Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Showdown in Congress

Let's start with some theme music...

The Tea Party driven GOP is willing to make sacrifices in the ongoing budget duel showdown.  In  classic moves they hope we forget such as demanding extended tax cuts for the rich, they now want to tighten the budget belt by reducing funding drastically slashing "unnecessary" programs. 
They would like to eliminate that "wasteful spending", of monitoring corporate Greenhouse gasses, and, according to them we don't need no stinkin' Tsunami warning system.  Others call this move reckless & dangerous.
Meat & Poultry inspections would get an 18% budget reduction.

In addition to targeting the USDA, the House GOP's bill also slashes $241 million from the food-safety budget of the Food and Drug Administration, which, among other things, could require the agency to furlough its 8,600 inspectors for an average of more than five weeks. The cuts could also gut the funding for the scientists responsible for examining contaminated products and determining how to detect tainted foods before they make people sick (or worse).
In the meantime, reports of tainted food haven't stopped making headlines. Last week, the Department of Agriculture recalled chicken and pork tainted with listeria—a month after recalling E. coli-carrying ground beef.
The GOP budget slayers slash funding in K-12 education, higher ed, public safety, & human services. 
  • Republicans are already pushing extreme measures like privatizing or making deep cuts in Social Security," he said. "At the same time that Republicans are threatening to undermine Social Security, they are defending $20 billion in government giveaways to oil companies that are raking in record profits, arguing that these handouts should be off the table when it comes to spending cuts. 

Sacrifices they are willing to make...

The List of 70 Spending Cuts the GOP is proposing:   (My comments in parenthesis!)

·         Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies   -$30M  (We should learn something from the Japan quake)
·         Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy   -$899M
·         Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability   -$49M
·         Nuclear Energy   -$169M  (This is a cut I can live with)
·         Fossil Energy Research   -$31M
·         Clean Coal Technology   -$18M
·         Strategic Petroleum Reserve   -$15M
·         Energy Information Administration   -$34M
·         Office of Science   -$1.1B
·         Power Marketing Administrations   -$52M
·         Department of Treasury   -$268M
·         Internal Revenue Service   -$593M
·         Treasury Forfeiture Fund   -$338M
·         GSA Federal Buildings Fund   -$1.7B
·         ONDCP   -$69M
·         International Trade Administration   -$93M
·         Economic Development Assistance   -$16M  (Way to get the economy restarted w JOBS??)
·         Minority Business Development Agency   -$2M
·         National Institute of Standards and Technology   -$186M
·         NOAA   -$336M  (Punishment for slapping BP's hand?)
·         National Drug Intelligence Center   -$11M
·         Law Enforcement Wireless Communications   -$52M
·         US Marshals Service   -$10M
·         FBI   -$74M
·         State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance   -$256M  (How much do we spend on wars per day??)
·         Juvenile Justice   -$2.3M  (Such a tiny piece of the budget, better to help kids avoid a life of crime)
·         COPS   -$600M
·         NASA   -$379M
·         NSF   -$139M
·         Legal Services Corporation   -$75M
·         EPA   -$1.6B  (Notice this is a "B" for billion in cuts- we don't need to protect the environment?)
·         Food Safety and Inspection Services   -$53M  ("Taint" a problem?)
·         Farm Service Agency   -$201M
·         Agriculture Research   -$246M
·         Natural Resource Conservation Service   -$46M
·         Rural Development Programs   -$237M
·         WIC   -$758M  (Women Infant Children low income nutrition program... just have babies no need to 
          feed them!)
·         International Food Aid grants   -$544M
·         FDA   -$220M
·         Land and Water Conservation Fund   -$348M
·         National Archives and Record Service   -$20M
·         DOE Loan Guarantee Authority   -$1.4B
·         EPA ENERGY STAR   -$7.4M
·         EPA GHG Reporting Registry   -$9M
·         USGS   -$27M
·         EPA Cap and Trade Technical Assistance   -$5M
·         EPA State and Local Air Quality Management   -$25M  (Hey! You are already eating tainted food, why  
          do you need clean air?)
·         Fish and Wildlife Service   -$72M
·         Smithsonian   -$7.3M
·         National Park Service   -$51M
·         Clean Water State Revolving Fund   -$700M
·         Drinking Water State Revolving Fund   -$250M
·         EPA Brownfields   -$48M
·         Forest Service   -$38M
·         National Endowment for the Arts   -$6M
·         National Endowment for the Humanities   -$6M
·         Job Training Programs  -$2B  (Another B for billion- how many of these politicians ran on a platform 
          for "jobs" & the importance thereof? Retraining is a necessary component). 
·         Community Health Centers  -$1.3B   ( Another B for billion-- This is just mean. CHC's are a lifeline)
·         Maternal and Child Health Block Grants  -$210M
·         Family Planning  -$327M  (This is aimed directly @ Planned Parenthood- they provide essential  
          Women's health services)
·         Poison Control Centers  -$27M  (You are already eating tainted food & breathing polluted air... adding
          some poison to the mix - what's the big deal?)
·         CDC   -$755M  (Center for Disease control-- Who did they come running to what the Swine Flu hit the
           fan? They spent more than this amount in 6 days bombing Libya)
·         NIH   -$1B (Billion) (Ntl Institute for Health-- sorry people, we have wars to pay for!)
·         Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services   -$96M
·         LIHEAP Contingency fund   -$400M
·         Community Services Block Grant   -$405M  (The wealthy don't need community services, they have 
          Swank Country Clubs @ the golf course.)
·         High Speed Rail   -$1B  (Slash a billion, we don't need highly efficient 21st century transportation)
·         FAA Next Gen   -$234M  (Our aviation systems are fine, solo traffic controllers asleep, airplanes
          ripping holes open in flight, pilots missing runways.... )
·         Amtrak   -$224M  (All un-aboard! We are going backwards, people)
·         HUD Community Development Fund   -$530M

By its mix of deep cuts in taxes and domestic spending and its shrinkage of the American safety net, the plan sets the conservative parameter of the debate over the nation’s budget priorities further to the right than at any time since the modern federal government began taking shape nearly eight decades ago.
After Republicans successfully campaigned in last year’s midterm elections partly by criticizing Democrats for cuttingMedicare as part of Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, they now propose to eventually privatize Medicare and turnMedicaid into a sharply limited block grant to states.
 But based on Mr. Ryan’s proposals for Medicare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that by 2030, the average 65-year-old beneficiary would pay more than double for their health care than under traditional Medicare.

Press secretary, Jay Carney said the Ryan plan, it said, “cuts taxes for millionaires and special interests while placing a greater burden on seniors who depend on Medicare or live in nursing homes, families struggling with a child who has serious disabilities, workers who have lost their health care coverage, and students and their families who rely on Pell grants.”
Deficit hawks criticized Mr. Ryan for not proposing to cut military spending more or to raise tax revenues.
“Because Ryan decided to basically ignore defense and not use any of the reduction in tax expenditures to reduce the deficit, it does place a disproportionately adverse effect on other parts of the budget,” Mr. Bowles (of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission  bipartisan group) said in an interview, including “the things that I think are important to protect the truly disadvantaged.”
If there is no deal by midnight Friday, when the current spending authorization measure expires, parts of the government will close down. Cue theme music...


nonnie9999 said...

the rethugs are scam artists, and anyone taken in by them after all these years deserve what they get. too bad the rest of us have to suffer along with the idiots.

Fran said...

Yep.. the power they have now will be just enough to force the shut down, but not get their way.
In the end, they shoot themselves in the foot
by making life harder for the "small people".
As Michael Moor put it:
"400 wealthy Americans
now have more wealth than 150 million Americans COMBINED!

But what they don't have is the right to vote 150 million times. They only have 400 votes! Are we going to allow 400 bullies destroy the lives and livelihoods of 150 million of our fellow Americans?"

So there!