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Cut-thirsty GOP gives Homeland Security a budget increase

As it simultaneously screams about cutting funding for school lunches, and cutting funding for paramedics training, and cutting funding for heating oil for the elderly, and holding disaster aid hostage unless spending cuts are approved, the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives today passed a $42.3 Billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

The measure passed 231-188 after lawmakers eased cuts to popular grant programs for local fire departments and after GOP conservatives tried – but failed – in several attempts to *ADD* millions of dollars to a variety of their home state border security initiatives, i.e., pork. The spending bill shows a net INCREASE of $3.4 BILLION over last year’s DoHS budget. Last time I checked, spending cuts didn’t result in net increases. I guess I just must not understand Washington math.

Fox News: Obama Claims Border Fence ‘Basically Complete’ But It’s Only 5% Finished – May 10, 2011

So Fox News said two weeks ago that the border fence is a sham, but Republicans just forked over ANOTHER $42.3 Billion without even asking any questions. Back in 2007, the cost of the border fence had already ballooned to $47 Billion, more than 45 percent OVER the original budget. And in case you’re keeping tally; that 5%-finished border fence has so far cost a total of $84 Billion, not counting the $38 Billion wasted on the “virtual fence” comedy tour.

Border state Republicans were successful in some but not all of their attempts to add money to favored programs. Rep. Ted Poe of Texas gained $10 million for cell phone towers along the U.S.-Mexico border but could not secure $100 million for detention beds to hold illegal aliens facing deportation. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas unsuccessfully pressed for, among others, a $50 million amendment for drone aircraft, helicopters and boats to patrol the border.

Might I remind you that it was just this past two months ago that Homeland Security’s OWN OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL released a report on fraud, waste and abuse within the Department of Homeland Security that uncovered and specifically identified $146,569,298 that was being wasted, misused or otherwise spent poorly by the DoHS, and resulted in 248 arrests, 173 indictments, 309 investigations referred for prosecution, 222 convictions, and 94 personnel administrative actions (also known as “firings”)?

And the “cut-spending” House of Representatives rewards them with a budget increase?!? And before anyone has a hissy fit and says this spending bill is LESS than last year’s DoHS budget, don’t forget to add the $13,2 Billion in “emergency appropriations” that DoHS received from Congress after their budget was already passed. There’ll be no Bush-era “magic accounting” here.

An amendment by Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to prohibit TSA from relying on the advanced screening machines as the primary means of screening passengers was defeated 300-123. The measure would also take away collective bargaining rights from the nation’s 44,000 airport screeners. And you think airport TSA screeners are hard to deal with now?

Ummm … I hate to break it to all you “Republicans are for cutting spending” types out there, but Republicans just spent ANOTHER $42.3 Billion on a federal department that is KNOWN to be riddled with fraud, graft, waste and spending abuse, and their own internal investigative department even confirmed it.

Ahhhh … the raw sewage stench of Washington. Ain’t nothin’ like it.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at June 3, 2011 12:48 AM
Comments
Comment #323911

gary

“The measure would also take away collective bargaining rights from the nation’s 44,000 airport screeners. And you think airport TSA screeners are hard to deal with now?”

as it should. the TSA screeners were originally not allowed to unionize. this is a recent occurence, and a pay off to obamas union supporters. gov’t employees should not be allowed to belong to unions period. those unions work against the best interest of the taxpayers, in order to build thier own ranks. there is and always will be a conflict of interest.

BTW i wouldn’t call appropriating money for border security pork. however the pissing away of that money, and what seems to be constant budget overruns on gov’t projects, definitely deserves all the scrutiny we can give it.

Posted by: dbs at June 3, 2011 8:13 AM
Comment #323928

Gary, it’s not strange at all for gov’t (Corpocracy) to continue whizzing away taxpayer dollars if one thinks in the context of ‘working to break the back of the middle class to enable the US to compete in the globalized world economy’. Been going on since Regan and the era of ‘greed is good’. Actually started with Carter and the Panama Canal giveaway.

This article relates that the gov’t Corpocracy continues to hand out foreign aid, even to those countries who are holding large chunks of our debt.

We’ve no need to worry about fence money, Gary. The GOP is just sparring with the DEM’s, pandering before the election about building more fence. Open borders is the mantra of the Corpocracy and will remain that way. Drug wars, human smuggling, and illegal immigration has not moved the Corpocracy off their position.

Just saw a CNBC documentary recently relating that slave trade has ramped up bigtime as part of globalisation. And, the US entities are a big player in this. People in places like Iowa and Nebraska are being held against their will, thru intimidation or at gunpoint, working for the man. Children between 11 and 16 do all the labor and harvesting of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast. Many sold by their parents in Mali to the slavemasters.

Otherwise, the idea is bring US wages into line with competing economies around the world. Something close to minimum wage I suppose.

Recall how the banks were bailed out so they would start lending. Mortgage companies borrowing money at 0.5% while housing loans have dropped, what, from 7 to 6%, something like that.

Corporations fat in cash, much of it stashed overseas where it can’t be taxed, but spending little in the US.
The Corpocracy has been talking up jobs since 09. How hard would it be to crank up a CCC type operation? 15k monthly average for new jobs coming on line.

The great recession is nothing more than a well planned ‘pressure cooker’ to ‘help’ the middle class find the point where they can begin to compete in the globalised world. Pretty clear, we aren’t there yet.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2011 4:25 PM
Comment #323930

For more tautology we can report that the Corpocracy set about undoing legislation put in place to prevent recessions/depressions. The fact that few to none legislators complained about this or tried to prevent the ‘undoing’ speaks volumes, IMO.

This article and this article refers. It seems sensible that undoing law to prevent recession/depression might lead to the same and that sensible legislators opposed to recession/depression might have been a majority or at least would have complained about such repeals.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2011 5:05 PM
Comment #323984


Roy, there was a small, but vocal group of politicians that did speak out against deregulation, the progressives.

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2011 1:22 PM
Comment #324009

jlw, I’ve no doubt you are correct. How likely is it that a couple of legislators can go to the law locker, pull out and modify a law or two, return them to the law locker with no others being the wiser? Media reports suggest Phil did his thing in the dark of night while no one ‘was looking’. I suggest many knew, voted with Phil and helped keep it quite.

And, that’s why a 3rd party with a different political attitude would be useful. If elected persons of this party fail to work for the posted party agenda they are subject to an up/down vote by the membership and based on the outcome, can be rejected from the party. Of course, the elected person can broach their reason for wanting to change the agenda on some issue by making their case before the membership. Puts a high priority on communications, representation and accountability, which is what we need, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 4, 2011 10:29 PM
Comment #324155

This is an article relate to the aid of foreign. I have no doubt you are correct. גננות

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