Budget Deficit

Avoiding a Government Shutdown Means Adding $30 Billion (at Least) to the Debt

The House-passed continuing resolution died Friday in the Senate, but any deal to keep the government operating will likely do similar damage to the deficit.

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Caro / Sven Hoffmann/Newscom

Keeping the government open will come with a hefty price tag, and lawmakers seem poised to put it all on the nation's credit card.

With a possible shutdown of the federal government looming unless lawmakers agree to a new spending plan before midnight on Friday, the House on Thursday passed a continuing resolution (CR) extending current spending through February 19. Tied up with the CR to keep the government open are bills to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years and a deal to address the status of so-called "Dreamers," illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, which is itself tied up with Trump's desire to ramp-up security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Because the CR requires 60 votes to pass the Senate, Republicans are unable to pass it without Democratic votes. Those votes are, for now, not forthcoming. What happens in the next 10 hours, before the shutdown happens, is still anyone's guess—about the only thing that is clear is that House-passed CR is dead in the Senate.

And for anyone worried about the status of the federal debt, that's good news.

Though it was largely lost behind the other issues being discussed in advance of the possible shutdown, the CR passed by the House on Thursday would have added another $30 billion to the national debt. It would have ignored spending caps set by Congress in 2011 and would have disregarded cuts implemented as part of the 2013 sequester.

Tax cuts included in the CR would further add to the national debt. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget points out, the bill would have included a two-year delay of the so-called "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health insurance plans, which is set to go into effect in 2020, a one-year suspension of the health insurer tax, which was suspended last year, went into effect for 2018, and would be suspended again for 2019, and a two-year delay of the medical device tax, which came back into effect in 2018 but no tax has been due yet.

"We need our leaders to reach a budget deal that sets achievable discretionary caps and finances any near-term spending increases with permanent spending cuts or new revenue," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the CFRB, in a statement about the House-passed CR. "The ultimate goal should be to reduce ballooning deficits – this bill increases them."

It could get worse. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted Thursday before the House vote that the CR was a prelude to further increases in those spending caps.

Coming as it does in the immediate aftermath of the passage of a major tax cut that will reduce government revenues by about $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, the idea that Congress is trying to increase spending seems like the height of fiscal insanity. Every dollar spent today must be collected in taxes someday later. Cutting taxes is great, but it's also easy. Cutting spending, it seems, is near impossible for Congress to even consider—indeed, they are far more interested in finding ways to get around existing limits on spending than they are in reducing spending at all.

It appears that the House-passed CR is dead. Whatever comes next could quite possibly be worse.

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  1. Unless Congress comes after the extensions and passes a budget bill that lowers overall spending.

    Clearly Republicans are scared to end Senate rules requiring a 60 vote majority, so they feel they need to cater to Democrat demands.

    The Senate should vote to change Senate rules which only requires a simple majority. Change the Senate rules to simple majority on all bills. If Republicans ever lose their majority in the Senate, vote to require 75+ votes for all legislation and that changes to Senate rules require 100 votes to pass.

    1. “If Republicans ever lose their majority in the Senate, vote to require 75+ votes for all legislation and that changes to Senate rules require 100 votes to pass.”

      Won’t the incoming Senate majority simply rewrite the rules as they see fit?

      1. They would need 100 votes to change the rules. A single Senator could prevent the rule change.

        1. They would need 100 votes to change the rules. A single Senator could prevent the rule change.

          It NOW takes a 2/3 majority to change Senate rules to yours, which would likely be unconstitutional. They couldn’t even cut spending or repeal anything. Th.

          Clearly Republicans are scared to end Senate rules requiring a 60 vote majority, so they feel they need to cater to Democrat demand

          Republicans have nowhere near 60 votes.
          So, obviously, you want them to never pass a CR.– when have likely already handed Congress to the progressives , else they be catering to … progressives.

          Progressives win either way, in your rules. Is that your intent?

      2. Each new session of the Senate agrees to new rules. So the “100 votes” rule of the previous session would simply be removed.

    2. Lol.

      Also, I don’t think the Republicans can even hold their 51 votes together to pass something even if they only needed a simple majority.

      1. Except Tax reform.

        The Republican fear over lefty media propaganda is starting to falter. Maybe ObamaCare repeal in 2018 or maybe in 2021 after Trump second term as president.

        1. I was specifically talking about the current budget battle.

      2. Lol Also, I don’t think the Republicans can even hold their 51 votes together to pass something even if they only needed a simple majority.

        a) They’re allowed to think for themselves. Sorry.
        b) The represent voters … in their state … who elected them.

        1. What makes you think I was complaining about it or arguing that they must be forced to vote a certain way? I was responding to lc1789’s argument about the filibuster, which implied that the sole issue was not getting votes from the Democrats.

    3. Changing Senate rules requires a 2/3 majority.

  2. So since reason is so concerned over the deficit, I guess they are opposed the Senate “Dreamer” bill that would add close to 30 billion dollars to the debt.

    CBO Says Senate DREAM Act Would Cost Taxpayers Billions

    https://tinyurl.com/y7vxe4fx

    1. That’s different. And also not a peep on how the shutdown will end up costing even more because, of course, we have to give all those gov’t workers backpay. It’s not their fault that they’re already working jobs they can never be removed from and receiving higher pay than their private sector twins.

    2. Over ten years … if we ignore they pay taxes.

      By that same logic, the white middle class “costs” well over two TRILLION per year (not counting half their income tax subsidized by the rich)

  3. Cutting taxes is great, but it’s also easy. Cutting spe

    Sorry, but I can’t hear you over the sound of all the #Winning!

  4. Who cares, it’s not real money anyway. It’s just a bunch of numbers based on wishful thinking.

  5. When will Republicans start limiting government?

    If I had a $5 million earmark for every time I heard that ?

    1. They’ll get right on it any minute now, they promise.

  6. This “thinking” is why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians.
    (Cato survey Scroll down prox 2/3 to How Libertarians See Themselves)

    1. Really looking forward to that second season of Mad Men.

      1. For all the years Hihn has been on here posting thousands of words in rant after rant, I still have no idea what he’s actually advocating. I know there’s a long list of people he dislikes and thinks go about everything the wrong way, but I still have no clue as to what he thinks should actually be done instead.

        1. Hihn dislikes rants.

        2. You’re quite the liar. Or have memory issues. Name an issue. Name two.
          And how does that detract from the fact that 91% of libertarians refuse to call themselves libertarian? Deflection?

          know there’s a long list of people he dislikes

          You seem to have condemned yourself to seeing personalities instead of issues.

          still have no clue as to what he thinks should actually be done instead.

          Also severe memory issues.

          rant after rant

          In the language of logic — you disagree, so it’s rant …. according to YOUR rant! …. Ummm … YOU are the one who posted NOTHING of ANY substance on the page topic … nor did Akston or loveconstition(sic)1789
          So who’s ranting? (TOO funny)

          1. This is exactly what I’m talking about. You never actually say anything other than criticizing other people, and bringing up that 91% of libertarians don’t identify as libertarian – without ever clearly explaining what you think should be done that would cause those 91% to do so.

            I actually did post something on topic above, so did Hugh and lc1789 for that matter. The comments in this subthread were sarcastic. How exactly was your comment on topic? You used it to jump into your shtick about 91% of libertarians with no explanation. What exactly are you referring to when you say “This ‘thinking’ is why 91% of libertarians reject the brand?” in response to this article? How should the thinking be changed to bring those people into the fold.

            And I’m not calling it a rant because I disagree. It’s a rant because you often post thousands of the same angry words over and over that are often tangentially related at best to whatever the topic at hand. Like I said, I can never even determine what exactly you are arguing *for* rather than against, so I’m not even sure what I’d be disagreeing with. Again, going to back to your original comment here, after all these years I still don’t know what your actual argument is for why the libertarian brand is rejected by the 91%, and what you think can and should be done to change that. If you can offer an explanation for that, it would be great.

            1. You never actually say anything other than criticizing other people,

              That was self-defense … to aggression

              1. I don’t think namecalling on the Internet either way is aggression. I also wasn’t strictly talking about attacking other posters – what I was getting at more is that I’ve seen you make countless posts about how Reason, or Cato, or the Pauls, or whoever is doing everything wrong and that they’re the reason 91% of libertarians don’t use the name, etc. etc. At the same time, I’ve never seen give a clear explanation of why or how they are wrong, and what libertarians need to do differently.

                Again, I want to give you the opportunity to go back to your initial comment here. What are you referring to when you say “this thinking” is responsible for 91% not identifying with the brand? What thinking, and how does it have that effect? What do you think needs to be done differently to get people to identify with the brand?

                1. I don’t think namecalling on the Internet either way is aggression.

                  Verbal Aggressiveness
                  …A personality trait that predisposes persons to attack the self-concepts of other people instead of, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication … Verbal aggressiveness is thought to be mainly a destructive form of communication

                  Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

                  Cyberbullying
                  The act of bullying someone through electronic means (as by posting mean or threatening messages about the person online)

                  Your time has expired. Consider learning the language.

                  (My tone and boldface in defense of repeated aggression by a serial stalker)

                  1. In the context of “self-defense” I don’t think verbal aggressiveness qualifies as aggression. Maybe with a threat, but that’s about it. If you want to use the term more broadly go ahead, it just sounds hyperbolic to do so in the context of a self-defense claim.

                    But whatever, as impressed as I am by your dedication to scouring Wikipedia and answers.com for definitions, I once again have to point out to you that you’re ignoring my repeated attempts to seriously engage with you and get you to elaborate on your views, in particular regarding your claim in this thread about the thinking in the article causing 91% of libertarians to reject the label. I know I’m beating a dead horse here as every time I’ve asked that you ignore it and respond with something irrelevant, but I guess I’m hoping you’ll one day entertain a serious response and I might actually get answers to my curiosity.

                    1. I don’t think verbal aggressiveness qualifies as aggression

                      OMFG … defies THREE dictionaries!

                      AGGRESSION DOES NOT MEAN AGGRESSIVE.

                      These are over two million RESULTS of a Google search.

                      And …. the earth is NOT flat!

                      The (self-) defense rests.

                    2. This might shock you Hihn but words have different meanings in different contexts. Usually in claims of self-defense against aggression, verbal aggressiveness doesn’t count unless it produces a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.

                      Also while we are playing semantics games Wikipedia and answers.com are not dictionaries.

                    3. *R*E*P*E*A*T*S***T*H*E***SAME*CRAZY*FUCKUP!**

                      verbal aggressiveness doesn’t count unless it produces a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.

                      hahahahahahahahahahh
                      THAT is a threat of violence. ANOTHER DENIAL OF DEFINITION

                      Wikipedia and answers.com are not dictionaries.

                      MERRIAM-WEBSTER IS
                      I LINKED HIM TO OVER TWO MILLION LISTINGS ON GOOGLE
                      WHAT DOES WIKIPEDIA SHOW AS THE SOURCE(S)? (smirk)

                      MOST CYBER-BULLIES
                      a) Launch an aggression
                      b) Get publicly humiliated
                      c) Change to a new assualt
                      d) Publicly humiliated
                      e) New assault
                      f) Publicly humiliated

                      Attack … attack ,… attack … attack …
                      deny EVERY definition on the ENTIRE internet (Google)
                      attack … attack … attack
                      It’s how they feel manly.

                      But not a thug.
                      (SNEER)

                    4. I don’t think verbal aggressiveness qualifies as aggression

                      OMFG … defies THREE dictionaries!

                      AGGRESSION DOES NOT MEAN AGGRESSIVE.

                      These are over two million RESULTS of a Google search.

                      And …. the earth is NOT flat!

                      The (self-) defense rests.

                  2. And are you calling me a serial stalker? I’ve probably interacted with you less than five times in the years I’ve posted on this board. Someone responding to your comments on a public message board every year or two doesn’t make them a stalker.

                    1. Calidissident,
                      Me. First response,

                      Name an issue. Name two.

                      CALLED OUT
                      FAIL

                    2. For the love of God, how many times do I have to ask you to elaborate on your explanations for why 91% of libertarians reject the label, how the thinking in the article is responsible for it, and what should be done differently that would cause these people to embrace the label? How can you say I haven’t named an issue when I’ve asked you this question (based on your initial comment no less) several times in this thread? You’ve had no problem engaging me on off-topic semantic arguments yet you’ve ignored that substantive question every time I’ve asked it.

                    3. Fuck off cocksucker bully

                      For the love of God, how many times do I have to ask you t

                      Has nothing to do with your assault here.
                      https://reason.com/blog/2018/01…..nt_7100381

                      YOU CANNOT BULLY ME, PUNK

                    4. Someone responding to your comments on a public message board every year or two doesn’t make them a stalker.

                      FIVE TIMES IN ONE THREAD DOES

  7. Amash can blow it out of his craphole because he voted to add $1.5 trillion to the debt just a few weeks ago. This after voting against giving aid to hurricane victims because it would add to the debt.

    “But I want a minarchist government eventually!” is of course not an excuse, since a grown adult should know that he’s not going to get that any time soon.

    Obviously, sleazy wordplay doesn’t change the fact that he voted, as a policy, to give tax cuts regardless of its massive effect on deficits and debt, and only cares about deficits and debt when it had to do with helping desperate people, which makes him a bad person and a hypocrite.

  8. Says a lot about the GOP’s priorities that given the choice between an increase in welfare spending and allowing minorities to stay in the country, DACA is the deal breaker.

  9. Only $30B?

    Why put it on my credit card and give yourself a 25% tip!

  10. National Debt Looms Out Of Control – US Government Forced To Sell off Assets, Seeks Bankruptcy Protection Status – Future Forecasts.

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