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November 21, 2006


Isn't it preferable to have the new Congress making these decisions? I realize they may have to make cuts, but given the spending on defense that already passed and the fact that cuts were going to be have to made anyway -- isn't it preferable to have Democrats making them? (Even if not preferable politically.)

Is all of that difference going to have to be made up in domestic cuts, or can some of it be handled by undoing Bush's tax cuts?

It has to be made up by cuts, if the Dems are serious about wanting a return to strict PAYGO rules. The Dems said they wouldn't raise middle-class taxes, in fact they want to lower them (AMT especially). They won't raise tax rates right away because that just plays into the GOP talking points that Dems want to raise taxes.

Besides, that takes much longer to negotiate, unless it is a specific tax, like the breaks the oil companies got. That might do it, but it also complicates the process.

All things being equal yes, one would want the Dems controlling the budget. But they had other things in mind for the first 100 hours, and this unnecessarily complicates the picture.

What the GOP did the last 4 years was to impose across-the-board cuts in all domestic programs instead of cutting specific programs, reducing the Senate-passed appropriations for all departments by 1.1%. These cuts are in addition to the cuts already made in some programs.

cue the recess appointments, stage left...

Get used to it.

Mimikatz, you mention cuts. Are they really cuts meaning spending less than the previous year or cutting the growth rate of spending increases.

The Repubs have clearly demonstrated that they are a party of playing politics and not governing and this is another classic example. They'll continue to do what they always do - play politics and soundbites - which they are very good at. The Dems will no doubt have to act and will act. The next 2 years will be rather heated on these spending issues and there will be confrontation with Bush as all he'll care about is spending on Iraq, intelligence black programs and stuff that helps his buddies. As long as the Chinese are happy buying treasuries they can increase the debt further and that will happen. But I am optimistic that the Dems will start to re-orient priorities and provide more economic fairness while battling the borrow and spend Administration and Repubs to reduce the growth rate in debt and deficits.

The biggest challenge is going to come if a recession hits and tax revenues come in below projections. The smart thing for the Dems is to make a major effort in cutting corporate welfare and all those nifty loopholes for the top 1% and corporations. I believe the new Dem crew with the likes of Jim Webb will examine why 40 out of the Fortune 500 don't pay any taxes yet have money for stock buybacks.

This is good news. For the past two years, Republicans (and Blue Dog Dems) have been trying to pass the National Uniformity for Food Act. This would preempt all state laws that pertain to food safety and labelling. It is a gift to the National Grocers Association.

The bill passed the house, but ran out of time in the Senate this year. The great fear was that it would be tacked onto one of the omnibus un-filibusterable appropriations bills.

To the extent the Republicans' attempt to sabotage the 100 hours means this horrible bill dies, I'm absolutely delighted.

kaleidescope is correct

just one of many terrible riders that would get stuffed into the appropriations bills in the Senate

It may also gove the Dems the chance to cut out all the earmarks.

I think that some of these are actual cuts. Some domestic programs, such as those for poorer people, are actually getting cut to pay for the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq War.

Ha ha. "Get used to it." As if 40 years' experience preceeding the retarded rubber stamp Politburo had no bearing.

Oh no, Miss Jodi! Please don't make us govern!

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