Under GOP House, Federal Debt Has Increased $6,766 Per Household

November 16, 2011 - 5:43 AM
China Currency Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, accompanied by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., center, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Americans who follow the workings of our government--even if only casually--presumably know that the Republican Party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2010 elections.

Fewer likely know that the Republican-controlled House gained a veto over federal spending on March 4, 2011.

Fewer still may know that from March 4, when the Republican-controlled House gained that veto over spending, through Nov. 14, the national debt increased by $795,257,695,953.36.

That works out to about $6,766 each for what the Census Bureau estimates are 117,538,000 American households.

Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution says: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." That means that unless both houses of Congress approve legislation that authorizes the executive branch to spend money, the executive branch cannot spend that money.

In December of last year, the lame-duck Democrat-controlled Congress approved, and President Barack Obama signed, a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded through March 4 of this year.

On Jan. 5, the new House of Representatives convened. A Republican-majority took control of the chamber and elected Rep. John Boehner of Ohio speaker of the House.

On March 1, the Republican-majority House approved a continuing resolution to keep the government-funded from March 4 through March 18. Since then, Republican congressional leaders have negotiated a series of continuing resolutions with President Obama and congressional Democrats to keep the government funded.

The latest continuing resolution will expire Friday, and the Republicans will pass yet another spending bill they will have negotiated with the Democrats.

Since March 4, federal spending has no longer been a Democrat-only responsibility--as it essentially was in the previous Congress. Since March 4, federal spending has been the result of a Republican-Democrat partnership.

Liberals and establishment media figures often decry "gridlock" in Washington and suggest the system does not work because Congress does not enact more legislation.

But what we have had in Washington this year is the opposite of gridlock.

We have had free-flowing spending, authorized by legislation approved by the leaders of both parties. This spending has far outstripped the significant tax revenues the government has extracted during the period from working Americans and has driven the nation vastly deeper into debt.

At the close of business on March 4, when the first Republican-backed CR took effect, the federal debt stood at $14,182,627,184,881.03. That equaled about $120,664 for every household in the country.

By the close of business on Nov. 14, the federal debt had climbed to $14,977,884,880,834.39. That equaled about $127,430 for every household in the country--or an increase of about $6,766 per household during the period the Republican House had an effective veto over federal spending.

During that time, House Speaker Boehner also negotiated a deal with President Obama to increase the legal limit on the national debt by as much as $2.4 trillion.

What did House Republicans get in return for sending President Obama a series of must-sign continuing resolutions that allowed the federal debt to climb by $6,766 per household in less than eight months?

Did they include language in any of these must-sign spending bills that prohibited funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which subsidizes liberal talk radio and television? No, they did not.

Did they include language in any of these must-sign spending bills that prohibited federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion provider? No, they did not.

Did they include language in any of these must-sign spending bills that prohibited funding for the implementation of Obamacare? No, they did not.

Because the Republicans did not defund the implementation of Obamacare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was able to issue an Obamacare regulation in August that will require every health care plan in America to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including abortifacients.

This regulation blatantly violates the right to freedom of conscience of every American who understands that abortion takes a human life.

It is a direct attack on the Catholic Church, which is well-known for its moral teachings against artificial contraception and sterilization.

A perfect storm is brewing in American life. The liberal assaults on our economic and religious liberty are converging.

We are as much in need of great leaders today as at anytime in our history. We will not find them among those who now run Congress.