Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate Fiddles While America Burns

The Democrat-controlled United States Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid, D-NV, has done virtually nothing since it began on January 5th of this year.  Indeed, the Democrat leadership in the Senate  --  and in the United States House of Representatives, during the leadership (if you can call it that) of San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi when she was speaker for 4 years before the Republicans took control this past January  --  has not passed a budget as required by law for a number of years. 
On the other hand, the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed its budget, as required by law, earlier this year.  The House Republicans have also passed over 25 major bills to create jobs in America, a nation which has suffered a 9% unemployment rate, on the average, under Barack Obama since he became president almost 3 years ago.
Before the Republicans adjourned for Christmas in the House of Representatives last week, they passed a spending bill  --  now signed into law by Obama  --  which will fund the government until the end of the 2012 Fiscal Year on September 30th. 

Naked Santas in San Francisco - Jerry Newcombe With Word About Christmas

Those who followed my 11 part animal series know of my love for animals. Wild Life and Environmental Journalist, Cathy Taibbi, pointed out that more Liberals protect animals than Conservatives. Given that information by her, I pledged to hug a Liberal every day. They are easy to find out here.

I went to San Francisco last week to find a liberal to hug and was swarmed by a multitude of naked Santas. Yes, NAKED Santas! I kid you not. All they wore, both men and women, were Santa caps.

They of course were Liberals, but even though they ARE good to animals, I was not about to hug one of THEM!  So I got a little behind in my liberal hugging since I did not want to SEE a behind in all its glory.

Radio Host, writer and commentator, Jerry Newcombe saved the day by commandeering the keyboard to give a non-San Franciso perspective of Christmas:

What Have the Wise Men Wrought?  By Jerry Newcombe

Super Committee: Super Failure

Did anyone with commonsense really think that a rigged congressional "Super Committee"   --  formed because of the failure of the United States Congress to come up with one or two or three or four trillion dollars worth of needed cuts to the federal debt  --   would ever accomplish their goal?

Actually, the "Super Committee's" assigned task was to come up with at least $1.2 trillion worth of cuts over the next decade or there would be automatic cuts across the federal government including half coming the defense budget.  Of course, the Democrats protected Medicare and Medicaid from any cuts or reform except maybe a couple billion dollars of administrative savings or whatever.

The "Super Committee" was doomed to failure because the Democrats stacked their half of the 12-member committee with left-wing idealogues.  The Republicans put on the committee a few Republicans who in the past have shown willingness to compromise, although there were a couple very conservative members selected by the Republican leadership.

Everyone will recall all the doomsday scenarios put out by Barack Obama and his party and their friends in the news media about the pending debt ceiling crisis early this year; then the crisis was put off for a couple more months, then the crisis was put off until last summer when the debt ceiling   --  absolutely for sure this time no question about it this time  --  had to be raised or the country would go bankrupt.

Why the omnibus spending bill died and tax cuts won

It's been an interesting week in Washington.  Democrats went along with extending the same tax cuts that they have spent the better part of the last decade criticizing, and Harry Reid had to give up his attempt to push through an omnibus spending bill that would keep the government on an Obama spending track for the next year.

So what gives?

As for the tax bill, it passed because Republicans went along with extending unemployment benefits for another thirteen months.  As almost always seems to be the case, the benefits were set to expire around Christmas, as the newly empowered GOP didn't want to deal with the PR problem. Democrats, on the other hand, knew that the Republicans will be running the house in less than a month, so they had to take what the GOP would agree to now, or risk getting less of what they want later.

Call this one a draw.

As for the spending bill, the election killed it.  Well, sort of. 

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Pro-abortion groups receive over 1 billion in taxpayer dollars

There's a new study out that documents just how much YOUR money Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups have received, courtesy of the federal government over the past seven years.

As far as Planned Parenthood goes, the figure is over six-hundred and fifty MILLION dollars. - an average of over one hundred million per year.

The report takes a look at all taxpayer supported streams of revenue making their way to the organization - from "Title X" funding for "family planning" to funds from government organizations like USAID and HHS.  The report from the government's General Accounting Office pegs the exact seven year figure at $657.1 million.

Of course, when it comes to the abortion biz, that's not it: (via Lifenews)

Social Security coming up short (spending more than it takes in)

Although it's far from a surprise and has long been predicted, it's finally a reality: Social Security is now officially paying out more than it is taking in.

Of course, Social Security has taken in more than it has paid out pretty much since its inception...which would lead a normal person to think there's a big fat piggy bank just waiting to pay out all those benefits, right?  Wrong.  The truth is that the government has faithfully borrowed every dime of that surplus over the years and spent it on, well, everything.

Bruce Krasting looks at the public data on the Social Security "Trust Fund" and points out that the numbers are headed in the wrong direction...pointing out that this wasn't expected to happen for another five years or so.

This is the cost of the protracted recession and the failure of the
economy to generate new jobs. The 2008-2009 increase in benefits was at
a nosebleed level of 9.5%. That level has collapsed to 3.9% in the
2009-2010 period.  ...

Government becoming a bigger part of the economy

Although you probably already knew this intuitively, and it certainly comes as no shock given the enormous spending increases, it turns out that government is a bigger part of our economy than ever...and the private economy is a smaller part than ever: (via USA Today)

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs. ...

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The Tea Parties and the coming spending wars

In years past, most major political blowups over American fiscal policy that altered the political landscape were over the revenue side of the equation, meaning taxes.  People begin to feel the pinch of higher taxes and they fight back, demanding that elected officials cut taxes, and supporting political candidates who promise that they will do just that.  In some states, they've even been able to get initiatives on the ballot and push tax cuts themselves - California's prop 13 comes to mind.

But as Michael Barone points out, the new Tea Party related political activism over fiscal issues is different from the fiscal fights of the past.  Now it's about spending.

What we are seeing is a spontaneous rush of previously inactive citizens into political activity, a movement symbolized but not limited to the Tea Party movement, in response to the vast increases in federal spending that began with the Troubled Asset Relief Program legislation in fall 2008 and accelerated with the Obama Democrats' stimulus package, budget and health care bills.

Social Security Going Broke - Faster

As pretty much anyone and everyone who's paid any attention to the news for the past generation knows, Social Security, as it is currently configured, is going to run out of money.  It's simple math.  But it has always (to a great many people) seemed like a distant prospect, not something that demanded to be dealt with right now.

For decades and decades, the program has muddled along, with a few tweaks here and there, running a surplus of funds paid it by workers versus benefits paid to retirees.  And, of course, the federal government "borrowed" those surpluses from the Social Security fund and spent them on just about everything else under the sun.  Which means there has been an ever growing IOU in the "trust fund".  Couple this with the beginning retirements of baby boomers, and many people have pointed out that it's going to be a problem sooner rather than later.

Well, guess what?  That day of reckoning is here.  Via USA Today:

Capitol Hill Update: Democrats Keep Adding TRILLIONS to Deficit

The Democrats gave yet another unwanted Christmas present to America's future generations this past weekend as they voted for a monstrous pork-filled Omnibus spending bill (omnibus or consolidated because the Democrats could not get their work done this year by passing the required 12 separate spending bills to keep the government functioning.)   

Incredibly, 3 Republicans joined virtually all the Democrats in voting for this $1.1 TRILLION bill loaded with thousands of pork-projects glommed on to the legislation.  The three Republican Senators who voted for this irresponsible spending bill were Susan Collins from Maine; Thad Cochran and Richard Shelby (up for reelection next year) from the very conservative states of Mississippi and Alabama respectively.  If these three Republican Senators had voted no on the "breaking the Republican filibuster vote," the Democrats would not have been able to even vote on this abominable bill.  

The $1.1 trillion bill is now part of the Democrats' whopping $3.6 trillion annual budget for Fiscal Year 2010 and the president is expected to sign it into law.  The Democrats, contrary to their promises (and the president's campaign promises), increased federal spending by a crushing 12%, by far, the largest increase in many years.  

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