Home Business Spending Daily February 13, 2013

Spending Daily February 13, 2013

0 201

Spending Daily | February 13, 2013

Photos: Bankrupting America Tells Washington to “Show Us Your Cuts!”
In honor of Mardi Gras and the State of the Union address, Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, yesterday handed out Mardi Gras beads and doughnuts on Capitol Hill with a simple message for Washington: “Show Us Your Cuts!” Click here to view photos from the event, and read more about it in The Hill.

“Let The Bleak Times Roll”
Dana Milbank editorializes in The Washington Post, “There is something entirely appropriate about holding the State of the Union address on the same day as Mardi Gras. One is a display of wretched excess, when giddy and rowdy participants give in to reckless and irresponsible behavior. … The standoff gives new meaning to Fat Tuesday: The nation’s finances are a mess, but — what the heck? — let’s have another round. No wonder a new Washington Post poll found that 56 percent of Americans have a dim view of the country’s political system. … Washington’s version of Mardi Gras had begun early in the day, at the Capitol South Metro station, where members of a nonpartisan balanced-budget group, Bankrupting America, offered beads to passersby willing to ‘show us your cuts.’ By that standard, few necklaces would be distributed. Democrats and Republicans alike would sooner bare their private parts than come clean about what government programs they would cut.”

“Obama Gets Tweet Heat Before State of the Union”
Christopher Heine writes in AdWeek, “President Obama’s State of the Union address has politically minded marketers trying their hand at real-time ad buying on Twitter today. … Chevron, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bankrupting America, Heritage Foundation, the National Association of Manufacturers and Society for Human Resource Management are among the names purchasing Promoted Tweets for the #SOTU hashtag. … Bankrupting America—part of the fiscal watchdog organization Public Notice—is handing out ‘Show Us Your Cuts’ flyers in Washington, D.C., today. The flyers have a Mardi Gras theme and promise to award multiple Twitter users who tweet #showusyourcuts with a dozen donuts delivered to their homes on Wednesday morning. Of all the aforementioned advertisers, Bankrupting America is the only one employing Twitter’s new video-sharing app, Vine, in the brand’s ad.”

Obama’s SOTU Tone: I’m Not Compromising
Carrie Budoff Brown writes in POLITICO, “The speech President Barack Obama delivered in his State of the Union address Tuesday night was aggressive — but not nearly as aggressive as the message he was sending to Congress between the lines of what he said. For all the talk about bipartisan cooperation, Obama couldn’t have been clearer: He’s confident his agenda has popular support, he’s not going to compromise too much and he’s prepared to spend as much time going around the country pressing his case as it’ll take. As for the Republican lawmakers who complain that he’s been too rough on them already — he’s just getting started. And Democrats better be on notice, too.”

Rubio, Federal Spending and the Sip Tweeted Round the World
The Associated Press reports, “Republicans dismissed President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address as nothing more than big government spending and more tax increases. But a brief sip of water may have gotten more immediate attention than any policy ideas. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s mid-speech swig from a small Poland Spring water bottle during his GOP response generated instant reaction in social media circles and on cable television, even as Republicans offered fresh appeals on the economy and promises to rein in federal spending. … In his GOP address, Rubio urged Obama to ‘abandon his obsession with raising taxes’ and said the president had shifted the nation away from free-market economic principles that had helped middle-class families achieve prosperity.”

GOP: Obama’s Speech Sounded Like a Christmas Wish List 
POLITICO reports, “President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address landed with a loud thud for most congressional Republicans. For the 278 House and Senate lawmakers locked in legislative battle with the White House, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union was a mix of liberal line items and lofty rhetoric that they worry will stretch the government’s thin resources beyond the breaking point. A call for tax reform, which always sounds good to conservative ears, was offset by Obama’s request that Congress increase the minimum wage to $9. The president’s expressed commitment to deficit reduction was blunted by a prominent mention of climate change. ‘It seemed like an amazing wish list, it sounded likeChristmas,’ Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said in an interview with POLITICO. ‘At the end of the day, there are just so many things that are in conflict and contradiction that it’s difficult for us to sit back and digest it all, reflect on what we’ve already done and see how they come together without raising the deficit, raising the debt, without substantial tax increases.’”

Obama: “Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan”
The Washington Post reports, “Just about every argument in Washington since the 2010 midterm elections, which returned control of the House to Republicans, has centered on reducing the federal deficit. On Tuesday night, President Obama leaned into his second term by declaring that a single-minded focus on deficit reduction would jeopardize the nation’s future. And he sounded an urgent call to rebuild. … The time has come, Obama indicated, to pivot away from the politics of austerity. ‘Most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of the agenda,’ he said. ‘But let’s be clear: Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good middle-class jobs — that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.’”

Analysis: Obama Wants to Do It His Way
Nedra Pickler writes in The Associated Press, “President Barack Obama had a simple message for Republicans in Congress: Do it my way. Forget about shutting down the government to force spending cuts, he told the GOP in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. Don’t think about defaulting on the debt and, while you’re at it, close tax loopholes. Clearly, Obama wasn’t in a mood to compromise. The president’s speech doubled down on his hard-charging inaugural address in promoting liberal Democratic policy ideas, without ceding any ground to Republicans in Congress. … ‘Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan,’ Obama said. ‘Let’s set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next,’ Obama said to a sustained standing ovation from Democrats in the chamber while Republicans sat silent.”

Obama Calls for Return to ‘Grand Bargain’ On Deficit
The Hill reports, “President Obama used the State of the Union to call on Congress to go beyond small fiscal fights, such as delaying the $85 billion sequester, and return to a grand bargain on the deficit. Obama argued that Washington has already enacted $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction and needsonly a $1.5 trillion deal to ‘stabilize’ the debt relative to size of the economy. ‘Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion — mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.  As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficitreduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances,’ Obama said. ‘Now we need to finish the job.’”

Congress “nowhere near” Agreement to Avert Sequester 
Bloomberg reports, “Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress are nowhere near a plan to avert $1.2 trillion in spending cuts about two weeks before they are set to begin. It’s the latest in a series of fiscal deadlines created by Congress that in the past two years took the U.S. to the brink of a debt default, a government shutdown and middle-class tax increases that neither party wanted. Unless lawmakers act, the across-the-board spending reductions will begin March 1.  Leaving the cuts in place would shave U.S. economic growth this year by 0.6 percent and cost 750,000 jobs by the fourth quarter, Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf said yesterday at a hearing.”

Seven Year Budget Plan ‘Depressing Reminder of EU’s Skewed Priorities’
Bloomberg editorializes, “The seven-year budget plan announced by the European Union’s governments last week came as a diplomatic win for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, for which he has been showered with praise at home. As that surprise wears off, the deal serves mainly as a depressing reminder of the EU’s skewed priorities. EU leaders agreed to cap spending commitments at 960 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) from 2014 to 2020. That’s a cut from the previous seven-year budget, to 1 percent of the EU’s economic output from 1.12 percent — the first reduction in the bloc’s history. It is also peanuts. Europe’s national governments typically spend 40 to 50 times more as a share of their respective economies. Reducing the fiscal impact further is the EU’s lack of budget deficits or surpluses: Revenue always matches spending.”