Archive for spending cuts

Cheney's Big Bang Theory - 'The Military Hypocrisy Protocol'

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Cheney

Above is the cover for the upcoming book called, The Hypocrites Handbook. The author is the man who unintentionally makes me laugh more than anyone else, former Vice President, Dick Cheney.  Nixon may have been known as Tricky Dick, but Cheney, as Jon Stewart reveals, is just plain Dick. And if you've got a few minutes and missed this clip from last night, you'll kick yourself for not watching it now.

When's a Dick really a "dick?" When his name is Dick Cheney.

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CBO: Sequester cuts would cost up to 1.6 million jobs through 2014. Cancel sequester? ADD 300K-1.6 million.

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told you so meter

Dear GOP:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated that keeping the spending cuts from sequestration in place through fiscal 2014 would cost up to 1.6 million jobs.

Canceling the cuts, on the other hand, would yield between 300,000 to 1.6 million new jobs, with the most likely outcome being the addition of 900,000, the CBO said. [...]

“This kind of information should be something that shakes people up a little bit and forces them to recognize the human toll,” Van Hollen said of the CBO report.

Love, The Hill

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GOP hates spending, so Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) intros bill to boost Pentagon war spending by $5 billion

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spend money guy

Via

Watch as Senate Democrats point at laugh at the House Armed Services panel's Defense authorization bill that would hike Pentagon spending by $5 billion.

Because, see, what we need now is to pour more cash into the Afghanistan war, which is exactly what Chairman Buck McKeon's (R-Calif.) legislation would do. Republicans want to "make up for cuts to training and maintenance" due to that thing we all love to hate called "sequestration."

Yes, the party that hates spending wants to spend-- spend-- an additional five. Billion. Dollars.

The Hill:

The sweeping Pentagon policy bill pushes back on a number of administration proposals and priorities.

The measure includes restrictions on transferring Guantánamo detainees to the United States, which President Obama proposed to re-start last month as he looks to close the prison. The bill also included funding for new barracks at Guantánamo to replace temporary facilities.

The committee rejected base closures and new healthcare fees for a second straight year, and also said no to a smaller pay raise for troops... On sexual assault, an issue that has generated a host of attention in recent weeks, the bill strips commanders’ ability to overturn guilty verdicts and establishes minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault cases.

It does not, however, go as far as some lawmakers are proposing to remove the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases from the chain of command.

Did I say that thing we all love to hate is called "sequestration"? I meant "the GOP."

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Privatizing cops: Because of budget cuts, "even police protection is more accessible to those with cash."

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privatization

Economic experts, and the president of the United States, have been emphasizing stimulus spending, not austerity, to get us out of the Big Recession mess BushCo created. But Republicans have insisted on cut after cut after cut.

All those Big Bad Government Jobs that the GOP keeps wailing about? Those include police officers, the very men and women who, you know, protect us from the "bad guys with guns." So cities and towns all over America are slashing their police forces because of deep budget cuts, the ones that have proved disastrous time after time.

The result isn't pretty, but it's what Republicans strive for: Privatization. It's creeping up on us and that's just what those on the right want: They salivate over crushing unions (a major source of funding for Democrats) and before we realize what's been happening, they're transforming the valuable public services we treasure and so badly need and depend on into profit-making machines that cater only to those who can afford them.

Welcome to GOP CorporateWorld.

Via the L.A. Times:

As police focus more on responding to crime rather than preventing it, private detectives and security firms are often taking on the roles that police once did, investigating robberies, checking out alibis, looking into threats.

Swell. Because of those pesky budget cuts, people are now turning to detectives, security firms and the *gasp!* Internet for protection, investigative talent, and more.

Of course, not everyone can afford private police help.

ding ding dingGet the picture?

It's another facet of how income inequality is playing out in America — as cities are forced to cut their budgets, even police protection is more accessible to those with cash.

ding!

Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the author of 13 books on policing:

Inequality has always been present: Millionaires hire bodyguards, rich neighborhoods pay for private security patrols. But this budget crisis makes the difference even more pronounced...

ding clang

Remember the uproar over Blackwater aka Xe aka Academi, the private military company and security consulting firm? Wiki:

[It is] currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors. Academi provided diplomatic security services in Iraq to the United States federal government on a contractual basis.[1]

That uproar was for a reason. This is not to say that private security firms will become havens for Blackwater-type thugs, that isn't my point. Privatization is my point.

Remember the uproar by Republicans over any kind of federal oversight ever in the history of ever?

Me too.

Can you afford $150 an hour? I can't. If trends like this continue, we the people, we the little guys, are screwed.

This cannot end well.

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CHART-- Memo to GOP: Spending cuts SHRINK the economy, undermine growth. Oh, and the U.S. added jobs in January.

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shrinkage smaller

chart spending cuts shrink economy

Via Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog.
The red columns show the economy under the Bush administration; the blue columns show the economy under the Obama administration.

For the first time in years we're seeing a slight contraction in economic growth. Here is an email alert from the New York Times from this morning:

The United States economy contracted unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2012, hurt by weaker exports, a drop in military spending and a slower buildup in inventories.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that economic output in the quarter fell at an annual rate of 0.1 percent, compared with growth at a 3.1 percent pace in the third quarter.

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/business/economy/us-economy-unexpectedly-contracted-in-fourth-quarter.html?emc=na

Now before everyone panics, Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog notes that this is not necessarily evidence of a new recession, and on the whole, the report really isn't that bad.

But that won't stop Republicans from playing the Blame Obama game. Did I mention that, per a Fox Business email alert, the ADP National Employment Report shows the U.S. private sector added 192,000 jobs in January, topping estimates of 165,000?

Via Benen:

I realize the right doesn't want to hear or believe this, but when Washington spends far less -- in this case, the cuts focused on defense -- it takes capital out of the economy and undermines growth. It is, as a practical matter, a form of austerity, which hits the brakes on the economy. This is Economics 101 and yet Republicans continue to insist that it is the only policy they really care about.

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