News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Memorial Day Weekend - Beer & Bar Stool Economics
Ozark Guru: It is Saturday, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. I would have liked to have fired up the grill and had a few brats (Bratwurst), burgers and beers with some of my former military buddies. However, we have all located to different parts of he world, gotten older, and some have passed on. Such is life. Did have a beer with my sweetheart (Mrs OzarkGuru). I drank the beer and she drank a soda. Works for us.
Since we cannot be together for the Memorial Day weekend and since you may have noticed that I have already used the word beer three times (yes, the title counts), I want to share a video using an illustration of buddies drinking beer and using redistributive "bar economics." The textual content of the video has floated around the Internet via email. However a talented young man, Lee Doren, took the text, and made the below video last December to address Bar Stool Economics and How Taxes Work:
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers", he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20". Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?" They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
Now, I know you want to share this video with your friends! If you have a YouTube account (they're free) and decide to checkout some of Lee Doren's other videos on the "How The World Works" Channel, please drop by my YouTube channel, leave a comment, please friend me and subscribe to my occasional posted video. Oh, you will need the name of the channel - it's the "OzarkGuru" Channel. Tags:Ozark Guru, Memorial weekend, beer, brats, bar stool economics, Lee Doren, youtube, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Heritage Foundation: As Americans across the country gas up their cars for their Memorial Day getaways this year, their wallets will take a bigger-than-usual hit. That's because gas prices are up $1.06 from last year according to a study by AAA. In fact prices have more than doubled since President Obama took office. And while the media has been slow to demand answers of the President, he has been busy trying to deflect attention away from his incoherent energy policy with a number of gas price-related myths. From overstating the impact of green energy to downplaying the devastating impact of his drilling moratorium, the President should spend less time trying to deflect criticism and more time working to ease pain at the pump.
Corporal Loren Miles Buffalo, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, US Army, (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY. Corporal Buffalo, age 20, was killed in action on March 9, 2011 by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was from Mountain Pine, Arkansas and is survived by his parents and 4 siblings.
Corporal Buffalo received the Bronze Star Medal; the Purple Heart; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and Combat Action Badge. by Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark A. Darr: Monday is the day we observe to honor those in our armed services who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country and their compatriots. This day of reverence first began as Decoration Day in 1868, 143 years ago, to pay homage to those lost on both sides in the Civil War. Congress made it an official federal holiday in 1971. As Americans go about their busy lives, many will take the long weekend to make a trip to the lake or barbecue with family members. But this is not what the day is truly about.
I've had the opportunity to visit with a number of military personnel this month. Recently, I visited the airbase at Fort Smith and learned of the work the 188th Fighter Wing, "The Flying Razorbacks", is doing at home and abroad. Last week, I visited with airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing at the Little Rock Air Force Base and learned more about their mission and the vital work they do for our forces here and overseas. I was struck by how young the men and women were who were doing such important things.
Then, I gave welcoming remarks in North Little Rock to the Disabled American Veterans' annual convention. Many of them were not so young, having served their time decades ago and given part of themselves to the fight. They live every day with the consequences of their service, but they live it with pride and dignity.
When visiting with those who have seen combat, oftentimes you can sense an unspoken sadness or void that is left from those of their comrades who did not make it out. We should all have a sense of that because regardless of whether or not we knew them, they are part of us as Americans. They are a part of what has made our nation great. The willingness of an individual to fight for his or her countrymen or even on behalf of others around the world for the cause of freedom was unprecedented in the history of the world before America. The American soldier is still a beacon of that tradition.
One such soldier we honor this Memorial Day is Army Corporal Loren Miles Buffalo from Mountain Pine, Arkansas. Twenty-years-old and just in his second year in the Army, he was killed on March 9, 2011 by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He was a soldier with the 101st Airborne Division and was a recipient of the Bronze Star. Military service ran in his family. He had ordinary interests, like any young man - he played guitar and drums and loved the outdoors - but he gave his life doing something extraordinary.
Those of us who have not lost loved ones in battle cannot truly know the emotions that come with that. However, I hope that we can appreciate it as Americans and express to their families that their sacrifice is not in vain.
American troops have been at war going on ten years in Afghanistan, eight in Iraq. Others are stationed in dozens of countries you and I have never thought of. This Memorial Day, don't think of it as an extra day off work for a cookout at the lake. Think about why it is a day of honor and why we have the liberty to enjoy it. It is because of people like Corporal Buffalo and all those who came before him and still serve. May God continue to bless our troops and may the fallen rest in peace.
Tags:Arkansas, Lt. Governor, Mark Darr, Day of Honor, Memorial Day, military, Loren Miles Buffalo. Mountain Pine, ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 27, 2011:
It is terrible when we cannot trust our President to not make recess appointments that would place radicals in key positions. While many in Congress are headed home for Memorial Day weekend, the Senate reconvened for a pro forma session at 9:30 AM today. Pro forma sessions will also be held on May 31 at 10 AM and June 3 at 10:30 AM. The pro forma sessions are being held to prevent President Obama from making recess appointments - even by "autopen." More on the use of the "autopen" later.
Congress will be back to work for legislative business on Monday, June 6th.
Yesterday, with mixed emotions and feelings, many conservatives and liberals watched as the Senate debated the Patriot Act. While Americans know the need the act in some form to help protects us from attacks from foreign terrorists, a significant number of Americans fear the potential abuse of the embedded powers of this "secret" Act against American citizens and believe that the Patriot Act goes too far and threatens individual liberties regardless of who is in the White House.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke to these concerns. This debate on the issues actually delayed the vote on the bill down to the last hours before current Patriot would have expired. Prior to the final vote, the Senate voted 85-10 and then 91-4 to table two amendments to the bill offered by Sen. Paul. The Senate then voted 72-23 to pass a 4-year extension of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act (The vote was to concur in the House amendment to S. 990 with a Senate amendment #347 containing the Patriot Act language).
After Senate approval, the House who was held in session voted 250-153 to pass the Patriot Act extension (concur in the Senate amendment to the House amendment), sending it to the president for his signature. The bill extends court orders for roving wiretaps, court orders for certain business records, and investigations of non-citizen “lone wolf” terrorists.
With President Obama being out of country we learn today that the bill was signed into law by the President using an "autopen." The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) has objected that the Patriot Act bill being signed by White House using "the presidential "autopen." They used this method (like sending out notes to White House guests and annoying citizens) to sign the bill because they could not get the bill to the President Barack Obama who was traveling in Europe. The Journal reports that "Mr. Obama signed the bill remotely by authorizing a mechanical signing in Washington, D.C. . . . the White House had a legal opinion, written during former President George W. Bush’s administration, supporting the constitutionality of signing legislation by autopen."
Note for future investigation, who gave that opinion? Who has access to the "autopen"? Rep. Graves said in press release today that "the use of the autopen set a dangerous precedent." Puts a new meaning on Franklin's idea of using a "pen name."
This week, Democrats have made it abundantly clear to Americans that they are failing to address the nation’s fiscal crisis.
As previously noted over the last week, Democrats spent weeks demagoguing House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget. Then they voted against every single budget proposal in the Senate this week. Many in the press pointed out that Democrats have offered no solutions of their own.Politico wrote in its daily Huddle briefing yesterday, “[T]here's another unresolved question after yesterday's votes: Where do Democrats, with their party in control of the White House and Senate, stand on the budget. They were unable to produce one last year, when they held both chambers of Congress and it's not clear that any of their divisions over spending and taxing have been bridged. The Senate's answer to not having a budget: Vote no on every other plan.” National Journal noted that “Senate Democrats have almost no legislative agenda of their own” and The Washington Post agreed, writing, “The Democrats . . . are not proposing major, new ideas of their own.”
Even former President Bill Clinton and The New York Times editorial board find Democrats’ refusal to act troubling. At a fiscal summit earlier this week, President Clinton said, “I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion . . . that we shouldn't do anything. And I completely disagree with that. . . . We’ve got to deal with these things.” The NYT editors agreed, writing that “Bill Clinton was right on Wednesday to warn his party . . . .”
In her Wall Street Journal column today, Kimberley Strassel argues that “Republicans are forcing Democrats to acknowledge that voters want spending reform.” She writes, “Here's the Washington headline of the week that nobody in America got to read: Paul Ryan, 40. Barack Obama, 0. Forty is the number of Senate votes that went in favor of Mr. Ryan's reformist budget, a tally that included nearly every Senate Republican. Zero is the number of votes President Obama got for his own tax-and-spend budget, a blueprint that not one of his own party had the backbone to support. It went down, 97-0.
“Washington is in a game of high-stakes chicken over raising the debt limit, though so far only one side is flinching. According to the headlines (and Democrats), Republicans are on defense over Mr. Ryan's plan, are risking America's creditworthiness, and are delaying sensible compromise by refusing tax increases. It is only a matter of time, goes the betting, before the party swerves.
“This has little relation to reality, in which it is Democrats who keep calling their own bluffs. It was Mr. Obama who first swerved, submitting a ‘do-over’ of his initial, embarrassing budget. It is Democrats who have since swerved on the debt-limit debate, agreeing to spending-cut negotiations, then continuing to up the size of a package. By refusing to blink, Republicans keep forcing Democrats to acknowledge a very simple political reality: Voters do want spending reform, and do not want tax hikes. That's why this debate has so far moved in the GOP's direction.”
So, where do the Democrats Senate and House leaders go from here. The Senate is controlled by the Democrats and they offered no budget. The House Republicans offered a clear plan which the Democrats would not accept or even offer amendments to modify the proposed budget. The President (their Democrat Party leader) offered a budget and absolutely no one voted to support his budget. It is evident that The White House is out of touch with the reality with respect to Our Federal Government having a real fiscal crisis that is destroying our economy and our country. Do Democrats want an end to American Prosperity? Have they joined our President as an apologist seeking to punish a America for its past success as a Nation. Tags:Washington, D.C., U.S. House, U.S. Senate, White House, Patriot Act, autopen, budgets, no budget, Democrats, Federal Spending, debtTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Turncoat Nation - Firewall Commentary By Bill Whittle
"The President has sought to change the United States' role in the world from defender of the post-Cold War international order to apologists for its own misdeeds and agent for global change." - Dr. Victor Davis Hansen
Bill Whittle presented the following "Firewall"video commentary on the "Bill Whittle Channel." He asks the question, "Have we become a nation of Turncoats?" He then shares how he and Dr. Victor Davis Hansen say yes. And he lays out how our present leader Present Obama has evidenced a "turncoat" leadership. Now, you may be surprised to learn what the word "turncoat" actually means.
Tags:Turncoat, Turncoat Nation, America, Bill Whittle, commentary, Barack Obama, Victor Davis Hansen, Obama Administration, Threatens, National SecurityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011
Republican Senators and Representatives Introduced Companion Legislation To Bar The Executive Branch From Inserting Politics Into Federal Contracting
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced legislation to prohibit federal agencies from collecting or using information about political contributions made by small, family-owned businesses or larger companies that wish to do business with the federal government.
Senator Collins is the Ranking Republican on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs which oversees federal contracting.
On the House side, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Sam Graves (R-MO) also introduced an identical measure today. And last night the House adopted an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would prohibit federal agencies from requiring contractors to reveal contributions to political campaigns.
In April, the Administration drafted a proposed Executive Order requiring federal agencies to collect information about campaign contributions and political expenditures of any business or individual bidding on a federal contract before awarding the contract. On April 26, Senator Collins and 26 colleagues sent a letter to the White House critical of the policy that would require information about political contributions to be a part of every federal contract offer. The letter emphasizes that taxpayers should receive the best value for federal contracts, and thus government procurements must be conducted in a manner that ensures a fair process, free from politics. The Senators have not received a response to the letter.
The “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011” reaffirms the fundamental principle that federal contracts should be awarded free from political considerations and be based on the best value to the taxpayers. Specifically, the bill would:
Prohibit a federal agency from collecting the political information of contractors and their employees as part of any type of request for proposal in anticipation of any type of contract;
Prohibit the agency from using political information received from any source as a factor in the source selection decision process for new contracts, or in making decisions related to modifications or extensions of existing contracts; and
Prohibit databases designed to be used by contracting officers to determine the responsibility of bidders from including political information (except for information on contractors’ violations already permitted by law).
“The President’s draft order would insert politics into the federal procurement process,” said Senator Collins. “Our bill would keep politics out of federal contracting. What possible good can come from linking political information to a process which must be grounded solely and unequivocally on providing the very best value to American taxpayers? It is unfathomable that this Administration would consider a move that would inject politics into the process, or create a perception that politics is something to be considered in selecting the winners and losers among businesses vying for federal contracts.”
Leader McConnell said: “Senator Collins’ efforts to prevent an executive order would prevent a brazen power grab, it would prevent the implementation of an executive action that amounts to no less than a political shakedown of American job creators. For the first time in history, the executive branch would be forcing all businesses, but not labor unions, to detail their political activities as a condition of bidding on a federal contract.
“This unprecedented demand to scour a company’s political activities would represent an outrageous and anti-Democratic abuse of executive branch authority clearly aimed at silencing or intimidating political adversaries’ speech through the government contracting system. Democracy is threatened when the federal government evaluates American businesses and their leaders on their political associations.
“No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you’re worthy of a government contract, and Americans should not have to worry about whether their political support will determine their ability to get or keep a federal contract or keep their job.
“I will continue to work with the supporters of this legislation, under the leadership of Senator Collins, to prevent this unprecedented power grab.”
“Whether the government hires a private company to do a job should be about that company’s ability to do the job well and at low cost to taxpayers – not whether that company has been on the right or wrong side in politics,” said Senator Alexander, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
“The executive order would reverse years of efforts to get politics out of the contracting process,” said Senator Portman. “I hope the President will abandon this order that is being drafted behind closed doors, but we are taking no chances. This bill would ensure that contracting decisions are focused on getting the best value for American taxpayers, not on political considerations.”
In addition to Senator Collins, Minority Leader McConnell, Rules Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight Ranking Member Rob Portman, other cosponsors include: Republican Whip Jon Kyl, Senators Scott Brown, Ron Johnson, Jerry Moran, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi, John Cornyn, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, David Vitter, John Thune, John Barrasso, Roger Wicker, Mike Johanns, Dan Coats, and Kelly Ayotte. View Senate Companion bill. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Rep. Tom Cole, and Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves today introduced legislation that would prohibit federal agencies from collecting or using information relating to campaign contributions and other political expenditures by potential contractors in the federal procurement process.
In April, the Administration floated the idea of an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to collect information about the campaign contributions and other political expenditures of potential contractors before awarding any federal contract.
The “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011” reaffirms the fundamental principle that federal contracts should be awarded free from political considerations and be based on the best value to the taxpayers. Specifically, the bill would: [Same Points as in Senate press release above]
“This legislation preempts an executive order designed to silence and intimidate job creators and Americans who are passionate enough to a support cause,” said Chairman Issa. “Businesses should not have to determine and report to the government on whether certain employees contributed to organizations that support or oppose positions on issues including gay marriage and abortion. Imagine your employer asking for such information – it would happen for some if the current draft executive order is put in place.”
"The administration's proposal would effectively politicize the federal procurement process. Under the executive order, companies could be unfairly judged on the basis of politics as opposed to their professional capabilities,” said Rep. Cole. “Government agencies should award contracts based on merit and value to taxpayers -- not politics. Americans should have the right to support the political candidates and causes of their choosing without fear that their income will be jeopardized. This legislation protects the rights of businesses and keeps politics out of the federal procurement process."
“Forcing small businesses that are seeking government contracts to disclose political contributions will wrongly politicize the federal procurement process,” said Chairman Graves. “Government contracts are supposed to be awarded based on merit, not political support. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that this is a bad idea because we need less politics in Washington, not more. In addition, Congress and the Supreme Court have both already weighed in on this topic, so an Executive Order would circumvent and disrespect the regular policy-making process.”
U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senators Lamar Alexander and Rob Portman introduced a Senate companion bill. View Proposed House Bill: Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011. A former Federal Acquisitions Contracting Officer, Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA News Service Editor, responded to the above proposed bills, "I am pleased with the introductions of these bills. However, I had hoped that President Obama would remove any avenues of collecting private campaign contribution information from citizens or businesses which could then be used in a partisan fashion to corrupt the Federal Acquisition process and the award determination for contracts. I am sure that if this type of Executive Order had been considered by Republican president or his staff, the Democrat would not have remained silent and hopefully would have taken the same action as proposed today by the Republicans."
"As a former Federal Acquisitions Contracting Officer, the last thing I would wish to know or to consider is information about where and to whom the owners, executives or employees of a business or company donated campaign money. It is none of my business. The public does not need others especially elected or appointed politicians and their staff - including the President, knowing this type information and then pressuring contracting officers or their agencies to award contracts to contractors based on politics.
"Contracting Officers are to determine contract awards based on price and the contractor's ability to meet the contract's technical specifications. It is presently illegal for members of the White House, Congress or any one in an agency to put political pressure on a Contracting Officer to sway the decision of the award of the contract to a particular contractor or away from a particular contractor. . . . [O]ne should ask what is the White House doing proposing an Executive Order which in fact codifies that Chicago style corruption to be implemented from the White House and through all levels of Federal Government acquisitions. It is evident that someone is seeking to drag the Administration down a path which will be both destructive to the White House and to the reputation of the Federal Government as a whole."
Tags:US House, US Senate, bills, politics, federal contracting, Obama administration, stopping corruption, free speech, campaign contributions, collecting information, contract awards, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats Deny Fiscal Crisis By Voting Down Every Budget & Offering Nothing
Tony Pekins: Sen. Harry Reid"s (D-NV) new mantra: "When the world is crumbling around you, do nothing but blame everyone else.
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 26, 2011:
This morning, the Senate voted 79-18 to invoke cloture on the motion to concur with the House message to accompany S.990, the vehicle for the Patriot Act Extension with a further Senate amendment #347 (the Patriot Act language). Under a unanimous consent agreement, after cloture was invoked, the 30 hours of post-cloture time for the bill is being counted as if cloture had been invoked at 1 AM. The bill will extend 3 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 4 years: court orders for roving wiretaps, court orders for certain business records, and investigations of non-citizen “lone wolf” terrorists. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is working on an agreement to consider amendments to the bill. If one is reached, votes on amendments could occur later today.
Yesterday, the Senate unanimously rejected a motion to proceed to President Obama’s budget proposal (S. Con. Res. 18). Not a single senator voted for the president’s budget. Motions to proceed to three Republican budgets were also defeated, but all received more votes than President Obama’s budget.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget (H. Con. Res. 34):40-57, 40 more votes than Obama’s budget.
Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) budget (S. Con. Res. 21):42-55, 42 more votes than Obama’s budget.
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) budget (S. Con. Res. 20):7-90, 7 more votes than Obama’s budget.
Not even one Democrat senator voted for any budget yesterday. They made clear they’re doubling down on their strategy to do absolutely nothing about the fiscal crisis our country faces.
Democrats spent weeks pushing for a Senate vote on the House-passed budget from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which proposed steps to put the country’s fiscal house back in order and reduce the deficit. In stark contrast, President Obama’s budget continued deficit spending far into the future. Meanwhile, majority Senate Democrats refused to even propose their own budget. Still, they pushed for a vote on the Ryan plan, which Democrat leaders admitted was almost entirely about political posturing for an election more than a year and a half down the road. In response, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called for a Senate vote on President Obama’s plan, which was unanimously rejected. Not one senator voted for the Obama plan.
However, as Leader McConnell pointed out this morning, what became clear last night as every single Democrat voted against all four budget proposals is that Democrats simply aren’t interested in doing anything to deviate from our unsustainable status quo of spending and debt. “Yesterday, here in the Senate, they rejected every single proposal we’ve seen on our nation’s fiscal future. They took a pass. They have chosen to ignore this crisis just like they ignored the last crisis. Three years ago, as the financial crisis approached, the Senior Senator from New York was holding press conferences trying to link the War in Iraq to what passed for an economic slowdown at the time, and the Majority Leader was postponing votes we all knew would fail so Democrats who were running for president could be here to vote on them. Today, in the face of a looming crisis we all admit is coming—they’re doing the same thing. This crisis is staring us right in the face.The Democrats themselves — from the President on down — say they see it. Yet, once again, they’re so focused on the next election they refuse to do anything to upset the status quo. They want to wait this out — as they hammer anybody who proposes a solution.”
In a must-read editorial today, The Wall Street Journal writes, “Lest voters forget, Democrats still run the Senate, or at least they do when they want to filibuster House Republican reform bills. When it comes to their core responsibility under the law of passing a budget resolution, they are A.W.O.L. Budget Chairman Kent Conrad can't get a bill through his own committee, much less onto the Senate floor. Mr. Conrad says he wants to ‘defer’ to the negotiations between the White House and Republicans. The truth is that his troops don't want to go on record voting for the tax increases that are the Democratic default for every fiscal problem. . . . Both parties have dug the current fiscal hole, but the Democratic record during their four recent years of running Congress is truly calamitous. . . . On their watch the national debt more than doubled and annual spending rose by a little under $1 trillion. In a mere four years. ‘It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage,’ Mr. Reid told the Los Angeles Times last Thursday. . . .Voters might conclude that it's foolish to keep electing Democratic Senators who won't do their job.”
Even The New York Times pointed out the absence of any Democrat plan today, writing, “It is still a long way to Election Day 2012, the underlying problem of a long-term fiscal imbalance remains as pressing as ever, and Democrats face divisions and message problems of their own. After the Senate vote on the House Republican Medicare plan, the Senate voted 97 to 0 on Wednesday to reject the budget put forward early this year by President Obama, reflecting a recognition by Democrats that they will have to do more than they initially proposed to rein in the expansion of the national debt and address the rising costs of Medicare and other entitlement programs. . . . While Mr. Obama has tried to set parameters for budget negotiations, his party has yet to settle on a plan for Medicare or the broader budget issues. And failure to address the nation’s fiscal problems aggressively could carry its own risk for Democrats, something former President Bill Clinton warned his party about Wednesday.”
As Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) writes in an op-ed for the Miami Herald today, “Where is the House Democrat plan to save Medicare? Where is the Senate Democrat plan to save Medicare? Where is President Obama’s plan to save Medicare? They have no plan to save it, and they do not plan to offer one. They have decided that winning their next election is more important than saving Medicare for my mother and retirees like her. I have been in the Senate just long enough to be disgusted by the reality that Washington has too many people who think their personal political careers are more important than our country’s future.”
Republican Senate Leader McConnell summed up the problem here.“[T]he co-chair of the President’s debt commission may have put it best just six weeks ago. Speaking about the consequences of the fiscal path we’re on, Erskine Bowles said simply, ‘It’s the most predictable crisis in history.’ The most predictable crisis in history. That was a Democrat talking. And yet Democrats in the Senate don't even want to talk about it. . . . They rejected their own President’s budget. They rejected three Republican budgets. And they haven’t even bothered to offer a budget of their own. They’re just marking the time. So I think Democrats have lost the right to express concern about this crisis. Until they propose some solution of their own, they are just part of the problem.” Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Patriot Act, budget, budgets, no budget, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats Under Fire For Inaction - Clinton: "Don't Get Cocky"
Former POTUS Bill Clinton attends Fiscal Summit.
Warns Dems Don't get too cocky about NY voters'
rejection of Paul Ryan's Medicare plan.
As President Clinton Warns His Party, Media Argues That ‘Failure To Address The Nation’s Fiscal Problems Aggressively Could Carry Its Own Risk For Democrats’ President Clinton: ‘We’ve Got To Deal With These Things’
PRESIDENT CLINTON: “I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion … that we shouldn't do anything. And I completely disagree with that. … We’ve got to deal with these things.”(President Bill Clinton, Remarks At 2011 Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit, 5/25/11)
POLITICO: “But there's another unresolved question after yesterday's votes: Where do Democrats, with their party in control of the White House and Senate, stand on the budget. They were unable to produce one last year, when they held both chambers of Congress and it's not clear that any of their divisions over spending and taxing have been bridged. The Senate's answer to not having a budget: Vote no on every other plan.” (Politico’s Huddle, 5/26/11)
ROLL CALL: “Democrats chose not to produce their own budget while bipartisan negotiations led by Vice President Joseph Biden continue and instead pivoted to a show-vote strategy... As dramatic as the vote on Ryan’s budget was, the next vote was even more jarring: 97 Senators voted against President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, with none voting in favor.” (“Senate Spurns Ryan Budget,” Roll Call, 5/25/11)
Tags:A.F. Branco, political cartoon, liberals, Barack Obama, war, Theater of War, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, World War III, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget (H. Con. Res. 34):40-57, 40 more votes than Obama’s budget. GOP Senate Leader McConnell voted for Paul Ryan’s budget.
Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) budget (S. Con. Res. 21):42-55, 42 more votes than Obama’s budget. Leader McConnell voted for Pat Toomey’s budget.
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) budget (S. Con. Res. 20):7-90, 7 more votes than Obama’s budget. Leader McConnell voted for Rand Paul’s budget.
McConnell's votes were identified because after the votes he issued the following statement: “The President identified the problem more than a year ago when he said that ‘almost all of the long-term deficit and debt we face relates to the costs of Medicare and Medicaid.’ But Democrats in the Senate showed today that don't even want to talk about it. They rejected every single proposal to deal with it. They've chosen to ignore this crisis just like they ignored the last crisis. They're so focused on an election that's nearly two years away that they can't see the crisis in front of us.”
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 25, 2011:
As reported yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress. He later chatted on various radio and V shows and in all situations showed the intellect, reasoning, grace and demeanor that Americans admire in a leader of a country. [PBS video of his speech] Also yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in England and unfortunately provided the opposite attributes that we have come to expect in a leader. Rather than belabor his situation or to even make excuses for his recurring gaffs, errors in protocol, no comment or excuses will be made.
Yesterday, at the Heritage Blogger's Briefing in Washington, D.C., Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) gave us straightforward answers on the debt limit, Israel and 2012. You can read more about his comments on Halt the Assault. Myron Ebell of Competitive Enterprise Institute also explained why it's a bad idea to create a new taxpayer-funded subsidy for natural gas vehicles. It was disappointing to learn that Rep. Ron Paul who is an announced candidate for President is supporting these taxpayer-funded subsidies and his buddy billionaire T-Boone Pickens who promotes the continuance of these subsidies. All we need to do in America is for the Federal Government (all of its agencies) to "get out of the way" and to let private business access and develop all of our energy alternatives without subsidizing any option. Heritage Action is one of several conservative groups to voice opposition.
House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Chairman Rep. Phil Roe for holding a hearing on the NLRB's attempt to block Boeing from opening a new plant in South Carolina on May 26. It is critical that agencies like the NRLB be held accountable for the overreach of their authority and interfering with private business opening new plants even if they are non-union. The NLRB has become a government agency advancing the causes of unions verses serving as mediators on valid labor management disputes. It is not the right of labor, except when they individually hold voting stock in a business, to determine when and where a private company expands or locates their businesses, plants, or operations. Abuses of this nature by the NLRB are killing jobs and punishing companies for actions legally the right of the owners of that business. For background info, refer to this prior article: NLRB to Boeing: Shut Up!
The Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany S.990, the vehicle for the Patriot Act Extension. The bill will extend 3 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 4 years: court orders for roving wiretaps, court orders for certain business records, and investigations of non-citizen “lone wolf” terrorists.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) switched the process for passing an extension of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. He moved to table the motion to proceed to S. 1038, which was agreed to by a vote of 74-13. He then called up the House message to accompany S. 990 and filed cloture on the motion to concur with the House message with a further Senate amendment #347 (the Patriot Act language). That cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday morning. Because the Patriot Act provisions expire at midnight Thursday, Reid’s move avoids an extended filibuster.
Today or tomorrow, the Senate may hold a series of votes on competing budget plans. Reid has said he plans to have the Senate vote on the House-passed budget of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said the chamber will also have an opportunity to vote on the budget President Obama submitted in February. Leader McConnell has also said that votes on budget proposals from Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are possible.
Previewing the competing budget votes coming up in the Senate, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor today, “Sometime today or tomorrow, Senate Democrats will have an opportunity to show what kind of future they believe in. They can vote for one of the Republican plans to get our nation’s finances under control, each of which involves the kind of tough choices we’ll need to make to bring down our deficits and debt. Or, they can vote on the President’s plan, which continues the unsustainable status quo.”
He pointed out, “It’s interesting: When the President first announced his budget, most people panned it as tepid and irresponsible. The Washington Post summed it up pretty well by saying the President punted. Yet Senate Democrats embraced it.” Indeed, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key member of Democrat leadership, said “This is a responsible proposal… I believe this approach should have bipartisan support.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called it “a responsible framework” and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “I personally think that the President’s budget is a step in the right direction.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said, “President Obama has given us a credible blueprint . . .” and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) claimed, “The President’s budget . . . strengthens our economy . . . .”
Despite this, Leader McConnell pointed out, “[I]f we’re to believe the news reports, every single Democrat in the Senate now plans to vote against the President’s budget. They don’t even want to use it as a starting point. Why?” He explained, “We got the answer earlier this week from Senator Schumer, when he indicated that Democrats now believe avoiding this debate altogether helps them in the next election. In other words, they think it’s better not to keep track of our nation’s finances at all than to support any plan that does. So much so that they’re about to reject a budget that even they embraced a few months ago. They’ll vote against every budget that comes to the floor — including the President’s.”
The Washington Times elaborates in an editorial today, “For the second year in a row, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has failed to produce a Senate budget. . . . As many as four different budgets could be considered this week: [House Budget Committee Chairman Paul] Ryan’s; conservative plans from Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican; and President Obama’s 2012 budget. The Democratic majority is expected to vote down all of them, including the White House proposal. Sen. Charles E. Schumer revealed to reporters that the true agenda for the Democrats is getting a vote on Mr. Ryan’s budget which can be used in political commercials. ‘To put other budgets out there is not the point,’ the New York Democrat explained. The point is to ‘say the Republicans tried to end Medicare but a Democratic majority stopped it in the Senate.’”
As Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) told reporters yesterday, “I think the really ironic thing this week of all these budget votes is we’re not going to be voting on a Senate budget. We’re going to be voting on a House budget, the president’s budget, and some other budgets, but the Senate has yet to put together a budget. It’s now been 755 days -- 755 days since the Democrats in the Senate have produced a budget. . . . We borrow over 40 cents out of every dollar that we spend in this country. Last week, the Medicare trustees reported a $46 billion cash deficit in Medicare, a $32 billion cash deficit in Social Security, according to the Social Security trustees report. And so you have this major budget crisis and no attempt, at least on the part of the majority, to address it, other than to try and score political points and gain some sort of an electoral advantage going into 2012.”
Leader McConnell summed up the contrasting approaches: “Democrats are ready to call it a work period without supporting any of the proposals that have been made. Without producing anything of their own. Nothing: that’s their answer to this crisis. Their focus is on an election that’s still almost two years away. . . . Congressman Ryan has shown courage by proposing a budget that would tackle these problems. Democrats are showing none by ignoring our problems altogether. This is the contrast Americans will see in the Senate this week. . . . This is a complete and total abdication of their responsibilities. And there is no excuse for it.” Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, Heritage foundation, budget, speeches, politicsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Herman Cain Leads Latest Zogby Poll - Newt Gingrich Flames Out
Polls numbers come and go and so do candidates as we have learned with Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump ("ego may change his mind") dropping out of the 2012 race. The latest IBOPE Zogby Interactive poll on May 20-23 reveals some startling numbers. Herman Cain, a businessman and radio talk show host who drew attention at the first party Presidential debate early this month, as the choice of 19% of GOP primary voters. This is up from 17% and bumped Chris Christy who has repeatedly said he is not a candidate and will remain as New Jersey Governor.
Herman Cain is continuing to build a solid grassroots campaign. While the news pundits, even those on Fox News, seek to dismiss Herman Cain, the voters are not. There is lots of time for him to develop name recognition. As a non-politician he would be a true citizen's president.
The surprised fall in the Zogby polls this week is Newt Gingrich. He has flamed out quickly and fallen to the bottom of the pack with 3% among likely Republican primary voters. That’s down more than 50% from his last poll showing. Pollster John Zogby has indicated in discussion about the poll that it would be nearly impossible for Newt Gingrich to make a comeback. Gingrich was tied with Rick Santorum at 3%, and ahead of only Fred Karger, John Huntsman Jr., and Gary Johnson. Gingrich also had the highest unfavorable number with 17% of Republicans saying they would never vote for Newt.
With 13 possible GOP presidential candidates in 2012, even with some of them not being in the race or have said they are out of the race, the respondents chose eight Republicans ahead of Gingrich: Herman Cain (19%), Chris Christie (16%), Mitt Romney (11%), Ron Paul (9%), Sarah Palin (6%), Michele Bachmann (5%), Tim Pawlenty (4%), and Mitch Daniels (4%).
Herman Cain and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty only had an unfavorable rating of 1% as compared to Newt's 17%. Newt has always been good with new ideas and liked to quote history. It appears he is finding out that Republicans have long memories and remember his personal history and would rather he stick with generating ideas and proposing solutions that others would be more apt at deciding which ones to pursue.
As for the TEA Party supporters, Cain lead there as well gleaning 25% of the vote, Romney and Ron Paul get 9% and Saran Palin is next at 8%. Eleven percent of these Tea Party supporters say they would never vote for Romney, but that is less than the 18% who say that about Paul and the 19% who rule out voting for Gingrich. Tags:poll, Zogby, Republicans, presidential candidates, Herman Cain, Newt GingrichTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
AG McDaniel and Gov. Beebe Hiding Maps From The People of Jonesboro
ASK AN ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT:
Why are McDaniel and Beebe hiding maps from the people of Jonesboro?
Arkansas Board of Apportionmen
Republican Party of Arkansas,Little Rock, Ark. – When the citizens of Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas arrive at the first legislative redistricting public hearing tonight, one key ingredient will be missing: Maps. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Governor Mike Beebe have refused to release redistricting maps in recent weeks, hiding behind an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) today calls on Attorney General McDaniel and Governor Beebe to stop playing partisan politics and voluntarily release their maps for the people of Arkansas to view.
“Possible back room dealings and partisan ploys are taking place at the expense of Arkansans,” RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos said. “Rather than voluntarily releasing maps for the public to view, Democrats Dustin McDaniel and Mike Beebe are hiding their partisan plan from the people of Arkansas. Do their maps divide cities and counties for political gain? Did they draw Republicans out of their current districts? Do their maps prevent other political parties from becoming the majority?”
Left-leaning columnist John Brummett even pointed to McDaniel and Beebe’s likely “partisan” and “pro-Democratic” agenda. “You could have little-bitty Fayetteville fingers all over the state,” Brummett said.
“Arkansans aren’t getting a fair shake on the redistricting process without seeing the maps of McDaniel and Beebe,” Vasilos said. “Their self-serving behavior is destructive to the process and demonstrates an utter disregard for transparency in government.”
Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican, voluntarily released his maps before the public hearings in order to solicit public opinion.
“The reapportionment process is about giving the people of Arkansas equal representation through an open and transparent process, not ensuring one political party’s success,” said Vasilos.
BACKGROUND Back Room Dealings
“It my belief the maps that have the best chance of getting the support of the majority of the BOA (ie. the Governor and Attorney General) are still on the AG’s computer nicely tucked away from any FOI request of any pesky blogger or nosy reporter.” (Jason Tolbert, “Another Map…But Still Not THE Map,” The Tolbert Report, 5/24/11)
“I say all this to show that we really have no idea what is taking place behind the FOI exempt wall of the AG’s office, who has told the ADG repeatedly that they are working on drafts but will not release them.” (Jason Tolbert, “Another Map…But Still Not THE Map,” The Tolbert Report, 5/24/11)
John Brummett: "When you start drawing 135 districts, 100 House districts, 35 Senate districts, you get into a lot minutiae and a lot of complex math and you could have little-bitty Fayetteville fingers all over the state.” (Roby Brock, “BRUMMETT: WILL LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING BE PARTISAN?” Talk Business, 5/23/11)
John Brummett: “And it will be interesting to see how partisan, how pro-Democratic Beebe and McDaniel dare to be.” (Roby Brock, “BRUMMETT: WILL LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING BE PARTISAN?” Talk Business, 5/23/11)
Lack of Transparency
“Beebe said he plans to wait and put out a map after receiving public comments at the meetings.” (Sarah Wire, “State’s next lines to draw: Legislature,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/22/11)
“The secretary of state’s office and the board’s executive director, Joe Woodson, have created the maps released so far. Beebe and Mc-Daniel said their offices are not ready to release a map.” (Sarah Wire, “State’s next lines to draw: Legislature,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/22/11) Tags:Arkansas, Ask A Democrat, democrats, Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, Governor, Mike Beebe, State redistricting, elections, Republican Party of Arkansas, RPA,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
’07 FLASHBACK: ‘We Are Going To Pick Up Senate Seats As A Result Of This War’ In Iraq
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war… Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.”(“Reid Sees Gains on Iraq,” The Washington Post, 4/13/07)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “The heat on those Republican Senators up in ’08 is tremendous and growing… This is a campaign.” “We intend to address the Iraq issue … The heat on those Republican senators up in '08 is tremendous and growing, and that's why they're squirming. … This is a campaign.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 03/09/07)
SCHUMER (D-NY): “‘We will break them…’ Schumer declared, making no attempt to hide his glee.”(“What’s the Definition of Confident? Answer: Reid and Schumer,” CQ Daily, 04/13/07) Tags:Democrats, US Senate, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Budget, No Budget To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
More Democrat Political Games & Failed Leadership & Netanyahu Schools Congress
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 24, 2010:
Yesterday, the Senate voted 74-8 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1038, the Patriot Act extension bill. Today, the Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1038, the Patriot Act extension bill. S. 1038 will extend 3 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 4 years: court orders for roving wiretaps, court orders for certain business records, and investigations of non-citizen “lone wolf” terrorists.
This morning the Senate and House held a joint meeting of Congress to hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In summary, he repeated his statements made to the President. He appreciated the support of America but clearly identified Israel will not reduce the size of its country. A majority of Americans agree with him and we wonder why our funds, taken from Americans, are used to fund Hamas, a terrorist group set on killing all Jews. However, Netanyahu also stated that Israel would make "painful compromises" for peace "Israel will never give up its quest for peace," Netanyahu said, "Israel will never give up its quest for peace" He added that Israel is "willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace." PBS has already posted a video of his speech. However, it is embarrassing to see this outstanding leader far outshine the our own president before Congress.
According to GOPUSA, House Republicans "are preparing a $1 billion aid package to make sure federal disaster relief accounts don't run out before the end of the budget year in September." Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., said the move would ensure that there's enough money for victims of the Joplin tornado, as well as those suffering from flooding in the Mississippi Basin and from tornadoes that swept across Alabama last month. The additional money would make sure that ongoing relief efforts aren't interrupted as new disaster relief efforts get under way across the South and Midwest. Aderholt said that the appropriations panel will cut spending elsewhere in the budget to fund the disaster relief. A House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman said the panel was likely to cut a loan program to encourage the production of fuel efficient vehicles.
As early as tomorrow, the Senate may hold a series of votes on competing budget plans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he plans to have the Senate vote on the House-passed budget of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said the chamber will also have an opportunity to vote on the budget President Obama submitted in February. Leader McConnell has also said that votes on budget proposals from Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are possible.
As stated before, it has been over 750 days since the Democrat led Senate has offered and passed a budget. A majority of Democrats continue to duck the responsibility of proposing one. All these Democrat Senators have violated their responsibility for the office that they have occupied. This is not a trivial matter and they have opted not to comply with the requirements of their positions. Why are their constituents returning them to office. Last election Utah, returned Sen. Harry Reid to continue his abuses of the American people.
The Democrat leadership has Instead decided to play politics with the serious budget from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that passed the House.
Yesterday, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), sent a letter signed by all 47 Republican senators to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), calling on the Democrat majority to start the budget process. In the letter, they wrote, “The voters in the November 2010 mid-term elections spoke loud and clear: the country can no longer afford the status quo or business as usual in Washington. Our fiscal reality is simply too dire. Each day that passes without a federal budget plan is another day in which out-of-control spending jeopardizes America’s economic future, national security, and jobs.”
Despite that reality, Democrats seem content with the status quo of playing political games, instead of seriously addressing our nation’s fiscal crisis. NBC noted yesterday, “The Senate has just gone into session -- and it took Majority Leader Harry Reid two minutes to begin attacking the Paul Ryan Medicare plan, as well as where the Republican Party stands on the proposal. . . . Reid plans to hold a vote on the Ryan budget later this week (day TBD) -- which he argued will ‘kill Medicare.’ Reid is calling the vote to force Senate Republicans to take a position on the Medicare proposal.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer, a member of Democrat leadership, was even more explicit about the political nature of Senate Democrats’ approach to the budget. The Hill reported yesterday, “Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) downplayed the lack of a Democratic budget proposal Monday, saying there’s simply no room to deal with an alternative until the Senate has voted on the House GOP’s controversial proposal. ‘To put other budgets out there is not the point,’ Schumer told reporters. . . . Democrats won’t let other proposals get in the way of their message on the House budget, which Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) authored. ‘This issue will have staying power and be a defining issue for 2012,’ Schumer said.”
And Roll Call writes today, Democrats aren't shy about saying the vote on the Ryan budget this week is intended to set up Republicans politically for 2012. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring up the House-passed budget for a vote even though he is not obligated to do so and has said it would be ‘foolish’ for Democrats to put forward a budget of their own. ‘This issue will have staying power and be a defining issue in 2012,’ Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said in a conference call Monday with reporters. The issue will show voters ‘why we need to keep the Senate Democrats in order to counter House Republicans. ... The Republicans tried to end Medicare, but a Democratic majority stopped it in the Senate. ... It's that simple,’ Schumer said.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded this morning, “evidently Democrats have decided that avoiding this crisis helps them in the next election. That’s why they plan to vote against every budget plan that comes to the floor this week — including the President’s. Democrats are apparently operating under the assumption that if they’re on the record opposing everything, it helps them politically. So, in other words, we might not leave here this week with a solution to our nation’s looming debt crisis, but Democrats are pretty confident they’ll leave with some good material for campaign ads. . . . They aren’t even pretending to put principle over politics here. According to Senator Schumer, their focus is on an election — that’s still almost two years away! Well, my suggestion is that Democrats start thinking about putting their names on something other than an attack ad. They could start with a budget.” Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, Israeli, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Democrats, budget, emergency fundsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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