*A very temporary new debt ceiling. In its last action before shutting down for the Christmas holidays the Senate voted 60-39 on Christmas Eve to raise the U.S. debt ceiling by $240 billion, to a grand total of $12.4 trillion. The new funds won’t last long, however. At the present rate of spending the government will run out of money by mid-February.
*Here’s one way to pay the bills. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that some 276,000 current and retired federal employees are in arrears on paying their income taxes. The total owed Uncle Sam by these deadbeats comes to a little more than $3 billion. Among cabinet agencies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development had the highest delinquency rate at just over 4 percent.
*Let’s stop giving it away. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently promised that the United States would give $1 billion to developing countries that work to preserve their forests. This means that the U.S., already $12 trillion in debt and facing another trillion-dollar deficit, will borrow the money from China, to send to Brazil, to bribe them to stop cutting down their own trees.
*But Hillary wants to spend a lot more. Vilsack’s promise of $1 billion to preserve the Amazon rain forests seemed modest indeed compared to the promise at Copenhagen from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She pledged that the U.S. will lead a campaign to provide $100 billion a year, starting in 2020, “to address climate change needs in developing countries.” Where will the money come from? See the first item above.