Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stay awake, and pay attention, folks

While New Orleans was in the madness of Mardi Gras yesterday, the rest of the country was totally engaged in the SuperduperTuesday Extravaganza. Fortunately I was able to sleep through most of it. This morning, though, is another story. The talking heads have got their drawers all twisted up and are babbling away about Clinton and Obama, and about McCain and Huckabee and Romney. On television, on the internet news, on the blogs, it's everywhere. It's a damn one-trick pony this morning. The troubling thing is that it's gonna happen again this spring, this summer and in November. Please folks, give people a break. At least throw in a couple of blurbs about the rest of the story.

For instance, has any one heard much about Dim Son's new BUDGET proposal for 2008. If so, its probably not very much. I've seen nothing on the television "news", but maybe I just missed it. And I've only come across a few articles on the internet "news" sites, and blogger sites. This is important stuff, people, pay attention. Here's a couple of good reads:

The Legacy of Bush II By Robert Scheer
Curb your enthusiasm. Even if your favored candidate did well on Super Tuesday, ask yourself if he or she will seriously challenge the bloated military budget that President Bush has proposed for 2009. If not, military spending will rise to a level exceeding any other year since the end of World War II, and there will be precious little left over to improve education and medical research, fight poverty, protect the environment or do anything else a decent person might care about. You cannot spend well over $700 billion on “national security,” running what the White House predicts will be more than $400 billion in annual deficits for the next two years, and yet find the money to improve the quality of life on the home front.
Click here: Truthdig - The Legacy of Bush II

Bush Budget Would Bring Record Deficits By ANDREW TAYLOR – 1 day ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The record $3.1 trillion budget proposed by President Bush on Monday would produce eyepopping federal deficits, despite his attempts to impose politically wrenching curbs on Medicare and eliminate scores of popular domestic programs.
The Pentagon would receive a $36 billion, 8 percent boost for the 2009 budget year beginning Oct. 1, even as programs aimed at the poor would be cut back or eliminated. Half of domestic Cabinet departments would see their budgets cut outright.
Slumping revenues and the cost of an economic rescue package will combine to produce a huge jump in the deficit to $410 billion this year and $407 billion in 2009, the White House says, just shy of the record $413 billion set four years ago.
Bush's lame-duck budget plan is likely to be ignored by Congress, which is controlled by Democrats and already looking ahead to November elections. His long-term projections are mostly academic since he's leaving office next January.
The president forecasts a $48 billion surplus by 2012, keeping a promise he made two years ago when strong revenue predictions made it look far easier. Now, he's relying on spending cuts — for everything from transportation to Medicare and Medicaid to nonprofit groups that help the poor — to do the job in order to keep his signature 2001 and 2003 tax cuts intact instead of expiring at the end of 2010.
"Our formula for achieving a balanced budget is simple: create the conditions for economic growth, keep taxes low and spend taxpayer dollars wisely or not at all," Bush said in his budget message.
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Jim Nussle, the White House budget director, said the softening economy, continuing war costs and the deficit-financed economic stimulus measure soon to clear Congress were responsible for the worsening deficit picture. And he said that the deficits experienced during the Reagan years and Bush's father's administration were far worse when compared to the size of the economy.
"It's a manageable deficit — it isn't the largest in history by any stretch of the imagination — and it's one that can be managed if we get economic growth back on track," Nussle said.
Click here: The Associated Press: Bush Budget Would Bring Record Deficits

So there you have it. Why do the wiseguys keep on saying that Dim Son is concerned about his legacy. His trophy war in Iraq is a bust, he's working on starting a 3rd war in Iran/Israel, he's blown the US economy to hell, and now, instead of learning anything, he's proposed a budget that increases the military spending on weapons - that is to say more money to Halliburton, Bectel, Boeing, etc., etc. - while cutting the medical benefits for those coming home from his trophy wars. Of course - god willing - it won't pass, but the very idea of proposing it and then saying it's "a managable deficit" is appalling. It's one of those "too funny to be true or too true to be funny moments". [One possibility is that Dim Son the Lame Duck is just trying to make one last "run on the treasury" for his monied chronies.]

In Louisiana we're having Congressional elections this spring. I'm in LA01, and, of course, I'm betting it all on Democrat Gilda Reed. My thought is that she'll take one look at Dim Son's proposal and say "what the hell is this crapola?" This is what this proposal means to LA01:

Taxpayers in Louisiana Congressional District 1 (LA01) will pay $209.6 million for proposed Iraq War Spending for FY2008. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

53,373 People with Health Care OR
151,882 Homes with Renewable Electricity OR
6,455 Public Safety Officers OR
4,438 Music and Arts Teachers OR
47,440 Scholarships for University Students OR
21 New Elementary Schools OR
2,519 Affordable Housing Units OR
138,866 Children with Health Care OR
31,669 Head Start Places for Children OR
4,424 Elementary School Teachers OR
3,270 Port Container Inspectors
Notes and Sources Go to Cost of War Counter

Actually, those numbers don't reflect the current Dim Son proposal, but are based on the projections from the 2007 budget, so up the numbers by about 8%. And this is what we in Louisiana have paid for Dim Son's trophy war through 2007, and what could have been.

Taxpayers in Louisiana will pay $3.5 billion for the cost of the Iraq War through 2007. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
884,063 People with Health Care OR
2,515,747 Homes with Renewable Electricity OR
106,925 Public Safety Officers OR
73,509 Music and Arts Teachers OR
785,786 Scholarships for University Students OR
352 New Elementary Schools OR
41,723 Affordable Housing Units OR
2,300,146 Children with Health Care OR
524,558 Head Start Places for Children OR
73,276 Elementary School Teachers OR
54,171 Port Container Inspectors
Notes and Sources Go to Cost of War Counter

Besides more dollars for guns and ammo, and less health care for returning veterans, the proposed budget of Dim Son also cuts or fails to even increase for inflation all domestic social services programs, all education programs, and all infrastructure funding. It means that we the people, here in LA01 (and the rest of Louisiana) will receive less Federal funding. All of this results from the GOPer mantra of more guns, less food, lower taxes, less health care, every man for himself, blah, blah . . . .

If we're lucky, Democrats in Congress will get some backbone and tell Dim Son to take his budget and shove it. Then, come November, we'll elect a Democrat president, a huge majority in Congress, and begin taking giant steps to clean up the GOPer catastrophe and bring these United States of America back from hell.

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