Friday, July 29, 2011

Dent: Defaulting Not an Option

Yesterday afternoon, LV Congressman Charlie Dent spoke on the House floor in support of the Budget Control Act, which will raise the debt limit and prevent the country from spiraling into default. (You can see the video here). I have transcribed the speech, adding links to news articles that substantiate what Dent said.
First and foremost, we, the United States House of Representatives, have an obligation to govern. We have a tremendous responsibility to the American people to consider this plan that insures our nation does not default on our nation's commitments, while at the same time places this country on a sustainable fiscal path.

Let me be clear. Defaulting on America's obligations to our creditors, to our seniors, disabled veterans, active military personnel, college students and many others, is not an option.

This Bill prevents a default, and it pays our bills.

Congress must act quickly to deter a ratings downgrade, a downgrade that will affect families and small businesses all across the country. Only a sound, credible plan that places us on that sustainable trajectory will prevent that threatened downgrade, driven in part by an unprecedented spending binge by this administration, which has blown up the fiscal balance sheet.

A previous speaker said a few moments ago that we're playing games. I can assure you, this is no game. This is serious stuff. And speaking of serious, the White House has still refused to offer a serious, specific plan, in writing, that we can review. In fact, in a stinging rebuke of the administration, the nonpartisan Director of the CBO - Doug Elmendorf - said, "We don't estimate speeches."

The Senate's dug in its heels, too. It would be nice if they passed a Bill. Any Bill. It's been 800 days since there's been a budget. It's time for them to act, and to move to prevent this type of fiscal calamity that many have predicted.

I ask my colleagues to support this legislation. It's a step forward. It may not be the final product, but it moves this process forward. I encourage the Senate to take it up. But most importantly, we have a sacred duty and a solemn obligation to lead and act. We do have that affirmative obligation to govern for the benefit of our country and the American people.

The world is watching. Americans are watching. It's time for us to lead and demonstrate American exceptionalism.

Why are Republicans insisting on cuts in spending? As the graph above demonstrates, spending under Obama has been out of control.


Anonymous said...

Charlie is sitting way back in the halls of Congress so he does not become part of the solution. Irrelevant Charlie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I may have deleted a comment by mistake. But I meant to delete a comment that was vulgar. "Clem," make your points without crawling in the gutter, please.

Lighthouse said...

1.) Dent: "Its been 800 days since there's been a budget". Divided by 365 days in a year, that is 2.19 years ... Thanks to the computer, I can say that speaking on July 28,2011 means that the U.S. Senate has not (per Dent, and the Weekly Standard) passed a budget since May 19, 2009. How did FY2010 and FY2011 get approved in our bi-cameral legislature to be sent to the President?? Impossible, thus inaccurate, on the very face of it.

2.) "Let me be clear".... at least Rep. Dent has the bi-partisan lingo down, as that is a nauseatingly familiar cliche of President Obama, regardless of his topic.

3.) if you look at your chart, it is obvious that our debt problems began during the Bush II years when the GOP controled the Presidency, House, and Senate. Debt ceiling was raised several times without any concern of then Representative Boehner, nor Representative Dent. Even, hypocritically, criticized by then Senator Obama. It then explodes with FY2009, which was the last budget signed off on by President Bush as the bottom fell out due to the previous deregulation of banking, securities, and mortgages. As Bernie said a few days ago, "a pox on both their houses."

Lighthouse said...

Latest Title: Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] (introduced 4/11/2011) Cosponsors (None)
Related Bills: H.CON.RES.35, H.CON.RES.36, H.RES.218, H.R.1
Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 112-10 [GPO: Text, PDF]

4/11/2011 Introduced in House
4/14/2011 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 260 - 167 (Roll no. 268).
4/14/2011 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Received in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by Yea-Nay. 81 - 19. Record Vote Number: 61.
4/15/2011 Presented to President.
4/15/2011 Signed by President.
4/15/2011 Became Public Law No: 112-010 [Text, PDF]

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse, your 1:45 comment is NOT a budget. It is a continuing resolution. Iy allows the government to fund programs at their curent levels in the absence of an actual budget. Otherwise, the government shuts down. What you have cited actually makes Dent's point. I know it is hard to believe, but there has been no formal budget for well over 800 days.

The federal budget is a complicated mess, and usually consists of a number of appropriation measures.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse, In response to your three points:

(1) The statement is accurate. The Senate has not adopted a budget in over 800 days. FY2010 and 2011 were never approved. Instead, there are "continuing resolutions" to keep the money going out. George Will points this out as well, in his most recent column. I have explained continuing resolutions in my previous comment. Newt Gingrich managed to shout down the government by refusing to vote for a budget or a CR. That backfired.

2) You are free to condemn Dent's choice of words. I think he was trying to be clear.

3) Of course, the debt problems started under Bush. He thought we could go to war without making any sacrifices at all. It caught up with us. Rs grumbled about it, but did nothing to stop it. Now they are, especially since Obama's spending is far worse, and it's being done w/o a budget. I think it's fair to tag them for their failure to take action with Bush, although we were not in a recession then. But their failure to speak out then is no reason why they should remain silent now, when the economy is shot and Obama has tripled the deficit.

Anonymous said...

Does Charlie represent the people of the 15th District or does he represent the tea party?

Anonymous said...

It was not nearly as bad as the teabagger comments that stand here regularly. I called him a pussy, which, in the context of failing to stand strong and playing the default card, is exactly what he is.

When the subject is Charlie and his pontifications and capitulations, the delete button gets pressed a lot more quickly.

What is it about Charlie? Much worse about Ron is left up.


Anonymous said...

Threatening his fellow Congressmen by shouting, "Get your ass in line!" by the Speaker of the House of Representatives is not the way to govern. It's no wonder this didn't come to a vote last night. Boehner is threatening and holding the nation hostage without compromise. I cannot believe there is such animosity and loathing within Congress, that we can't get the job done with compromise. If we default, vote the bums out. Including Dent for not compromising.

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

The ones playing politics with this are the Democrats and Reid. We've heard for days that the Boehner bill, once passed by the House, is dead on arrival in the Senate. Reid will have it quickly voted down as is and insert his own language to make it the bill that Senate Dems want.

Well, then why not do the same thing with the Cut, Cap & Balance bill passed last week by the House? That bill was tabled, and could be brought back up.

Could it be that Cut, Cap & Balance could actually pass? Could it be that Reid doesn't want members of his Party to have to go on record as opposing a Balanced Budget amendment?

This whole waiting game on the Boehner bill is theater brought on by the Senate Dems because they won't hold a vote on what they already have.

Anonymous said...

I love the anger and frustration and resignation expressed by the sophomoric scrotum worshippers. Just over a year ago, the sack-obsessed said the tea party didn't really exist. Then, they said it was astroturf and not true grassroots. Then, they said it existed, but was a small fringe element. Then, they were racists, bigots, homophobes, and people who kicked disabled children.

Now, they've won elections, control the current political debate, and have liberals crying louder than when their flavor of entitlement is eliminated.

The tea party went from not existing to making most of the political process its bitch with fewer than 60 House members. Not bad for astroturf.

Anonymous said...


During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion


Lighthouse said...


First, let me say that I respect what you do with LVR. Sometimes the topics and/or posters may go off in some pretty wild directions, but it is a great forum you provide (especially on NorCo topics, where you are virtually the only forum). I agree with you much more often than not, and when we occaisionally do not, we have a healthy dialog.

Re the "budget", you are correct that it was a continuing resolution. Sadly, that is what both chambers of Congress gave the U.S. public as the final "budget" for FY2011, so it becames a debate of semantics. And now, this pattern of temporary "continuing resolution" budgets is the same pattern being suggested by the Speaker, is it not? With it would we not be in this debate several months from now for another vote on extending the ceiling --- just in time to kick off the 2012 House/Presidential campaign season? Tell me, that would be an environment of bi-partisan cooperation. Similiarly, will we have a real "budget" by Oct 1st?

I used to actually prefer a divided government as a temporizing force to protect against extremes. I guess, in a way that is what is happening ... but it sure looks dysfunctional, and can't be a permanent state of affairs. 2012 is going to be an interesting year.

Tom Foolery said...


WE wouldn't be dealing with this so called crisis if the Republican House would have signed a clean debt ceiling raise and then dealt with their budget issues at a later date...It's that simple..Obama's debt is mainly from continuing Bush's wars and his out of control defense spending. His stimulas plan was so watered down by the time he got it through the senate ( Just like his health care plan) that it was essentially a welfare plan for the states.. But again, it doesnt matter who got us here. The crisis at hand is caused by the tea party psychos who decided to tie the debt ceiling issue to insane spending cuts while ignoring the need for revenues..Anybody in their right mind that thinks we can get out of this mess without cutting spending and increasing revenues just isn't in their right mind..

Jon Geeting said...

You are a hack or an idiot. No, Obama has not "tripled the deficit." the recession. Part of the deficit is the Bush tax cuts that Dent voted to extend. It's also the wars that Dent voted for. It's also TARP that Dent voted for. The stimulus is a big chunk of our *debt* in 2011, but it is has nothing to do with the structural *deficit*. That spending goes away next year and will be paid off in a few short years.

Capri said...

I didn't read the article or the comments, think the pox does belong on both houses, but just a quick point on the graphic you used:

Although the deficit made a HUGE jump in FY 2009, President Obama was not responsible for that year's budget, he didn't sign it or have anything to do with its creation (though obviously many democratic congresspeople did!). The figures may be correct, but the "shading" that shows that gigantic leap being squarely the responsibility of Obama is seriously, seriously misleading.

Anonymous said...


During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion"

8 years x 12 months = 96 months

96 months / 19 increases = 5.05 months average length of extension.

Why do Dems suddenly have a problem with a six-month extension? They felt no obligation to pass a budget for two years while they controlled the entire process. This issue is a winner for Rs and a terrible loser for Ds. That's why they don't want to debate it again during the presidential campaign. Look what it's done already to what's left of Obama's approval ratings.

Anonymous said...

How is that HOPE and CHANGE working out for YOU?

Do you really WANT four more years of "Progress"?

Then go ahead and re-elect your Messiah!

Give him back his Super Majority, too.

Go for it!!!


Anonymous said...


First, even though you are a blatantly partisan for Rep. Dent, I want to commend you for finally adding some links to back up your argument. Prior to this you simply have made what I consider to be political statements/endorsements of the Dent line. So kudos for that.

With that being said ... Speaker Boehner is trying to push through a plan that has zero support from Democrats and cuts less than what he had worked out with the White House a week ago ... and walked away from. If the rhetoric that Obama wanted to add an additional $400B of revenue came at the "last minute" is true, he could have negotiated that, and could have stated that when he walked out and not a few days later.

Boehner was also on Laura Ingram's radio show two days ago and made the argument that the Tea Party wing should vote for his plan specifically because congressional Dems. and Obama are against it. I do not have a link to this but I heard it live. Clearly, Boehner is trying to make a political statement and not solve the problem at hand, and Rep. Dent is playing right along.

As for the Federal budget, lets just dig a little deeper for some understanding. In 2009 spending was $3.107T and revenues were $2.162T and in 2010 spending was $3.456T and Revenues were $2.162T. All are estimates and can be found here -

So on the surface, Bush's last budget was $349B less spending than Obama's first budget. But digging a little deeper, $280B of the new spending was mandatory and $69B of that was discretionary. And of the discretionary spending, $663.7B was for defense, an increase of 14.9%, or $84.3B in real dollars. Thus, the non-discretionary non-defense spending was actually down $15.3B from the 2009 budget.

While I do not have the link, I am sure he voted yes for that bill, as well as his recent vote yes on the defense appropriations bill that was above last year's level. Please correct me if I am wrong.

To summerize, Dent is willing to vote "yes" on a partisan bill that cuts less future spending than the deal Boehner had worked out with the White House early last week, he has voted to increase defense spending, and all of the additional spending has been non-discretionary and defense related. He is correct that a ratings downgrade will not be a good thing.

What he should be working towards is a plan that can pass both houses and get signed by the President, as well as be good for the economy. Such a bill would reduce spending, get rid of loopholes, and raise revenues. But if past history is an indication of the future, Dent will continue to be a "good foot soldier" and vote the way leadership wants.


Bernie O'Hare said...

"I want to commend you for finally adding some links to back up your argument. Prior to this you simply have made what I consider to be political statements/endorsements of the Dent line."

Publius, I always provide links to back up my arguments. I usually do not provide links when I am repeating news releases or transcribing speeches. I did so here bc I wanted to establish whether what Dent said could be substantiated, I found that everything he said was accurate.

Bernie O'Hare said...


I do not like the teabagger comments either, and actually have deleted a few of them. But then what happens is people use the term even more bc they are trying to provoke me, not make an argument.

I pretty much leave a lot of critical comments about people I like, including Ron and Dent. But I don't really care too much for vulgarity. I sometimes do it myself, and have actually deleted myself.

I would appreciate it if you could make your argument without resorting to vulgarity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" And now, this pattern of temporary "continuing resolution" budgets is the same pattern being suggested by the Speaker, is it not?"

No. Under Boehner, there have been CRs bc there have to be, to keep the government going. But the House has also voted on several appropriation measures that do make changes. None of them are being acted on in the Senate. There has been no real budget, just continuing resolutions for more of the same. Rs have finally started inserting some of their cuts into the CRs bc it is the only way they can get things done.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You are a hack or an idiot."

Jonathan, Name-calling is the last refuge of people who have no argument. There is no question that Bush is responsible for much of this mess. And as Capri notes, much of Obama's first year spending is Bush. But after that, it is all Obama. You can say this extra spending was made necessary by the recession, but the fact is that this extra spending was supported and promoted by Obama. He supported TARP, too, which incidentally is being paid back.

Tom Foolery said...

In case no one noticed the Government , including House Republicans passed a budget where expenditures exceeded revenue...Now that they passed this budget, they don't want to pay for it..Are they absolutely nuts or what? Someone please drown these wingnuts!

Anonymous said...


I would disagree that what Dent said is accurate. Both sides are talking about "spending cuts." The Senate bill has spending cuts in it at about the same level. And if we are being totally honest, none of the cuts are actual cuts in spending, but spending will increase at a slower rate than the baseline of 5.5%. Only in Washington does "spending cuts" equate to increased spending ... but at a lower rate. See this for details:

Also, there was a short-term default in 1979 under similar circumstances. Not much came of it. For more details, go here -

All Dent is doing is acting like the career politician he is. What he is doing (any of them for that matter) is irresponsible. Period. This is not solving anything economically, just playing politics.



Anderson Vanderbilt said...

You should let the teabagger references stand. They are illustrative of the assholes from which they seep. And the tea party appears to gain strength with each utterance. Unless, of course, the tea party really doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

There is no buracracey in this nation who can consistently spend more than it makes, except for the nation itself.

$14.3 trillion as it now stands should be a sure sign that the ATM machine of China is close to being empty.

If this government wants to continue its cash advance on every taxpayer in the USA, the consequences will reveal themselves in 30 years when we become a third world nation.

Wanting everything and paying for nothing has very grave outcomes. I want our elected officers in Washington to stop spending money thats not there.


Anonymous said...

Does that chart for the Bush years include the war costs that were off budget?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not know.

Chris Miller said...

You can lay the blame for the mess at the feet of Bush and Obama and at both parties. However, I would go back to good old Woodrow Wilson right up until today a couple of exceptions acutally being Harding and Coolidge. We have been building an entitlement nation for over 100 years and as long as the citizenry asks for cakes and circuses we will continue down this path. Our taxes are too high and too numerous. We have a death tax that is truly a tax on money that has been taxed before. A lot of the population is perfectly content to give their hard earned money to the government and then allow the government to take care of them. Government is their lifeline. Meanwhile our costs go up as do our taxes and inflation decreases the value of our dollars. In fact ask yourself what is our money worth and what is backing it. Then ask what is the impact on our economy with this worthless money.

Anonymous said...

I like this chart better:

I think Bill White linked to it in his blog.

Anonymous said...

Obama ran up as much debt in two years as Bush did in eight. It's like comparing Babe Ruth to Art Shamsky.

Anonymous said...

The Libya Not War cost reached $1B this week. Not bad for a Not war in Not quite five months.

Anonymous said...

Yes Chris , you are right. When I started working in my teens, as people did in those days, the minimum wage was 3.35 per hour. At this same time, stamps were .10, school lunches .45, cigarettes 1.50 per pack (it was my parents packs, not mine) vending machine snacks .25, etc.....

Only a little over 2 decades later, the minimum wage has only doubled, while most other commodities have quadrupled.


Anonymous said...

What a whopping success, the OBAMA AGENDA.

Yeah, I want four more years!

Rethuglicans just want to poison the air and kill all old people and children.

Share the Wealth!

Woo Hoo!!!

Anonymous said...

The economy got away from Imam Obama while he was busy closing Gitmo and improving his middle iron shots. Give the guy a break for Allah's sake.

The Huntress said...

Let's not forget the HUGE drug company gift that the Republican controlled Congress and Bush II added to the deficit while cutting taxes...brilliant! Also, good questions anon 1:01... let's not forget that Bush never included the wars in his budget calculations. For those of you who insist on wailing about how Obama tripled the deficit, don't forget how to add....Bush apparently did. As far as this being an equally intransigent debate...I beg to differ. O'Bama and the Dems have agreed to cuts they would never and many would say should never have agreed to once it became apparent that this was a hostage situation. The Republicans are getting this one negotiated on their turf!

Anonymous said...

Clem is a real potty mouth. for the record he just called his own group teabaggers. So in all fairness he is as much responsible for taking it in the face as anyone else.

Tea Please?

Anonymous said...

The latest headline is;

"Boner Bill Bogus"

Chris Miller said...

Huntress 5:15PM
You might recall that a lot of folks from both parties were unhappy with the huge drug program put into place by the Bush administration. In fact many of us were perturbed by the fact that Bush allowed and maybe encouraged his Congress to spend and spend. Not reining in the Congressional Reps. was a serioud mistake on his part along with the fact that he followed his staff's advice to not defend what he was doing. As to his wars, they were off the books unless they decided to do things differently. Obama's wars are also off the war. What we as the citizens of this nation need to do is demand that Congress get rid of baseline budgeting and go to zero based budgeting. All this palavering is doing is chopping a bit off the baseline. By the time our "fearless" representatives get done we will still see an increase in spending. Are you cutting back on your spending where ever you can? I would guess that most of us are. Demand of your representatives in Congress that they zip up the wallet.

Anonymous said...

Resolved, the debt limit shall be increased by x.

VS. Defund Planned Parenthood or we will allow the US to default, but not to worry dont believe the scare tactics of what that means.
So let's roll the dice and see if a depression will really happen.

Anonymous said...

The default of the US will end the reign of terror of the bagger led Republican Party.

Welcome back to the Whig Party.

Anonymous said...

Tom Foolery 8:54 SPOT ON!

Anonymous said...

Charlie is a Dem in disguise. But, he is the best we have.

Anonymous said...

The nation can see what the government would be like with teabagger extremists in charge. The public is not amused. Throw these childish idiots out before they destroy 300 years of history.

What a bunch of nut jobs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:07,

Completely incorrect.

The country can see the result of reckless, irresponsible and out-of-control spending.

They also know which traditional TAX and SPEND maniacs who can never help themselves are to blame.

They know WHAT is destroying the country and they know it needs to STOP.

So, please discontinue the Class War whining and suck it up, Entitlement Addict / Big Government Spendaholic.

Anonymous said...


Great post.

Those that take loans to pay their monthly expenses just like our government

1.) Feel justified in asking for more while paying for less

2.) Are very content to stockpile debt whatever, the cost, in order to indulge every whim

3.) Have no common decency as to plan for a rainy day fund, and in the event of a rainy day , will live off the government and cause the government to borrow from China

4.) Produce the scariest and most repulsive offspring known to man whose greatest goal in life is to turn 18 and garner a welfare check they can call their own.


Anonymous said...

trish/brenda, Most Americans are not brainwashed by the corporate elite. they do not consider basic social security and medicare a "whim".

You folks may have been on the right track but you sure caught the wrong train. You ideological hokum pokum is not what people voted for.

Responsible and mature government isn't defined by how far left or right you can swing.


Anonymous said...

I am not Brenda.

I never said social security and medicare are a whim. Perhaps if you widen the slits on either side of your nose you will see that Americans have followed by example, have bought and not paid, have mortgaged and not paid, have become the most obsese and unhealthy country in the nation, despite an overwhelming trend of medical advances, treatments and medications no other county in the world can top, except for France and the UK. Disability is on the rise, despite all of this. Americans are overindulged by the liberal social programs that keep getting fatter by the hour.

The clock is ticking ......the fat system is about to pop. Get a hearing aid, and find some friends within the corporate elite. You're going to need them.


Anonymous said...

So trish/brendas, if social security and medicare are not part of your "whim" that people "take advantage of", what is the whim?

The fact that we pay incentives to oil and gas companies already enjoying the greatest profits in their history? The fact that loopholes exist so that a corporation like General Electric pays on federal tax? Or maybe the incentive to American multi-nationals companies to use the Bahamas as their tax refugee corporate headquarters and the tax loopholes to send millions of UDS jobs overseas.

I am guessing by your knowledgeable and condescending tone, that must be what you mean by "the fat system". I mean you don't mean the elderly who have paid into the system for decades and have played by the rules. Or should I just pass you the tea?


The Huntress said...

Right on Anon 7:10

Anonymous said...


Also a great post

The fat system is causing all of the elderly who paid in all of their lives (and deserve the benefits they receive) to be rationed by the likes of the fat breeders.

The fat breeders are the young and strong who have no assets and no income, but are the healthiest people we have in the medicaid entitlement system, and in the entire nation.

Other fat breeders are those who are young, but pretend to be feeble, ( or pretend to be a danger to self and others) so that they can hop onto the disability wagon. That wagon is actually more liberal than the medicaid wagon. When on disability, a decent check comes in the mail, along with medicare cards, and the liberal social program door opens wide for a whole host of other entitlements.

Getting rid of tax loopholes and subsidizing overseas companies with tax breaks must also end immediately. Ending those immediately will create a revenue stream in the near future, but will not address the government default crisis that must be dealt with in the next 48 hours.

Corporations would not be compelled to indulge in tax loopholes if the corporate tax rate in the USA were not the highest in the world. There are some politicians who wish to lower it, and cut funds from the over used and over abused entitlements.

But then those people are called Angle clones.

So lets just keep running a $14.3 tab on china, and add even more debt to this equation.


Anonymous said...

The republican agenda is looking at "The Ryan budget" to give states community block grants for medicaid, which will put and end the the current medicaid entitlement criteria.

The block grant system with allow states to link medicaid benefits to compelling medical needs that are well documented by more than one doctor.

This system may oust pregnant moms on welfare from adding another to the free cost of medical care. 1 in every 2 children born in PA, are born on medicaid.


Anonymous said...

That would be "coupons" Trish. You know the kind you clip in the newspapers. that is the Ryan Plan.