Thomas R. Eddlem
The compromise fiscal 2011 budget resolution Congress passed April 14, which awaits President Obama's signature, boasted some $38 billion in "cuts" that were just gimmicks and would increase spending overall, according to analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
Congressional and White House negotiators reached a deal in the early morning hours of April 9 to keep the federal government open one more week until Congress can pass a year-end appropriations compromise that would increase — yes, increase! — the annual deficit from last year's $1.29 trillion to $1.58 trillion for fiscal 2011. Republican and Democratic leaders touted the "cuts" in the bill because the proposed $1.58 trillion deficit in the compromise is lower than the $1.65 trillion deficit that would have resulted from passage of the White House budget proposal.
The federal government may endure a partial shutdown some time after midnight Friday, April 8 because House Republicans can not come to agreement on spending levels for the rest of the fiscal year with Senate Democrats and President Obama. But what is the disagreement over?
Former U.S. Army Lieutenant and lawyer Brandon Mayfield may be the Patriot Act’s most prominent innocent victim. The federal government imposed warrantless surveillance and a “sneak-and-peek” search of his home upon the innocent U.S. citizen and Muslim convert and arrested him on a “material witness” warrant, even though officials never intended to have him testify in court. In fact, Mayfield was under investigation for supposedly having had a role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, as the FBI initially identified him (using his military service fingerprints) as one of the persons whose fingerprints were on a bag of bomb parts similar to those used in the bombing.
An alternative budget proposal submitted by Congressman Paul Ryan (Wis.), the House Budget Committee's Republican ranking member, would increase the federal budget deficit even more than President Obama's bloated budget — nearly $1 trillion more — according to a February 24 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
House Democrats have caved in to Republican pressure, removing an anti-torture provision from the Fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2701). “The controversial provision,” the Washington Post reported February 26, “would have subjected intelligence officers to up 15 years in prison for interrogations that violate existing anti-torture laws, including the use of extreme temperatures, acts causing sexual humiliation or depriving a prisoner of food, sleep or medical care.”
President Obama signed into law February 12 a bill that would increase the federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion to a total of $14.3 trillion. The legislation also included a restoration of the “pay-as-you-go” provision of congressional budgeting that requires new spending proposals in Congress to be matched by cuts or tax increases in order to prevent accelerating the already out-of-control federal budget deficit.
The U.S. House of Representatives on July 9 voted almost unanimously to rebuke President Barack Obama over his June 24 signing statement openly declaring that he could ignore provisions of the law he was signing.
“Cap-And-Trade” global-warming legislation that would — by President Barack Obama's own admission — “skyrocket” electricity rates as well as raise taxes on consumers narrowly passed the House of Representatives June 26 by a vote of 219-212. The legislation would levy new taxes and dramatic new regulations in order to cap carbon and other “greenhouse gas” emissions. Congressional Quarterly reported that eight Republicans who voted for the bill tipped the balance in favor of the legislation.
The Washington Post has reported today that Congress will vote Friday on the 1,092-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions in order to fight global warming. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the measure, which is also known as "cap-and-trade" legislation, would create $846 billion in higher taxes and increase federal “direct spending by about $821 billion.” In addition to the direct tax implications, the bill's extensive new “cap-and-trade” regulations could skyrocket all Americans’ utility bills and create massive job losses.