Do we believe Johnson is a budget hawk?

I can’t help but wonder when exactly Senator Johnson plans to support paying down the deficit. He seems to expect us to believe that’s why he needs to raise taxes. Forgive me for being skeptical of his intentions.

A plan that would subject millionaires to a tax rate similar to middle class Americans probably is dead in Congress, Sen. Tim Johnson said Wednesday.And that, the senator continued, will stifle efforts by lawmakers to tackle the country?s burgeoning deficit and raise revenue to invest in areas such as education.

When Tim Johnson says stuff like that, I wonder if he is gullible or if he thinks we are. Since President Obama was reelected, the federal debt has increased over $5 Trillion. Now suddenly by raising $47 Billion in revenue by taxing the wealthy, Johnson and Obama believe they will be able to pay down the deficit. What planet are they living on? More importantly how do they expect me to believe they intend to use any of that money for debt reduction?

I’m not necessarily against a tax increase designated to lower the federal debt. But I find myself unable to believe that Johnson and Obama intend to pay down any amount of our deficit.

The $5,027,761,476,484.56 in additional debt that the U.S. government has taken on during the 39 months that Obama has been president is more debt than the federal government accumulated in the first 219 years of the Republic.

23 Replies to “Do we believe Johnson is a budget hawk?”

  1. Bill Fleming

    Well Bill Clay, we can start with a little quiz. When you write: “But I find myself unable to believe that Johnson and Obama intend to pay down any amount of our deficit.” …what exactly do you mean by “our deficit”?

    Because in case you missed it, that’s already been dealt with, and passed into law.

    Further, thanks to George W. Bush’s foresight, the tax cuts he put into place early in his administration were set to expire, thus restoring the missing revenue necessary to pay off the accumulated deficit over time.

    In other words, if you’re talking about “deficit” that’s already been addressed and the solution is in the pipeline. If instead, you are talking about “debt”, that’s an entirely different discussion. Hence my request for clarification.

    1. Les

      However Flem, reducing spending wouldn’t hurt our ability to curb both. I would hope it could become easier to slow spending than to continue to squeeze the stone for more blood.

      1. Bill Fleming

        We don’t have a choice, Les. As per the Budget Control Act, it’s the law. Sequestration (cuts) is on the way. All they’ll get to decide is what gets cut. If nobody moves on that, it will probably just be “across the board.” This was negotiated by by Reid and McConnell, by the way.

        And the people who were supposed to bring the budget resolution to the Senate were told by leadership not to bother because they were going to do this binding law instead.

        That’s why all the handwringing about not bringing a budget forward is so goofy.*

        I’m willing to give Bill Clay and others a pass on this, if in fact they don’t understand it. But if they already know it, and are trying to confuse people instead, that’s just dishonest.
        * Even so, Obama HAS submitted a budget, and the Senate COULD act on it if they wanted to, but it wouldn’t change the LAW that has already been passed.

        1. Bill Fleming

          The long and short of it is, if neither Johnson nor Thune are making what I’ve outlined here clear to everyone, they should be. Maybe they just assume everybody already knows it. In my experience talking to SD folks, that would be a false assumption. (Of course it IS a political year, so everybody would probably rather just grind that axe than face the real facts, I suppose.)

        2. insomniac

          What you use are semantics to mislead voters. Oh Obama is so good and honest. He allowed the supercommittee to fail so that we could gut national defense and medicare.

          The only thing worse is Republicans were duped or weak and supported this stuff.

          Noem’s #1 failing in my book. And it was a big let down. But I will look past it because Obama is fricken impossible to work with.

          1. Bill Fleming

            Nonsense. What have you been smoking? I didn’t say anything close to that. Do you have a learning disability?

  2. duggersd

    Since Obama has been REELECTED?!?!? Please fix that! God forbid! The ONLY way I would be willing to even consider a tax increase is to have real spending cuts go into effect before the tax increase. And I do not mean the kind of cuts they use in DC where a cut in the amount of an increase is a cut.
    BTW, Bill from Pluto claims that was foresight on the part of Bush to have the tax cuts expire. That was a condition that he had to accept to get a Congress with too many socialist Democrats to go along with the cuts that actually increased the amount of money coming into the treasury.

  3. Anonymous

    I like Johnson bill on cutting subsidies for farmers at 250 thousand, where is the subsidy queen Noem on this and our right wing John Thune on this.

  4. 73*

    Johnson is a big door knob.

    There are two Tim Johnson’s.

    The one before his tragic health problems and the one since. The guy since votes left wing crazy every time he can. Maybe that is because he’s unelectable or unable to win another term and knows he’s finnished or maybe it’s because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and let’s his staff do it for him.

    Either way I’m disappointed in him.

    1. Les

      I am disappointed in the post trauma Tim also but I don’t believe South Dakotan’s would vote him out easily if he chose to run again. The average voter will vote for Tim with the only close race being Rounds/Johnson.

  5. KATZY

    Johnson wouldn’t win if he is foolish enough to try again. Many who voted for him last time around out of pity will not do so again. The old saying “fool me once….” comes to mind.

    And how about actual spending cuts, and after these are actually in place and the size of govt shrinks, then maybe I would be willing to pony up a little more in taxes. The way it is now, NO!!!

    Obama keeps saying everyone has to do his fair share. Well, how is it fair when those who already supply just about all the funds for the fed govt are asked to send in more, while others pay in nothing and in fact collect more than they pay in all other taxes. Obama is using envy, class warfare, race, and any other argument that he can to try and win the election. What ever happened to the great uniter he claimed to be? AndJohnson’s office keeps issuing talking points that reinforce Obama’s claims.

  6. Clay Bill

    Tax revenues have accounted for around 18 percent of GDP since World War II, and 18.3 percent over the past 30 years. The budget released by Paul Ryan and the House Budget Committee proposes average revenue levels at this same level ? 18.3 percent over the next decade. The Simpson-Bowles plan, released in late 2010, proposed average revenues of 19.3 percent through 2020. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration?s 2013 budget proposal sets revenues at 19.2 percent of GDP over the next decade.

    All three of these proposals would provide inadequate funding to the federal government. Indeed, each creates a funding shortfall and continued deficits: Simpson-Bowles projects average deficits of 2.8 percent of GDP; the Obama budget, 3.3 percent; and the Ryan plan 1.7 percent. While deficit spending at such levels is acceptable, these numbers are testament to the simple fact that revenue levels at, or even slightly above, historical levels will lead to trillions of dollars in new debt over the next decade. By its own estimates, even the Ryan budget would add $4 trillion to the debt over the next decade.

    In other words ? and I know this is very difficult for Bill Clay to accept ? if this nation is ever going to get on a grip on solving all of the problems that stem from federal budget shortfalls, it must do two things: cut spending and raise taxes.

    The persistent Republican mantra for over 30 years now has been that the United States has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. So the party line has been
    to cut spending, and under no circumstances raise taxes.

    The GOP is right about one thing: The country is spending more than it can afford. And economists on the left and right generally agree that big tax increases can hurt economic growth.

    But there is abundant evidence showing that taxes must be part of debt reduction, however distasteful the GOP finds them.

    Why? Because the looming debt problem is just too big. And reducing it by spending cuts alone would require draconian changes that could hurt the economy far more than a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

    Here’s one way to conceive of just how big the problem is. Jeanne Sahadi, a senior writer for CNNMoney, made this observation in an article she wrote in May 2011:

    ?If lawmakers wanted to permanently freeze the debt held by the public at today’s level ? 62 percent of GDP ? they would need to immediately cut spending by 35 percent or about $1.2 trillion, according to the Government Accountability Office. And those cuts would need to be permanent from hereon out.

    How hard would that be?

    Consider that in 2010, all of discretionary spending ? including defense ? totaled $1.35 trillion. In other words, to do deficit reduction all on the spending side means ?you have to cut into the real meat,? said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

  7. Oldguy

    I have always said it is going to take revenue increases,not just tax the rich, and spending cuts to get this fixed. I would like to see something like $3 to $1 in taxes. I have voted for TJ’S but with his votes lately I don’t see how he can ever get elected again and when the Repulicans run a good candidate he will have to campaign . Imagine a debate with somebody like Rounds.


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