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Town Square

Now, this is news. DC Democrats passed a budget!

Original post made by jimf01, another community, on Mar 23, 2013

The day has arrived! The US Senate has passed a budget 50-49, first one in 4 years! Now, don't get your hopes up. $975 billion in new tax revenue within the next ten years. The budget never balances, has deficits EVERY year, and 10 years out still has a deficit of a half a trillion.

The Democrats who approved (not a single GOP vote) this will say they voted for spending cuts. The Murray budget contains $975 billion in spending cuts, including $275 billion in new cuts to Medicare and Medicaid spending. But it also turns off $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts scheduled over nine years. Factoring that in, the budget does not constitute a net spending cut.

But you knew they wouldn't ever, ever cut spending, right?

Is this the leadership you want? Inaction for four years, and then when they do pass a budget, it has higher taxes and more deficits. Sen Jeff Sessions summed things up pretty well:

"Honest people can disagree on policy. But where there can be no honest disagreement is the need to change our nation's debt course. The singular truth that no one can escape is that the House budget changes our debt course while the Senate budget does not. The Senate budget increases taxes, increases spending, and adds $7.3 trillion to our debt. It has zero real deficit reduction."

"The massive debt we have racked up to finance our wasteful government is pulling down growth today. Gross debt over 90 percent of GDP weakens growth now. Not tomorrow—now.

"In other words, the more money we borrow to mail out government checks, the more and more people there are that will need government checks. This is why we can no longer define compassion as borrow-and-spend. Our goal should be to help more Americans find jobs, better wages, and to achieve financial independence.

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Comments

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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

"In other words, the more money we borrow to mail out government checks, the more and more people there are that will need government checks"

Yes, and that's mainly Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid (and in recent years corporate welfare). Finally Republicans like Paul Ryan are acknowledging that. We can't make real progress on balancing the budget without cuts to Medicare.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thank you for Medicare and Social Security! tee hee...


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Posted by q for patriot
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

Question for "patriot", can you cite where in the Ryan budget just passed it shows a cut in Medicare? There are reforms, you might even be able to rightly claim that there is a decrease in the current baseline planed increases which would have occurred if there were no changes. But is there a cut? No, I do not believe there is.

But feel free to show where I am wrong. And as for entitlement reform writ large, are you against reforms? Are you against changes? Aren't the Republican, White House, and Democrat budget proposals where these discussions begin? Well, now we see where the Dems stand, right? They do not touch entitlements, and let deficits and spending grow and grow. The President? Hasn't even produced a budget, as he is legally required to do. Might hae something to do with the fact that his last one got ZERO votes in favor, every Democrat and every Republican vote in the House and Senate was against it. Skunked.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

q,

Cuts in Medicare are written all over the Ryan budget, and I applaud him and the people who worked with him on his proposal for that. They are certainly "cuts in expected increases", and I have no problem with calling them that. They are cuts in projected increases. There is no way to keep benefits at current levels for future beneficiaries (which are already running huge deficits)as increasing numbers of retirees (baby-boomers) receive benefits. That requires an increase in spending. The Ryan plan cuts that increase by cutting benefits, and transforming Medicare into a voucher system. Ryan's plan makes fiscal sense. The Senate Democratic plan does not. The Senate plan never balances the budget.

Am I against reforms? Certainly not. Do I think the Ryan reform plan is the most palatable to the majority of Americans? Maybe not. I think current retirees, and people in their late forties and early fifties would prefer, and have planned for a system more like the current Medicare system, and less like a voucher system where the government subsidy may fall far short of the cost for purchasing insurance.

I personally preferred something closer to what the president's own commission proposed and subsequently ignored. That would have combined entitlement cuts with tax increases. That is a far easier sell than the cuts only plan the house was pushing.

But the Ryan plan is better than the Democratic plan in my humble opinion because, as you say, it barely touches entitlements.

"Skunked"?

What does that mean? Are you assuming that I must be a Democrat or liberal, or some kind of enemy? I am an independent. Everything isn't black/white, Republican/Democratic to me. That kind of thinking played a major role in getting us into this mess. Both plans are dead on arrival, and both sides are needlessly putting us through these invented crises more for scoring political points than for solving problems. Can you believe that I am actually praising Paul Ryan for acknowledging that Medicare is as big a problem as it is? How do you feel about something like the Simpson-Bowles proposal? Don't you think something like that would have a much better chance of getting bipartisan support than either the Senate or House budget?


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Posted by q for
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

skunked only referred to the zero votes the President's own budget proposal received, fyi

I appreciate your response and fair assessment of the situation. I am really going to avoid offering my own opinions, and instead just want to stick to the facts. There are many proposals out there, and what I personally prefer really doesn't matter a hill of beans, so to speak.

I just like to make sure it's pointed out that the real dispute between Democrats and Republicans is one party just wants govt over all to grow faster than the other, and the Democrats will happily tax more and run higher deficits in order to greatly expand the size and scope of government programs.
The Republicans meanwhile will expand govt more slowly, and taxes wouldn't go up as much, and the deficit curve will bend downward over time instead of continuing upward.

Folks should know that is the crux of the thing, and vote accordingly.


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Posted by q (translated)
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I'm really entirely too stupid to engage in intellectual debate with you, Patriot. I only know what I read in Weasel Zippers and Brietbord. So, permit me to whip off a couple of mindless platitudes, then I'm outta here!


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Posted by translated translated
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I am a hateful progressive liberal who is incapable of civil discussion with anyone who opposes me, so let me just throw out insults and go crawl back under my rock.


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Posted by q (translated)
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm

"what I personally prefer really doesn't matter a hill of beans, so to speak."

Indeed. No argument for any of us there. Just wishing you were a bit more honest and admit you don't know much of anything beyond what you read in Weasel Zippers, listen to on Mark Levin, and watch on Fox News.

"I just like to make sure it's pointed out that the real dispute between Democrats and Republicans is one party just wants govt over all to grow faster than the other, and the Democrats will happily tax more and run higher deficits in order to greatly expand the size and scope of government programs." But there's your personal opinion, derived from Weasel Zippers, that no one gives a hill of beans about, which is quite accurate.

But the opinion, as usual, is wrong (and dumb). Budgets are not about sides disagreeing on speed of government growth. If you knew anything about how congress works, you'd know that representatives have different constituencies, with different needs, from scientists to schools to urban police forces to children in need of food stamps. To reduce real human needs to a mere govt-growth-equation is really about as stupid as everything else you say.


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

"representatives have different constituencies, with different needs, from scientists to schools to urban police forces to children in need of food stamps"

Ah there you go, the flowery dreamily pleasant statement about what we think our representatives are doing for us in Congress. Yes certainly, there are programs that provide for some of those things, but two of those are BS, schools and police are funded 90% or more at the state and county level, and the federal government, rightfully, has little to nothing to do with that. Yes, you hear a stimulus grant let the local PD keep a number of police officers on the streets, keeping us safe. Why is it you never hear that a federal grant let the city keep office workers? It doesn't make good press, but the increased police budget lets the city shift money away from the police budget.

What the representatives tussle back and forth over in appropriations is small potatoes compared to the bigger fight. They have this thing called mandatory spending. That is almost 70% of the budget. That's part of the remaining 30% or so, the discretionary spending.

Oh, and don't be distracted by pitiful pontification about hungry children. Yes, the mandatory spending is the driver of debt and deficits. These programs are in need of real reform, and our politicians aren't doing the job.

But if you think, like our lovely liberal, that your rep or Senator is thinking about scientists & children in need of food stamps, think again. Most discretionary spending changes come straight from lobbyists and campaign donors, they produce the money that really runs Washington DC.


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Posted by q for
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

well thanks there jimfo1, I am in agreeance, mainly. looks like mr translated crawled back under his rock lol after his staements calling folks wrong and dumb got shredded up


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Posted by q (translated)
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

So, Jimbo and the other name he posts under, q, is in agreeance with himself. I'm so happy about this agreeance.

Jimbo's comments about representation and discretionary spending makes about as much sense as agreeance does. But just to be clear, I'm in disagreeance.

But one thing I think we're all in agreeance about. Jimbo's contributions, no matter how many different names he uses, are funny as hell. They always cross that imaginary line re. how incredibly stupid one person (using multiple names) can be.


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Posted by translated translated
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

At the risk of repeating myself, repeating:

I am a hateful progressive liberal who is incapable of civil discussion with anyone who opposes me, so let me just throw out insults and go crawl back under my rock.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

"What the representatives tussle back and forth over in appropriations is small potatoes compared to the bigger fight. They have this thing called mandatory spending. That is almost 70% of the budget. "

Yes, and the House plan finally deals with that, though not in a way that will have any chance passing in the Senate or avoiding the President's veto.