Fiscal Responsiblity and the Debt Ceiling... Do They Not Go Hand In Hand?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

As the debt ceiling/budget drams continues a conservative, and I mean a real conservative, can only applaud Senator Kent Conrad for the 800 billion cut in defense spending he is proposing over the next ten years. It is indeed time to roll back the Military Industrial Complex. Kudos Senator Conrad. More on this later.

What bothers me is his plan is meant as an alternative to the necessary cuts required in entitlement spending {including SS} that is likely to come out of this weekend's budget summit. Indeed it is time for the democratic party to lay their cards squarely on the table. As it is the republicans as well. It is time to get to the "bottom line" of each party.

Ultimately, IMO, the national leadership of both parties will raise the debt ceiling. Just as our founding fathers would have them do. Whether or not they effectively address the deficit, and the necessary spending cuts to put us on a firm path to fiscal responsibility in the future remains to be seen. Don't forget, both parties have an an agenda. And the elite power structure in both parties hold the cards.

Now to the guts of this post. Reported by The Hill.
By Erik Wasson - 07/09/11 12:07 PM ET

The secret Senate Democratic budget resolution relies heavily on $800 billion in cuts to the Pentagon.

The secret Senate Democratic budget resolution drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and shared with the White House relies heavily on cuts to the Pentagon which would see its budget slashed by more than $800 billion over 10 years, according to sources.

Overall security spending is cut by $886 billion in the budget which Senate leadership is still mulling making public. Under law the Senate was to have agreed on a budget by April 15.

This compares to $178 billion in security cuts in the House-passed budget resolution, only $78 billion of which is not reinvested in the defense budget. President Obama in his April deficit reduction framework called for $400 billion in security cuts over 12 years.

The plan has been signed off on by budget committee Democrats but some in the full caucus like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said cannot support it because it contains as many tax increases as it does spending cuts. Conrad outlined the plan to President Obama in a meeting on Friday according to a source familiar with the meeting.

The budget ends Bush era tax rates for families making over $1 million per year and for individuals making over $500,000 per year. It also recommends ending tax expenditures but leaves it up to the Senate Finance Committee to decide which tax breaks to end, including the popular home mortgage interest deduction.

The budget cuts $350 billion from domestic programs over ten years and counts $600 billion from reduced interest on the national debt.

Social Security is untouched, while $80 billion is cut from other entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The budget reaches primary balance by 2014 and achieves over $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

Senate Democrats want the White House to weigh the plan as an alternative to a possible compromise emerging out of this weekend's budget summit which could have deeper cuts to entitlements, including Social Security, and which would have less revenue increases.

Remember this... Ultimately the President holds the trump card. As I have noted in a few posts, lets not win the battle only to lose the war fellow conservatives. Look to the bigger picture.

Cross posted to Rational Nation USA

Via: Memeorandum

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