Coastal Inlet wallpaper – The Debt is Not The Issue. Republican Malfeasance is The Issue

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Republicans eye bigger cuts amid budget fight

Republicans in the House of Representatives are expected to unveil a budget plan next week for the coming fiscal year that would cut taxes, deepen spending cuts and cut the Medicaid health-insurance plan for the poor and disabled, according to lawmakers and aides familiar with the plan.

House Speaker John Boehner said Congress needed to address the rising cost of benefit programs that were expected to explode in the coming decades due to an aging population.

“It’s clear that Washington has to act on the big challenges that face our country,” Boehner said at a news conference. “It is time to quit kicking the can down the road.”

The plan will move more aggressively to cut budget deficits, which have hovered around 10 percent of gross domestic product in recent years, than a proposal put forward by President Barack Obama, lawmakers said.

But it would not balance the budget for 20 years at the earliest, said Republican Representative Tim Scott. That may not be fast enough for the party’s more conservative members, who are planning a budget proposal of their own.

The proposal, which House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is expected to unveil on Tuesday, serves as a blueprint for the coming fiscal year, which starts on October 1.

It will arrive in the thick of a debate over the budget for the current fiscal year. Lawmakers have taken the government to the brink of a shutdown as they struggle to reconcile a Republican plan that would cut $61 billion from the current budget with a Democratic plan that would keep spending essentially flat.

You have to give the media and conservatives credit for changing the subject. The costs of the Bush tax cuts from 2001 to 2010 cost over $2 trillion dollars. 52.5% of the benefits of those cuts went to the richest 5% of Americans. I’m rounding, but pretending for a moment that conservative Republicans were rational adults capable of empathy, they could have looked at those numbers and negotiated a deal to keep about 64% of all of the Bush tax cuts and paid for the current tea baggers wish the list for $61 billion in budget cuts easily. The issue is not exploding welfare to lazy ne’er do wells – part of the  conservative world view that should die along with the antiquated notion of a flat earth. The issue is that since Reagan, every time Republicans control government they run up a huge debt – Iraq alone will cost $3 trillion dollars or more – and they cut taxes. President Obama out Reaganed them by passing two tax cuts, which helped him politically, but did not help in terms of the long-term debt. A debt which is far from some inexplicable black hole. An economic recovery with unemployment below 5% and a slight increase in revenue and all the doom-sayers could be retired back to their caves. NOW WE MUST CUT THOSE FAT CHECKS TO THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED or all is surely lost. Many think, while others wish, the debate was just about numbers or the noise from right-wing pundits and news outlets. They are only part of the problem. We’re battling ignorance with deep roots. Poll: Americans Wrongly Estimate $178 Billion In Fed. Budget Goes To Public Broadcasting. No wonder so much of the public cannot get a handle on diagnosing the problem. If the USA were a cancer patient, the public has the answer, do some triple heart bypass surgery. Public Broadcasting only received $420 million last year or one-hundredth of one percent of the overall budget. This is a Rasmussen poll so to be taken with a grain of salt, but let’s assume it is a close approximation of public sentiments as of today ( After looking at that CNN poll, it would not surprise me if this was close) –  57% Okay With Government Shutdown If It Leads to Deeper Budget Cuts

Republicans want to make more spending cuts in the current budget than Democrats do, but 36% of voters think it would be better to avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at a level most Democrats will agree to. Fifty-seven percent (57%) would rather have a shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on deeper spending cuts.

[  ]…Still, a plurality (44%) of voters thinks a partial shutdown of the federal government would be bad for the economy, down four points from February.  Twenty-three percent (23%) say a shutdown would be good for the economy, while a similar number (22%) say it would have no impact, a seven-point increase from the previous survey.

It is difficult to say what a government shut down would cost today, The Daily Beast estimates the cost of the Newt Gingrich shut-down of 1996, What Happens If Government Shuts Down?

Shutting down the government should at least save money, right? Not necessarily. In fact, they have serious economic ramifications. An OMB calculation in January 1996 estimated the cost of the 26 total days of shutdown at $1.4 billion in taxpayer money.

The Damages: How much will taxpayers and businesses lose?

BFS – Government Shutdown – Damages Shutting down the government should at least save money, right? Not necessarily. In fact, the 1995 shutdowns had serious economic ramifications. An OMB calculation in January 1996 estimated the cost of the 26 total days of shutdown at $1.4 billion in taxpayer money—although a good chunk of that came from back salaries paid to furloughed workers. But the National Park Service forwent more than $14 million per day in revenue, businesses and local governments near parks missed out on an estimated $295 million due to closures, and U.S. tourist industries and airlines lost “millions of dollars,” according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Using an on-line inflation calculator a 26 day shut-down today would cost about $1.9 billion. While many essentials services would continue – the FBI would report to work, Social Security and Medicare checks would most likely still be delivered, many agencies do not have a shut down plan. And while military personnel would still have to report to work, they might not be paid during this shut down because of the way incremental spending bills have been passed rather than spending for the entire year. As the DB reminds everyone, the costs are not just in terms of money. Newt’s political fortunes took a nose dive from which he never recovered. Clinton did not come out smelling like roses, but once Democrats, independents and some disgruntled Republicans were added in, the public held Newt accountable. So House majority leader John Boehner (R-OH) can be held hostage by the tea bags and he can think seriously about being Newt redux.

Whatever Democrats faults  – the perception among progressives and liberals they are not fighting as hard as they should – to the average voter, Democrats are looking more and more like the mature responsible adults. This is the alternative, Rick Scott is the Bernie Madoff of Conservatism, one of America’s most successful criminals who Republican rewarded with a governorship, Gov. Rick Scott orders immediate cuts to programs for disabled

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.

Though a range of state services face cuts from this year’s Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients’ safety.

“lt’s not like, ‘Gee, does this mean I have to skip a vacation this year?'” said Amy Van Bergen, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. “Potentially, these cuts have life and death implications for these people.”

An estimated 30,000 Floridians with severe developmental disabilities receive services that help them live outside of nursing homes — typically with family or in small group homes. Aides help them eat, bathe, take medication and otherwise care for themselves.

But this is not a budget emergency. Scott is further rolling back corporate and property taxes.

 

“We’ve been told the only reason corporations aren’t creating more jobs here is the punitive corporate tax rate fueled by our workers’ demands for a “western” standard of living. But apparently, even with their negative-60-percent tax rate, G.E. has a cut a fifth of its American jobs in the last nine years, while boosting jobs overseas. Y’know, I know the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, but what I didn’t realize is that those people are assholes.”
—Jon Stewart

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