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No U.S. Government Shutdown This Week

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the hooray-for-the-American-way dept.

Government 385

A Reader writes "If you were hoping for a government shutdown today, you are going to be disappointed. In a last-hour cliffhanger, Democrats and Republicans managed to agree with each other enough to keep the government funded for the rest of the current fiscal year. Since the budget bill that finally passed was a compromise, no one is happy with it. So it goes. That's how things work in a representative government."

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385 comments

not sure who they represent (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766844)

anymore.

I seriously doubt any of us have much in common with any of them.

anymore

Re:not sure who they represent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766874)

anymore.

I seriously doubt any of us have much in common with any of them.

anymore

Well, given the way earmarks are entered into bills without the representative having to name himself, they certainly have a lot in common with anonymous cowards.

captcha: cocaine. how appropriate.

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767494)

There is anonymity, and there is cowardice. While they sometimes collide, they are very, very different.

Re:not sure who they represent (0, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766890)

representative government is a nice sounding concept but can't be applied.

just can't. no one in power is willing to give up THEIR power and heed to the will of the people.

then again, do you WANT 'the unwashed masses' making decisions? half of this country still thinks a sky wizard created the universe 6000 yrs ago. you want THOSE knuckles-scraping-ground morons to make policy or have a say in it?

the shutdown was also about 'right to lifers' vs the pro-choice movement. the fact that so much of the US buys into this anti-choice drivel means I'm not convinced I WANT those people having a say in our public policy.

so, the reps are not qualified and the people are surely not.

what's left?

a solution that does not exist. ie, there is no way to rule people and have it work and be stable over long periods of time. name one civ that has lasted. they don't. problem cannot be solved.

Re:not sure who they represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766936)

I dunno, if you count the present oligarchy as simply another in a long chain of similar legalistic ruling classes, I'd say China's been pretty reliable.

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766968)

representative government is a nice sounding concept but can't be applied.

just can't. no one in power is willing to give up THEIR power and heed to the will of the people.

Shill.

I offer you the glorious citation of motherfucking George Washington.

Now, stop lying to my people before someone kills you.

Re:not sure who they represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767232)

stop lying to my people before someone kills you

Ha ha... Internet Tough Guy [ultimatecardholder.com] with delusions of self-appointed freedom-fighter leader/hero. :-)

Re:not sure who they represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767228)

the shutdown was also about 'right to kill'ers vs the pro-life movement. the fact that so much of the US buys into this anti-life drivel means I'm not convinced I WANT those people having a say in our public policy.

FTFY Governments that respect life are better.

what's left?

You are. Those on the other side of the aisle are right.

Re:not sure who they represent (4, Informative)

farmanb (1566337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767040)

Just take a look at the list of 'riders' on the bill and it will become clear who they represent:

http://www.ombwatch.org/files/budget/OMB_Watch-HR1_Policy_Riders.pdf [ombwatch.org]

It's pretty clear they're not interested in balancing the budget. The republicans are only interested in gutting those agencies responsible for enforcing pesky regulations like wetland preservation, emissions/dumping of hazardous material, the clean water act, etc., defunding institutions like NOAA and anyone else doing any sort of climate studies and generally gutting a wide range of social services provided to low income and middle class Americans, while simultaneously providing criminally large tax breaks for corporations:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 [nytimes.com] ,
http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=67562604-8280-4d56-8af4-a27f59d70de5 [senate.gov]

That isn't to say the democrats are much (if at all) better, but it should be absolutely clear exactly who the republicans represent.

Re:not sure who they represent (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767124)

I found this line particularly representative:

The deal also adds money for one of Boehnerâ(TM)s favored projects, a program that provides low-income District students with money to attend private schools.

There you have it folks: in a budget that is designed to cut government spending, a person who is supposedly in favour of a smaller government inserts a rider that funds his pet projects with public money. This is at the same time as he's simultaneously removing funding from women's health projects, yet lacks the necessary reproductive organs that should really be a pre-requisite for anyone who should have an opinion about it.

Oh and by the way, just so we're clear that I'm not trying to simply take a dig at the GOP, I'm absolutely certain that if anyone wanted to dig through the bill they could certainly find many more examples of this sort of two-faced pork barrel politics from politicians on both sides of the fence. In fact, I hope people find lots and lots of such examples and then use them to get rid of these wastes of skin.

Re:not sure who they represent (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767216)

Oh and by the way, just so we're clear that I'm not trying to simply take a dig at the GOP, I'm absolutely certain that if anyone wanted to dig through the bill they could certainly find many more examples of this sort of two-faced pork barrel politics from politicians on both sides of the fence.

Until you realize that they're both on the same side of the fence, with you on the other side, there's little hope of changing this.
The parties' grandstanding against each other accounts for about 1% of the budget, that's how much they differ. The greens and the right wing liberalists? Bring it up to 3%. They're all so similar it's a parody.

'Tis of Thee will never see any major changes in my lifetime, because the voters really are fooled, because they really are that ignorant. And proud of it too.
What this country needs isn't another career politician bought and paid for by corporations. It needs sedition and revolution. Which won't happen when people are comfortable on their fat asses, watching WWE and Housewives of Fargo, while bickering about irrelevant changes and voting for the whitest teeth.

Re:not sure who they represent (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767322)

I found this line particularly representative:

The deal also adds money for one of Boehnerâ(TM)s favored projects, a program that provides low-income District students with money to attend private schools.

There you have it folks: in a budget that is designed to cut government spending, a person who is supposedly in favour of a smaller government inserts a rider that funds his pet projects with public money. This is at the same time as he's simultaneously removing funding from women's health projects, yet lacks the necessary reproductive organs that should really be a pre-requisite for anyone who should have an opinion about it.

First of all, DC is under the control of congress. If congress wants to fund something in DC, that's just like a state deciding what goes on within its borders.

Also, the program you mentioned is also called the voucher program. It takes money from underperforming school districts and gives it low income students within those districts so they can attend private schools just like the rich kids, giving them equal opportunity. You seriously have a problem with that?

As for cutting "women's health"... when you say women's health, you mean abortion. I do not want my tax dollars going to fund abortions. And even if my tax dollars do not go DIRECTLY toward abortions, if they pay the light bill, they are helping to pay for abortions. See, paying the light bill is money that Planned Parenthood doesn't have to spend, meaning the money can go toward abortions.

Also, I don't want my tax dollars going toward paying for a political campaign. Planned parenthood has spent millions supporting politicians directly, through lobbying efforts, and even "fund raising events" that are targeted toward particular politicians. In other words, they take your tax dollars and give it back to supporting the candidates that give them tax dollars. Yes, politicians are using tax dollars to fund their own campaigns.

Now if planned parenthood were solely a women's health provider, I wouldn't have that much of a problem with it. Sure, it violates the 10th Amendment and should be something reserved to the states, but I could get over it. But Planned Parenthood is NOT about women's health. If they were, they would have dropped abortions long ago to ensure funding and therefor ensure their ability to provide cheap/free women's health services. The fact that they insist on providing abortions proves that that is their primary mission.

Think of it this way, would you like it if YOUR tax dollars were funding the NRA? Would you like the NRA using those tax dollars to fund Republican politicians? What if the NRA gave guns to poor people; would it make the funding OK if they said the tax dollars were only used to fund firearm safety courses? Also, keep in mind that it would actually make MORE sense to fund the NRA over Planned Parenthood as the right to bear arms is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Abortion is not.

Re:not sure who they represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767394)

Planned Parenthood spends less than 10% of its budget on abortions. The bulk of their mission is providing cancer screenings for women, providing STD testing, as well as contraception, regular and emergency. The Republican proposal would have prevented PP from seeking Medicaid reimbursement for these non-abortion services under the rhetoric that some of that money would go towards overhead for abortions.

Here's a better question for you. You say that you don't want your money going to abortions. Let's assume that that's due any sort of deference, as if anyone could earmark their tax bill to fund only those government projects they support. But would you support cutting all Medicaid payments to any hospital or doctor's office or clinics that does even one abortion? If you wouldn't, why not? If you would, don't you see why in a democracy you are, to borrow Locke's phrase, forced to be free?

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767488)

As for cutting "women's health"... when you say women's health, you mean abortion. I do not want my tax dollars going to fund abortions. And even if my tax dollars do not go DIRECTLY toward abortions, if they pay the light bill, they are helping to pay for abortions.

I'm pretty sure when he says "women's health", he does not mean abortion.

As you're probably aware, the Hyde Amendment [wikipedia.org] prohibits the government from paying for abortions with federal funds.

Considering that abortions are such a small part of what Planned Parenthood does and that part is not paid for by federal dollars (and I imagine they even account for a portion of the electric bill (and any other similar expenses, such as rent, payroll, etc.) when they make sure that government funds do not pay for abortions), your desire to shut them down entirely (or defund them, anyways) seems to be about more than simply not letting your tax dollars fund abortions.

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767498)

when you say women's health, you mean abortion.

No, they mean general health services for women like cancer screening, birth control and information on/treatment for STDs. Less than 3% of Planned Parenthood's budget goes to abortion services, which includes counseling sessions about abortion that involve laying out a woman's other choices like adoption. When you attack PP, 97% of your attack is against run-of-the-mill medical care being made available to women who have difficulty getting it otherwise.

Re:not sure who they represent (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767110)

not sure who they represent

MAFIAA, defense industry, oil industry, ...

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

jmcoursi (586811) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767372)

I'm always surprised at the low percentage of people voting in the US. Democracy is founded on the idea that people vote; if you do not, don't complain. Don't resort to the tired old argument "They are all the same ". "They" are not. You have a vote, use it. You have the right to be a candidate, use it. Full disclosure : I am French. Now, Anonymous Coward, you can tell jokes about whining and surrendering :-)

Re:not sure who they represent (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767508)

You have surrendered to common sense. Properly standing up in a public forum about people whining they have no choice; and denigrating these people for surrendering their choices to suits. You whine about how few Americans vote; yet fail to take up arms to corral and herd these voters to the booth. You have surrendered your initiative to the insurmountable barriers of cost, lack of applicability to your life, and the lack of necessity to fulfill this mission. I expect less from the French; you disappoint my unrealistic expectations.

Awww ... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766860)

Without a government shutdown how will the media try to frighten the general public with predictions and assumptions? I'll tell you what the 'almost' shutdown did for the economy - it gave a whole lot of 'journalists' and people who blog something to blather about. It's all about ads and page views, people.

Re:Awww ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766996)

Fucking hell is blogging the centre of your universe? It was all a blogger's conspiracy?

Get a grip son.

Re:Awww ... (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767068)

Fucking hell is blogging the centre of your universe? It was all a blogger's conspiracy?

Get a grip son.

What?? Conspiracy? I think you're reading waaaay too much into what I said. The pending government shutdown was just the topic de jour and all the writers, big and small, try to flood the news feeds with their projections & proclamations about "how <insert topic here> will affect you" or "5 things you need to know about <insert topic here>", etc, etc.

I don't read blogs but I'm bombarded with their headlines and declarations that they know what's good for everyone. Just look at the news sites, feeds and aggregators - they're strewn with headlines trying to provoke clicks.

Re:Awww ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767324)

A couple days ago it sure looked a lot like the NFL labor situation, didn't it? I think the reason we got a different outcome is that NFL owners are famously thick-skinned and represent only themselves as businessmen, while politicians field calls from constituents, read the newspapers and check the polls on a regular basis. And they saw (particularly the Republicans) that shutting down the government was not in the best interest of their careers.

What happened was that Obama and Reid gave enough so that the Boehner and the Tea Party could declare victory without getting what they were holding out for. That could only happen on the last day. Obama didn't blink. I wouldn't necessarily say Boehner did either, because he probably got the best outcome for himself and the Republicans that was available.

Dang. (2)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766868)

Cancel the invasion, the government is still fully operational! It's a trap!!

Re:Dang. (5, Informative)

Almost-Retired (637760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767000)

No its not operational folks, its been broken, spending far more than they had for 40+ years now. This 37 billion they brag about cutting is equ to your cutting your weekly grocery budget of $100, by about .025 cents. That's 2.5 hundredths of a cent folks. What is really needed is to cut it by 20 or 30 bucks so there is something left to pay on the principle of our national debt. And even if they do manage that, the next 3 generations of working folks will never see the day where they don't owe 6 months worth of a years income just to pay the interest on this debt. That's pure BS folks, and even my great-grandchildren are old enough they can tell you that.

But its not going to get fixed without good people running for office, and a revolution in truth telling in the MSM so the sheeple are well enough informed that they will vote the good people into office. That's asking a lot, but its the only way it will get fixed without a lot of bloodshed.

Every time you catch the MSM in a lie, hold their supporting advertisers feet to the fire, it works, see the current Glenn Beck situation playing out as we watch.

Cheers, Almost-Retired out.

Re:Dang. (0)

Immortal Poet (1048010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767080)

Today's breathless response has been cut/pasted courtesy of the Tea Party.

Re:Dang. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767170)

Who are, once again, correct.

Re:Dang. (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767378)

Today's breathless response has been cut/pasted courtesy of the Tea Party.

Ad hominem: attacking the person instead of the argument. A form of this is reductio ad Hitlerum.

Now, why don't you try to argue some of his points.

Re:Dang. (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767214)

Start with "Defense" spending....

"According to figures Wheeler compiled for The Pentagon Labyrinth, the military’s base budget of $549 billion in 2011 is just the starting point for calculating military dollars. Adding in war spending ($159 billion), homeland defense ($44 billion), Veterans Affairs ($122 billion), interest on defense-related debt ($48 billion) and other items pushes the total to more than $1 trillion a year. In constant dollars, adjusted for inflation, the regular military budget, not including the add-ons, has doubled from a low of about $360 billion in 1998 to more than $739 billion in 2011. It’s so much money that, as the Bipartisan Policy report points out, by 2009 US spending on military research and development alone, about $80 billion, surpassed China’s entire military budget by more than $10 billion. The budget for the US Special Forces alone is greater than the total military spending of nearly 100 countries; overall, the United States spends about as much on defense as the rest of the world combined."

Why's this on Slashdot? How's it "news for nerds"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766880)

Why is this on Slashdot? How is it even "news for nerds"?

This is just general political news. There's really nothing technical about it. It has nothing to do with science. It has nothing to do with computing. It has nothing to do with science fiction. It has nothing to do with anything related to Slashdot.

If I wanted to read crap like this, I could go to CNN's web site.

My deficit reduction plan (2, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766884)

  1. Fire everybody
  2. Sell the buildings
  3. Go home

Re:My deficit reduction plan (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767092)

  1. Fire everybody
  2. Sell the buildings
  3. Go home

Um, won't all the stuff in the vending machines go bad if no one is there to buy them? Won't somebody thing of the vending machines!

Re:My deficit reduction plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767134)

If you want to live in a country without a government, may I suggest moving to Somalia. Government, for all it problems, is what makes civilised life possible.

Re:My deficit reduction plan (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767330)

Somalia is no longer stateless so your example isn't valid. However life in Somalia was steadily improving [peterleeson.com] after the government collapsed until foreign governments came along and propped up a new one.

Entertainment (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766896)

That was some fine Kabuki theater, next time I want to see the trial of blood: MUTAI !

I have absolutely no problems with govt shutdown (3, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766908)

However, it will be very equally applied. Congress doesn't get paid either--especially being that they're not doing their jobs anyway.

And when we shut it down, it gets shut down. That means no more bombs dropping in countries that don't need to be receiving our expensive military tech. It means no more funding for anything people depend on.

You know why this is important? So people revolt and get rid of Obama, all of the Democrats, and all of the Republicans, and all of the rest of the people who sit in Washington and twiddle their thumbs arguing over absolutely ridiculous crap all day.

It's time for change and since one man, who promised to bring it, couldn't. It's time for 300+ million of us to.

Re:I have absolutely no problems with govt shutdow (3, Informative)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766944)

Congress has to continue being paid according to the 27th Amendment, which prevents any law that varies the pay of members from taking effect until an election takes place. This is to keep them from engaging in any shenanigans with their own pay. If you allow them to suspend their pay between elections, you can bet that they're going to use that logic to increase their pay at some point in the future.

Re:Amendment (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766990)

That's awesome. They're crushing Amendments 1-10, but we have to believe in the sanctity of the 27th!

Re:Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767066)

Except for number 2, which apparently trumps all the others, despite being irrelevant in the modern age.

Re:Amendment (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767114)

That's awesome. They're crushing Amendments 1-10, but we have to believe in the sanctity of the 27th!

Let's see ... 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55, and since 27 is less than 55, well, 27 wins. Amendment math is just like golf - the lower score wins.

Re:Amendment (1)

Immortal Poet (1048010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767208)

Interesting fact! The 27th Amendment was actually proposed along with the original Bill of Rights in 1789. It's just that it took 203 years to ratify it.

Not like it means anything in particular, but of all the amendments to compare unfavorably to the Bill of Rights, you chose the one that was an original member of it.

Re:Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767504)

You've been ordered to quarter troops? Damn Democrats cramming their third amendment crushing bills into our gullets.

Re:I have absolutely no problems with govt shutdow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766994)

This might be an easier way [wikipedia.org]

Re:I have absolutely no problems with govt shutdow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767292)

I was wondering why this comment would be moderated 'funny' vs any of the other possibilities. Then I remembered some of the recurring stories [slashdot.org] of late.

captcha: explains

Re:I have absolutely no problems with govt shutdow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767478)

And replace it with what? Realistically? I don't see anyone capable of taking their place that is any better.

Bill hasn't passed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766912)

Only a one week stop gap to allow them to write the bill has passed. Once talk radio gets ahold of this on Monday I have to wonderif the Republicans will still have the vote needed for passage.

WoW $38 billion in cuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766914)

With over a $1.5 trillion deficit, congrats, you've just reduced the deficit by .025%. The coming forced austerity is going to be a lot worse than if Congress got it's head out of its ass and worked to cut the deficit.

Re:WoW $38 billion in cuts (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767402)

With over a $1.5 trillion deficit, congrats, you've just reduced the deficit by .025%. The coming forced austerity is going to be a lot worse than if Congress got it's head out of its ass and worked to cut the deficit.

Fixing our budget problems is easy.

1) Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. Title the sheet "Budget"
2) Under the left column list all absolutely necessary for government as spelled out by the Constitution (see 10th Amendment)
3) STOP

#3 is the most important part.

Unemployment (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766922)

I am employed by the Federal Gov't.

The last e-mail I got on Friday was explaining how and where to file for unemployment.

That is, the gov't was telling me how to get the gov't to pay me for NOT working because the gov't couldn't afford to pay me FOR working.

Is this a great country or what!

Re:Unemployment (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766970)

Y'all should consider gettin' in the not raisin' hogs [joke-archives.com] business.

Re:Unemployment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767008)

That's interesting since you wouldn't be unemployed enough to qualify for benefits. You wouldn't be terminated, you'd be furloughed. There's a huge legal difference, and if past shutdowns (there have been 17) were a guide you'd be paid retroactively.

Re:Unemployment (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767120)

Furloughed is a form of layoff, and that qualifies for unemployment. Just look at the history of manufacturing in the Midwest and all the layoffs at factories as examples.

One of the entertaining bits of trivia is most of the people who work in Washington, DC live in either Virginia or Maryland. However, you file for unemployment where you work, not where you live. It was the DC office that was going to get crushed with the load. (THEY posted a message saying they would be accepting applications ONLINE ONLY -- no walk-ins.)

Government shutdown is not to save money! (2)

WD (96061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767098)

You must realize that shutting down the government is not a money-saving act. It is actually much more expensive to shut down the government than to keep it running.

Re:Government shutdown is not to save money! (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767512)

That's sort of the point. From what was being said, it was primarily the GOP trying to abuse the budgeting process that was causing the trouble. Nearly all of the actual budget related negotiations had been completed, it was just ideological amendments which were holding it up. Things like preventing access to Planned Parenthood, cutting funds to regulate banks, cutting funds to enact the healthcare reform and reducing funds to NOAA and the EPA which were sticking points.

The actual amount of money there was paltry and the only reason why those things were being targeted was because they're politically unpopular with conservatives.

For all the obsession about balanced budgets you rarely, if ever, hear the GOP pushing plans which would actually do it. It's all about tax cuts for billionaires, increased government spending on programs they like, and cuts to programs that help low and middle class citizens survive.

Re:Unemployment (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767460)

hey, we've all been paying unemployment insurance taxes. Upon becoming effectively unemployed, we're just calling in for the benefit we've payed into. just like car insurance, life insurance, or short term disability insurance. Sure, the money's from the state and not a private actuarially minded firm, but so it goes.

Re:Unemployment (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767530)

What are you working for, Department of Corrections? What a disgusting place to work.

I am contracting for DHHS, and all we have got is excellent, albeit a little clueless, treatment.

Woo progress, not! (5, Informative)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766924)

This image says it all really - http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/2011-spending-trillion-cartoon.jpg [wordpress.com] . As an outsider looking in, it's obvious to me the government really needs to cut military funding. Our UK government has done. Apart from a cool info graphic on the NYT a few months back where you could pretend to make the necessary cuts yourself I've never see this mentioned anywhere else in the US media.

Re:Woo progress, not! (2, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767060)

You could eliminate the military and raise income taxes to 100% and still not balance the budget.

The 800lb gorilla of spending in the room is entitlements: social security, medicare and medicaid. If these programs aren't fixed and soon it will be too late.

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767160)

The rule of 72 is catching up with those programs. They can only double in size so many times before they would be larger than the known universe. Their growth will have to slow, pause, or reverse eventually and I doubt it will be nearly as dramatic as people think it will be.

Re:Woo progress, not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767184)

Social Security currently has a 2.6 trillion dollar surplus. Also, Social Security is self funded by FICA, not out of general tax revenue. Medicare could easily be fixed by going to a sane public health system like every other developed country (the US pays twice as much per capita for medical care than any other developed country).

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767476)

Social Security currently has a 2.6 trillion dollar surplus.

No, it has a filing cabinet with 2.6 trillion dollars of IOUs that can't be sold on the open market. It's also cash-flow negative as of last year.

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767458)

The 800lb gorilla of spending in the room is entitlements: social security, medicare and medicaid. If these programs aren't fixed and soon it will be too late.

Entitlements aren't the problem in 2011. Social Security is even in /surplus/ which means it's taking in more money from its dedicated taxes than it's paying out.

Entitlements -- specifically Medicare -- /will/ be the problem in a decade or two. If you make assumptions about this (costs keep going up by 10% forever, nobody ever votes to cut spending) sooner or later we go bankrupt. I suspect that some of those assumptions are stupid, sort of like assuming that my toddler will eventually starve us out of our house by projecting his appetite increase two decades forward and assuming that we will never, ever put him on a diet.

The thing most people fail to understand is there's nothing Congress can do about Medicare in 2011 that can't be undone in 2012/18/20. Similarly, if Medicare eats the budget in 2020, then the politicians of that time will have to deal with it. In fact, this is exactly what Spain just like had to do [reuters.com] . Ultimately when things really get dire is when politicians are willing to make unpopular decisions.

But in reality (meaning, the next ten years) we could get our budget back in balance just by getting out of the huge recession we're in, letting the Bush tax cuts expire as planned, and not passing any more 'doc fix' bills. In fact, the CBO says that if we did all of these things (basically, Congress just stops doing anything) we'd be fine for decades.

Will we do those things? Of course not. Doc fixes are popular --- but we could still pay for them with cuts to defense and higher taxes. And taxes must never go up. In fact the demagogues who are 'panicking' about entitlements (including Paul Ryan) are simultaneously asking for /more/ tax cuts aimed at the rich. That pretty much tells you how serious they are about the deficit.

All of this 'kill entitlements' nonsense is a distraction for the ignorant, designed cover up the fact that we could easily balance the budget again with a few tweaks --- but one of those tweaks is to let taxes go back to their 1990s levels. And certain politicians have signed pledges saying that they will not allow this to happen.

Re:Woo progress, not! (4, Informative)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767468)

No, it's Defense. As I pointed out above....

"According to figures Wheeler compiled for The Pentagon Labyrinth, the military’s base budget of $549 billion in 2011 is just the starting point for calculating military dollars. Adding in war spending ($159 billion), homeland defense ($44 billion), Veterans Affairs ($122 billion), interest on defense-related debt ($48 billion) and other items pushes the total to more than $1 trillion a year."

One trillion dollars, 2/3's of the entire deficit in one great big pile. That's more than the 2010 numbers for Medicare AND Medicade combined. That's more than Social Security AND the interest on the federal budget. Add it all up, and the US spends about as much on defense as the rest of the world combined.

We overpay for super-high-tech planes and ships that are so expensive, they can't even be sent into combat (B2, Virginia, littoral combat vessels). We can not afford this. Defense spending as a percentage of the GNP broke the USSR. It can break us.

But you got to love it when, instead, people latch onto "entitlements". SS needs work, but is it an "entitlement" to expect to collect some form of social security insurance after you've paid into the program for you entire life? Is it an entitlement to care for our sick and elderly, whom our health insurance compaines refuse to insure because doing so is too expensive? Or is it our responsibility?

Re:Woo progress, not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767074)

Except even if we cut the military funding to 0 we'd still have a deficit because of entitlements. The whole thing needs reformed, not just 1 piece of the pie.

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767152)

BUT BUT BUT WE'RE IN A RECESSION &&& HAVE TO DEFICIT SPEND!!!

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

pleasegetreal (744605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767294)

Taking advice from bankrupt European nation inhabitants is a sure winner! Thanks for your help! The basic problem is too much government spending overall, including the military which is a significant, but not the most significant percentage of the budget. Too many people expecting something for nothing and hoping to punish the productive sector of the population to get it. Politicians will promise anything to get elected, even if it bankrupts the country. The Democrats' natural constituencies are people who pay little or no federal tax, contribute nothing to job creation or investment and collect the preponderance of government giveaways. Fiscal responsibility is simply against the Democrats' self interest if they want to be re-elected, the country be damned in the long run.

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767316)

I liked the graphic. I agree military spending needs to be cut, but what you don't realize is that the military is one of the ONLY things our federal government is actually constitutionally allowed to spend money on. All the handouts and state bribes are not only killing us but they are not supposed to be a federal program anyway.

Re:Woo progress, not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767362)

it's obvious to me the government really needs to cut military funding. Our UK government has done.

Yes, America, copy the British cuts model! First, scrap all your aircraft, starting with the really expensive ones you just bought and all the ones that are capable of operating off aircraft carriers. For maximum benefit, do this immediately before embarking on a military campaign that would be best performed with aircraft carriers. Oh, and make sure you don't accidentally scrap all the aircraft carriers too! You only want to do that with the ones that are fully operational and working fine. If you're currently building new ones at prohibitive cost, keep right on doing that, with the intention of scrapping them after you finish building them.

This course of action will free up enough money for you to start work on the vital task of dismantling your country's public libraries, education system, healthcare, etc.

I never thought I'd say this, but Cameron and Clegg have actually managed to make me nostalgic for Blair and Brown.

Re:Woo progress, not! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767370)

This image says it all really - http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/2011-spending-trillion-cartoon.jpg [wordpress.com] . As an outsider looking in, it's obvious to me the government really needs to cut military funding. Our UK government has done. Apart from a cool info graphic on the NYT a few months back where you could pretend to make the necessary cuts yourself I've never see this mentioned anywhere else in the US media.

Assuming this [wikipedia.org] is accurate, US defense spending is on the order of $600 billion/year.

Which covers, oh, about 1/3 of the deficit.

Totally eliminating US defense spending wouldn't make one bit of difference as to whether or not the US goes broke. It'd only make it take a bit longer.

Sorry, but the US government has to cut ENTITLEMENTS to get control of spending. Either that, or go broke, wreck the biggest economy in the world, THEN cut entitlements because we're broke.

There go my plans for the weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766932)

I was hoping to finally have the opportunity to run up and down the halls of the Capitol Building naked. Dang.

cutting deficiet should be simple (3, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766954)

If this were not about a basic hatred for Obama and all he represents, cutting the deficiet should be simple.

Medicate Part D was never funded. That is $64B and growing, or probably close to a trillion dollars of deficiet spending over the next 10 years. Repeal it or fund it. Could save $30B in the current budget process.

The department of education has grown widely since 2000. End NCLB and other unfunded mandates that infringe on the states right to educate it's population. DOE in an advisory roll is fine and history tells us it can be funded without deficit spending. So cut it's budget, maybe $10b in the current budget process.

Department of homeland security has also always been funded by deficiet spending. Cut it. Return the decision making to the civil servants that actually work. The last thing we need is another administrative layer. If the Tea Party wants small governement, this is the place to start. If we want screeners and the like, put it under the other agencies and shift administrators from other less important projects. Saving in the current budget cycle may $10B.

That is our $50 in deficit spending. We could do $100B but that would require a cut to the military, which they have already said they can do because they admit they waste massive amounts of money, and a tax increase to cover war operations around the world. Ultimately Obama is going to have to do what Bush I did with Reagan tax cuts, which is to end the Bush II tax cuts. Can't do it untile 2012 budget cycle, but much of the projected deficit comes from them.

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (2)

jmtpi (17834) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766980)

Not sure about your other points, but the point about eliminating the Bush tax cuts is on the money:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/how-to-halve-the-deficit-by-doing-nothing/2011/03/25/AFXb0RoB_blog.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767180)

At least until then a lot of the money saved on taxes will go where it's needed, Switzerland, Cayman Islands, ...

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767412)

no9, you fucking idiot, it gets invested, in bonds. What are bonds? Well, there are two types ... corporate borrowing and government borrowing. Go9vernment bo9rrowing is static, so not a big factor. Look now at corporate borrowing. That's how they get money to grow operations to make more money. That means, shithead, that they hire more people, which is what you want to see. When you cut taxes on rich people, they don't put the money in a bank and lose it to inflation in savings accounts. They either invest it in real estate, stocks or bonds. Mostly bonds. So, these rich people you hate, when they get a tax cut, have more money, which they buy bonds with. Since there's more money available, more bonds get written, more money gets borrowed, and companies hire more people. This is a good thing, unless your next election depends on poor people voting for democrats.

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767518)

So, these rich people you hate, when they get a tax cut, have more money, which they buy bonds with. Since there's more money available, more bonds get written, more money gets borrowed, and companies hire more people

Except that the rich don't necessarily buy bonds in companies that have any operations where you live. Why invest in America when investing in China and India gets better returns?

Re:tax cuts (2, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767034)

(Rhetorical)
Nah, keep the tax cuts. Just pulverize the military. Do the whole Cardassians Left Bajor thing and we can use the pantheon of DS9 to guide us through the mess. (/Rhetorical)

No? See, that's the deadliest political trap of all, the one the Republicans built their party on - "We'll have fun giving people tax cuts and we'll make the Democrats clean up the mess!" Then the Masses don't understand why things are so tough, and they elect in more Republicans who "ease the burdens of sacrifice" with more tax cuts.

Re:tax cuts (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767318)

No? See, that's the deadliest political trap of all, the one the Republicans built their party on - "We'll have fun giving people tax cuts and we'll make the Democrats clean up the mess!" Then the Masses don't understand why things are so tough, and they elect in more Republicans who "ease the burdens of sacrifice" with more tax cuts.

And here I thought we should be discussing the Democrats' favorite game: adding new things the government does FOR you without raising taxes to pay for them (or cooking the books the way they did with Obamacare - thought it was clever that they added trillions in new spending on that one, but the spending doesn't kick in till after Obama is out of office, and not responsible for finding the money to pay for it)....

Re:tax cuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767474)

Except that DHS,Medicare D, DOE funding increases were all pushed by repub legislators and signed repub president, and don't even star us on bailout deficit spending.

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (2)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767052)

wow, no cuts to the military? Your assessment is ridiculous. You don't fight wars shooting goat herders in Afghanistan and Iraq when you cannot afford it.

This is not about hating Obama (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767442)

but if it is hating what he represents then I say " HELL YEAH "

The current budget is EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTY SIX BILLION DOLLARS higher than Bush's last year in office. This is what Obama represents to me. He got in under the guise of change, no more Washington as usual. Well he did give us change, change in the wrong direction.

He was offering no cuts during this process, he was offering platitudes and misdirecting public anger at the process by claiming Republicans were only interested in cutting if they could hurt people. Completely dishonest in the whole. Reid and Pelosi, two Congressmen that should have been taken to the woodshed for skipping out on their lawful requirement to have had this budget passed LAST YEAR. They didn't because they didn't want to be honest with the American people. Apparently the Democratic party is about. Without an official budget they didn't have to declare anything. They could just ad hoc fund what they wanted making it near impossible for the American people to understand what money was being spent on.

Would we miss the D. of Ed? Probably not, it has overseen no improvement in education since its founding under Carter. Can we afford to cut the defense budget, CERTAINLY. Why are we defending Europe? Let alone trying to fight three wars? Why do we need so many floating targets; carriers? Take the money from ridding us of the DOE and give it to states as block grants. Let them meet standards set but without the government finding eighty ways to do the same thing and getting nothing done. The D. of Energy ain't far behind.

The amount of money they are talking about cutting is less than the INTEREST we are paying this year on the Federal Deficit. Congressman Ryan at least has made a real attempt at righting this government. They question is, can he do it? Will it take a Tea Party organization or similar to push Congress to do what is right? Where is the Left's equivalent of the Tea Party, a group trying to get government out of our lives and back into serving the people instead of controlling them?

As for tax cuts. This problem cannot be fixed by ending the "Bush tax cuts". We can tax every dollar made by people over 250,000 a year and still not get the deficit down by half. Does that give anyone a clue as to the problem? It is all about spending. We already bring in more taxes than we should yet we spend more as deficit spending than some other G7 countries spend correctly.

Re:cutting deficiet should be simple (5, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767454)

Department of homeland security has also always been funded by deficiet spending. Cut it. Return the decision making to the civil servants that actually work. The last thing we need is another administrative layer. If the Tea Party wants small governement, this is the place to start. If we want screeners and the like, put it under the other agencies and shift administrators from other less important projects. Saving in the current budget cycle may $10B.

I still don't understand why we need two departments for Defense and Homeland Security. Isn't that redundant? I mean except for the fact that our Defense is actually Offense. Maybe if we renamed the Department of Defense back to the Department of War and renamed the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Defense we would have an accurate picture.

Sideshow is over (1)

jmtpi (17834) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766956)

Now let the real fight, over the 2012 budget, start.

The problem with all of these proposals is that nobody can get over ideology enough to actually hammer out how to solve fiscal problems. This fight got stuck on a piddling amount of money for Planned Parenthood. There was also a bunch of wrangling about the EPA.

I expect more of the same when it comes to arguing about the Ryan plan. He's started things in the wrong direction already, by wanting to cut taxes on the rich and turn Medicare into a block grant program. And all of the really ugly details ala Planned Parenthood and the EPA aren't even in his proposal. He just says that discretionary spending is going to be cut, but doesn't say how. So there will be more fights like we just saw.

Re:Sideshow is over (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767006)

I understand the sentiment - if people have a moral objection to abortion, they shouldn't be forced to pay for it out of their taxes. As it turns out, I have this moral objection to war, you see...

Re:Sideshow is over (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767526)

A smokescreen. Planned Parenthood was already prohitbited from spending federal money on abortion.

Besides, cutting birth control options for low-income groups just means more mouths to feed later on... stupid.

TERM LIMITS. (5, Interesting)

Moderator (189749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766976)

If this isn't a strong case for term-limits, I don't know what is. The FY2011 budget took SO LONG to pass because IT WAS AN ELECTION YEAR and Americans were starting to worry about defaulting on their national debt. Are we really so stupid to believe that in a nation of 300 million people, it takes the same small group of elite warmongers to pass our laws year after year? Many congressmen have been there so long, they are rolling in their own shit. With term limits at least, there is the fresh flow of ideas every election cycle. There is also incentive to do well...with a 6x2 cycle for representatives (6 2-year terms, max) and a 2x6 cycle for senators with the requirement that they first served in the House, there is more incentive for aspiring first-time Representatives to appease their constituents (geographic, not party) so that they can "upgrade" to a Senate seat (and later, the presidency).

It's okay though. Looks like we are going to default on our debt sometime within my lifetime. There's no way out at this point. In the meantime, continue to spend, spend, spend. Let's get that new infrastructure (new bridges, roads, high-speed internet) built for the NEXT government. Maybe then we'll get it right with Term Limits.

Re:TERM LIMITS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767356)

Umm...we will never be forced to default on our debt. We can print dollars in any quantity we want. If we default, it will be by choice.

Now, we can't *also* avoid the rampant inflation caused by printing too many dollars, but we won't be forced into default....

Well, there goes that idea for improving America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766978)

Maybe if the government did shut down, people would actually be able to get some shit *done*.

Model of Bipartisan cooperation? (1, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766988)

[Obama] praised the [budget] deal as a model of bipartisan cooperation.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/04/09/congress.budget/index.html?iref=NS1 [cnn.com]

If this whole budget fiasco, in which hundreds of thousands of Americans were put in jeopardy over something that should have been taken care of weeks if not months ago instead literally at the very last minute is a model of how our government wants issues taken care of, then we have a big problem. This is basically confirming that Washington prefers politics to people. Our country can not afford to have our elected representatives playing chicken with anything, let alone something as important as the budget. Stop trying to make the other guy look bad, stop pandering to your donors and special interests, and just get the god damn job done. You're supposed to be helping this country, not holding it hostage.

Only $1,230,000,000,00 to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766998)

The numbers are staggering. They cut about $30 billion but the deficit for the year is stil 1.2 TRILLION! Now not all has to be cut, they could raise taxes or bet on an improving economy which generates more tax revenue but something has to be done. ~$30,000,000,000 isn't going to cut it (pardon the pun)

Parties are for colleges (4, Insightful)

spaceman375 (780812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767018)

"That's how things work in a representative government." No, that's how things work in a schizophrenic government. Nowhere in the constitution is power over the government given to political parties. They were invented solely for overcoming slow communications and lack of education during elections. We have significantly improved both. Yet our "representatives" do not represent us at all; they vote according to who they party with rather than in the interests of their constituencies. You've heard the phrase "across the aisle." What it refers to is the fact that senators and representatives do not sit with others from their own state - they sit in two big camps of Democrats vs. Republicans. They should be forced to sit by state and to completely deny any party affiliation once they are elected. Right now most of a politician's time is spent trying to thwart the efforts of half the government. It's a wonder we get anything done at all the way this beast keeps tearing at itself.

Re:Parties are for colleges (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767416)

Sept. 10, 2001 Donal Rumsfeld announced 2.3 trillion dollars of pentagon spending was unaccounted for. A very clear act of taxation without representation.
Representation does not mean having some fool liar claiming they represent you nor does it say you agree with what ever they do once they are in office.
Representation means accountability to those paying for the public service of the elected.

The real scope is not the Tea Party political group joke, but the historical event of the conception of this country. The Boston Tea Party that was throwing off government. And as such we have the Declaration of Independence spelling out our rights and our duty as US Citizens, to put off such rouge government. It even provides real life example.

The Current Government is Rouge, many in it don't even know the contents of the Founding Documents of this Country. Those documents being the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But they do know how to lie, twist and make up laws to fit their desires and manipulate people instead.

The Government was never close to shutting down, it was all a play to try and make the people feel ok about losing even more of the values they pay for and expect from government, while the Government instead proceeds to support increases in the already over 50 percent of tax payer dollars, the funding of the military industrial complex.

Why do we need to be spending 47% of world defense spending, over 60% when adding in allies, against the less than 40% divided among many small and or poor countries defense spending?

We the people, don't need it! This year there will be 7 billion people on this planet of which its some fraction of 1% causing problems and expense for the rest of us.
Its all simple math that shows a psychological deficiency in government regarding ethic and morals while having a delusional sense of destructive military power.
Proof: http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/TLSF/theme_a/mod02/www.worldgame.org/wwwproject/index.shtml [unesco.org] with the question, why is this not happening when its clear it will reduce and even remove motives for war.

What may (or not) appear to be a decrease in military budget is actually an increase when taken in full scope of where percentages of tax payer dollars are going
FDR and Kennedy both warned us about this and so have others.

There's worse (2)

pep939 (1957678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767050)

...just come to Belgium. We have no government since 300 days and counting, 3 unhappy language communities and a shitload of compromises.

Re:There's worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767320)

Plus you're Belgian!

Such leadership! (2)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767126)

Such leadership! Even if they had agreed to slash the budget by 50%, it would only take us back to the level of spending of the Clinton administration [ucsb.edu] . But no, they only managed to agree to $38 billion in spending reductions - about 1% of total outlays.

With leaders like this, we just as well jump off the cliff ourselves.

There is one happy party in this... (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767194)

The military industrial complex. As they are still way over funded.
US spends 47% of all world defense spending. Over 60% if you include allies spending, leaving less than 40% divided among many small and or poor countries. So what do we really need this abusive defense spending really for? Defense against what and who?

Are the personal domestic economies really such a national threat?
Or are they just a threat to the military delusions of power elitism?

Government (2, Insightful)

rogerdugans (902614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767218)

The US government is based on one idea nowadays:
Government of the people by the government, for the government.

They do what they do to stay in power.

While it is true that ultimately the people DO have the ability to replace the government, in practice this would be hard to achieve- everything is set up to maintain the status quo.
And most of the Money in the US likes the status quo: they get still more money.
The largest cooperative groups in the US are the "scary people"- the religious conservatives and corporate entities that continue to make more money. The religious groups have been catered to by a large number of politicians in order to gain/retain the political clout and the corporations have funded the same politicians to continue to receive tax breaks and federal policies that allow them to make still more money.

The PEOPLE in the US are a fractured group, many of whom are so busy simply believing what the Talking Heads say (even when contradicting themselves) that they can not get past pre-conceived ideas that are not based on facts. The PEOPLE in the US are therefore unable to exert much real influence on real issues- every time we get close a topic that is truly silly will be brought up to de-focus attention from important subjects.

Our government is rarely able to accomplish anything meaningful FOR the people of the US and this will continue as long as so many citizens believe that things like gay marriage, presidential infidelity or building a physical fence along our borders are truly important agenda items.

Wake up, America.

Yay math! (2)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767234)

So, if we assume that deficit spending is really a problem then what this does is cut 39 billion from a projected deficit of 1.7 trillion. That is 2.3% of the deficit taken care of.

So they are congratulating themselves for dealing with 2.3% of the problem. And to get this trivial "win" they had to threaten to "shut down the government".

They will have to forgive me if I taken all of them a bit less than seriously.

I don't think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35767268)

that any reasonable or rational person was HOPING for a government shutdown. Only the two-tailed 5% of crazies that occupy the rabid left- and right-wing who demand everything and accept no compromises would hope for it. Unfortunately these are the folks that get most of the attention.

That said, passing a balanced budget and term limit amendment would go far in promoting financial solvency and removing career politicians and lobbyists. At least there would be a fighting chance at really prioritizing spending. Of course they always have the opportunity for off budget spending (trillion dollar wars etc)

So it goes (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35767514)

As a Kurt Vonnegut fan, my first question was "Who died?"

Then I saw what programs were getting cut drastically, and the answer is abundantly clear: poor people and old people.

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