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Senate to continue fiscal irresponsibility

Senate to continue fiscal irresponsibility

The American people have a very low regard for Congress.  In various polls runs around an abysmal 12 percent – and that runs across party lines.   Of course, that is higher than it should be.  One wonders who that 12 percent are.  Even half the members of Congress think the institution is broken.

We are about to see the Senate again prove its disfunction – with establishmentarian Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joining in a bipartisan vote to pass a $6 trillion measure to fund the government until October 2023.  This is the same can that congressional Democrats and Republicans have been kicking down the road for years.

First, you need to understand that it is the Constitutional duty of the House to prepare the federal budget to be considered by the Senate and ultimately sent on to the President.  A budget is a list of all the proposed expenditures (appropriations) and the means to pay for them (taxes and borrowing).  It is a big job – with a lot of differing opinions as to how much Americans should spend … on what programs … and specifically how it will all be paid for. 

It is such a big job – with a lot of transparency rising out of the debate over specific items – that Congress simply refuses to do its job.  Congressional leadership is, however, very clever in avoiding the budget process while keeping the folks back home from knowing what they are paying for.

They manage the financing of the entire national government by “Continuing Resolutions” and “Omnibus” legislation.  The Continuing Resolution means that they simply push forward the old expenditures – with an inflationary increase — without offering a new budget.  An Omnibus bill means that everything gets put into one bill without much consideration as to what is in it.

Oh .. we can know the size of the bill — in this case, $6 trillion dollars of your and my money.  But even your own member of Congress may not know much more than we do.  The Omnibus Bill is put together by the leadership and the leadership staff. The membership will be asked to vote on it without an opportunity to read it.   Remember Speaker Pelosi saying that they would have to pass the Obamacare legislation to see what is in it?  That sounds absurd, but it is the way Congress does things.

The bill is always up for consideration at the last moment – just before Uncle Sam would start defaulting on the National Debt – creating a huge economic disaster for America.

Typically, all the Democrats are willing to vote for the legislation – and they dare the Republicans – who do not like doing business in this manner – to vote for it or take the blame for shutting down the government and putting America into default.  And every time, the Republicans fold.

In the current situation, Republican Minority Leader McConnell may be folding too far or too fast.  A better strategy would be to pass the extension legislation for a month or two — not the next ten months proposed by Democrats.  That way, the Republicans would have control of the House – and they would be in charge of putting forward budget measures the next time there was a deadline.  You can bet that what would come out of the future House would be more fiscally responsible.

Why McConnell would rather work with Senate President Chuck Schumer than his own colleagues in the House makes no sense at all.  It is just another example of the Washington insider game.

Once again, we, the people, will be flimflammed by our own representatives in the nation’s capital.  And they wonder why we hold Congress in such low regard.  Hmmm.  Actually, it should be obvious to all of us that they just do not give a damn what we think.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank stetson

    $6 trillion?

    Isn’t it $1.7 trillion?

    I think the entire US budget is over $6 trillion.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … Correction noted and appreciated. But the point remains.

      • Frank stetson


    • AC

      Regan famously had a saying for just a time as this. There you go again. If you recall the context for his saying it. I believe, seeing today’s remarks, he would be sayin, There you go again.
      The next two years may not proceed as you hope. So, hold on to your hat with one hand and the ship of state’s railings with the other.

  2. Rudy

    Yep. They always give the communists what they want. It’s time to make them look for new jobs, I think.

  3. Rick

    The USA is over 31 Trillion dollars in debt and growing fast. We are on a sinking ship and we cannot bail fast enough. That is why, IMHO the USA is laundering money through Ukraine to try and keep floating a little while longer. That 31 trillion number is no where near the real amount.
    I remember when the debt was 12 trillion not all that long ago. The crooks running things do not care. It is sickening to watch them run our future into the ditch and over the cliff. We are paying taxes on everything and it will never be enough. They have opened the flood gates to let everyone from everywhere come in, and they are giving our country away. You cannot convince me that more than half of the people voted for this. Our country was overthrown at the last presidential election and continues to be overthrown with the theft of just the elections that the democrats need to stay in power to finish the destruction of our beloved USA, while the republicans talk and do nothing because they are part of it.

    • frank stetson

      Sucks to be you Rick :>) the world is agin you.

      I agree that the debt is out of hand. Rather than focus on the magnitude of the amount, a normal human weakness since all Federal numbers are beyond our scope of normal to begin with, I focus on debt/GDP ratio. This is more of a “can you afford it” number like when you compute how much mortgage you can carry, you do it as a percentage of income. Only on a national scale.

      The magic “warning, warning Will Robinson, danger, danger” number is 100% debt to GDP first achieved first time after WWII. That basically says you burn what your earn. From there, we spent 35 years bringing the debt down, like the greatest generation would do, until……REAGAN…..and it’s all becomes shit, except for a brief peek of the sun during the Clinton years, ever since —–both parties brought us nothing but more clouds. Nobody pays the debt down. Ever.

      But that’s OK, everyone needs a mortgage; it’s just that 100% of income means you be borrowing way too much and you can’t afford this house, especially in a recession. Fact is, we don’t know that 100% is the end of it all, it’s arbitrary based on the worst it’s ever been. The real end is when foreign lenders decide we ain’t worth the risk anymore. That will be over 100%, based on almost 100 years of evidence. However, Japan does OK at 200%….

      Obama hit the 107% range or so during the great recession, but he got scared and throttled back. But he left Trump with slightly less than 100 and Trump cruised right on through with his tax cuts, spending, and stimulus spending leaving us at 129% when he slinked off to Mar a Loser with all those top secret documents and the White House recipe for fling-burgers. Biden should get us to 123% by this year, but IMO, too little and not soon enough. We have a real problem here, like our economic heads are under the guillotine and no one knows when and if it will fall. Mark my words, recession will not help this and when it happens, it will probably be overnight.

      IMO, that’s the bigger threat than the size of the debt, it’s the double edged sword of size and our growing inability to support said debt with our sustainable national income, so to speak. If we could double our production and sales, this debt would not even be an issue, but Trump GPD growth was dismal. Obama probably hit around 2% with one negative year; pretty bad but indicative of his slow recovery. Trump was around 2%, promised his tax cuts gets us over4% but lied, and delivered a negative 3.4% in his last year, the pandemic. Biden hit 2.7% in 2021, but fair’s fair, some of the credit should be Trumps. This year, for three quarters it’s been 6.5%, 3.2% and -.6% signaling we are in a recession no matter what Yellen may say.

      We need to curtail spending, and focus the remaining spending on GDP growth as THE major metric to any budget line item. We need to do better than the greatest generation given that we have been much more greedy than they: at least they could blame WWII, what do we have: taxes be too high and we need more free money? Shameful, unprofessional politicians with little idea about finance and all too willing to kick the can down the road to the next guy. As Trump the businessman, Trump the bankruptcy king, did all to easily. And now Joe attempts the slow roll telling us he reduced the increase as if that’s more than the tiniest of baby steps in the right direction. We need a firm hand on this tiller.

      • Rick

        Home ownership is now in danger because of liberal insanity frank. Now liberals are saying that it is racist to own a home because some people can afford more home than other people and some people cannot afford to get a mortgage at all and have to rent. How far will the crazy liberal syndrome go frank?

        • Frank stetson

          I have not a clue what you are kvetching about.

          • Rick

            I know you don’t frank. It is unusual for you to not have a clue though. You do know that we will own nothing and be happy don’t you? That is how they plan to take away ownership of private property. It is racist like everything else liberal. Its just not fair for someone to have more than someone else. Just because a person is sitting on their butt and not contributing anything to humanity, it is not fair that they do not own a house at least as big and nice as yours frank. You and the rest of the hive mind liberals will not have a clue until all that you have is taken away from you because of the things you believed in that caused it, and then you still wont have a clue about why it happened except that, it must have been those darn republicans as you move into a NWO pod complete with 24/7 full surveillance and eat bugs because there is nothing else all due to the things you believed in and cheered and supported.

          • Tom

            I think Rick is talking about an article that came out in The Conservative. It was written at Stanford U, CA. It deals with our current home buying system and should young people even bother buying houses anymore, or should they just rent. It is about unfairness in the system. See the article at

            I read the article in The Conservative, and I thought it was all crap.

        • Tom

          Rick, it was not all liberals. It was an essay out of Stanford University, that’s all. I read the same article. Stop it!!!

          • Rudy

            I read it too. Just today in fact. It’s more of their ‘equity’ garbage on steroids. Their ‘No one is allowed to have more than anyone else’ crap. Well tell me something. If I drag my butt out of bed at 5:00 every morning and go help a rich man get richer and richer while Rommel or Hose or Denzel sit around day after day living on food stamps and welfare because they’ve popped out enough babies to be eligible for it, doesn’t that mean I’m allowed to rightfully have a nicer neighborhood or bigger house or cooler car?? If I’m willing to get out and work for it while they sit on their duffs playing grand theft auto or donkey kong all day don’t I have the right to enjoy my ‘better” stuff??? Racist to own a house because some may not be able to match my accomplishments??? What a load of crap!! In my opinion it’s racist to allow those people to be dumbed down and turned into couch potatoes most of their lives! The democrats have created a double standard for the different races instead of encouraging them to do for themselves instead of taking from those who work in order to support those who don’t want to. Now they want to say we’re racists because we bought and spent years paying for something nicer than some others could afford sitting on their heinies their whole lives. Is the government going to be real with this equity thing and give up THEIR properties? I’d like to see it. They need to lead by example. Let them get rid of their homes and properties and share ‘equitably’ with their poorer constituents. Yeah. That’s what I figured.
            Freaking hypocrites!!!

  4. Mike F

    Larry, Once again your stupidity (and your desire to blame the dems for everything you perceive as wrong in this country) is showing). The problem with debt (which I agree is a problem) is completely a “Republican” manufactured issue. Back in 2017, they foolishly cut taxes, lying to the American public that these cuts would stimulate the economy and reduce the deficit. They did neither. Since then, the democrats have discussed putting the tax rate back to where it was prior to these cuts, but due to the tiny majority that Democrats have had in the senate, they cannot pass that common-sense part of their plan. Republicans do not care about the deficit, and do not want to take action to fix this problem as indicated by their complete lack of support for putting tax rates back to where they were. So there tis-a conservative generated problem followed by inaction to correct…

    • larry Horist

      Mike F … Since you contributions to the discussion are so blatantly biased and factually wrong, I do not know what to think of you. Are you stupid of a liar. Does not appear to be any other options. The federal debt did not become a problem after 2016. Educate yourself before you continue to embarrass yourself.

      • Sam

        Mike F the fag

      • Frank stetson

        Actually, IMO, if you think gdp/debt ratio is a better measure of how much the country can afford to borrow, the red line is during Obama with total broken during Trump and thus far Biden claim to fame is lowering the increase to between Trump and Obama which is too little, too slow, but at least sends a signal to investors.

        The thing that holds us in is that we may suck, but we are still queen of the pigs and the safest bet in the world. When it goes, probably a trickle like in China and then, poof, no money!

        Dangerous stuff to have bad books.

    • Rudy

      You’re right. The ball-less wonders!! They care about nothing but keeping those big fat paychecks. Time to throw all their butts out into the real world and watch ’em sink or swim! Traitors!!!

  5. Darren

    The fact that only 12% of the people agree with congress means the system is not broken. The broken part comes as the media
    just does report with any degree of accuracy what is actually taking place in this country.
    Should the country default ” YES ” if this is what it takes to wake a few people up.
    Businesses in this country do not get to go to the bank and reborrow to make them selves whole again.
    No banker will throw good money away after bad. McConnel has been bought and paid for many times over as it is obvious.

    With this said – Deficit really means ( we owe ourselves ) more money in my right pocket than my left.
    How we look to rest of the world is not as important as how we take care of ourselves.
    The world is a Shit Show at the moment, owing another 1.7 Trillion TO THE WORLD really means nothing.
    It is only the effect it has at home that creates the panic. Yes, hit the brakes, shut it down, a little idle time never hurts
    when making a hasty decision. If you ever ran or invested in a business you would understand.