Archives for posts with tag: budget

CNNMoney describes the consequences laid out by the White House earlier today should the federal government indeed shutdown.  What was once a back page story due to the seemingly never-ending number of short-term budget “extensions,” it now appears that the government may truly shutdown.  The article details how not only will federally funded places such as national parks close, but additionally, and much more importantly, close to a million Americans including federal workers and military personal, will be without a paycheck come April 8th.  The entire mess has been a result of the inability for Democrats and Republicans to agree upon the severity and location of cuts in the national budget.

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Interesting take by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on what steps the United States must take to regain (or maintain, depending on your point of view) its status as the preeminent global power.  Mr. Zakaria focuses his argument mainly on the need for American policy makers to show more foresight and long-term strategy in their actions, rather than focusing on the immediate, and more politically viable, problems.  This means addressing the major programs, like Social Security and Medicaid, and reconsidering their fundamental structures and guarantees rather than simply procrastinating on the difficult decisions.  Ultimately, while budget cuts in the short-term are the popular political maneuver given the current societal obsession over the federal deficit, until these larger programs are revised to make them sustainable in the long-term, the deficit problem will only continue to persist and hurt American growth.

Another interesting point Mr. Zakaria addresses is the role of the “globalized” or “knowledgeable” American worker versus that of the average American.  Bluntly stated, as globalization continues and the world continues to flatten (to borrow a term from Thomas Friedman) the average American worker will continue to become less and less competitive.  Higher salaries and benefit packages domestically will continue to discourage production on our soil and continue to move it over borders and overseas.  The only remedy for this, as Mr. Zakaria notes, is a fundamental shift in our country’s approach to both education and infrastructure.  These two areas are places in which America, given its wealth of resources, can continue to improve and thus increase the ability of the average American worker to compete internationally.


By Patrick Margolis on July 22, 2010 10:00 AM

Your daily dose of news and tidbits from the world of money in politics:

johnboehner.jpgTOBACCO DARLING BOEHNER KICKING HIS HABIT: House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), a long-time smoker, had stated his intentions to quit smoking in an effort to encourage a friend to do the same, The Hill reports. “I have a close friend who also smokes. He has some health issues, his doctors urged him to quit smoking. And I told him, if he’d quit, I’d quit,” Boehner told the paper. Though quitting smoking may prove beneficial to the congressman’s long-term health, it could harm his financial health: Boehner is the second-ranking congressional recipient of money from tobacco companies this election cycle, receiving $25,000 since January 2009, the Center for Responsive Politics‘ research indicates.

DEFENSE PACS MOBILIZE CAMPAIGN MONEY: As Congress mulls cuts to the defense budget, the defense industry has responded by giving ever-larger sums of donations, the Center’s research shows. The political action committee for Lockheed Martin, for example, has donated $2.35 million during the 2010 election cycle — $128,000 more than it donated for the entire 2008 cycle and more than double its expenditures for the 2000 cycle. Boeing’s PAC, meanwhile, with its $2.18 million in contributions this cycle, has surpassed any other previous cycle by almost $300,000 and stands about three times greater than its $752,426 in contributions for the 2000 cycle.

dccclogo.jpgDEMOCRATS BUY TIME: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved more than $5 million worth of airtime during the two weeks preceding November elections, The Hill‘s Sean J. Miller and Shane D’Aprile write. In the two weeks before the election, the Democrats have reserved airspace in 50 television markets in what they expect to be the toughest elections. The move is likely to cut advertising costs substantially — between 20 and 50 percent — compared to purchases closer to the election. Some strategists have suggested that the move subtly conveys advertising plans to allow friendly, third-party “527” groups to adjust their strategies accordingly.

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