Thursday, August 4, 2011
Society • Guest Commentator Jerry Newcombe on Debt Deal
The crazy debt-ceiling frenzy going on in The House on The Hill has everyone’s head spinning while bearing witness to the strangest display of logic, statistics and math ever recorded. White House Wisdom has showered us with glowing examples, such as “raising the debt in order to bring down the debt.” How’s that again? Since economics, debt based government, and bookkeeping were never strong points with this writer-commentator, and being no match for the White House Wizards of Monetary Muckery, the keyboard has been surrendered to TV Producer, Author, and Popular Radio Host Jerry Newcombe who puts it in a perspective that those scratching their heads might understand.
So Just Who’s Happy with the Debt-Ceiling Deal?
By Jerry Newcombe
Ronald Reagan once said about runaway government expenditures, “We could say they spend like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors, because the sailors are spending their own money.”
Congress has now passed into law a bill to raise the debt-ceiling and supposedly cut the projected growth of government by a few trillion over the next decade. Meanwhile, the August 2 crisis of a default on our debts has been supposedly avoided. And it seems that neither side is fully happy.
On the one hand, I hear the Tea Party being given credit for helping to frame the debate. On the other hand, I hear many of the Tea Party members themselves questioning the wisdom of the whole day.
Criticism from the left includes Chris Matthews of MSNBC, where, for example, he asked one guest, “Why did [Obama] let this develop for six months…this drum roll of the Republicans saying, ‘We’ve got the baby. You don’t get the baby back unless you pay us?’ Why do you let the other side have the baby, to use kidnapping terms?”
John McCain called the Tea Partiers “hobbits.” Joe Biden called them “terrorists” (according to eyewitnesses). Harry Reid calls the rise of the Tea Party movement “very, very disconcerting. But one Missouri Democrat called this deal “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” I’m not exactly sure what a Satan sandwich is, but I’m sure it’s not good (unless, I suppose, it’s deviled ham).
But I also hear conservatives decrying the new move. Rush Limbaugh said on his program of the whole debt-ceiling deal, “I see an absolute, total waste of effort, a total waste of time.” The Speaker of the House, John Boehner acknowledged that the recent vote was not the best deal around, but it was stepping in the right direction.
My Congressman, Allen West, an overall hero in my book, explained why he supported the compromise deal. He said the deal is a step in the right direction. He said that it requires five miles to turn an aircraft carrier around. How can we possibly undo all the recent runaway spending in one vote?
Meanwhile, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council expressed some disappointment with the deal, noting, “As with the budget debate, there is some genuine disappointment on the part of conservatives, who had come to Washington to change the culture—-not just change the conversation.”
Terence P. Jeffrey of cnsnews.com points out that the increase of the debt-ceiling limit is the largest in the history of the republic—-by a margin of half a trillion dollars. So how is it that the Tea Party supposedly won this debate?
The Media Research Center said of the deal that it “doesn’t actually ‘cut’ any spending as it doesn’t touch entitlement programs and allows discretionary spending to grow by tens of billions each year.”
Yet it seems that the mainstream media allowed one liberal legislator after another to bemoan the bill. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said it will hurt real people. (As opposed to fake ones?)
Matt Lauer asked a presidential aide, “The President clearly wanted more revenues, he wanted to raise taxes on wealthiest Americans, he wanted to get rid of some tax cuts for corporations. Those are not in there. Is the fight over taxes over and did the President lose it?”
If the mainstream media and liberal politicians are to be believed, the conservatives won (supposedly) at the cost of the country. And Harry Reid vows to spend all the new money allowed by increasing the debt-ceiling. Who’s going to pay for all this stuff? Oh yeah, our children and grandchildren.
To me, runaway government spending, in general, is like a father going into his three-year old’s room, breaking open her piggy bank, stealing all the money, and leaving a note. Not an IOU. But a UO-me.
The debt ceiling has now exceeded the $14 trillion dollar limit to just over $16 trillion. Rounding off the numbers, assuming there are 300 million Americans, that means each of us—-man, woman, child, newborn baby—-owes $46,000 now. Soon we will each owe $53,000. Ouch.
The way our government spends future money reminds me of a classic scene from a W. C. Fields movie, where he walks into a saloon and asks, “Was I in here by chance last night and did I have a $20 bill?” “Oh yes,” replies the bartender, “You spent the whole thing.” “Oh, what a load off my mind,” says W. C. Fields. “I thought I had lost it!”
Jerry Newcombe is the senior producer and host of The Coral Ridge Hour. He has also written or co-written 21 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation. Jerry co-wrote (with Dr. Peter Lillback) the bestselling, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. He hosts the website http://www.jerrynewcombe.com.