President Barack Obama said the national debt, now at nearly $16.7 trillion with over $123 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is not a crisis and he will not propose to balance the budget, in an interview for ABC News.
"We don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it's gonna be in a sustainable place," Obama told George Stephanopoulos in a taped interview that will air Wednesday night on ABC's "Nightline."
Obama's budget is already a month and a half late. The president is supposed to send a budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February, but the White House says it will not be available until April 8. more >>
With little indication that political leaders are willing to reach a compromise on government spending and taxation priorities, the Friday sequester deadline will be followed by (at least) four more budget crises created by Washington politicians.
The sequester was a set of reductions in the growth of government spending that went into effect on Friday as part of the Budget Control Act (2011). The cuts in spending growth were designed to be so painful that they would force even a deeply divided Congress and president to agree to a long term deficit reduction plan. But, they were not painful enough to encourage political leaders to engage in one of the most fundamental aspects of Democratic governance: compromise.
The failure of the sequester to enforce an adherence to Democratic norms of policymaking on the nation's political leaders bodes ill for what lies ahead. In the coming months, Congress and President Barack Obama will need to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year, pass funding for the next fiscal year, pass a federal budget and increase the debt limit. more >>
Messages from politicians about the sequester have been sprinkled along a broad continuum from disastrous to barely consequential to a modest dose of necessary austerity. Here are some examples.
Those who take the doomsday view of the sequester, a set of automatic cuts ($1.2 trillion over 10 years) to the growth in government spending that began going into effect on Friday, include mostly Democrats. more >>
Rep. Maxine Waters of California was roundly mocked and even became a trending topic on Twitter on Thursday after a video of her claiming erroneously that the automatic budget sequester, which becomes effective tonight, will cost America 170 million jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America currently has fewer than 135 million working people.
Reporting information that allegedly came from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, Congresswoman Waters warned ominously of the catastrophic number of job losses that would hit America once the budget sequester becomes law. more >>
Veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said he was threatened by a high ranking White House official in an attempt to stop him from writing a story charging President Barack Obama of having "moved the goal posts" in talks around the sequester deal.
Woodward's story, which was eventually published last weekend, charged President Barack Obama of having "moved the goal posts" in asking for new revenue through tax reform as a substitute to the looming automatic $85 billion sequester cuts expected to go into effect on Friday.
Woodward disclosed in an interview with Politico, an e-mail exchange between himself and top White House economic advisor Gene Sperling sparring over details on whether President Obama had indeed moved the goal posts. In the missive, also obtained by Politico, Sperling tells Woodward that he would "regret" making the claim. more >>
New conservative darling, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, will be a featured speaker at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month, according to the American Conservative Union (ACU).
The Conference, which represents the largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists in America, is scheduled for March 14 to March 16, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
"Dr. Ben Carson represents the optimism and hope of the future of the conservative movement, while at the same time he articulates the deep fiscal and social challenges that our Nation faces," said Al Cardenas, chairman of the ACU, in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming Dr. Carson to the CPAC stage in March." more >>