Hogs on the Hill

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    I wonder how the people who voted for Dems feel now.

    SUCKERS!!!!!!!!!


    Hogs on the Hill


    In response to legitimate, bipartisan demands from Congress, President Bush provided exhaustive details in February documenting his emergency-spending request for funding to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the balance of fiscal 2007. When some of those wartime priorities changed, the president submitted fiscally responsible revisions. Those changes either re-allocated some war expenses among different military accounts or offset upwardly revised military costs by reducing domestic spending in areas that, almost by definition, had lower wartime priority. The result was a straightforward wartime emergency supplemental request for $103 billion.
    Democratic leaders and appropriators responded by adding $21 billion to the bill. The vast majority of the additions comprised pork projects or spending utterly unrelated to the wars. The extra spending was designed for a single purpose: to purchase support from Democrats who otherwise would have voted against the bill. Moderate Democrats opposed the legislation because of its war-fighting micromanagement features and ultimatums. Liberal Democrats opposed it because it did not stop funding the Iraq war.
    There are two huge problems with this Democratic strategy. First, if this is any indication of how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey intend to conduct fiscal policy, they are getting off to a terrible start by violating the promises Democrats made during the 2006 election campaign. We heard a lot of talk about pursuing responsible budget policies. We heard nothing about turning the first wartime emergency-spending bill into a porker.
    Apart from the fiscal ramifications, there is a second, more profound problem. Gary Andres, columnist for The Washington Times, said it best last week. "No one believes crafting congressional policy toward the war in Iraq is a game. It is deadly serious business with life-and-death consequences," Mr. Andres wrote. "In the short run, however, House Democrats' current decision to mix war strategy with funding for farmers, children's health and even raising the minimum wage dangerously merges a serious vote of conscience with the perception of porkbarrel spending and vote trading." As this legislative sausage-making plays out in public, Mr. Andres warned that "the public's perceptions of vote-trading and special-interest politics are only fanned into flames of cynicism by this kind of procedure."
    In providing Congress with more timely wartime spending requests, Mr. Bush seemed to get the voters' message. For their part, Democratic leaders seemed to conduct a huge bait-and-switch campaign.
    http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070321-091128-4106r.htm
     
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    What do Democrats want?
    TODAY'S COLUMNIST
    By Jon Kyl
    March 22, 2007


    If there's one thing every American on a budget knows, it's that you can't have it all. Ordinary Americans know that if you increase spending in one area of your budget, you have to decrease spending in another area, or risk going into debt. And they know that if you're already in debt, you have to trim your expenditures to pay back the money you owe. Unfortunately, the budget proposal that the Democrats introduced last week fails to understand this important principle.
    The Democrats' budget sends one message loud and clear: You can have it all. You can increase spending to the tune of $150 billion, pay down the deficit and create a budget surplus all at the same time. What the Democrats' budget isn't as clear on is how to actually pay for all this. The proposal conveniently disguises the fact that Democrats are prepared to allow massive tax increases to pay for their increased spending.
    Like President Bush, the Democrats claim their proposal will balance the budget by 2012. But unlike the president, the Democrats claim they can balance the budget — and, indeed, produce a surplus — while spending approximately $150 billion more than the president over the next five years. They argue that they can make up the difference by closing — or at least narrowing — the "tax gap," the difference between what the government expects to collect in taxes and what it actually collects. But as the New York Times reported, even Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad "conceded that reducing the so-called tax gap would not provide enough money on its own."
    Without any way of paying for their spending increases, Democrats are left with their old standby: raising taxes — which is what the Democrats' budget proposal in fact does. By failing to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax relief, the Democrats' budget will result in a $900 billion tax increase over the next five years, the largest tax increase in U.S. history. Beginning in 2010, millions of American families would face punishing tax increases. Families with the lowest incomes would face the heaviest increases.
    In addition to burdening families, the failure to extend the tax relief will also have a crippling effect on our economy. The tax relief we passed in 2003 helped move our economy out of recession and propelled us into more than three years of robust economic growth. Since August 2003, our economy has created more than 7.5 million new jobs, and unemployment has fallen. Our current unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is lower than the average of the past three decades. Meanwhile, the deficit has dropped from an estimated $500 billion three years ago to less than $240 billion this year, and it's on track to keep falling.
    Democrats like to argue that cutting taxes has deprived the federal government of needed revenue; but, in fact, the deficit reduction of the past three years is largely a result of revenue increases produced by the tax relief. Cutting taxes spurs economic growth, and economic growth creates more revenue for the federal government. Failing to extend the tax relief we've passed will not only place an unacceptable burden on millions of American families, but would also jeopardize our economic growth and our goals of balancing the budget by 2012.
    The Democrats' budget proposal also overlooks another threat to successfully balancing the budget: the growth of entitlement programs. If Congress does not take action to reduce the growth of these programs, in a few short years Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be facing bankruptcy as they expand to meet the needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation. Significant reform is necessary to ensure a long-term balancing of the budget and to preserve these programs for future generations. Despite this pressing need for reform, the Democrats' proposal passes the buck to future Congresses, leaving all three of these programs moving swiftly toward bankruptcy.
    During the last election cycle, Democrats talked a lot about their commitment to fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget, but the facts of their budget proposal demonstrate that they're still committed to the same old tax-and-spend policies. The Democrats' proposal uses deceptive budget gimmicks to disguise the fact that they can't pay for their spending increases without levying the largest tax increase in our history.
    Republicans will work to amend this budget to protect American families and promote fiscally responsible policies to secure our nation's economic future.

    Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, is chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.


    http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070321-091127-9493r.htm
     
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    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cm/content/view/296/159/

    Business as usual? Dems load up Iraq bill with pork
    Tuesday, 20 March 2007
    The Democratic leadership of the House, the same leadership that promised an end to "business as usual" when it came to pork barrel spending, has greased up the Iraq funding bill with billions in pork to try and win approval from reluctant lawmakers.

    Loading up appropriations bill with pet projects from lawmaker districts is an old tactic on Capitol Hill, one that brought widespread criticism of the old Republican leadership and one that Democrats promised to stop if voters returned them to power in the 2006 midterm elections.

    Instead, the Iraq spending bill is so loaded with pork that lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are shaking their heads in disbelief.

    Writes Jonathan Weisman of The Washington Post:

    House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for lawmakers' pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.

    So far, the projects -- which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia -- have had little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.

    But at least a few Republicans and conservative Democrats who otherwise would vote "no" remain undecided, as they ponder whether they can leave on the table millions of dollars for constituents by opposing the $124 billion war funding bill due for a vote on Thursday.

    "She hates the games the Democrats are playing," said Guy Short, chief of staff to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), a staunch conservative who remains undecided, thanks to billions of dollars in the bill for drought relief and agriculture assistance. "But Representative Musgrave was just down in southeastern Colorado, talking to ranchers and farmers, and they desperately need this assistance."

    Democratic leaders say the domestic spending in the bill reflects the pent-up demand from lawmakers who last year could not win funding for programs that had bipartisan support such as disaster assistance.

    But in a formal veto statement last night, the White House denounced what it called "excessive and extraneous non-emergency spending." With unusually caustic and combative language, the statement dismissed provisions of the bill as "unconscionable," and said it "would place freedom and democracy in Iraq at grave risk" and "embolden our enemies."

    As the opposition heats up, the Democrats have had some successes in their furious search for support. Yesterday, MoveOn.org announced that with 85 percent of its members backing the bill, the liberal activist group will begin working for its passage. That could prove to be a major boost for Democratic leaders struggling to keep in line the most liberal wing of the party, which wants to cut off funds for the war by the end of this year.
     

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