Common Cents: A Vacation from My Problems
It’s difficult to break the gridlock in Washington. No one seems to be able to come to an agreement on anything. Take government spending, for example. Some deny the U.S. has a spending problem, and others are absolutely, positively sure the debt going to take us under, but there is one thing they can all agree on: It’s time for a week-long break. The sequester spending cuts will take effect on March 1, and uncertainty is high over what will happen. Is it really the best time for a vacation?
WHAT SPENDING PROBLEM?
President Obama: “We don’t have a spending problem.” (Stephen Moore, “The Education of John Boehner,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/6/13)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “[I]t is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem, we have a budget deficit problem.” (Fox News Channel, “Fox News Sunday,” 2/10/13)
Sen. Tom Harkin: “I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem. Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem. And when they talk about that, it’s like there’s an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke.” (Tom Harkin, C-SPAN, 2/14/13)
Rep. Steny Hoyer: We Have A “Paying-For” Problem. “The country has a paying for-problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought. We haven’t paid for our tax cuts. We haven’t paid for the war. … If we don’t pay, we shouldn’t buy.” (“Dem Leader Refuses to Say We Have a Spending Problem—U.S. Has a ‘Paying-For Problem,” Fox News, 2/12/13)
Washington Post: “Obama: Job of debt reduction nearly done” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama: Job of debt reduction nearly done,” Washington Post, 2/11/13)
OH, WE DEFINITELY HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Of course the president believes that we have a spending problem.” (Donovan Slack, “W.H.: We have a spending problem,” POLITICO, 2/11/13)
Rep. Paul Ryan: “It seems like they’re just trying to sweep our fiscal problems under the rug and call it a day, … We’ve spent years debating — inside groups, outside groups — talking about a debt crisis. And now they’re trying to suggest that the problem is nearly solved, and don’t worry about it.” (Karen Tumulty and Lori Montgomery, “Is the deficit losing its urgency?” Washington Post, 2/13/13)
SO LET’S GO ON A WEEK-LONG VACATION
Congress Taking Week Off Before March 1 Sequester Deadline: “A divided Congress will take next week off and then return to a familiar conflict: a looming, self-inflicted budget deadline that threatens economic stability with no resolution in sight on how to resolve it.” (Susan Davis, “Congress has no clear path to avoid broad budget cuts,” USA Today, 2/13/13)
- FLASHBACK: Pelosi: No Vacation Until We Deal With Sequester: “The House should not recess and Members of Congress should not go home until we finish our work, reach an agreement, and avert this crisis.” (Igor Bobic, “Pelosi To Boehner: No Recess Until We Replace Sequester,” Talking Points Memo, 2/11/13)
Obama Off To Palm Beach. “President Obama will be enjoying a little R and R — and no doubt some golf — this weekend during a vacation in West Palm Beach.” (Donovan Slack, “Obama to vacation in Palm Beach,” POLITICO, 2/13/13)