Floridians woke up on October 17th to learn the government shutdown had ended and the debt ceiling had been raised. One of the key votes cast to pass the US Senate Budget Agreement was from Rep. Vern Buchanan (R – FL District 16).
Governor Rick Scott regarding Washington’s short-term solution on the nation’s debt ceiling and the government shutdown stated,”Washington’s failure to reach a long-term agreement on the debt ceiling confirms our nation’s leaders have their heads in the sand about our economic future. America’s unchecked debt, along with the increase in inflation that follows, will only put us deeper in the hole we have been trying to climb out of since the national economic downturn.”
Buchanan is one of eighty-seven Republicans who voted to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling and allow the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to move forward. Buchanan is the only representative from Florida on the powerful House Committee on Ways & Means. He also co-Chairs the twenty-seven member Florida Congressional delegation with Rep. Alcee Hastings (D – FL District 20).
Some say by voting to raise the debt ceiling he insures the power of his position on the House Committee on Ways & Means. After all the ability to tax is the ability to destroy. The House Committee on Appropriations will continue to spend monies collected from taxes and obtained via borrowing to keep the government running.
In a press release Buchanan states, “Jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the United States by defaulting on our obligations was not an option. There is no question that we need to reduce spending and balance the budget, but not by degrading America’s credit rating and destroying our credibility.”
So how did Buchanan’s vote help save the full faith and credit of the United States?
The Chinese credit agency Dagong immediately after the vote “lowered its ratings for US local and foreign currency credit from A to A-, maintaining a negative outlook,” the agency said in a statement. “The fundamental situation that the debt growth rate significantly outpaces that of fiscal income and gross domestic product remains unchanged,” Dagong said in the statement, adding Washington’s solvency was vulnerable as old debts were still repaid through raising new debts.
What exactly is in the bill that Buchanan voted for?
“Section 1002 of the bill provides for McConnell’s infamous resolution of disapproval. Basically, within three weeks of the President’s official request for a debt limit increase (until Feb 7, 2014 in this case), Congress can force a vote to disapprove of the request. There’s one problem, though. That resolution must pass with 2/3ds majorities in both houses.
So why slip in a vacuous resolution of disapproval if they are granting Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling?
It’s what we call press release conservatism. In three weeks from now, when everyone has forgotten the showdown, McConnell and his buddies will be able to send out press releases saying how they are fighting against Obama’s reckless requests to raise the debt ceiling. A few of these guys might throw in a campaign ad for good measure.”
Buchanan is adept at using “press release conservatism”.
His press release states, “The Florida congressman also evoked the words of President Ronald Reagan who said “the United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart from much of the world.” The Huffington Post reported Senator Jay Rockefeller (D – WV) used the very same Reagan quote when arguing for raising the debt ceiling.
Public obligations and government obligations are one in the same. The federal debt obligation is held by each and every US citizen. According to the US Debt Clock that is $53,556 per citizen or $148,227 per taxpayer. This does not include the $1,100,984 per taxpayer for all unfunded liabilities incurred by Congress for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Buchanan’s press release states, “Buchanan said Washington must now take serious steps to work together and rein in spending. ‘For too long both parties have turned a blind eye to our country’s budgetary mess,’ Buchanan said. ‘It’s time we put an end to the irresponsible spending policies and enacted long-term policies that will keep the American Dream alive for future generations.’” With the “resolution of disapproval” spending will never be reigned in and the American dream will become ever increasing debt for future generations.
In December Buchanan will say he voted to disapprove raising the debt but it will be raised. It is fait accompli.
Buchanan holds the most expensive credit card in the world – a US House of Representatives voting card. It is with this card that Buchanan and eighty-six Republicans and two hundred one Democrats used to spend more, borrow more and cut nothing. Buchanan knows and understands all of this. He was a businessman before becoming a member of Congress. Now it appears he is in the business of growing government at the expense of businesses and the American people. He has effectively funded government, which slowly but surely defunds the American people.
Joe Dioguardi, former Representative from New York, in his book “Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up” calls Congress a “House of Ill Repute.” Mark Twain wrote, “There is no distinctly criminal class, except Congress.”
As Thomas Jefferson, who faced huge personal debt throughout his lifetime, wrote in a June 1807 letter to John Norvell, “I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”
It appears that Rep. Buchanan, along with his eighty-six cohorts and every House Democrat have abandoned, “the first and most important republican virtue.”
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