The New Budget Deal
USA Today reports on the new budget deal: "The deal provides funding to protect senior citizens from a predicted spike in the cost of Medicare premiums next year and would make changes to Social Security — particularly its disability program — to achieve $168 billion in long-term savings ... Part of the strategy to raise money under the deal is selling off 58 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve between 2018 and 2025." [But they don't say what "changes" will be made to the Social Security disability program "to achieve $168 billion in long-term savings."]
The Washington Post reports that the new budget will increase the debt ceiling, and is paid for by:
1) Savings from changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance fund (Again, I ask the question: How? Maybe the answer is here.)
2) Savings from changes to Medicare payments to doctors and other health-care providers
And new revenue would be raised by:
1) Auctioning off portions of the government-owned broadcast spectrum (What is this, and who are we selling it to, and why?)
2) Selling oil from the strategic oil reserve (So we'll be more "energy independent"? This is stupid since oil is at its cheapest in years. I say keep the oil and just end the oil subsidies instead. But nobody ever listens to me.)
3) Cracking down on audits of large business partnerships. (What is this? Shouldn't this say: "Have the IRS increase audits on large business partnerships"?)
Via BuzzFeed: Rand Paul says he will filibuster the new budget deal and said: “The right wants more money for the military and the left wants more money for welfare. Guns and butter — that’s what we’re going to have — guns and butter."
I'm not sure what "butter" we're getting and who gets the "butter", but I know where some of the guns are coming from via the L.A. Times:
The Air Force announced that Northrop will build 80 to 100 long-range strategic stealth bombers over the next decade for an estimated $60 billion. The company said the contract could mean 1,400 new jobs at its Palmdale, California facility. The bomber contract could increase jobs across Southern California, benefiting dozens of smaller companies that supply the major aerospace firms. Last year Rep. Steve Knight (R-Ca.) wrote a bill that will give Northrop (headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia) a tax credit of up to nearly $500 million in return for performing much of the work in Palmdale California. Analysts said they expect Boeing and Lockheed (who also placed bids for the contract) to challenge the decision. Critics say the cost of the contract is bound to skyrocket. Many experts also question why the Pentagon even needs a new bomber.
Oh, I see, this must be the "butter" here >>> In another article the Washington Post reports that all 2 million federal employees will get at least a 1 percent pay hike in January — and of those, about 102,000 will get a special pay raise because of new regulations affecting the locality pay zones. And state government workers will do even better than federal workers — but those on Social Security get no raise at all next year — so there will be no "butter" for old people and the disabled.
Here's what else is in the budget (buy why is it even in the budget?) Again, from the Washington Post: "For the better part of a year, debt collection agencies and student loan servicers have lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to exempt federal student loans from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law that bars the use of auto-dialers to call and text people on their cell phones without permission." [But they got their way in the new budget deal. So I guess Donald Trump was right about our politicians ... they are just political puppets.]
Last night on Stephen Colbert’s show, Hillary Clinton said: "I’m not running for my husband’s third presidency, or President Obama’s third term. I’m running for my first term.” [But she didn't say she was running on Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders best ideas to get herself elected.]
Fu*k Senator Sherrod Brown! From Politico: "One of the most outspoken progressives in Congress, became the 33rd senator to endorse Hillary Clinton. With Sherrod Brown — a prominent ally of progressive hero Elizabeth Warren — in the fold, Clinton can boast of support from Ohio's lone Democratic senator." [I used to respect that guy, but if he doesn't have any balls, and is only endorsing Clinton because now he has political cover ever since Hillary flip-flopped on the TPP trade deal and the Keystone pipeline, well then, all I can say is: fu*k Senator Sherrod Brown! Once Hillary is the president, it will be interesting to see how these political hacks get the favor returned.]
A new Monmouth University Poll: "Clinton currently garners the support of 65% of likely Democratic caucusgoers to 24% for Bernie Sanders." [It's interesting to see so many people vote against their own economic best interests. Hillary has had all her life to raise the middle-class. Of course, these corporate-sponsored polls might also be rigged. I predict Clinton will get 95% of the delegates/super-delegates to be the Democratic nominee because they think she has greater "electability" (but that she won't win the popular vote), and maybe she'll lose in the general to the Republican nominee because of very low election turnout by Democrats who weren't all that excited about seeing another Clinton the White House. I'd suggest a "write-in" vote for Bernie when you go to the ballet.]
Here's a petition to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC: "In your upcoming presidential forum on Friday, November 6, we urge you to make raising wages central to the evening’s discussion. We want to hear each candidate’s plans to ensure that America’s prosperity is broadly shared." [Yes, and don't do as CNN's Anderson Cooper did in the first Democratic debate, and red-bait political candidates and let them off the hook on the subject of Social Security — like the way he did with Bernie and Hillary.]
Why has the media been protecting the "legacies" of filthy and corrupt politicians? It's reported in the Huffington Post today that former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty to “violations of banking laws”, but nothing is mentioned about his "child molestation" while he taught and coached wrestling at Yorkville High School in Illinois. The very last sentence in the HuffPo article only says: "The Associated Press and other media have cited anonymous sources in reporting the payments were to conceal claims of sexual misconduct" — "child molestation” was written as "sexual misconduct" (as if Dennis Hastert had propositioned a hooker rather than rape a boy). The Washington Post reported: "Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to enter a guilty plea Wednesday for breaking banking laws to make payments to conceal past misconduct". They didn't even use the word "sexual", let alone "molestation" or "rape" (or that a "minor" or "child" was involved); they just used the word "misconduct" (as if Dennis Hastert had only spat on a sidewalk).