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Category “Government Spending”

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Moody’s: A “Default” in 2013 Won’t Be Same as, Or as Bad as 2011

Some­how, this has not been as wildly reported as it prob­a­bly should be.

Again, as any­one who’s had credit prob­lems can tell you (and this is 21st Cen­tury Amer­ica, so who hasn’t?), as long as you’re mak­ing pay­ments and aren’t adding on new debt, you’re cred­i­tors won’t sick their dogs on you.

We believe the gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to pay inter­est and prin­ci­pal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leav­ing its cred­it­wor­thi­ness intact. The debt limit restricts gov­ern­ment expen­di­tures to the amount of its incom­ing rev­enues; it does not pro­hibit the gov­ern­ment from ser­vic­ing its debt. There is no direct con­nec­tion between the debt limit (actu­ally the exhaus­tion of the Treasury’s extra­or­di­nary mea­sures to raise funds) and a default.

But, but, all the money we owe?  The Chi­nese?  The Markets?

Yes, those are impor­tant, but if we actu­ally got spend­ing under con­trol, they won’t come calling.

Is the sit­u­a­tion worse now than it was in 2011, the last time that the debt limit was an issue? No. The bud­get deficit was con­sid­er­ably larger in 2011 than it is cur­rently, so the mag­ni­tude of the nec­es­sary spend­ing cuts needed after 17 Octo­ber is lower now than it was then.

The real ques­tion going for­ward now is this: Will we keep adding to our debt, or will we finally do some­thing (enti­tle­ment reform?) to stop it from growing?

Another blank check isn’t the answer, and D.C. needs to start fig­ur­ing that out soon, or we’re all liv­ing in a Banana Repub­lic in 30 years…

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Cartoon of the Day

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99 Percent of ObamaCare Applicants Didn’t Get Through

In real­ity, no one appears to have got­ten through in the now-six day old “HealthCare.gov.”  (Now back “under con­struc­tion” this week­end as the IT dorks try to get it past the “Beau­ti­ful, but use­less Word Press blog” stage…)  Well, there was a report that a 20-something got in, but appar­ently he didn’t.

[Of course the fun­nier part in that story was that he was a plant from Orga­niz­ing for Amer­ica, of which he’s been employed or with since 2007…]

It’s a bat­ting aver­age that won’t land the fed­eral mar­ket­place for Oba­macare into the Health­care Hall of Fame.

As few as 1 in 100 appli­ca­tions on the fed­eral exchange con­tains enough infor­ma­tion to enroll the appli­cant in a plan, sev­eral insur­ance indus­try sources told CNBC on Fri­day. Some of the prob­lems involve how the exchange’s soft­ware col­lects and ver­i­fies an applicant’s data.

It is extra­or­di­nary that these sys­tems weren’t ready,” said Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, which han­dles data integrity issues for major insur­ers includ­ing Well­Point and Cigna, as well as mul­ti­ple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

Experts said that if Healthcare.gov’s suc­cess rate doesn’t improve within the next month or so, fed­eral offi­cials could face a sit­u­a­tion in Jan­u­ary in which rel­a­tively large num­bers of peo­ple believe they have cov­er­age start­ing that month, but whose enroll­ment appli­ca­tions are have not been processed.

It could be pub­lic rela­tions night­mare,” said Nijhawan. Insur­ers have told his com­pany that just “1 in 100″ enroll­ment appli­cants being sent from the fed­eral mar­ket­place have pro­vided suf­fi­cient, ver­i­fied information.

Accord­ing to CNBC, another insurer they talked to who was pro­cess­ing HealthCare.gov enroll­ments — but didn’t pro­vide his or his company’s name — said that they were get­ting half com­pleted appli­ca­tions, going so far as say­ing that many of the appli­ca­tions look like they are com­ing from cor­rupted data.

No won­der com­puter secu­rity experts like John McAfee say the entire sys­tem is a “hacker’s wet dream.”

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Cartoon of the Day

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The gang over at Reason.TV put out a video yes­ter­day explain­ing how in three ways, Apple’s iOS 7 release is noth­ing like ObamaCare.

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WWII Veterans Blow Past Barricade at Memorial Set Up for Shutdown">WWII Veterans Blow Past Barricade at Memorial Set Up for Shutdown

Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment Syn­drome” has hit a new level when this has to happen.

For what it is worth, I’ve found the plac­ing of bar­ri­cades at open-air mon­u­ments com­pletely idi­otic.  This is the Parks Ser­vice act­ing as will­ing polit­i­cal accom­plices by pretty much caging off the Mall and its mon­u­ments when they reg­u­larly don’t on a nightly basis.

Shut­down or not, there’s very lit­tle rea­son to close attrac­tions that aren’t in build­ings, can be accessed to the pub­lic sim­ply by walk­ing up to  them, and only need to have bar­ri­ers up when the POTUS or any other VIP is visiting.

Kudos to PJ Media for catch­ing this story on video.

 This anec­dote at NROs’ The Cor­ner explains exactly why the Parks Ser­vice is “the polit­i­cal shock troops of any Pres­i­dent dur­ing a gov­ern­ment shutdown.”

In the past the employ­ees of the National Park Ser­vice have enthu­si­as­ti­cally served as the President’s shock troops in going out of their way to max­i­mize the incon­ve­nience to the pub­lic of any fed­eral shut­down, and this time around is no excep­tion.  Case in point is the Fred­er­icks­burg bat­tle­field in the cen­ter of the town.  Other than the museum/office, all parts of the bat­tle­field and the two park­ing lots that serve it are open 24/7 even though staff depart at 5:00.  Indeed it would be impos­si­ble to close it off since there are no gates or fences to secure it.  Nonethe­less the NPS staff have risen to the chal­lenge and have placed orange cones at the four entrances to the two park­ing lots.  Of course you can still visit the bat­tle­field, you’ll just have to park some­place else.  They have also locked the gates to the ceme­tery, sug­gest­ing that their play at par­ti­san pol­i­tics is more impor­tant than America’s right to honor its war dead.  But even this egre­gious ges­ture is largely sym­bolic since the ceme­tery is unfenced in parts and the able bod­ied  can sim­ply walk up a grass hill to get in.

That’s from Ron Utt, for­merly of the Her­itage Foun­da­tion.  He now writes mil­i­tary his­tory books.

Now…can some­one explain to me why we haven’t pri­va­tize secu­rity for the Parks Ser­vice yet?

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