Day by Day

Monday, August 15, 2011

Democrats "Played Chicken" with Debt Ceiling Many Times

At least four times during George W. Bush’s presidency the Democrats “(played) chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States of America.” In May 2002, debt was within $15 million of the statutory limit. Raising the limit passed by one vote in the House (of 209 Democrats, 206 voted against).


In May 2003 debt limit legislation passed the Senate 53 to 44, with only one of 45 Democrats voting for it. The day it passed, debt was $25 million (or 0.0004%) below the limit.

On October 14, 2004, debt was again $25 million below the limit. The Treasury employed accounting tricks used in the previous two years to keep under the limit. Treasury Secretary John Snow informed Congress, just before the election recess, that available measures to avoid breaching the debt limit would be exhausted by mid-November, and the government would default.

Again, it barely passed. Senate Democrats voted 42 of 44 against, and 193 of 195 House Democrats voted against (it passed by 4 votes).

In 2006, Secretary Snow continued using tricks to avoid default. A debt limit increase was narrowly passed, with all 48 Senate Democrats (including Obama) opposed.

On the matter of the “essential” rural airports, all thirteen are served by better highways than Highway 1, and most are about half as far from a major airport as Gualala. Democrat Majority Leader Senator Reid’s airport at Ely, Nevada, population 4,255, served 227 passengers in 2010 (federal subsidy $1.8 million) at $4,107 per ticket.

Alamogordo, New Mexico, with Democrat Senators Bingaman and Udall, is subsidized at $3,127 per ticket for 376 passengers in 2010, and is the same driving time to Albuquerque as we are to San Francisco International.

By funding these “essential” airports, Democrats buy reelection with our money.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Democrats Throw Our Money "Up in the Air"

The ICO editorial “Up in the air” (August 5, 2011) seemed familiar. I found “playing chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States of American” or variations used by White House press secretary Jay Carney at least six times. The next Democrat talking point in the editorial was that “Congress bailed out of Washington for vacation, leaving the Federal Aviation bill sitting in the ‘to do’ pile.”


Actually, the Republican House passed an FAA funding bill two weeks before their “vacation,” and inaction on passing it was due to the Democrat-controlled Senate. Normally the Senate would pass their FAA bill, and the differences between the House and Senate bills would be reconciled. But Dem. Senator Jay Rockefeller blocked it at a cost of $300 million in lost taxes to save little-used Morgantown airport (75 miles from Pittsburgh, PA).

More Democrat talking points were in a Huffpost article and appeared summarized in the ICO editorial, which referred to Republicans not funding “Essential Air Service that keeps vital rural airports open.” Since the US has 14,695 airports (133 more than the total of the next nine countries), what makes these essential?

The thirteen “essential” airports are in “strategic” Democrats’ districts, courtesy of unabashed pork-barrel spending. For example, John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (67 miles from Pittsburgh), cost $200 million to build and serves less than 30 passengers per day, each subsidized $147. Its $8.5 million radar has never been used. A military unit that was stationed on it to make it more “essential” only flies helicopters. The alternate runway was just repaved with $800,000 in stimulus funds, although the primary runway is hardly used.

One airport in Senator Reid’s Nevada receives EAS subsidies of $3,720 per passenger. That’s way “up in the air!”

Monday, August 01, 2011

Obama Wins Big!

Obama declares victory! House Democrats voted 95 for and 95 against, and Republicans voted 174 for and 66 against, so the debt ceiling will be increased $2.1 trillion. California Democrats voted 14 for and 20 against; California Republicans were 16 for, 3 against. It’s not only a great day for Obama, it’s a great day for California Democrats.


Obama and Democrats have already identified that the Tea Party are the big losers: they only got $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, when they wanted $4 trillion. What utter failures!

Obama knows that with a few more victories like this, the outcome of the 2012 election is assured.