Posts Tagged ‘deficit’

The Debt, the Shutdown, and Obamacare

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

In a recent New York Times magazine article, Adam Davidson (of NPR’s Planet Money podcast and blog) provided an excellent analysis of the current debate over raising the debt ceiling – and what’s at stake if it’s not increased. It’s one of the best articles I’ve seen on the problem.

Traditionally, raising the ceiling was not a political issue. That changed in 2011 when a significant faction of Tea Party Republicans entered the House of Representatives. Now it seems every few months we face another rancorous debate over whether to increase the debt limit. Davidson says no wealthy country has ever voluntarily defaulted on its debt and that playing chicken with the debt ceiling could have disastrous global consequences.

“At some point, the government won’t be able to pay interest on its bonds and will enter what’s known as sovereign default, the ultimate national financial disaster achieved by countries like Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Argentina (and now Greece). In the case of the United States, though, it won’t be an isolated national crisis. If the American government can’t stand behind the dollar, the world’s benchmark currency, then the global financial system will very likely enter a new era in which there is much less trade and much less economic growth. It would be, by most accounts, the largest self-imposed financial disaster in history.”

As we face another possible government shutdown, it will be an interesting week to look under the political rocks Democrats and Republicans are hurling at each other and see what exactly is going on in Washington.

On Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight, we got some insights into the debate over the deficit, the debt ceiling, and ongoing efforts by Republicans to defund Obamacare. Here’s a sampling of that conversation with Louisville Metro Councilman David Tandy; KC Crosbie, national committeewoman for the Republican Party of Kentucky; Somerset Community College political scientist James Taylor; and Brian Strow, economics professor at Western Kentucky University.

The Fiscal Cliff and the Kentucky Delegation

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Happy New Year!
You probably had a better New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day than the delegation representing Kentucky in the United States Congress. They celebrated the holiday negotiating, voting, and arguing over legislation to keep the nation from falling off the fiscal cliff.

And our two U.S. Senators were front and center before a national audience of cliff watchers and media the past few days.

Most analysts are giving Sen. Mitch McConnell kudos for asking Vice President Joe Biden, an old Senate colleague, to join the negotiations for the deal that keeps taxes from going up on most Americans. McConnell voted for the legislation.

Sen. Paul, who was on the Senate floor and national television before the Senate voted to pass the legislation, was one of only 8 Senators to vote against the bill.

On the House side, the measure passed 257 to 167. Among the Kentucky congressmen, Hal Rogers (R), Ben Chandler (D), and John Yarmuth (D), voted for the deal. Ed Whitfield (R), Brett Guthrie (R), and Thomas Massie (R), voted against the deal.

Guthrie, from Bowling Green, had this to say, “I have said it from the very beginning that ensuring we do not go over the fiscal cliff should be a combination of tax reforms that are vital to the health of our nation. For too long, House Republicans were told they would see a good-faith discussion on spending cuts. Yet again, we have been told no, that spending cuts will come next time.”

There was no “big deal.” It appears there will be more fireworks down the road when Congress and the president try to cap government spending and attack the deficit facing the nation.

Yarmuth says “Share the Sacrifice”

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Kentucky’s senior senator Republican Mitch McConnell said on One to One recently that no one he is talking with wants to solve the country’s fiscal dilemma by spending more money. Senator McConnell has said President Obama needs to get serious about reducing the deficit and growing the economy and that raising taxes on any American should not be a part of that solution.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that 3rd District Congressman Democrat John Yarmuth of Louisville disagrees. Yarmuth said on One to One this week if Congress is to cut funding for services aimed at the poor and working class segment of the population, then America’s wealthiest citizens should “share the sacrifice” and pay higher taxes.

Republicans have said that raising taxes on anyone in this economy would be counterproductive to Americans and the country’s business climate.

Yarmuth says Congress must raise the government’s debt limit from the $14.3 trillion before the August deadline or risk defaulting. That’s when we become more like Greece than anyone in America wants us to. Tune in and listen to Representative Yarmuth and let me know what you think.

One to One airs Sunday, July 3 at 1pm/noon CT on KET and Tuesday, July 5th at 7:30/6:30 pm CT on KET2.

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