Bernanke Inadvertently Spills The Beans
ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday urged U.S. lawmakers to lift the country’s borrowing limit to avoid a potentially disastrous debt default, warning that the economy was still at risk from political gridlock over the deficit.
Likening Congress to a family arguing that it can improve its credit rating by deciding not to pay its credit card bill, Bernanke said that raising the legal borrowing limit was not the same as authorizing new government spending.
Ah, but that’s not what Congress is akin to.
Congress and The White House is more akin to a paranoid schizophrenic. Indeed, our own President Obama seems to be incapable of remembering what he said just a few years previous:
I quote the entire speech he gave on the floor of the Senate:
From the Congressional Record, March 16, 2006
Mr. (Senator) OBAMA. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans—a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.
But we are not doing that. Despite repeated efforts by Senators CONRAD and FEINGOLD, the Senate continues to reject a return to the commonsense Pay-go rules that used to apply. Previously, Pay-go rules applied both to increases in mandatory spending and to tax cuts. The Senate had to abide by the commonsense budgeting principle of balancing expenses and revenues.
Unfortunately, the principle was abandoned, and now the demands of budget discipline apply only to spending. As a result, tax breaks have not been paid for by reductions in Federal spending, and thus the only way to pay for them has been to increase our deficit to historically high levels and borrow more and more money. Now we have to pay for those tax breaks plus the cost of borrowing for them. Instead of reducing the deficit, as some people claimed, the fiscal policies of this administration and its allies in Congress will add more than $600 million in debt for each of the next 5 years. That is why I will once again cosponsor the Pay-go amendment and continue to hope that my colleagues will return to a smart rule that has worked in the past and can work again.
Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 Presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours.
Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.
But over the last four years President Obama has nearly doubled that $3.5 trillion added, putting roughly $6 trillion of additional debt on the natioanl credit card.
He’s not the only one who’s schizoid when it comes to this issue. Both Republicans and Democrats are likewise exhibiting the same signs of gross mental instability — and that’s being polite.
When you live in a dysfunctional family in which some of your family members will go out and blow $2,000 on hookers and crank one night and then forget they did it the next, or argue that they “promised to pay” and thus must now do so (even though they blew the cash after promising they wouldn’t) refusing to pay the credit card is the only way to stop it, because doing so will cause the bank to cut you off!
When you live in a dysfunctional environment in which everyone lies on a daily basis and is addicted to various things they buy with borrowed money and will not stop spending more than they make because they are mentally ****ed in the head then the only way to return to sanity is for the credit card to get cut up.
And since nobody in this Washington DC family will take scissors to it for more than a day (after which they will call the bank and claim it was lost, getting another one) once again the only answer is to not pay so the bank stamps a great big DEADBEAT across the statement and declines further charges!
The United States Congress and President are that dysfunctional, paranoid schizophrenic family.
The entirety of Washington DC is mentally deranged, incapable of keeping the simplest promise or even remembering what they promised to do in the first place. They’re incapable of keeping an oath of office. They’re incapable of arresting banksters and others who violate the law wholesale with counts of offenses in the hundreds of thousands. They’re incapable of impeaching an Attorney General who appears to have been complicit in running guns to Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the death of many, both Mexican and American. They’re incapable of bringing articles of impeachment against a President who claims he has no intention of registering and confiscating firearms, an act that would be a rank and outrageous violation of the Constitution, while a member of his own party explicitly plots to do exactly that in full daylight.
There is only one way to stop such a deranged group of individuals from destroying this country with irresponsible borrowing and spending — revoke the credit card.
Yeah, it will suck. But it will suck less to do this than it will have our nation implode, and that’s exactly where we’re headed if we don’t cut this crap out — here and now.
Bernanke is wrong and he is in fact one of the members of the deluded.