Obama’s Budget and Cuts – For Dummies

The spending cut rhetoric is killing me. Oh boy, they are going to cut $60billion from the budget. Wow. They are going to cut $100billion – well that’s better but still way off the mark.
Why? Let me put this in a context that most of us can understand, and let me keep this post short and simple.
  • At our current debt, we are over $14Trillion in the hole.
  • Imagine that $1 Trillion equals $1000 – so $1billion equals $1.
  • That means we would be $14,000 in debt.
  • The interest on our debt is $3000.
  • Obama’s budget intends to spend about $3700 this year while saving $100.
Now, you are telling me that cutting $60 (remember: $1billion = $1) out of the budget is going to help? Even cutting $100 is stupid.
The idiots in Washington need to get their act together, and Obama is the HIIC (head idiot in charge). Most of the assumptions in his budget are pie-in-the-sky assumptions. The entire budget is in the red past 2020. Period.
From now on, whenever you hear a trillion – think a thousand. When you hear a billion, think one dollar. It’s easier to undestand how bad the problem really is.

Just what did Obama inherit

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I don’t know how many times Obama has spouted off about “inheriting” this and all that. He makes me tired just listening to the rhetoric so I decided to remind everyone about a few things.

(Well, that and my cousin Daniel decided to jump in the pool with some rhetoric without facts.)

Ok – so let’s first remind ourselves of what branch of government controls the money? Easy – Congress does.

Wait a minute! You thought the president controlled the money? Wrong. The president (and staff) submit a budget to Congress, but no money can be spent without Congressional approval. Here is how it basically works or you can read here for more:

  • President submits the budget request each year to Congress.
  • The House and Senate committees draft resolutions and send them to the respective floors.
  • Once a resolution is reached after conferences, etc, a conference report reconciles the Senate and House versions to become binding.

Now that we’ve established that Congress really controls the purse strings, how does that factor into what Obama inherited? To answer that, we now need to review the timelines.

First a little disclaimer. I am not siding 100% with Republicans. Most of them have been nearly as fiscally irresponsible as the Democrats. The problem here is pretty clear.

There is a¬†HUGE gap between those that believe government is the answer and those that believe too much is the problem. — me on Facebook

Ok – so what about the timelines and Obama’s claimed inheritance? Just a few years ago, 2006 to be exact, the Democrats took control of the House and Senate. That means that since then, they have controlled the purse strings.

Wait just a second? You mean that Bush and the Republicans weren’t responsible for the 2007 economic fallout? For the most part – no they weren’t. However, Bush and many Republicans did push for the first bail-out. That was a huge mistake, and was the final nail in Bush’s fiscal coffin with a lot of conservatives.

Yeah – but the economy was failing before 2007? Well, yes and no. We were steaming along pretty good, but the ice berg was just under the surface. You see, back in 1998 there was this thing called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which I posted about back in 2008. Like I said back then, it was a combination of lax oversight by Congress, and the natural greed which precipitated everything.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that loaning money to people who are nowhere near qualified – is a recipe for disaster. Like most recipes, simmering for a while turns out the best. That’s exactly what happened in the Subprime Mortgage fiasco in 2007. The rest of the pot just boiled right on over.

Yeah, yeah – so what about the time-line? Ok, back to the refresher on Congress controlling the purse strings. Remember that “budget surplus” that everyone touts from the late 90’s under Clinton, which was really a projected surplus? Remember those great economic times everyone loves to talk about? What party controlled both houses of Congress starting from1994-1999? It was the Republicans – from 1994 until 2007.

Ok – so what about the Reagan Revolution? Well, the Senate was controlled by Republicans from 1981-1985, and then the Democrats took over both houses. Just a few short years later, we experienced a mild recession during George H. W. Bush’s term. Do you see the pattern here?

Thank you very much you liberal morons.

Budget Funding for Louisiana War Veterans

While I am normally very conservative on government spending, there is one area that I believe should always be funded – taking care of our soldiers and specifically our War Veterans.

A good friend and technology client of mine alerted me to the $2 million budget cuts slashed from the 5 War Veterans Homes this year, and another $1.08 million set to be slashed next year.

We need to contact our state congressmen and Governor Jindal and raise a voice of opposition to the cuts.

Our veterans have offered their lives to sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy. The least we can do is use our tax dollars to take of them. There is coverage by KSLA here and by NOLA here. Jim Wells has it covered on the My Bossier Blog also. We are posting this on Facebook too – so spread the message.

You can download and print a form letter by clicking here for PDF and here for a Word version.

Contact Information:

Governor Bobby Jindal
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
225-342-0991 or 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121

Decline in Medical Services and Patient Care

As a Result of State Budget Cuts at Louisiana’s Five War Veteran Homes

Budget reductions:

  • There have been two significant removals of state funds from the state War Veteran Homes since the FY10 Appropriated Budget.
  • The initial cut, effective in January 2010, removed $2 million dollars from the state five War Veteran Homes. The net savings was projected to be 51.5 million dollars to the state; however, the savings to the state have proven to be considerably less. Additionally, reduced facility spending results in reduced federal reimbursement; therefore, the cuts are even greater than on paper.
  • The second cut, effective in March-April 201 0-, came as a result of Executive Order BJ 2009-11.
  • The Louisiana Way Forward, FY 10-11 Budget Moves to a More Sustainable. Cost-Effective Government. p.8, includes the following statement:
    “As it is done in most other states, partnering with private physicians at Louisiana’s Veterans homes will bring $51,089,749 in savings.”

Changes in Medical Services:

  • Pharmacy:
    • Prior to the budget cut:
      • All five War Veterans Homes were staffed with a pharmacist and on-site pharmacy. Medications were provided at no cost to the state and with the lowest cost to the veteran. Under Option I, pharmacists dispensed medications in blister packaging which provided for optimum patient safety, ease of accountability, and expedient delivery of medications.
      • After the budget reductions:
        • Four of the pharmacies were closed, and their pharmacists’ positions were vacated. As a consequence, receipt of medication is delayed, costs are considerably higher for the veterans and nurses are now pulled away from patient care to count and monitor medications.
  • Physician and nurse practitioner:
    • Prior to the budget cut
      • Four of the five homes had a full-time physician and nurse practitioner on staff. In most instances, patient treatments and follow-up occurred on-site with minimal disruption to the patient. Early diagnosis prevented patient complications.
      • After the budget reductions:
        • One of the five homes retains an on-staff Medical Director. In other homes, contract doctors see the patients less frequently. Patients are often transported to Emergency Rooms for treatment and follow-up care.

Budget Appropriations Funding required to restore services:

  • The five state War Veterans Homes would need to have the appropriation for the 51.5 million taken from them returned to be able to reinstate programs lost by budget reductions.
  • The proposed 51,089,749 reduction in the FY 10-11 state general funds must not be removed.
  • At Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, an appropriation of approximately $325,000 would be needed to restore the pharmacy program. Additionally, the approximately $200,000 projected loss from state general funds must be prevented to maintain current status.