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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Congressman John Campbell

Radio Silence

So, you haven’t heard from me in a while. Maybe you thought my computer crashed or I don’t love you anymore. But, neither is true.

The whole debt limit debate and compromise was very tense, very sensitive and very important. Going “over the cliff” was simply unacceptable. As I have explained before, we were never in danger of default. The government was going to pay interest on the debt and could issue new debt to pay off maturing notes. But, it would have required a 50% reduction overnight in non-interest government spending, which would have been very difficult to do. But, more importantly, fear heading towards panic was showing up in markets. That panic would have led to another financial meltdown, maybe not as bad as 2008, but certainly bad enough to plunge the nation and the globe back into deep recession. But, this time it would be completely government-made.

We could not let this happen. But, neither could we just extend the debt limit without showing the markets that we were making progress towards getting these deficits under control. If we did that, the markets would set their own debt limit by not lending us any… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Chaos in Washington

If I were to tell you things were chaotic in Washington last week, you might correctly exclaim, “So, what else is new?”. But, things seem to be even more chaotic than normal right now. I submit the following rundown for your consideration:

The President announced his latest strategy for Afghanistan in which he tries to thread the policy needle by giving a timetable for some withdrawal, but at the same time keeps more troops there throughout his term than at any time during the Bush presidency. I don’t think he succeeded in pleasing anyone with this plan – certainly not this Member of Congress. He also still has not indicated what it is we are now fighting for and what the desired end-state looks like. Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is largely out of Afghanistan. Are we nation building? I think we are and I don’t think that is worth $2 billion a week and more American lives. I also believe you either fight wars with all you’ve got, or don’t fight them at all. Vietnam taught us that. The President seems to want to fight half a war. Speaker Boehner criticized the President’s speech and basically called … Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Debt Limit Debate

Last week, the House voted down a debt limit increase without any conditions by a vote of 97-318. Not a single Republican voted for it. Then, last Tuesday, the President invited the entire Republican caucus to the White House for a discussion on the debt limit. Frankly, all the President succeeded in doing was angering us. His arrogance, haughty nature and his unwillingness to say anything other than his campaign talking points left us all quite discouraged about any potential agreement. Still, the debt limit looms. Treasury Secretary Geithner says that we have already technically hit the ceiling, but that he is raising cash using “extraordinary measures” until August 2nd, at which he point he predicts we will be at the end of our financial rope and run out of cash. Conveniently, that day is just a couple of days before the House and the Senate are scheduled to go on summer recess. The potential to have to cancel that recess will focus negotiators in Washington.

So, what happens if we breeze past August 2nd without increasing the debt limit? Virtually every media outlet would have you believe that we will default on our debt. Even the… Read More

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