Archive for Budget

Other Broken Promises You May Not Remember

But no less reprehensible.

Remember this gem?

“The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,” a White House official said at the time.

That was then (April ’13), this is now:

The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.

At least he wasn’t so stupid as to pose with a morose look on his face, holding a sign that said:

#shareinthesacrificebeingmadebypublicservantsacrossthefederalgovernment
thatareaffectedbythesequester.

He’s not that dumb. But he is this dumb:

[A]t the time of Obama’s promise, the White House official said Obama would “write a check to the government” each month, according to the New York Times, beginning last April.

The official also promised that the president would take the cut for the entire year, amounting to roughly $20,000.

The White House would not respond to numerous requests submitted by the Washington Free Beacon to the White House press office to confirm that Obama did, in fact, write checks to the Treasury.

When reached by phone, a White House spokesperson said, “I don’t have that information.”

Got your checkbook handy, Mr. President? Bank statements? Maybe you can borrow a line from your former Secretary of State, one which applies to so many of your policy eff-ups: what difference, at this point, does it make?

Next person who asks gets locked in a maintenance shed.

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Can a Pack of Lies Be the “Law of the Land”?

It can if it’s ObamaCare:

President Obama has made many promises about his signature health care plan, but one of the simplest was an assurance that it would lower national health care spending and save every family thousands of dollars.

For example, in May 2009 he hailed “comprehensive health care reform — so that we can do what I pledged to do as a candidate and save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their health care costs in the coming years.”

But now government actuaries have reached a different conclusion, finding that ObamaCare will actually increase health care spending by $621 billion over the next 10 years.

Doug Holtz-Eakin, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office, says, “now we’re seeing the official scorekeepers of health spending say ‘hey it’s going up, not down.’ That’s going to be a mark against the program no matter what.”

Analysts say there is no mystery about the increasing costs — that it’s all in the way the law was structured.

Never mind that the law was “structured” to mean whatever President Obama and Secretary Sebelius says it means. He bends and twists the law like it’s a balloon animal, and she’s still writing statutes and subparagraphs to fill in the blanks (and it’s all blanks). Nancy Pelosi was as honest as Abraham Lincoln (and as homely): we had to pass the law to find out what was in it—because there was nothing in it. Just a blank check.

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Saul Alinsky Would Be So Proud

Too many people have too much to say about the impending shutdown showdown, so I’ll just cite this:

Mr. Obama is as much to blame for the partisan pileup as Mr. Cruz. This is a President who is eager to negotiate with dubiously elected Iranian mullahs but can’t abide compromise with duly elected leaders of Congress. He refuses to negotiate at all over an increase in the federal debt limit, claiming this has never happened. Like so much that Mr. Obama says, he knows this is false. His own staff suggested the spending sequester during the 2011 debt debate, and Democratic Congresses have used the debt limit to extract concessions from Republican Presidents.

Mr. Obama also refuses to bend on any part of ObamaCare—except when he unilaterally announces bending in his own political interest. He decided on his own, and contrary to the plain text of the law, to delay for a year the business mandate to provide insurance for employees. He also unilaterally delayed verifying the income of Americans seeking subsidies. He did this to pile more people into the ObamaCare exchanges, lest they fail, and to limit the harm to job creation before 2014.

Yet now he’d rather see the government shut down than accept the ObamaCare compromises that House Republicans have put in their latest government funding bill. He refuses to delay the law for a year though his own actions reveal it is not ready for prime time. And he won’t even accept repeal of the medical-device tax that 79 Senators, including 33 Democrats, are on record as supporting. The tax is already hurting innovation and sending jobs overseas.

Mr. Obama’s refusal to negotiate suggests that he wants a shutdown—either over the budget or debt limit.

As the president once said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” It’s the Chicago way. Ted Cruz might have the Tea Party behind him, but Obama has the weight of the entire Democrat-Media Complex. Poor Ted.

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$3.77 Trillion is the New $3.6 Trillion!

Spending our way to prosperity and frugality!

President Obama plans Wednesday to unveil a $3.77 trillion spending plan that proposes modest new investments in infrastructure and education, major new taxes for the wealthy and significant reforms aimed at reducing the cost of Social Security and Medicare.

While the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecasts $3.6 trillion in outlays in the fiscal year that begins in October, Obama calls for $170 billion more.

And while the CBO forecasts a deficit of $616 billion in 2014, Obama calls for a larger gap between spending and revenues of $744 billion, administration officials said, or 4.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

His $3.77 trillion proposal would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion by adding $580 billion in new taxes on the wealthy, according to senior administration officials. It also includes an estimated $230 billion in savings by reducing cost-of-living adjustments for federal entitlement programs.

So which is it? Does Obama’s ridiculous, DOA budget increase the deficit by $744 billion or decrease it by $1,800 billion? Given that the latter figure is put forward by the corrupt regime, I have my suspicions.

As for all those millionaires not paying their fair share:

Snapshot 2013-04-06 09-38-43

Give Obama this: his deficits are below a trillion now. On paper. For now.

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My Cure for Sequester Fester

How about if we—it’s only a suggestion, mind you—but what if we—just consider it, humor me, play along—what if… no, I can’t say it.

Okay, what would happen to the federal budget and the metastasizing deficit if we… if we… if we cut all spending on all programs that don’t work!

Don’t hate me.

President Obama has announced a cure for the country’s social ills: universal preschool. It would help children “read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own,” and also reduce teen pregnancy and violent crime, he said in his State of Union address.

Jeez, that’s better than flossing! Who could argue against flossing (and I hate flossing)?

As evidence for these remarkable claims he pointed to Oklahoma and Georgia, the early adopters of universal preschool. But the real evidence from those states suggests that preschool doesn’t deliver on even its most basic promises.

[N]either state program has demonstrated major social benefits. The first batch of children who attended preschool in Georgia, in 1995, are now turning 22, so Mr. Obama’s claim that they are better at “holding jobs” and “forming stable families” can’t be true.

As if the truth ever stopped him for making false and ignorant statements before.

Consider graduation rates: Oklahoma has lost ground and Georgia is stagnant. Oklahoma ranked 24th in 1998 but 25th when its first batch of universal-preschool children graduated last year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by the United Health Foundation. Georgia’s high-school graduation rate was 46th from the top in 1995. It dipped to 47th in 2009, the year its first batch graduated, before rising to 45th in 2012.

Don’t believe me. The authors have plenty more statistics. But I don’t think they should have called the little girls sluts:

But what about, say, teenage girls staying out of trouble? Teen birth rates have declined in the past 10 years in Georgia and Oklahoma (as they have nationwide), but both states remain far above the national average. In 2005, Georgia had the eighth-highest teen-birth rate and Oklahoma the seventh-highest, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now Georgia has the 13th-highest, Oklahoma the fifth-highest. Many states without universal preschool have a far better record.

Maybe they’re not teaching enough sex ed—or too much.

In any case, if you just eliminated all government programs that waste money for no gain whatsoever, I bet you could shrink the budget to, oh, $12,295. Give or take a few trillion.

But no, they’re going to cut air traffic controllers instead.

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Saddam Hussein Obama

Oops, typo!

Rush noted that tyrannical dictators often release their most hardened criminals when the opportunity presents. Think of Saddam before the US invasion or Castro’s wretched refuse in the Mariel boatlift.

So, no, amigo mio, this is no joke:

At first, Miguel Hernandez thought it was a mistake, or worse, a joke.

The 19-year-old had been pulled over for failure to use his turn signal, but the fact that he is an undocumented immigrant landed him in a detention center in rural Georgia.

Hernandez was certain that deportation proceedings would follow soon, and was mulling over it when a guard brought some news: He was being released.

“I was walking and I was thinking, this is a joke. They probably got confused with another guy or something,” Hernandez said.

More likely, Hernandez was one of hundreds of undocumented immigrants released from detention because of looming budget cuts set to take effect Friday absent congressional action.

“It’s abhorrent that President Obama is releasing criminals into our communities to promote his political agenda on sequestration,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said. “By releasing criminal immigrants onto the streets, the administration is needlessly endangering American lives.”

But the White House had no input on the plan, spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.

The decision was made by career ICE employees, an administration official told CNN.

Do you kiss your children with that mouth?

President Obama has managed quite the trick of winning the Hispanic vote while also deporting their culos faster than you can say “mi quiero Taco Bell”. So it’s hardly surprising that he would exploit them again and some more. Fidel is so proud. Somewhere in heaven, Saddam nods with approval. Just don’t think Barack is any different.

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Send Us Your Favorite Sequester Recipes!

I’ve stocked up on powdered milk and beef jerky. Hope you all have plenty of double-A batteries and seasoned firewood.

Here’s an old family favorite recipe for troubled times.

BARK SOUP

Strip, gather, or otherwise accumulate five pounds of tree bark (oak is preferred, though ash is fine—birch for those on a diet)

Simmer for two hours in three gallons of snow melt (scrape off top layer of snow for clean stuff)

Garnish with poison ivy. Serves four.

With armageddon imminent, let’s swap recipes! Tomorrow, I’ll post my favorite for squirrel samosas.

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Obama Plays Hardball

Or just plain dirty:

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is releasing “several hundred” people out of detention facilities to other “less costly” forms of supervision because of pending forced budget cuts, the agency said on Tuesday.

Gillian Christensen, a customs enforcement spokeswoman, said the cases were reviewed over the past week as part of agency preparations for $85 billion government-wide cuts due to take effect on Friday absent congressional action to avert them.

“As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” she said in a statement.

“ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention. All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety,” she said.

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday in Newport News, Virginia, that the spending cuts are a “self-inflicted wound” that do not have to occur. He called on Congress to reach an agreement to avert the harshest impacts.

As a political move, it’s gutsy. As a sign of responsible leadership, it’s null and void. How would you like to be the father of someone raped by one of these serial law-breakers? Or the mother of someone killed by one of these “undocumented” immigrants driving drunk (and unlicensed)? I mention those possibilities because they tend to fill a great deal of the police blotters I read.

And it’s all political posturing, as Rush explains:

It’s like, okay, I got $3,700 and I’m not gonna spend a quarter. Pretty close. There’s another way of looking at it, though. And that is to say that we’re going to cut government spending by one cent on the dollar, one cent on the dollar is all.

In fact, the real secret is, the real truth is that — even if there is the sequester, even if it happens — we’re going to spend more as a country this year than we did last year. That perhaps is the best way of ‘splaining what’s going on. We’ve got this abject panic. We’ve got a full-blown crisis unfolding before our eyes, and if it happens, we’re gonna be spending more money this year than we did last year.

So we’re facing mass extinction, fornication in the streets, pets’ heads falling off, all because we’re spending more than we did last year.

“He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. THAT’S the Chicago Way.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama set off a small nuclear weapon in Times Square, just to prove his point.

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Sequester Fester

Boy, that sequester thingie is pretty scary! Obama even had to surround himself with policemen, fire fighters, and other first-responders just to talk about it.

Okay, so that’s how ham-handed grandstanders handle crises. (Why not show the middle-management government hacks, btw, with their bulging waistlines and too-short ties making $125,000? They’re not as photogenic, but they’re much more illustrative of the crisis.)

What do serious people do?

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are co-chairs of the Moment of Truth project and formerly co-chaired the President’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The United States faces two big risks to its economic prosperity, but both are avoidable. In the near-term, a still fragile recovery is struggling to take hold. Over the medium and long-term, our debt is projected to continue growing faster than the economy. It is simply on an unsustainable path.

There is no perfect solution to our fiscal problems. However, we believe strongly and sincerely that an agreement on a comprehensive plan to bring our debt under control is possible if both sides are able to put their sacred cows on the table in the spirit of principled compromise. We understand that there will be disagreements among policymakers and experts about the exact approach and specific policies necessary to achieve deficit reduction, and we welcome their commentary. In our view, a reasonable debt reduction plan should at least do the following:

Promote, Don’t Disrupt, Economic Growth. The United States must pursue a growth agenda. As the economy recovers, one of the best ways to promote economic growth is to bring our debt under control, which will both encourage private investment and mitigate the risk of a fiscal crisis.

At the same time, tax and spending reforms should be designed to strengthen current economic conditions, promote work, encourage innovation, improve productivity, and bolster investment in our future.

Put the Debt on a Clear Downward Path Relative to the Economy. Debt held by the public currently stands at 73 percent of GDP, about twice the historical average. We need to gradually reduce our debt relative to our economy. To be credible for the long-term, we believe that the debt must be brought to below 70 percent of GDP by early next decade, and kept on a downward trajectory thereafter.

Reform the Tax Code in a Progressive and Pro-Growth Manner. The current tax code is complicated, confusing, costly, anti-growth, anti-competitive, unfair, and riddled with well over $1 trillion of tax expenditures – which really are just spending by another name. Tax reform must reduce the size and number of tax expenditures to reduce the budget deficit and lower marginal tax rates for individuals and corporations. At the same time, tax reforms must maintain or improve the progressivity in the tax code and promote economic growth. Tax reform will make the tax code more efficient, effective, and globally competitive.

Get Serious About Population Aging. America is getting older, and the aging of the population represents a significant driver of our growing debt. We need to modernize our tax and entitlement programs to account for this demographic shift and encourage work and savings.

Significant spending cuts, pro-growth (and simplified!) tax policies, entitlement reform—with all due respect to the authors, we just held an election and rejected that approach in favor one that soaks and demonizes the rich, rejects growth, and only expands entitlements. What are they, racists?

Obama is a master of imaging and messaging. Want to talk about health care? Get a gaggle of doctors to stand behind him (and give white lab coats to the ones who didn’t bring theirs). Want to talk about gun control? Suffer the little children to come unto and surround him. Now he wants to act the demagogue (in an Oscar winning performance) on the issue of the budget, so he surrounds himself with cops and fire fighters. As Buck once noted, Obama’s may be the most transparent administration ever, just not in the way he meant.

I just give thanks that Obama doesn’t insert himself into a discussion of sewage treatment. That would not be a pretty photo op!

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Ever Wonder Why The Unemployment Numbers Are Improving?

A friend just called with an infuriating story. She was laid off a couple of weeks ago and decided to file for unemployment. In Massachusetts, you can only file on certain days, determined by your SS#, but on Fridays apparently everyone can file. So she started calling in this morning at about 9am. She got a computerized voice guiding her through several minutes of prompts. But then, the voice said that there was too much of a back-up, and she should try later. She has tried six times so far, each time going through the several minute prompts, and each time being cut-off because the system is busy.

A paranoid person, such as myself, wonders if the State of Massachusetts views this as a Feature, not a Bug.

- Aggie

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Reverse Midas Touch

Have you ever noticed that everything the Democrats have to themselves turns to… well, dross?

In recent years a wave of new reform Governors has washed over the Midwest, but it did skip a few states. Among them is Illinois, which now has the worst credit rating of any state besides California. Voters may want to pay attention.

On Tuesday, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Illinois bonds to A from A-plus, with a continuing negative outlook. The credit rating agency singled out five years of budget deficits ranging from bad to worse to way worse. It now stands at $44 billion—another national record. S&P was also more troubled than the Springfield political class about $83 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The legislature ended a special session on pension reform this week without, well, passing any reform.

S&P praised Democratic Governor Pat Quinn’s “significant measures in the past two years to improve structural budget performance,” meaning his 67% boost in personal income rates and raising the corporate tax to 9.5%. Credit raters never object to tax increases, even if they never solve the budget problem. But that’s another story.

The tragedy is that Illinois is surrounded by states showing a better way. For example, all three major raters have been upgrading Ohio’s ratings after years of chronic fiscal problems. Governor John Kasich hasn’t imposed fearsome austerity—he simply streamlined the budget. Mr. Kasich and other GOP Governors have prominent speaking places at this week’s Tampa convention. Will Mr. Quinn next week?

Running up the budget to pay off favored constituencies (public sector pensions), jacking up taxes to try to pay for it, ruining the credit rating—thank goodness these terrible, ruinous policies from Democrat-dominated Illinois haven’t made their way to the federal government, huh?

PS: So, only California has a worse credit rating. Which political party runs California? Hint: it’s Nancy Pelosi’s party and home state.

PPS: Why should “Chicago” be a racist code word? Virtually every conceivable ethnic group is represented there:

The racial makeup of the city in 2010 was 32.9% black, 31.4% white, 28.9% Hispanic of any race, 5.5% Asian, 0.5% Native American, and 2.7% from two or more races.[3] In 2000, 21.7% of the population was foreign born; of this, 56.3% came from Latin America, 23.1% from Europe, 18.0% from Asia and 2.6% from other parts of the world.[4] The 2007 community survey for the U.S. Census showed little variation.[5] Chicago has the fifth highest foreign-born population in the United States.

The main ethnic groups in Chicago include Irish, German, Italian, Mexican, Arab, English, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Black, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Swedish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Belgian and Puerto Rican. Many of Chicago’s politicians have come from the large Irish population, including its previous mayor, Richard M. Daley. The Chicago Metropolitan area is also becoming a major center for Indian Americans and South Asian Americans. Chicago has the second largest South Asian population in the country, after New York City.

“Chicago” sounds like a compliment to me. Which is why we use the category “Chicago Politics” to make our point.

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Honey-Do List

Remember President Obama’s To-Do list? No?

Well, you’re not alone:

[S]everal Senators confessed to Roll Call that they don’t know what is on the to-do list anyway, despite several speeches in which Obama has urged his followers to tweet, call, write and email lawmakers urging them to take it up.

“Didn’t we do some things he wanted us to do?” asked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). “[Export-Import] Bank, that doesn’t count? That wasn’t on the to-do list?”

No. The president wanted that, too, but it’s not on the list.

“Do you have a copy of the to-do list?” Landrieu asked.

After a reporter told her what was on the list, she quipped, “We’re adding to that list by doing some great things.”

“I don’t have a copy of it; I’m sure my staff does,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), when asked when the Senate might get to it.

“We’ve got June, July. We’ve got some time. What time frame did he put on that to-do list?”

When told the president said the to-do list could be done “now,” Casey joked, “Now is a very expansive term. It’s not even the summer yet.“

“Didn’t we just try to move on student loans. Wasn’t that on his list?” asked Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

No, that’s a separate priority.

“You’d have to ask Harry Reid” why the list hasn’t moved, Levin said.

I think I have the concept for a blockbuster summer comedy: “Democrat & Democratter”. Don’t they sound like a pack of imbeciles?

It’s understandable they haven’t heard of Obama’s stupid list: he hasn’t mentioned it since… uh… yesterday!

President Barack Obama broke out his pens Wednesday to sign legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which makes it easier for U.S. companies to sell their goods overseas by providing financing for exports.

In a rare bipartisan vote, Congress passed the legislation in mid-May.

“There are a number of things that my administration can do on our own and we’re gonna keep on doing them, but it gets a whole lot easier if we get some help from Congress, and this is a great example and great model of what can happen,” said Obama at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building signing ceremony.

During the signing ceremony, the president listed other goals he would like Congress to work toward, including providing a $3,000 credit for Americans who refinance their homes, supporting clean energy, and working to create a better job market for veterans.

Also on his congressional “to-do” list is help for small businesses.

“Congress still has the opportunity to do more to help small-business owners, who create most of the new jobs in America so we want to give them a tax break for hiring more workers and providing those workers higher wages,” he said.

No wonder they’ve already forgotten. Who has time to remember such idiotic and wasteful gimmicks? Besides the president? (All senators mentioned above are Democrats.)

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