As we see more and more information about the Republican plans for "austerity" and the budget cuts, we see more and more that all they are offering is the same one-trick pony that they have proposed to solve economic problems since the days of St Ronnie of Raygunz.
Now why would I put the term "austerity" in quotes? Because every time the Republicans make a proposal to cut spending, they also demand a tax cut. From Reuters:
(Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives united on Friday behind a 2012 budget plan slashing trillions of dollars in government spending while cutting taxes -- two achievements conservatives say are necessary ingredients for a deal to raise the U.S. debt limit.In fact, we have quite abundant objective, verifiable evidence from the last thirty years that cutting taxes does not increase revenues nor does cutting taxes cause businesses to create jobs. Yet for some strange reason, the people who continually propose cutting taxes because "it increases revenues and creates jobs" are considered "very serious people" by the Beltway Village
Friday's (April 15) NY Times had this article describing the impact of the recent budget deal:
It may have kept the federal government from shutting down, but the budget agreement that President Obama struck with Congress will make it harder for some struggling cities to keep their police stations and firehouses staffed.Fewer cops. Fewer firefighters. Fewer jobs. Reuters presented it this way:
A program that helps cash-starved cities hire police officers — which has become highly sought-after in recent years as the economic downturn has forced cities from Camden, N.J., to Oakland, Calif., to take the rare step of laying off police officers — was cut by $52 million.
The reduction means that the program, under which the Justice Department awards cities grants that pay the full salary and benefits of new officers for three years, will be able to pay for roughly 200 fewer officers this year than it did last year, when it paid for 1,388 officers.
The budget deal also changed the rules governing a similar program that helps struggling cities hire firefighters — reducing the grants so much, union and city officials said, that many cities may find themselves unable to take advantage of the program.
The resolution to keep the government running for the rest of fiscal year 2011 reduced Community Development Block Grants by 16 percent.The Washington Post today had this article on the cuts to Jobs Training programs:
Cities, towns and counties rely on the relatively small program to fight homelessness and blight. For months they have campaigned to preserve every cent of the grants as states pull back on aid to local governments.
The cut of roughly $600 million threatens the economic recovery in many places because it will end job-creating projects, said a coalition of groups representing local governments, including the National League of Cities and the Conference of Mayors.
Mostly, states leaders are worried about cuts in spending on services their residents heavily use and they fear they will have to step in with their own funds to make up for the reduced dollars.
Facing recession-weary audiences across the country, President Obama frequently highlighted the possibilities of job training for the unemployed.Now I happen to believe that the problems with the economy do not stem from people not having the necessary skills but fall on the lack of demand for goods and services. Even so, if the Republicans actually had a jobs plan of some sort and actually believed that it was a lack of skills causing the high un and underemployment we're experiencing, then it would seem that creating and maintaining viable training programs would be at the top of the list.
The new fields of green technology, advanced manufacturing or clean energy would require new skills that job training programs could provide. More education would bolster the workforce and the economy. And at a community college “summit” in October, Obama touted the colleges’ role in providing workers with skills to take advantage of new opportunities.
But details of the budget compromise this week between the president and congressional leaders show federal funding for job training programs has taken a significant hit — more than $870 million in all. Included are cuts to occupational training grants at community colleges, green jobs classes and a program to help low-income older people acquire work skills.
New York Representative Joe Crowley really said it all on the floor of the House the other day - and never opened his mouth.
And because I can: