There have been several “great” U.S. presidents. For example, Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator; Ronald Reagan was the Great Communicator.
Thomas Schatz | All Articles
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Thomas A. Schatz is president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and its lobbying affiliate, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW).
When the government shutdown ended on October 16, Congress was given the opportunity to produce an agreement on the fiscal year 2014 Budget Resolution by December 13. But the odds are against a “grand bargain,” as it is likely that the negotiations will once again stall on the issue of raising taxes or cutting entitlements.
In the parable of Heracles’ 12 labors, the many-headed Hydra of Lerna presented a particularly nasty challenge: it grew stronger under attack. When Heracles used his sword to hack at the beast, two heads grew in place of each he managed to remove.
In January 1984, when the Grace Commission issued its report, its estimate that the national debt would exceed $13,000,000,000,000 in 2000 unless action was taken to reduce wasteful spending was loudly and roundly dismissed as being outrageously pessimistic and extremely unlikely. The projection was not inaccurate; it was just premature.
President Obama has three major political liabilities. He has run up more debt than any other president, spent more than $800 billion on a stimulus package that failed to bring unemployment down to his promised level of 6 percent, and dedicated the first two years of his presidency to pushing through a health care law that appears to be on its way to being found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. President Obama will blame George W. Bush for the debt, ask for more time and money to create jobs, and probably call for nationalized health care following the Supreme Court’s decision, since he doesn’t believe that free-market or consumer-oriented plans will work.
The House, the Senate, and President Obama have all agreed that there will be no earmarks for the next two years. That resolve will be immediately tested when the House takes up the extension of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 continuing resolution (CR) this week.
Replacing the aging fleet of aerial refueling tankers has been an Air Force priority since 2002. That year, Congress approved funding for Boeing to lease up to one-hundred 767s to replace the 50-year-old KC-135 tankers. However, the deal fell apart in the wake of a 2004 bribery scandal that resulted in the convictions of a top Pentagon procurement officer and a senior Boeing official.