Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This past Monday, Congressman Maurice Hinchey held a press conference. His task; to better inform the public about the dangers of the Republican majority plan to slash vital services while pampering the wealthy. His words are fairly backed up by anyone paying attention to available facts. That is if you chose to look for them.
Hinchey made note that the plan that is likely to pass in the 112th Congress, would hurt Hudson Valley families. Something very few of us doubt. Our region is already feeling the pain from this recession more than some others.
 Maurice drew attention to the $600M that the GOP intends to cut from the COPS program. That's almost 1500 police officers that will get pink slips on day one. Maybe Kingston, Poughkeepsie & Newburgh don't need police officers after all. 

Maurice also pointed out the deep cuts to the SAFER grant program which would send almost 2500 firefighters home jobless. I feel safer already. 

If you find yourself in a pickle during the winter and there's no fuel in the tank, you may as well kiss your pipes goodbye. The LIHEAP has been slashed as well. The elderly and disabled are at most risk from this one. I'm guessing "out of sight..."

Here's the whopper: The plan slashes one of the most binary of humanistic programs...WIC. $800Million wiped out heading into the next year. This baby helps provide prenatal care to low income women and gets much needed nourishment into toddlers from financially stressed homes throughout the country. I know this is some kind of joke but it's not funny. 

Hinchey said: "On Valentine's Day, the Republican majority in Washington is showing no love for Hudson Valley families while showering corporate special interests with tax earmarks and giveaways. This budget scheme is like giving a box of chocolates to Wall Street bankers and oil company CEOs, while delivering a dozen black roses to America's middle class. Instead of cutting special corporate tax earmarks that would actually reduce the deficit, they are actually slashing vital services for Hudson Valley families and eliminating job-creating investments that America needs to compete against China and India. It's no wonder that the difference between the rich and everyone else keeps growing."

 Here's the best part. When Maurice say we have to scour the budget for waste, fraud and abuse; opposition jumps right in and says "We've been saying that all along". Meanwhile, the GOP offer no changes in military spending, our tariff structure, outsourcing restrictions or closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. Just cutting the programs that affect the middle class and the weakest among us.   

Unlike the "crickets" we've heard from the GOP this past year, Hinchey has laid out alternative budget cuts:          

1.     Reduce cold war era military deployments in Europe - $80B in 10 years
2.     Eliminate special Big Oil tax earmarks from the tax code - $40B in 5 years
3.     Close tax loopholes that incentivize job exports - $34B in 5 years
4.     Erase the corporate compensation tax earmark - $17B in 5 years
5.     Eliminate Medicare red tape that prevents the government from negotiating lower prescription drug prices - $14B in 5 years
6.     End special tax earmark for private equity fund and hedge fund managers - $20B in 5 years
7.     End failed 1980s missile defense programs - $1.3B over 5 years
8.     Sell excess federal real estate - $1B in 5 years
9.     Cut funding for military coins - $18M annually
10.  Cut funding for Radio/TV Marti - $17M annually

Hinchey finished up with: "The difference between our plans is that mine cuts the deficit and theirs cuts jobs. If the choice is between ending tax earmarks for oil companies and investing in high speed rail and renewable energy, I choose jobs. We should not be cutting the solar panel manufacturers that will build our renewable energy future and construction workers that will build the interstate high speed rail systems that Japan and Germany built three decades ago."


Anonymous said...

Mike, something that needs to be pointed out is that some stimulus projects that have put people to work are poised to be cut in the GOP plan.
The elimination of $2.5 billion for high-speed rail projects, 76 projects already underway in 40 states would be terminated and 25,000 new construction jobs will be lost.
I dont know how someone could call this a "Job Creating" when it's plainly the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Congressman Hinchey is on the right track. All the pandering to the big money will stop when the Democrats regain the House of Representatives next year.
The newly elected so-called "tea party" candidates will get a dose of reality and be sent on to pursue other careers.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should enact both the GOP and Hinchey's ideas as a start. Then keep going from there. Question is Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007 yet I haven't seen any of these ideas put forth and vetoed by Bush. And then the Democrats have controlled the whole game since 2009, again none of this passed where it could have been done with a Democrat in the White House.

Now all of sudden Hinchey has all of these ideas. Where has he been the last 18 years?

Another little diddy for you. For those that have a basic understanding of investing, they understand the concept of compounding interest. Having that understanding should scare the crap out of you when it comes to the National Debt, because this is about to get REALLY BAD like we have never seen. In another couple of years, pink slips to cops and fireman will be the least of our concerns.

Anonymous said...

Obama's military cuts amount to $703B, broken down as follows: $553B for the baseline discretionary Defense Department budget, $5B for a handful of mandatory programs, $118B for the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and $27B for "defense-related" programs in other federal departments.

The money to fight the wars is probably untouchable. But as a result of the troop pullout from Iraq, it's a lot less money than the $160 billion funded last year. Let's see how the GOP reacts to this.


Anonymous said...

$3.73 trillion. $1.6 trillion deficit this year alone. $7 trillion in deficits over 10 years

Obama's one-year budget of $3.7 trillion with a decades worth of "proposals" to somehow "save" $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Sounds material and significant.

His proposed budget cuts this year are grossly immaterial and statistically insignificant (see a pie graph: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/02/obamas-tough-budget-cuts-in-pictures.html).
He misdirects our attention from the fact that this budget is a 7% increase in governement spending - not counting the increases in interest on the debt. The Win The Future guy is spending huge compared to all predecessors. (See some other good graphical representations of spending linked on the Instapundit site.)

Anonymous said...

And how long as Hinchey been trying to get jobs to come here in Ulster county? How did that work out for us? not much... So touching that he is raising his voice again this late in the game. When are politicians going to learn that the government cannot create businesses/jobs. They need to get rid of stifling regulations, high taxes and stop giving incentives or tax breaks to companies who end up shipping jobs overseas after getting "seed" money from the government. Let the entrepreneural spirit take hold. Let them have the freedom to create and thrive.

greg said...

hinchey has the right idea with these cuts and we the people need to force this threw