Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Budget Deal Would Give Pentagon More In Exchange For Social Programs - How To Poison Your Homeland - A 99er Welcomes Death & The New American Dream

[My 17,000th guest was from Clarks Summit, PA. Thanks for reading and if you can make a donation to this blog, I'll come over to your house and give you a kiss!]

I hear that the extra funds will be used for cybersecurity. That means that Facebook won't be the only social site where when you logon, they log you into their database.

Budget Deal Would Give Pentagon Extra Funds In Exchange For Social Program Cuts

April 05, 2011 WASHINGTON - While media attention focuses on the cuts to government spending demanded by House Republicans and broadly accepted by Democrats, the Pentagon is poised to reap billions more in federal funds, according to sources close to the discussions. The confines of the budget negotiations established by the two parties results in a system where every extra dollar going to military spending ends up being offset by a dollar reduction in spending on domestic social programs.

Last week, Senate Democrats came to the table with $10 billion in proposed cuts to the military budget but, a House GOP aide said, the offer was immediately rejected. Democratic sources confirmed that the party had proposed defense spending reductions but disputed the amount.

Democrats and Republicans are now moving toward an agreement that would increase defense spending. But Democratic sources close to the talks said the Democrats' spending recommendation remains roughly $2 billion shy of that of their Republican counterparts. A spokesman for the Senate spending panel declined to comment, citing ongoing talks. A spokesman for Senate Democratic leadership did not respond to requests for comment.

During an Appropriations Committee meeting last weekend, the Obama administration and Senate Democrats proposed funding the Pentagon at $513 billion. That spending level is the same as Senate Democrats’ December proposal, but it also offers a $5 billion boost to the Pentagon's current budget.

Still, it's not enough to placate Republicans, who have demanded funding be set at $514 billion, even though, an administration official says, the Department of Defense has "signed off on" the $513 billion level. Sources say the two sides have also failed to come to an agreement on money designated for military construction.

While Democrats are pushing for a $73.1 billion construction budget, Republicans have countered with $73.94 billion, a difference of $840 million. Combined, the differences between the two parties' plans are trivial in the face of the $14 trillion federal debt. But in the context of discussions over how to keep the federal government funded through the end of September - and avert a shutdown in the process - aides say the disagreement is proving critical.

“If you plus up those areas together,” one high-ranking Democratic official said, “what happens is you have to take it from somewhere else. And where are you taking it from? From Labor, Education, the NIH [National Institutes of Health], health care, the social safety net. That’s how they are trying to jam us.”

Republicans say that Democrats knew from the beginning that proposed cuts to defense spending would be rejected. A GOP aide said the military spending negotiations had been complicated by the Pentagon's recent indication that it would need more than it initially requested - an account that the Obama administration disputes. Either way, the late-stage negotiations over a budget resolution hit a snag Monday, in part because of domestic spending cuts necessitated by the hike in military spending.

According to Politico’s David Rogers, several chief areas of dispute remain. Among them are $3 billion in funding for the establishment of new nonprofit health cooperatives, a component of the president’s health care reform package that is cherished by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Negotiators are also discussing roughly $10 billion in cuts to the Labor, Education and Health and Human Services departments.

See also - GOP plans $1 trillion Medicaid cut. House Republicans are planning to cut roughly $1 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Of course, these Rethuglicans hate Americans! And speaking of the poor and disabled being totally out of luck with these Thugs in power:

Mark's Story ~ A 99er Welcomes Death
" To the unemployed, sick, disabled and poor: Hello, I'm unemployed over two years now, a 99er without any benefits for three months. I followed Unemployed Friends almost from its start, never posted until now, but am grateful for my time with you all.

I did as asked with calls and e-mails, etc. I've a confession to make to you all. I'm a criminal. I've obeyed the 10 commandments and all laws except: I'm unemployed and that's now a crime, I'm poor and that's a crime, I'm worthless surplus population and that's a crime, I'm a main street American Citizen born and raised in the USA and that's now a crime, and I'm euthanizing myself as I write this note - so arrest my corpse.

This isn't a call for help, the deed is done, it's not what I wanted. Death is my best available option. It's not just that my bank account is $4, that I've not eaten in a week, not because hunger pangs are agonizing (I'm a wimp), not because I live in physical and mental anguish, not because the landlady is banging on the door non-stop and I face eviction, not that Congress and President have sent a strong message they no longer help the unemployed.

It's because I'm a law-abiding though worthless, long-term unemployed older man who is surplus population. Had I used my college education to rip people off and steal from the elderly, poor, disabled and main street Americans I would be wearing different shoes now - a petty king. Hard work, honesty, loving kindness, charity and mercy, and becoming unemployed and destitute unable to pay your bills are all considered foolishness and high crimes in America now.

Whereas stealing and lying and cheating and being greedy to excess and destroying the fabric of America is rewarded and protected - even making such people petty king and petty queens among us.

Since the end of 2008, when corporate America began enjoying the resumption of growth, profits have swelled from an annualized pace of $995 billion to the current $1.66 trillion as of the end of September 2010. Over the same period, the number of non-farm jobs counted by the Labor Department has slipped from 13.4 million to 13 million - there is no recovery for the unemployed and main street.

We taxpayers have handed trillions of dollars to the same bank and insurance industry that started our economic disaster with its reckless gambling. We bailed out General Motors. We distributed tax cuts to businesses that were supposed to use this lubrication to expand and hire.

For our dollars, we have been rewarded with starvation, homelessness and a plague of fear - a testament to post-national capitalism. Twelve years ago, I lost the last of my family. Ten years ago, I lost the love of my life, couldn't even visit him in the hospital because gays have no rights. I fought through and grieved and went on as best I could. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Stage 2 high blood pressure with various complications including kidney problems, mild heart failure, Diabetic Retinopathy. These conditions are debilitating and painful. . . ."
Please read the rest of the above plea for Mark's entire story. And is there actually an American Dream anymore? I mean one that would be recognizable to those who had one of those pleasant images in the 60's? What would it be now with these type of frightening people holding the purse power? Read about what it probably isn't below.

The New American Dream Sadly, I believe the new American dream is more likely to be the construction of nuclear reactors with no more safety considerations than are utilized (poorly) already, and the devastation of the middle and lower classes through the continuing loss of even more of the safety net program guarantees to those on the bottom along with the job outsourcing for those at the top. The following report was issued over a week ago in Hawai'i News:
Worse Than Chenobyl When the Fukushima Meltdown Hits Groundwater

By Dr. Tom Burnett Fukushima is going to dwarf Chenobyl. The Japanese government has had a level 7 nuclear disaster going for almost a week but won't admit it.

Housing Market Blues -
The Bleeding Continues

It just goes to show that "free market" solutions are always jettisoned when they don't meet the needs of the rich and powerful. The free market is just a stick that's used to beat up on little guys.

Tracking Our Downward Spiral

The Ways in Which America Still "Leads' the World

By Richard Clark

Amongst 20 of the world's wealthiest countries, America now has: the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children . . . .

I love Fred Reed (one of Joe Bageant's friends). What do you think? See my new signature below! (Stolen from some wag at Dealbreaker.)

TARP kicks ass!

- Head of Goldman Sachs MBS Derivatives __________________________________

No comments: