Spending Daily | July 3, 2012
Are We As Independent As We Think We Are?
Public Notice/Bankrupting America Executive Director Gretchen Hamel’s latest opinion-editorial in Investor’s Business Daily raises an important question to the U.S.: “Are we as independent as we think we are?” Hamel points out our debt of nearly $16 trillion, annual budget deficit of $1.2 trillion, and reminds us that our $5 trillion debt to foreign nations is “an all-time high.” Hamel continues “So much for independence. We’re now a debtor nation, and unless we get our fiscal house in order, that debt will endanger our nation’s prospects for long-term growth….And if we continue with this runaway spending, at some point foreign lenders will no longer see the U.S. as a safe investment.”
“Intensified Concern” Over June Jobs Report
The Hill reports, “Weak June manufacturing numbers released Monday intensified concern about the fragility of the economic recovery and turned election-watchers’ attention toward unemployment numbers due out at the end of this week. The reports, just four months before voters cast their ballots in the presidential election, come amid a wave of bad news on the global economy, which is seen by both the White House and President Obama’s critics as the most potent threat to his chances of securing a second term in office.”
Congress: So Much To Do, So Little Time
While Congress has some important items on its plate, including the farm bill, postal reforms, and appropriations legislation, lawmakers face a very short window of time to get things done. According to The Hill, “Congress has been surprisingly productive during the first half of 2012 on bills ranging from highways to student loans to a ban on insider trading for lawmakers. But most on Capitol Hill believe that trend is in jeopardy. For a number of bills that have been in the works since the beginning of the 112th Congress, the next several weeks will be crucial. And those measures will have to compete for floor time with political messaging votes — like House moves to repeal the 2010 healthcare law and extend the full slate of Bush tax rates — that will take up a bulk of the election-season legislative calendar.”
A Medicaid Offer Governors Can’t Refuse?
Republican governors in Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana have sworn to refuse to participate in the Medicaid expansion, a part of the Affordable Care Act. But the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein says, “Ignore them. The deal the federal government is offering states on Medicaid is too good to refuse. And that’s particularly true for the red states. If Mitt Romney loses the election and Republicans lose their chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they’re going to end up participating in the law. They can’t afford not to.”
European Fiscal Crisis Spills Into the U.S.
France “must find between 6 billion and 10 billion euros, up to $12.6 billion, in new revenue or spending cuts by the end of this year, and extract an additional 33 billion euros, or $41.5 billion, next year, to meet promised budget targets,” according to the New York Times. And Europe’s troubles are spilling over into the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the U.S. factory sector shrank in June for the first time since July 2009. Exports fell, and new orders, which gauge future factory activity, dropped at their fastest pace since the post-9/11 plunge in October 2001.” It’s “the strongest evidence yet that Europe’s troubles and slowing growth in China are hurting American factories, one of the biggest drivers of the U.S. recovery.”