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Flap’s Links and Comments for April 13th on 16:04

These are my links for April 13th from 16:04 to 19:10:

  • Tim Pawlenty urges lawmakers to reject 2011 budget deal – Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday urged lawmakers to reject the budget deal designed to avert a government shutdown. 

    Pawlenty, who presided over a state shutdown as governor of Minnesota, said that the bipartisan deal that would cut $39.9 billion in spending from this year's budget does not make enough reductions.

    President Obama's lack of seriousness on deficit reduction is crystal clear when you look at the budget deal he insisted on to avoid a government shutdown," he said in a statement. "It's no surprise that President Obama and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] forced this budget, but it should be rejected. America deserves better."

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    As they should.

  • CBO Says Budget Deal Will Cut Spending by Only $352 Million – A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the fiscal 2011 spending deal that Congress will vote on Thursday concludes that it would cut spending this year by less than one-tenth of what both Republicans or Democrats have claimed.
    A comparison prepared by the CBO shows that the omnibus spending bill, advertised as containing some $38.5 billion in cuts, will only reduce federal outlays by $352 million below 2010 spending rates. The nonpartisan budget agency also projects that total outlays are actually some $3.3 billion more than in 2010, if emergency spending is included in the total.
    The astonishing result, according to CBO, is the result of several factors: increases in spending, especially at the Defense Department; decisions to draw over half of the savings from recissions; and cuts to reserve funds and and money for mandatory-spending programs that might never have been spent.

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    Figures and I sure wouldn't vote for this turkey.

  • Obama: Still No Salesman – Obama’s anti-Ryan speech:

     1) Obama tends to defend the welfare state in ineffective paleolib terms. It’s mostly “compassion” and taking “responsibility for …  each other,” whether we work or not. But most of the welfare state is now at least in theory work-tested–and Clinton showed it is much easier to defend if you say it’s what citizens get if they go to work every day, etc.

     2) The all powerful Independent Payment Advisory Board will save us! This is always Obama’s deficit solution. Democracy can’t handle the truth!(“It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.”) But will Congress freely cede power over who gets what treatment to an unelected “advisory” board of experts? It happens with the Fed. But health care involves actual constituents living and dying;

    3) The speech defines a failure to tax the rich–i.e. keeping rates where they are–as “spending.” Way too clever;

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    Read it all

  • Rep. Paul Ryan responds – Perhaps the president’s most egregious gimmicks were on health care:

    • Instead of proposing structural reforms that would actually reduce health care costs, the President proposed across-the-board cuts to current seniors’care.

    • Strictly limits the amount of health care seniors can receive within the existing structure of unsustainable government health care programs.

    • Gives more power to unelected bureaucrats in Washington to determine what treatments seniors should or shouldn’t get, against a backdrop of costs that continue to rise.

    • Conceded that the relentlessly rising cost of health care is the primary reason why the nation is threatened by debt, and implicitly conceded that his health care law failed to solve the problem.

    • Eviscerates the only competitive element anywhere in health-care entitlement programs — the competition amongst Part D prescription-drug plans — which allowed the drug benefit to come in 41 percent under budget.

    • Acknowledges that the open-ended financing of Medicaid is a crippling financial burden to both states and the federal government, but explicitly rejected the only solution to this problem, which is to give states the freedom they need to design systems that work for the unique needs of their own populations.

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    Now, if Paul Ryan were to run for the Presidency…..

    I am sure he is on everyone's short list for VP.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan Responds to President’s Disappointing, Partisan Speech – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan made the following statement after listening to the President’s speech on deficit reduction:

     “When the President reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch. Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; we heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.

    “Last year, in the absence of a serious budget, the President created a Fiscal Commission. He then ignored its recommendations and omitted any of its major proposals from his budget, and now he wants to delegate leadership to yet another commission to solve a problem he refuses to confront.

    “We need leadership, not a doubling down on the politics of the past.  By failing to seriously confront the most predictable economic crisis in our history, this President’s policies are committing our children to a diminished future. We are looking for bipartisan solutions, not partisan rhetoric. When the President is ready to get serious about confronting this challenge, we'll be here.”

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    Read it all

  • CBO: Last week’s $38 billion budget deal only reduces this year’s deficit by … $352 million; Update: GOP leaders lobbying for votes – The deal does eliminate $38 billion in “new spending authority,” but as we learned yesterday in agonizing detail, spending “authority” and actual spending are two very different things. So to sum up: In less than a week, we’ve gone from $61 billion in cuts to $38 billion in cuts to $15 billion in real cuts to $352 million in deficit reduction this year, which is less than one percent of the number agreed to in the budget deal. I can’t help but suspect that tea partiers might feel a tad … antsy about that trend.

    Tim Pawlenty issued a statement earlier this afternoon urging congressional Republicans to reject the budget deal tomorrow:

    The more we learn about the budget deal the worse it looks. When you consider that the federal deficit in February alone was over $222 billion, to have actual cuts less than the $38 billion originally advertised is just not serious. The fact that billions of dollars advertised as cuts were not scheduled to be spent in any case makes this budget wholly unacceptable. It’s no surprise that President Obama and Senator Reid forced this budget, but it should be rejected. America deserves better.

    That’s a nifty way to polish his fiscal conservative cred with the base, but as of last night Cantor was insisting that they have the votes in the House. Maybe that’ll change after the CBO numbers start circulating, but if I had to bet, I’d still bet that it’ll pass. The conversation’s already moved on to bigger money, partly thanks to the erupting war between Obama and Ryan over entitlements and partly to the chess match between Democrats and the GOP over the debt ceiling. And because most of the public’s already moved on from the shutdown drama, if the Republican caucus forced one now, they’d inevitably get more blame than they would have if the shutdown had happened last week. So, yes, it’ll probably pass — but by how much is anyone’s guess.

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    The CR's passage may be in doubt now with the CBO report.

    The GOP leadership sold out again. Shocking – NOT.

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