Archive for the ‘budget’ Category

Republicans Respond To Obama Budget

March 28, 2009

Attacking President Barack Obama‘s grand spending plans, a GOP lawmaker who almost joined the Democrat’s Cabinet said Saturday the U.S. must live within its means or risk its tradition of passing a more prosperous country from one generation to the next.

“We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt,” Sen. Judd Gregg said in the Republican radio and Internet address.

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

Gregg, who accepted the job as commerce secretary but then withdrew his nomination because of “irresolvable conflicts” with Obama’s policies, has become one of the toughest critics of Obama’s handling of the economy.

“In the next five years, President Obama’s budget will double the national debt. In the next 10 years, it will triple the national debt,” said Gregg, R-N.H.

“His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion in new debts to our children’s backs,” said Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy.”

Gregg said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He acknowledged that Obama “is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

In seeking to make the GOP case, Gregg said:

–“It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

–“We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

He said the U.S. “has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk.”

Advertisements

Congressional Republicans Still Struggle, Differ on Budget

March 28, 2009

Even before Barack Obama double-dared them to cough up their own budget, House Republican leaders were quietly drafting a set of conservative budget principles to convince voters – and their own rank-and-file – that they aren’t just The Party of No.

Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor, GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Rep. Paul Ryan worked for weeks on a plan, staffers say, without any serious philosophical disagreements.

By &
Politico

But over time, Cantor-Ryan and Boehner-Pence camps split over questions of tactics and timing.

Pence, with Boehner’s blessing, wanted to unveil an abbreviated “blueprint” Thursday to counter Obama’s criticism and arm members with new talking points heading into this weekend – even if it meant that their plan wouldn’t have much in the way of details.

Cantor and Ryan wanted to wait until Ryan’s staff produced a fully-fleshed-out alternative to Obama’s $3.6 trillion spending plan, with specific numbers on spending and tax cuts – even if it meant waiting a few more days to get it out.

Cantor and Ryan ultimately caved in, and what they got was the worst of both worlds: a thin, glossy “blueprint” that was ridiculed by Democrats and cable news anchors, and a nasty internecine scrap that culminated with one GOP aide telling POLITICO that Pence had thrown Ryan “under the bus” in an “egocentric rush” to grab the spotlight.

Privately, some Republicans are worried that the split over the budget blueprint portends the kind of internal squabbling that afflicted the party during the height of its power at the beginning of the Bush administration.

“It was an unmitigated disaster,” said one House GOP aide of the Thursday roll-out. “We’ve got to figure out why this happened — and fix things fast.”

Thursday’s four-car pile-up wasn’t the first for the four GOP leaders. Six weeks ago, they were able to hold their conference together in two unanimous votes against the Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus package six weeks ago. But last week, the Boehner-Pence and Cantor-Ryan camps split publicly over publicly over the Democratic bill imposing a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to executives at AIG and other bailed-out firms.

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/stori
es/0309/20577.html

******************

From CNN

Despite crushing defeats in the last two elections, Senate Republicans have new “energy and enthusiasm” for winning back the majority, according to their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks in both ’06 and ’08,” McConnell told reporters Friday. “We now have the opportunity to be on offense, offer our own ideas and we will win some.”

Many of those ideas get presented as amendments to Democratic bills, and even though they’re usually defeated, they can draw attention to GOP policy alternatives and force Democrats to take difficult votes.

“They become the way you chart the course for a comeback, which, in this country, always happens at some point,” McConnell said. “The pendulum swings.”

McConnell said many of the ideas for amendments come from conservative think tanks and other Republican thinkers off Capitol Hill.

“Newt Gingrich, for example, has an idea a minute. Many of those are quite good. Many of those become amendments,” he said.

McConnell also said he doesn’t mind the “party of no” label Congressional Democrats and the White House give Republicans.

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/03/27/gop.comeback/index.html

Obama Budget: 42% See Help; 43% See Hurt

March 27, 2009

Voters are evenly divided over whether President Obama’s proposed $3.6 trillion budget will help or hurt the economy.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 42% believe it will help the economy while 43% say it will hurt.

The data, combined with two earlier surveys tracking the topic, shows that opinion on both sides of the debate are fairly entrenched. The data also indicates that proposals for health care reform are likely to be the central front in the budgetary debate.

Read the rest from Rasmussen:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/pub
lic_content/business/general_business
/voters_divided_as_to_whether_obam
a_budget_will_help_or_hurt_economy

Obama’s Americorps: Hitler Youth Or Putin’s Nashi

March 26, 2009

We are seeing American social change on steroids.  The president is too busy for real bipartisanship because he wasn’t a senator long enough to find out what it is and now he doesn’t need it: his party controls the congress.

And he doesn’t need the media much because he can talk directly to his people on the Internet.

There is a growing sense of authoritarianism here.  geithner is asking for more power over business than every prior Treasury Secretary.

And the media is all Obama all the time: Leno, “60 Minutes,” and everywhere else.

I heard China pulled the plug on YouTube because they were tired of Obama….

Isn’t this peachy.

Congress apparently just shelled out out $5.7 billion to fund a project for a federal community service job increase from 75,000 to 250,000.

It’s Americorps, and The Washington Examiner said it could “create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism.”

The Hitler Youth started innocently enough, as we recall: but ended badly with teenage boys fighting Soviet and other allied troops in Berlin.

Vladimir Putin, no novice at all things authoritarian, has several of his own “youth groups.”  My favorite, which I saw in action, is called Nashi.  It’s a lavishly funded youth training and exercie and public service program.

File:Vladimir Putin 24 July 2007-1.jpg
Putin with “Russia Corps”…his Nashi kids….

Kids go in naive and come out, well, brainwashed.  They spout the benefits of Putin’s budget.

Since these Americorps kids will be benefitting from Obama’s budget: what do you expect them to say (and think) after they are indoctrinated (brainwashed) — and paid?

All hail community organizers….

One wonders….

Related:
New York Times on Putin’s Youth Groups:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/0
7/08/world/europe/08moscow.html
 

Radio Free Europe on Putin’s Youth Groups:
http://www.rferl.org/content/Article
/1079218.html

BBC on Putin’s Youth Groups:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe
/4491633.stm

Forget ACORN, Obama’s Americorps Has “strong odor of creepy authoritarianism”

Federal Government Paying “Volunteers” To Teach Liberal Values

ACORN Protesters At Homes of AIG Execs Similar To Lawlessness For UK Bank Exec?

Did ACORN Organize Protests At Homes of AIG Execs? Protesters At Homes Of AIG Execs (Organized by ACORN?)

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
6/obamas-online-townhall-whats-real
ly-going-on/

Obama Talks About “Making Hard Choices,” But Budget Is “Have It All Now”

March 26, 2009

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
Hamlet, I, iii, 51-55

Standing before millions of cheering admirers on January 20, the newly christened President Obama decried “our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.” This idea — that our nation has suffered because we have punted for too long on difficult decisions — was a key theme during Obama’s campaign, and it has been repeated with the frequency of a corporate ad jingle in the early days of his presidency.

By Philip Klein
American Spectator

At last month’s White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Obama declared that, “In the coming years, we’ll be forced to make more tough choices, and do much more to address our long-term challenges.” He reiterated this point during Tuesday night’s primetime press conference.

“What I’ve said here in Washington is that we’ve got to make some tough choices,” Obama said. “We got to make some tough budgetary choices.”

Obama is correct in his diagnosis. The central failure of the Bush era was the belief that we can do everything we want — cut taxes, expand military and homeland security spending, fight two wars, give prescription drugs to senior citizens, increase federal funding for education and energy — and do it all without facing any long-term costs. It was a philosophy that was also reflected in Americans who bought houses that they couldn’t afford and financial institutions that issued loans on borrowed money at an unsustainable pace.

The $1.3 trillion deficit and the weakened economy that Obama is all too eager to remind us he inherited has been the direct result of a stubborn refusal to accept necessary tradeoffs and face the reality that we can’t have everything that we want.

Unfortunately, while he fancies himself a courageous leader, Obama’s budget does not reflect hard choices. He is telling the American people that we can spend trillions of dollars on an economic stimulus package, a housing bailout, and multiple financial bailouts without experiencing inflation or requiring broad tax increases. He is insisting that we can save money by providing health care for every American, that we can accomplish this without rationing care, and that the quality of medical treatment will improve. He is promising that we can save money by throwing more federal dollars into energy and that we can increase federal spending on education while cutting taxes on 95 percent of Americans.

The White House has not offered actual numbers to back up Obama’s claims about this utopian fiscal future, and the only numbers we do have undercut his points entirely.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of his budget, and it found that his policies would more than double the public debt to $17.3 trillion by 2019, equal to a staggering 82.4 percent of the economy.

While Obama’s budget is named, “A New Era of Responsibility,” when questioned about his deficit claims, his first instinct is to point fingers. During Tuesday’s press conference, he snapped, “as I recall I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit.” This may be true, but since taking over, Obama has already increased the projected 2009 deficit to $1.8 trillion, according to the CBO. As comedian Jackie Mason quipped recently, “If I inherited a fire, does that mean I have to make the fire bigger and worse?”

Obama also reiterated his claim that he will cut the deficit in half within five years. It’s true that according to projections, the deficit will drop during that time period, but this argument is a red herring.

Given that the annual deficit will be jacked up to $1.8 trillion in 2009, cutting it in half within five years is no landmark achievement, because the deficits are expected to shrink naturally assuming the economy recovers. In fact, if we were simply to follow current laws, the CBO estimates that the cumulative deficits for 2010 to 2019 would be $4.4 trillion, or less than half the $9.3 trillion that would result from Obama’s budget. Also, while the deficit does decrease in 2011 and 2012, it starts to grow again the following year.

On the campaign trail last June, Obama declared that the Bush administration was “the most fiscally irresponsible administration in history.” At the time he made that statement, Bush’s record deficit was $413 billion in 2004. Yet according to the CBO, if Obama’s budget gets passed, the deficit will never be lower than $658 billion during his time in office should he serve two terms.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Obama argued that part of the reason that the CBO’s data is worse than the White House projections is that the CBO assumes a lower rate of economic growth. But even looking at the rosier estimates, the Obama administration still projects the public debt exploding from $8.4 trillion in 2009 to $15.4 trillion by 2019.

Related:
The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

Anger, Lawlessness Fueling U.S., Global Economic Revolution?

March 26, 2009

Some might say, “The ends justify the means.”

Some might say the “anarchists” seen at global economic leadership conferences are now getting what they wanted; what they protested for.

Today two Washington Post reporters said the President of the United States is “attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis” to pass his budget.

Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool

Are we setting the future course of the United States and the world based upon anger?  And if so, is that a good way to plan our future and the debt burden for our children and grandchildren?

And hasn’t the president himself fueled this anger expressing “outrage” at the AIG bonusus that were protected in his stimulus and known about for months by the Fed and Treasury (and Chris Dodd)?

So now the president wants to “bypass the traditional media and speak directly to the people?”  Why?  To fan and further fuel the anger?

Related:
Social Unrest: Hurt by Economy, Europeans Vent Their Anger

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

 ACORN Protesters At Homes of AIG Execs Similar To Lawlessness For UK Bank Exec?

Economy, “Foreign Forces” Trying to Destabilize Russia?

China fears recession riots

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Global Economy Sparks Protests; Governments Fear Greater “Social Unrest”

Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

James Hill, New York Times

***************************

French Worker Release Factory Head After Lay Off Threat

French workers released a manager of U.S. manufacturer 3M held hostage for two days in a labor dispute over layoffs, the company said Thursday, amid rising French unemployment and public outrage at employers.

AP

A new poll indicated that French worker frustration remains high, with a majority of respondents predicting more violent incidents in response to the economic crisis. The hostage-taking was one of many recent efforts by French workers to protest the downturn.

Workers at a 3M factory in Pithiviers locked manager Luc Rousselet in an office Tuesday, demanding better severance packages for those laid off and better conditions for those who keep their jobs.

After discussions Wednesday that ran into the night, Rousselet was released overnight, company spokeswoman Catherine Hamon said. Rousselet, unharmed, then left the factory grounds.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009032
6/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_france_labor_unrest_7

Please Visit Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
26/obamas-online-townhall-whats-r
eally-going-on/

Brit PM Gordon Brown retreats on Budget spending spree

March 26, 2009

Gordon Brown seemed to heed warnings about the health of the Britain’s public finances as he retreated from plans for a massive spending package to revive the economy in next month’s Budget.

The telegraph (UK)

He was understood to have been considering announcing a new fiscal stimulus package in the Budget and encouraging other countries to do the same in an attempt to tackle the global recession.

But he appeared to have backtracked after a warning on Tuesday from Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, that Britain cannot afford further tax cuts or public spending rises and a shock failed gilt auction yesterday which raised questions over the country’s ability to borrow tens of billions of pounds to fight the economic crisis.
.
Speaking in New York, where he is canvassing support for a deal on a global rescue package ahead of the G20 meeting in London next week, he said had no plans to add to the £20bn fiscal stimulus announced by Alistair Darling last autumn.

He shifted the focus from fiscal stimulus to other mechanisms intended to revive the economy. The prime minister pointed to the importance of quantitative easing, last year’s fiscal stimulus and “incredibly low” interest rates.

“If you take these three changes that have happened over the last few months together, that’s where you look for results on the combination of these three,” Mr Brown said.

He said there were other “effective and quicker ways” of kick-starting demand.

Many European leaders are growing increasingly concerned over the scale of public borrowing. Mirek Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, who holds the presidency of the European Union, said plans by Britain and America to borrow money to fund an economic recovery plan were a “way to hell”.

President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

March 26, 2009

In attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis on behalf of his budget, President Obama is confronting the politically uncomfortable fact that the success of his long-term agenda and Wall Street’s recovery are intertwined.

By Alec MacGillis and Scott Wilson
The Washington Post

That acknowledgment is reflected in the president’s shift in tone from his tempestuous town hall appearances in California last week to Tuesday evening’s more sober appraisal of who is responsible for the frozen credit markets, insolvent banks and burst real estate bubble.

He condemned Wall Street “Ponzi schemes, even when they’re legal, where a relatively few do spectacularly well while the middle class loses ground” during a March 18 town hall event in California’s Orange County, which is now closing elementary schools because of falling property tax revenue. Back inside the Beltway, the president said during his prime-time news conference that some of us “can’t afford to demonize every investor and entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit.”

In the balance as he attempts to walk this line is Obama’s long-term agenda, embodied in the budget he was selling on Capitol Hill yesterday and which a House panel passed on a party-line vote late last night. To build public support for his $3.6 trillion package of plans to reform health care, energy and education, Obama is attempting a kind of transference — persuading Americans that the excesses crystallized by bonuses for the AIG unit at the center of the financial collapse can only be fixed by the systemic overhaul of the economy represented by his budget.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2009/03/2
5/AR2009032503117.html?hpid=
topnews

Lesson for all Americans? California budget “fixes” meet trouble with voters

March 26, 2009
Five proposals are falling short of the support needed to pass. Only a plan to block pay raises for elected officials when the state is running a deficit has strong support.
By Michael Finnegan
Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2009
Five state ballot measures aimed at solving California’s budget crisis are falling short of the support needed to pass in the May special election, a sign that voters may force lawmakers into another fierce clash over tax hikes and spending cuts, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The state’s dismal economy has already partly unraveled the budget deal that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature reached last month, with a drop in tax collections leaving a new $8-billion shortfall. Rejection of the ballot measures would widen the gap to nearly $14 billion.

The least popular measure, Proposition 1C, is also the one that state leaders are counting on most for immediate fiscal relief: It would let the state borrow $5 billion against future lottery revenues. The cost, to be paid over decades, would be billions in new interest obligations, and less lottery money to meet future spending needs.

The poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that Proposition 1C would lose in a rout if the May 19 election were held today, with 37% of likely voters in favor and 50% opposed.

Faring slightly better, but still decisively rejected, would be Proposition 1A. It would cap state spending while extending billions in temporary tax hikes for an extra two years. The survey found 39% of likely voters for the measure and 46% against it.

So far, Proposition 1A is the measure that has drawn the most attention. Conservatives on talk radio, enraged by the extension of the tax hikes, have made its defeat a top priority. Some labor unions are weighing whether to campaign against the spending cap.

The dynamics of the special election are volatile, and public opinion could swing dramatically once campaign advertising begins. The poll found more than 10% of likely voters are undecided on most of the ballot measures. Also, voter turnout is likely to be low, and it is unclear what mix of Californians will wind up casting ballots in the oddly timed election.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-
poll26-2009mar26,0,3460616.story

Federal Government Paying “Volunteers” To Teach Liberal Values

March 25, 2009

In the House, North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx complained last week that legislation to expand the number of national service slots from 75,000 to 250,000 would be a waste of money.

“I think it’s important that we encourage volunteers,” she said. “But this is a paid job. This is a government-authorized charity.”

NPR

And she questioned the program’s effectiveness, especially at a cost of about $6 billion over five years.

In fact, AmeriCorps has been criticized for mismanagement in the past, although agency officials say they’ve fixed the problems. One year it enrolled 20,000 more volunteers than it had the money to pay for.

Read it all:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto
ry.php?storyId=102280114&ft=1&f=1003

See Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
5/to-give-and-to-serve-the-6-billion-n
ational-service-boondoggle/

***********************

Related:
Obama’s Americorps: Hitler Youth Or Putin’s Nashi

Forget ACORN, Obama’s Americorps Has “strong odor of creepy authoritarianism”

In a time of economic crisis, it seems almost unbelievable that we are considering the president’s current budget: which is packed with spending, debt and irresponsibility.

The Associate Press writes, “Obama’s budget has ignited a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with Republicans assailing it for record spending and budget deficits. Democrats are generally supportive, though some have sticker shock over the deficit figures.”

Read it all:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100da
ys/2009/03/25/democrats-knife-obamas
-budget/

Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

Euopean Union President: Obama “will undermine the stability of the global financial market” 

President Obama failed to sell his budget plans to the American people