Good going, GOP House: Thanks for increasing the debt by $1 trillion in 10 months

posted at 6:35 pm on January 11, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Yesterday, as the New Hampshire returns rolled in, I tweeted wearily, “I’d hoped for something different.” The incomparable Stephen Kruiser tweeted back, “You’re young. Get used to saying that if you plan on staying in the GOP.”

That wisdom returned to me this morning when I read this from CNSNews.com:

When the Republican-controlled House approved its first CR on March 4, 2011, the national debt was 14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Jan. 9, 2012, the national debt was 15,236,506,139,986.86.

That means the debt increased by $1.05 trillion over the past ten months.

That equals approximately $8,964 for each of the 117,572,000 American households estimated by the Census Bureau.

At the current rate, the Republican-controlled House is agreeing to allow the U.S. Treasury to borrow approximately an additional $896 per month in the name of each American household.

Already, I can hear the excuses, starting with, “We’re just one-half of one-third of the government; what did you expect us to do?” Yes, but take away excuses and all that’s left are results. Complacency is not the way to change the status quo, as John Hawkins reminds us:

If you want to see a great example of how weak kneed much of the conservative movement has become, look back to the Bush years when the GOP controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House. What did the GOP do to move the country to the Right? Nothing of consequence besides the Bush tax cuts, which weren’t even permanent. In fact, you could make a good argument that the most significant piece of legislation during the Bush years was Medicare Part D, which moved the country to the LEFT, not the right. During the Bush years, there was even a push for comprehensive immigration reform, which was a politically suicidal attempt to pass legislation that was anathema to conservatives, would have hurt America, and would have handed several million additional votes to the Democratic Party. That is how cowed and intimidated many conservatives have become.

The refusal of conservatives in power to show the courage it takes to move the ball forward for conservatism puts the rest of the movement in an impossible position. We’re like a football team with a great defense and a mediocre offense that’s down by 21 points at the start of the fourth quarter. How do we catch up? We end up throwing Hail Marys in hopes that we’ll get lucky. We get overly excited about incendiary rhetoric, “pure” but unelectable candidates, or huge, almost impossible-to-pass bills. We propose Balanced Budget Amendments, the Fair Tax, The Ryan Plan — and it’s not that these are bad ideas. To the contrary, they’re great ideas that would be phenomenal for the country if they passed. But, there’s the rub. The American people are instinctively skeptical of big changes, every Democrat will oppose these bills, and we’d probably need 65 Republicans in the Senate to pass anything of consequence because they’re so meek. So, in the end, we propose these massive changes, we talk about them endlessly, and yet very few small steps to the right actually happen in practice. This is the political logjam conservatives have lived with from the late-nineties onward.

Perhaps Republicans in the House think they are thinking for the long-term. They are, no doubt, thinking about their own reelections, fearing the smears Democrats are so skillful at spreading. In every CR fight, they’ve shuddered at the thought of a government shutdown because they assumed they’d be blamed. Perhaps they were right — but, in the end, perhaps they might also have accomplished something had they allowed that to happen. If they really feared a shutdown for non-political purposes — that is, if they really thought a shutdown would be too harmful to government workers and others who couldn’t afford to sit in darkness for a week or two — then they should have passed legislation like Rep. James Lankford’s to forestall it — and to ensure that any time Congress came up against a shutdown, they’d be forced to make spending cuts.

To be sure, the Democratic Senate is largely to blame for the spotty way in which Congress has managed the nation’s fiscal affairs. The Senate has not passed a budget in 987 days. That was and is and will be inexcusable for as long as they refuse to put a plan to paper. But I’ve come to expect that from this crop of Ds. From the new Republican majority in the House, I’d hoped for something different.

Update: This post originally said the Senate had not passed a budget in more than 1,000 days, when, in fact, the correct count is 987 days. The post has been corrected above.


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I don’t fear the Democratic party in the least. They are the party of ignorance, small ideas, and failed policies and ideology, and prove this every time they gain a modicum of control. The GOP and state Republican organizations are the biggest threat because they are the party of two-faced lies and the continuation of the status quo of corruption, power, and greed by any means at their disposal, at the expense of the people and the future of this nation.

Time for a new party, maybe the “RCM” or “Revolutionary Conservative Movement”. Time to clean House. And Senate. And Executive. And Judicial. And State. And Local. Chase the vermin out of every nook and cranny of the halls of government. And then we must set up a lot of spring traps to keep the vermin from coming back in.

The first order of business would be to abandon once and for all the corrupt, insider GOP and state republican organizations by boycotting support for their sham candidates in any and all races. Yes, we would lose elections in the near term by splitting the vote, but we could destroy the power of the insider elites running the GOP and state republican organizations by putting the wooden stake into the beast. The former leadership of the failed GOP and state republican organizations must never be allowed to join the RCM to prevent that scum from again co-opting the Movement such as they did with the Tea Party.

Then we proceed by getting our own candidates elected to office, and then finally start to rebuild this nation by putting a choker collar and a short leash on government and big money.

I am a conservative who will once again be voting not-Democratic and not-Republican.

God Bless America.

AttaBoyLuther on January 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Fiscally speaking, the difference between the R’s and the D’s is………………….

Boy are we screwed!

GFW on January 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM

But much more so with the dems.

WryTrvllr on January 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Fiscally speaking, the difference between the R’s and the D’s is………………….

Boy are we screwed!

GFW on January 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM

But much more so with the dems.

WryTrvllr on January 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM

With the Rs, we might fiscally make it to the 2016 election, with the collapse shortly thereafter. With Teh SCOAMF, not a chance.

Steve Eggleston on January 11, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Randall Hoven on January 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Now that is probably the most lucid comment I’ve read here in quite a while. It pains me to no end to realize it is right on the mark.

Tenwheeler on January 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Sorry, Randall’s comment was left out….
I’ll try again.

Conservatives are to the Republican Party what blacks are to the Democratic Party.

Randall Hoven on January 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Now that is probably the most lucid comment I’ve read here in quite a while. It pains me to no end to realize it is right on the mark.

Tenwheeler on January 11, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Well, at least they passed a tax increase on those that make over $110,000. It’s in the payroll tax extension (2% increase) that will be assessed when you file your 2012 taxes. Why aren’t the GOP highlighting this fact? Why aren’t they exposing Obama’s rhetoric of helping so many Americans when they will have to pay it back at the end of the year? How does this spur economic activity? Especially when the people who will spend it (and not pay down debt) will have to pay it back?
This is what frustrates me with the GOP. So many battles lost due to cowardice. That’s why Gingrich has done so well. He has confronted the enemy (the media) and called them to task. Same with Christie and Palin.

djaymick on January 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM

No. It’s worse than that. My Wife and i combined make that, and will obviously pay the EVER increasing payroll tax, and AMT, just later in the year. We both work, at minimum 65 hours per week. (NOT LOOKING for violins, I know many people do. AND for much less.) I just can’t believe what a hypocrit the dems are. We were not looking to refi our jumbo. We got a call from a bank for a 3.25 Fixed. Duhh. Now it is owned by Fannie Mae. I have another HIGH, really HIGH, risk hobby, insured by a subsidiary of AIG. When they got bailed out, they offered new premium at 50% of previous. Bailout??? Using the funds to undercut the competition sounds more like it.

O’bozo is no fool. He can’t do it in public. So he does it on the sly.

THROW THEM OUT!!!! Even if I have to pay more!!!!!!!!!!

WryTrvllr on January 11, 2012 at 10:29 PM

The Republican Party is where conservatives go to DIE.

rcl on January 11, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The “good” news – the average 52-week debt increase dropped from $1.68 trillion between 1/19/2010 (covering the first full year of Obama) and 3/4/2011 to $1.29 trillion between 3/7/2011 (stretching back to 3/8/2010) and now.

The bad news – the lowest 52-week debt increase during Obama’s term was in the middle of the debt-ceiling fight, when the debt increased “only” $1.05 trillion between 8/2/2010 and 8/1/2011 due to the inability of government to increase its debt for several months.

The ugly news – the last 52-week debt increase, between 1/11/2011 and 1/10/2012, was $1.22 trillion.

The real ugly news – the record annual nominal GDP increase was $0.77 trillion in 2005, or if you prefer quarter-to-quarter “seasonally-adjusted-and-annualized numbers, $0.83 trillion between the 2nd quarter of 2005 and the 2nd quarter of 2006. This year’s nominal GDP increase looks to be in the $0.54 trillion to $0.60 trillion range.

Steve Eggleston on January 11, 2012 at 10:57 PM

First of all, John Boehner is NOT a conservative nor is Mitch McConnell. They had to know this was going to happen, yet both of them put on a show, when they raised the debt ceiling, that it included cuts. As Krauthammer is apt to say, their savings were little more than a rounding error.

We need new leadership in the House and the Senate and we need it before the election, if we intend to retake the Senate and maintain our margin in the House. Why would people want to vote Republican after what Boehner and McConnell have negotiated over the past year?

bflat879 on January 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

These political hacks care about nothing except preserving their place in the new world. All they had to do was say, “No!“. But they bowed down to their future master, hoping he will allow them to have a beer with him occasionally.

I expect Obama to get us into WW III shortly, where we will lose a couple of divisions of ground troops, a destroyer or two, and possibly even an aircraft carrier. After which Obama and Congress will surrender…agreeing to pay reparations for the next 100 years to any country where an American ever set foot…all conditioned by a guarantee that Obama and his heirs will remain as rulers of America.

We are being guided down the road to serfdom by our ‘leaders‘. We can follow their commands or live as free Americans…there is no other choice.

http://www.rongoulden.com/Literary.htm

xmanvietnam on January 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM

I voted straight GOP last time, first time since 94. I’m not sure I’m voting for ANY Republicans this time. The party is rotten from top to bottom.

james23 on January 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Ummm…who did you vote for before, liberals? GFY, chump.

Jaibones on January 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Conservatives are to the Republican Party what blacks are to the Democratic Party.

Randall Hoven on January 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

It hurts me to say it, but this is right far too often.

Jaibones on January 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM

xmanvietnam on January 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM

You forgot the heavy irradiation of the landspace between the Rockies and the Appalachians (can’t have us pesky Midwest/Plains types upsetting the applecart) </hat_tin_foil>

Steve Eggleston on January 11, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Steve Eggleston on January 11, 2012 at 11:48 PM

The most interesting (and difficult) thing about xmanvietnam? That comment represents wishful thinking — a strong desire to get out from under something, to shunt an oppression. The manifestation is different in different people, but that feeling is the one under our collective surface.

Axe on January 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Anyone surprised that the Spelunker of the House presided over more of the same?…

Gohawgs on January 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM

With the Rs, we might fiscally make it to the 2016 election, with the collapse shortly thereafter. With Teh SCOAMF, not a chance.

Steve Eggleston on January 11, 2012 at 10:21 PM

With the Dems it’s rather like sending a bunch of pyromaniacs to put out a fire.

One thing for sure, all these folks up there, whether they’re establishment party types, Ron Paul, or TEA Party sucker-uppers will make sure their own nests are well feathered prior to the collapse.

One reason I don’t comment on these GOP vs GOP threads is that it’s rather like getting in an argument over whether the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy are funnier, or what the best Beatles song is.

I’m left voting for the candidate who I feel will manage their part of government the best for their personal bottom line and thus make it better for us…the new version of “trickle down”…because NONE of them really have our six.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 12, 2012 at 1:45 AM

@Nom de Boom I LOVE that idea! Thanks so much for the feedback and for the reminder that, as interesting as national news can be, it’s not necessarily the most important.

Tina Korbe on January 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Well, at the time that we were arguing over what concessions to get in order to raise the debt limit, I had but one thing to say. Just say no. Republicans in the House could have blocked the debt increase and called Obama’s bluff like he asked them to. If we had a gov’t shutdown, the House GOP could simply point to our skyrocketing national debt and say, “look, we’re doing what’s best for the country” and point out that Obama wants to bankrupt us. Sure it would have been tough, but not as tough as Washington crossing the Delaware. Just serves to remind me that our politicians have no spine.

The Spear on January 12, 2012 at 7:45 AM

This is an incredibly disengenous article. Yes, the House does have control of the checkbook, however, the Senate HAS NOT PASSED A BUDGET IN OVER 900 DAYS and our government has been using continuing resolutions for budgeting. There is NO WAY we are going to cut federal spending with this paradigm. The DEMOCRATS in the Sentate KNOW exactly what they are doing!! There has not been a joint meeting of the House and Senate in over three years after both pass their budgets and then sit down to hammer out the details — that is where the real cutting would take place. WE HAVE A VERY, VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL GOVERNMENT AT THIS TIME IN OUR HISTORY as well as a very, very dysfuntional populace with an extremely low understanding of the budgetary process…..with the national debt now exceeding our GDP and the interest on the national debt approaching 800 BILLION per year our country will probably NEVER dig its way out from under our mountain of debt. I expect the confiscation of retirement accounts by the government to take place sometime in my lifetime due to our inability to live within our means.

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on January 12, 2012 at 9:03 AM

The refusal of conservatives in power to show the courage it takes to move the ball forward for conservatism puts the rest of the movement in an impossible position.

Thought the tea party was all about cutting debt?

Uppereastside on January 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM

It pretty much is. The main inconsistency you’ve found is between Dem propaganda and reality. You’ve heard the “Tea Party Controls the House(!!)”, but the TPM feels that it influenced the elections, but the politicians put in place have gotten a little slack and weak-kneed in front of the media.

An analogy is that Obama is doing just what the lefties want him to do and no other–why? Because they were happy to elect him to office. See how Dem-think doesn’t work when applied to another case–because you guys don’t think–just repeat.

Besides, with the President and the Senate telling the House what budgets are “dead on arrival” there is only so much a “Tea Party House that holds the country for ransom (like some sort of zombies or something)” can do.

“You claim to be a man of morals, but if we knock you down and steal your clothes–you walk around NAKED! Explain that!!”

Try to point this out and they scream class warfare.

Nah, stinks more of BS, to me.

Axeman on January 12, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Our problem in Congress is one word BOEHNER.

Our problem overall is one word LEADERSHIP.

Romney at best will be another Boehner more big government lets compromise and replace big dem gov with a better big Repub gov plan.

Hands up demoralized conservative from the S.

C-Low on January 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Lets start a list of RINO Republicans that need to go in the next election.

I will start with Luger Ind.

openeyes67 on January 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Boehner still doesn’t get it . He doesn’t

kens on January 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Does this surprise anyone?

I will echo what rickyrciardo said earlier in these comments… we are basically a one party government. It’s kind of like religion… all religions preach the same basic moral line of “do unto others, don’t kill, don’t steal, etc”, where they differ is in the dogma which is just a difference for show and to keep the electorate arguing over inconsequential garbage. The GOP and Dems are the same way… they are both big gov’t parties, because it lines their own pockets and keeps them running the show… the only place they differ is in the dogma, but the basic philosophy underlining the parties is exactly the same. More tax money to hand out for pet projects for their contributors means more money back to them for re-election and lining their own bank accounts. And, as long as they are writing the rules that govern it all, why in name of all that is good and holy would they ever want to change it?!

Sorry to break it to you, but the GOP has no more interest in shrinking gov’t than the Dems do.

But hey, let’s elect Romney. He’ll fix it with Boehner and McConnell, right? …Right? …Buehler?

gravityman on January 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Oops… bad editing. Ed, give us an edit function!!

I meant to say the dogma of the parties is just a sideshow for the electorate to argue over, not religon.

gravityman on January 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Meanwhile, Boehner and half of the GOP Congress are still looking for some testicles – b/c they don’t have any right now !

Don’t believe me? Check the DC Want Ads…they are looking.

Michael73501 on January 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I don’t know what I would have expected from the realignment of power in the House, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected more than trying to put some kind of roadblock on expanding spending.

I think that the political conventional wisdom would have been that 2010 was an anamoly, a fluke. It will blow over. Nothing to worry about. Hang on [Democrats] keep the spending going, because the electorate will come to their senses and know where their entitlements come from.

So, I would think, the 2012 election, even if Obama is reelected, will be the real watershed, if the Democrats lose the Senate (a decisive loss, i.e. cloture majority, would be magnificent) and the GOP extends its majority in the House. Because either 2010 was a fluke, though the number of Democrats who are choosing to retire or not run again may indicate that now they aren’t so sure it was a fluke, or it was a signal of a real change in how the electorate thinks.

Russ808 on January 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

We need new leadership in the House and the Senate and we need it before the election, if we intend to retake the Senate and maintain our margin in the House. Why would people want to vote Republican after what Boehner and McConnell have negotiated over the past year?

bflat879 on January 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

The ONLY thing that stopped the facist freight train was the Tea Party and the stubborn members they sent to Washington. We cannot give up even if the estblishment has lost us the election for the White House.

And I hate to borrow an Obama meme, but the Republicans really are losing the messaging war. That’s why I like Newt even after he’s stuck his foot in it. He’s not a coward at messaging. Romney’s out there telling people Obama is a swell guy. He’s just in over his head. Not the stuff inspiration is made of.

Portia46 on January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

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