President Obama releases his 2012 Budget

With Pres Obama set to release his 2012 Budget on this Valentine’s Day I doubt he will receive much love from Republicans; especially in the House.  Obama’s 2012 Budget will propose $3.7 trillion in spending and $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 1o years.  Now with an overall National Deficit of $14 trillion, $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years doesn’t seem like much but it’s a start.  What’s lacking from the 2012 Budget are cuts to programs like Medicare, and Social Security.

Here are some other highlights from Obama’s 2012 Budget:

  • 2/3 of the money for the $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next 10 years will come from program cuts and 1/3 of the money will come from tax hikes.  Well known programs to be cut are as follows; fewer subsidies for lower-income Americans for heating and cooling. And no more Pell grants for summer college.  Tax hikes will come from capping charitable deductions for wealthiest at 28% rate. Bush tax rates gone in 2013. Estate tax would rise back to 09 level
  • The 5-year spending freeze (at 2011 levels).
  • $78B in cuts over 5 years in the Pentagon budget

As I mentioned earlier this budget does nothing to tackle the entitlement spending like Medicare and the impending bankruptcy of Social Security; also what is missing is any mention of tax-reform.  The Obama Administration explained this by saying that cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Tax-reform are separate conversations.

Ummm, really???

We have to have these “conversations” soon, and right neither Republicans or Democrats seem willing to step forward and start that conversation.  The only one willing is Rand Paul, as I noted in a previous blog Paul’s ideas are definitely out of the box thinking for Washington but at least he is thinking.

We need to get serious and it needs to happen now!!

We will definitely see heated battles concerning Obama’s budget, but what good will that do if those battles don’t include cutting/reforming programs that carry the most weight in government spending (Defense, Healthcare, and Taxes).

With all that said, before we can move forward with the 2012 Budget we need to find out what is going to happen with the Debt Ceiling?  Some Republicans want to play a dangerous game by saying they will vote against raising the Debt Ceiling; if the ceiling is not raised the U.S. Government will default on its bills…

As always….
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Rand Paul, at least he has some ideas….

I will give Rand Paul credit for being bold enough to step forward and present ideas; unlike many Democrats and Republicans he has in his own way been more than just talk.  I have watched many Tea Party backed candidates talk about cutting spend but not many have actually presented ideas.  Talk is cheap and it’s time for someone to take action; instead we have a political process too worried about looking bad.  If we continue down the path of reckless spending we will all look bad!

The President did propose in the State Of The Union a five-year freeze in non-security, discretionary spending along with banning Earmarks.  President Obama also supported cutting $78 Billion dollar from defense spending, this is a good start but it is not enough.

In no way am I supporting Senator Rand Paul’s ideas but I support him having ideas and not being scared to have a real “Adult” conversation about those ideas.  Paul is proposing cutting $500 Billion in spending from the budget and that savings would happen in a year.  The following are areas Paul wants to make cuts in:

  • Food Stamps
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
  • Energy Department
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Education Department
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • National Endowment for Arts
  • Federal Courts
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Department of Homeland Security

In no way am I saying I support Rand’s proposal but it is a start and its a lot more than what Democrats and Republicans have put on the table.  We will see how serious the President and Congress really is about reducing the deficit when it comes time to review the Deficit Committee’s findings.

We can’t afford to keep kicking the can down the road, sooner or later that road will end!!

 

As always….
 

 

 

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

 

Talking Points Tuesdays – The State of the Union 2011

Tonight President Obama will deliver his 2nd State of the Union, in his first State of the Union he stressed the importance of Health Care Reform and attempted to dis-spell the inaccurate information concerning the legislation.  The night took a turn for the worse when Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled out,

“You Lie!!!”

While the President was explaining that his Health Care Reform would not cover illegals.

This time around I doubt we will have a “You Lie” moment but we will certainly hear some moans and groans as it is expected that President Obama will focus on investing in the future.  An investment in Education, Infrastructure, and Research and Development…. With our National Deficit hovering around $14 Trillion Republicans and Tea Partiers will not be happy with all the investment talk.  Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) appeared on the Sunday talk shows preaching “Cut and Grow” instead of spending aka investing and growing.

To be honest I am not sure how you can “Cut and Grow”?????

We all understand that the deficit is out of control, but at the same time the United States is a Super Power that cannot afford to be stagnant while China and Japan are still growing.  In order to grow we will have to RESPONSIBLY spend/invest in our future; along with taking a hard look at cutting back in all areas.  I believe the President will show that he is open to looking at the Fiscal Commission findings and work with both Democrats and Republicans to reduce the deficit, although the President has already let it be known through his advisors that he is NOT willing to cut Social Security benefits.

With that said Republicans should not feel as if the President is turning a deaf ear to them or the American people as Social Security was not the only recommendation (Fiscal Commission Report).  The Fiscal Commission made up of Republicans and Democrats also stated that while we have to make cuts in spending that we cannot afford to go the route of draconian cuts; those type of cuts could stall the recovery of the economy.  Cuts have to be made but…

WE MUST INVEST IN OURSELVES!!!

If we don’t we could go down the road of the U.K. as it was reported today; their economy contracted in the 4th quarter.  This was after enacting drastic cuts in spending, which in turn possibly caused a slow down in the economy.  The type of slow down we want to avoid in the U.S.

Tonight’s State of the Union will not only be the launch point for President Obama’s 2012 Campaign but it will also be a launch point for the future of the U.S. economy….

Let’s see how successful of a launch this will be!!

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

F-A-Natic Fridays – Rep Cohens compares GOP to Nazis, WTH!

So it didn’t take long before a dumbass Democrat made himself and the party look like hypocrites.  Representative Steve Cohen from Tennessee referred to the Republicans “lies” concerning Health Care Reform aka Affordable Care Act as Nazi propaganda; the type of propaganda that led to the Holocaust.

WTH is wrong with this guy?

With all the talk of civility what sense does it make to compare Republicans to the Nazis?  As Democrats we cannot stand on a soap box and call out Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin for their recklessness… and then turn around and act just as reckless!

SMH……

They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels. . . . You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing. . . . The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust. You tell a lie over and over again. And we’ve heard on this floor, government takeover of health care

This is the kind of nonsense Democrats need to stay away, stick with the facts and outlandish examples like this is unnecessary.  I hope Democrats leaders come out and condemn the words of Cohen; actually they better if they want the American people to take them seriously.

And Cohen definitely needs to apologizes as well….

“Anderson let me say this, I won’t say it again, but I was right…” – Steve Cohen

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Takeover Thursdays – Anthony Weiner on the Health Care Repeal Debate

Anthony Weiner

Once again Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY) hit a homerun while debating Republicans on the validity of the Repealing the JobKilling Health Care Law Act”. Republicans want to repeal the Health Care Law aka the Affordable Care Act, but why???

They say we should start fresh as the current law is just no good, as Rep Weiner clearly pointed out while speaking on the floor of the House… Republicans want to repeal the current law so that Republicans can put forth legislation that will do the following:

  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Help fill the donut hole that will help senior citizens pay for prescriptions
  • Give incentives for small businesses to supply

Ummmmm, wait a minute…..

Republicans want to repeal the current law so that they can put in place what the current law is ALREADY doing!!!!

It’s really simple folks, if you don’t believe me see for yourself; http://www.healthcare.gov/law/introduction/index.html

Republicans are correct when they say there are problems with the current law but there is no reason to start over; focus on the real issues with the current law like the 1099 forms that will have to be submitted by small businesses. This is an unnecessary administrative burden on businesses, there has to be an easier way, let’s focus on coming up with a solution for that.

Many Public Opinion polls are showing that the argument for repeal is 50-50 at best right now; more people are wanting the bill to do more as the support for outright repeal is diminishing.

My advice to Republicans, you better be careful before you are caught on the wrong side of the argument. Get your mind right Boehner and get your crew focused on what is more important like Jobs and the Deficit!!

Meanwhile, enjoy the latest rant from my favorite congressman….

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Anthony Weiner explains the cost of Repealing Health Care Reform Law!

Everyone PLEASE take 5:23 minutes to watch the video below of Rep Anthony Weiner explain to the House Rules Committee the cost of repealing the Affordable Care Act aka the Health Care Reform Law!!

All I ask of anyone wanting to better understand the Health Care debates; do your research.  Don’t take my word or even the word of Rep Weiner as the absolute truth; research everything Rep Weiner spoke about in the video clip and then make an informed decision on what is right and what is wrong.

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Talking Points Tuesdays – Repealing Health Care Reform Law

When the Democrats were “Shellacked” in the November Mid-term elections it was said that the downfall of the Dems and President Barack Obama was the focus on Health Care  Reform.  Political pundits on both sides along with Republicans leading up to election night and the day after said time and time again that the focus should have been on Job Creation and bringing down the National Debt.

So when Republicans started the 2011 session of the House of Representatives the first bill they decided to bring to the floor of the House was; drum roll please…….

Introducing Repealing the JobKilling Health Care Law Act”

With all the talk of listening to the people and how the House or Reps belong to the people Republicans have decided to turn a deaf ear to the people and follow their obsession; Barack Obama.  This is all about defeating Obama and whatever it takes to make it happen.  It doesn’t matter that the #1 concern of the people is the debt and the economy; polls show that Americans may not be thrilled with the Health Care Reform Act but there are number of things about the bill they like.

If the GOP continue down this road they will only be shooting themselves in the foot and are setting the stage for Obama’s 2nd term.  As the president’s favorable numbers improve (50%) the idea of Obama losing in 2012 will be nothing more than a silly pipe dream for the Republicans.  They better smarten up before it’s too late; the idea of it still being early is nothing but an illusion, just ask Democrats!

As Mike Barnicle  from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” repeatedly said last year, “It’s the Economy stupid!”

We all know the Health Care Reform Act is far from perfect but it is a starting point, if Republicans don’t want to believe a Moderate Liberal like myself how about former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn)

“It is not the bill that [Republicans] would have written,”

“It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.”

“[The bill] has many strong elements,”

“And those elements, whatever happens, need to be preserved, need to be cuddled, need to be snuggled, need to be promoted and need to be implemented.

Yes, that is Republican Bill Frist who is saying work with the foundation of the legislation and improve it; not sure what to think about the “Cuddled” and “Snuggled” parts but everything else Republicans should listen to… HAHA!!

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

WTF/WTH Wednesdays – Sarah Palin just doesn’t get it

Sarah Palin just doesn’t get it!!!

This morning Palin made her first public comments concerning the shooting in Tuscon, Arizona where she condemned the shooting  and expressed her sympathy for the victims.  She then took the opportunity to attack the media and political pundits who quickly look to point blame for this tragic incident.  She called Loughner “apolitical” and said that heated debate is something that is not new to this country and it should not be blamed for this tragedy.

“There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women.”

Palin’s assertion that political debate has always been heated is simply wrong; we can go back to the Reagan years to see there is a stark difference in how the 2 parties operate.  Republicans and Democrats did have heated debates but they also knew how to govern; Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan would go back and forth on ideology but at the end of the day they had mutual respect for one another.

O’Neill called Reagan the most ignorant man who had ever occupied the White House. O’Neill also said that Reagan was “Herbert Hoover with a smile” and “a cheerleader for selfishness.” He also said that Reagan’s policies meant that his presidency was “one big Christmas party for the rich.” Privately, O’Neill and Reagan were always on cordial terms, or as Reagan himself put it in his memoirs, they were friends “after 6PM.”

The so-called debate that is occurring today is very much different; there is no respect.  In today’s debate the President’s citizenship is questioned by nutbags Conservatives while GOP leadership looks the other way.  Joe Wilson yells out during the State of The Union “You Lie!”… Where is the respect???

Palin also misses the mark with her belief that the EXTREME political rhetoric has no impact; in no way am I blaming Palin for the shooting but I believe we have to be careful when saying, ‘Take up our arms’ or  ‘Reload’. The use of images are also dangerous; like images of cross hairs from a scope pointed at taking out certain representatives.

Sarah Palin knows this, and that’s why she (or some staffer) immediately cleaned Palin’s site of the targeting districts map

Instead of being a leader and acknowledge that the images or rhetoric are in bad taste and could possibly due damage; she decided to go on the attack and defend her views

Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

As I stated earlier Palin just doesn’t get it…

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

F-A-Natic Fridays – A Pledge to America, umm….

It only took less than 48 hours for Republicans to already start tripping up over their “Pledge to America”.  As I have stated in previous posts I am willing to give Republicans a fair shot at governing, if you have followed my blog you know that I have been critical on the way Democrats handled the majority they hand in both the House and Senate.  I also understand that Democrats and Republicans HAVE to work together to get this country back on track; in my opinion this country is not Liberal or Conservative… it is Moderate!

So healthy debate between Democrats and Republicans is necessary…

As a “Conservative” Liberal I am hopefully (silly me, ha) that the now Republican majority in the House will be about something and focus on the challenges facing this great nation; but I am not an idiot!

Republicans time and time again obstructed President Obama agenda; not saying they have to always agree but I would expect (hope) they would be able to put politics aside and do what is best for the country.  While in the minority Republicans in my opinion did not act in good faith.  They put forth a destructive strategy that focused on getting them back into power, and it worked!

With that power comes responsibility and with their “Pledge To America” there were SOME signs that they might actually mean business… albeit the pledge was a little vague but it was a plan and I was willing to listen.

Well…….

So far they have not impressed me at all, actually I take that back I am impressed!  I am impressed in how FAST they were able to break their own pledge…

In “A Pledge To America” Republicans said they would,

  1. Read the Constitution out loud in congress so that everyone knew what was actually in the Constitution
  2. Cut $100 Billion dollars of federal spending in the 1st year (50 billion)
  3. Open Rules will ensure the right to debate and the ability to offer amendments on legislation (no the case for repeal bill)
  4. Implement cut-as-you-go, repeal of health reform would add $230 Billion to the deficit. Republicans will not cut anything for this legislation.
  5. List the names of each member in attendance at a committee hearing, behind closed doors they did away with that
  6. Promise each bill will include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority allowing you to do what the bill is said to do; so none of the 3 bills introduced met that criteria

This is only a sample of what the “Pledge To America” is about, but the above were points that Republicans highlighted leading up them winning control of the House.

So how are they doing so far in keeping this pledge?

  1. The Constitution was read out loud in congress, unfortunately only the “GOOD PARTS” were read. For whatever reason there was no mention about a slave only being 3/5 a person aka The Three-Fifths Compromise.
  2. Since Republicans blocked the Omnibus Spending Bill that funds the 2011 federal budget, Republicans had to reset their proposed spending cuts.  As of yesterday they were saying they would cut $50 Billion but there is word it will be even lower possibly $30 Billion.
  3. The first bill presented by Republicans to the House will be the Repeal Bill; the bill would repeal health-care reform.  Eric Cantor has already gone on record saying that Democrats will NOT be able to debate of offer any amendments.  Cantor will not allow Open Rules for this legislation, I might be mistaken but that sounds like CLOSED RULES!
  4. Cut-As-You-Go rules; any spending legislation introduced in the House will be required to be pay for by cuts in other areas.  Except if Republicans repeal health-care reform the Congressional Budget Office aka CBO (non-partisan) has already stated that repealing health-care reform would add $230 Billion to the deficit.  currently Republicans have yet to announce $230 Billion worth of cuts to pay for this spending.
  5. In a closed-door meeting Republicans decided that listing the name of each member in attendance at a committee hearing was not a great idea so that pledge was simply scratched
  6. So far Republicans have introduced 3 bills and none of the bills have met the criteria of citing the specific Constitutional Authority that allow the bills to do what they are proposed to do.

Hmmm, at this rate Democrats will be back in control quick fast, all Democrats need to do is keep their heads low and be smart about legislating.  If this is any indication of the next couple of years… Republicans will be consistently shooting themselves in the foot!!

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

Takeover Thursdays – Republicans resume control of the House…

Nancy Pelosi hands over Majority Speaker of the House to John Boehner

So here we go folks, “The Boys Are Back in Town”

Republicans are once again in control of the House Of Representatives and this time things will be different!

Seriously, Boehner and the Republicans promise this will not be a repeat of 1994 when they took control of the House during the Clinton presidency.  They will not make the same mistakes that was made back then as they understand that the House is for the people and not a toy for career congressmen.  Yesterday (1/5/2011) Speaker Boehner officially became the Majority Speaker of the House and during his address to the House laid down a framework (Rules Package) for a “New Congress”.

“No longer can we fall short… No longer can we kick the can down the road… The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions.”

“The American people have humbled us; they have refreshed our memories to just how temporary the privilege of serving is.  They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them…”

Boehner focused on the following key points:

  • An emphasis on ‘REAL’ transparency
  • Greater accountability
  • A renewed focus on the constitution
  • Legislators and public will have 3 days to review bills before they come up for vote
  • Implement Cut-as-you-go; in order to introduce any spending you must first make cuts in other areas to pay for the spending
  • A fair an open process
  • You will always have the right for a debate to make your case and offer alternatives on legislations

Hmmmm, I have to admit at first glance the above framework for running the House SEEMS to be impressive… BUT it took Republicans less than a day for them to already break one of their “RULES”.  During Boehner’s speech he made sure to point out that a Nancy Pelosi run House did not allow for real debate and that would not be the case under his watch.  Well I guess Eric Cantor must have missed the memo; Cantor has already stated he will put forward a repeal bill (repeal health-care law aka Obamacare) but he will not allow amendments from the Democrats.

Um, that doesn’t sound like a…

fair an open process or a debate allowing everyone the chance to offer alternatives on legislation!!

This is the “New Congress”?

I am more than willing to give the Republicans a chance to do their thing but come on guys, at least let the dust settle before you start breaking your own rules.  It’s still early but the GOP is not showing me anything; they rather work on repealing Obamacare as they call it instead of focusing on the deficit and creating jobs.  Speaking of deficits, I thought Republicans and the Tea Party were serious about controlling spending and running a fiscally responsible government?

If that is the case, why would they not include tax cuts as part of their Cut-As-You-Go program?  Republicans made sure that tax cuts were exempt from Cut-As-You-Go; this will allow the House to present tax cut legislation that could be unpaid for and add to our already $14 Trillion dollar National Deficit.

I don’t know John Boehner this looks a whole lot like “Business As Usual”

but I guess “We can disagree without being disagreeable….

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!