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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/11/11

Boehner -- Straddling the Fine Line between Extortion and Negotiation

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Message Patricia Johnson

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the Economic Club of New York on May 9, 2011 on several subjects, including the Debt Subject to Limit with the following remark:

"So let me be as clear as I can be. Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.

"We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions."

Seems to me, Speaker of the House Boehner's above statement meets my definition of extortion which is abusing one's office or authority to obtain something of value.  I don't see a lot of wiggle room for negotiations in the above statement -- it's sort of "my way or the highway".

Then he added this little tidbit "Nothing is Off the Table Except Raising Taxes"

When are the Republicans going to figure out that the tax cuts, and tax loopholes put into place under the Bush Administration are what put this country in its current economic mess? 

Historically taxes in the US are raised during a period of war for the sole purpose of paying the additional costs associated with war.  Instead of raising taxes to cover the two wars they started in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Republicans reduced the taxes; thereby reducing the amount of revenues going into the U.S. Treasury to support programs, so the national debt was hit with a double whammy -- increased spending and decreased revenues.

They can blame the national debt on the Democrats from now until the end of time and it's not going to change the numbers.

The last debt increase prior to George W. Bush taking office on January 20, 2001 was on August 5, 1997 when the debit limit was raised to $5,950.0. During the eight-years of the Clinton presidency the debit limit was raised a total of $1.805 trillion dollars.

Along came President George W. Bush, under his administration the debt subject to limit was increased seven times as follows: 2002, $450 billion, 2003 $984 billion, 2004 $800 billion, 2005 $781 billion, 2007 $850 billion, 2008 $800 billion and three months later in 2008 $700 billion, for a total increase of $5.365 trillion dollars during his eight-year term.

Federal Debt Limit Increases 1997-2010 by Patricia L Johnson

President Bush left office on January 20, 2009, which is the same day President Barack Obama took office. Less than one month later [February 17, 2009], the debt subject to limit had to be increased once again by $789 billion to $12,104.0 The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5 was not signed into law until February 17, 2009 so this particular increase was not due to any legislation put in place by the Obama administration.

At the end of December 2009 the debt subject to limit was increased by $290 billion and on February 12, 2010 increased by $1.9 trillion to its current total of $14.294 trillion.

Legislation signed into law during the period from 2001 through 2008 (President George W. Bush) caused a $903 billion dollar deficit for fiscal year 200.] That much of a deficit in one fiscal year creates an ongoing need for increases in the Debt Subject to Limit. Legislative changes by year may be viewed on the following Deficit Chart.

Deficit Changes Due to Legislation by Patricia L Johnson


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Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson are co-owners of the Articles and Answers News and Information sites.

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