Tag Archives: Budget

The Budget is Passed and Now Republicans Can Concentrate on Killing Obamacare

Budget Deal

Just in time for a nice, long holiday break, Congress put aside their differences, came to a budget compromise, and avoided another government shutdown.

The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget plan on Thursday night, their final task before the Christmas holidays. The Senate is still needs to pass the deal this week, but it looks like it will be smooth sailing. The new budget will reduce automatic spending cuts by $63 billion in the next two years and reduce the deficit by $23 billion. But most importantly, the bipartisan budget deal avoids another potential government shutdown – for two whole years!

The passing of the “meeting in the middle” budget seems to signal a shift for House Republicans away from the staunchly uncompromising attitudes that have given us multiple standoffs, threats of default and lingering government shutdowns.

But what sparked this sudden change in attitude? Was it the spirit of the season that prompted this compromise? Or was it something else? (It was something else)

On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan defended the budget deal to avert further shutdown, saying that it would allow the Republican Party to “focus” on destroying President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

“I think we have to replace this law,” he insisted. “I believe we can have a system in this country where everybody has access to affordable health care, including people with preexisting conditions, without it costing a government takeover with more freedom.”

“We like the fact, for the economy, no shutdowns,” he said. “We also don’t want to have shutdown drama so we can focus on replacing Obamacare, so we can focus on showing better ideas than what this is coming.”

So first they caused a shutdown in an attempt to kill Obamacare, and now they’re avoiding a shutdown in an attempt to kill Obamacare. Makes sense. After all, according to Bob Rucho, a Republican senator from North Carolina, Obamacare is worse than Hilter and Stalin and bin Laden COMBINED.

“Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Bob Rucho has been working tirelessly to kill Obamacare. He was the primary sponsor of a bill this year to prohibit North Carolina from setting up a health insurance exchange or participating in the Medicaid expansion, which has kept 377,000 North Carolinians from Medicaid coverage. And now with the new budget deal, Rucho will have plenty more time to work out his plan to kill Obamacare – unless the death panels get to him first.

Via: CBS News

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Paul Ryan Initiates the Budget Wars

Paul Ryan Budget

The budget wars are ON with Paul Ryan unveiling the House Republicans budget on Tuesday.

The Republicans’ plan, introduced by Representative Paul Ryan, is very “Paul Ryan” in that it’s similar to previous budgets he’s touted and it’s alarmingly Republican. Full of the same ideas already rejected by voters in November, the budget proposed to cut $4.6 trillion over the next ten years without increasing taxes.

The budget seeks to repeal Obamacare, cut spending on Medicaid, turn Medicare into a voucher system, get rid of the Wall Street regulatory laws, and scrap financing for the high-speed rail network. Not to worry, defense spending will remain essentially untouched.

Ryan’s budget also sets a goal of slashing the top tax rate for the rich to 25 percent from 39.6 percent. Yikes. How will this go over with the Democrats? Spoiler alert: Obama and Ryan very different visions of how to fix government finances.

Senate Democrats plan to offer a rival budget on Wednesday which will be a stark departure from the austerity measures of the Republican plan. More specifically, the Democrats’ budget would create new government initiatives, expand others and seek to generate more tax revenue. But the House Republicans will almost certainly reject whatever is thrown at them. Indeed, both Democrats and Republicans recognize that neither budget is likely to pass both the House and Senate as is. So basically, each party is just presenting its budget priorities in hopes of negotiating some kind of budget compromise.

Considering Paul Ryan’s budget pretty much wipes out some of Obama’s biggest legislative achievements, this is going to be one tough negotiation.

Via: New York Times

Time to lighten the mood with a quick poll. Who’s hotter: The real Paul Ryan or the “random guy” dressed as Paul Ryan?

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Procrastination Nation: Budget Cuts Back on the Table

Obama Budget Cuts

Fresh off a three day golf weekend with Tiger Woods, President Barack Obama is now faced with another fiscal deadline (the budget cuts he put off dealing with in January…). Obama is urging congressional Republicans to accept more tax revenue in order to avert the looming, across-the-board- budget cuts due to take effect on March 1st.

The Sequester is the New Fiscal Cliff

The sequester (which is a terrible name for automatic budget cuts) was first set to begin taking effect on January 1st. However, as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations/shenanigans, the White House and Congress agreed to push it off for a couple months in order to work on a larger budget deal not deal with it.

The $85 billion in budget cuts, known as the sequester, will start taking effect on March 1st unless Congress acts. Or unless it gets put off again…

Fun fact: the sequester was never actually intended to go into effect. Rather, it was meant to be a threat designed to bring lawmakers together to figure out a mutually agreed path to deficit reduction. But surprisingly not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans still can’t agree on a plan, despite knowing this day was coming for over a year.

What the Democrats are Thinking

Obama says the sequester would be detrimental to an economy still suffering from high unemployment and sluggish growth. Instead, the White House is backing a proposal unveiled by Senate Democrats that offsets the sequester through a combination of targeted spending cuts and increased tax revenue.

What the Republicans are Thinking

No increased tax revenues! Obama already won a revenue increase in the new year, when Congress allowed taxes to rise on families making more than $450,000 annually so he can’t have anything else. Boom. Also, no defense cuts, only non-defense cuts allowed.

What Reagan is Thinking

Given the little progress on the sequester front in recent weeks and the fact that Congress is now in some kind of Presidents Day recess, it will likely be delayed again. But eventually, a broader budget agreement will have to be put into place, right?

Via: The Washington Post 

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