Obama Signs Budget and Military Bills in Rare Example of Bipartisanship

The budget bill eases automatic cuts by restoring about $63 billion to the Pentagon and other domestic agencies

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President Barack Obama capped a year of political gridlock by signing into law a bipartisan budget deal on Thursday that eases spending cuts and puts off the chance of another government shutdown for at least two years.

The deal restores about $63 billion over two years to the Pentagon and other domestic agencies — about a third of the automatic cuts known as the sequester. It also includes some $85 billion in savings.

Obama also signed a milestone defense-spending bill designed to crack down on sexual assault in the military. That bill, which also drew support from both sides of the aisle, ends a policy that allowed commanders to overturn jury convictions for sexual assault. It also requires that members of the military found guilty of sexual assault to be dishonorably discharged or dismissed.

Still, the President will return to a new year that promises more political gridlock. Neither party appears willing to give ground on the borrowing limit expected to be reached by early March — Republicans demand concessions to raise the limit, and Democrats say they won’t negotiate. On top of that, the upcoming midterm congressional elections will impede on the Obama Administration’s priorities.

[AP]

23 comments
Tiger-Pi
Tiger-Pi

Th US budget's spending cuts will impact heavily on world markets so used to  paying around with  surplus dollars. Almost all international banks speculate on the USD and   unfortunately these  dollar-currency transactions  do not add anything to industrial production. At the most they remain virtual like the Bitcoin. What must be revived in the US is pure industrial production of goods and lessening of services and speculations. Good Luck Mr.Obama. This shows 'coalition' politics can also work in a presidential system.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

"Bipartisanship??"  Surely you jest, TIME Magazine!!

In this deal, the Republicans won, as their guys - the Defense Department - got $63 billion more in funding restored. 

What did Democrats get?  A sexual assault bill that won't curb sexual assaults in the military.  Oh, and a 'pat on the back' from TIME Magazine and other outlets saying, 'good job.'  Pathetic.

Also, realize how this bill will push the issue of deficits beyond the 2014 Midterm Elections, and how the fun and games will begin just in time for the 2016 Presidential Campaign.  Perfect timing; bet that the President will make zero progress on the economy between now and then.

dellflorida
dellflorida

Hey folks what no news outlet will tell...Congress passed the 2014 fiscal spending bill. But by not cutting spending, or raising taxes on the rich,corporations(many of who pay no income tax)-,etc..the National Debt goes up.    They also did nothing about the approx. half a trillion$$$ military  funding-of which $50 to $100 billion a year is waste and fraud.  Tragically, they spent more tax money than they took in. They spent about $680 billion more than the tax money they collected. To do a bandaid on the budget deficit problem,, they will collect $23 billion in new fees,etc., to cut down the $642 billion budget deficit. That still means they (including the Teaparty republicans) overspent about $600 billion dollars- (or call it  half a Trillion).  Basically this has been going on since Reagan.

Obama and all previous presidents love to spend money,, so he signed off on the new increase to the National Debt- but congress is the real culprit-not making the hard choices on taxing everyone fairly and waste and fraud in government...

So now in a few months, the $16 TRILLION plus National debt will have to be raised again to accomodate this new debt created by  Congress. 

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

If there is going to be a better budget going forward then the Republicans will have to compromise on tax increases and the Democrats will have to compromise on spending cuts.

For Republicans a good place to start is Tax Reform which committees in both branches are calling for vote.  They can close tax loopholes and end subsidies.

For Democrats they can address seriously Social Security and Medicare.

For both they can work together to repeal, revise or replace Obamacare.

There are a lot of issues they can work together on.


ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Democrats should point out to the public that these lay-off civilian contractor issues and starting and stopping contract work hurts military preparedness since it effectively adds additional time to the actual shutdown because projects can't start and stop on a dime.  In addition, some of the brightest engineers and scientists might say to hell with this bulls--t and change industry or go to work for other companies servicing other governments.  While Congress might not lose any pay and even government employees be made "whole", contractors aren't guaranteed to be given the lost money by private, profit-making corporations and so why stay in a place where you get hurt through no efforts of your own by idiot elected officials.


BTW, would Snowden's position as a employee of a contractor been subject to lay-offs?  Maybe another reason to want to not screw people with top secret clearances.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Well, if the Republicans want a shutdown. let them have one ans make sure the timing is such that the Social Security payments and Medicare payments are held up and no exclusions for FAA and TSA this time.  Might as well let those people in the Tea Party districts find out why they might want the government to be around. And everything in the House and Senate gets shutdown except the electricity for the lights, including that gym and the cafeteria (they can brown bag like real "working people".  Let them walk to their offices, cut off the train and the elevators and cut off all staff as none of them is essential based on what we have seen in the past two years.  The Congress critters can actually read what they are supposed to be doing and act like the people they continue to screw.  And while the Democrats can't make the House act like a governing body and Boehrner shows no intelligence to do it,. make the Senate work every day from 8 am to 4:30 pm, 5 days a week..

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@mrbomb13

The president could make good progress on the budget and the deficit if the Republicans in Congress would be willing to work with him.

Remember the golf game Obama and Boehner went on?  By the time they finished the game they had come up with a $4 Trillion deal.  Nothing as ambitious as that deal has been even suggested since.  So, if it was so good why hasn't congress adopted it?  Why hadn't Boehner been able to push it through?  It's because it included tax increases.  And it's because the Tea Party began to flex it's muscles.  They shut the Speaker down and have kept him down ever since.

The obstructionism as employed by the Republican party in both the House and the Senate has blocked any idea emanating from the White House no matter how good or bad it was.  And this approach has harmed this nation and We the People.

Passage of this particular budget plan is the result of a bi-partisan effort on the part of representatives Murray and Ryan and accepted by Congress because they simply do not want to hurt their respective changes next year at the polls.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@dellfloridaIn my opinion the lack of job growth is doing far more harm then the debt.  That is where the focus should be, even if it means more debt in the short term.  It will make the fiscal health a lot stronger in the long term.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@dellflorida  

Today, every man on the street knows that the US government’s debt currently equals USD 17 trillion. Some have even memorised, meanwhile, that this exceeds America’s gross domestic product (106 percent of GDP according to recent figures). http://usdebtclock.org/

The US government’s debt is only part of a more general debt, which is often referred to as the United States’ total debt.

The main components of the United States’ total debt are: 1) public debt; 2) the debt of state governments (state debt); 3) the debt of local authorities (local debt); 4) the debt of individuals (personal debt); 5) the debt of nonfinancial companies (business debt); and 6) the debt of the economy’s financial sectors (financial sectors debt).

 As a result, we have the size of the United States’ so-called consolidated debt, equal to USD 186 trillion. The relative level of consolidated debt exceeds the US’ current annual GDP by 11.6 times…
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/10/10/america-debt-the-tip-and-the-bulk-of-the-iceberg.html

dellflorida
dellflorida

@AlphaJuliette   Hey,none of Your Taxes goes to Social Security,so back off...It is a system funded by the workers and the employers, and the Feds are merely overseers of the money...(and maybe misusers of it)...

Try to know the facts before giving an opinion...How would you like someone meddling with your 401-K or mortgage? or car payment? and forcing changes on you?

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@AlphaJuliette Neither Social Security nor Medicare had anything to do with the country's financial situation. Fix the problem with the financial situation which is the Republicans cutting of revenue below that necessary for an "Exceptional Country" to stay "exceptional".  Adjust the rates as well as eliminate the most serious inequities in the tax rate including that low tax rate for day traders.  Make all income taxable at the new rates. And then fix SS and Medicare by making ALL income subject to both taxes without exception.  


And kill the F-35 Strike Fighter- a gross failure of Congress to do anything as shown by their demands on add-ons to a contract for a plane that the Pentagon didn't want and which is now too expensive for a production plane.  Tell Lockheed to get the price down to their original bid or the product dies a slow death along with their investment.  Military capitalism doesn't guarantee that a company makes a profit  but it should mean that they are held to the terms of their contract.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@dellflorida

"Try to know the facts before giving an opinion..."  Good advice.  I suggest you try following it yourself.


Payroll taxes in the form of FICA do indeed go to fund Social Security.  This is what they took in just this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)

In 2013, the total Social Security expenditures were $1.3 trillion, 8.4% of the $16.3 trillion GNP (2013) and 37% of the Federal expenditures of $3.684 trillion.[5][6] Income derived from Social Security is currently estimated to keep roughly 20% of all Americans, age 65 or older, above the Federally defined poverty level.[7]  

Administration after administration has talked about making reforms in order to keep Social Security solvent. And the warnings continue today. Take a look at what The Committee on a Responsible Federal Budget has to say about Social Security today. They are certainly highly recommending reforms.

http://crfb.org/category/issue-area/social-security

The latest Social Security Trustees report, released last week, shows a program in peril. Within three years, the Social Security disability trust fund will run out of money, at which point the program will only be able to pay 80 percent of benefits to disabled workers. Assuming policymakers decide to allow the disability fund to take money from the old-age fund, the whole program will become insolvent in 2033.

What this means is that the federal budget, in order to become a balanced budget and work to reduce the $17 Trillion debt, must include tax reform and tax increases, spending cuts and entitlement reforms.  Entitlement Reforms as generally understood include Medicare and Social Security.

You're welcome.


AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@manlyman

Indeed I have.  And it's been an fascinating history lesson on the best and worst of capitalism in this country.  AND, I'm seeing certain parallels of what happened back in the late 19th and early 20th century with what is happening now. 

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@Sibir_Russia

There is more to this story than just the passage of the Federal Reserve. 

At the time Wilson was in the White House a select few but very powerful men were very busy exerting their control on the economics of the nation.  We are talking about Carnegie, Morgan and Rockefeller whose shared dual ambitions were to become the most wealthy of the three and to establish and maintain their respective monopolies.  Wealth inequality flourished.  The rich were unbelievably so while the average working man and woman were thrown crumbs and worked in horrible conditions.  As long as these guys were in control the government was almost helpless to do anything about them until Teddy Roosevelt became president.

There is always more to the story Mr. Sibir.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@AlphaJuliette  

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

 

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@AlphaJuliette  

The Federal Reserve Act was enacted December 23, 1913, a hundred years ago the bill was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. Since then the Federal Reserve System has become a factor determining the US economy and politics.
The very establishment of the Federal Reserve System was a blatant violation of American Constitution which puts it plainly that only Congress is authorized to issue currency, not some group of private owners. The U.S. needs to nationalize the fed in the first place.
Ron Paul enumerates many cases when the Federal Reserve System has been in direct violation of the Federal Reserve Act. The most egregious one is granting by the Federal Reserve System incredibly huge credits for the total sum of $16 trillion to the largest banks of America and Europe during the recent financial crisis.  

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/12/23/federal-reserve-mortal-agony-on-day-of-jubilee.html