House passes spending bill
by Linda Beale
House passes spending bill
While the Senate was wrangling over what of the noxious provisions in HR 3630 they would have to keep in order to get expanded unemployment compensation and a payroll tax cut, the House passed a spending bill 296-121 (with 147 Republicans and 149 Democrats in favor) to carry the government through September 2012. Steinhauer & Pear, Senate Leaders Agree to a Two Month Extension of the Payroll Tax Cut, New York Times (Dec. 16, 2011).
The GOP strategy is to obstruct and demand–one right-wing idea after another is inserted into every bill, just so the Dems will think they have won something when they give the Republicans ten things instead of 100!
As wrangling over the tax has continued, Republican leaders have sought to build support for the measure by adding conservative policy provisions, which have replaced earmarks as the legislative sweetener for Republican lawmakers in a Congress where fundamental differences about the role of government in American life deeply divide the parties.
That conflict, which mirrors the broader political dynamic across the country, is unlikely to ebb in the second session, as Republicans labor to make life more difficult for President Obama and Democrats struggle to hold the White House and the Senate. Id.
The spending bill isn’t much better. See Sonmez, Government Funding Bill That Will Avert Shutdown Passed by House, Washington Post Blog, Dec. 16, 2011; Steinhauer & Pear, Senate Leaders Agree to a Two Month Extension of the Payroll Tax Cut, New York Times (Dec. 16, 2011). Defense gets $518 billion and military gets a 1.6% pay raise. (Remember that this same house in HR 3630, the unemployment extension bill, wanted to freeze all federal workers’ pay for another year, and require greater retirement contributions, among other stingy things for ordinary people.)
In line with the GOP’s anti-regulations ploy, the House bill makes it harder for the government to regulate marketing for food targeted at kids–now there has to be a cost-benefit analysis. Regretably, cost-benefit analysis is one of those “economics”-based policy ideas that essentially favors the retention of the status quo: any regulation will cost businesses something (restrained marketing to kids costs junk food businesses a whole sector of potential targets, er, customers), and the business world portrays the benefit of healthy food or less exploited kids as miniscule compared to the wonders of their profits and what that can do for society (the wealthy will get wealthier, no doubt).
The House doesn’t care much for ordinary people. Low-income heating assistance spending will be cut compared to last year and the National Institutes for Health will be barely increased. The GOP is placing its moral oprobrium of gays in the limelight by prohibiting health money from being used in needle exchange programs, which have been shown to be effective in curbing the spread of AIDS. Obama’s education initiative is cut 20%–in spite of the fact that education is key to economic growth and the development of human capital.
crossposted with ataxingmatter
Yea, and they raise the military 1%! Idiots!
Pell Grants to students have been reduced in this legislation. About 100,000 students will lose elligibility. Many more will have to consider dropping out or cutting back on classes because they will lose grant money–I understand that only students whose parents earn under $23,000/year will avoid cuts. Maybe somebody can tell me why this is a good thing for our country.
As my sociology professor used to say, there is no more dissatisfied group in America than college graduates. You don’t want a large group of young, disaffected college graduates who are out of work. They might try to overturn the established order. In the words of Roger Freeman, who worked for both Nixon and Reagan: “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. That’s dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education.”
However, you cannot increase the number of military families on food stamps, it would make the big wigs profitting from hugely expensive weapons that work like the F-35, antsy.
The pentagon’s $518B appropriation is for Jan through Sep 2012!! Actually will approach $780B in 2012 fiscal year.
HASC Mckeon and SASC Sen Kyl are squalking about reneging on the August debt reduction deal, sequestering war spending.
Cutting 15% from the war machine is draconian, but will keep a large part of the 40% increase enjoyed by war profiteers since 2001.
And don’t get started on the China (Ukraine) aircraft carrier satellite imagery, it has no airplanes and no one shows satellite images of India’s operating aircraft carrier flying MiGs nor any ship yard photos of India’s two indigenous carriers a 40000 tonner due in 2014 and a 65000 tonner due in 2017.
We should recall that when recruiting was tough to find soldiers to go to Iraq and Afghanistan the military retirement system was enhanced to be a good as the old one during the draft, and medical care for life was added to military retirement benefits.
there is plenty of room for college graduates. they can join the expanding class of college middle managers.
and as far as that goes, you can have hundreds of millions of college graduates without having an educated proletariat.
i suspect… mind you i know nothing… that support for college education is drying up because either “it didn’t work” or we have reached a point where we don’t need to keep the kids off the streets working hard to “succeed.”
i don’t know what the answer is. i like the idea of education, but i didn’t see any evidence of it when i was in college.