Sunday, February 6, 2011

....BEGINS !

If their plan becomes law, it could lead to layoffs of tens of thousands
of federal employees, big cuts to heating an
d housing subsidies for the
poor, reduced grants to schools and law enfor
cement agencies. Also ahead....BEWARE of the GOP PLOT to bankrupt states to make pensions and union agreements null & void. All an orchestrated plot to lead to privatization of government entities while forcing workers to work for Chinese wages. Learn the plot...spread the word. (B4B)
House Repubs Slash Domestic Programs

(HuffPo) WASHINGTON — Republicans now running the House are barely touching Congress' own generous budget even as they take a cleaver to many domestic agencies.

A new GOP proposal would reduce domestic agencies' spending by 9 percent on average through September, when the current budget year ends.

If that plan becomes law, it could lead to layoffs of tens of thousands of federal employees, big cuts to heating and housing subsidies for the poor, reduced grants to schools and law enforcement agencies, and a major hit to the Internal Revenue Service's budget.

Congress, on the other hand, would get nicked by only 2 percent, or $94 million.

Recent hefty increases to the congressional budget – engineered by Democrats when they held power in the House from 2007-2010 – would remain largely in place under a plan announced Thursday by the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky.

The plan, developed in close consultation with Republican Speaker John Boehner's office, would cut Congress' budget less than any other domestic spending bill, except for the one covering the Department of Homeland Security.

All 12 spending bills left unfinished by Democrats will go into a single, enormous measure that Republicans promise to bring up the week of Feb. 14.

"Charity begins at home, and Congress should lead the way with cuts to their own budget," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based watchdog group. "Instead they're protecting their bottom line while slashing everyone else's."

The cut to Congress gets a little deeper, to 3.5 percent, if it were imposed for a full calendar year instead of the seven months that will remain in the current budget year. But so, too, would the cuts to other agencies – growing to 16 percent. (read rest of article)

State Bankruptcy Weighed by Republicans
Blocking Sta
te Aid

(Bloomberg) Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, emboldened by the majority they won in November elections, want to send a message to U.S. states grappling with soaring pension liabilities: Don’t come to us for a handout.

A broader option, being pressed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a potential presidential candidate in 2012, would be to change U.S. law to allow states to file for bankruptcy, giving them more leverage to renegotiate labor contracts.

Closing the door to U.S. aid may further stress states facing more than $140 billion in budget deficits next fiscal year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington research group. Fewer than half of their pensions had assets to pay for 80 percent of promised benefits in the 2009 fiscal year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. States now face the end to federal stimulus payments granted two years ago to help them cope with the deepest recession in 80 years.

“We are not interested in a bailout,” Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, said at a Jan. 6 forum in Washington.

“Should taxpayers in Indiana, who have paid their bills on time, who have done their job fiscally, be bailing out Californians, who haven’t?” he said. “No, that’s a moral hazard we are not interested in creating.”

Representative Devin Nunes of California introduced the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act last month, co- sponsored by Ryan and Darrell Issa of California. It requires more reporting from state and local pensions and prohibits federal bailouts of states.

Congressional Shift

It’s a shift from the previous Congress, where a Democratic majority in both houses passed the $814 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to aid states as the recession choked their tax collections.

“We’re going to look at state and municipal budget issues, their unfunded and underfunded pension liabilities as well as the impact defaults and bankruptcies of municipalities would have on the bond market,” Representative Patrick McHenry, 35, a North Carolina Republican and chairman of the newly formed TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs subcommittee, said in a Jan. 12 telephone interview.

Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz said Republicans have contacted bankruptcy attorneys to discuss ways to change the law to allow states to restructure financial obligations such as debts to retirees. He said it hasn’t been decided whether that would mean allowing states to file for bankruptcy.

Chaffetz said he proposed legislation to oppose federal bailouts of pensions.(read rest of article)

(since the media won't)


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