During Sunday’s interview on ABC’s This Week with the Obama administration’s chief economics advisor, Austan Goolsbee, he warned opponents not to treat the issue of raising the debt ceiling as a game or a toy.

Incoming Tea Party-elected officials continue to vow to target deficit spending. Fox News writes, “Republicans elected to Congress with the help of Tea Party support pledged Sunday to devote themselves to balancing the budget over all else when they start their new jobs on Wednesday.”

money with flagAccording to the federal government’s 2010 financial statements, released in late December, the 2010 deficit was $1.29 trillion, a slight decrease from the 2009 deficit of $1.42 trillion. Despite this minor improvement, the long-term debt when all obligations are taken into account, including such major unfunded liabilities as Social Security and Medicare, is an astounding $64 trillion — and that may be understating things by about $12.3 trillion, says John Williams of ShadowStats.com (as reported by Douglas French on the Ludwig von Mises Institute blog).

CongressWhen the House of Representatives announced new rules for the Congress that convenes on Wednesday, the mainstream media immediately called them “strict” and even “unprecedented.” The first new rule to take effect will be the reading of the Constitution of the United States and its 27 amendments on the floor of the chamber.

Tea PartyTea Party support helped coast a number of congressional candidates to victory in the 2010 midterm elections. However, whether those victors will stay true to their alleged Tea Party values remains to be seen. For example, politicians affiliated with the movement have come under harsh criticism for their hypocritical stance on earmarks, as many of the same people who lashed out against earmarks have requested a number of them.

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