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Posts Tagged ‘Continuing Resolutions’

Let me see if I’ve got this straight:  Back in the 1990’s a Republican came up with an alternative to “Hillary Health Care” (aka: “Socialized Medicine“), which was promoted by a conservative think tank (the Heritage Foundation), and which was tested in the real world by a Republican Governor (Mitt Romney in Massachusetts).  This same health plan was adopted by a Democratic Presidential candidate, who was elected.  The health care law was passed by both houses of Congress in March of 2010 (over three and a half years ago), with a phased implementation so the market place (and States) would have time to set it up in an orderly fashion.  The law was signed by the President and later approved by the Supreme Court (as Constitutional).
In 2010, Republicans took advantage of an off-year election (that is, no President running for office) to use (normally) low turnout to take over some state houses, most governorships and the House of Representatives.  Locally, they ran the advertised message as “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” and Republicans know how to “put people back to work”; their real promise was to make “this” President a failure and defeat him in his re-election.
Since 2010, the House has made NO effort to introduce ANY jobs bills, but has voted over 40 times to repeal “Obamacare”.  The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare” is the signature piece of legislation to come out of President Obama’s first term in office.
In 2012, the sitting President was re-elected specifically running a pro-health care campaign with a five million vote majority (5,000,000) against an opponent who pledged to introduce a bill to overturn Obamacare his first day in office.  The House was retained by the Republicans by virtue of controlling a majority of state houses and thereby “gerrymandering” their districts so traditionally Republican districts were even more biased, yet if you totaled all the votes for all seats for the House, they “lost” the popular vote by over five hundred thousand (500,000) votes.  The Republicans DID lose seats, just not enough to lose the majority.  The Democrats picked up seven (7) seats, but they needed twenty-five to turn over control of the House.  By the way, the Democrats also picked up two (2) seats in the Senate.  Statewide voting for Senators is not subject to gerrymandering by the state legislatures and governors because each state is only allowed two seats.
Please watch the following opinion piece on what is happening regarding the current government shutdown and what it means to be a “conservative” in today’s Republican party…
— The video is from YouTube, but originally appeared on: “The Cycle” on MSNBC with Krystral Ball, who is one of the four hosts.
Romney/Ryan ran on a budget proposal which would have “slashed” the budget to a level ($967 Billion) which the nation soundly rejected.  “Soundly” here refers to the Electoral College landslide (332 vs 206), not the actual popular vote which was “only” 3% (five million votes) in favor of President Obama.
The column on the far left ($1203) is what the President’s budget asked for.  The column on the far right is the “Ryan Budget” proposal ($967).  The column next to it, second from the right, is the amount the Democratically controlled Senate is willing to pass as part of a “clean” Continuing Resolution (CR, $986).  Now, seriously, does this look like the Democrats are unwilling to negotiate?  Or, does it look like the Democrats have already capitulated and are willing to accept that even when you win an election, you still don’t get to run the country the way the people voted?
 — Image is from the MSNBC show: “Chris Hayes, All In
The next time you hear the “the American people” have spoken and we don’t want Obamacare or the Democrats don’t want to negotiate or that elections have consequences, understand the truth.  We The People have already decided in two Presidential elections and two of three House elections that we DO want the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and as far as the budget goes, there’s not much more to negotiate because we’ve already surrendered the whole pie to the Republicans.  Don’t look behind the curtain because the powers that be are getting what they want regardless of how We The People voted.
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On This Day In:
2012 What Are Your True Measurements
2011 What It Is All About
2010 The Magnificent Seven
Giants Fever!!

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Yesterday, 1 October 2010, was the start of the new fiscal year for government employees.  So, Happy New Year!!  (Full DisclosureI am a government employee.)
We currently have no approved budget, but we do have a “CR” (continuing resolution) which will carry us through the next two months.  That’s Congress’ way of keeping the government going without them having to argue in front of the American public about what needs to be a priority, what needs to be cut in this time of deficits and/or what taxes need to be raised in order to pay for running the country.
When it takes longer to agree to a new budget than the budget itself runs, you have what is known as a structural defect in your budgeting system.  The “normal” fix (by rational adults) is to either shorten the time it takes to agree (work faster) or lengthen the duration the actual budget covers.  Shortening takes leadership and a willingness to compromise (in the country’s best interest) by both parties, while lengthening the duration would take a change to Federal law.  There is no Constitutional requirement for an annual budget.  However, changing the law carte blanche would take a considerable amount of explanation to the American public, so that can’t really be expected to happen either.
Since neither party seems able to provide leadership in an election year, and because there seems to be a dearth in willingness to compromise, we are left with a CR.
And that is your local, state and Federal civics (budget) lesson for today!!
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