One Cheer for Lee Terry

Congress has averted the immediate Fiscal Cliff but no significant action was taken to address our long term fiscal problems.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the deficit will shrink slightly below $1 trillion for a few years and then continue its inexorable rise. The can was kicked down the road for two months by delaying sequestration until March 1.  In other words this was a bad deal and Republicans in the House of Representatives should have voted it down and held out for a much better deal.

At least, Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressman, Lee Terry, voted against it.  Speaker John Boehner declared that the new 113th Congress would make the federal debt and deficit its singular focus.  Let’s hope that Mr. Boehner means what he says and that Mr. Terry supports him when the chips are down.

One year ago Mr. Terry voted to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months (annual cost $110 billion) and then voted against a full year extension two months later, after the die was cast.  Shenanigan’s like this are unacceptable and should be interpreted as complacency and deviousness about addressing serious problems.

House Republicans are in an incredibly difficult position.  We’ve just re-elected a President whose basic economic policy is more artificial stimulus (government spending), which just makes the deficit and debt that much worse.  The Republican House is now the sole bastion of common sense economic and fiscal policy.  We have to hold their feet to the fire.  Our survival as a strong nation depends on it.

6 thoughts on “One Cheer for Lee Terry

  1. Could you provide any data, models, history, or current experience that says/shows that cutting the deficit under current conditions would do anything but hurt growth and thus make the deficits worse?

    Wasn’t that why even Republicans feared the fiscal cliff? Because it would reduce the deficit too fast and throw us into recession? Isn’t what you propose basically another fiscal cliff?

  2. I understand that Keynesians think we should continue artificial stimulation of the economy until growth is more vigorous. The problem is that we’ve got 2% growth right now (the historical average) with an Administration following anti-growth policies. Which is the more responsible course? To implement fiscal restraint immediately by adopting a course of rapidly shrinking deficits, or ignoring the ballooning national debt and let others deal with the fiscal catastrophe which will inevitably follow? It will take political courage to act responsibly in our present situation. Democrats often are in denial that there even is a problem. Republicans usually understand the magnitude of the problem but generally don’t want to take the political heat of addressing it. Ouch!

  3. Agree on your comments re Rep. Lee Terry’s seemingly switching votes in regards to solving the fiscal crisis we have been in since 2006. However, to his favor, I would note that the average politician, or at least those who are elected to Congress, are usually not astute enough to understand the real monetary and fiscal issues that underscore the American economic system. And because of that lack of knowledge elected officials often times will cast contrary votes or uninformed votes knowing that their constituents understand government budgets even less.

    • I agree with you. When you take Congress as a whole, Lee Terry is above average. And there are certainly plenty of registered Republicans and Independents (and Democrats too, for that matter), who would describe themselves as fiscally responsible, and don’t think that their own benefits should be cut. And they don’t really understand the magnitude of the fiscal mess we are in. A national debt of $16.4 trillion is just an unfathomly large number. It works out to about $54,000 for each of the 300 million Americans. Maybe this is a better way to describe it!

      • Earlier this year, due to a job loss from last year, gave a 30 day notice to my landlord because I couldn’t pay on the rent. We now live in a shelter starting over.

        Our church teaches provident living, being self sufficient, exercising good stewardship, and living within our means. I am deeply disappointed in our national leadership. I have been teaching my children to be leaders instead of followers, to evaluate everything for themselves instead of taking it at face value. My 7 yo knows enough that he will tell his teacher that we can’t afford the items sent home that require purchase.

        I may not have a college degree but even my son can be fiscally responsible. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals. If our leadership does not follow correct principles how are we to expect them to lead our country.

  4. What you need to make a fresh start is a job, and not more handouts. Republicans in general support the pro-growth economic policies which will do the most to boost employment. This is why I’m a Republican even though I’m a social moderate rather than a social conservative like so many Republicans are.

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