2015 US Government Budget

gopbudget

Why Paul Ryan’s Budget Is A Fantasy

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee, released the fiscal-year 2015 House Budget proposal on Tuesday, a largely political document that will help shape the partisan debate ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

As with some of his past budget proposals, Ryan will have trouble explaining the details and the means that get to the end — a balanced budget. This year, the consensus on the most implausible parts of his plan comes on two fronts.

The first are the levels at which non-defense discretionary spending is set in the budget. Discretionary spending is comprised of  spending on programs that have to be reauthorized by Congress every year, not including entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The second is an accounting trick that is likely to be controversial, and that some call a gimmick.

The last year of the budget window, 2024, gives a good example of what Ryan does to balance the budget:

  • He ups non-defense discretionary cuts by $50 billion in 2024.
  • He assumes lower war spending by about $25 billion that same year.
  • He still needs a trick to get the budget to complete balance. Ryan uses a “dynamic” scoring method that helps balance his budget — one that could generate controversy. The “macroeconomic feedback effect” assumes the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits will lead to about $74 billion in savings in 2024.

The non-defense discretionary spending levels, especially in the last year, seem to be the most implausible part of the budget. In 2024, per the budget, the non-defense discretionary spending levels would be $467 billion — a 22 percent cut from post-sequester levels.  In raw dollars, that’s lower than it was in 2005. It’s also much lower than the 2013 level of $576 billion.

Loren Adler, a research director at the  at  Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Business Insider it would “c ertainly be one of the toughest pieces to feasibly achieve.”

In inflation-adjusted terms, it amounts to about a 29 percent cut from current levels. According to a Senate Democratic aide, it’s also 28 percent below the average amount of the non-defense discretionary spending levels during the Bush administration.

By 2024, the Ryan budget adds $483 billion to defense spending beyond sequester-set spending caps. But to get overall savings, the budget cuts $791 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

“NDD levels by end of budget window totally implausible — damage to safety net as well,” Jared Bernstein, a former Obama administration economist and now a senior fellow at the left-leaning  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in an email.

Ryan also uses the accounting trick to achieve balance. It’s a method he hasn’t employed in past budgets, and one that usually isn’t used by the Congressional Budget Office when scoring legislation. Ryan says the “macroeconomic feedback effect” of the deficit-cutting provisions in his budget will amount to $175 billion in savings over the 10-year budget window. And about $74 billion of that will come in the last year — coincidentally providing the U.S. with a $5 billion surplus.

Here’s Ryan’s reasoning for doing so:

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated several times over nearly 20 years that congressional action to reduce deficits will ultimately result in lower interest rates and faster economic growth by freeing up savings for use in productive investment. In addition, CBO has estimated that the positive economic effects of deficit reduction will feed back into the budget and further reduce deficits and debt over the medium and longer term.

Ryan notes the CBO used such dynamic scoring, for example, in 1998, when analyzing the 1998 bipartisan budget resolution that planned to balance the budget. But in general, the CBO says it does not usually analyze the macroeconomic effects due to several reasons (emphasis added):

Doing macroeconomic analysis of all proposed legislation would not be feasible; nearly all legislation analyzed by CBO would have negligible macroeconomic effects anyway (and thus negligible feedback to the federal budget); and estimates of macroeconomic effects are highly uncertain.

In his budget last year, Ryan included guidance about the macroeconomic effects to argue how his budget would be even better for deficits than the numbers showed. However, he did not employ the scoring method to achieve a balanced budget.

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Republican budget proposes deep cuts in domestic programs

4/1/14 2 hours ago By David Lawder – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on budget policy, rolled out a new fiscal blueprint on Tuesday that calls for deep cuts in domestic programs, increased defense spending and a goal of erasing annual deficits in 10 years.

Ryan’s budget, called the “Path to Prosperity,” has almost no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but is expected to serve as a campaign manifesto for Republicans in November’s congressional elections.

It proposes to kill President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reforms and revives cuts in social programs such as the popular Medicare entitlement for the elderly that Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, has proposed in other recent budgets.

The plan calls for savings of $5.1 trillion over a decade, with the goal of reaching a balanced budget by 2024 with no new tax revenues but increased defense spending.

Nearly $2.1 trillion would be saved over a decade by the proposal to kill Obamacare, according to the plan.

A sweeping overhaul of Medicare has been slightly revised, with phased-in changes applying to workers 55 years old and younger, compared to last year’s proposal which affected workers who were 54 and younger.

The document aims to bolster Republicans’ credentials as the party of fiscal prudence, but could open them up to fresh attacks from Democrats, who are calling for steps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/republican-budget-proposes-deep-cuts-social-programs-143537137–business.html;_ylt=AwrTWVVA.TpT_kMAeebQtDMD

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Pelosi Statement on Ryan Republican Budget

April 1, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released this year’s version of the House Republican budget:

“Today, Republicans have laid out their vision for a less prosperous America, demonstrating, yet again, the weakness of their arithmetic and the strength of their indifference to the concerns of struggling middle class families across the country.  They are proving the lengths they will go to protect the special interests at the expense of the public interest.  They are undermining seniors, students, and the middle class, crippling our economic competitiveness, and gutting our nation’s investments in the future – all to protect loopholes for the wealthy few and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

“Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn’t be asked to pay even a little more.  But seniors would be asked to pay more for preventive services and prescription drugs and see the end of the Medicare guarantee.  Families would witness devastating cuts to research, innovation, education, clean energy, and manufacturing, ceding economic leadership to other nations.  All Americans would see a budget that rejects comprehensive immigration reform, with its promise of job creation, stronger small businesses, a growing economy, and a shrinking deficit.

“Democrats have a better approach: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, investing in our infrastructure and our children’s education, closing the opportunity gap, and responsibly reducing the deficit.  Together, we can reignite the American Dream and build an economy that works for everyone.”

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Hoyer Statement on Republican Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the House Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2015:

“No one ought to be surprised at the budget unveiled by Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans today, which once again asks those with less to give more and those with more to give less.  This year’s Republican budget builds on the disastrous approach Republicans have followed over the past three years, embracing the painful and irrational sequestration cuts and slashing funding that supports investments in opportunity, growth, and security.

“While anyone who looks at the FY2015 Republican budget can readily see that it would do serious damage to our economy and society, Republicans do their best to hide the extent of the damage.  As in previous years, Chairman Ryan relies on gimmicks, magic asterisks, and spurious accounting assumptions to presume that his budget will achieve its anticipated deficit savings.  Additionally, his budget ends the Medicare guarantee as we know it, turns Medicaid into a block grant, repeals the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare], fails to invest in job creation, and does not include any new revenue.  His budget simply doesn’t work – and would lead to significant harm for our country.

“Last week, I delivered a speech in which I called on both parties in Congress to maximize every opportunity to move us closer toward the long-term fiscal sustainability that our country needs.  Our budget process is just such an opportunity; unfortunately, House Republicans chose to make it a partisan messaging exercise rather than a real effort to achieve balanced deficit savings and invest in the programs that strengthen our economy, grow our middle class, and help more of our businesses and families Make It In America.”

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Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

April 01, 2014

To build real, lasting economic security for the middle class, the President and Democrats in Congress have a plan to grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down, and create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress do not have a plan that works for the middle class and the House Republican Budget is the same old top-down approach. Because of a stubborn unwillingness to cut the deficit in a balanced way by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well connected, the House Republican Budget would slow the economy, stack the deck against the middle class, and threaten the guaranteed benefits seniors have paid for and earned.

The House Republican Budget would raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million. It would force deep cuts to investments in our roads and bridges, scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and at every level of education from early childhood to community college. It would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and risking a death spiral in traditional Medicare. Instead of ensuring that Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work and lifting millions of people out of poverty, the House Republican approach undermines Americans working hard to support their families by slashing food stamps and Medicaid. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, it would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for the 3 million young adults who have gained coverage by staying on their parent’s plan, the millions of people who have signed up for private insurance plans through the Marketplaces, and millions more who can continue to gain coverage through Medicaid.

The House Republican Budget stands in stark contrast to the President’s Budget, which would accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The President has put forward a Budget that rewards hard work with fair wages, equips all children with a high-quality education to prepare them for a good job, puts a secure retirement within reach, and ensures health care is affordable and reliable, while at the same time asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and making tough cuts to programs we can’t afford. And by paying for new investments and tackling our true fiscal challenges, the President’s Budget builds on the progress we’ve already made to cut the deficit by more than half since 2009 and cuts the deficit as a share of the economy to 1.6 percent by 2024. It also stabilizes the debt as a share of the economy by 2015 and puts it on a declining path after that.

Budgets are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead. The President believes that is the wrong approach and that we should instead be making smart investments necessary to create jobs, grow our economy, and expand opportunity, while still cutting the deficit in a balanced way and securing our nation’s future.

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A State-by-State Breakdown of the Damage That Would Be Caused by the House Republican Budget

Amy Brundage April 09, 2014 05:13 PM EDT

House Republicans this week are voting on a budget that protects tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle-class families to get ahead. It is the same old top-down approach and would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million.

As in previous years, the House Republican Budget proposes deep funding reductions that would result in severe cuts to critical areas that are needed to support job creation, economic growth, a strong middle class, and assistance for lower income individuals, especially when compared to the overall level of investment in the President’s budget. Since House Republicans aren’t willing to identify specifically what they actually want to cut, one way to assess the potential damaging impact is to look at what would happen to key programs if the cuts compared to the President’s budget were applied evenly across the board.

The results show the potential extent of the damage across the country. Within a few years:

  • In Florida, 290,000 seniors benefited from the closure of the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole in 2013 alone and at least that many likely would have to pay more for their needed medications in future years.
  • In California, more than 50,000 fewer students would receive Pell Grants to help them pay for college.
  • In Ohio, the proposed Medicaid block grant would cut federal Medicaid funding for the state by more than $30 billion over the next decade, likely resulting in more uninsured individuals and less care for those still covered.
  • In Texas, 12,000 fewer children would receive Head Start services.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 people would lose job search assistance.
  • In Missouri, 1,700 fewer victims of domestic violence would be served through the STOP Violence Against Women Program.

A full list of state-by-state impacts can be found here.

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President Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposal

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52 Responses to 2015 US Government Budget

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM
    President Obama departs the White House
    South Lawn

    12:00 PM
    12:55 PM
    President Obama arrives Michigan
    Willow Run Airport

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks on his proposal to raise the national minimum wage
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    3:30 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama will join FoodCorps leaders and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden for the sixth year in a row
    White House

    4:00 PM
    President Obama departs Michigan
    Willow Run Airport

    5:00 PM
    President Obama arrives Chicago
    Chicago O’Hare International Airport

    5:45 PM
    President Obama hosts a business executives roundtable hosted by Mesirow Financial Chairman and CEO Richard Price
    Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Chicago, IL

    6:00 PM
    6:45 PM
    President Obama Delivers a Statement on Fort Hood
    Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Chicago, IL

    7:00 PM
    7:55 PM
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Private Residence, Chicago, IL

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    9:30 PM
    President Obama departs Chicago
    Chicago O’Hare International Airport

    10:00 PM
    11:00 PM
    11:10 PM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage

    11:25 PM
    President Obama arrives the White House
    South Lawn

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 2, 2014

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      3:00 PM ET
      President Obama delivers remarks on his proposal to raise the national minimum wage
      University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

      3:30 PM ET
      First Lady Michelle Obama will join FoodCorps leaders and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden for the sixth year in a row.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:15 AM EDT
      General Motors Ignition Switch Recall
      A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee examines whether General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration properly tracked ignition switch complaints in GM cars and waited too long to issue the recall.

      10:30 AM ET
      House Committee Budget
      House Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Markup
      The House Budget Committee considered the fiscal year 2015 budget resolution introduced by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). http://www.c-span.org/video/?318635-1/fy2015-house-gop-budget-markup

      3:00 PM ET
      President Obama delivers remarks on his proposal to raise the national minimum wage http://www.c-span.org/video/?318651-1/president-obama-raising-minimum-wage

  2. CR says:

    2015 US Government Budget

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    • CR says:

      Why Paul Ryan’s Budget Is A Fantasy

      4/1/14 By Brett LoGiurato – Business Insider
      Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee, released the fiscal-year 2015 House Budget proposal on Tuesday, a largely political document that will help shape the partisan debate ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

      As with some of his past budget proposals, Ryan will have trouble explaining the details and the means that get to the end — a balanced budget. This year, the consensus on the most implausible parts of his plan comes on two fronts.

      The first are the levels at which non-defense discretionary spending is set in the budget. Discretionary spending is comprised of spending on programs that have to be reauthorized by Congress every year, not including entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

      The second is an accounting trick that is likely to be controversial, and that some call a gimmick.

      The last year of the budget window, 2024, gives a good example of what Ryan does to balance the budget:

      He ups non-defense discretionary cuts by $50 billion in 2024.
      He assumes lower war spending by about $25 billion that same year.
      He still needs a trick to get the budget to complete balance. Ryan uses a “dynamic” scoring method that helps balance his budget — one that could generate controversy. The “macroeconomic feedback effect” assumes the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits will lead to about $74 billion in savings in 2024.
      The non-defense discretionary spending levels, especially in the last year, seem to be the most implausible part of the budget. In 2024, per the budget, the non-defense discretionary spending levels would be $467 billion — a 22 percent cut from post-sequester levels. In raw dollars, that’s lower than it was in 2005. It’s also much lower than the 2013 level of $576 billion.

      Loren Adler, a research director at the at Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Business Insider it would “c ertainly be one of the toughest pieces to feasibly achieve.”

      In inflation-adjusted terms, it amounts to about a 29 percent cut from current levels. According to a Senate Democratic aide, it’s also 28 percent below the average amount of the non-defense discretionary spending levels during the Bush administration.

      By 2024, the Ryan budget adds $483 billion to defense spending beyond sequester-set spending caps. But to get overall savings, the budget cuts $791 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

      “NDD levels by end of budget window totally implausible — damage to safety net as well,” Jared Bernstein, a former Obama administration economist and now a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in an email.

      Ryan also uses the accounting trick to achieve balance. It’s a method he hasn’t employed in past budgets, and one that usually isn’t used by the Congressional Budget Office when scoring legislation. Ryan says the “macroeconomic feedback effect” of the deficit-cutting provisions in his budget will amount to $175 billion in savings over the 10-year budget window. And about $74 billion of that will come in the last year — coincidentally providing the U.S. with a $5 billion surplus.

      For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-paul-ryans-budget-fantasy-183719195.html;_ylt=AwrBEiKBQDtToBoAwhrQtDMD

    • CR says:

      Republican budget proposes deep cuts in domestic programs

      4/1/14 2 hours ago By David Lawder – Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on budget policy, rolled out a new fiscal blueprint on Tuesday that calls for deep cuts in domestic programs, increased defense spending and a goal of erasing annual deficits in 10 years.

      Ryan’s budget, called the “Path to Prosperity,” has almost no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but is expected to serve as a campaign manifesto for Republicans in November’s congressional elections.

      It proposes to kill President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reforms and revives cuts in social programs such as the popular Medicare entitlement for the elderly that Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, has proposed in other recent budgets.

      The plan calls for savings of $5.1 trillion over a decade, with the goal of reaching a balanced budget by 2024 with no new tax revenues but increased defense spending.

      Nearly $2.1 trillion would be saved over a decade by the proposal to kill Obamacare, according to the plan.

      A sweeping overhaul of Medicare has been slightly revised, with phased-in changes applying to workers 55 years old and younger, compared to last year’s proposal which affected workers who were 54 and younger.

      The document aims to bolster Republicans’ credentials as the party of fiscal prudence, but could open them up to fresh attacks from Democrats, who are calling for steps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/republican-budget-proposes-deep-cuts-social-programs-143537137–business.html;_ylt=AwrTWVVA.TpT_kMAeebQtDMD

    • CR says:

      Pelosi Statement on Ryan Republican Budget

      April 1, 2014

      Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released this year’s version of the House Republican budget:

      “Today, Republicans have laid out their vision for a less prosperous America, demonstrating, yet again, the weakness of their arithmetic and the strength of their indifference to the concerns of struggling middle class families across the country. They are proving the lengths they will go to protect the special interests at the expense of the public interest. They are undermining seniors, students, and the middle class, crippling our economic competitiveness, and gutting our nation’s investments in the future – all to protect loopholes for the wealthy few and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

      “Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn’t be asked to pay even a little more. But seniors would be asked to pay more for preventive services and prescription drugs and see the end of the Medicare guarantee. Families would witness devastating cuts to research, innovation, education, clean energy, and manufacturing, ceding economic leadership to other nations. All Americans would see a budget that rejects comprehensive immigration reform, with its promise of job creation, stronger small businesses, a growing economy, and a shrinking deficit.

      “Democrats have a better approach: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, investing in our infrastructure and our children’s education, closing the opportunity gap, and responsibly reducing the deficit. Together, we can reignite the American Dream and build an economy that works for everyone.”

    • CR says:

      Hoyer Statement on Republican Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

      April 1, 2014

      WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the House Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2015:

      “No one ought to be surprised at the budget unveiled by Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans today, which once again asks those with less to give more and those with more to give less. This year’s Republican budget builds on the disastrous approach Republicans have followed over the past three years, embracing the painful and irrational sequestration cuts and slashing funding that supports investments in opportunity, growth, and security.

      “While anyone who looks at the FY2015 Republican budget can readily see that it would do serious damage to our economy and society, Republicans do their best to hide the extent of the damage. As in previous years, Chairman Ryan relies on gimmicks, magic asterisks, and spurious accounting assumptions to presume that his budget will achieve its anticipated deficit savings. Additionally, his budget ends the Medicare guarantee as we know it, turns Medicaid into a block grant, repeals the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare], fails to invest in job creation, and does not include any new revenue. His budget simply doesn’t work – and would lead to significant harm for our country.

      “Last week, I delivered a speech in which I called on both parties in Congress to maximize every opportunity to move us closer toward the long-term fiscal sustainability that our country needs. Our budget process is just such an opportunity; unfortunately, House Republicans chose to make it a partisan messaging exercise rather than a real effort to achieve balanced deficit savings and invest in the programs that strengthen our economy, grow our middle class, and help more of our businesses and families Make It In America.”

    • CR says:

      April 01, 2014

      Statement by the Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

      To build real, lasting economic security for the middle class, the President and Democrats in Congress have a plan to grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down, and create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress do not have a plan that works for the middle class and the House Republican Budget is the same old top-down approach. Because of a stubborn unwillingness to cut the deficit in a balanced way by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well connected, the House Republican Budget would slow the economy, stack the deck against the middle class, and threaten the guaranteed benefits seniors have paid for and earned.

      The House Republican Budget would raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million. It would force deep cuts to investments in our roads and bridges, scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and at every level of education from early childhood to community college. It would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and risking a death spiral in traditional Medicare. Instead of ensuring that Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work and lifting millions of people out of poverty, the House Republican approach undermines Americans working hard to support their families by slashing food stamps and Medicaid. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, it would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for the 3 million young adults who have gained coverage by staying on their parent’s plan, the millions of people who have signed up for private insurance plans through the Marketplaces, and millions more who can continue to gain coverage through Medicaid.

      The House Republican Budget stands in stark contrast to the President’s Budget, which would accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The President has put forward a Budget that rewards hard work with fair wages, equips all children with a high-quality education to prepare them for a good job, puts a secure retirement within reach, and ensures health care is affordable and reliable, while at the same time asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and making tough cuts to programs we can’t afford. And by paying for new investments and tackling our true fiscal challenges, the President’s Budget builds on the progress we’ve already made to cut the deficit by more than half since 2009 and cuts the deficit as a share of the economy to 1.6 percent by 2024. It also stabilizes the debt as a share of the economy by 2015 and puts it on a declining path after that.

      Budgets are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead. The President believes that is the wrong approach and that we should instead be making smart investments necessary to create jobs, grow our economy, and expand opportunity, while still cutting the deficit in a balanced way and securing our nation’s future.

    • CR says:

      Weekly Address: The President’s Budget Ensures Opportunity for All Hard-Working Americans

      Remarks of President Barack Obama
      Weekly Address
      The White House
      April 5, 2014

      Hi, everybody.

      Today, our economy is growing and our businesses are consistently generating new jobs. But decades-long trends still threaten the middle class. While those at the top are doing better than ever, too many Americans are working harder than ever, but feel like they can’t get ahead.

      That’s why the budget I sent Congress earlier this year is built on the idea of opportunity for all. It will grow the middle class and shrink the deficits we’ve already cut in half since I took office.

      It’s an opportunity agenda with four goals. Number one is creating more good jobs that pay good wages. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a great education. And number four is making work pay – with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health care that’s there for you when you need it.

      This week, the Republicans in Congress put forward a very different budget. And it does just the opposite: it shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead.

      The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deep cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research.

      Now, they won’t tell you where these cuts will fall. But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly, then within a few years, about 170,000 kids will be cut from early education programs. About 200,000 new mothers and kids will be cut off from programs to help them get healthy food. Schools across the country will lose funding that supports 21,000 special education teachers. And if they want to make smaller cuts to one of these areas, that means larger cuts in others.

      Unsurprisingly, the Republican budget also tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act – even though that would take away health coverage from the more than seven million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance. And for good measure, their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from.

      Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now. Our economy doesn’t grow best from the top-down; it grows best from the middle-out. That’s what my opportunity agenda does – and it’s what I’ll keep fighting for. Thanks. And have a great weekend.

    • CR says:

      April 10, 2014

      Statement by the Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

      Today’s vote illustrates once again that the House Republicans’ view of the economy is a top-down approach that cuts taxes for millionaires and could raise taxes on middle class families with kids by an average of at least $2,000.

      If the budget the House Republicans voted for today was enacted and its deep cuts compared to what the President has proposed fell across the board, within a few years, more than 1.1 million people could lose access to job training and employment services, more than 600,000 students could lose Pell Grants that help pay for college, and approximately 170,000 children could lose access to early-childhood education. Critical investments in our roads and bridges and scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s also could see drastic cuts. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, the House Republican Budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for millions.

      The President believes we need to grow the economy from the middle-out, not the top down, and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans. Rather than once again putting forward a top-down approach, House Republicans should join the President and Democrats in taking steps that would strengthen the economy and create opportunity, like raising the minimum wage, extending emergency unemployment insurance, advancing paycheck fairness, and passing bipartisan immigration reform.

  3. CR says:

    Hundreds of U-M students camp out to get tickets to see Obama in Ann Arbor

    April 1, 2014 detroitfreepress

    Just after 9 a.m., after 13 hours of waiting, Jeffrey Sun was a little bleery and a whole lot of tired.

    Dragging a large green lawn chair with him, Sun, 19, a freshman studying math at the University of Michigan, was unclear how he had spent the night — asleep or awake.

    “It’s the kind of night where you can’t really say if you were awake or asleep,” Sun, from Hong Kong, said.

    Sun was among hundreds of U-M students who spent hours camped in front of the Michigan Union hoping to score a ticket to see President Barack Obama. Multiple U-M officials refused to say how many tickets were being handed out. All they would say is there were a limited number.

    Obama will travel to Ann Arbor on Wednesday to talk about the need to hike the minimum wage. The event is closed to the general public but students were able to get one ticket with a valid student ID card.

    The first student in line was there around 4 p.m. Monday. The line started inside the union, but after the building shut at 2 a.m., moved outside before students were allowed back in.

    Tents were set up. Sleeping bags unfurled. Laptops fired up. Coffee consumed by the gallon.

    Students slept where they could — in some cases piled up on each other for warmth and comfort.

    Julianne Walkiewicz, 18, a freshman from Troy, took a slightly different tact. She came out with a group of friends, but because she lives in a nearby dorm, she went back inside for a couple hours of sleep before coming back out around 5 a.m.

    At about 8:50 p.m. — about 10 minutes before the ticket window was to open — she was debating when to wake some of her sleeping friends up.

    “I feel like it’s just a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the president in person,” she said. “I don’t have class until (late this afternoon) so that worked out well for me.”

    The line stretched around Regents Plaza outside the Union and down the street.

    U-M President Mary Sue Coleman sent administrators out from the administration building with trays of coffee for the students.

    This is the third time Obama has visited U-M.

    Many of the students in line Tuesday said they wanted to take advantage to see the president in person.

    That included Sun, even though he isn’t from America.

    “I watched the elections intently,” Sun said. “I’m very happy to get the chance to see him in person.”

    • CR says:

      Before Obama, minimum wage already Michigan issue
      Obama visiting Michigan to highlight minimum wage, which already is an issue in state

      4/1/14 31 minutes ago By Mike Householder, Associated Press

      DETROIT (AP) — President Barack Obama is bringing the minimum wage fight to Michigan.

      Michigan, as it turns out, is already fighting.

      Obama, who has endorsed legislation to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016, will speak Wednesday on the issue at the University of Michigan. Democrats in the U.S. Senate are planning votes on a bill, but Republicans are working to block it.

      Similarly, GOP lawmakers in Michigan are unlikely to embrace a minimum wage hike, so a coalition of civil rights, faith, labor and community groups wants voters to decide.

      Raise Michigan needs to gather 258,000 valid signatures by late next month to put before the Legislature a measure that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 an hour by 2017 and automatically increase it with inflation in future years. The minimum wage for tipped employees would gradually increase from $2.65 until it reaches the minimum wage for other workers.

      “People in Michigan shouldn’t be working full time and still living in poverty,” said Ryan Bates, one of the organizers of the Raise Michigan effort. “The issue resonates deeply. Everyone understands what it means to work hard but not get ahead.”

      For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-minimum-wage-already-michigan-200037016.html;_ylt=AwrSyCOMaTtTsVcANZPQtDMD

  4. CR says:

    March 27, 2014

    First Lady Michelle Obama, School Children, and FoodCorps Leaders to Plant Sixth Annual White House Kitchen Garden

    Washington, DC—On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM ET, First Lady Michelle Obama will join FoodCorps leaders and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden for the sixth year in a row. In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! initiative. Since Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! in 2010, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children. And thanks to these efforts, we are moving toward a healthier new norm all across the country.

    This year, Mrs. Obama is inviting the founders of FoodCorps and six FoodCorps service members to join her at the garden planting. FoodCorps is part of the AmeriCorps Service Network. This nationwide program is dedicated to teaching children about healthy food, how it grows, and where it comes from, and ensuring they have access to these foods each and every day. Serving under the direction of state and community partners, FoodCorps members across the country dedicate a year of public service to help children grow up in healthy school food environments. This fall, FoodCorps plans to serve local DC schools, Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School—students from these schools will also be attending the garden planting. In addition, Mrs. Obama will be joined in the garden by students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School, who have been active participants in the White House Kitchen Garden.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/27/first-lady-michelle-obama-school-children-and-foodcorps-leaders-plant-si

  5. CR says:

    US soccer<br />

    April 2, 2014
    U.S. Men vs. Mexico
    11 p.m. ET
    University of Phoenix Stadium
    Glendale, Ariz. ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas

  6. vitaminlover says:

    Question–what planet does Ryan and his ilk come from?

  7. CR says:

    ADP Says Companies in U.S. Added 191,000 Workers in March

    Apr 2, 2014 5:25 AM PT By Lorraine Woellert – bloomberg

    Companies boosted payrolls in March by the most in three months, adding to evidence the job market is recovering from a blast of harsh winter weather, a private payrolls report showed.

    The 191,000 increase in employment followed a revised 178,000 gain in February that was stronger than initially estimated, according to the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 195,000 advance.

    The figures show companies are gaining confidence demand will strengthen from earlier in the year when colder-than-normal temperatures and snowstorms prompted Americans to cut back. Further gains in employment and wage growth will help set the stage for a pickup in household spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.

    “We’re starting to see the recovery in the data that we’ve been hoping for,” Brett Ryan, an economist with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “This is going to provide policy makers and market participants alike a modicum of confidence that the data swoon over the last couple months is weather-related and not a sign of something more ominous.”

    Estimates of the 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for gains of 150,000 to 275,000. A Labor Department report due April 4 is forecast to show private payrolls rose by 200,000 in March, economists projected.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-02/adp-says-companies-in-u-s-added-191-000-workers-in-march.html

  8. CR says:

    SCOTUS Strikes Cap On Campaign Contributions From Super Donors

    MARK SHERMAN – APRIL 2, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

    The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.

    But their decision does not undermine limits on individual contributions to candidates for president or Congress, now $2,600 an election.

    Chief Justice John Roberts announced the decision, which split the court’s liberal and conservative justices. Roberts said the aggregate limits do not act to prevent corruption, the rationale the court has upheld as justifying contribution limits.

    The overall limits “intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities,'” Roberts said, quoting from the court’s seminal 1976 campaign finance ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.

    Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

    Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the liberal dissenters, took the unusual step of reading a summary of his opinion from the bench.

    Congress enacted the limits in the wake of Watergate-era abuses to discourage big contributors from trying to buy votes with their donations and to restore public confidence in the campaign finance system.

    But in a series of rulings in recent years, the Roberts court has struck down provisions of federal law aimed at limiting the influence of big donors as unconstitutional curbs on free speech rights.

    Most notably, in 2010, the court divided 5 to 4 in the Citizens United case to free corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they wish on campaign advocacy, as long as it is independent of candidates and their campaigns. That decision did not affect contribution limits to individual candidates, political parties and political action committees.

    For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/supreme-court-strikes-down-campaign-donation-limits

  9. CR says:

    U.S. Job Creation Index Reaches Six-Year High in March
    Government jobs hold steady, while non-government jobs pick up

    April 2, 2014 by Justin McCarthy – gallup

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gallup’s Job Creation Index, based on employee reports of hiring and layoff activity at their workplaces, reached a six-year high of +23 in March, nearly tying the +24 recorded in March 2008. The index for March is two points higher than it was in February, and shows a six-point improvement from last March.

    Non-Government Hiring Boosts the Index, While Government Hiring Remains Steady

    Thirty-four percent of government workers in March reported that their employer was hiring workers and 21% said their employer was letting workers go. The resulting +13 Job Creation Index for government workers is unchanged from February, but five points higher than in January.

    Meanwhile, 39% of non-government workers said their employer was hiring and 13% letting workers go, for an index score of +26. That is up three points from February, and the highest reading for non-government employment since Gallup began tracking it in mid-2008.

    State Government Net Hiring Conditions Best on Record

    State and local government workers continue to report a more positive hiring situation where they work than federal government workers do. Net hiring reached an all-time high of +22 among state government workers in March after mostly increasing over the past five months. Local government net hiring hit a record high in February, but leveled off at +13 in March.

    Federal net hiring, at -1 in March, is inching closer to positive territory; the index for federal workers has been stuck in the negative zone since June 2011, but is up from -18 last March.

    Bottom Line

    U.S. workers in the private sector are reporting a more positive jobs situation where they work than at any point in the past six years. Combine this with state workers’ record-high job creation reports and the year-over-year improvement from federal workers, and March’s promising Job Creation Index reading would appear to be a positive sign in the long recovery from the 2007-2009 economic recession.

    For more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/168203/job-creation-index-reaches-six-year-high-march.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication

  10. CR says:

    U.S. Factory Orders Rise More Than Expected In February

    April 02, 2014, 10:09:00 AM EDT By RTT News

    After reporting notable decreases in new orders for U.S. manufactured goods in the two previous months, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing that factory orders rebounded by more than expected in the month of February.

    The report said factory orders increased by 1.6 percent in February following a revised 1.0 percent decrease in January. Economists had expected orders to rise by about 1.2 percent compared to the 0.7 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

  11. CR says:

    Unemployment bill clears hurdle in Senate

    April 02, 2014, 10:26 am By Ramsey Cox and Vicki Needham – TheHill

    The Senate voted 61-38 Wednesday to end debate on a measure that would restore federal benefits for the long-term unemployed, making final passage nearly certain this week.

    Six Republicans helped Democrats clear the final Senate hurdle on legislation that would renew a federal unemployment insurance (UI) program for five months.

    The House bill aims to exempt volunteer firefighters and EMTs from being considered full-time employees under ObamaCare’s employer mandate to provide insurance.

    Reid used that bill as a way to more easily send the UI extension bill back to the House, especially with Senate Democrats, many of whom are facing tough reelection races, demanding that tweaks be made to ObamaCare.

    Reid’s amendment also included a plan from Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) that would provide retroactive benefits to more than 2 million people who lost their benefits after the program expired on Dec. 28.

    “We’ve had millions of people in the last many months who have lost their unemployment benefits,” Reid said ahead of the vote. “Unemployment benefits stimulate the economy quicker and faster than any other thing.”

    Republicans blocked three previous attempts to extend UI benefits, but this time, the legislation has five Republican co-sponsors, all of whom supported the cloture vote Wednesday. Heller and fellow GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio) were the five co-sponsors, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) joined them in voting to end debate.

    The Senate measure would use several offsets to pay for the nearly $10 billion cost of the measure, including pension smoothing provisions from the 2012 highway bill, which were set to phase out this year, and extending customs user fees through 2024.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/202411-senate-clears-final-hurdle-to-unemployment-bill

  12. CR says:

    3:00 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks on his proposal to raise the national minimum wage
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/video/?318651-1/president-obama-raising-minimum-wage

    • CR says:

      April 02, 2014

      Remarks by the President on Minimum Wage — Ann Arbor, MI

      University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan

      2:52 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Michigan! (Applause.) Go Blue! (Applause.) This is a good-looking crowd. (Applause.) Just happy to be out of class. (Applause.) I’m sure that’s not true. I’m sure these are all outstanding students. (Applause.) Good to see you.

      First of all, give Mira a big round of applause for the great introduction. (Applause.) I want to say thanks to your president, Mary Sue Coleman, for her years of outstanding leadership here at Michigan. (Applause.) We’ve got a few other Michigan leaders who are here today. We’ve got Congressman John Conyers. (Applause.) We’ve got Congressman Gary Peters. (Applause.) We’ve got your mayor, John Hieftje. (Applause.) Former Congressman Mark Schauer. (Applause.) Your Congressman, the legendary John Dingell, could not make it, but his wife Debbie is here. Give her a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      Now, most importantly I know to all of you, we’ve got some Wolverines in the house here. (Applause.) We’ve got Greg Robinson III. (Applause.) We’ve got Jordan Morgan. (Applause.) We’ve got Big Ten Player of the Year, Nik Stauskas. (Applause.) And we’ve got quarterback, Devin Gardner. (Applause.) These guys were outstanding this year. Give them a bigger round of applause than that. (Applause.)

      You guys had a great run. That last game was as good of a game as we’ve seen the entire season. I know you wish that that turned out a little bit later — if you’d had five more seconds, it would have been helpful. (Laughter.) But I wanted to congratulate the coach, Coach Beilein, and the team for a great season. (Applause.)

      And I understand that Jordan wanted me to talk about my bracket. (Laughter.) My bracket is a mess. (Laughter.) I’ve learned my lesson — I will not pick against the Wolverines. (Applause.) It’s not going to happen. This is the problem with doing these brackets — people just trash-talk you non-stop. (Laughter.) It’s terrible.

      And I think it’s worth mentioning, I want to congratulate Jordan for playing more games at Michigan than any other player in history — not only earning an undergraduate degree in engineering — (applause) — pursuing a graduate degree in engineering as well. That’s the kind of student athlete we’re talking about. (Applause.)

      Now, do some of you guys have chairs? Because if you’ve got chairs, feel free to sit down. But if you don’t, don’t sit down, because I don’t want you getting hurt.

      Before I came here today, I stopped at Zingerman’s, which is the — (applause) — which is the right thing to do when you’re in Ann Arbor. (Laughter.) I stopped for two reasons. The first is the Reuben is killer. (Laughter.) So I ordered like the small — (laughter) — and it didn’t look that small. So I gave half to Valerie Jarrett, who’s traveling with us. And then after I finished the half, I wanted the half back. (Laughter.) But it was too late. All she had left was the pickle. (Laughter.) So I took the pickle. (Laughter.)

      So one of the reasons I went was because the sandwiches are outstanding. The second reason, though, is Zingerman’s is a business that treats its workers well, and rewards honest work with honest wages. (Applause.) And that’s worth celebrating. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today: How do we rebuild an economy that creates jobs and opportunities for every American? And I want to focus on something a lot of people in Michigan are working very hard to accomplish right now, and that is raising the minimum wage to help more folks get ahead. (Applause.)

      Now, here’s the context. Our economy is doing better. It’s growing. Our businesses are creating jobs — 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years. (Applause.) Our manufacturing sector, which had been losing jobs throughout the ‘90s and throughout the — what do you call it — aughts? (Laughter.) You know, the 2000 to 2010, whatever you call that. (Laughter.)
      But manufacturing had been losing jobs — about a third of manufacturing had lost — and obviously that hit Michigan really hard. But we’re now seeing the manufacturing sector add jobs for the first time since the 1990s. So that is good news. (Applause.)

      The housing market is recovering. Obviously the stock market has recovered, which means people’s 401(k)s, if they have them, are doing a lot better.

      Troops that were fighting two wars, they’re coming home. (Applause.) We just went through the first month since 2003 where no U.S. soldier was killed in either Afghanistan or Iraq. (Applause.)

      Today you’ve got companies looking to invest in the U.S. instead of sending jobs overseas. They want to create more jobs and invest right here in the United States. We’re more competitive. We’re more productive.

      Oh, and by the way, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. (Applause.) That’s a lot of people — 7.1. That’s enough to fill up The Big House 65 times. (Applause.) And by the way, that doesn’t count the more than 3 million young people who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans. (Applause.) So we have seniors here who graduate and then it may take a couple months to find a job, or you’re doing an internship or something that does not provide health care, you’re going to be covered until you get that job that actually provides health insurance. So it provides you the kind of protection you need. (Applause.)

      So that’s the good news. We fought back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. We’ve laid the foundation for America’s future growth. But here’s the problem: There’s been a long-term trend that has really been hitting middle-class folks and folks trying to get into the middle class, and that’s been going on since before most of you were born. The economy increasingly has folks at the top doing really well, but then middle-class families, people who are struggling to get into the middle class, they’re working harder, but their wages, their incomes aren’t going up.

      And we’re a better country than that. In America, we do not believe in opportunity just for the few. We believe that everybody should have a chance at success. Everybody. (Applause.) And we believe our economy grows best not from the top down, but from the middle out, and from the bottom up. (Applause.) And we want to make sure that no matter where you’re born, what circumstances, how you started out, what you look like, what your last name is, who you love — it doesn’t matter, you can succeed. That’s what we believe. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/02/remarks-president-minimum-wage-ann-arbor-mi

  13. CR says:

    3:30 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama will join FoodCorps leaders and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden for the sixth year in a row
    White House Kitchen Garden

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      April 02, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady at Sixth Annual Kitchen Garden Planting

      White House Kitchen Garden

      3:37 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Hey, people! Little people and big people. How are you guys? This is the sixth annual planting of the White House kitchen garden — six times we’ve done this over six years. Pretty amazing, huh?

      STUDENTS: Yes.

      MRS. OBAMA: So guess what we’re doing differently this year? We are going to plant something called a pollinator garden. Did you hear about this?

      STUDENTS: Yes.

      MRS. OBAMA: So just for the folks at home who have not heard about a pollinator, but a pollinator garden helps to encourage the production of bees and monarch butterflies. And why do we need to do that? You guys — just yell it out.

      STUDENT: Because they pollinate the plants.

      MRS. OBAMA: They pollinate the plants, they help the plants grow. But why do we need to help bees and butterflies — what’s happening to them? Yell it out. They’re dying because of disease — we don’t even know why some beehives are just totally disappearing. But that could be a problem for the planet because if you don’t have insects and great pollinators to pollinate the plants, it could affect our food source, it could affect our ability to continue to grow things. And that would be a problem.

      So this garden is going to help to contribute to improving that problem. So we’re going to plant all kinds of flowers that attract bees and butterflies, which is not going to make the Obama girls happy because they don’t really like bees. But bees are good. Bees are a good thing. So you guys are going to help do that, and that’s the first time we’ve done a pollinator garden. Pretty cool, huh?

      All right, well, let me welcome you guys who are here so we get good shoutouts from all the schools that are participating, okay. So when I say your school name, I want to hear it. All right? If you really love your school, then you’ll hear it — we’ve got schools that have been here every single year.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/02/remarks-first-lady-sixth-annual-kitchen-garden-planting

  14. CR says:

    April 02, 2014

    Statement from the Press Secretary

    President Obama applauds Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for the remarkable work accomplished this week in New York, where lawmakers delivered a major victory on early childhood education for middle class families and those working to get into the middle class. New York’s commitment to invest $1.5 billion over 5 years to begin to phase in publicly-funded preschool across the state will provide opportunity for thousands of children, including 53,000 children who will be able to attend preschool in New York City this fall. President Obama will continue to call on Congress to enact his plan to partner with states and cities to provide high-quality preschool for every child, and encourage states and cities to take action so children have the chance to enter kindergarten ready for success.

  15. CR says:

    5:45 PM ET
    President Obama hosts a business executives roundtable hosted by Mesirow Financial Chairman and CEO Richard Price
    Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Chicago, IL

  16. CR says:

    7:55 PM ET
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Private Residence, Chicago, IL

  17. CR says:

    April 02, 2014

    Remarks by the President on the Shooting at Fort Hood

    Chicago Cut Steakhouse Chicago, Illinois

    6:46 P.M. CDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. I just got off the phone with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Sandy Winnefeld to get the latest report on the situation in Fort Hood. Obviously we’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now. But my national security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI. They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make sure that everybody is secure. And I want to just assure all of us that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

    Any shooting is troubling. Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families. We know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make. Obviously our thoughts and prayers were — are with the entire community. And we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the community at Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with the current situation, but also any potential aftermath.

    We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again. And I don’t want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but for now, I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers. The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom. Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe. We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again. And we’re going to have to find out exactly what happened.

    The Pentagon will undoubtedly have further briefings for you as we get more details [about what happened.]

    Thanks, everybody.

    • CR says:

      April 03, 2014

      Readout of the President’s Conference Call on the Shooting at Fort Hood

      Tonight aboard Air Force One, the President convened a conference call with Department of Defense and FBI leadership to receive an update on the shooting at Fort Hood. He commended the military personnel, first responders, and medical staff who responded swiftly and heroically to the horrific shooting.

      The participants of the call included Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.

      The President directed his team to utilize every resource available to fully investigate the shooting. As the President said earlier tonight, these brave men and women serve with valor and distinction, and when at home they need to feel safe. The Fort Hood community is strong and resilient, and the President emphasized the importance of doing everything we can to ensure the community has every resource needed to recover, heal, and come back stronger than before.

      The Department of Defense has the lead on the investigation with support from federal partners including the FBI, as well as state and local law enforcement personnel. The President will continue to receive updates as new information becomes available and has directed that his team do everything it can to assist the families of those lost and wounded today. The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the killed and wounded individuals.

  18. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    12:35 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch
    Private Dining Room

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:20 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle welcome the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House
    East Room

    4:00 PM
    President Obama holds a bill signing of H.R. 4152
    Oval Office

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Leadership
    Oval Office

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 3, 2014

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      10:00 AM ET
      White House Champions of Change: Gun Violence Prevention Leaders
      The White House

      12:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:30 AM ET
      Senate Committee Armed Services
      LIVE U.S. Army Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request
      John McHugh and General Raymond T. Odierno testified on the posture of the Department of the Army in review of the fiscal 2015 Defense Authorization Request and the Future Years Defense Program.

      10:00 AM ET
      State Health Care Exchanges
      Witnesses testify on the implementation of state health care insurance exchanges, specifically in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon before a House Oversight and Gvt. Reform Subcmte http://www.c-span.org/video/?318671-1/state-health-care-exchanges

      10:00 AM ET
      Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request
      Attorney General Eric Holder and Inspector Gen. Michael Horowitz testify before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the FY2015 budget request for the Justice Department. http://www.c-span.org/video/?318670-1/fy2015-justice-department-budget

      12:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

  19. CR says:

    2014 March Job Cut Report: 34,399 Cuts Close Lowest Q1 in Nearly 20 Years

    4/3/14 hallengergray.com

    New figures released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. show employers announced the fewest first-quarter job cuts in 19 years, providing further evidence that the economy continues to gain strength as it enters the sixth year of recovery.

    The first quarter closed with 34,399 March job cuts, the second lowest monthly total since January 2013. The only month to see fewer cuts during that period was December, when just 30,623 job cuts were announced. The March total was 18 percent lower than the 41,835 planned job cuts reported in February and 30 percent lower than a year ago when March job cuts totaled 49,255.

    Through the first quarter of 2014, employers announced 121,341 job cuts, down 16 percent from the 145,041 cuts tracked during the first three months of 2013. The first-quarter total was virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, when 121,667 job cuts were recorded.

    The first quarter total was the lowest quarterly total since Q2 of 2013 (113,891). Even more significant, however, is the fact that it is the lowest Q1 total since 1995, when 97,716 job cuts were announced.

    “The first quarter typically experiences some of the heaviest job cutting of the year. Since we began tracking planned layoffs in 1989, the first quarter is only slightly lower than the fourth quarter when it comes to the pace of downsizing, with an average job-cut total of just over 205,000. Employers are well below that pace this year, suggesting that layoffs continue to decline in a recovery that is approaching its five-year anniversary,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

    – See more at: http://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/2014-march-job-cut-report-34399-cuts-close-lowest-q1-nearly-20-years

  20. CR says:

    10:00 AM ET
    White House Champions of Change: Gun Violence Prevention Leaders
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: Gun Violence Prevention

      Published on Apr 3, 2014

      The White House honors nine grassroots leaders taking critical steps in their communities to reduce gun violence. April 3, 2014.

  21. CR says:

    US services sector picks up pace in March: ISM

    4/3/14- 1 hour 23 minutes ago AFPAFP

    The US services sector activity picked up steam in March, partly reversing a steep decline in February, the Institute for Supply Management said Thursday.

    The ISM purchasing managers index for the vast US services industry rose 1.5 percentage points to 53.1 in March, led by a recovery in employment.

    In February, as unusually bad winter weather hit large parts of the country, the PMI reading dove 2.4 points to 51.6, the slowest growth in three years.

    A number above 50 denotes expansion.

    The March PMI number was slightly below analysts’ average estimate of 53.5.

    Business activity slowed last month, while new orders rose 2.1 points to 53.4, a positive sign for future growth.

    Employment rebounded from contraction in February, jumping 6.1 points to 53.6.

    Thirteen of the 18 industries surveyed reported growth in March, while five reported contraction.

    “Despite the effects of weather on many of the respective businesses, the majority of respondents indicate that business conditions are improving,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM’s survey committee for the non-manufacturing sector.

    “The respondents also project better business activity and economic conditions as weather conditions continue to improve,” he added.
    On Tuesday, the ISM reported manufacturing activity gained pace in March, helped by a pickup in new orders and a rebound in production. Its PMI for manufacturing rose to 53.7 from 53.2 in February.

  22. CR says:

    3:20 PM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle welcome the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House
    East Room

    • CR says:

      April 03, 2014

      Remarks by the President and the First Lady at Visit of the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

      East Room

      2:55 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Hey, everybody. (Laughter.) Welcome to the White House! (Applause.) I know you guys have been standing for a while, but you’re athletes, you can handle it. (Laughter.)

      We are so excited to have Team USA here with us today. But before we begin, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the Fort Hood community that, as many of you know, has experienced yet another devastating tragedy. And we just want to make sure that folks there know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who lost loved ones and friends, as well as those that were injured.

      Because I know that many of the athletes here today are veterans themselves, and when something like this happens, it touches all of us. I know that the President and I are just torn apart when things like this happen. So today, as we celebrate the Olympic spirit, we remember that the same spirit — the spirit of hard work and team work — is shared by our military men and women, and we stand with them today and every day.

      So, now, let’s get into the you-guys thing. (Laughter.) After watching you guys all over TV all these couple of months, I have to say that I am truly amazed. I shared some of this with you guys in the receiving line. You all are so talented. You’re dedicated, and honestly, sometimes I don’t know how you do it. I really don’t.

      I’ve watched you guys do some of the craziest stuff. That’s the thing with the Winter Olympics. You guys do crazy things — careening down the face of mountains — craziness. (Laughter.) Throwing each other up in the air, it’s like — the mixed-pair skaters, the women, they’re teeny. The big guys take them and throw them, just throw them across the ice. I’m like, are you kidding me? (Laughter.) You threw her so hard and she lands on one foot on a blade. And those of you jumping on those cookie sheet things and just sliding down a mountain — (laughter) — 80 miles an hour — I mean, who thinks of that? (Laughter.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/03/remarks-president-and-first-lady-visit-2014-sochi-olympic-and-paralympic

  23. CR says:

    4:00 PM ET
    President Obama holds a bill signing of H.R. 4152
    Oval Office

  24. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Thursday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  25. Kat 4 Obama says:

  26. CR says:

    April 03, 2014
    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 2019

    On Thursday, April 3, 2014, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 2019, the “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” which terminates the entitlement of national committees of eligible political parties to payments from the “Presidential Election Campaign Fund” for presidential nominating conventions; transfers amounts maintained in the Campaign Fund for these national committees to a new “10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund;” and authorizes appropriations out of the Initiative Fund for grants to be made by the National Institutes of Health for pediatric research.

    • CR says:

      No more taxpayer money for political conventions

      Apr 3, 2014 Politics Don Gonyea · NPR ·

      There’s news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.

      It’s about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It’s not the only change that’s likely for conventions.

      Let’s start with a little time travel:

      “I’m Walter Cronkite, and this is our anchor desk for our CBS News Westinghouse coverage of this 1956 Democratic Convention. This is the dramatic high point of the convention …”

      Back then and for years afterward, there was around-the-clock coverage of conventions by television networks. Big news could hit at any time, and did.

      At the 1964 GOP convention, bitter party divisions were front and center. Then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, the man beaten by nominee Barry Goldwater, issued a stern warning: “I warn that the Republican Party should reject extremism from either the left or the right.”

      At the 1980 convention, former President Gerald Ford shocked everyone when he revealed a possible co-presidency if he joined the ticket with nominee Ronald Reagan.

      It was a bombshell story until CBS went to Lesley Stahl on the convention floor.

      “Walter, a top lieutenant just came and said it’s not Ford … they’re coming all around me to tell me it’s not Ford … they’re all yelling ‘Bush’ all around me. Someone told me it’s Bush. They’re all yelling “Bush” all around me … everyone is yelling ‘Bush,’ ” Stahl reported to CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite.

      Cronkite was surprised and amused: “Who’s writing the script for this one? That’s what I want to know,” he said.

      That moment may have been the last instance of truly unexpected and substantive drama at a nominating convention. And that’s exactly the problem.

      “Conventions became theatrical productions,” says Don Fowler, a member of the Democratic National Committee for four decades and the man who managed the 1988 Democratic National Convention.

      These days, news organizations — especially the big commercial broadcast networks — continue to question the worth of devoting prime time space to events with no suspense. Live daytime coverage is long gone except on cable.

      Fowler says he got complaints from the networks in 1988.

      “We fussed with them for weeks about how much of the convention they were going to cover. They reduced substantially in ’88, and they’ve been trying to do that since then. I think in 2012 both conventions received as little coverage as any conventions previous,” he says.

      Meanwhile, Republicans are planning another big change in 2016. They will hold their gathering months earlier than usual — perhaps in June, in hopes of quickly wrapping up what could be a no-holds-barred fight for the nomination, and to give the GOP nominee a head start on the general election.

      There’s even talk about scaling back events to as few as two days.

      But Daniel Kreiss, a professor at the University of North Carolina, says these changes in scheduling and coverage don’t mean conventions are unimportant.

      “I still think conventions become a very significant way that voters can tune in to and see sort of the best arguments from each party for why they should elect a particular candidate,” he says.

      Still, it’s no wonder — in a time of budget battles and questions about the relevance of big party nominating conventions — that spending some $18 million in federal money per convention has now come to an end with the president’s signature. The money will instead be used to finance research on childhood diseases.

      For the audio interview: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/04/03/convention-taxpayer-money?refid=0

  27. CR says:

    April 03, 2014

    Statement by the Press Secretary on South Sudan

    Four years ago, some four million South Sudanese voted to break with the past and usher in a new period of peace and prosperity. They expected their leaders to act with courage and conviction, to put the interests of the people first, and to be statesmen, not strongmen. Months of fighting between the Government of South Sudan and forces loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar run counter to that vision and threaten to tear the young nation apart. Thousands have been killed. Nearly one million innocent civilians have been driven from their homes. Despite a ceasefire agreement, the cycle of violence and conflict continues.

    The United States will not stand by as those entrusted with South Sudan’s future put their own interests above those of their people. The Executive Order signed by President Obama today sends a clear message: those who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, obstruct the peace process, target U.N. peacekeepers, or are responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities will not have a friend in the United States and run the risk of sanctions. Both the Government of South Sudan and Riek Machar’s rebels must immediately engage in and follow through on the inclusive peace process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and resolve this conflict. They must end military actions and hold accountable those responsible for violence against civilians. The people of South Sudan are calling for peace. There is no room for excuses or delay.

    • CR says:

      April 03, 2014

      Message– Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan

      TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

      Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the “order”) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in and in relation to South Sudan.

      The order does not target the country of South Sudan, but rather is aimed at persons who threaten the peace, stability, or security of South Sudan; commit human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan; or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/03/message-blocking-property-certain-persons-respect-south-sudan

  28. CR says:

    *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr ″

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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