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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

Congressman John Campbell

Growing the Private Sector

Things are not so good out there. The unemployment rate, already stubbornly high, climbed even higher in May. Economists are revising economic growth predictions downward. Housing prices continue to drop, thereby further reducing household wealth. Real returns on bank deposits and Treasury Bills are negative. The dollar is dropping. Gas prices are up, inflation is up. There are some bright spots, certainly, but the overall picture is that of stagnation. Unfortunately, none of this is a great surprise given what the government has been doing of late. We are printing money and artificially holding down interest rates to try and spur recovery. But, this is creating those negative real (after inflation) interest rates, which are distorting capital flows. Most of the country’s tax policies expire in 18 months, so no one can do any long-term investment planning about taxes with any certainty. The government is retarding the development of almost all forms of economical energy (oil, gas, coal, nuclear), while subsidizing expensive wind and solar. We continue to run record deficits, which divert capital from other more productive uses and create the massive public debt overhang… Read More

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