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Old 01-06-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default House Republicans challenge Obama on debt limit

AP - In power scarcely a day, House Republicans bluntly told the White House on Thursday its request to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit will require federal spending cuts to win their approval, laying down an early marker in a new era of divided government.




House Republicans challenge Obama on debt limit
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:55 AM   #2
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Either we end up offering higher interest on debt or nobody gonna buy it...

Moody’s, S&P Warn U.S. Debt Will Harm Credit Rating
Friday, January 14, 2011 – Credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s (S&P) have warned that record levels of federal debt would eventually damage the government’s AAA credit rating, a move that would make further borrowing more difficult.
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Moody’s, in its most recent update of borrowing conditions for AAA-rated sovereign debt, said that if the United States does not take action to reform entitlements and control deficit spending, it could lose its coveted AAA rating, which denotes that U.S. debt is the safest type of investment. “We have become increasingly clear about the fact that if there are not offsetting measures to reverse the deterioration in negative fundamentals in the U.S., the likelihood of a negative outlook over the next two years will increase," said Sarah Carlson, senior analyst at Moody's, as reported in the Jan. 14 The Wall Street Journal. Moody’s report said that for the four AAA-rated countries – America, Britain, Germany, and France – reforming their rapidly ballooning entitlement commitments was key to keeping market confidence in place.

“Looking beyond the near-term evolution of their credit metrics, Moody's emphasizes that all four countries face dramatic increases under their existing policy commitments arising from ageing-related pension and healthcare subsidies,” said Moody’s in a Jan. 13 press release. “These future costs must be brought under control if these countries are to maintain long-term stability in their debt burden credit metrics,” said the statement. Moody’s noted that three of the four – France, Britain, and Britain – had undertaken fiscal stability programs aimed at controlling their short-term deficit pictures during the recession. It also noted that America had not taken similar steps.

“With respect to shorter-term considerations, the US has taken a different approach than the other three in its response to the economic and fiscal problems that have emerged in the aftermath of the Great Recession,” said Moody’s. “In particular, the US has recently rolled out a program of additional stimulus while, in contrast, the UK's coalition government has introduced a strong program of deficit reduction in order to address the steep increases in government debt as a result of the financial crisis,” said the credit rating agency. In its report, Moody’s said that while all four countries are currently worthy of AAA status, they must control entitlement costs if they are to “maintain long-term stability in their debt burden credit metrics.”

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:18 PM   #3
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Yea, ever' time Granny hears `bout the national debt, she says dat's ugly...

National debt: The ugly facts
January 17, 2011 -- Commentary: Maya MacGuineas is the director of the fiscal policy program at the New America Foundation.
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The facts are ugly. The federal debt, which has averaged less than 40% of the total economy, now represents more than 60%. It's likely to hit 100% in a little over a decade. You want more? Here's more. Pretty much every impartial analyst has declared the situation unsustainable. And many European countries have already been hit by nervous credit markets worried about their debt levels. Bottom line: If Congress and the president fail to make changes to current policies, the United States will experience some form of a fiscal crisis. Not a pretty picture. And yet policymakers continue to drag their feet.

When it comes to fiscal policy, the political system is stuck in posturing mode. Sorry, the abominable $858 billion tax deal President Obama struck with Republicans last month, in which both sides piled on more to the public debt and called it a win-win, does not qualify as my kind of fiscal compromise. It's time for real compromise. As long as each political party sees an advantage to delaying, we will continue to inch along, closer and closer to that inevitable crisis. Last week, both Moody's and Standard and Poor's commented on the need for the United States to make changes or jeopardize its triple-A credit rating. A few years back, such warnings would have seemed inconceivable.

The gridlock comes in part from both sides believing they are right. Republicans view smaller government as promoting more individual freedoms and as better for the economy because it allows for lower taxes. Fair enough. Democrats see government as serving a more useful purpose -- one that is particularly justified because of the needs of an aging population, years of under investment and growing income inequality. Also legit. On top of that, both sides blame the other for having made the problem worse for political reasons. Unfortunately, both are right.

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Old 01-18-2011, 02:18 AM   #4
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Granny says she ain't got the money an' ya can't get blood outta a turnip...

Federal Debt Jumped $463.6 Billion In First Quarter of FY 2011--As Government Borrowed an Additional $1,500 Per Person in U.S.
Monday, January 17, 2011 - The national debt jumped $463.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (which ran from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31), the Treasury Department reports.
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That means the government borrowed approximately an additional $1,500 for every one of the 308,745,538 men, women and children in the United States as counted by the 2010 Census. If government debt continues to accumulate at that pace through the remaining three quarters of the fiscal year, total new debt for the year would amount to approximately $1.85 trillion--or about $6,000 for every person in the country.

That would rival the $1.89 trillion in new debt the government piled up in fiscal 2009--the greatest debt-accumulation year in the history of the country--when the federal government bailed out some of the nation's largest banks and President Barack Obama signed his economic stimulus package. So far, fiscal 2010 (which ended on Sept. 30) ranks second after fiscal 2009, for the greatest federal debt accumulation--with the government adding $1.65 trillion in new debt that year.

The $463.6 billion in new debt the government accumulated in just the first quarter of fiscal 2011 places that quarter third among quarters in U.S. history for the accumulation of new debt in dollar terms. The first quarter of fiscal 2009, when the government ran up $675.1 billion in new debt, ranks first, and the last quarter of fiscal 2008, when the government ran up $532.7 billion in new debt ranks second.

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Raisin' money to pay off the deficit...

U.S. for sale - Uncle Sam's real estate play
January 19, 2011 -- As Washington deficit hawks scour the federal budget for ways to trim the size of government, they are arriving at one idea with increasing frequency: Put government property on the auction block.
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It's an opportunity rooted in the scale of federal holdings. The government owns somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 million acres of land peppered with 429,000 buildings. That has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle salivating as they look for ways to make a dent in the budget deficit. And not just because the federal government has a lot of property it could unload, but because more than 10% of the buildings are of only marginal use. The roster runs the full range: Lighthouses. Empty buildings no longer used. Big plots of land that once housed government depots.

In fiscal year 2009, the most recent year for which numbers are available, 45,190 buildings were categorized by the government as underutilized. On top of those, 10,327 were counted as "excess" or unwanted. The government's push to sell off excess property started under President George W. Bush. The first step was figuring out how many buildings it owned. "There was no inventory of what the federal government owned," said Clay Johnson III, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget during the Bush Administration. "We asked all agencies to categorize and catalog their holdings."

Once catalogued, the Bush administration encouraged agencies to scale back. The Obama administration followed suit. In June, President Obama directed government agencies to save $8 billion by selling excess property and making other cuts. The calls for reform continue to mount. Obama's fiscal commission incorporated the idea into its budget-slashing proposal, and a bill introduced by a key Republican earlier this month suggested as much as $15 billion could be saved. Compared to the $3.5 trillion annual federal budget, that's chump change.

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Old 02-03-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Granny says we need to start taxin' countries dat wanna sell their stuff here...

National Debt Jumped Another $105.8 Billion in January
Thursday, February 03, 2011 - The federal debt increased by $105.8 billion ($105,835,837,302.32) in January, according to the the U.S. Treasury Department, jumping from $14.0252 trillion ($14,025,215,218,708.52) at the close of business on December 31 to $14.1311 trillion ($14,131,051,056,010.84) at the close of business on January 31.
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That means that in the first four months of fiscal 2011--which began on Oct. 1, 2010--the federal debt has increased by $569.4 billion ($569,428,025,119.05), keeping fiscal 2011 on track to be the second ranking year in U.S. history for an increase in the federal debt. The federal debt increased by $1.89 trillion in fiscal 2009, making that the top ranking year in the history of the United States for increased federal debt. In that fiscal year, Congress passed two extraordinary spending bills--the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program legislation that President George W. Bush signed in October 2008, and the $787-billion stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed in February 2009.

As of now, fiscal 2010 is the second-ranking year in U.S. history for accumulating new federal debt. In that fiscal year, the federal debt increased by $1.65 trillion. However, the federal government’s accumulation of new debt in fiscal 2011 is currently on a pace to outstrip the new debt accumulated in fiscal 2010. If the government continues accumulating debt in the final two thirds of the year as quickly as it did in the first third (October through January), then the total new debt accumulated for fiscal 2011 would reach $1.708 trillion.

So far this year, the government has borrowed an additional 1,844.33 for each of the 308,745,538 people in the United States as counted by the 2010 Census. At the current rate, the federal government this fiscal year would end up borrowing approximately an additional $5,532 for every man, woman and child in the country. As of January 31, the total federal debt stood at $14,131,051,056,010.84, which equals $45,769 per person in the United States.

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