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A lean but VERY mean budget

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About the $388 billion bill — a monument to the GOP’s raw power controlling the White House and Congress.

Lawmakers supported funding cuts for:

Here are some examples of items added to the new budget:

  • Mariachi music in Nevada ($25,000)
  • A historic cafeteria building in Alabama ($8 million)
  • American Cotton Museum in Texas ($200,000)
  • Exemption of large livestock and dairy farms from some environmental laws
  • Exemption of pesticide users from Endangered Species Act
  • Possible authorization for drilling in protected areas in Alaska
  • Reclassifying Georgia’s Cumberland Island as “non-wilderness”
  • Scales back college grants for hundreds of thousands of low-income students ($300 million)
  • Buy back of the former presidential yacht, Sequoia. ($2,000,000)
  • $225,000 to study catfish genomes at Alabama’s Auburn University
  • $800 billion increase in the government’s borrowing limit

Even the president got his programs whacked.

  • Request for development of new nuclear weapons was rejected (Good idea)
  • His budget for the AmeriCorps volunteer program was sliced 12 percent
  • $2.5 billion he wanted to aid countries adopting democratic practices was slashed by $1 billion

Other outrageous stories for your enlightenment:

Among the 11,700 pork barrel projects packed into the new spending bill: $45,000 for an “A+ for Abstinence” program in Pennsylvania, $250,000 for “asparagus technology”.

From The Sun Times:

“Despite complaints the bill was too stingy, most Democrats supported it. They helped write it and included many projects for themselves. They knew the alternative — holding spending to last year’s levels — would be $4 billion tighter.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) said the bill “falls so far from meeting our investment obligations for the future that it could only be brought to the floor by the majority party after the election.”

Now, lets reassess the money spent in Iraq so far and the benefits shall we?

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  • Mel

    I visited the primary links provided, I suppose, in support for the “funding cuts” portion of the argument made here. Though the list shows the EPA as cut, one of the links says:

    “The Environmental Protection Agency grew by 3.5 percent.”

    Further, I couldn’t find any significant mention of how a given budget sector was “cut” by a specific percentage relative to spending in recent fiscal years. Are some of these “cuts” simply more examples of decrease in the rate of acceleration? To my mind budgeting an amount lower than that proposed by Bush or some committee does not constitute a cut. A pie-in-the-sky is proposed and then the eventual numbers depart from that, but a cut can only be relative to previous years’ actual budget. To say that “we need 10% more for special ed” and then receive “only” the same amount as last year, and then try to call this a “cut” is to play the Orwellian game we’ve come to expect from the Dems. Does make a great headline: “Repubs cut funding for liberal sacred cow”, but how often do we find the article completely fails to support the contention? How often? As often as the Dems and the mainstream media deem necessary.

  • I apologize for the error with the EPA item. I can’t seem to find any documentation on that entry so I have removed it from the post. Here is a link to more documention on the cuts.

    Click Here

    I just don’t see any room to cut in education for anyone EVER, and I don’t see reason to ever cut from science , the environment, air travel safety, etc. Especially when increases to NASA replace these expenditures. I guess increases in Health and housing are justified though. Here is an extended list of the pork….

    The $388 billion spending bill that cleared Congress on Saturday and will head to President Bush for his signature has 11,772 earmarked special projects totaling $15.8 billion, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. Among them:

    $25,000 for the study of mariachi music in Nevada’s Clark County School District.
    $225,000 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in South Carolina.
    $1 million for the Missouri Pork Producers Federation to convert animal waste into energy.
    $75,000 for renovating the Merry Go Round Playhouse in Auburn, N.Y.
    $100,000 for a weather museum in Punxsutawney, Pa.
    $800,000 for “soybean rust research” in Ames, Iowa.
    $75,000 for “hides and leather research” in Wyndmoor, Pa.
    $1,593 for potato storage in Madison, Wis.
    $1 million for a world birding center, Texas.
    $150,000 to pay for beaver management and damage in Wisconsin.
    $200,000 for the American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas.
    $100,000 for a swimming pool in Ottawa, Kan.
    $70,000 for a “Paper Industry International Hall of Fame” in Appleton, Wis.
    $1.5 million for the Rep. Richard Gephardt Archive at the Missouri Historical Society.
    $2 million for the government to buy back the presidential yacht USS Sequoia, sold in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to demonstrate frugality.

  • If you are going to be critical of the budget, you better come up with some things that cost one hell of a lot more than $8.913 million dollars.

    That is only 0.00297% of the overall budget.

    By comparison, I found that we have a prison rape prevention program that costs $37,000,000 per year. People deserve to be safe in prison, but 37,000,000 for rape prevention? Even if we spend that much on it, why does it need its own category in the budget? Does it have a commissioner who runs the program and gets paid a salary?

    When looking at these massive budgets I am looking mostly for wastes, like a doubling of efforts or too much overhead. Picking on 1500 for potato storage in Wisconsin is a waste of your reading time in a 388 billion dollar budget.

  • bhw

    How about the war in Iraq? Is that included in the spending bill/budget?

  • Yeah, I guess the war in Iraq is an underlying element of this entry. We have to sacrifice so much for our efforts in Iraq. The war is probably half to blame for our current debt and it is growing daily. I for one believe that we are not doing the right thing and it has and will cost us more than we know. That is another discussion for another day though. Actually, I think that discussion is dead…

  • Not impressed with the “cuts” or the show of GOP power. A show of power would have been to pass a 20% cut across the board. That would take courage and fortitude, though.

    Since I am a fiscal conservative, I want to see bottom line decreases in spending, and this bill actually *increases* spending by $4 billion, according to the Sun Times article referenced. There may be things for Democrats to complain about, since spending is only up marginally, but it is up, so I’m complaining.

    When 11,000+ pork items can be identified, the chainsaws have been left in the tool shed and the penknife used for the handful of items cut.

    This was a show of an unwillingness to really do the job.