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House Passed Budget Cuts (Except For Fighting Evildoers)

Old 11-18-05, 03:23 AM
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House Passed Budget Cuts (Except For Fighting Evildoers)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10082831/

House Republicans sweated out a victory on a major budget cut bill in the wee hours Friday, salvaging a major pillar of their agenda despite divisions within the party and nervousness among moderates that the vote could cost them in next year's elections.

The bill, passed 217-215 after a 25-minute-long roll call, makes modest but politically painful cuts across an array of programs for the poor, students and farmers.

The victory on the deficit-control bill came hours after an embarrassing and rare defeat on a $602 billion spending bill for education, health care and job training programs this year. The earlier 224-209 vote halted what had been a steady drive to complete annual appropriations bills freezing many agency budgets.

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The broader budget bill would slice almost $50 billion from the deficit by the end of the decade by curbing rapidly growing benefit programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsidies.

Republicans said reining in such programs whose costs spiral upward each year automatically is the first step to restoring fiscal discipline.

"This unchecked spending is growing faster than our economy, faster than inflation, and far beyond our means to sustain it," said Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa.

Modest concessions made
Both bills are part of a campaign by Republican leaders to burnish their party's budget-cutting credentials as they try to reduce a deficit swelled by spending on the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina.

The budget plan squeaked through after an all-day search by Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to round up votes from reluctant moderates and other lawmakers uneasy with the bill.

House leaders now face arduous talks with the Senate, which passed a much more modest plan earlier this month. Negotiators face difficult negotiations over Arctic drilling, Medicaid and student loans, among other issues.

To win House approval, Hastert ordered modest concessions on plans to limit eligibility for food stamps and require the poorest Medicaid patients to pay more for their care. He ordered killed a provision to deny free school lunches to about 40,000 children whose parents would lose their food stamps.

Those changes and other promises won the votes of lawmakers who had earlier registered opposition to the bill, including James Walsh, R-N.Y., Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., and Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y.

The biggest concession came Thursday evening when Walsh won language permitting food stamp recipients making the transition to work to continue to be able to receive non-cash benefits for child care, transportation and housing without losing their nutrition benefits.

An earlier 224-209 vote against a $602 billion spending bill for health, education and labor programs disrupted plans by the Republican leaders to complete work on freezing many agency budgets through next September.

GOP weaknesses

The afternoon vote was the first time in 10 years the House has rejected a final House-Senate compromise on a spending bill and the episode exposed weaknesses in the GOP leadership team after former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was forced to step down from his leadership post after his indictment on money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Democrats were unanimous in opposing the one-year appropriations bill.

The companion deficit-reduction bill also drew unanimous opposition from Democrats, who objected to both cuts in programs for the poor and the fact that the deficit-reduction bill would increase the deficit when combined with a tax slated for a vote later that would extend tax cuts on capital gains and dividend income due to expire at the end of 2008.

"Name just one religion in the world that preaches the value of asking the most of those who have the least and asking nothing of those who have the most," said Chet Edwards, D-Texas. "Sadly, that is what this budget does."

Republicans who voted "no" included Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, Tim Johnson of Illinois and Nancy Johnson, Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons of Connecticut.

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Hey, we have to reduce government. It's getting out of control. What a better way to cut the massive budget than to start with the poor and students.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 11-18-05 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 11-18-05, 06:41 AM
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I'll be the first to say that although I haven't looked at the actual appropriations, my guess is that they didn't cut those programs enough.
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Old 11-18-05, 08:47 AM
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Good cut programs more, cut taxes more.
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Old 11-18-05, 08:54 AM
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The student loans cuts were somewhat sizeable. I guess they figure that most college students, would-be college students, and those within 10 years out of college vote Democrat anyway.

So the House cut $50B and the Senate cut $35B? Wow - that's a lot. How much has the GOP increased government spending before these miniscule cuts since taking over Congress in '94 and everything since '01?
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Old 11-18-05, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by WildcatLH
I'll be the first to say that although I haven't looked at the actual appropriations, my guess is that they didn't cut those programs enough.

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Old 11-18-05, 09:03 AM
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Glad to hear we are cutting an important driver of growth for nearly all aspects of the economy: students w/ good degrees.
Disagree, low taxes and low interest rates are the drivers of growth for nearly all aspects of the economy.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:35 AM
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is this real dollar cuts, or a slowing of growth of these programs?
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Old 11-18-05, 11:53 AM
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is this real dollar cuts, or a slowing of growth of these programs?
Good point. Remember how the propaganda arm of the dem party(otherwise known as the alphabet networks and the newspapers) proclaimed that Newt Gingrich wanted to starve kids and old people because he wanted to reduce the rate of growth of some programs from 4% per year to 2% per year?
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Old 11-18-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
is this real dollar cuts, or a slowing of growth of these programs?
my suspicion is that this is a slow in the rate of growth.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:07 PM
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Byrd amendment? More pork for Robert Byrd?
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Old 11-18-05, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by darkessenz
Glad to hear we are cutting an important driver of growth for nearly all aspects of the economy: students w/ good degrees.

You think in our cutthroat competitions with foreign competitors for research and scientific progress we would be investing in education. But nope, not with Republicans.
We have plenty of people with degrees in this country. One of them took my order at lunch today. What we don't have is a corporate culture that promotes R&D and progress as much as it used to. Now it's all about the profit margin.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike
We have plenty of people with degrees in this country. One of them took my order at lunch today.
i don't know if you meant it this way, but .
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Old 11-18-05, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Good cut programs more, cut taxes more.
Cut military spending by 50% and you wouldn't have to pay taxes.
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Old 11-18-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
is this real dollar cuts, or a slowing of growth of these programs?
The mainstream media has been falsely talking about such "cuts" ever since Bush took office.

Meanwhile, from a more reliable source:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/elder101205.asp

Oct. 12, 2005

Larry Elder

Since Bush took office, according to the Heritage Foundation, federal anti-poverty spending -- including Medicaid, food and nutrition programs, housing, earned income tax credit and child credits, plus other programs -- increased 42 percent. This is nearly double the rate of increase under President Clinton.

Education: Under No Child Left Behind, Bush increased federal spending on education -- in inflation-adjusted dollars -- from 2001 to 2005 by 38 percent. During the same period, Education for the Disadvantaged Grants (this includes Title I) -- the program designed to decrease the performance gap between urban and suburban school districts -- received an inflation-adjusted increase of 58 percent. Bush increased spending on Education for Homeless Children and Youth by an inflation-adjusted 57 percent during those same years. Under Bush, federal spending for bilingual education has increased 44 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2001. Bush has increased by 52 percent (from 2001) funding for Pell Grants used at technical schools and community colleges.

Job Training: President Bush's 2005 budget included 12.5 percent more funding than in 2001 for job training and employment assistance. This comes to a total of $23 billion for 30 programs in nine agencies. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program pays for job training for those "displaced" as a result of free trade. Bush, in his first four years in office, more than doubled the inflation-adjusted dollars spent on this program.

Community Service: The budget of the Corporation for National and Community Service -- which includes funding for former President Bill Clinton's pet project, AmeriCorps -- grew by an inflation-adjusted 76 percent from 1995 to 2005.

Health Care: The federal share of Medicaid, the joint federal/state program, increased from $129 billion in 2001 to $176 billion in 2004, a 36 percent increase, averaging over 10 percent a year. Health research and regulation funding has gone from $42 billion in 2001 to $63 billion in 2004, a 48 percent increase.

Bottom line, under President Bush, the nation has seen the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted spending since President Lyndon B. Johnson. Indeed, much to the chagrin of fiscal conservatives, President Bush's budgets -- even excluding defense and homeland security spending -- make him the biggest spending president in 30 years.
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Old 11-18-05, 04:42 PM
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http://www.theunionleader.com/articl...?article=63141

November 17, 2005

By GEORGE F. WILL

But, then, the limited-government impulse is a spent force in a Republican Party that cannot muster congressional majorities to cut the growth of Medicaid from 7.3 percent to 7 percent next year. That “cut” was too draconian for some Republican “moderates.” But, then, most Republicans are moderates as that term is used by persons for whom it is an encomium: Moderates are people amiably untroubled by Washington’s single-minded devotion to rent-seeking — to bending government for the advantage of private factions.

Conservatives have won seven of 10 Presidential elections, yet government waxes, with per household federal spending more than $22,000 per year, the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. Federal spending — including a 100 percent increase in education spending since 2001 — has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Clinton, 65 percent of it unrelated to national security.

In 1991, the 546 pork projects in the 13 appropriation bills cost $3.1 billion. In 2005, the 13,997 pork projects cost $27.3 billion for things like improving the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio (Packard, an automobile brand, died in 1958).

Washington subsidizes the cost of water to encourage farmers to produce surpluses that trigger a gusher of government spending to support prices. It is almost comforting that $2 billion is spent each year paying farmers not to produce. Farm subsidies, most of which go to agribusinesses and affluent farmers, are just part of the $60 billion in corporate welfare that dwarfs the $29 billion budget of the Department of Homeland Security.

Brian Riedl of The Heritage Foundation reports that Congress responded to the Korean War by setting priorities, cutting one-fourth of all non war spending in one year. Recently the House failed to approve an unusually ambitious effort to cut government growth. This is today’s ambitiousness: attempting — probably unsuccessfully — to cut government growth by $54 billion over five years.

That is $10.8 billion a year from five budgets projected to total $12.5 trillion, of which $54 billion is four-hundredths of 1 percent. War is hell but, on the home front, it is indistinguishable from peace, except that the government is more undisciplined than ever.
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Old 11-18-05, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Cut military spending by 50% and you wouldn't have to pay taxes.
Military spending makes up about 20% of the federal budget. Why do you think that your proposal would eliminate the need for taxes?

(I favor cutting military spending by 70%, so it's not like I'm against cutting military spending.)
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Old 11-18-05, 04:48 PM
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Because bhk said so. I'm merely offering a viable solution to his tax problem.
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Old 11-19-05, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Myster X
Byrd amendment? More pork for Robert Byrd?

More like pork for companies that like protective tarrifs. From what I understand, the Byrd amendment funnels revenue from antidumping tariffs directly to the companies that requested the tariffs in the first place.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by darkessenz
Glad to hear we are cutting an important driver of growth for nearly all aspects of the economy: students w/ good degrees.

You think in our cutthroat competitions with foreign competitors for research and scientific progress we would be investing in education. But nope, not with Republicans.
Yeah, but science and engineering are not top majors in a lot of the colleges and a lot of the science and engineering students are foreign. I don't think that has anything to do with students being able to get loans.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
More like pork for companies that like protective tarrifs. From what I understand, the Byrd amendment funnels revenue from antidumping tariffs directly to the companies that requested the tariffs in the first place.
My one person coalition of Greens and Libertarians has voted unanimously to oppose this.
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Old 11-19-05, 11:17 AM
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Cut military spending by 50% and you wouldn't have to pay taxes.
Cut the military bugdet completely and you'd never have to worry about taxes at all. Ever.
Guess what, you know what the cut actually is? It is a decreas in the rate of growth from 7.9% per year to 7.2% per year. C'mon reps, bigger cuts, otherwise how can you live up to your campaign promise of starving kids and taking medicine away from old people?
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Old 11-19-05, 12:53 PM
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There are people in the U.S. who starve to death because of abuse and neglect. And there are people in the U.S. who starve to death because of anorexia. And there are people in the U.S. who starve to death because they'd rather spend $100 a day on illegal drugs and/or alcohol instead of on food.

But no one in the U.S. starves to death because of poverty.

If I am wrong about this, then someone please post a news story from a legitimate source about someone in the U.S. starving to death because of poverty any time in the last 10 years. The article must state the person's name, city, date of death, and cause of death.

In other words, liberals talking about "millions of women and children starving in the streets" doesn't count.

Let's not forget the bogus doomsayer predictions that liberals made 10 years ago about welfare reform.
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