"THE WEEKLY WRAP" with Diane W. Collins

Can We Solve America's Debt Puzzle?
FY 2011 Continuing Resolution vs Obama's FY 2012 Budget

Sunday, February 20, 2011 - no video this week

Archive: Publications, Weekly Wrap


Diane W. Collins

The Weekly Wrap

Diane W. Collins

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Welcome to the Weekly Wrap. I’m Diane Collins.


President Obama released his FY 2012 budget on Monday. His attempt to balance additional spending or "investment" couched with meager budget cuts drew disdain from both sides. During congressional committee hearings federal department heads gave testimony on the use of the proposed budget funds. Apparently, they believe business will continue little changed from last year. Listening to the President and his administration one could feel justifiably frustrated but, there was hope. It came in the form of left-over-business. H.R.1, the FY 2011 "continuing resolution" funding the federal government for the next seven months passed the House. It proposes to cut 61 billion over the next seven months from last year's failed budget.

Cutting Spending

Can We Solve America's Debt Puzzle?


The juxtaposition of the two ideologies represented on one side by President Obama's FY 2012 budget and on the other by the Republicans advance of the FY 2011 "continuing resolution" left a nation beleaguered by debt incredulous. It confirmed the President is out of touch and has not heard the American people crying out against the crushing debt we fear will come to ruin the country we love.


Obama's budget proposes to freeze spending at inflated 2010 levels while it continues to invest in "infrastructure, technology, green energy and education." The rhetoric put out by the administration and the Left would have us believe that anything else would be "draconian," threatening to stifle the emerging recovery. They warned us we must continue to "invest" if we are to compete on a global basis. One has only to look at the results of the "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" (stimulus) to see where the President and his administration's ability to manage "investment" has placed us. Further in debt, with precious little to show. As public opinion against the budget continued to build the President and his administration repositioned, stating the budget was "a starting point.... a first offer."


Meanwhile, Conservatives worked to cut spending. Prior to President Obama's release of his FY 2012 budget and before he delivered his State of the Union address House Republicans voted to freeze spending at 2008 levels. They focused on cutting waste, fraud and abuse. Legislation was prepared and introduced as H.R. 1, the "continuing resolution" to fund the federal government through FY 2011... something the Left had failed to do in the 111th Congress though they had control of the House, Senate and Presidency. Living the juxtaposition, we listened to the testimony of department heads before congressional committees on the FY 2012 budget and watched while the House pushed to cut 100 billion from Obama's failed 2011 budget. (The result is 61 billion in savings for the rest of FY 2011 ending in September.) House members participated in late night sessions pouring over into early morning as literally hundreds of amendments to H.R. 1 were presented and debated. The discourse was open and many times contentious as passions rose over polarizing issues. Planned Parenthood was defunded and restricted from using federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions... beyond the Hyde Amendment. The EPA was denied funds to implement rulings on green house gas emissions. Obama Care and any federal agencies or employees engaged in the implementation of the Health Care Reform Law were stripped of salaries and money for the rest of FY 2011... including the additional IRS employees hired "to help" ensure Americans are following the mandate to purchase.


Yet, neither the President's FY 2012 budget or the Republicans' FY 2011 "continuing resolution" touched the elephant in the room; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The President was first to feel the heat of opinion. Derided for not addressing the social programs talking heads said, "...he punted, ...he failed to lead..." So, when attacked the President went on the offensive. Experts were marched out to tell us "Social Security is solvent until 2037." (What that actually means is the money currently coming in from the payments of those working is capable of paying the benefits of those who are retiring... until 2037. How is that solvent? In business this is described as a Ponzi scheme.) Regarding, Medicare and Medicaid, President Obama admitted a discussion needed to take place. The flaw? He looked to Congress or more specifically Republicans to initiate the discussion. Obama abdicated, just as he did in developing health care reform. But this time it was for political cover. The President's role is to lead. Yet, political ambition kept him from doing so. This week President Obama not only told us he does not hear the peoples' voice, he told us his political career takes precedence. Precedence over what many historians in the future will consider our nation's most poignant moment-in-time. We teeter on a precipice of insolvency... and Obama steps back, looking to others brave enough to serve.


The Left knowing the error may prove political suicide called out the Republicans saying, "If you can do better, let's see your budget." I don't know about you, but I flashed back to kindergarten. Their hope is Conservatives will respond. Their demise is WE WILL. Conservatives will bring forward a FY 2012 budget that includes reasonable adjustments to social programs. The Left dreams of a 2012 repositioning of the House. They err and have abdicated leadership. Miscalculating the intelligence and will of the American people to take hold of reality, adjust, and rebuild is very foolish. Simply look to the proud history of Americans who do not apologize for their country. We understand the threat the deficit presents. We understand social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security thoughtfully and properly adjusted can benefit all. It is a sad case when the people stand ready to make the hard decisions: to address the debt, to cut the spending, to rebuild the American Dream... and their President ducks.


What's next? The Republicans will picked up the slack. First things first, the House went about funding the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year. H.R. 1 goes to the Senate where most likely it will be carved up and sent back to the House. Ping-pong cannot go on very long. The existing funding runs out March 4th. Another temporary resolution for a few weeks may take place while Congress battles it out over H.R. 1. Meanwhile, Republicans will work on their response to the FY 2012 budget and the upcoming fight over raising the debt ceiling. Our job? Support Conservatives by contacting them with your ideas on how to adjust social services. Give them your perspective or at least let them hear your voice. Reassure them that we are not deluded.



See you next week.



Contact: Representatives, Contact: Senators



Further Reading:

Full Year Continuing Resolution 2011, HR 1 Summary