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Category Archives: Federal Budget

No more lap dances

While Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members of the House and Senate are licking their collective political wounds after approving the payroll tax cut bill extending unemployment benefits through 2012, former GOTP presidential hopeful, Congresswoman Michele “Krazy” Bachmann’s doing her best to spin it as a win, crowing how conservatives have put an end to recipients using their debit cards to receive lap dances.

“They’re extending unemployment, too, but the big thing that we get is no longer can a welfare recipient walk into a strip club and get money out of an ATM machine to pay for a lap dance,” she told conservative radio host Mark Levin. “Now, I’m not making this up. That’s the big thing that we get out of this bill.”

That’s right folks, with all the issues we’re dealing with in the economy the GOTP House and Senate members in the Congress have taken the time to ensure welfare recipients won’t be able to use government-issued debit cards to get cash through ATM’s at strip clubs, casinos or liquor stores.

“Welfare recipients across the country have been using their welfare cards — they look like credit cards, it’s a debit card. They get these debit cards, they can walk into a casino, they can walk into a liquor store, they can walk into a strip club and if there’s an ATM machine in there, they can use their welfare card, draw down the money and use it to pay for gambling, lap dances,” Krazy claimed.

Bachmann called the issue “unbelievable.”

“People need to be outraged by this, because we are literally going into hock and reducing our standard of living to keep this kind of ridiculous spending up,” she said. “That’s a problem.”

We’re going into hock because a few welfare recipients might have taken their benefits and gone to a peep show or a casino? No, someone needs to explain to Krazy that we’re in “hock” because we were thrown into two wars without raising taxes to pay for them – instead, the uber-conservatives gave us tax cuts for wealthy and a devastated economy. It’s time for the Congresswoman to get a new brain captain; hers is either dead or asleep at the wheel.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Federal Budget

 

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Kyl says he’s going to takes his toys with him?

Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican Tea Party (GOTP) member of the so-called “super committee” deficit-reduction panel in Congress has said he would quit the panel if new defense spending cuts are considered.

Well, gee Jon, thanks for playing, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. So, defense spending is the sacred cow? We’re going to continue to fund the defense department at the same – if not higher – levels than we have during the past decade since 9-11? Earth to Jon, we got Bin Laden; we can bring everyone home now.

Of course Kyl made his threat in a conservative group hug sponsored by the uber-conservative think tanks Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. He spoke to the groupies a short time after the uber-committee held its first meeting; the same uber-committee which has been tasked by Congress and the White House to find $1.2 trillion in new government savings over the next 10 years.

“I’m off of the committee if we’re going to talk about further defense spending,” Kyl said he has told super committee colleagues.

Once again, see ya Jon! So, you won’t cut defense spending, and you won’t raise taxes? Guess you’re OK though with cutting the guts out of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security though huh? It’s OK to throw Grandma under the treads of the tanks? Once again, we got the Boogey Man; we can stand down, and prepare for the next war. That’s what you do when the fighting’s over. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that the deal struck to create this committee requires $350 billion in security program cuts, which – by-the-way Jon – includes defense spending? Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that if the uber-committee fails to come to a deal on at least $1.2 trillion in additional savings, automatic spending cuts would be triggered starting in 2013. Those cuts would be split evenly between domestic programs and defense?

This is the new GOTP, slash and burn social spending, cut aid to our own people, including veteran’s benefits and school programs, but don’t you dare cut anything out of the defense department’s budget; we need that money to keep the conservative sugar daddy, the military-industrial complex, humming. Please Senator shut your pie hole before you embarrass yourself any further, and please by all means quit the uber-committee. Oh, and by-the-by, your retirement can’t come soon enough.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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Relief from Irene Tied to Budget Cuts?

Once again Republican Tea Party (GOTP) Majority Leader Eric Cantor has shown what a true putz he really is, saying that any federal relief to repair damage and offset costs of dealing with Hurricane Irene should be tied to – or funded by – cuts elsewhere.

But wait Cantor isn’t alone in this way of thinking, Congressman Scott Garrett is in agreement, claiming – through a spokesperson that it’s the “responsible thing to do.”

“With $16 trillion in debt and budget deficits as far as the eye can see, the last thing we should be doing is spending money we don’t have,” Garrett spokesman Ben Veghte said.

Yeah, because if there’s a natural disaster – which no one can predict, and for which you can’t budget money ahead of time – no doubt Garrett wanted to say, “We should cut spending to wasteful programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.” Because you know there’s no way they would ever suggest cutting money to defense, or to Congressional operations.

Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell disagrees with the dynamic dimwits saying that emergency funding can – and should be – handled as it has been in the past, with emergency funding provided outside the normal budget process.

“I’ve always seen, whether it was a big fire out on the West Coast or a calamity in one of the Northern states during a snowstorm, America’s always been there, Congress has always been there,” he said. “Mr. Cantor can’t even run his own caucus. I don’t know how you can expect him to say anything reasonable or sane. This storm isn’t hitting Democrats, it’s not hitting Republicans, it’s hitting all of us.”

Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said in a statement it was “unconscionable that anyone would hold up emergency aid for this storm over ideology. People are going to need urgent help, and I will fight like the devil to deliver it.”

Earlier this year, after tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and south, a bill was approved practically along party lines in the GOTP dominated House seeking to cut spending, including about $450 million allocated to Amtrak for upgrades in Central Jersey, to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.

Fortunately, like most of the ludicrous bills coming from the Neverland of the GOTP controlled House, it hasn’t seen the light of day in the Democratic controlled Senate; but, the Federal Railroad Administration has since approved Amtrak’s project, making it more difficult for Congress to cut the funding.

According to the Associated Press (AP), FEMA’s disaster fund covers a variety of costs, including emergency workers’ overtime, repairs to public works such as roads and utilities, and temporary housing for victims. Fifteen New Jersey counties buried by a post-Christmas blizzard last year, for example, received $19 million this year from the disaster fund.

Cantor and company want to make every dime political hoping top score points with FOX PAC Americans by demonstrating how fiscally responsible the GOTP is compared to the Democratic Party; but all they’re doing is showing how heartless, reckless and moronic the GOTP is. For eight years these same members of Congress funded Bush’s war off budget pouring billions of dollars into Afghanistan and Iraq, and not one of them insisted on cutting spending somewhere else to do that, and they cut taxes – a fundamental economic blunder when fighting a war – but now they want to cut the budget to pay for disaster relief to Americans? I think they’re going to find a boomerang effect from voters in 2012 and then they’ll realize they’ve greatly overplayed their hand.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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FAA is flying again?

The Senate has approved legislation ending the nearly two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which according to the Associated Press (AP) clears the way for thousands of employees to return to work and hundreds of airport construction projects to resume.

The legislation was passed using the “unanimous consent” procedure with two senators being present to approve a House-passed bill extending the FAA’s operating authority through mid-September. Democratic Sen. James Webb of Virginia stood up, called up the bill and asked that it be passed. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the presiding officer, agreed and it was done.

Wow?! See how fast things can move through the Senate when there are no Republican Tea Partistas (GOTP) senators to filibuster.

So, now nearly 4,000 furloughed FAA employees can return to work as soon as Monday – if President Obama signs the bill before then – ending a shutdown costing the government about $400 million in uncollected airline ticket taxes and idling thousands of construction workers.

Although the so-called bipartisan compromise cleared the way for Senate passage of the House bill, including a provision eliminating $16.5 million in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities, the bill now includes language giving the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood authority to continue subsidized service to the 13 communities if he decides it’s necessary

Tea Partistas had insisted on the subsidy cuts as their price for restoring the FAA to full operation. Which they sort of, maybe got; but not really, because the likelihood of Secretary LaHood chopping those rural subsidies is slim to none; of course the GOTP will thump their chests and claim they cut the budget and evil Democratic appointees refused to go along, but fact is they didn’t win jack!

It was in the midst of the debt ceiling hostage crisis that the shutdown began, and the FAA had to furlough some workers but kept air traffic controllers and most safety inspectors on the job. It’s reported that forty airport safety inspectors worked without pay, picking up their own travel expenses. Those would be some of those horrible, greedy federal employees we’re always being told about. In addition, some 70,000 workers on construction-related jobs on airport projects from Palm Springs, Calif., to New York City were idled as the FAA couldn’t pay for the work.

The problems leading to the shutdown began last month when Republican Tea Partista (GOTP) Congressman John Mica, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he was going to attach subsidy cuts to a bill to extend the FAA’s operating authority through mid-September.

Democratic Senators then accused the Tea Partistas of breaking with precedent by using an extension bill to enact policy changes that hadn’t been agreed upon. Old Guard Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas called the measure a “procedural hand grenade.” Senators refused to pass the House bill, saying to do so would be giving into legislative blackmail and inviting the Tea Partistas to up the ante on the next extension bill.

And so the hostage crisis hasn’t really ended, the economic terrorists have simply changed legislation, and are now holding a different part of the economy prisoner in their attempt to force the President and the Democratic Senate to bend to their will. They are two-bit thugs and have no business serving in the Congress; and since all politics is local, particularly where the House is concerned, it makes you wonder what the combined constituency IQ is for some of these Districts.

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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FAA remains unfunded as Republicans adjourn for five weeks?

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that the federal government is likely to lose more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes because the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) House of Representatives has left town for a month without resolving a partisan standoff over a bill to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.

They passed the debt ceiling bill and ran for the hills leaving more than 100,000 contractors out of work along with more than 4,000 FAA Inspectors – the people who inspect our airports for safety. No big deal.

Since the FAA’s operating authority expired the government’s lost more than $200 million since airlines are unable to collect taxes on ticket sales. The FAA’s last long-term funding bill expired in 2007. Since then, Congress has been unable to agree on a long-term plan. The agency has continued to operate under a series of 20 short-term extensions.

Of course the GOTP doesn’t mind because that’s just evil tax money not being collected, and it’s just government employees who have been laid off

While it’s true the Senate (controlled by the Democratic Party) recessed on Tuesday until September, the House (controlled by the GOTP) fled Monday night, probably attempting to outrun angry Tea Party mobs because Boehner didn’t let the government default. It must be remembered that the House of Representatives is where all bills relating to funding start, and with the GOTP tucking tail and running, the House is now recessed, hence the FAA remains unfunded.

President Obama reportedly implored Congress on Tuesday to settle the dispute before leaving town, calling the stalemate “another Washington-inflicted wound on America.” But of course the GOTP ignored the President and went on a no doubt much needed vacation after the grueling weeks of whining and lying to the American people on what raising the debt ceiling would mean.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans were trying to force the Democratic members to accept policy concessions they would be unable to enact through normal legislative procedures. Democratic Senators and Congressmen tried repeatedly over the past two weeks to pass a bill extending the FAA’s operating authority without the subsidy cuts, but were blocked by Republican senators each time.

“Republicans are playing reckless games with airline safety,” Reid said in a statement. “We should not let ideology interfere with making sure that Americans’ air travel runs as smoothly and safely as possible.”

Just one more example of the current reckless behavior in the GOTP which seems to believe the government shouldn’t be regulating anything in our country, and wants to dismantle all federal power to do so; allowing the rich and powerful so-called “job creators” to do whatever it wishes, believing that businesses or the free market will regulate them. Yeah, OK, they should hold on to that happy thought, that and some faerie dust, and one day they’ll fly.

Democratic Members of Congress claim Tea Party fanatics – which for some reason control far more of the Republican caucus than seems logical – are using the air services cuts as leverage to force them to give in to the GOTP House on a labor provision, which the White House has said President Obama would veto. It appears the provision is one more part of a national effort by Republican Tea Partistas, both in Congress and in state capitals, to undermine organized labor.

Through the provision the GOTP is seeking to overturn the National Mediation Board’s ruling approved last year allowing airline and railroad employees to form a union by a simple majority of those voting, as compared to the old rule where workers who didn’t vote were treated as “no” votes.

Democratic leaders and union officials reportedly say the change puts airline and railroad elections under the same democratic rules required for unionizing all other companies. But Republicans complain that the new rule reverses 75 years of precedent to favor labor unions.

“Democrats have to decide if they are going to be the handmaidens of the labor unions in every policy,” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, told reporters. “Every now and then they should put the American people first instead of their constituency.”

Of course perhaps someone should say the same to Mr. Kyl; that Democratic members will do as he suggests just as soon as Republican Tea Partistas of Congress decide if they’re going to continue to prostitute themselves to the rich and powerful. “Every now and then the GOTP should put the American people first instead of its very limited – the top 2% – constituency.” He’s the quintessential pot calling the kettle black, and one of the biggest hypocrites in Washington. But what should we expect from the man who claimed 90% of what Planned Parenthood did was give abortions. He’s a hypocrite and a liar.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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Greatest Generation gets the shaft by GOTP

They stormed the beach at Normandy, braved the cold of Bastogne, flew 25+ missions in B-17s and B-24s, raised the flag at Iwo Jima and secured for us our liberties only to be screwed by the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) when they can no longer take care of themselves.

“Thanks for your service, and sacrifice, but die already” Eric Cantor, Allen West and a host of other ungrateful conservatives seem to say by their words and deeds.

How quickly are the heroes and the heroines of our past thrown under the bus by the very people who claim to revere them and their service. It seems the GOTP Congressional Freshman class would rather cut the benefits of those who fought and bled for us than raise taxes on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney and Rupert Murdoch.

Makes you feel proud doesn’t it?

Who do conservatives think are the ones being sacrificed by cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veteran’s benefits? Who are the ones being shoved to the side when they slash “entitlements”? It’s the ones who kept us safe; and it’s despicable, detestable, cowardly and wrong.

So, go ahead and back this pack of thugs if you must; nod your heads in agreement when Rush, Hannity, et al vilify those who are living off of “entitlements”; but just remember who they are.

If there was ever a group “entitled” to be taken care of then it’s this group. It’s the men and women who went into harm’s way in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and countless engagements throughout the Middle East and points around the globe so we could sleep secure in our beds at night. It’s the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who dared to go where lesser men like Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck, Cantor, and Ryan feared to tread.

Go ahead and support their version of a “balanced budget,” and at what cost they’re willing to “balance” it.

Talk about paying someone back.

Talk about balancing the scales and rewarding those who served.

Sleep well.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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Reagan was not a tax cutter, he was a tax raiser?

With all the uber-conservative positioning on the debt ceiling and cries for standing true to the Reagan legacy of not raising taxes on the rich – oops, I mean the “job creators” – and only cutting taxes, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the truth about Ronald Reagan’s “revolutionary” tax cuts; first, yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and yes Ronald Reagan did cut taxes; sort of. However, these wonderful, growth expanding, job creating, economic exploding tax cuts never fully took effect. You see, they were scaled back in 1982 by a tax increase averaging some $37.5 billion over its first four years.

Second, part of the Reagan tax cut myth is that everyone “never had it so good” as they did under Reagan. Well, again sort of; however, the economy actually grew slightly faster under President Clinton, and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the after-tax income of a typical family – adjusted for inflation – rose more than twice as much from 1992 to 2000 as it did from 1980 to 1988.

While President Reagan rammed a huge 1981 tax cut through a Democrat controlled Congress, he had to follow it with two large tax increases. Fact of the matter is no peacetime president has ever raised taxes so much on so many people. Yes, you heard that right; NO PEACETIME PRESIDENT HAS RAISED TAXES SO MUCH ON SO MANY PEOPLE!

The first two Reagan tax increases came in 1982. That year, he signed into law the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act which raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year, and the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 which raised the gasoline tax by another $3.3 billion. These increases, coming only a year after his “monumental” tax cut were needed because the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were outrageously over optimistic. Over all, the 1982 tax increases undid about a third of the 1981 cut; and truth be told, as a share of the Gross Domestic Product, the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase. In fact, according to the United States Treasury Department, TEFRA alone raised taxes by almost 1% of the G.D.P., making it the largest peacetime tax increase in American history. Listen carefully ditto-heads, because I want you to remember, Ronald Reagan oversaw the “LARGEST PEACETIME TAX INCREASE IN AMERICAN HISTORY”.

President Reagan’s next tax increase was known as the Social Security Reform Act of 1983. Its key provision was an increase in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance. For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Reagan’s income tax cuts of 1981. This is a tax increase that lives on, because it initiated automatic increases in the taxable wage base. Thanks to President Reagan, those with moderately high earnings see their payroll taxes rise every single year. Once again ditto-heads, thanks to whom? Come on, you can say it, thanks to Ronald Reagan.

According to 1980 Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 % in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 %  — but the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 %. The increase in the payroll tax share outweighed, or canceled out, any benefit from lowering of the income tax share paid.

But wait! We’re not done! The following year, Reagan signed another big tax increase in the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984. This raised taxes by $18 billion per year or 0.4 % of G.D.P. A similar sized tax increase today would be about $44 billion

OK, now wait just a darned minute! Reagan passed the historic Tax Reform Act of 1986, achieving in startling clarity his supply side goal of lowering individual income tax rates; well, not quite. The “historic Tax Reform Act of 1986 in reality imposed the largest corporate tax increase in history. OK “ditto-heads”, repeat after me, “THE LARGEST CORPORATE TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY”.

With the simple stroke of his pen, Reagan raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period.

So, what does it all mean?

It means tax cuts during a recession do not work. They didn’t work for Ronald Reagan in 1981, and they certainly didn’t work for George W. Bush in 2001. Tax cuts during a recession coupled with increased federal spending really do not work. Reagan cut taxes and increased federal spending in order to fight, and win, the cold war. George W. Bush cut taxes and increased federal spending to fight the war on terror, and to fund his invasion and occupation of Iraq.

So, what are the differences between Reagan and Bush? Reagan understood his tax cuts were hurting the economy, and did a 180 turn and increased taxes – in spite of what Rush, Hannity, et al claim – while George W. Bush plowed straight ahead off the cliff.

Did Ronald Reagan cut taxes? Yes he did. But then he raised them. Two things to remember about the Gipper and his tax cuts:

First, Ronald Reagan oversaw the largest peacetime tax increase in American history.

Second, Ronald Reagan imposed the largest corporate tax increase in history.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Federal Budget

 

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