Spending Daily January 10, 2013

Spending Daily January 10, 2013

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Bankrupting America’s New Video: Talk is Cheap, Overspending is Not
For years, leaders have been all talk and no action when it comes to tackling our overspending problem, and now Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, is calling them out for the empty promises with a new video as part of our “Talk is Cheap, Overspending is Not” campaign that launched in early January. The video, which features former President Ronald Reagan, former Vice President Al Gore and President Barack Obama, highlights past speeches promising to address the federal government’s overspending.

Click here to watch the video.

Check out the whole #TalkIsCheap conversation on Twitter or view some of the top tweets on the BankruptingAmerica.org homepage.

White House Won’t Rule Out Minting A $1 Trillion Coin
POLITICO reports, “The White House on Wednesday didn’t outright deny the possibility of minting a $1 trillion coin, an idea that’s been floated as a way for the Obama administration to pay its debts if Congress were to fail to raise the debt ceiling in the coming weeks. ‘There is no plan B, there is no backup plan. There is Congress’s responsibility to pay the bills of the United States,’ White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his daily briefing. But when asked whether the administration would rule out minting a coin, Carney didn’t utright deny the option. “You can speculate a lot of things, [but] nothing needs to come to these speculative notions” so long as Congress does its job, he said.”

Lew Nomination Sets Stage For White House Debt Fight
The Hill reports, “Jack Lew’s confirmation as Treasury secretary would place a longtime Washington insider at the crux of the bruising fight over entitlements, government spending and the national debt. It is a battle expected to dominate Obama’s second term, and the president signaled he realizes this by nominating Lew — a hardened veteran of budget fights with congressional Republicans. … Until recently, Lew had a reputation as budgetary expert with a history of deal-making. But his reputation took a hit in recent years as he butted heads with congressional Republicans during several failed efforts to break through on a broad deficit-reduction deal.”

“The Latest Debt-Ceiling Proposal: Issue IOUs”
The National Journal reports, “The  $1 trillion platinum coin seems too wacky; the 14th Amendment too risky. But could IOU’s be the solution to an impasse on raising the nation’s borrowing limit? Yes, and President Obama should publicly adopt the idea, Edward Kleinbard, a University of Southern California law professor and former chief of staff to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, argues in a Thursday New York Times OpEd. If lawmakers can’t reach an agreement before the nation hits its debt ceiling–which could happen as soon as next month–then Obama should have a backup plan of issuing IOU’s in place, Kleinbard argues.”

“Obama’s Default Drama Is No Way to Run a Country”
Caroline Baum editorializes in Bloomberg, “The United States of America isn’t going to default on its debt, even if Congress doesn’t increase the statutory borrowing authority in the next couple of months. … [T]he income taxes withheld from most of our paychecks each month exceed the interest the Treasury owes on its debt outstanding. In November, for example, the Treasury’s interest expense totaled $25 billion. That compares with tax receipts of $161.7 billion. … The sad part is that the debt ceiling has nothing to do with the debt problem. It merely allows Treasury to borrow what Congress has already spent. It does not authorize new spending commitments.”

“Time for a balanced-budget amendment”
George Will editorializes in The Washington Post, “Democrats not allergic to arithmetic must know the cost of their ‘fiscal cliff’ victory. … No numerate person thinks that today’s entitlement state, let alone the steady expansion of it that is liberalism’s aspiration, can be funded by taxing the income of the 0.7 percent of taxpayers whose rates were just raised. Or the 2 percent whose rates would have been raised had liberals and their president simply allowed the automatic increase of rates for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000. Because 82 percent of American earners pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes, no politically conceivable or economically feasible middle-class tax rate can fund the entitlement state. By rescuing almost everyone from the restoration of Clinton-era rates, liberals abandoned any pretense of paying for their program of ever- expanding entitlements. Instead, they made trillion-dollar deficits their program.”

Ryan Jabs White House For Expected Budget Delay
Roll Call reports, “The deadline has not yet been missed, but Republicans are already jabbing at the White House in anticipation that President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal is likely to be several weeks late. In a letter Wednesday to the Office of Management and Budget, House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan asked when the spending plan will be released. ‘Given the critical importance of addressing our nation’s fiscal problems, I am writing to ask whether the President will submit his budget request this year on or before February 4 as required by law,’ the Wisconsin Republican wrote to Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients. ‘If the Administration does not plan to meet the statutory deadline, when do you anticipate the request being made?’”

Failed Solar Companies Continue To Be Taxpayer Burden
The Washington Free Beacon reports, “A bankrupt Massachusetts solar company that received more than $30 million in state funds continues to cost taxpayers money in the form of special unemployment assistance from the Department of Labor, according to a Wednesday press release. Labor announced a $408,403 National Emergency Grant increment for continued assistance to roughly 320 workers affected by the 2011 closure of Evergreen Solar Inc. This latest block of aid brings the total funds awarded for the project to $738,179. … Evergreen Solar received an estimated $31 million in state funding from the administration of Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Massachusetts taxpayers were left on the hook for nearly $10 million of that aid when the company went bankrupt and laid off roughly 800 employees.”