saving the auto companies is about all I hear of.

    We need to reconstitute our industrial base.

    We won't, because the cost of first world labor is too high.

    Too high to whom?

    To the people who make make much more by producing in the former third world, that's all that matters.

    So the first world and third are trading places.

    They are the industrialized first world, from which we buy our consumer goods.

    And we are the colonies which provide them raw materials and food (and high tech weapons)

    Too bad this nation doesn't need 300,000 miners and farmers or munitions workers, eh?

    Since the American worker is worth less, his homes become worth less.

    THAT is the real ROOT SOURCE of our current real estate crises. The FED, the banks and the silly consumers are but bit players in this crime

    The iron hand of the market is now correcting pricing of American real estate to reflect the new reality of most American's places in this new world order economics.

    Many Americansare entering third world citizenship status.

    I don't see enough of this stimulus going into real honest to god industrial growth to prevent it.

    I do see $9 Trillion going to bankers though.

    Odd that.
     
  9. michiganFats
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    michiganFats BANNED

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    I agree with Editec.
     
  10. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    Accept for the mild exaggerations (comparing us to third world countries). People living in the third live in huts, cook over open fires, and crap in the bushes. How many low income workers in America would you say that describes?

    yes it SOUNDS nice and I'm not oppossed to it, i just don't see it as feasible. Building widgits is great but you won't be employed long if no one wants widgits. For realties sake let's just say widgits are Fords. How are we gonna get people to demand Fords over Toyotas such that we can sustain and possibly increase job growth in the U.S. auto industry? We can make it more difficult for foreign competiton to compete in the U.S. in an effort ot overcome their advantage in labor costs, productivity and technology. that's not really much of a long term goal. We can penalize U.S. industries for shipping jobs overseas. Or we could rebuild the reputation of the American automobile such that consumers see a greater value in ithem. Or we could evaluate whether what we're paying for labor maybe a hair more than what the market would call for. Or a combination of all of the above.

    But let's take a big step back and ask another question. WHY would we have to do any of those things? (and we would to make the 'we need to make stuff' solution viable). We would need to do those things to overcome the fact that global conditions in areas of technology, communications and cultural advancement have rendered us less competetive in areas of industry than we once were. So what is the solution to THAT? Broadley there are two options. We can put all kinds of barriers, policies, fees etc. in place so that we can go back to the comfortable way things were. Personally I don't see what such a solution does for the long term growth of society. OR we can adapt. Instead of trying to desperately cling to what we are no longer good at we can figure how to be the best in something else or improve upon areas we used to have advantages.
     

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