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Discretionary Spending

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NEWS
August 5, 1991 | BY JIM SASSER, From the New York Times
The conventional wisdom holds that the 1990 budget agreement will last until shortly after the 1992 election, when campaign promises can be safely forgotten and we must face deficits that have deepened beyond expectations. Until then we are supposed to be on automatic pilot. Yet the Congressional Budget Office confirmed last week that we can't achieve the planned $480 billion deficit reduction over five years without further paring. We must begin that paring far in advance of fiscal 1993.
NEWS
November 11, 1987 | By Robert A. Rankin and Gerald B. Jordan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Democratic negotiators yesterday proposed a plan to cut the federal deficit by $33.8 billion - including $12 billion in tax increases - but Republicans at the so-called budget summit refused to go along. "We're not going to accept $12 billion in taxes, period," said House Minority Whip Trent Lott (R., Miss.) after adjournment of the closed-door meeting. Nevertheless, Lott said, Democrats and Republicans are within $1 billion of agreement on how much to cut discretionary spending and within $2 billion of how much to cut spending on automatic entitlements for programs such as farm supports and Medicare.
NEWS
April 18, 2011
As the tax-filing deadline ("This year you get an automatic extension," Friday) arrives, and a debate on deficits and federal budget priorities begins, one major area of the federal budget appears to be largely off the table: military spending. Yet this accounts for 51 percent of the discretionary spending, the part of the budget that Congress can allocate however it chooses. That comes to over $750 billion, an average of nearly $6,000 per taxpaying household. Under Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget, it would continue to increase, and President Obama's alternative would only slow the rate of increase.
NEWS
July 29, 1999
Caught between their yen for a giddy, tax-cutting spree and the austere discipline of the balanced-budget deal they signed two years ago, Republicans in Congress are resorting to the kind of gimmicks that used to drive them crazy when Democrats were in charge. For example, they're flipping through next year's spending and stamping "Emergency" on billions of it. This way, they can pretend to respect the virtual freeze in most spending that Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law two years ago. So far, House appropriators have declared about $10 billion in "emergency spending," exempting it from the limit.
NEWS
September 2, 2000 | By Robert Reno
We have become a spoiled nation with zero tolerance for forest fires, tires that fail, plane crashes and food that makes us sick. And isn't is nice that we have? Never mind that our grandparents regarded these occurrences as either acts of God or everyday events to be tolerated without whining. They are also eventualities that we increasingly demand the federal government protect us from. And in the last 20 years, we have insisted it do so with a steadily shrinking share of the nation's resources.
NEWS
October 4, 1989 | By Vanessa Williams, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Goode yesterday put a 90-day freeze on contracts for "nonessential" services to give administration officials a chance to look for potential cuts in fees to private businesses that do work for the city. The freeze, authorized in an executive order, affects about a quarter of the $614 million that has been set aside in the fiscal year's budget for professional-service contracts. As of the end of September, $463 million has been appropriated or spent for such services as legal advice, technical consultation and foster care for children.
NEWS
May 4, 2001 | By James Kuhnhenn INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The House of Representatives was poised yesterday to pass a $2 trillion federal budget for next year, and the Senate was expected to soon follow suit next week. This year's budget agreement calls for $1.35 trillion in tax cuts between now and 2011, which is less than the $1.6 trillion President Bush proposed but more than the $1.2 trillion some Democrats wanted. It also increases discretionary spending, the one-third of the budget that is not already promised to mandatory programs or debt payments, by about 5 percent.
NEWS
February 6, 2004 | By David Goldstein and Ron Hutcheson INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Bush's long-term budget plans include deep spending cuts in programs that he's promoting this year on the campaign trail as among his signature achievements. The President, for instance, trumpeted his "Jobs for the 21st Century" program during a speech in South Carolina yesterday. That program, which Bush said aids states and local communities, falls under funds for training and employment, which his budget proposes to increase by nearly $100 million for fiscal 2005. But the following year, Bush would cut those funds by $36 million, assuming he wins reelection in November.
NEWS
October 27, 2003 | By BILL REYNOLDS
SEN. ARLEN Specter rejects misleading political labels like conservative, moderate or liberal that are so freely used. He makes his voting judgments on the individual issues, and on what he thinks is good for the country and the state of Pennsylvania - based on his experience and conscience. Rep. Pat Toomey's Sept. 23 op-ed on Sen. Specter's record ignores the strong positions the senator has taken, which could be classified as conservative, on issues like crime and terrorism.
NEWS
January 24, 1994 | BY JESSE JACKSON
Bobby Ray Inman's bizarre withdrawal of his nomination for Secretary of Defense has mortified the White House, but it provides the president with a last opportunity to save his domestic agenda. While the White House casts about for a new nominee, we should be clear how high the stakes are. The budget passed last year puts a hard freeze on all federal discretionary spending. In 1993, real investment in areas vital to our economy - in education and training, infrastructure, children - actually went down in real terms for the first time in four years.
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NEWS
July 26, 2013
CLEVELAND - Deep plea-deal discussions hinging on the death penalty were underway yesterday for a man charged with kidnapping three women, keeping them cooped up in his run-down home and raping them repeatedly for about a decade, and a court hearing was scheduled for today. Both sides in the case against former school-bus driver Ariel Castro are headed back to court this morning before a judge who wants to be kept updated on the talks, Castro's attorney said. The sticking point in the plea talks for Castro, whose trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 5, has been whether the prosecutor would rule out the death penalty as demanded by the defense.
NEWS
May 22, 2012 | Ed Weiner
An open letter to Philadelphia Congressional Representatives Bob Brady, Chakah Fattah, and Allyson Schwartz: Important decisions are being made in Congress, giving more money to the military and taking away money from our states and communities. At the same time, Philadelphia City Council and School District are struggling with massive budget deficits. Catastrophe is right around the corner. While there is an effort to cut spending across the broad array of annual discretionary spending programs, Pentagon spending, which comprises 57 percent of the discretionary budget in the FY 2013 request, continues to absorb the lion's share of spending.
NEWS
February 14, 2012 | By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - President Obama's proposed federal budget would shrink annual deficits over 10 years, but it would fall far short of taming the exploding federal debt. By the end of Obama's second term, if he is reelected, debt held by the public would rise to $15.7 trillion - more than double the $7.5 trillion debt he inherited when he came into office. And debt held by the public is projected to keep rising under his budget, reaching $19.5 trillion by 2022. Obama's budget, meanwhile, wouldn't slash annual deficits but would reduce them to levels considered less threatening but still high.
NEWS
April 18, 2011
As the tax-filing deadline ("This year you get an automatic extension," Friday) arrives, and a debate on deficits and federal budget priorities begins, one major area of the federal budget appears to be largely off the table: military spending. Yet this accounts for 51 percent of the discretionary spending, the part of the budget that Congress can allocate however it chooses. That comes to over $750 billion, an average of nearly $6,000 per taxpaying household. Under Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget, it would continue to increase, and President Obama's alternative would only slow the rate of increase.
NEWS
October 5, 2010
If tea-party adherents were serious in their desire to shrink the size of the federal government, they would have put down their picket signs last week, abandoned their defense of Christine O'Donnell's phony resumé, and crowded into Room 608 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. There, 18 Democrats and Republicans were at work on what may be the last hope for gaining control of government spending. They weren't shouting slogans, waving posters that label the Democrats as socialists, or giving voice to Glenn Beck conspiracy theories.
NEWS
September 24, 2010 | By David Lightman and William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - The "Pledge to America" that Republican leaders in the House rolled out Thursday is unlikely to reshape this fall's congressional elections or refurbish the nation's economy. Republican candidates already have plenty of momentum going into the November elections, and the GOP's new agenda is filled with themes that congressional Republicans have been pushing for nearly two years: Extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, repeal this year's health-care overhaul, and freeze most federal spending at 2008-09 levels.
NEWS
February 26, 2008 | By Adrienne Lu INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Gov. Corzine today will propose reducing the state payroll by up to 3,500 workers through early retirements and layoffs, closing one or more departments, and trimming the property-tax rebate program, a state treasury official said yesterday. The moves come as the governor tries to keep the next state budget below the current year's level of $33.5 billion. The proposed budget would be the most austere spending plan the state has seen in more than a decade. Corzine will propose cutting spending by $1.7 billion and deferring growth in areas such as municipal aid by an additional $1.5 billion, acting State Treasurer David Rousseau said in a news briefing yesterday afternoon.
NEWS
February 6, 2007 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
Noteworthy items from President Bush's budget plan: Homeland Security. Bush asked Congress to boost Homeland Security Department spending to add 3,000 agents and expand the use of surveillance gear along the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to curb illegal immigration. At the same time, he would cut funding by 14 percent for the department's Federal Emergency Management Agency, which drew widespread criticism for its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bush proposed boosting Homeland Security spending by 1 percent, to $34.3 billion, in fiscal 2008.
NEWS
February 2, 2006 | By Susan Snyder INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Still facing a $16 million shortfall, the Philadelphia School District yesterday instituted a 30 percent cut in discretionary spending at its schools through June, which sent shock waves through the education community as word spread. Principals, who received a memo outlining the move, were grappling to figure out the impact on their schools. The cut will not affect salaries of full-time personnel, including teachers, or money that has already been committed, according to a memo from Wayne Harris, the district's budget director.
NEWS
October 27, 2004
To help voters in our closely contested region make an informed choice in this critical 2004 presidential election, The Inquirer Editorial Board offers a series of editorials documenting its reasons for endorsing John F. Kerry. A rebutting essay from a supporter of President George W. Bush appears on the facing Commentary Page. To read previous editorials and rebuttal essays, please go to http://go.philly.com/21reasons. Tomorrow's topic: Entitlement programs. When it comes to the federal government's finances, the presidential candidates offer voters two choices: bleak and bleaker.
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