President Owe-bama: Debt Soars over Two-Year Span
America owes Congress a huge debt--but not of gratitude. Based on the latest reports, the last two years have been expensive ones for the federal government, and it looks like U.S. families will once again be bearing the brunt. CNSNews's Terry Jeffrey crunched the numbers and found that the federal debt didn't just climb over the last two years--it skyrocketed--by a whopping $2.5 trillion.
Coincidentally (or not), the spike also corresponded with Congress's decision to budget by short-term resolutions, or CRs, instead of thoughtfully mapping out each fiscal year. While the Senate has twiddled its thumbs, refusing even to consider a budget over the last four years, House leaders have tried to pick up the slack, passing bill after emergency bill to keep the government running. But if the last couple years are any indication, the lack of long-term planning is costing us--a lot.
"At the close of business on March 4, 2011, when the first Boehner-Obama spending deal took effect, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881, according to the U.S. Treasury. At of the close of business on March 6, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House passed its latest CR, the federal debt was $16,692,238,790,019. That means the federal government's debt has increased $2,509,611,605,138 since the first Boehner-Obama deal took effect." Under the sequester cuts, liberals were almost apoplectic at the thought of shaving two cents off of every dollar of government spending. But now that each family is staring down a $21,817 share of the 2011-2013 debt, I bet they'd agree that Congress could stand to cut a whole lot more.
Unfortunately for taxpayers, the President's party doesn't see it that way. As we speak, Senate Democrats are putting the finishing touches on their version of the government's funding extension--the CR--and reports suggest that liberals are all too happy to keep piling on. While we don't have the final version of the Senate's proposal, there's a good chance Democrats will push for an uptick in spending--and potentially, even higher taxes to pay for it.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned the Senate yesterday that any increases--in spending or taxes--would derail the debate entirely. "If Senate Democrats try to load up this bill with extraneous provisions, partisan riders, and budget gimmicks, we will be prepared to move a clean continuing resolution through the remainder of the fiscal year," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "...I would urge Democrat leaders of the Senate to not get greedy and get carried away and try to put forward the possibility of a government shutdown." It's frustrating enough that the federal budget is a congressional afterthought--patched together in a last-minute jumble--but it's even more insulting that the President's party would use it to bypass some very modest cuts.
People who want to trim down have to start by looking in the mirror. And the same goes for the federal government. Let's hope Republicans can hold the line on spending and get back to the people's business of intentional and responsible governing.
The Born Ultimatum
Mayor Bloomberg must be bored of banning big gulps and transfats, because the New York City Dictator seems to be moving on to bigger things: like babies. A new series of NYC ads is catching plenty of flak for implying that some children would be better off never being born! The campaign, which is meant to target teen mothers, features photos of crying babies saying things like, "I'm twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen," or "Honestly, mom... Chances are he won't stay with you. What happens to me?" Although the PSAs don't come right out and say teen parents should abort their children, that's certainly the insinuation.
According to the city, the ads were created by the NYC Human Resource Administration and will be prominently featured on the local subways and bus stops. "This campaign makes very clear to young people that there's a lot at stake when it comes to deciding to raise a child," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We'll let thousands of young New Yorkers know that waiting to becoming a parent could be the best decision they ever make." Unfortunately for children, "waiting to become a parent" in New York City is usually accomplished through abortion--not abstinence. According to the local health department, 41% of the city's pregnancies end in abortion. That's double the national average. And the numbers for black children are even more startling: only four out of every 10 black children make it out the womb alive.
Also raising eyebrows are some of the campaign's loudest critics. Planned Parenthood, which profits greatly from the city's negative messaging on parenting, said the ads, "create stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people." Of course, anyone familiar with Planned Parenthood understands how utterly disingenuous their statement is. This is an organization that has willingly enabled sex traffickers, accepted racist donations, lobbied for secret abortions for minors, covered up statutory rape, and concealed child sexual abuse--all to make a buck, not to "offer alternative aspirations for young people."
If Planned Parenthood does oppose the ads, it's because they get in the way of the organization's messaging. They want Americans to think of abortion as a routine medical procedure, not a deadly act that takes an innocent life. In the end, these ads show just how much Planned Parenthood and Mayor Bloomberg have in common: they both see children as a burden--not the blessing God intended them to be.
Oh, Canada! True North's Speech Heads South
When most people think of Canada, they think of a colder version of America. But there are plenty of differences between the U.S. and its northern neighbor--and a new court ruling points out an important few. At the end of February, Canada's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a conservative activist couldn't distribute a homemade flyer on the harms of homosexuality because it violates the country's "hate speech" laws. Bill Whatcott's pamphlets, which object to same-sex relationships and homosexual propaganda in the public schools, were said to violate the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The Court agreed, essentially stating that when free speech or religion collides with the homosexual agenda, freedom cannot win.
Canadian columnist Rory Leishman explains, "In short, with this Whatcott ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that notwithstanding the ostensible guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of religion in the Charter, a Canadian can be found guilty of violating the prohibition on hate speech in a human rights code by making a statement even if (a) the statement is true; (b) the speaker did not intend to express hatred; (c) the speaker was expressing his or her honestly held religious conviction; and (d), there is no proof that the statement has caused any harm."
In other words, there is no such thing as free speech--at least not without politically correct strings attached. "It doesn't matter if the words are religiously motivated," writes the Toronto Sun's Alan Shanoff, "It doesn't even matter if the words are factually accurate. That's not a [defense]. The manner in which truthful statements are expressed can meet the definition of hate speech."
While Americans can breathe a sigh of relief that we have a Bill of Rights, our country is on a slippery slope in this very same direction--First Amendment or not. Here, Christians and conservatives are intimidated into silence. Others self-censor. But all are very aware that when it comes to viewpoint tolerance, not everyone may apply.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.