OT - Is this representative of US public opinion? UK Newspaper Front Page

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Yes, I understand that the Constitution ALLOWS the gov't to spend money on certain activities. However, without getting into what is allowed vs. what is not allowed, I want to know what is MANDATORY. The prior poster said that 50%+ of federal spending was mandatory and only 19% discreationary.
Dave Hall
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is
50%+
I believe the thing that makes it mandatory is that Congress has passed a law creating a program and funded it at a certain level. Thus, the administration cannot simply chose not to spend the money.
For example, they can decide to _ask_ for money to go to Mars in the budget they submit to Congress but they cannot decide to stop paying Social Security to folks who are getting under laws passed by Congress. Make sense?
Dennis Vogel
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Nope, not at all. When Congress passes (and the President signs) the budget and related authorizing legislation, the executive branch is required to administer to that budget (more or less, there is some wiggle room in all appropriations.) Clearly what is meant by "mandatory" and "entitlements" is that the law establishes the criteria that the "client" must meet to get the payment and as long as he/she meets those requirements they are "entitled" to the payment and can enforce their "rights" in court (using government paid lawyers to do so) even if that requires spending more money than was appropriated in the budget. However, what is convieniently overlooked when describing these amounts as mandatory is that they are only mandatory until Congress changes the law - thus they are not mandatory at all. If we want that 56% of the budget back, all we have to do is vote in congress-critters (thanks somebody for that term) with the balls to change the law (fat chance).
Dave Hall
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snipped-for-privacy@nhsd.k2.pa.us says...

Only a few fall into that category, defense being one. I believe a significant number of items would cause the founders to scream in anguish if they realized what politicians were doing with OPM (other peoples' money).
I only used the term above because that is how it is reported. Basically, "mandatory" means money that no-backbone politicians determined to spend years ago and passed the legislation such that it does not have to be approved year after year -- i.e. no political fallout.

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Well, what then would they make of the current crop of politicians who are doing things with BORROWED money? If they'd return "our money" to us as they like to say that's be one thing. But, as it is, they're giving us money that will come out of the pockets of your kids and grandkids. The FF would sh*t a brick over that I venture to say.
Dennis Vogel
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Found this and it explains a few things better than I could. This is not an isolated interpretation of where this country may be headed.
Renata
By Daniel N. Shaviro, Newsday
What's the difference between Pete Rose and the George W. Bush administration?
The main one is that at least Pete Rose has admitted he had a compulsion and promises that if reinstated he will not act on it again. You may believe him or not, but admission is a necessary first step.
The Bush administration isn't hooked on sports gambling. Instead, what it likes to do is spend money in wild binges while also constantly cutting taxes and pretending that nothing has to be paid for.
Eighty-seven billion dollars for a year in Iraq, with the occupation expected by many to continue indefinitely? No problem.
A new Medicare prescription drug benefit, with no financing and an estimated long-term cost of $12 trillion, or more than our entire economy produces in a year? Why not?
A permanent space station on the moon, plus manned trips to Mars within a decade? Sounds expensive, but who's counting?
Repeal any of the Bush tax cuts of the last few years? Unthinkable.
The administration is also, at long last, facing something akin to the baseball commissioner, albeit lacking his powers: The International Monetary Fund. The IMF - long the scourge of political leaders from Brazil to Kenya to Indonesia for its insistence on budget discipline - has now trained its sights on American policy. The IMF notes that, within a few years, our trade debts to the rest of the world may exceed 40 percent of the size of our economy - and this before the Baby Boomers' retirement puts our budget even more massively and permanently in the red. It warns that our ever-expanding budget and trade deficits and national debt endanger not just our own economy, but worldwide economic growth.
Only, unlike in Brazil or Kenya, the IMF cannot threaten to pull the plug on us, because there is no plug to pull. We have not borrowed money from the IMF, or at least not yet. Keeping the Bush administration's budget policies in place would make about as much sense as letting Pete Rose manage the Cincinnati Reds again and bet on their games as much as he likes. What happens if the federal debt keeps growing and growing, with no end in sight?
A recent Congressional Budget Office report lays out this scenario: "Foreign investors could stop investing in U.S. securities, the exchange value of the dollar could plunge (as is already happening), interest rates could climb, consumer prices could shoot up, or the economy could contract sharply.
"Amid the anticipation of declining profits and rising inflation and interest rates, stock markets could collapse and consumers might suddenly reduce their consumption."
Now for the bad news: That is only Step 1. At some point, if the United States continues to increase spending while cutting taxes, the government may no longer be able to sell enough bonds at any reasonable interest rate. At that point, with seniors clamoring for their Social Security and Medicare benefits and tax increases a political third rail, the temptation to keep things going a bit longer by printing money may become irresistible.
The Congressional Budget Office therefore feels compelled to point out that this would "lead to hyperinflation (as happened in Germany in the 1920s, Hungary in the 1940s, Argentina in the 1980s, and Yugoslavia in the 1990s)." Quite extraordinary company, even if it is just hypothetical for now, for the world's largest economy and greatest democracy to keep. Even Bush's chief economist, Gregory Mankiw, the chair of his Council of Economic Advisers, has warned about this scenario - although not, at least publicly, since taking office.
Back in 1995, when the debt and deficit picture was much more innocuous than it is now, he warned about a capital market meltdown involving the U.S. government and wrote that it is "hard to think about because things can go wrong in such a rich variety of ways."
What is keeping us on this disastrous course? Three main things: The first is the administration's total and reckless disregard for elementary principles of fiscal probity. The second is the moral failure of Republicans and conservative intellectuals who know better but say nothing because they want to play on the team, or else care just about the next election. And the third is the political cowardice of Democrats who dare neither to challenge the Bush tax cuts head-on nor to tell seniors that they cannot keep on getting ever-larger government handouts.
As Pete Rose is learning, when you do something wrong it is not necessarily enough to later come clean. But at least coming clean about its disastrous budget policies would be a start for the Bush administration, which continues to deny the undeniable.
Daniel N. Shaviro is a law professor at New York University and author of "Making Sense of Social Security Reform."
Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.
smart, not dumb for email
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Renata wondered openly...>

Renata, the fact of the matter is that a small percentage of the population pays for most of the burden for all of us. It is only natural they will see a bigger benefit from cuts. How could it be otherwise? Also, capital gains only occur in years in which you liquidate assets, so using a percentage of the population being below a given level doesn't make sense. Al Gore hummed this tired tune to defeat four years ago. Been there, done that.
Also, I noticed one "fact" that was not accurate, there may be more. George Bush never executed anyone as Governor of Texas. The author was either uninformed, careless, or deviant, but the Governor of Texas has very limited involvement in capital punishment. I believe the most he can do is instistute a stay of execution, which automatically expires after a predetermined period of time. Therefore, the inclusion of this statistic is clearly intellectually dishonest, as is most of the article.
Don't be a tool, think for yourself.
Joe
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I was in Europe last week and met with people of several nationalities, including the UK. I was struck with the impression that the people were completely mis-informed and had no access to, or didn't care about the truth. Now I know why.

Remove the 'remove' in my address to e:mail me.
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SteveC1280 wrote:

That's of course assuming that _you_ are informed and know the truth (The USA has CNN, right?!?!? :-) )... Your attitude is typical of why foreigners hate Americans.
I do not mean to put you down, but how can you expect people in other countries to know as much about life in the USA as you? How can you be sure you are in the know and the others are not?
Most importantly, why should a foreigner care more about the USA than Americans? It's always puzzling to see that many, many American people act as of the world is there to serve us, and of course, we complain when they fail us? <*sigh*>
--
gabriel

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Funny. The reason that you give for "foreigners hat(ing) Americans" is that stereotypical Americans display a lack of knowledge about other cultures, and then you use foreign lack of knowledge about American culture to justify foreign hatred of us.
Eh?
Kevin
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Kevin Craig wrote:

The point you chose to ignore about what I said is the key: Foreginers don't come to the USA and stroll around saying how stupid we are (and we Americans, as a whole, are VERY stupid). Americans go abroad, refuse to try to speak the local language, and tell people in their countries what to do and how dumb they are.
Of course, not all Americans are like that... Some are unaware that other countries even exist!
As for internation awareness, how many Americans would you bet can point out the USA on a world map?
--
gabriel

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forth from the murky depths:

Let's see, 53% are Pro-Bush so that leaves a probable 47% who might get lucky on a map.
--== May The Angst Be With You! ==-- -Yoda, on a bad day -- http://diversify.com Ending Your Web Page Angst.
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brought

So that is 53% + the lucky among the 47%. More than half.

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On 20 Jan 2004 15:12:15 GMT, SteveC1280 wrote:

Stick with CNN, Fox and the rest. You can then have your opinions served up to you and you'll find it a lot less painful.
I'm afraid in Europe we like to make our own minds up which is what probably confused you.
--

Frank

http://www.freebsd.org /
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I guess they generously didn't include the devalued US dollar in their stats.
A similar list of negatives could be compiled for virtually every country in the world, including the UK.

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<snip>

in
I was thinking the exact same thing. It could also be compiled for every administration this country has ever had.
todd
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I'm not a big fan of Bush, but that is NOT representative of mainstream opinion.

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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 05:30:57 -0800, Noel Hegan wrote:

I met an older woman in Denmark this past September. When the conversation somehow turned to the Bush invasion of Iraq, she summarized Mr. Bush quite succinctly: He is a catastrophe.
Unlike Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya, etc, we get an opportunity every 4 years to oust our "dictators". Bush's turn to move on comes this November.
He is among the worst of presidents in modern history. He has done next to nothing to make this country safer or more prosperous. He has been part of an agenda from the moment he took office, and 9/11 gave him the impetus to put that agenda into full swing. As you know, he continually laid down ultimatums to Saddam and every time Saddam seemed to comply. Tired of the apparent compliance, Bush decided to finally launch his invasion based on doctored reports of weapons of mass destruction. None have been found to date. Instead we now have more than 500 of our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers returned in body bags. The Bush crowd wants us to believe these young people did not die in vain but surrendered their lives selfishly for the Bush doctrine of patriotism. Meanwhile there are families mourning their losses and places at tables go empty with only painfully sweet memories of the loved ones gone.
The economy is cyclic. Unfortunately it is showing signs of improving. Bush, of course, is taking full credit and says it's because of his tax cuts, cuts which favor the rich but leave the working American high and dry.
If Bush weren't tragic enough, there are still too many Americans swept up in his rhetoric and who still blindly support him without ever questioning or challenging Bush.
What else do you want to know?
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Please define and distinguish between the "Rich" and the "working American"? Is a married couple, one working as a school teacher and the other in a steel mill rich? They take home more than $125k/year and did benefit from the tax reductions. What about a married couple, both working in the IT field OR a cabinet maker whose wife worke an the IT department at a local hospital? Are these people not "working Americans"? Then just who are you referring to?
My wife and I both work hard to make a living and support our family. How dare you insinuate that I am rich and am not a working American!!!

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SNIP of a bunch of crap

This shows your sad mentality. You hate Bush so much that you WANT our economy to be bad and find it "unfortunate" that it is "improving". It is unfortunate that liberals need and want our country to go to hell in a hand basket so that they can regain power.
Dave Hall
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