Ever wonder about that “black budget”….we know that secret money used to fund all sorts of ‘secret’ programs around the world….how do they manage that when there is a budget that they must adhere to…..well somewhat….you ask….I answer….well in this case….in this case I will let US News & World Report do the answering…..
That is my latest poem…the title that is…….
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is both, friend and foe, if your particular ideology does not agree with the CBO’s findings then it cannot be trusted because it is a government entity that as we know cannot be trusted to give the people the real facts….and then when it does agree with your particular set of priorities then it is a friend and its findings should be heeded at all costs……
There you have it….it is both friend and foe……
I bring this up because the latest report from the CBO seems to favor the GOP’s set of priorities……..read on McDuff……
CBO’s Key Findings:
- Revenue in 2014 is on track to exceed its historical average of 17.4 percent of GDP.
- The deficit will again top $1 trillion by 2022.
- Interest on the national debt will quadruple over the next decade.
- By 2021, Obamacare will cause a “reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.3 million.”
- Obamacare “will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.” The largest decline will occur among “lower-wage workers.”
- Obamacare “will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 2017–2024 period.”
To read the full report: http://cbo.gov/publication/45010.
So in this case at this point in the year….the CBO has given lots of ammo for the GOP in the coming 2014 elections….I can hear the “Repeal Obamacare” chants as I write……but the question is….will the CBO still be the friend the GOP needs to win their ‘rightful’ place as the power in DC? Or will it go back to being the propaganda wing of the President?
Remember Paul Ryan…in case your memory is as bad as mine….let me help….he was Mitt’s pick for VP. A lot can be said about Ryan…about the best thing is that he is the GOP’s economic wonk….someone who can play with the big boys in the field of economics…..
Apparently the answer is a resounding NO! I mean it is bad enough to take young men and send them off to war….and even worse sin is to bring the wounded home and then have to deal with a country that cares little for their care…..to the point that charities have to pop up to get the severely wounded the help they need…..the country is way too busy to think seriously about the vets….sorry…they are important enough to be trotted out during campaigns as some sort of prop and then lied to their faces….I hope this country is PROUD of the way it treats veterans.
Like I said they have NOT been screwed enough……Politico is reporting……
Congress and the Pentagon agree that it’s time to tighten the defense belt, including tackling spiraling personnel costs. The question is how and when to do it.
The recent small cuts in pension cost-of-living increases for working-age military retirees have laid bare the divisions on how to appropriately rein in the military’s personnel costs.
Pentagon officials, however, emphasized that reforming the military’s compensation system is unavoidable.
“Secretary [Chuck] Hagel, the Joint Chiefs and the service secretaries agree that we cannot afford to sustain the rate of growth in military compensation that we’ve experienced over the last decade,” said acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox.
And Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld told the committee the Pentagon “can and probably should gradually place compensation on a more sustainable trajectory.”
Under the recent two-year budget agreement, military retirees under the age of 62 would see their pensions increase at a slower pace, with their cost-of-living adjustments pegged to the rate of inflation minus 1 percentage point. Once they turned 62, they would go back to receiving adjustments pegged to the full rate of inflation.
The pension cuts, set to take effect Dec. 1, 2015, initially extended to all working-age military retirees. But the $1.1 trillion spending bill that cleared Congress earlier this month gave a pass to disabled veterans and surviving families, a move the Pentagon supports.
Pentagon officials, to her knowledge, were not consulted on the details of the budget agreement brokered by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Fox said. But the department “fully supported” the provision in the omnibus spending bill that restored the cuts for disabled veterans.
Another slap to the face of vets……if the Congress wants to cut anything let these self-righteous morons start with their pay and their benefits….at least the vets did what was asked of them….the Congress is ordered by money not the people…..
The treatment of vets is shameful and as a vet …..DISGUSTING!
Of course the usual talking points will be in full bloom this year…after all in is an election year….and of course the opposition will keep harping on the deficit and how out of control it is and how if they are elected all will somehow to alright….
But did you know……of course you didn’t because it is not something that they want you to know…kinda craps on their BS……
I have wondered along with many other political writers just where are the conservs with cajones…..the adults in the GOP have let the kids from the Tea Party and some advocacy groups run rough shod over the policies of the party…..like the recent budget deal…..personally, I found it lacking in so many areas….but some groups were bashing it even before it was officially announced…..and they were very verbally abusive to the people that were voting for the deal…..
Then a miracle on 34th street (like the Xmas cinema reference?) appeared on the horizon…….a voice of sanity, at least for now….and who could this masked man be?
(Newser) – John Boehner slammed political advocacy groups today, which would be no big surprise except the groups in his sights are on the right, not the left. “They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” Boehner told reporters, after prominent conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and Heritage Action slammed the new budget deal even before it was officially announced, reports NBC News. “This is ridiculous.” The LA Times described it as “uncharacteristically forceful” language from the speaker, who has sought to keep the groups in his corner during previous budget battles.
Boehner delivered similar remarks to House Republicans behind closed doors, reports the Hill, suggesting to the rank and file that the groups were more concerned with raising money than defending conservative principles. The groups say they’re angry that the proposed deal raises spending levels in 2014, albeit slightly—to $1.012 trillion from the $967 billion that would have been in place had the full sequester cuts taken effect. The full House votes on the measure tomorrow, and Boehner’s language suggests he’s not worried about the vote failing, even if a conservative bloc defects. Said Ryan: “We feel very good at where we are with our members.”
Yes sports fans….that masked man is John Boehner……who would have thought it?
The recent budget deal that the Senate and House came up with has been called many things…..some good….others not so much…..but IMHO it stinks of politics….and not in the good way…..this deal was made because an election looms on the horizon and all these people need cover for their respective campaigns……does little to help the middle class and does nothing for the poor among us…….
Read the op-ed and see what you think of this “deal”……
Congressional Budget Deal….finally something to write about other than Obamacare or handshakes or selfies or….whatever BS du jour the media has dreamed up……..
The good news is that there seems to be a deal in Congress on the federal budget…..a supposed bi-partisan deal……go figure…..some cheer while others scoff……was there any doubt that they would find a deal in the negotiations?
(Newser) – No shutdown drama this time? House and Senate negotiators have reached a budget deal well ahead of the Jan. 15 deadline, reports USA Today. Republican Paul Ryan of the House and Democrat Patty Murray of the Senate announced the $85 billion package this evening, with votes in both chambers expected by week’s end. As expected, the word “modest” is turning up in most accounts. The deal restores about $63 billion in cuts to military and domestic programs that had been mandated by the sequester, an amount that would be offset by cuts and fees elsewhere.
For example, air travelers can expect to pay $5 more for a round-trip flight thanks to an increased security fee, reports AP. Also, federal workers will have to pay more toward their own pensions. Democrats lost one of their key battles—the extension of long-term unemployment benefits—though they promised to keep pressing the issue. Republicans, on the other hand, didn’t get any changes in Medicare and Social Security, notes the Washington Post, which has a breakdown of what’s in the measure. Despite Ryan’s involvement, conservatives were chafing at the roll-back of sequester cuts, reports the New York Times. “The American people demanded, and were promised, reasonable spending limits,” says the president of Americans for Prosperity. “Politicians choosing to go back on their promise will be held accountable for their actions.” As the Hill notes: “The big question is whether that package will be accepted in the House.”
………but what is behind this new found compromising cooperation?
My thought is….the GOP does not need another government shutdown to contend with….especially with an election coming next year…..they need to focus on Obamacare and not the distraction……of a shutdown. They need something other than repeall BS that they have been harping on for the last couple of years….
But the GOP has its detractors…..Paul and Crapo…..(for this post)……not everyone is happy with the deal…..and who did not see the Tea Party folk as the detractors?
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will oppose the bipartisan budget proposal that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released last night.
“Sen. Paul will oppose the reported cap busting deal,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, told POLITICO on Wednesday. “He opposes increasing spending and undoing the minimal sequester cuts in current law, which weren’t even close to enough to begin with.”
Meanwhile, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said earlier Tuesday he will “likely” oppose the deal, too.
“It doesn’t appear to be something I will likely support,” Crapo said. “It’s pretty light on entitlement reform and the entitlement reform that’s done is not structural. It doesn’t do anything to actually change or fix that. We’re looking now to see if it can pass the Congress.”
I am sure there will be other naysayers with an election around the corner…..
With all that said…..is this deal a good deal?
Newser) – A budget deal agreed upon by the House and Senate has come early, and it may prevent another shutdown—but pundits aren’t exactly cheering about it. Among the responses:
- At Slate, Matthew Yglesias says the plan will “improve the economy moderately and it achieves the GOP’s goal of reducing spending.” But contrary to what Paul Ryan might like you to believe, it effectively raises taxes in the form of higher “user fees”—on flying, for instance. “If it makes sense for Republicans to do a deal that raises ‘fees’ in exchange for spending cuts, then on what planet does it not make sense to do a deal that raises taxes in exchange for spending cuts?”
- The Wall Street Journal‘s editors are shrugging, too. The good part of the deal: It “includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms.” The downside: It breaks planned spending caps “by some $63 billion over the (2014 and 2015 fiscal) years.” And sure, “fees for services aren’t tax increases on income or sales. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be felt by average Americans.”
- David Dayen, however, calls the deal “demonic” at Salon. Federal worker? “You’ll have to pay more into your pension, an effective wage cut that just adds to the $114 billion … federal employees have already given back to the government in the name of deficit reduction.” Indeed, they haven’t gotten a raise since 2010, and this plan largely does away with a planned 1% pay hike next month.
Some cheer….most will not…..but after all….a deal is a deal….right?
‘Tis the season to be jolly…..right?
Have you ever known some guy or gal that at every turn shoots themselves in the foot? I once had a public debate with a guy that made my points for me every time he opened his mouth…..like shooting ducks in a barrel….and the GOP seems to have this syndrome….they in the past have taken victory and snatched out defeat….all because they just cannot shut up….with every town hall they piss off more people that would have possibly voted their way in the future…..
We all have seen this in action…..part of the problem is that there are too many sand lot bullies in the Tea Party that rubs off on the GOP every time they have something stupid to say….and that is about every time they open their mouths…….the adults in the party have relinquished control to the sub human bullies……
What brought his post on was the thought I had, after reading a good opinion piece…..the GOP has the upper edge, right now, because of the insanity that is Obamacare….but there is a budget debate to look forward to next year….they cannot do too much damage this year for they only have about 5 working days left before they take another break…..a break to try out those new knee pads they will get for Xmas…..this is the piece that I referred to earlier…..
(Newser) – The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal sounds pretty hopeful that the troubles of ObamaCare will translate into solid GOP gains in next year’s midterms. But the editors also see signs
that Republicans are going to once again blow it with a “stupid, futile budget standoff.” This time, it’s defense hawks such as Rep. Buck McKeon who might break party ranks, thanks to Pentagon cuts mandated by current law. His intent is honorable, say the editors, but he and fellow hawks need to stand down for the sake of the party.
“If 20 or so GOP Members vote with Nancy Pelosi to ditch the budget caps, Republicans can’t pass a government funding bill before the current continuing resolution expires early next year,” they write. “This could trigger another shutdown and pell-mell political retreat that makes the GOP again look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” Republicans have to remain united—the lesson they should have learned from the last budget mess—and “Boehner must finally show enough leadership and toughness to keep his Members in line.” Click for the full editorial. (Meanwhile, a Politico story suggests that a genuine deal is in the works to avoid a shutdown this time around.)
The big question to ask is……will the GOP pee in their chili–again?
Please let the thoughts fly.