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.
May 22, 2012 |
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.
February 14, 2012 |
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.
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.
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.
September 24, 2010 |
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.
February 26, 2008 |
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.
February 6, 2007 |
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.
February 2, 2006 |
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.
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.