Friday, September 6, 2013
Mr. Dennis L. Young of Victoria, wrote a letter to our editor titled “ Federal government is defrauding America.”He claims that Congress and the executive branch has perpetrated the biggest fraud in the history of the world. That’s an awful large task considering all the failed governments throughout the history of the world.
According to Dictionary.Com, fraud consists of “deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.” It is my opinion that politics as usual doesn’t ordinarily lead to fraud.
I never had to wonder why we haven’t had a Federal budget for four years because I’ve kept up with the partisan food fights that leave no room to compromise.
There’s no question that by law Congress is required to produce a budget every year which goes through 12 calendar months that begins and ends on September 30. Technically, a budget is just an “omnibus spending bill” where thousands of printed pages show where the allocated money is supposed to go. That requirement can be met with “Continuing Resolutions” to keep the government going because there’s no penalty when Congress fails to produce a budget. In between, Congress needs to pass the debt ceiling which tells our creditors that we will meet our obligations. There are checks and balances throughout the complex process.
The fact Mr. Young can quote figures that we supposedly gave to the executive branch only prove that everything was above board; transparency works. How ironic, Mr. Young was not outraged when two wars and seven trillion dollar Medicare drug bill were passed without going through the regular budget process.
Mr. Young failed to mention the private sector fraud of Wall Street and the predatory subprime mortgage lenders that took eight trillion dollars out of our economy. That action led to layoffs, bankruptcies, and hardships for people all over the world.
The stimulus package was not large enough considering that eight trillion dollars of capital was removed and Congress only approved close to one trillion dollars to prop up the private sector. The stimulus package kept a floor on the amount of suffering people had to endure by supplying state's money to retain teachers, firefighters, and policemen and maintain the social programs.
On March 23, 2013, the Senate passed their budget, but I don’t know why it was not sent to be reconciled with the budget that the House of Representatives passed. It doesn’t have the 60 votes, but budget matters do not need the 60 votes. I’m not all that worried about a budget being passed because a grand bargain can supersede a normal budget process. For example, if a man and his wife can agree on what major expenditures take priority, then the home budget is much simpler to balance.
Our economy is steadily recovering, despite the strain put on it with the sequester cuts. The U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%. Our export deficit is holding us back because other countries are doing much worse than we are. They are exporting their goods at a much cheaper price in order to survive.
For the record, using the executive branch rather than President Obama as perpetrators of fraud did not fool me one bit. Republicans need to take a couple of extra strength Tylenols every four hours and chill out. Regardless of the baseless claims,the want to secede from the union or suddenly becoming pacifists,President Obama will serve out the rest of his term and ACA will still be the law of the land.