Effect Measure

After our recent rant on the necessity of supporting the public health and social services infrastructure instead of cutting taxes, President Bush has replied. He is cutting the infrastructure:

President Bush’s $3 trillion budget for next year slashes mental health funding and rural health care and freezes spending on medical research, among the cuts outlined in budget documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services would be reduced by almost 3 percent under the Bush budget plan to be released Monday. The $2 billion in HHS cuts are about double the size of the reductions Bush sought last year; the Democrats controlling Congress rejected them.

[snip]

In his proposed budget, Bush would eliminate a $302 million program that gives grants to children’s hospitals to subsidize medical education. A $300 million program for public health improvement projects would be eliminated, while grants to improve health care in rural areas would be cut by 87 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control’s budget would face a 7 percent reduction of $433 million. The budget for a program to treat and monitor the health of first responders and others exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks would be cut by 77 percent, from $108 million this year to $25 million in 2009. An account for the preparedness, detection and control of infectious diseases would undergo an 18 percent cut.

The National Institutes of Health, which funds health research grants, would see its budget frozen at $29.5 billion.

A program providing grants to help mental health and substance abuse providers update their treatment programs would be cut almost in half. Bush also would eliminate a new $49 million program to help states provide health insurance to people who are ailing and cannot obtain health insurance in the commercial market. (AP)

Who are the winners? Well, “winning” is relative in this budget. The FDA gets a 6% increase. This has to cover both food and drug safety and given the deficiencies won’t go far. Head Start gets a 2% increase, which means it will lose a little in real terms (after inflation). The big winner — drum roll — is a 25% increase in the failed abstinence education program! Jeez.

But heating subsidies for the poor would get slashed over 20% and the program which helps local community agencies for the poor, the Community Services Block Grant program, would get a 100% decrease. Yes, that’s right. He’s zeroing it out.

Let’s put these cuts in perspective. The half billion dollar cut in the heating subsidies for the poor (it’s a good thing the cost of energy hasn’t increased, right?) is lost in the noise of this budget. Three trillion dollars is 3 thousand billion dollars, so that cut is .03% of the budget. For a lot of seniors, though, it’s not noise. It’s a signal that Bush and the Republicans don’t care about them. And of course they don’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Gaudia Ray
    February 3, 2008

    Faith based will soon be just that, faith but without a base.
    We have 12 months to go and they’re out. Don’t be blind. Those on that gravy train know it’s over. They’re scrambling to blend in and get out of the way of the cutting knife that will chop their limb off at the tree trunk. I see it in my biz with posturing right now in anticipation of the slamming down of the Bush legacies; they’re over and gone.

    As to that community block grant, you’re a bleeding heart and I suggest you get out of your ivory tower and look seriously at what that money is being spent on. I’ve seen it up close and personal. In the cases I saw, if the person was minority, poor and living in an upper middle class and middle class neighborhood, guess what!! They got their house remodeld, upgraded…for FREE. That’s my money being thrown away. If poor, they can sell their house and scramble over to the poor neighborhood, hauling their inflationary profits with them…but noooo. It’s so much easier to nurse off of the bleeding hearts teats.

    Time to get real.

    This viewpoint of yours continues to look at present “misery” as a reason to be compassionate. This is a therapy issue, not a political and fiscal matter.

  2. #2 Gene Goldring
    February 3, 2008

    I was wondering who was going to get the bill for the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

    Now we know.

  3. #3 revere
    February 3, 2008

    GR: You’ve seen nothing up close and personal. My “ivory tower” happens to be in an inner city medical center. Yours is in the rich person’s town of Ojai. I don’t want to get any real-er than I have to get every day. It is too real for me. As usual with your posts, this one was 50% incomprehensible (do you ever read what you write?) and 50% meanspirited and wrongheaded each. That’s 150% of bullshit.

  4. #4 Lewis
    February 3, 2008

    Revere is right on target. The New York Times today published a sobering editorial on what is happening to the FDA.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/opinion/03sun1.html?hp

    GR’s comment appears to be one where the supporting evidence is largely based on personal anecdotes. I question both the validity and the reliablity of such evidence, if one can factually call it evidence. After the first few sentences I expected to see the words: “I don’t know what I am taking about, but here’s my opinion anyway.”

  5. #5 M.Randolph Kruger
    February 3, 2008

    Revere…. Unfortunately the responders from the WTC’s have been dying at an incredible number. They likely wont need the money if they are dead.

    Providing heating subsidies to the elderly? That is pure socialism and there are other places for them to go. Cradle to the grave ensures the US goes the way of the dinosaurs and when it does, all of this becomes a moot point. We wont be worrying about the socialism of it all.

    Its time to pay the bills and regardless of Iraq or the military those budgets are approved by Congress, not by the President or any of his lackeys. That is a currently Democratically controlled Congress Revere. That Congress part applies to the super libs Carter, W. J. Clinton and any other future president too. Our problem is that we have spent too much and finally the understanding of this is coming to bear. The Canadian dollar is now worth more than the US.

    Failed abstinence? Pre-marital sex before 18 is on the decrease and its not just an abstinence program, it teaches them AIDS/HIV awareness. Who pays for those teen pregnancies? So do tell us what the 25% number is in dollars… I bet its not the amount of any cut you are ranting on. How many unwanted babies will end up on the government dole if they cut it.

    Finally, is there any parent out there whose kids are less than 18 that thinks that the abstinence program should be cut out in lieu of some social welfare program?

    That heating subsidies program has become a 100% payment program at least in the City of Memphis where I reside. There is no subsidy, its a flat out payment scam. They game the system and it should be cut out. They are also using the system to pay for new roofs and upgrades to kitchens and things like that because they are “substandard”. That means that in some social workers eyes that if they need a new fridge they get one. If you make a small payment to the S. worker you get the new fridgey!

    Maybe its one of those earmarks that were cut out? I know I raised enough Hell about a huge bridge project in Alaska. Perhaps you have heard about it? It was to go to an island with 14000 people that by all accounts would need 100 miles of road just to connect it to something. Ferry service takes a day to get to a port. But no one told them to live there. But 200 million? Yeah, thats cut too Revere and Bush slapped the Congressman who wanted it down in a hard way.

    Heating for the seniors? So who takes care of the young who have currently a 32,000 tax bill for all of the other program, projects and the military? The next President be it Dem or Republican is going to have to cut taxes again to keep us competitive. If they raise them then government spending will go up for all of these pet programs and inflation with it and they’ll owe more. The old Roosevelt spend your way to prosperity will simply not work this time around because we have to pay the bonds in euro’s. The dollar is no longer king, the euro is. He who has the money makes the rules.

    Isnt amazing? The drop in the economy started just 5 short months after they raised the minimum wage. One girl was bitching that she couldnt afford to get her hair cut on the current minimum wage. I wonder if she’ll have a job in the near future? Note to financial types in the US. They raise the minimum wage and each time they do inflation is sparked and the Fed raises the interest rates. $5.85 an hour now… Hmmmm.

    Know what it is in China? $43 to a high side $61 a MONTH! Wonder why we are exporting jobs out of this country? Might it be because its cheaper to do business because of the lack of regulations? Raise taxes and make us MORE uncompetitive. Please do. It will hasten us to the poorhouse and all of this socialist crap will get cut out. CDC? Shit close the thing entirely. I cant see that they have done so much lately.

    The end result is the same if Republicans cut too much and the Dems tax. We all get screwed.

    And Revere, there is no heating subsidy in China.

  6. #6 revere
    February 3, 2008

    Randy: So move to China. It sounds like your kind of place. They also have excellent roads and infrastructure there (this is not snark; this is apparently the case). They can afford it because they are doing it with your money, which you send them every time you go to WalMart.

  7. #7 OmegaMom
    February 3, 2008

    MRK: You don’t *seriously* think that the drop in the economy (a) is due to the raise in minimum wages and (b) started only five months after they raised the minimum wage?? In addition, sorry to puncture your minimum wage-raised-interest-rates balloon, but the new minimum went into effect in July, and interest rates, which had held steady for a year or so, have been (surprise!) dropping since then. The current bad economy has nothing to do with minimum wage raises, but everything to do with the ongoing housing bubble finally bursting and taking the subprime mortgage market with it.

  8. #8 Ken Clark
    February 3, 2008

    Actually interested in a response to this question, the war in Iraq aside (and yes, that is a hell of an aside) where would you prefer to see the cuts come from? We are spending more than we make (at the federal level at least) and the cuts _MUST_ come from some where, and no one likes to see it come from thier department. Personally, I’m a find the pork and kill it kind of guy, but that is too general of a term. I realize im not offering specifics either, but I am curious about yours at this point.

  9. #9 Lewis
    February 3, 2008

    Randy;

    The national budget is developed by the office of the President.

    The use of abstinence in sex education has been proven by recent research to be no better than sex education without an abstinence component. Abstinence appears to account for none of the variance attributable to the reduction of unwed teenage pregnancies.

    Why is giving to the poor declared to be “socialism”, and not a moral or values (or religious) based decision?

    I could find no text within Revere’s statement concerning earmarks or the ‘bridge to nowhere’. How does the inclusion of non-relevant factors affect the validity or reliablity of Revere’s statement?

    What specific evidence can you present that bribes to a social worker got someone a refrigerator?

    How does the recent increase in the minimum wage directly account for the economic slump the US is experiencing? All accounts that I have read from nationally recognized economists fail to include the rise in minimum wage as a contributing factor. Scientists, especially public health scientists, are usually admonished to avoid Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc errors.

    Just wondering!

  10. #10 revere
    February 3, 2008

    Ken: Yes, it is a big aside but there would be no war dividend as we are spending money we don’t have, not taking it from somewhere else (well maybe we’re taking it from my grandchildren; believe me, they can’t afford it). But my answer to your question is outside the box you seem to be in: we have to raise revenues and that means raising taxes. Probably a lot. We can afford it. Most of us will save because we won’t be paying another way.

  11. #11 kathleen
    February 3, 2008

    So, Mr. Kruger, a $5.85 minimum wage seems excessive to you?

    Are you suggesting that to be competitive our U.S minimum wage should “compete” with China’s $0.25-0.35/hour (using your figures but assuming 40-hour workweek, likely a real joke)?

    The reason we’ve shipped jobs out of this country can be directly traced to who profits from that, and how they’ve ensured that those who write the rules of the game write them in their favor, and NOT in the favor of low wage workers.

    I agree with Revere: if you think paying the working masses such lowly wages are such a great way to run an economy, why don’t you move to a place like China? That way you can fully experience the joy to be had by those so fortunate as to have such great jobs paying pretty much nothing at all.

    OmegaMom is on target: Like most financial crises, this was brought on by greedy bankers, writing their own rules in the wake of deregulation, disconnecting the taking of risk from the taking of profits, knowing full well that sooner or later the whole wreck would come crashing down, but not before they pulled their profits out. Oh sure, blame it all on some working stiff making minimum wage, not the schemers and charlatans who wrote the rules. Fortunately, the FBI sees things a bit differently.

  12. #12 Ken Clark
    February 3, 2008

    I can agree with that, personally, I would be willing to pay a LOT more in taxes to see certain things happen, like free healthcare, the government is the only body large enough to force cost out of the vicious circle they are in. And college cost too damned much, if you want to make a decent living any more, you have to have a degree, I remember back when one person in the household could earn enough to support the whole family (just barely, Im 38). I’ll have to research where I saw it, but it takes something like 14 years after college, just to pay off enough of the debt, that you get ahead of high school graduates. I find that absurd. Education and health care should not be crippling financially.

  13. #13 Lewis
    February 3, 2008

    In America, the top one-tenth of one percent of earners make about the same money per year collectively as the millions of Americans in the bottom fifty percent combined.

    Two Out of Three Middle Class American Families Are On Shaky Financial Ground.

    (The following text is extracted from a press release which outlines a new report by Demos (http://demos.org/home.cfm) and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.)

    By a Thread
    The New Experience of America’s Middle Class
    November 28, 2007
    By Jennifer Wheary, Thomas M. Shapiro and Tamara Draut

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    … Our Middle Class Security Index shows troublesome trends.

    Overall Economic Security
    Only 31 percent of middle-income families match our profile for being securely middle class. That is, despite falling into the broad range that defines middle-class “income,” fewer than one in three families has the necessary combination of other factors to ensure middle-class security.

    Our Index results vary by race. Thirty-four percent of white middle-income families are securely in the middle class, as compared to 26 percent of African-American middle-income families and only 18 percent of Latino middle-income families.

    One in four middle-class families matches our profile for being at high risk of slipping out of the middle class altogether.

    One in five (21 percent) white families is at high risk for slipping out of the middle class, as compared to one in three (33 percent) African-American headed households and an alarming two in five (41 percent) Latino families.

    Lack of Assets
    More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever-that is, no financial assets or debt levels that exceed their assets.

    Only 13 percent of middle-class families have sufficient assets to meet three-quarters of their essential living expenses for nine months, should their source of income disappear.

    About four out of five middle-class families do not have sufficient assets to cover three quarters of essential living expenses for even three months should their source of income disappear. We defined essential living expenses as food, housing, clothing, transportation, health care, personal care, education, personal insurance and pensions.

    Middle-class families have a median debt of $3,500 and median net assets of $0.
    Insufficient Income to Meet Living Expenses, Cover Housing Costs, and Buy Healthcare
    Twenty-one percent of middle-class families have less than $100 per week ($5,000 per year) remaining after meeting essential living expenses. These families are living from paycheck to paycheck with very little margin of security.

    In nearly one out of four middle-class families (23 percent), at least one family member lacks health insurance of any kind.

    Twenty-eight percent of middle-class families spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing expenses, putting them above federal guidelines for housing affordability.

    Education
    Twenty-seven percent of middle-class families do not have any education beyond high school, placing them increasingly at risk in a rapidly developing global economy where higher education skills have become fundamental to achieving middle-class status.

  14. #14 peggy
    February 3, 2008

    Today my local paper had an article about retirement and how to make your nest egg last. It started out by stating “assuming one million dollars” in savings. I had to laugh. Quite an assumption, I’d say.

    Maybe it’s time to revisit some of the ideas floating around in the sixties. Like back-to-basics communes. Living simply, it’s going to be the new way.

  15. #15 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 3, 2008

    OmegaMom with all due respect the consistent rise in wages in the US places us out of competition on the now very world market. To have an infrastructure in the US you have to pay for it one way or another. Cant raise taxes to cover the shortfalls now. I dont disagree with Lewis though. Things are dicey so who votes on the budget? Not the President. Who adds to the budget? Not the President. Its the Congress. His comes out as a budget, not as an earmark. Earmarks totalled 100 billion this budget year and the majority of them are for Democrat bull crap projects.

    They raised the minimum wage. If the Democrats are put into office they will tax that rise and put those same people back into the crapper. Deeper than they are now. If taxes are raised those same 2/3rds as Lewis describes are going to be in much deeper trouble.

    And we have an income tax that produces what for me? Other than a military, maybe someone can describe what department really does what because all I see is waste and regulations and no promotion of business. Add in some shitty roads that Revere describes and the assertion that we can all pay more taxes vis a vis in the middle of a downturn and we have a disaster. The whole idea of the Democrats is to keep those people under control and on the government teat.

    http://www.house.gov/jec/cost-gov/regs/minimum/50years.htm

    Here is Robert Reich in 95-Democrat. Complaining about the min wage not being a “livable wage.”

    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/reich/congress/022295rr.htm

    I wonder if the airline pilot of the US understand the term “livable wage” now as their pay has stumbled terribly. So the big idea is that they’ll tax to pay for Revere’s utopia. Lewis so your statement is what? There are no savings in America and everyone lives hand to mouth? You are right, absolutely right. And that can be changed by raising taxes. Seems to me that you and I if you paid taxes in based upon an income of more than 100,000 you and I were very productive. So the government steps in and taxes it at 35%. What do I get for it? Not one damned thing. If they actually did something with the money other than just give it away as earmarks or stupid programs I would be a lot happier. Mexico’s Annual wages are 1100 to 1500. Thats so low I cant begin to get that down to an hourly figure. Move to China Hell, move to Mexico on Social Security. You’ll have to learn Spanish but at least you’ll be able to live only on S. Security.

    Here is a statement and I”ll just let it go. Its what progressive taxes relate to and its a definition from Wikipedia and its pretty accurate under Websters and others:

    “-, the idea of a progressive income tax has garnered support from economists and political scientists of many different ideologies, from Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations[1] to Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto.[2]”

    Smith was an opposite pole to Marx. His idea was free trade and capitalism. Adam Smith wanted progressive taxes but they were to be a flat tax on sales and not the individuals. Marx-We will tax as we see fit and based upon the needs of the many rather than the few. Seems the Clintons had that one under their belts. Their 1040 form was two lines.

    Line 1-How much did you make enter here….., Line 2…Send it in.

    And what in heck did it change while the Clintons were there? Not a thing. They raised taxes and they got a recession and the poor remained poor and the infrastructure continued to rust. Reagan was the last President to implement the new roads programs. At least thats something I do get a benefit from, but only the federally assisted ones.

    The poor of the US have got to wake up and the fact is that the spending for EVERYTHING has gotten out of control and that they truly are better off on their own. Livable wages are based upon supply and demand and that for the time being includes when a Democrat is in the White House. Redistributing the wealth? Give me a break. Three trillion bucks. I can remember only 20 years ago when we were in a HUGE surplus from tax cuts and we had a 1 trillion dollar budget. What did the Congress do? They didnt cut the deficit, they simply spent it. My point is simple here and it has to do with Revere “infrastructure” reference. What infrastructure is there in government that produces anything of value? It is a money mill. It goes in, they keep a huge portion of it to pay employees of the government who produce job security regulations and then we get a little dole out to the States. The rest is mass population control by welfare. Its more cost effective not to work. Mexican illegals dont make min wage that I can count down to a per hour rate and the BS of that guest worker program is that they would have to pay min wage here, thus sending the money out of the country and raising the cost of living to us.

    Most of the activity of government is to take in money and to minister the several hundred thousand laws designed to do nothing but regulate because someone thinks they get and got screwed. That last part is the one thing for sure. We are being screwed by the government on both sides of the aisle and the assertion that the poor are the biggest problem we have is the absolute biggest crock I have seen. Infrastructure in WHAT! We have a group of departments that do what? Problems with the NIH? Abolish it. Same with CDC. They dont produce for the amount of money that goes into them, much of anything.

    None of the bridges are federally owned, they pay subsidy money. None of the departments generate anything but bills and HHS is the single largest behind the military. We need a military, but do we need a HHS. Did they have it in 1781? Was there welfare before Democrats? At least all wars end and you can cut the military eventually but we are going to be 400 billion in the hole in the next Presidency and if they raise taxes well remember its an income tax and there aint that many millionaires out there. That means YOU will be paying and not the rich people. It will take the incentive out of the economy because all money will be resident with the government. We can ALL afford more income taxes is Revere’s stated position…. right! And you KNOW they’ll spend them on infrastructure such as bridges in Alaska. The earmarks alone this year will pay for the shortfalls in the budget and we dont even get to vote on them. Hands up, or hands down…

    Robbers generally like it with your hands up. Time to take away the Congress’s ability to spend. Might just want referendum spending votes by the people.

    Kathleen-The people who got into trouble are 21 now arent they? They are Lewis’s too stupid many peoples to read what a contract says and thats a banks fault. Yeah okay……

  16. #16 Beth
    February 4, 2008

    MRK: Problems with the NIH? Abolish it. Same with CDC. They dont produce for the amount of money that goes into them, much of anything.

    These aren’t about making money, they are about gathering information for the good of everyone.

    Like those cheesy old movies where they tell you all the things that wouldn’t work without tungsten, so much of your life wouldn’t work without some obscure bureaucracy working seamlessly. There is a difference between a lean mean government that can get things done without much waste, and an emaciated government that can barely help people when the hurricane hits and the levies break.

    Don’t tell me that some private company can do a better job at this. There are a number of companies that I trust to not screw over the poor and working poor in the unending race for profit, but I can count them on the hand of a retired railroad brakeman.

  17. #17 kathleen
    February 4, 2008

    Mr. Kruger, I was not referring to the individuals who are facing foreclosure – yea, sure, they should have done their due diligence. But they’re not “the economy” and that’s what I’m referring to: the banks and investment firms (who are also over 21) and their massive bad debt is what is putting the economy in danger.

    They (money men) could not be bothered to do THEIR due diligence, so now the “creative” investment vehicles they invented to hold all these unsound mortgages are going belly-up, and that will have repercussions–to pension funds, 401(k)s, etc. as yet unseen.

    Interestingly, the mortgage holders are even having trouble processing all the foreclosures now, because they’re often unable to produce the actual paper showing they’re the owners of the foreclosed properties, so the courts are tossing them out until they can do so. I guess they couldn’t even manage a filing system, so why should we be surprised if their ventures bring down our economy?

  18. #18 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 4, 2008

    No Beth. I bet that neither could do either. So get rid of the whole thing. They are money pits and understand me that when I say that I mean it not because I am a Republican that wants a very, very limited government. I am someone though who see’s that no matter what we do it hasnt proven anything to be better whether a Dem or Republican is in the White House. Same with roads and bridges… infrastructure. I bet you can drive on at least 3-5 bad roads from your house to WalMart, maybe more. We all know what happens when you build bridges in Minnesota. So maybe we should take the money and improve something for our kids and grandkids for a change. Lets start with the goddamn national debt and to do that you leave taxes either where they are or you cut them. Then YOU CUT SPENDING! If Blue Ear ever shows up in Congress they are all going to be different shades.

    Cut military spending? Not a chance. We will be in the middle east in 12 and for the foreseeable future beyond so that potato is out. We are also going to have to build up our forces to about 1 million in uniform to fight the three theater war as now our plans were dashed against the rocks of Iraq…Revere wont like that. We are going to have to address Social Security. I would take care of it for now and then put an abolish date on it starting with the kids from next year. Same with Medicare. That way in almost 100 years those kids and grandkids will then know what “personal responsibility” is. They will have to save for their retirements. The Japanese have very high rates of retirement funds, so should we. Then maybe just maybe we will have money for some of the things Revere wants. If people are responsible for themselves rather than some bigshit, batshit program that provides midnight basketball so kids wont be out jacking cars and doing drugs then I am for it. How about tutors instead of friggin’ basketball. I cant believe that a President came out with bullcrap like that. Thats infrastructure. Its in the people rather than the government. Teach them to be self sufficient rather than how to game the system into giving you money. That applies to Republicans too.

    Remember that prescription drug benefit crap from two years ago? That might go by the wayside too because it adds 1 trillion dollars to the “entitlements” all by itself. One benefit. Who is going to pay for that? Those kids and grandkids and they’ll tax Social Security to get it. Value added taxation. You got taxed to pay for it, you’ll be taxed when they cant.

    Beth you know in the arena of hurricanes and response you have no concept what the law reads or if you do or did you dismiss it. The states goat roped themselves with Posse Comitatus and politely put, those people died because of politics and a single law and nothing more. Of course, they could have gotten rides out of town for a day or two but thats not personal responsibility now is it? It has to be governments fault that when the worst hurricane in US history is bearing down as a CAT 4-5. Cant be that Lewis’s people cant read, cant even watch a TV set telling them to get out. Nope, got to be government again.

    If you think Katrina was bad.Stick around and watch what happens if BF hits. They’ll be expecting government to clothe, feed and house them, just like Katrina. This time around and with the Congress’s blessing they’ll get nothing and thats a law. Better read up because the people that will be the new haves after that comes will be the human infrastructure of plumbers, doctors, electricians, etc. The people that can do things. Wont need lawyers or too terribly many politicians except to cut all of the socialist programs out and to cut the budgets out of the nation both state and federal. If BF comes one thing that will automatically be on the chopping block is S. Security and Medicare. Inflation first then mass deflation as the world finds a starting point from.

    http://arts.bev.net/roperldavid/politics/inflate.htm

    And its not even Fox News. …..

  19. #19 paiwan
    February 4, 2008

    GR says: This is a therapy issue, not a political and fiscal matter.

    Posted by: Gaudia Ray | February 3, 2008 3:54 PM

    ———————————————————-

    Revere, a foreigner like me be allowed to post here? I am an empathetic American Citizen, newly issuing passport:-)

    GR, at least that you admitted the therapy function here, so a bit got healed? I don’t think that every business laywer doesn’t have compassion in his heart. I will not label you that way.

    So, if you are compassionate enough to help sorting out the political and fiscal matter, please present your proposal; otherwise, please help to send the people like my colleague Lewis who is competent and compassionate, see his analysis of income gap, minimal wage, etc. to be a senator. Or you like to do by yourself?

    Be constructive to be redeemped? :)

  20. #20 revere
    February 4, 2008

    Randy: The military is also a money pit. Let’s get rid of it. Just like CDC and NIH. You don’t like to have the same reasoning because you are ex military and it is your (very huge, gigantic) ox that is being gored. But Europe doesn’t have that military and it gets along fine. I don’t want to protect them so we don’t need NATO. The military wastes more tax money in a single day than NIH does in ten years. Cut defense spending? Not a chance? I don’t know why not, but I could easily say also, get rid of CDC, get rid of NIH? Not a chance. Fortunately.

  21. #21 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 4, 2008

    The same reasoning is in our constitution Revere. None of the other crap is. But all come to the same trough to feed. NIH knew there was a problem with AIDs before Reagan took office along with the CDC.

    It wasnt an issue until he did and the blame for it got put at Reagans feet. The reason the EU gets along just fine is that their nearest threat is now 1/4th of what it once was and they know we could be in there with more than enough to stop Russia in two weeks. No huge standing army but it is there. and they could reinvade any one of them, at any time they wanted even with that 1/4th.

    But we could go on. DOE has a huge budget. Except for controlling the nuke sites and waste disposals what do they do? Nada, except produce regulations that keep them in work.

    CDC-Well if they arent going to fund it then they should close it, shouldnt they?

    IRS-Well if we had a flat tax that EVERYONE paid into via consumption rather than progressive we wouldnt need them except to take the monthly proceeds in. Then a couple of guys report to Congress what they can spend the next month.

    How about those BSL 3 and 4′s. I helped talk my state majority leader out of the one that ended up in the Carolinas. Generates a few jobs but if that power goes out for extended times, BF might not be our big worry.

    TVA-1 billion in the hole and mounting.. Now theres a good one to sell off. Estimated to be overstaffed by a factor of 60%.

    Tons of money for more than just controversial programs, projects and facilities. It would turn us around in under two years if they would simply belly up to the bar as they did when Reagan was Prez and get rid of this crap. Dont misunderstand what I am saying. If they arent going to properly fund these agencies, GET RID OF THEM! The politics surrounding the CDC and the NIH prevent them from getting anything done at all, as it does all the others. Fail to fund the military and the problems we will have are tenfold what the others are though. Its not a mindset of the military Revere. If we pull back on that in these next few years I think we will see major problems that end up requiring even more spending. Boycotting the Olympics is not an option.

  22. #22 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 4, 2008

    Kathleen-I understand what you are saying and you are partially right. But do we need yet ANOTHER law covering stupidity? The assumption is always made that its the one single thing that caused the problem. Its not. Homebuilders built too many, but they were financed thru the same facilities that had the homebuyers. Supply exceeded demand. To meet this they started sub-prime lending to unload the homes. One of the biggest builders here in the mid-south failed to make even one sale in December…with some 2300 I believe to choose from.

    I want you to think about what would happen if we suddenly had even an 8% BF event. Supply on nearly everything would exceed demand. So we knew BF was coming, now we get a law for nearly everyone being stupid. Revere is in another part of the blogosphere referencing Sophia Zoe this a.m. and how she had backed away from preps ….even though we knew it was more likely as of late to come. Do we need a law mandating personal responsibility?

    Our government officials who have done such a bang up job for my 53 year tenure as a citizen have all of these departments, agencies and the like that are supposed to monitor it, manage it, regulate IT. The IT being that its the economy stupid and its happened more times than I would like to count. The Oil Embargoes’ 1 and 2, Jimmy Carters overspent programs causing a 21% interest rate (how’d you like to be on an ARM then?).

    We cut the interest rates for almost two years after 9/11 and it continued to inch up for the following five. When it tipped the 5% number I remember remarking that the commode handle was being reached for to flush. If I could see it, why couldnt they? Go back to the first occurence of screwing up. What was it? Signing a paper without knowing what was on it. Lewis’s compassion and yours is for the people who got burned when they did. I have little for them. My first loan for a home was an ARM. I waited for the year in residence, paid everything ON TIME and converted it knowing that it would indeed ratchet up. I converted and two weeks later it did go up. They should have done the same. Were mistakes made? Oh yeah, but is it governments fault? No… because they werent buying someone a house that day. We might get into that in the future if the progressives have their way but not likely. This is personal accountability and not government. Can they read and write? Can the banks get their shorts pulled down and have to answer to stockholders when their stock values fall by almost 30% in four months? Is there any legislation to be made for being just plain, flat, stupid? Wants and needs. There is a difference between the needs of the people and the wants. I want a house, but did or do they really need one? Here is a concept….Can I afford a prime loan? If I cant, then what in Hell is the sub-prime? The parking lots are full of Billy Bob pickup trucks right now that were bought on sub-prime. Buyers market…. I like it. But fiscal irresponsibility starts with the buyer and not one other person.

    The collapse? It happened about October of 06 when interest rates went up in response to the rise in oil and oil went up because of the hedge funds. The final straw was when Banc Societe started pulling money out of our markets to try to hide their hedge fund debacle.

    The infrastructure of the country in its entirety is in jeopardy and the assertion by most lefties is the war in Iraq. I would submit that it was screwed up long ago by the “programs” that were make work, designed to take care of the poor. Help the poor get out of being poor, dont mandate things that would ensure they stay poor and making more money from being so than working. These loans that were made gave them a part of the dream and they simply didnt understand what could happen… and it did. We have to cut spending rather than increase it for what Revere would like to see. Healthcare is his pet pig of infrastructure. I have one in the military because failing to meet the needs of the military would ensure that nothing else takes place. It is an infrastructure we have to have. Is Healthcare? We didnt have healthcare in the 1700′s, 1800′s, but it started in the 1900′s. It consumes a budget and then some each year. They end up cutting it every couple of years. To me we should just establish a drop dead date on all of it and make people personally responsible for themselves….It is your life and not the governments. Use it. Be responsible in financial matters, and it loops back into this. Force our government to be fiscally responsible and get rid of no bid contracts.

  23. #23 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    Get rid of federal control of education too; that will save a few dollars. Return control of education to the local and state level where it belongs. PLEASE don’t whine about some jurisidictions being poorer then others and then being shortchanged in education. That is a state problem and if the state doesn’t address it, move.

    We wanted to fight the Soviets in Europe not in the US; hence NATO – which was all set up before ICBMs. Protecting Western Europe at the time was the same as protecting the US. Just like the Soviets who absorbed eastern Europe as a buffer for the Soviet homeland.
    NATO is needed as long as we are at war with the Islamic terrorists.

  24. #24 Dave Briggs
    February 4, 2008

    For a lot of seniors, though, it’s not noise. It’s a signal that Bush and the Republicans don’t care about them. And of course they don’t.

    I hope we get a Democratic White House in 09. It would be nice to see if there is some way to reconfigure all the Federal agencies so the middle gets a lot more help and attention!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  25. #25 Rich
    February 4, 2008

    Why bother feeding the trolls. Randy rarely has his facts straight and his logic (along with his “facts”) usually consists of claptrap from right wing websites or talk radio.

  26. #26 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    Can’t you folks sing another tune besides

    Bush and the Republicans Don’t Care about ___________ (fill in the blank)?
    It is such a whiny song.

  27. #27 revere
    February 4, 2008

    pauls: Is it your position it isn’t correct in this instance? We sing it because he always gives us a reason to. After all, they sing the National Anthem at every sports game and no one says it’s whiny.

  28. #28 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 4, 2008

    It isnt that the Republicans dont care, we do. On the other hand people such as Rich sit around and pontificate with the money from someone elses pocket. They didnt earn it, they dont go to work for it. I am in that 35% bracket and I pay straight thru the nose each and every year. I see people in line at the grocery laying out hundreds of dollars worth of food stamps and then run out to an Escalade or something equally expensive. I am sure it was financed via a sub-prime outlet.

    Dave wants more help for the middle class? The Dems get in and they are going to help themselves to more taxes from the middle class. The standard dump and thump is that they take the money from the middle class and part of the upper and give it to the poor and lower middle class. It raises them generally one notch on the classwarfare scheme. Then when they are voted out of office and the Republicans come in and do the usual slash and burn the Dems bloated programs they get to blame the Republicans because there is no follow thru tofor those people to keep ascending. Its pretty simple Rich, just cause you make snarky little remarks it doesnt make you right. Its the usual class warfare thing. If you want to be a HAVE, get a job and make something of yourself. If you want to be part of the permanent sub class in this country vote for Democrats. They’ll be sure you never go anywhere.

    And Rich, I cite pretty much all over the board. I havent ever seen you cite anything but your position to back it up.

  29. #29 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    revere: its my position that the budget as submitted by the President to Congress will probably look nothing like the final budget that gets passed.
    Jordin Sparks did a tremendous job singing the National Anthem yesterday at the Super Bowl. I hope you didn’t miss it. And the only whining I heard was from Patriot fans. I was busy gorging myself with shrimp, oysters, fish, stuffed mushrooms, and beer and watching the game to really read this blog to witness any other whining.

  30. #30 revere
    February 4, 2008

    Randy: When you were in the military, weren’t you paid with my money?

    pauls: Yes, I believe you are right about the budget. It is DOA. I hope. Yes, I watched the Super Bowl. Great game. I am a Packer fan and could be dispassionate.

  31. #31 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    part of the budget process is just old fashioned horse trading…the President cuts stuff or puts stuff in that he knows Congress won’t go along with and the horse trading begins…all Presidents/Congresses do it, well since I was old enough and bored enough to actually pay any attention to it..then you hear remarks by the President saying “I forced this or that through Congress”, and from Congress you hear “We forced the President to put this or that in the budget”. Pandering to their own masses. It is how the game is played and getting all excited about a proposed budget is just not worth it. But it is amusing although a bit tiresome to crank out the old Whining Song so early in the process.

  32. #32 revere
    February 4, 2008

    pauls: But part of the horsetrading process is the (bilateral) whining. And of course what is whining is in the ear of the listener. Complaining about whining might even be considered whining by some (not mentioning any names of course).

  33. #33 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    revere – good point about whining about whining, and perhaps I’m guilty of that, but you have to admit the “Bush Don’t Care” tune has lost some of its glitter. People tend to tune-out when in the middle of a hot debate someone blurts out that Bush just don’t care. Not only is it incorrect English it is emotional and juvenile, certainly not a manly way to argue a complex issue or discuss a very fine point.

  34. #34 revere
    February 4, 2008

    pauls: I’ll skip the “manly” part. I don’t tire of saying what I believe to be true. If Bush cares, he doesn’t care enough. He cares more about his cronies and the well to do from all the evidence (I can’t get in to his cranium) and I never tire of hearing it or saying it. Indeed I think it’s even more important in an election season. All the Republicans have clasped him to their bosoms and now they need to suffer the consequences. Worst President ever.

  35. #35 pauls lane
    February 4, 2008

    revere – you slay me you really do. I won’t pretend to actually know who the worst president ever was, but in my lifetime James Carter was the worst president ever, and he’s the worst ex-president too. If 9/11 would have happened on Carter’s watch, and thank God it didn’t (and I really mean thank God), we probably would have either surrendered or threatened that if the Olympics were ever held in Afghanistan, we won’t go! That’ll teach em!

  36. #36 Lewis
    February 5, 2008

    Ah, an intelligent conversation demarked by sharply divided edges! After you throw in some of Pauls Lane’s “shrimp, oysters, fish, stuffed mushrooms, beer, and watching the game”, we have a well deserved portion of delicious contentment. (Heck, Pauls, I did not receive an invitation! Well, maybe next year.)

    After ruminating on several of the latter comments within this thread, I am reminded of a perspective which has continually confronted me in my professional career. I begin with a couple of literature quotes I lifted from previous posts (see URL references at end):

    “And each generation, full of itself, continues to think
    that it lives at the summit of history”

    a poem entitled: Letter to the Dead, by Affonso Romano de Sant’ Anna.

    and;

    “It was both odd and unjust…a real example of the pitiful arbitrariness of existence, that you were born into a particular time and held prisoner there whether you wanted it or not. It gave you an indecent advantage over the past and made you a clown vis-a-vis the future.”, by the German author Daniel Kehlmann from his book Measuring the World.

    Just how often do public health officials fully inform the average citizen regarding the ‘specifics’ of why our current set of standard operating procedures (laws, regulations, rules, etc.) were enacted. (Acknowlegment is given to state and federal registers.) Do we as public officials openly give credit to the intelligence, ethics, and morality of those who made previous decisions. I suspect for some of us the answer is, not often enough.

    Most people, especially the lay public, forget what the circumstances were ‘before’. We forget, or were never informed, why and how a ‘bad’ situation was alleviated by a new or revised standard operating procedure. Mostly, we only view our world from our current circumstance, in this ‘now’ or ‘recent’ time period. We, in our naive certainty, having been relieved of the need to confront the ‘bad’ situation of history, declare ourselves to ‘know’ what needs to be changed so that a ‘more perfect’ world can be created.

    Do we really know! Have we identified why those who came before us, in order to confronted that ‘bad’ situation, chose to enact the specific procedures we now condemn. We should ask ourselves, as we with heightened emotion condemn the past, what have we forgotten? How humbly does our present behavior acknowledge our ‘indecent advantage’? How strong of intellect and character will our decisions be viewed when our turn comes to be the clown of the future?

    Just thinking!

    Are Science and Technology Progress? (A “Letter to the Dead”); http://scienceblogs.com/worldsfair/2006/08/are_science_and_technology_pro.php

    On Modern Exceptionalism [The World�s Fair; http://www.coleblognetwork.com/2007/12/22/on-modern-exceptionalism-the-worlds-fair/.

  37. #37 M. Randolph Kruger
    February 5, 2008

    Revere-Government is too big. It doesnt produce anything but bills and regulations and employment for what has to be some of the dumbest people in the US. Its those same regulations that cause rises in the cost of living, that puts old people into trouble, and of course sucks any possibilty of really doing some good. I can add the DOE to the above list, double digit billions for an organization that should simply split the REA’s, National Power Grid, and nuke waste and storge into a smaller agrencies. Where is the energy? But it goes on and on and on. None of these agencies produce jack. Cut the regulations, cut the size of government, and then cut taxes.

    If CDC didnt stop Speaker, who should have. They tried putting the lefty blame for AIDS on Reagan and they got their budget cut for it. Dumb. Carter might not have been the worst but he was the worst in my lifetime. It was on his watch that the sovereignty of the US was challenged and he did nothing. A whole country was taken over with hundreds of thousands of deaths and he did nothing. He watched the interest rate climb to 21% and he gave a speech. He also said he wanted to have sex with the Polish people. I have seen a few of those women there, might be a plan.