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Debt Ceiling Debate Comes Down To Iraq, Afghanistan Drawdown

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 06:18 PM
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Debt Ceiling Debate Comes Down To Iraq, Afghanistan Drawdown
Source: Sam Stein @ Huffington Post

Debt Ceiling Debate Comes Down To Iraq, Afghanistan Drawdown

Posted: 7/25/11 05:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- In the end, the debt ceiling debate could come down to a simple accounting question. Should the money saved from drawing down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan count as part of a deficit reduction package?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has put together a proposal, designed to break through the congressional impasse, that counts $1 trillion in savings from the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund -- the veritable piggy bank for wars abroad. His logic is straightforward.

"It's legitimate savings," said Adam Jentleson, a spokesperson for Reid. It's true that the United States will be spending significantly less money on the wars in ten years than it is today. The Congressional Budget Office, which judges future expenditures against their current levels, will "score" the savings regardless, as an Obama administration official noted several weeks ago when the OCO issue first surfaced. Why not count them as part of the current plan?

More importantly, as Jentleson notes, when Republicans were putting together their latest plan for deficit reduction, they counted the OCO savings as well. Indeed, in his budget plan that passed the House earlier this year, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tallied an estimated $1.04 trillion in savings from the OCO based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. When his Republican colleagues, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) repeatedly touted the $5.8 trillion in savings that the Ryan plan achieved, they did not offer rhetorical footnotes about how a good chunk didn't count because it came from pre-existing policy.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 06:24 PM
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1. Deleted message
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 06:29 PM
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2. Let the accountants and/or metaphysicians figure it out
I am able to offer this assessment for free: any reduction in war spending from what it otherwise would be will reduce the deficit from what it otherwise would be.
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 08:14 PM
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3. absolutely right. and that's not even counting the costs saved in lives & goodwill. n/t
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 09:14 PM
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4. Agreed, Bragi
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:39 PM
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5. =O
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 10:39 PM by sudopod

Seriously, though, it's kind of obvious, isn't it? Who could argue?
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-26-11 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Who could argue? The same bunch that said
Obama had "scheduled" the deadline around Ramadan and wanted it taken care of quickly so he could attend his Hollywood birthday bash.

Reason does not enter into the debate with these people.

Look at who the right is blaming for this. First off, it's not even Obama's problem. He tried letting congress work it out themselves and ends up having to mediate when the children in congress are fighting like siblings in the back seat during a long car ride. He really should have started off his speech with the classic "If you two parties don't start behaving, so help me I will turn this country around myself and tan your hides when we get home!"

Second, which party was it that insisted on renewing Bush's tax cuts last December? Which President was it that was fully against renewing it because of the implications it would have on the bottom line?

I recall Obama vocally against renewing them but letting a certain right wing party have its way because he couldn't let the less fortunate pay the price when Boehner threatened to bring the government to a standstill.

I think Obama needs to give a final speech outlining exactly what Boehner is doing, simply and to the point. Don't pull any punches. Call them out. Then let the country know that the only plan that is acceptable is one that repeals tax cuts across the board... fairly.

Oh, and point out over and over that repealing a tax cut is NOT A TAX INCREASE!

Then, he needs to explain separation of powers and announce that he is stepping back from this issue so congress can do their job.

The people seem to have forgotten that the executive branch does not pass bills and cannot stop a bill from passing. That can not under any circumstances be blamed on Obama. While Obama can express how he would solve this problem and attempt to bring the parties together on it, that is the extent of his influence. All he can do is sign or veto.

He needs to have one press conference stating the following:
"The congressional republicans expressed what their requirements are for the bill. I expressed mine. They exercised their constitutional rights as the legislative branch. I am expressing my constitutional rights as the Executive branch. I will sign a bill the moment they hand me one that meets my standards, will not unfairly place the burden on the working class, and is sustainable. If representatives from the legislative branch want to discuss this with me further, they know where to find me. However, until they are able to even pass a bill through both houses and deliver it to my desk, we won't have much to talk about. No questions."

Spell it out for them. These jokers on the right don't try to blame the judicial branch for the lack of an agreement on an abortion bill, yet they would freely blame Obama if they were unable to pass a kidney stone. Obama tried to play mediator. Now he needs to step back and put the ball squarely in their court, and let the people know which of the branches is completely dysfunctional. Congress created this problem. Congress needs to fix it. Period.

As it stands, all he is doing is presenting himself as a scapegoat/punching bag for both parties.

Yes, I know this will never happen... but I can dream, can't I?
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