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Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily

Posted: January 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm   /   by

Spending Daily | January 28, 2013

Former Fed Vice Chair: “No chance” to Reduce Deficit Sans Healthcare Spending Cuts
The Hill reports, “Former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Blinder warned Monday that Medicare spending will  ‘swallow up everything’ and threaten attempts at deficit control without action to curb costs.  Blinder, a former Clinton White House economic adviser, said there is ‘no chance’ to reduce the deficit unless the United States ‘significantly reduces healthcare spending.’ He added that ‘cost cut benders’ in President Obama’s healthcare law might help, but it will take time to understand which are most effective.”

Sequester Threat Causing Officials to “take costly and inefficient steps”
The Washington Post reports,“The drastic $85 billion in automatic spending cuts Congress approved in hopes of heading off another deficit showdown may or may not occur, but federal agencies say the threat has been disrupting government for months as officials take costly and inefficient steps to prepare.  A National Weather Service official is planning to shut down radars on sunny days in the South — and crossing his fingers that no unexpected storms pass through. New federal grants for medical research are being postponed, resulting in layoffs now and costly paperwork later. And military leaders, who are delaying training for active and reserve forces, are trying to negotiate millions of dollars in penalties that the Defense Department is incurring from canceled contracts. This is what happens when the federal government prepares for something  Congress never intended to become a reality. If Democrats and Republicans cannot end their deficit standoff by March 1, the cuts will kick in across the country.”

“Auditors: $230 million in Labor Dept. grants had no criteria for success”
The Washington Guardian reports, “You’d expect a program to help train workers in new skills would have grades to measure  how well the students learned.  And you’d expect the program itself to be graded on whether it actually helped those students find employment after they graduated.  But that’s precisely what a Labor Department jobs program failed to measure for grants it made in 2010 and 2011, auditors say. Facing rising unemployment nationwide, the Labor Department Employment and Training Administration (ETA) used a discretionary grant program to support schools and businesses that were training workers and helping them find jobs. … [I]nvestigators think more than one-third of the programs — more than 200 grants out of 560 that were handed out — might have failed, at a total cost approaching $230 million.”

Ryan: “The sequester is going to happen.”
The Hill reports, “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) predicted Sunday that ‘the sequester is going to happen,’ and blamed Democrats for not producing an alternative set of spending reductions to circumvent the across-the-board cuts. ‘We think these sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others and they’ve offered no alternative,’ Ryan said on NBC’s Meet the Press.” Click here to watch the video.

Businesses Prepare for New Wave of Regulation
Ben Goad writes in The Hill, “President Obama has begun to wield the power of the executive to press forward with a second-term agenda that delights the left and terrifies the right. When he said ‘we must act’ in his inaugural address last week, liberals cheered him on and conservatives saw that the electoral earthquake of November is likely to befollowed by a tsunami of executive orders and regulations. Lawmakers, lobbyists and policy groups say they are expecting a deluge of new rules from agencies across the federal government. … ‘When you consider all the new rules now pouring through the regulatory pipeline, and those still to come, it is staggering,’ U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said this month during a speech on the state of American business.’”

Scarborough to Washington: Cut the debt, Balance the Budget, and Get Out of Our Way
Joe Scarborough editorializes in POLITICO, “Big Government Republicanism sunk America $11 trillion in debt. Big Government Liberalism took that bad situation and made it worse. So after a decade of Keynesian tax cuts, spending hikes, entitlement explosions, two wars and free money from the Fed, America finds itself $16.5 trillion in debt and struggling through a sluggish economy that continues to gut the Middle Class. One in four Americans are now living on food stamps. Almost one in three are ‘not in the civilian work force.’ … How long will politicians fool themselves into believing that their version of a Washington-based trickle down economics will save America from itself? When will they figure out that our economy will grow from the bottom up when Washington cuts the debt, balances the budget and finally gets out of our way?”

“Budget’s not high on Dems’ to-do list”
Sen. Roy Blunt editorializes for Politico, “‘Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.” That’s what Joe Biden said last summer, and he meant it as a criticism of Republicans. The vice president’s comment raises a question: Where are the Democrats’ values? They’re in hiding, judging from their unwillingness to present any budget plans for almost four years. In all likelihood, Democrats have opted not to pass budgets because they believe the political price would be too high. … Budgets lay out plans and the Democrats don’t have any plans that will pass the straight-face test with the American people. The public will not tolerate the amount of debt and taxes that their spending plans require. If the federal government is to come anywhere close to balancing the budget at the elevated spending levels the Democrats desire, we will have to tax Americans at all income levels at historically unprecedented rates. … Debt and taxes beyond anything we’ve ever seen: That future may reflect the values of today’s Washington Democrat, but it’s not a political message they can afford to send.”

“Your Voice Is Needed in the Budget Process”
Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray writes in The Huffington Post, “The budget process and conversation is too often limited to bureaucrats and politicians. The truth is that the federal budget belongs to the American people — it belongs to you. You need to have a louder voice in this process, and your values and priorities should be heard. That’s why I am proud to announce the launch of MyBudget, a new online platform for members of the public to engage with the Senate Budget Committee. MyBudget goes live today to help you share your stories, ideas, and priorities.”

“’No Budget, No Pay’ Advances Despite Reservations”
The Associated Press reports, “In an earlier era, a move like the oneengineered by House GOP leaders to pass a ‘no budget, no pay’ measure probably would have been stopped in its tracks. But with Congress’ approval ratings in the gutter, House lawmakers pushed aside questions about fairness and constitutionality and tacked the idea on to an unpopular, must-pass measure to increase the government’s borrowing cap. The measure temporarily would withhold pay from any member of the House or Senate whose chamber doesn’t pass a budget this year. The Senate is expected to approve it in the coming week, but only after leaders make clear they think ‘no budget, no pay’ is rife with flaws and is not going to be repeated.”

Economists Split on 2013 Outlook
The Associated Press reports, “Economists are increasingly, but still cautiously, optimistic about growth in the year ahead with the hiring expected to pick up in coming months. A quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economists released Monday shows half of the economists polled now expect real gross domestic product – the value of all goods and services produced in the United States – to grow between 2 and 4 percent in 2013. That’s up from 36 percent of respondents who felt the same way three months earlier. About half expect sluggish or negative performance, down from 65 percent in October.” is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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Bankrupting America's Spending Daily