This past week:
Analysis: Republicans’ budget plans require creative arithmetic to add up
By RICHARD RUBIN, ERIK WASSON AND HEIDI PRZYBYLA
Bloomberg NewsMarch 19, 2015
WASHINGTON – Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate say their budget proposals add up. It takes some creative math and logic to make that true.
The plans unveiled this week call for the U.S. government to collect more than $1 trillion in taxes in the next decade that Republicans have little or no intention of collecting. Some of that revenue comes straight from taxes to pay for Obamacare – which they want to repeal….
…. The House proposal includes about $94 billion for a special war-funding account that isn’t subject to spending limits set by Congress in 2011. The Senate plan includes $58 billion in war funding, the same amount requested by President Barack Obama.
Price of Georgia would boost defense spending through something called the Overseas Contingency Operations account, which funds military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and which critics call a slush fund.
Such spending is exempt from budget limits because it is supposed to be for activities related to overseas conflicts. Price initially set a spending level $36 billion above the president’s request.
Earlier this month, 70 House Republicans signed a letter saying they would block the budget if military spending wasn’t increased. Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who organized the letter, said he would vote against Price’s reserve-fund approach and called it “funny money….”
The budgets also call for repealing the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare, which was funded by a capital gains tax increase, a tax increase on top earners’ wages and levies on medical devices, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies. The budgets assume the revenue will continue to flow in.
Republicans could replace the Obamacare revenue with a U.S. tax code revision they have been discussing for more than four years and haven’t brought to a committee vote.
“They’re committed to the policy of repealing the Affordable Care Act, but they need the revenue in order to make their budget balance,” said Rep. John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat on the House Budget Committee. “So they’re just doing it and saying it makes sense. And it clearly doesn’t make sense….”
They won’t let actual math stop them.
Today, from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r):
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): ….Thank you. Thank you very much, uh, chairman. Uh, you’re a, a wonderful chairman and have helped us, uh, pro, produce a, a wonderful, responsible, uh, budget. And this budget goes a long way to address the out of control spending problem and crushing debt the administration has fostered over the last few years. Unlike the President’s proposal, though, our budget contains pro growth economic reforms, repeals Obamacare, and it balances. Most importantly, Price two restores harmful defense cuts and provides the necessary resources our war fighters need. The threats facing this nation and the world right now are vast, real, and expanding. ISIL has proclaimed a caliphate in the middle east and it is now looking to expand into other countries. Russia is continually making headlines with aggression and invasions in the Ukraine and surrounding areas. China continues to build its military as it gains more and more power globally. And Islamic extremism continues to spread to more and more countries. We as representatives of the people are charged with providing for the common defense. Given the size, reach, and increasingly brutal nature of the threats we face we should feel obliged to make sure that we create a budget that gives our military the tools necessary to address today’s threats and to be fully prepared to address the threats of tomorrow whatever they may be and wherever they may come from. As the only member to sit on both the House Budget Committee and the House Armed Services Committee I am proud that these two committees have came together, uh, come together for Price two to provide total defense funding above the President’s request. Missouri’s fourth congressional district is proud to be one of our nation’s most military intensive congressional districts, home of two major military installations, Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, and thousands of dedicated military families sacrificing so much to keep us safe. Providing our military the resources necessary to safeguard our liberties and protect our shores is one of the top legislative priorities I have. And I’m proud that these resources are provided in Price two. Again, I thank Chairman Price for his leadership on this committee and in this process and I urge my colleagues to vote yes on Price two….
“…Most importantly, Price two restores harmful defense cuts…”
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
“…Russia is continually making headlines with aggression and invasions in the Ukraine and surrounding areas…”
Uh, as far as we know, the occupation portion portion of the crisis currently only involves area within the Ukraine. Besides, we thought republicans were enthralled with Vladimir Putin. Go figure.
“…we should feel obliged to make sure that we create a budget that gives our military the tools necessary to address today’s threats and to be fully prepared to address the threats of tomorrow…”
Uh, the United States spends the greatest amount of money on the military (by far) than any other nation on the planet.
Wait a minute, who is that in the background on the video? Why, yes, it’s Representative Joe Wilson (r).
Representatives Vicky Hartzler (r) and Joe Wilson (r) in Warrensburg, Missouri on September 18, 2012 [file photo].
We half expected him to yell something from the floor of the House.