Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Tiny Bite of Spending Control

Congratulations to the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and Majority Leader Roy blunt, in particular. The US House of Representatives in the middle of the night Thursday made a small reduction in the increase of spending. It was a bold step and vigorously opposed. It passed by one vote. A new source Pajamas Media has the story from Friday morning. These were not reductions in spending, only a slow-down in the increase in spending.
The broader budget bill would slice almost $50 billion from the deficit by the end of the decade by curbing rapidly growing benefit programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsidies. Republicans said reining in such programs whose costs spiral upward each year automatically s the first step to restoring fiscal discipline. "This unchecked spending is growing faster than our economy, faster than inflation, and far beyond our means to sustain it," said Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa. Both bills are part of a campaign by Republican leaders to burnish their party's budget-cutting credentials as they try to reduce a deficit swelled by spending on the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina.
A dastardly attempt to increase the copay for doctor visits by Medicaid from $3 to $5 was beaten back. That is not a misprint - $3 copay because $5 is too high. A provision denying Medicaid nursing home benefits to people with home equity of $500,000 was modified by raising the cap to $750,000. We are trimming 6-foot weeds here, not cutting them. But it is progress. Update. Here is the honor roll of Democrats who voted for this spending restraint. You didn't see it? Mathematicians call it The Null Set. The set with length zero.

1 comment:

josh said...

Dear Ron,

As soon as the Republican Congress gobbles up this "deficit reduction" reduction with more tax cuts and subsidies for business, what will you say then? An investment in the future? Tax cuts generate growth? Barely a marginal effect. If the mantra of cuts=growth stimulus is even partially true, how would you explain Clinton's tax increases in 1993 (to reduce the Bush deficits) and an economy whose growth accelerated right through 2000? Whoops.
While you're whining about the increase in the home equity provision to $750,000 for people on Medicaid, I think you're right. Just throw their 80-year old spouses, the ones living in those houses, out on the street. It's where those leecehs belong, right next to Kennyboy Lay, Fristie, Tom DeLay, and Jack Abramoff. It's just a travesty that this country has not let the irchest of us suck up even more from the trough -the public one that hands out $10 billion to people who hold tobacco quotas, then brags about cutting people programs.

Josh