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August 12, 2011     Post-Gazette
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August 12, 2011

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 12,2011 b Sa, G,arratan, THE BUDGET FINALLY PASSED Congress passed a deal that would lift the debt ceil- ing in exchange for up to $2.4 trillion in spending cuts. Activists on both sides didn't like the deal and it's not tied to the balanced bud- get amendment. "This is a bad deal for the economy, a bad deal for the middle-class and a bad deal for tackling our real long-term budget problems," said Justin Robin, executive director of a Tea Party group. Congress and the White House struggled for weeks to reach a deal that would avoid an August 2"d default.. The House passed a deal on Monday and the Senate voted on Tuesday. President Obama will get a hike in exchange for $917 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years. The $917 billion will include $741 billion in discretionary cuts, a $20 billion in entitle- ment boosts and 8156 bil- lion in debt service cuts. Under the budget office's baseline estimate spending will rise 4.8% a year in fis- cal 2011-21 and discretion- ary spending will rise an average of 1.6% and con- sumer spending will rise 4.8% a year. Total outlays will rise with the entitle- ments Social Security, Medicare, veterans program and military pay would be exempt. Consumers closed their wallets in June as income barely budged. The Com- merce Department reported that consumer spending fell 2% in June, July versus May, the first drop in two years, .often being up 1% the month before. Income rose 1% in time with forecasts. The weak job market contin- ued to weigh on income spending but government support for the consumer, also waning. Consumers are struggling as they pay more to fill up their gas tanks but new tax relief and other taxes go up as tax pay- ments were up an average of $66 billion versus Decem- ber, as states hike taxes to balance budgets and per- sonal taxes remain $200 bil- lion below their level in 2007 when the recession began. The decline in factory orders unexpected rise in layoffs, cast doubts on the recovery. The U.S service sector grew at the slowest pace in 17 months in July and showed sign that the world's biggest economy is sputtering. "The economy slowed more than expected in July," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. Wall Street had envisioned a rise to 851.7. The report was the latest to show the economy is slowing at the start of the 3rd quarter, and risk of a recession has increased. Mark Vitner, economist at Wells Fargo, says the economy will pick up in the 4th quarter as gasoline prices ease and disruptions from Japan's quake fade. IBM's new orders slowed last month to a 23 month low of $51.7 and the job gauge sank 1.6 points to a 23 month low of 51.7. Export orders fell 8 points. The job report showed evidence that the recovery has slowed. Friday's jobs report rose by 82,000 last month, well below the pace expected to cut the employment rate which is still holding a 9.2%. The Federal Reserve isn't ex- pected to initiate a 3rd round of easing which would boost the price of oil and commodi- ties contributing to the eco- nomic slowdown, Another round of easing will do more harm than good. Lately the dollar has stabilized and energy prices have stabilized and fell quite a bit. That will reduce inflation and sup- port better consumer spend- ing. Businesses are already cash rich, with unemploy- ment may stay around 9% up to election time next year. Smoothie King Opens in Copley Square Phil Garofalo recently hosted a grand opening for his new venture, Smoothie King. The event featured Red Sox catcher, Jarrod "Salty" Saltalamacchia signing au- tographs, boxing legend Tony DeMarco on hand to meet and greet and of course samples of the delicious and good-for-you smoothies. A sunny day in the middle of Copley Square encouraged people to stay and mingle a bit while enjoying their Owner Phil Garofalo, Red Sox Catcher Jarrod "Salty" Saltalamacchia and former Welter- weight Champion Tony DeMarco welcome well wishers to the grand opening of Smoothie King on Newbury Street in Copley Square smoothies and learning more about what Smoothie King has to offer. The menu features something for everyone -- STAY HEALTHY, TRIM DOWN, GET ENERGY, SHAPE UP, SNACK RIGHT, INDULGE, KIDS KUPS. The smoothies are made fresh to order and the staff is more than happy to add or subtract items to customize your sm00thie. Located at 314 Newbury Street on the corner of Hereford Street in Copley Square, it's a great location to stop in after a day of shopping or dur- ing lunch for an energizing and healthy "pick me up." Check out the menu and products at Domenic Garofalo takes a minute from ~hell~i]tg.oltt_dad at the ,grand opening to have a photo taken with "Salty." "'While There is Tea There is Hope" The above phrase was seen by this writer outside the Old North Church in Boston's North End. It can be purchased at the church's gift shop. I know it is a mes- sage about the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party in 1773 that helped launch the War of Independence. The Tea Party site is down behind South Station by the Con- gress Street Bridge but preparations for it began in the North End at the end of Salutation Street down by Commercial and North Streets. There's still a store at the corner but back in 1773 it was the Salutation Tavern which probably ex- plains all the war paint. However, as I looked at the message on the t-shirt, I thought of the current politi- cal atmosphere and the Tea Party movement today across America and up on Capitol Hill where some 78 Tea Party Republicans elected last year are standing up to the principle of smaller gov- ernment, spending cuts and fewer taxes. Today, the liberals in government, the liberal news media and especially MSNBC, have tried to frame the clash between left and ri llt a Ilattlc DCtWCCH responsible liberals and the radical "burn and slash" right wing. To tell you the truth, at least these conser- vatives hold to their prin- ciples. Liberals love calling themselves "centrists" but these folks are principle- less. They pretend to be moderates when they are not. The political center of the Republicans is slight to the right of the political spectrum, but the center for Democrats is actually no- where near the center. These folks are the real ex- tremists. It is their way or the highway. The recent battle over raising the debt ceiling ex- posed who the Democratic leadership really is. None of them really hang out in the center and nor are they mod- erates on social policy. Did you watch President Obama looking foolish trying to hang on to reality? While the leadership in the House and Senate, Democrat and Republican alike were try- ing to lead, the president looked like a bystander pre- tending to be doing some- thing. He looked like the little guy in the comer of the TV screen doing sign lan- guage for the hearing impaired. Instead of using his hands, he was like the guy on that old Saturday Night Live skit from decades ago just screaming what a speaker was calmly saying. I believe the positive power of the Tea Party movement has actually helped the national debate on taxes and spending. The reality is for less spending now. Republi- cans endorse this idea and Democrats reluctantly accept it. America, the dominant power of the 20~ century, is no longer. While leaders in Washington warned on the possibility of default, we as a nation have already defaulted as a leader. Japan, China and Russia are rising while we fall. We are fast becoming irrelevant in the world economy. We have lost our dominance. We now bor- row at the moment 40 cents of every dollar we spend. We have growing numbers of people who get from govern- ment rather than give. Wealth transfer is a bad sign and it is only getting worse. "While there is tea, there is hope." I truly think this quote is more relevant than ever before. Sometimes thinking from the past is the OHI~ lift)~ tO 0E~ LIIU [IJhtl[~l When Paul Revere was watching that steeple for a light or two, he thought he was risking death for the cause of liberty. Sacrifices made for the greater cause of all. Today Americans are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq under great risks to life and limb. These young men and women in our armed forces put their lives on the line every day for that "tea'" which makes us a free society. I salute those trying to make government a source of pride both here and around the world. I salute those who believe We shouldn't be Sp~Fnding ~w;,hat w~flon,t have. Each generation is a gift from the previous gen- eration. It doesn't belong to us. Our job is to pass it on to the next generation in better shape than found. As long as people believe in liberty and don't raise the white flag of surrender, we can survive. After all, despite what the liberals say, if we hold to our principles, we will never lose. While there is a tea mentality, there will always be hope. If we give up, we will forever be thirsty for our cup of freedom. For information PostrGazette,