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Thread: Republicans Not Against All Entitlements....

  1. #1
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    Republicans Not Against All Entitlements....

    [SIZE="4"][B]House GOP balks at defense cuts[/B][/SIZE]

    By: David Rogers
    July 11, 2011 04:33 AM EDT

    [B]After months of tough talk, House Republicans ran away from defense cuts last week with the [/B][B]great majority opposing even modest reductions at the expense of military bands or the Pentagon’s sponsorship of NASCAR races to promote recruitment.[/B]

    The $649.2 billion appropriations bill, including $118.6 billion for wars overseas, sailed through Friday with only a dozen Republicans in opposition. And when conservative freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina proposed to freeze core Pentagon spending at 2011 levels, he was run over by almost three-quarters of his party.

    A bipartisan compromise, which would have preserved an $8.5 billion increase, fared no better, getting just 47 Republicans — less than half the number that voted to wipe out the entire Food for Peace program only weeks ago.

    “The military budget is not on the table,” said a frustrated Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). “The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.”

    As White House talks resumed Sunday night, last week’s floor debate was a warning, too, for Republican leaders trying to reach agreement on an estimated $2.4 trillion, 10-year deficit-reduction package prior to an Aug. 2 deadline, when the federal debt ceiling must be raised.

    Hopes of a much larger $4 trillion package were dashed over the weekend, as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled back Saturday night from a proposed deal with the White House. But as the target shrinks, defense spending cuts become more important because discretionary appropriations account for such a large proportion of the remaining savings.

    Indeed, of the $1.7 trillion to $2 trillion savings already identified, more than half or $1.1 trillion is attributed to tighter limits on annual appropriations. This has set off alarms among Democrats, who want some firewall established to ensure that not all the cuts fall on domestic programs. But Republican leaders have resisted, preferring to gloss over the details for fear of setting off a revolt among pro-defense forces in their own caucuses.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will argue that between the Democrats’ power in the Senate and Obama’s veto pen, they have nothing to fear. But last week’s House debate gave no reason for comfort. And though Cantor denies it, many believe that it was the defense issue — not just taxes — that led him to walk out last month from deficit talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.

    Pro-defense lawmakers, including old friends of Boehner’s, are a key part of the House Republican Conference, and this plainly influenced the bargaining in April to avert a government shutdown. In fact, the administration played on this vulnerability by threatening defense cuts as a way to gain leverage with the speaker and House Appropriations Committee leadership and win more flexibility on domestic savings.


    In the case of the Senate, Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who also participated in the Biden talks, is a strong defense advocate. And even at last Thursday’s White House meeting with Obama, Kyl pushed back against administration demands for deeper cuts from the military.

    Yet here the Republican finds himself matched against Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who has impeccable defense credentials, earning the Medal of Honor for his combat service in World War II and spending decades overseeing the military budget.

    Numbers compiled by the professional staff on Inouye’s committee show that over the past decade, the annual Pentagon appropriations bill has grown at five times the rate of domestic nonsecurity spending bills. If additional emergency war funding related to Iraq and now Afghanistan is counted, the disparity is closer to 9-to-1.

    The House defense appropriations bill last week continues this trend. Core Pentagon spending would grow by $17 billion in 2012, even as the 11 remaining annual bills would be reduced about $45 billion altogether. This is in line with the Republicans’ 10-year budget, which seeks to roll back domestic appropriations to a point where, in 2021, these programs would account for a lower share of gross domestic product than during the Dwight Eisenhower administration a half-century ago.

    “Personally, I like to think I am serious about cutting our deficits,” Mulvaney said of his proposal to freeze defense. “Many of us have gone around back home and told people how serious we are. But how can we look them in the eye and tell them that we are serious about cutting this deficit and about cutting spending and then come in and plus-up the base defense budget?”

    “It’s easy to cut things we don’t like. It’s hard to cut things that are important to us.”

    “We had hoped for better,” John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World, told POLITICO. He took heart that 69 Republicans altogether voted for one of the two major budget-cutting amendments: the Mulvaney freeze or the Frank bipartisan alternative that preserved half of the $17 billion increase recommended by the House Appropriations leadership.

    “You have scores of Republicans willing to cut defense that wouldn’t have done it just six or eight months ago,” said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). “Republicans think we have to have some votes on defense in order to be taken seriously on the other stuff.”

    But that raises the question: Are conservatives looking to burnish their record on deficits or have real results?

    Isaac faults Democrats for not taking better advantage of the Republican defectors, but critics would argue that it is hard to take serious a movement where the high-water mark on defense cuts was just 90 Republicans willing to reduce funding for military bands.

    Mulvaney’s freeze, which never had a chance, got 18 more Republican votes than Frank’s $8.5 billion increase, which got a total of 181 votes. If those same 18 had backed the Frank compromise, it would have been in serious contention and surely forced more Democrats to join.

    [url]http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=42D075C7-7BE5-4097-AB0A-2745BCA97B60[/url]

  2. #2
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    "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
    -Martin Luther King
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 07-11-2011 at 09:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059868]"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of the[B] NEA [/B]is approaching spiritual death."
    -Martin Luther King[/QUOTE]

    fixed

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    Although I agree we clearly need major cuts in defense spending, to call them "entitlements" is just ridiculous.

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    [QUOTE=JetPotato;4059918]Although I agree we clearly need major cuts in defense spending, to call them "entitlements" is just ridiculous.[/QUOTE]

    What would you call giving away billions of tax dollars in the form of [B]no-bid contracts[/B] with almost no oversight? It is the definition of entitlements except in this case it is the defense corporations that are entitled, not the poor.

    Put it another way; how do you feel when you are told a story about how much welfare (as an example) is costing American tax payers and that there are stories of waste and stealing from the system? On top of that, there is no real oversight to stop the abuses and the politicians do not want to do anything because it will cost them votes(their job)?

    [B]And there you have it.....[/B]
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 07-11-2011 at 10:31 AM.

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4059908]fixed[/QUOTE]

    :zzz::zzz::zzz::zzz::zzz:

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059926]What would you call giving away billions of tax dollars in the form of [B]no-bid contracts[/B] with almost no oversight?[/QUOTE]

    Yee-haw country apple pie baseball America.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059926]What would you call giving away billions of tax dollars in the form of [B]no-bid contracts[/B] with almost no oversight? It is the definition of entitlements except in this case it is the defense corporations that are entitled, not the poor.

    Put it another way; how do you feel when you are told a story about how much welfare (as an example) is costing American tax payers and that there are stories of waste and stealing from the system? On top of that, there is no real oversight to stop the abuses and the politicians do not want to do anything because it will cost them votes(their job)?

    [B]And there you have it.....[/B][/QUOTE]

    [URL]http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/11/the-overhyped-defense-cuts/print[/URL]

    [QUOTE]The Overhyped Defense Cuts
    Don't expect the Pentagon to shrink just because we're being buried in debt.
    Steve Chapman | July 11, 2011
    Politicians often rail against government spending, except when it goes to the military. Conservatives believe there is no such thing as too much defense spending, and liberals don't argue, for fear of being labeled appeasers. So when there is talk of the two parties agreeing to cut the Pentagon budget, it sounds like a monumental change.
    But probably not. It's a good thing that defense, which accounts for roughly a fifth of all federal outlays, is no longer considered immune to the need for frugality. But both supporters and opponents have a stake in portraying any trims as far more significant than they really are.
    The Obama administration reportedly has decided to boost its planned defense cuts from $400 billion over the next 12 years to as much as $700 billion. That sounds like a lot—considering that the earlier, smaller figure had sparked furious objections.
    Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned it would be "a grievous mistake" that would someday "be measured in American lives lost." Mitt Romney, in line with most other presidential candidates, insisted "we should not reduce our commitment to national security."
    Some Republicans in Congress may be prepared to subject defense spending to the sort of scrutiny applied elsewhere. But if you think the tea party favorites will demand serious fiscal discipline, you are in for a disappointment.
    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's heralded budget plan would, according to Cato Institute analyst Christopher Preble, leave the Pentagon "essentially unscathed." Michele Bachmann wrote recently, "Blaming our budgetary woes on the military is reckless and misinformed."
    She doesn't seem to have noticed that while discretionary domestic outlays have been flat in inflation-adjusted terms over the past decade, military expenditures have not. The discretionary defense budget, after accounting for inflation, is 80 percent bigger this year than it was in 2001—and 33 percent bigger than it was just five years ago.
    Assuming the president and Congress agree to the cuts being discussed—no sure thing—it would still be larger in 2016 than it was for most of George W. Bush's presidency. It would also be more, in real terms, than it was at the height of President Ronald Reagan's military buildup, when we faced a hostile nuclear superpower in the form of the Soviet Union.
    It might make sense to provide such gargantuan sums if we were merely trying to keep up with our enemies. In reality, the United States devotes more money to defense than the next 17 countries combined. We spend six times as much as the Chinese, who come in second overall.
    It would be misleading to say we greatly outspend our rivals. When it comes to military outlays and capability, we have no rivals. The United States is the New York Yankees, and everyone else is in Little League.
    If spending is the solution, the problem has been solved many times over. If, on the other hand, we are still dangerously vulnerable to our enemies, more dollars are not likely to make us safe.
    But we keep chasing the dream of absolute security, which requires an unending succession of wars in faraway countries that pose little or no danger to us. That's what justifies the immense military budget, an indulgence disguised as a necessity.
    What neither party is willing to consider is downsizing our global obligations and ambitions. Both Republicans and Democrats can be found in support of staying in Afghanistan for three more years, keeping some troops in Iraq beyond this year, and continuing the war in Libya. Wars cost money—lots of it.
    Nor is either party ready to reassess our permanent presence in Europe, South Korea, and Japan -- which have ample resources to provide for their own defense. If our leaders want to preserve the option of intervening anywhere on Earth, anytime something happens that we don't like—and most of them do—they have to maintain a military establishment that dwarfs all others.
    So don't expect the Pentagon to become noticeably smaller just because we're being buried in debt. An aide to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) told Politico, "The chairman is deeply concerned about any defense cuts made during wartime."
    There lie the crucial facts about the defense budget: 1) Washington politicians resist cutting in wartime; and 2) it's always wartime.
    [/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=Trades;4059943][URL]http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/11/the-overhyped-defense-cuts/print[/URL][/QUOTE]

    Thank you for the article. Hit the nail on the head.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059926]What would you call giving away billions of tax dollars in the form of [B]no-bid contracts[/B] with almost no oversight? It is the definition of entitlements except in this case it is the defense corporations that are entitled, not the poor.

    Put it another way; how do you feel when you are told a story about how much welfare (as an example) is costing American tax payers and that there are stories of waste and stealing from the system? On top of that, there is no real oversight to stop the abuses and the politicians do not want to do anything because it will cost them votes(their job)?

    [B]And there you have it.....[/B][/QUOTE]

    You know what a contract is, right? Regardless of the quality of the contract in your view, the taxpayer is getting goods/services in return.

    Tell me, what concrete thing are we getting back when we hand money over to welfare recipients who have no incentive or desire to work?

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    [QUOTE=JetPotato;4059948]Tell me, what concrete thing are we getting back when we hand money over to welfare recipients who have no incentive or desire to work?[/QUOTE]

    Nothing.

    But landlords, WalMart, Aldi's and convenience stores get quite a bit. And JP Morgan who makes money from issuing debit cards for food stamps.

    I wonder how much money WalMart makes on food stamps every year...

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4059956]Nothing.

    But landlords, WalMart, Aldi's and convenience stores get quite a bit. And JP Morgan who makes money from issuing debit cards for food stamps.

    I wonder how much money WalMart makes on food stamps every year...[/QUOTE]

    If we forced them to work, I bet WalMart will still make money, no :i_dont_kn

    If we forced them to work, they'd actually be providing a service in some capacity as well... Which is more than they're doing at the moment...

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4059956]Nothing.

    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly. Which is why calling a contract an entitlement is absurd.

    "something for nothing" does not equate to "too much for something in return"

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    [QUOTE=Revi$_I$l@nd;4059958]If we forced them to work, I bet WalMart will still make money, no :i_dont_kn

    If we forced them to work, they'd actually be providing a service in some capacity as well... Which is more than they're doing at the moment...[/QUOTE]

    Indeed.

    Lemme ask you this. Do you think JP Morgan is actively lobbying congress to do away with the food stamp program so that they'll make more money off of working people?

    Follow the money.

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    [QUOTE=JetPotato;4059948]You know what a contract is, right? Regardless of the quality of the contract in your view, the taxpayer is getting goods/services in return.

    Tell me, what concrete thing are we getting back when we hand money over to welfare recipients who have no incentive or desire to work?[/QUOTE]

    Both are legally binding: If the government does not fulfill its legal requirements, whether its to pay welfare or meet the commitments of a contract, it will face serious legal ramifications. That is regardless of whether or not you or I believe it is money well spent.

    As for your question of what the tax payer gets in return lets expand entitlements beyond welfare and look at other forms. They include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, most Veterans' Administration programs, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and agricultural price support programs.

    Now lets compare what the American tax payer gets back from those entitlements and what we get tangibly from those no-bid contracts handed out to those defense companies that build roads, tunnels and bridges.....in foreign countries.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 07-11-2011 at 11:30 AM.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059926]What would you call giving away billions of tax dollars in the form of [B]no-bid contracts[/B] with almost no oversight? It is the definition of entitlements except in this case it is the defense corporations that are entitled, not the poor.

    Put it another way; how do you feel when you are told a story about how much welfare (as an example) is costing American tax payers and that there are stories of waste and stealing from the system? On top of that, there is no real oversight to stop the abuses and the politicians do not want to do anything because it will cost them votes(their job)?

    [B]And there you have it.....[/B][/QUOTE]

    I missed the original point... when you speak of no oversight and waste it could be ANY government program you are talking about.

    BTW...I agree that defense cuts are absolutely needed. But ALL government , including and escpcially public schools need cost/re-allocation cutting and reform.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4059947]Thank you for the article. Hit the nail on the head.[/QUOTE]

    NP. Seemed to fit your point. I agree that all spending needs to be analyzed and cut where possible.

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4059967]I missed the original point... when you speak of no oversight and waste it could be ANY government program you are talking about.

    BTW...I agree that defense cuts are absolutely needed. But ALL government , including and escpcially public schools need cost/re-allocation cutting and reform.[/QUOTE]

    Public schools are financed nearly 90% by state dollars. Are you saying that states need to cut public school funding?

    Re defense, it would be interesting to see how much of the military weapons budget is essentially a business to sell arms to foreign powers and how much goes to stockpile idle weaponry.

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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;4059994]Public schools are financed nearly 90% by state dollars. Are you saying that states need to cut public school funding?

    Re defense, it would be interesting to see how much of the military weapons budget is essentially a business to sell arms to foreign powers and how much goes to stockpile idle weaponry.[/QUOTE]

    I was simply making a statement that waste exists at all levels, not just federal. In fact, I believe school spending is probably even MORE localized than you state. When a person I know, who is a gym teacher in Nassau county earns 120K and leaves every day to tend bar (non taxed cash mind you), and a gym teacher here in the south earns 33K, I simply believe the system is not quite right. We hear about budgets bit please , there's more waste in schools than a waste pile.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4059964]
    Lemme ask you this. Do you think JP Morgan is actively lobbying congress to do away with the food stamp program so that they'll make more money off of working people?
    [/QUOTE]

    I'll let it remain rhetorical.

    What has JP Morgan done for us lately? The 'D' in office enables them further... The 'R' that may soon be in office won't change anything so what can we do about it?

    Be pissy. That's about all I have left.

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