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Fox's Jim Angle says "Congress has NO control ...

Reported by Chrish - March 12, 2005

...over huge chunks of federal spending". Molly Hennenberg reports on their struggles with setting next year's financial priorities on Special Report 3/11.
The 2006 budget as it stands runs a $390 billion deficit. She explains that Congress will authorize about 37% of the federal budget, i.e. discretionary spending which includes defense and all government departments and projects; the balance is made up of mandatory spending comprised of "the big three" entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) at 40% and the final 23% on, well, she didn't say. The mandatory spending is legislated and "the big three" grows with the cost of living, the number of enrollees, and healthcare costs.

"Clearly, there is a problem," we are told. (Is it just me, or are we up to our arses in problems since Bushco took office?)
Brian Reade of the conservative Heritage Foundation says "Within 30 years, Congress will either have to eliminate every discretionary program, including defense, education, and veterans', or raise taxes by the equivalent of $10,000 per household unless these programs are reined in."
Molly gives us the scoop "president Bush has made SS reform the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, and he's also asking Congress to the reform the formulas that govern Medicaid, to help bring down the cost."
Critics say that will hurt the poor and any changes in mandatory spending should be offset with increases in taxes.
Jim Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy said "we cannot in the long run bring the deficits down and put us on a long-term sustainable path without looking at the revenue side. And instead of doing that, the president is proposing even more tax cuts."
Molly: "and that's pretty much how the budget debate is shaping up...Republicans saying it's time to put entitlements and mandatory spending on the table and Democrats saying not while the president is calling for tax cuts."

Comment: Once again Republicans are portrayed as problem-solvers, putting issues on the table, and Democrats are painted as negative obstructionists. Howzabout "and that's pretty much how the budget debate is shaping up...Republicans saying it's our money and you can't have any more of it you whiners, and Democrats saying they want the rich to stop hogging all the bounty the working class creates.

Jim Angle's intro is a blame-shifting device - those damned entitlements are killing us and the super-majority party can't help these runaway deficits. (These are the same people who keep saying "it's YOUR money"...until you want some personal benefit from it.

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