Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Post and discuss.


Marilynn M said...

Judy B. said...

Also could you post a new thread one on the national budget. Here we could highlight (local) budget items that come to our attention, and discuss their implications..

I am posting two articles here and hope you will transfer this commentary to the new BUDGET thread:

Tight budget mustn't sink timetable for dredging
Feb 08, 2006

Port of Longview director Ken O'Hollaren said Tuesday he's pleased that President Bush's fiscal year 2007 budget proposal includes $15 million for deepening the Columbia River, even though it's less than half the amount Lower Columbia ports wanted.

"The point is," O'Hollaren said, "the project is moving forward."

The ports support deepening 102 miles of the river channel from the Pacific Ocean to the Portland-Vancouver area from 40 feet to 43 feet to handle heavier ships. Environmental groups oppose the project.

The Army Corps of Engineers dredged 28 miles last year and plan to deepen another 30 miles this year with $15 million Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2006, corps spokeswoman Heidi Helwig said.

The corps, however, estimates it will need another $65 million to finish the project.

The ports and the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana asked the Bush administration for $40 million in fiscal year 2007 --- as much money as the corps could logistically spend in one year on the project.

A $40 million appropriation also would position the corps to finish the project by the end of 2008 --- a year later than the corps once planned.

O'Hollaren, president of the six-port Columbia River Channel Deepening Coalition, agreed that at $15 million a year, the project could take several more years to finish.

At least shipping companies know the Bush administration remains committed to the project, and port officials will lobby lawmakers to appropriate more than $15 million, he said.

"We hope to add to that amount once congressional appropriations start in earnest in the spring," O'Hollaren said.

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, said Northwest lawmakers will "fight vigorously to hold ($15 million) as a base and maybe add something to it."

"Obviously, we'd like more, and we'll pursue more, but $15 million as a minimum is not too bad."

deb said...

$14 million in federal faith-based money goes to Pat Robertson

Cheryl V said...

This administration seems to have an infinite creativity for destroying the country. I don't know what to get the most upset about.

Anonymous said...

Congress's $2 Billion Typo

Judy B. said...

February 27, 2006
Editorial..Debt and Taxes

There's nothing Congressional Republicans would like more than to escape the inescapable need to raise the nation's debt limit. The upcoming increase, from $8.18 trillion to nearly $9 trillion, will be the fourth major hike in the last five years.

Treasury Secretary John Snow has told Congress that the government risks default if a higher limit is not approved by mid-March. The timing is unfortunate for Republican leaders. Hitting the limit draws unwelcome attention to the government's inability to pay its bills without heavy borrowing, exposing the mania behind the Republicans' relentless tax cutting.

So the challenge for Congressional Republicans is how to vote on a debt-limit increase without provoking discussion of the nation's growing indebtedness. The House availed itself of a special rule that let it automatically raise the debt limit — without a specific vote — when it passed the 2006 budget resolution last year. But the Senate must hold a vote, which would normally be preceded by debate. In fact, the debt limit has been an important part of the most consequential budget debates in modern times, including the 1990 budget. That was the deal that imposed the tough "pay as you go" rules that were central to the fiscal discipline — and budget surpluses — of the 1990's. Congress broke those rules to pass the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts of 2001 and then let the rules expire in 2003.

It will come as no surprise if Senate leaders squelch debate on the debt limit until Congress is ready to begin its next week-long recess, on March 17. Then, up against the Treasury's default deadline, the increase would be put to a voice vote, so that no individual would have to go on record as approving the measure.

The American people deserve better. The debt limit must be raised. But lawmakers should tackle the problem of runaway debt by reimposing budget rules that require that tax cuts be paid for. Doing so would expose the true cost of today's tax cuts, today, instead of pushing the reckoning into the future.

deb said...

Judy, Cheryl, Anon. (is that you JG?), I agree with Cheryl...I don't know what to get the most upset about. I don't have grandkids yet, but I certainly don't want them entering this world already way over their heads in debt. I heard recently that 1 in 4 of our tax dollars is paying interest on this debt.

dan said...

What are we getting for the big spending binge by this Administration?

Hey Big Spender

deb said...

Good one Dan. I'll share the link. Cartoons/humor tend to get spread around via e-mail.

dan said...

Vote for me, I'm a hypocrite