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Keyword: budget

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  • Congressional Budget Office: Budget deficit drops to $435B

    10/08/2015 5:09:53 PM PDT · by celmak · 41 replies
    AP/Yahoo News ^ | 10/07/2015 | ANDREW TAYLOR
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional budget analysts said Wednesday that the federal government ran a deficit of $435 billion in the just-completed budget year, the smallest deficit since 2007 and well below the record shortfalls of President Barack Obama's first term.
  • Tea Party Wave Left a Ripple Effect Still Felt in Budget

    10/06/2015 4:35:52 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 7 replies ^ | October 6, 2015 | Stephen Moore
    Remember the much-maligned Tea Party movement? These were the patriotic Americans -- millions of them -- who took to the streets and the town halls across America and revolted against Bush's corporate bailouts, Obama's stimulus spending blowout and Obamacare, and the Fed's policy of tossing trillions of dollars out of helicopter windows (figuratively). Good news: They helped change and maybe even slightly fix America. The latest budget deficit numbers -- for the fiscal year that just ended -- find that the deficit has fallen by $1 trillion since Obama's tragic first term. The deficit is still near half a...
  • Pennsylvania's budget train wreck unfolded over past year

    10/03/2015 5:43:36 PM PDT · by gusopol3 · 14 replies ^ | October 3, 2015 | MARK SCOLFORO
    As weeks without a budget turned into months, Republicans decided to push through a stopgap plan to get money to schools, government agencies and programs while talks on a complete budget deal continued. Again it was on party lines, again Wolf vetoed it. "I understand we have divided government," Wolf said. "What I don't understand is people who don't want to govern at all." A few days later the Republican leaders announced they would give the governor a chance to demonstrate he has the votes for tax increases through a floor vote next week, and Democrats have been scrambling to...
  • Fairly steep Department of Defense cuts announced

    10/01/2015 8:47:57 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Hotair ^ | 10/01/2015 | Jazz Shaw
    Congressional negotiators have come up with a plan to cut costs at the Department of Defense which represents a compromise between proposals from the House and the Senate. Assuming this comes up to a vote and is approved there’s going to be a 25% reduction in the civilian workforce in addition to the introduction of a new retirement plan for the troops. Government Executive Magazine has the details. The 2016 defense authorization compromise bill would require $10 billion in cuts, half of which must occur by fiscal 2018. The one-quarter staff reduction was a compromise between the 20 percent...
  • No shutdown? Fine. 69 percent of Americans didn’t want one over Planned Parenthood anyway

    10/01/2015 8:32:54 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 22 replies
    Hotair ^ | 10/01/2015 | Matt Vespa
    Congress had grappled with shutdown drama. On October 1, the government would have run out of money. Last time, the government was shut down, it was a sloppy attempt to gut Obamacare. It was done with the full knowledge that a) Obama would never eviscerate his signature domestic achievement (ever) and b) the Republicans never had the votes to be successful. Even with public opinion siding with the GOP over the various mandates within the health care law, Obama won. The government was reopened–and Obamacare remains the law of the land.With the current squabble over Planned Parenthood, the numbers...
  • Candidates Talk Tax Cuts But Go AWOL On Spending Cuts

    10/01/2015 6:40:22 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    IBD ^ | 10/01/2015 | Veronique de Rugy
    Cutting taxes is great, but as I said, it must be done alongside genuine spending restraint — meaning serious changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Affordable Care Act subsidies, which are consuming an ever-growing share of the budget. Doing one without the other would just kick the can farther down the road, an exercise that politicians are very good at. The good news for the candidates is that a plan to cut spending isn't that hard — on paper, at least. Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell calculated that we could balance the budget by 2021 by capping spending growth at...
  • FR peer review: Planned Parenthood

    09/29/2015 8:04:55 AM PDT · by Fundamentally Fair · 17 replies
    Vanity | 9/29/2015 | FF
    Lately, I’ve seen a new Facebook profile template supporting PP. It is an overlay, similar to the rainbow flag one that went viral a few months ago, that says “#StandwithPP”. I want to post a counter to this with a graphic and text. Here is what I’ve come up with:    As I see it, there are two issues driving the current Planned Parenthood debate: Abortion and government spending. I don’t expect anything to change on the abortion front. The Supreme Court says that it’s legal. They’ve been wrong before, but more about that in a second. The second issue...
  • We’re Not That Far from a Balanced Budget

    09/29/2015 6:58:54 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    National Review ^ | 09/29/2015 | Kevin D. Williamson
    Americans are funny about taxes: When we complain about them, we don’t moan that we are paying too much — we lament that others are paying too little. In a Pew Research Center poll last year, only 27 percent of Americans cited their own tax liabilities among their complaints about the tax code, while 64 percent complained that other taxpayers — the wicked 1 percenters, the dreaded corporations — were getting off too easy. If you’ve ever met anybody who believes that we can balance the budget by cutting foreign aid, that the Social Security “trust fund” is a real...
  • U.S. Senate Blocks Resolution to Defund Planned Parenthood

    09/29/2015 5:55:09 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 25 replies
    American Center for Law and Justice ^ | 2015-09-24 | Nathanael Bennett
    Today, by a vote of 47-52, 52 U.S. Senators blocked a vote on a resolution that would have fully funded the government while redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars away from Planned Parenthood and to community health centers. Unfortunately, the 52 Senators who voted ‘no’ prevented the Senate from invoking cloture and overcoming a filibuster. As a result, Planned Parenthood is continuing to receive taxpayer dollars, and a government shutdown continues to loom. Ironically, many of the same 52 Senators who are engaging in a filibuster today are loudly deriding the possibility of a government shutdown in less than a...
  • New Boehner strategy: Defund Planned Parenthood through reconciliation process

    09/25/2015 8:54:23 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/25/2015 | Ed Morrissey
    Why not? It worked for ObamaCare, didn’t it? The Hill reports that Speaker John Boehner’s latest strategy to thread the needle of demands to defund Planned Parenthood and yet avoid a government shutdown will take a page from the Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi playbook: Top House Republicans hope to convince their members to keep the government open by using a fast-track process known as reconciliation to try to defund Planned Parenthood.House Republican leaders are planning to target Planned Parenthood’s funding by immediately drafting a fast-track reconciliation bill, according to a senior House GOP aide.Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants...
  • Boehner Will Resign from Congress

    09/25/2015 6:32:27 AM PDT · by abb · 458 replies
    The New York Times ^ | September 25, 2015 | JENNIFER STEINHAUER
    Speaker John A. Boehner will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October, according to aides in his office.
  • Senate bill that would defund Planned Parenthood fails badly, 47/52. Eight Republicans vote no

    09/24/2015 5:34:25 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 37 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/24/2015 | AllahPundit
    Two of those Republicans, Rand Paul and Tom Cotton, opposed the bill not because of its Planned Parenthood provisions but because it didn’t meet their priorities on other government spending. Paul voted no because it would lead to another $400 billion in debt; Cotton opposed it because spending on defense wasn’t high enough to suit him.I haven’t seen explanations from the other six but five of them are among the most centrist members of the caucus. (Ben Sasse is an exception.) Did they take issue with some element of spending too, or was this in fact a vote to...
  • Congress moves quickly on shutdown… to make sure we don’t spend any less money

    09/23/2015 7:38:27 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 14 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/23/2015 | Jazz Shaw
    If I’m reading the calendar correctly we have about four congressional working days until the government shuts down, assuming we don’t get some sort of deal on a continuing resolution. So what happens next? For one thing a whole bunch of federal workers will be placed on unpaid leave and sent home unless they are in “critical” positions which can’t be left vacant. This clearly calls for quick action by our elected representatives and you may rest assured that they’re all over this thing. A bipartisan proposal is in place to make sure that as soon as the curtains...
  • Chicago mayor's budget includes massive property hike

    09/22/2015 2:11:03 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 11 replies
    Fox News ^ | 9/22/2015
    CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel pitched a massive property tax hike Tuesday as a "last resort" to correct Chicago's financial footing, suggesting the only alternative for the nation's third-largest city would include severe cuts to police and fire services, recycling programs, pothole repair and even rodent control. Emanuel, who needs approval from state lawmakers and the governor for at least part of his sweeping plan, outlined a $543 million property tax over four years, a $45 million tax to modernize schools, and other new fees for residential garbage pickup, e-cigarettes and ride-sharing services. The property tax revenue would go toward...
  • Democrats block defense spending bill in Senate

    09/22/2015 11:50:01 AM PDT · by 11th_VA · 26 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sept 22, 2015 | By Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Eric Walsh
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats blocked the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, amid a fierce fight with Republicans over tax and spending policy days before a potential Oct. 1 government shutdown. The vote was 54-42, largely along party lines with Republicans voting yes and Democrats no. It meant the appropriations measure failed to achieve the 60-vote majority needed to advance to final passage in the 100-member Senate. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are fighting over a range of tax and spending issues as the end of the fiscal year approaches. In the case of the Department...
  • Carly Fiorina: Major :eaguer

    09/22/2015 5:47:10 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 19 replies ^ | September 22, 2015 | Cal Thomas
    To invoke a baseball metaphor, Carly Fiorina has been called up from the minors to the major leagues. After her widely praised debate performance last week, she can expect "fastballs" to be thrown at her head, not only by some of her Republican opponents, but by Democrats. It has already started. The first pitch at Fiorina is the number of jobs lost during her tenure as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. While some say she is technically correct that the company's income grew while she ran it, thousands of people lost their jobs, as did many others during the 1990s economic...
  • The Question No Candidate Will Answer [The responses to this question have never been persuasive]

    09/21/2015 6:59:33 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    National Review ^ | 09/21/2015 | Kevin Williamson
    I like Jake Tapper, but I already was ready to punch him in the ear over the “let’s you and him fight” structure of the debate questions last week when he abandoned all pretense of adulthood and asked the candidates what they’d like their Secret Service code names to be. It was a low, cringe-inducing moment, and the candidates made it lower and cringier with their answers. (“Trueheart”? “Justice Never Sleeps”? Ergh.) Marco Rubio just barely acquitted himself with “Gator,” but the correct answer was: “That’s a dumb question, Jake, and I am not going to answer it. Now, back...
  • Reid, Pelosi: Congress Should Pass Stop-Gap Budget Resolution(this is not a Budget)

    09/17/2015 5:18:11 PM PDT · by bestintxas · 5 replies
    newsmax ^ | 9/17/15 | l lambert
    The top Democrats in the U.S. Congress, Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, said on Thursday lawmakers should pass a short-term spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, to buy time for negotiating a comprehensive federal budget and avoid a government shutdown. The two leaders had huddled with President Barack Obama for 90 minutes at the White House to prepare "to pursue conversations leading to negotiations on how we keep government open," Pelosi told reporters outside the White House, adding that they would like to proceed in "a timely fashion." The three of us agree that we want a...
  • A ‘Perfect Storm’ Is Brewing as the Budget Battle Looms

    09/11/2015 4:40:40 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 31 replies
    Fiscal Times ^ | September 10, 2015 | Martin Matishak
    The Republican-controlled Congress has been back from August recess for one full day and lawmakers already seemed overwhelmed by the slate of problems they left unresolved before adjourning. The GOP returned to Washington hoping to make short work of a resolution of disapproval on the Iran nuclear deal before moving on to the equally pressing issue of working out a measure to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. But House Republicans have revolted against the leadership’s plan, arguing the agreement’s 60-day congressional review period hasn’t started yet because the Obama administration hasn’t shared the details of so-called “side deals”...
  • Will Boehner’s Leadership Be Challenged? Conservative Lawmaker Says It Depends on Budget, Planned...

    09/08/2015 1:46:46 AM PDT · by markomalley · 8 replies
    Daily Signal ^ | 9/7/15 | Melissa Quinn
    For one conservative lawmaker, Congress’s upcoming debate on funding the government and stripping Planned Parenthood of federal dollars could play a significant role in whether a challenge to House Speaker John Boehner is mounted.In an interview with The Daily Signal, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., warned that Boehner’s, R-Ohio, future as the party leader could be jeopardized depending on how he handles both a continuing resolution funding the government and whether Planned Parenthood is permanently stripped of its federal funding.“I voted against the speaker last time, and so I think on this motion, it’ll come down to leadership’s actions with respect...
  • Mitch McConnell Gives Fiscal Conservatives The BIG MIDDLE FINGER – [will] “Work With” Obama

    09/02/2015 6:59:40 AM PDT · by Zakeet · 30 replies
    Brietbart ^ | September 2, 2015
    Complete Headline: Mitch McConnell Gives Fiscal Conservatives The BIG MIDDLE FINGER – Announces Plans To “Work With” Obama On Budget…. In the unlikely event you can’t hear the sound of the Rhinoceros marching on bubble wrap directly behind you, it might be worth while getting a firmer grip on both your ankles [Snip] […] The Kentucky Republican said he would work with the White House to come up with budget levels to keep the government open past Sept. 30, conceding that President Barack Obama won’t sign a measure with a rider defunding Planned Parenthood.
  • Obama calls on Congress to pass budget without drama

    08/28/2015 3:33:29 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 19 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 27, 2015 6:15 PM EDT | Kevin Freking
    President Barack Obama is highlighting good economic news during a period of wildly erratic stock markets to make the case the United States remains an anchor of global strength. […] Obama is warning lawmakers not to keep the economy hostage over what he describes as ideological demands. He also says Congress will eventually pass the budget, so “let’s just do it without too much drama.” …
  • Medicaid: A Fifty-Year-Old Flimflam

    08/17/2015 4:57:33 AM PDT · by rootin tootin · 5 replies
    American Spectator ^ | 8/17/2015 | David Catron
    Recently, while most of the media obsessed over the antics of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the nation passed a significant milestone. Medicaid, the federal-state program meant to provide a medical safety net for the poor, turned 50. This anniversary was celebrated by progressives as proof that government-run health care really works. Few of these cheerleaders noted, however, that this once modest program has morphed into a budget-busting behemoth most of whose expenditures go to the middle class. They also neglected to mention the difficulties Medicaid patients face accessing care or that they experience worse health outcomes than the uninsured....
  • US Military Uses IMF & World Bank To Launder 85% Of Its Black Budget

    08/14/2015 3:21:47 PM PDT · by Nachum · 20 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 8/14/15 | Tyler Durden
    Though transparency was a cause he championed when campaigning for the presidency, President Obama has largely avoided making certain defense costs known to the public. However, when it comes to military appropriations for government spy agencies, we know from Freedom of Information Act requests that the so-called “black budget” is an increasingly massive expenditure subsidized by American taxpayers. The CIA and and NSA alone garnered $52.6 billion in funding in 2013 while the Department of Defense black ops budget for secret military projects exceeds this number. It is estimated to be $58.7 billion for the fiscal year 2015. What is...
  • House GOP Appropriators Prepare for Sequester Showdown [Surrender]

    07/22/2015 7:58:40 PM PDT · by mrsmith · 47 replies
    Roll Call ^ | July 22 | Emma Dumain and Tamar Hallerman
    Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., gathered his 12 subcommittee chairmen together to discuss next steps for the fiscal 2016 appropriations process that has ground to a halt on Capitol Hill with just 15 scheduled legislative days left to avert a government shutdown in September....House Democrats are rebelling against sequester caps, while Senate Democrats have filibustered consideration of any appropriations bill on their chamber floor. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has threatened vetoes of every spending measure that adheres to the lower spending levels. ...Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said his takeaway from Wednesday’s meeting was that appropriations cardinals should just “be ready to...
  • The F-35: Is the world's most expensive weapons program worth it? (DoD Obamacare)

    07/16/2015 8:12:53 AM PDT · by MadIsh32 · 21 replies
    CNN ^ | 07/15/2015 | Zachary Cohen
    Three years behind schedule and some $200 billion over its original budget, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is finally set to become operational this month. The fighter jet has been in development for nearly 15 years, weathered half a dozen years of testing and experienced myriad hardware malfunctions and software glitches along the way. Once it's declared ready for combat, it will be the most expensive weapons system in world history. It will also be the most advanced in the sky. The F-35, also referred to as the Joint Strike Fighter, is touted as the most lethal and versatile...
  • Scott Walker signs state budget with 104 vetoes day before 2016 kickoff

    07/12/2015 9:51:35 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 15 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 7-12-15 | Mary Spicuzza And Patrick Marley
    Waukesha— As he prepared to kick off his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the state budget Sunday after using his veto powers to excise grants for conservation groups and a provision that would have given payday lenders new authority. Another change will give the Republican governor's administration more leeway to decide which food stamp recipients to test for drugs. In all, he vetoed 104 items from the budget — about twice as many as he did in the last two budgets he approved. The two-year, $72.7 billion spending plan doesn't raise taxes, freezes tuition at University of Wisconsin...
  • Walker Wins: New Budget Will Repeal University Tenure

    07/11/2015 4:11:24 PM PDT · by PROCON · 85 replies ^ | July 11, 2015 | Blake Neff
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is poised to win a huge victory on education as the state legislature passed a budget that repeals state tenure guarantees while also slashing the budget of the University of Wisconsin. The victory was enunciated by the acquiescence of the university, which recognized its defeat by passing a spending plan that implements Walker’s cuts. All that remains is for Walker to consummate his victory by affixing his signature to the budget. The two-year, $73 billion budget approved Thursday makes a host of changes Walker has sought in the realm of education. Wisconsin’s school voucher program is...
  • America, Like Greece, May End with a Lawless Whimper

    07/10/2015 8:45:26 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    National Review ^ | 07/10/2015 | Victor Davis Hanson
    Barbarians at the gate usually don’t bring down once-successful civilizations. Nor does climate change. Even mass epidemics such as the plague that decimated sixth-century Byzantium do not necessarily destroy a culture. Far more dangerous are institutionalized corruption, a lack of transparency, and creeping neglect of existing laws. All the German euros in the world will not save Greece if Greeks continue to dodge taxes, featherbed government, and see corruption as a business model. Even obeying so-called minor laws counts. It is no coincidence that a country where drivers routinely flout traffic laws and throw trash out the window is also...
  • Need a quick summary of the state budget? Here it is (WI)

    07/10/2015 3:04:53 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 5 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 7-9-15 | Andrew Hahn
    Madison— The state Assembly approved a budget late Wednesday, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker's desk for his vetoes and signature. The Republican governor, who is preparing to launch his presidential bid on Monday, is expected to sign it within days. The budget includes: ■ ​A $250 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System over two years, $50 million less than Walker had wanted to cut. Walker also wanted to spin the university off as a public authority that would be free of some state rules, but his fellow Republicans in the Legislature rejected that idea. ■ A prevailing...
  • ‘Conservative budget’ passes amid bomb threat, rhetorical fireworks (WI)

    07/09/2015 5:47:23 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 7-9-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. — After a very long day interrupted by a “credible” bomb threat and punctuated by explosive political rhetoric, the state Assembly passed the $72.7 billion state budget. The two-year spending plan, arriving nine days late, now heads to the desk of Gov. Scott Walker – just four days before the Republican is expected to announce his bid for the White House. Eleven Republicans and all Democrats voted against the bill, but the Republicans’ largest Assembly majority since the Eisenhower administration held the day, with passage at a comfortable 52-46. The budget in short: Democrats hate it, Republicans can...
  • Hurrah for the Fourth of July!

    07/08/2015 11:57:01 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 2 replies
    Wisconsin Club for Growth ^ | 7-8-15 | Editorial
    Nobody should be more grateful than Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature for the recent holiday weekend, and not just because they needed a break from the stress of budget-writing—though it’s apparent they did. Things closing last Friday for the Saturday holiday gave the other 5.7 million Wisconsinites a chance to miss the Joint Finance Committee’s extraordinarily ill-advised effort to exempt most communications involving state lawmakers from coverage by open records law. This ham-fisted insult to government transparency was walked back before the weekend was half over, in hopes of minimizing the damage. Which is a good thing, but it leaves...
  • Scott Walker to have short time to sign budget before announcement

    07/08/2015 10:44:56 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 5 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 7--8-15 | No author identified
    Gov. Scott Walker will have to act in near-record time to sign the state budget before his presidential campaign announcement on Monday, but his Democratic predecessor signed budgets on the same timeline. Walker's office has not released a timeline for when or where he will sign the state budget and unveil his partial vetoes to it, but the Republican governor has repeatedly said that he wants the budget finished before he hits the White House campaign trail. The state Senate passed Walker's two-year $72.7 billion state budget just before midnight on Tuesday, and the Assembly is expected to send it...
  • Republicans make final push for prevailing wage reform this week (WI)

    07/07/2015 8:18:14 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 5 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 7-7-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wisconsin — State Rep. Rob Hutton led the Assembly effort this session to kill Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law, the wage inflator that has cost taxpayers untold billions over the past 8o-plus years. But the Brookfield Republican, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall — or the lack of votes in the Senate for full repeal — is getting behind a compromise amendment he says would go a long way to reforming prevailing wage. On Monday, Hutton announced he is co-authoring a proposal by state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, that would repeal prevailing wage for all local units of...
  • N.J. Democrats to revive effort to restore $7.5 million Christie cut for women's health

    06/24/2015 7:05:59 PM PDT · by Coleus ^ | 06.22.15 | Susan K. Livio
    Democratic leaders will introduce a budget that once again includes $7.5 million Gov. Chris Christie eliminated five years ago for women's health services and led to the closure of six family planning centers, state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said.Christie said in 2010 he eliminated the funds as part of a wide array of cuts to close a budget gap. But in speeches to conservative groups in February and again last week, the Republican governor, who is mulling a bid for president, boasted he had "vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget."Now that his true...
  • Proposed Budget Cuts Title X Funding to Abortion Providers

    06/23/2015 7:39:11 AM PDT · by Morgana ^ | June 19, 2015 | Kathleen Brown |
    ( -- House Republicans are pushing a budget proposal that cuts funding from Title X, the national family planning program enacted by former President Richard Nixon in 1970, because it allocates federal funds to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding, and also the nation’s largest abortion provider. The organization has been vocal about its opposition to the 2016 Fiscal Year budget proposal released by the House Appropriations Labor-Health and Human Services Subcommittee on Tuesday. Section 229 of the budget bill states that: “None of the funds appropriated in this Act...
  • Finally: GOP Looks to Squeeze the IRS

    06/11/2015 10:37:42 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 42 replies ^ | June 11, 2015 | Daniel Davis
    The IRS has been sitting in the GOP's crosshairs ever since 2013, when news of the targeting scandal broke.  But yesterday, Republican leaders took a step toward actually pulling the trigger.House Republicans proposed cutting the IRS budget by nearly eight percent. This came after the president had called for an 18 percent increase. The proposed cuts would shrink the agency's budget by $838 million, leaving it with $10.1 billion. That would put the IRS at 2004 budget levels. Some are expecting more proposed cuts once the bill hits the House floor.This level of spending cuts wasn't possible when Democrats controlled the Senate. Now that the...
  • How can Illinois fix its pension problems? Ask Wisconsin

    06/11/2015 2:19:06 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 11 replies
    Chicago Business ^ | June 11, 2015 | JOE LUPPINO-ESPOSITO
    Instead of looking to policymakers and accountants for help with state pensions, reformers across the country realize they need to hire a few more lawyers. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has to deal with serious pension problems after a unanimous state Supreme Court shot down the 2013 reforms of his predecessor. The Illinois Constitution does not allow cutting promised pension benefits, but Rauner seems willing to take the legal steps necessary to make the reforms stick this time around. Illinois is not alone. Reforms made by Oregon's state legislators in 2013 included a reduction in cost-of-living increases. But Oregon's Supreme Court...
  • Finance committee to consider Walker proposal to freeze stewardship land purchases

    05/29/2015 2:35:13 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 4 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | May 29, 2015
    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin lawmakers are ready to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years. Walker's budget would place a moratorium on stewardship land acquisitions until the DNR's debt service on purchases already made drops to $1 for every $8 spent since the program began in 1989. The program won't reach that ration until 2028.
  • Scott Walker says $499 million 'structural surplus' is ahead

    05/26/2015 3:00:23 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 9 replies
    Politifact Wisconsin ^ | May 26, 2015 | Dave Umhoefer
    The education funding cuts in Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-’17 budget rankled critics because at one point a nearly $1 billion surplus was projected for the start of that budget. Walker and fellow Republicans returned much of the surplus to taxpayers in 2014, and then slower-than-predicted growth in tax collections further boxed in the GOP entering the new budget cycle. Now, while campaigning for president, Walker eagerly touts his budget as fiscally responsible. He is even using the "S" word again -- surplus. "At the end of the budget we're debating right now for our next two years in my...
  • The Republican campaign to destroy the poor stoops to a new low [helping payments last longer]

    05/25/2015 10:49:19 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 41 replies ^ | May 25, 2015 | Heather Digby Parton, trying to mimic Joan Walsh
    Last week my colleague Simon Maloy caught us up with the latest on Kanses Gov. Sam Brownback’s famous Arthur Laffer “petri dish” experiment, in which he slashed taxes and government programs in order to usher in a Republican free market economic utopia. The experiment looks like it’s blowing up the lab: [T]he Brownback/Laffer tax scheme hasn’t goosed the Kansas economy and it doesn’t look like it will any time soon. It has succeeded marvelously, though, in redistributing wealth to the top of the income ladder, while, at the same time, screwing over the people at the bottom. While the rich...
  • GOP’s demonic new crusade:Right-wing zealots look for crueler ways to treat the poor like garbage

    05/25/2015 9:16:09 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 50 replies
    Salon ^ | May 25, 2015 | Joan Walsh
    [full title] GOP’s demonic new crusade: Right-wing zealots look for even crueler ways to treat the poor like garbage Happy Memorial Day! But if you’re in Wisconsin, and relying on food stamps, remember that Republicans don’t want you to have ketchup on your hamburger. They’d probably rather you didn’t have a hamburger at all, but Wisconsin farmers and ranchers have clout, and so proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program made room for Wisconsin products. But they still don’t want you to have “crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish.” Or ketchup. Or spaghetti sauce. Really. For now, that’s...
  • Privatization Fail: Scott Walker's WEDC in Full Meltdown (Is this Free Market economics?

    05/24/2015 11:46:40 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 93 replies
    PR Watch ^ | 5/18/2015 | Mary Bottari
    During the 2010 campaign for governor, Scott Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs in his first term. Toward this end, one of his first acts as governor was to privatize the state's economic development agency. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) opened its doors in July 2011. After a series of damning audits, which highlighted mismanagement and incompetence, and news reports of special treatment for Walker donors, on Monday Democratic state lawmakers called for a federal investigation of the scandal-plagued entity. Walker is the Chairman of the Board When walker created WEDC in 2011, he named himself Chairman of the Board....
  • Senate Democrats Demand More Money for Amtrak Repair Backlog

    05/21/2015 11:15:54 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    ABC News ^ | May 21, 2015 | By JOAN LOWY
    Senate Democrats on Thursday demanded that Republicans provide more money for Amtrak so the railroad can tackle a $21 billion maintenance and repair backlog, including replacing tunnels more than a century old. Democrats at a news conference cited last week's deadly crash in Philadelphia and said the backlog is compromising safety and service. Democrats want to Congress to give Amtrak the entire $2 billion in subsidies the railroad requested for the budget year that starts Oct. 1. They say GOP lawmakers have starved the railroad financially for years. A Republican-controlled House panel approved a spending bill the day after the...
  • Wisconsin budget panel approves K-12 education package

    05/20/2015 6:02:17 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 4 replies
    Wisconsin Radio Network ^ | May 20, 2015 | Andrew Beckett
    Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools would see about $200 million more in state funding and the private school voucher program would be broadly expanded, under a sweeping package of changes approved by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. The 29-page proposal, released just hours before the committee voted on the changes late Tuesday night, would increase funding for public schools by about $70 million in the 2016-17 school year, while keeping about $127 million in funding for schools in place that Governor Scott Walker had proposed cutting. It would amount to a $250 per pupil funding increase over the course of the...
  • Long Beach - Governor’s Additional Funding for Schools and Undocumented Immigrants (trunc)

    05/14/2015 4:19:58 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    Long Beach Post ^ | May 14, 2015 | by KEELEY SMITH
    Governor Jerry Brown announced May budget revisions today that added $38 million in funding for the Long Beach-headquartered California State University (CSU) system, boosted community college funding by $600 million and provided $5 million in funding for application assistance for undocumented immigrants statewide.State Senator Ricardo Lara said Brown’s additional funding was a good start, but more needs to be done to help undocumented immigrants. Local officials responded to the news with measured enthusiasm. State Senator Ricardo Lara said Brown’s additional funding was a good start, but more needs to be done to help undocumented immigrants. “I applaud Governor Brown for...
  • McCaul: DHS Spending 'More Money' on Climate Change Than Combating Violent Extremists

    05/11/2015 10:00:53 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 15 replies
    CNS News ^ | 5-11-15 | Susan Jones
    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says the current "threat environment" is as high as he's ever seen it, and although the U.S. has "done a very good job" in preventing terror attacks in the U.S., he doesn't think the Obama administration "has done enough" to counter "homegrown violent extremism." McCaul noted that President Obama's budget "allocates zero dollars towards combating homegrown violent extremism. "In fact, within the Department of Homeland Security, more money, in fact, millions of dollars, are dedicated to climate change rather than combating what I consider to be one of the...
  • What price for lower tolls? (Baltimore Sun editorial)

    05/10/2015 12:13:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | May 7, 2015 | The Baltimore Sun
    hatever one might have thought about the Maryland Transportation Authority's decision to raise tolls four years ago, no one can say the two-phase proposal wasn't scrutinized from all angles or that the public wasn't given sufficient opportunity to ask questions or make comment. The same can't be said for the agency's decision to roll them back — in some cases below what they were before the last price increase. That secrecy and abrupt decision-making should give Marylanders pause about what's going on at the agency that owns and manages some of the state's most important — and costly — transportation...
  • Scott Walker in 2008: Too Many "Poverty Pimps" Use "Cycle of Dependency" For Political Control

    05/07/2015 8:20:30 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 28 replies
    Buzz Feed News ^ | 5/5/2015 | Christopher Massie
    Scott Walker said in 2008 that the government "needs to do more to give people freedom back" by fighting the "poverty pimps in our society," referring to government officials and community-based organizations that, he said, use poverty for political power. ...
  • Republicans pass first regular-order Congressional budget since 2009 (2010)

    05/06/2015 9:38:15 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 7 replies
    Hot Air ^ | 5-6-15 | Ed Morrissey
    Republicans promised to restore order to a dysfunctional Congress in the midterm elections. Yesterday, they delivered on that campaign promise, passing the first regular-order budget framework since 2009. It didn’t come easy, though: The 51-48 vote capped weeks of work by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who shepherded the blueprint through a messy debate over defense spending that at times threatened to split their conferences. … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had ripped Democrats for years over their failure to pass a budget, and said Tuesday’s vote shows his GOP majority is getting the Senate working again. “No...