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Budget Debate

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NEWS
May 9, 1995 | By R.A. Zaldivar, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The budget debate is about numbers, so what difference do words make? Test your own reaction to these two hypothetical headlines: "Republicans Cut Medicare $250 Billion. " "GOP Plan Hikes Medicare 7 Percent. " Maybe you were alarmed by the first headline. And perhaps you were reassured by the second. Strictly speaking, both are accurate. But which one defines the budget debate could decide its outcome. This year, Republicans are asserting that many of their proposed budget savings are not really "cuts" but rather a slowing of program growth.
NEWS
April 1, 1989 | By Dan Meyers, Inquirer Staff Writer Inquirer staff writer Vanessa Williams contributed to this article
The austere budget Mayor Goode offered Thursday now is in the hands of a City Council that is divided over how much of it to approve. There appear to be bitter fights ahead over the extent of proposed cuts to social programs, such as those for the homeless and people with AIDS. Those battles could create new factions on Council, with former longstanding alliances, nicknamed "gangs," clashing over spending. Whether or not Council members are breaking up those old gangs of theirs, there are few portents that the struggles, internally and with Goode, will be as wild as those of Council's budget deliberations last year.
NEWS
March 21, 1986 | BY JIM NICHOLSON
Could it be that the budget debate is becoming a campaign by the business elite to turn over public wealth to corporate creditors? Social Security, a trust fund which doesn't cost the government a cent, is attacked as too expensive to carry. Too expensive for whom? Why is Conrail going to be practically given back to the same sort of speculators who ruined it in the first place, especially when tax revenues rebuilt its lines? Since when is public education non-essential to the health of our nation?
NEWS
May 28, 1995
Soon, there may be a milk carton with Bill Clinton's picture on it. In the struggle to end dangerous deficits, he's been missing for months. The Republican House has passed a seven-year plan to balance the budget; the Republican Senate followed suit last week. The fractious Democrats and their maximum leader have sniped at the GOP's specifics, but offered no alternative. There was a flurry of hope recently when Mr. Clinton told some radio reporters in New Hampshire he would eventually offer a "counter-budget.
NEWS
May 3, 2011 | By DOM GIORDANO
THE THING that struck me as I got into position to do my radio show at the NAACP's recent rally from the steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg against Gov. Corbett's budget cuts were the signs and the bearers of the signs. Hundreds of schoolkids, some as young as 7 or 8, were carrying signs that read "Misplaced Priorities: Over Incarcerate, Under Educate. " The sign also depicted two very young kids inside a prison yard staring at the guard tower. Misplaced priorities indeed!
NEWS
April 15, 2011 | By E. J. Dionne
President Obama has finally decided to take his own side in the philosophical struggle that is the true engine of this nation's budget debate. After months of mixed signals about what he was willing to fight for, Obama finally laid out his purposes and his principles. His approach has difficulties of its own, and much will depend on execution. But the president was unequivocal in arguing that the roots of our fiscal problems lie in tax cuts we could not afford. And he raised the stakes in our politics to something more fundamental than dry numbers on a page or computer screen.
NEWS
April 3, 2009
DEBATES will begin soon in Washington on the federal budget. My fear is that in light of our domestic challenges, Congress may neglect pressing issues in the budget in the area of foreign affairs. This is incredibly dangerous. Intelligent and informed foreign policy that addresses extreme poverty, disease and hunger is not only necessary to ensure justice and human dignity, it's also crucial to our national security and economic interests at home. Diseases like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis as well as chronic malnutrition and hunger must all be fought hard.
NEWS
August 12, 2009 | By Mario F. Cattabiani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was classic, free-talking Ed Rendell. The governor said he hoped a conference committee of legislator leaders would get back to work this week crafting a final budget bill. Then he quipped that panel members have been so ineffective that he has fantasized about their untimely demise, 007-style. All in the course of one news conference yesterday in the children's reading section of a Harrisburg-area library. The six-member conference committee is charged with striking a final budget plan, which would go to each chamber for an up-or-down vote.
NEWS
March 23, 2000 | By Mike Madden, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The Board of Education last night voted, 7-0, to send a $107.5 million budget to residents for approval next month,after a calm public hearing marked by none of the battles that doomed last year's spending plan. The hearing and the plan's adoption capped a quiet budget season for the school district - exactly as administrators had intended as they tried to write a 2000-01 budget that could both advance their educational goals and withstand public scrutiny. Besides the budget and school-board candidates, Cherry Hill voters will see on their April 18 ballots a question seeking authorization for $1.4 million to pay for new technology projects and to reduce class sizes.
NEWS
June 20, 2012
A photo caption with Tuesday's story about making the Web series Nerd vs. Geek misspelled the name of cocreator Stephanie Yuhas. A story Monday about the budget debate in New Jersey erred in stating that the Newark Star-Ledger's PolitiFact awarded its "pants on fire" rating to an e-mail by Gov. Christie's press office suggesting that his tax-cut plan had the support of former President Bill Clinton. PolitiFact says it actually gave that rating to a different criticism of legislative Democrats by Christie in their disagreement over tax cuts.
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NEWS
June 2, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
  HARRISBURG - Elected officials have plenty of words to describe the coming state budget debate, none of them good. Some call it bleak. Others call it agonizing - or just plain bad. "Expect a lot of street theater," said one, noting that this is an election year. On Monday, Gov. Corbett and the legislature head into the thick of budget season. Looming are a July 1 deadline and the fiscal reality that state revenue collections are not matching projected expenditures.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - With Pennsylvania's budget forecast gloomy, the legislature looks to be placing its bets on gambling. As budget discussions unfold over the next few months, it is widely expected that the GOP-controlled House and Senate, along with the Corbett administration, will seriously consider a proposal to expand lottery gambling and, possibly, one to legalize online gambling. Both measures could mean hundreds of millions in annual tax revenue at a time when the state is in the red. The administration says Pennsylvania could be facing at least a $1.2 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1. But the proposals are also bound to stir anew concerns that Pennsylvania is moving at breakneck speed to offer more options to gamble, which many believe will increase addiction and the social ills that go with it. Gov. Corbett, for instance, signed a law late last year allowing small games of chance - including pull-tab games and raffles - in bars and restaurants.
NEWS
April 5, 2013 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Without drastic cuts or controversial pension changes to argue over last spring, Gov. Christie and Democratic lawmakers found other foils for their budget bouts: the wonks who crunch the numbers. That's how David Rosen, a long-serving budget officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, became "Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers," a name Christie gave him after the analyst cast doubt on the administration's revenue forecast for the fiscal year that ends June 30. Christie apparently wanted to link Rosen's dreary projections to a man called "Dr. Death," and best known for his role in assisted suicides.
NEWS
March 22, 2013 | By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Moving on two fronts, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday voted to keep the government running for the next six months while pushing through a tea-party-flavored budget for next year that would shrink the government by another $4.6 trillion over the next decade. The spending authorization on its way to the White House for President Obama's signature leaves in place $85 billion in spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs. The result will be temporary furloughs for federal workers and contractors over the next six months and interrupted, slower, or halted services for many Americans.
NEWS
February 5, 2013
By Sharon Ward Gov. Corbett and his staff have crisscrossed the state over the past few weeks, previewing the state budget to be unveiled Tuesday. The change in style is welcome for a governor who has seemed reluctant to explain his priorities or defend his positions. Pennsylvanians also appear to be clamoring for a change in substance. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that only 36 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of Gov. Corbett's job performance - while 46 percent disapprove. It's not a mystery that the governor's popularity tumbled after last year's budget debate: An on-time spending plan is not enough to compensate for a budget out of step with Pennsylvanians' priorities.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - There's a growing sense of resignation that the country's political leaders will be unable or unwilling to find a way around looming automatic spending cuts, despite fresh signs the trims would threaten the recovering economy. On one side are conservative Republicans, outnumbered and frustrated, who see the painfully large cuts as leverage in their battle to force Democrats into concessions on the budget. On the other side are President Obama and his Democratic allies, who are pressing to replace some of the cuts with new tax revenue.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brett Mandel, one of the candidates trying to unseat City Controller Alan Butkovitz, is providing voters with their own opportunity to become city fiscal watchdogs. With help from technically savvy friend Ben Garvey, Mandel has created a website where Philadelphians and anyone else can look up the city's spending in the fiscal year ended last June. The site is budget.brettmandel.com. It features blocks for each department in city government, sized according to how much of the $3.5 billion budget they control.
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - In the final days of the presidential campaign, you saw them everywhere. Sen. Pat Toomey stood on stage with Mitt Romney at a massive Bucks County rally last Sunday. U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, a Democrat from Montgomery County, zipped across the region for news conferences to combat the Republicans' late Keystone State offensive. Toomey and Schwartz were among Romney's and President Obama's most prominent surrogates in Pennsylvania, but their positions as leading advocates didn't end with the election.
NEWS
August 15, 2012 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer
MITT ROMNEY and Paul Ryan want to destroy Medicare and use the money saved to give bigger tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. Or, Romney and Ryan want to save Medicare from bankruptcy, ensuring that a key part of the social safety net survives. Those were the competing political narratives pitched Monday in Philly by surrogates for President Obama's re-election campaign and Romney's Republican bid to replace him in the White House. Romney's selection Saturday of Ryan, a seven-term member of the U.S. House from Wisconsin, for the vice-presidential spot on his ticket reset the political debate on how to manage the national budget.
NEWS
July 3, 2012 | By Brett Mandel
Another city budget season has come and gone, and, for the fifth straight year, Philadelphians will endure more tax increases even as the city's long-term fiscal challenges remain unresolved.   With the murder rate on the rise, "rolling brownouts" limiting Fire Department resources, and adored-but-underfunded parks struggling to do more with less, this latest budget represents more than a missed opportunity; it's a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare. All the hand-wringing, missed deadlines, and brinkmanship ended up amounting to what the Bard's Macbeth called "sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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