VPOTUS @ Univ of Delaware 2014 Commencement & Citizens Congress Conference

05/30/2014

UDelawareVP Biden @ UD 2014 Commencement

Vice President Joe Biden to deliver remarks at the University of Delaware’s 165th Commencement May 31st

April 7, 2014– udel.edu

Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the Commencement address at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, on Saturday, May 31.

The University’s 165th Commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in Delaware Stadium, rain or shine, and the event is free and open to the public.

For more: http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2014/apr/commencement-040714.html

The University of Delaware Class of 2014
165th Commencement Ceremony
Vice President Joe Biden – Commencement Speaker
Saturday, May 31, 2014 @ 9:00 AM ET
Delaware Stadium, Newark, Delaware

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Live Stream: http://udcapture.udel.edu/udlive/watch.php?t=f&s=thebob.flv&w=896&h=504

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Congress Can Be Better

 

ABOUT
Democrats and Republicans agree, the gridlock in Congress has frustrated the American people and complicated the critical decisions our country faces.

Our representatives in Washington are unable to render solutions for one reason- money.

Since the 1970s, corporate business organizations have focused billions of dollars to organize and lobby for legislation that favors their special interests. This money buys access and influence in Washington; it dominates our policies, and corrupts our politics. Polls indicate that 90% of Americans favor removing the corrosive influence of money in elections.

Citizens Congress Conference is a non-profit volunteer group of concerned citizens comprised of teachers, doctors, nurses, farmers, firefighters, web designers, business owners, artists and others who know that ending government corruption should be the number one national priority.

They are a non-partisan in our pursuit of this issue and are developing and working successfully with organizations across the nation who are deeply committed to restoring balance and faith in our political system.

For more: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org/about.html

 

Citizens Congress Conference
June 2 – 5, 2014
 Cal-Poly University,  Spanos Theatre, San Luis Obispo, California

The first national gathering of legislators, scholars, and public advocacy groups combating the corruptive influence of money in our political system. Learn more: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org

Conference Registration & Attendees: http://www.citizenscongress2014.org/conference-1.html

$ Should Not Run Politics

 

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Citizens United v. FEC and the Future of Federal Campaign Finance Reform

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), (Docket No. 08-205), is a US constitutional law case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions. The conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”). In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_united

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Wake up people, and see the danger we’re in

4/09/2014 10:14:54 AM By Leonard Pitts Jr. – mercurynews.com

This is a column about campaign finance reform.

And your eyes glazed over just then, didn’t they?

That’s the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fundraising.

And yet somehow, the issue seems to lack a visceral urgency in the public mind. William Ostrander understands that all too well.

“There are people that will go nuts over the Second Amendment,” he says in a telephone interview. And not to diminish the importance of self-defense, he adds, but “when you look at the practical character of it, what’s going on in campaign finance corruption is far more injurious to their lives, their well-being and their children’s lives than anything most people have had to deal with the Second Amendment.”

Ostrander is a farmer in San Luis Obispo, and the director of something called Citizens Congress 2014. Its members include a schoolteacher, a small-business man, a firefighter, a general contractor and a doctor — your basic average Americans — who have collectively invested thousands of volunteer hours to set up a summit (June 2 to 5) of lawyers, lawmakers, academics, advocacy groups and other experts.

Their aim: to brainstorm strategies and craft a plan of action to eliminate the influence of big money in politics.

For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_25529920/Leonard-Pitts-Jr:-Wake-up-people

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POTUS @ US Military Academy & VPOTUS @ Air Force Academy 2014 Commencement

05/27/2014

U.S._Military_Academy_West Point

 The United States Military Academy develops cadets to live honorably, with uncompromising integrity, as U.S Army officers in service to the nation. The United States Military Academy has been educating, training, and inspiring leaders of character for our United States Army and for the nation for more than 200 years. West Point provides a 47-month leader-development program steeped in academic rigor, military discipline, and physical challenges, all built upon a moral-ethical foundation. The academy is an internationally recognized institution for academic, military and physical excellence, and we are proud that today’s cadets will become tomorrow’s military, public and private-sector leaders.

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President of the United States, Barack Obama, will be the graduation speaker for the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2014. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 28.

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U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2014
President Barack Obama – Commencement Speaker
Wednesday, May 28@ 10:00 AM ET
Michie Stadium, West Point, NY

Live Stream: http://www.usma.edu

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The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA or Air Force) is a military academy for officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The Academy’s stated mission is “to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.” It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959. Graduates of the Academy’s four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force.

Candidates for admission are judged on their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, athletics and character. To gain admission, candidates must also pass a fitness test, undergo a thorough medical examination, and secure a nomination, which usually comes from the member of Congress in the candidate’s home district. Recent incoming classes have had about 1,200 cadets; historically just under 1,000 of those will graduate. Tuition along with room and board are all paid for by the U.S. government. Cadets receive a monthly stipend, but incur a commitment to serve a number of years of military service after graduation.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_Academy

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Vice President Biden to speak at Class of ’14 graduation ceremony

4/25/2014 by U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs –  usafa.af.mil

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to be the guest speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony here.

Biden is the 47th vice president and this will be his second visit to the Academy. He was also the commencement speaker for the Class of 2009 graduation ceremony.

Graduation for the approximately 1,000 members of the Academy’s Class of 2014 is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., May 28, at Falcon Stadium.

The ceremony is scheduled to end with a flyover by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

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United States Air Force Academy’s Class of 2014
Vice President Biden – Commencement Speaker
Wednesday, May 28 @ 12:00 PM ET
United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs in El Paso County, CO

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2014 White House Science Fair

05/26/2014

WH Science, Tech & Innovation

President Obama to Host White House Science Fair

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, May 27th, the President will host the 2014 White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President will also announce new steps as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel and to provide the support they need to succeed in these vital subjects.

With students from a broad range of STEM competitions, this year’s Fair will include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. Since day one, the President has been committed to getting more underrepresented groups, including women and girls, excited to excel at STEM subjects. For example, in the Administration’s signature education reform initiative, Race to the Top, President Obama granted states competitive preference if they demonstrated efforts to close the STEM gap for girls and other groups that are underrepresented.

The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science. As the President noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

Meet the Exhibitors in the 2014 White House Science Fair

White House Science Fair Fact Sheet & Backgrounder

STEM Icons

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
White House Science Fair

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The Great Society

05/22/2014

Great Society Chart May 22, 1964 – The U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.

The Great Society program, with its name coined from one of Johnson’s speeches, became Johnson’s agenda for Congress in January 1965: aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, Medicaid, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime, and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Congress, at times augmenting or amending, enacted most of Johnson’s recommendations. Johnson’s achievements in social policy were made possible by liberal strength, especially after the Democratic landslide of 1964.

After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, for the first time, a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive need-based aid from the U.S. government.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson#Great_Society

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President Lyndon B. Johnson’s
Remarks at the University of Michigan

May 22, 1964

President Hatcher, Governor Romney, Senators McNamara and Hart, Congressmen Meader and Staebler, and other members of the fine Michigan delegation, members of the graduating class, my fellow Americans:

It is a great pleasure to be here today. This university has been coeducational since 1870, but I do not believe it was on the basis of your accomplishments that a Detroit high school girl said, “In choosing a college, you first have to decide whether you want a coeducational school or an educational school.”

Well, we can find both here at Michigan, although perhaps at different hours.

I came out here today very anxious to meet the Michigan student whose father told a friend of mine that his son’s education had been a real value. It stopped his mother from bragging about him.

I have come today from the turmoil of your Capital to the tranquility of your campus to speak about the future of your country.

The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a Nation.

For a century we labored to settle and to subdue a continent. For half a century we called upon unbounded invention and untiring industry to create an order of plenty for all of our people.

The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization.

Your imagination, your initiative, and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth. For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

For entire speech: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/640522.asp

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The Great Society at 50

May 19, 2014 by Karen Tumulty Washington Post

One day shortly after starting his new job as presidential adviser and speechwriter, Richard N. Goodwin was summoned to see the boss. Not to the Oval Office, but to the White House swimming pool, where Lyndon B. Johnson often went to ruminate.

Goodwin found the leader of the free world naked, doing a languorous sidestroke. Johnson invited him and top aide Bill Moyers to doff their own clothes: “Come on in, boys. It’ll do you good.”

It was an un­or­tho­dox manner of conducting official business. As they bobbed in the tepid water, the president “began to talk as if he were addressing some larger, imagined audience of the mind,” Goodwin later wrote in his memoir. The 32-year-old speechwriter forgot his chagrin as he was drawn by “the powerful flow of Johnson’s will, exhorting, explaining, trying to tell me something about himself, seeking not agreement — he knew he had that — but belief.”

This happened in early April 1964, just a little more than four months after a tragedy in Dallas had made Johnson the 36th president of the United States.

“I never thought I’d have the power,” Johnson told Goodwin and Moyers. “I wanted power to use it. And I’m going to use it.”

For more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/05/17/the-great-society-at-50/ http://youtu.be/kx0K637mBVE?t=1m51s

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Brown v. Board of Education 60th Anniv. & Dr Biden @ Villanova Commencement 2014

05/15/2014

Brown v Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court‘s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the civil rights movement.

For much of the sixty years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the U.S. had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were equal, segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment (“no State shall… deny to any person… the equal protection of the laws.”).

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_vs_board .

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The National Park Service (NPS) has several Brown v. Board of Education events planned to mark the historic event. On Saturday, May 17, 2014 through Sunday, May 18, 2014. Follow on Twitter @BRVB_NHS, a National Park Service (NPS) re-enactment of Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court Decision and the world’s reaction. Follow #Brown1954 to see all the tweets. For those in or passing through the area, NPS also has a National Historic Site in Kansas.

Federal Government records pertaining to the Brown v. Board of Education, held by the National Archives and Records Administration. Information in these materials, such as the Introduction to these records, can enrich youths’ historical comprehension of this landmark case.

Library of Congress’s resources from their Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, online exhibit. Dig even deeper into the history with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Brown at 60 site and learn more about “The Doll Test.”

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The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund  Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

May 17th marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the constitutional moment that compelled our country to reckon with its history and confront the unfulfilled promise of equality first articulated in our founding documents.

Brown literally changed America. It is a mid-20th century course correction that ushered in a modern America that must grapple honestly with the promise of equality and opportunity for all of its citizens.  At its core Brown marks the beginning of the end of legal apartheid in this country.  This would be enough to celebrate. But Brown is also a powerful example of how change can happen and the important role that law plays in shaping the very character of our country … (read Sherrilyn Ifill’s full reflection).

For more: http://www.naacpldf.org/brown-at-60 ..

5/16/14 First Lady Michelle Obama talks to Head of Interpretation & Education Brown v BOE Historic Site Stephanie Kyzariazis, Topeka Kansas

5/16/14 First Lady Michelle Obama talks to Head of Interpretation & Education Brown v BOE Historic Site Stephanie Kyzariazis, Topeka Kansas


First Lady Michelle speaks at a “Senior Recognition Day”
on the 60th Anniversary of the “Brown v. Board of Education” decision
May 16, 2014 @ 7:00 PM ET
Expocentre, Topeka, Kansas

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Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and Villanova alumna, to Deliver University’s 2014 Commencement Address, May 16

Honorary degrees to be awarded to Dr. Biden; Harry Dietzler, long-time youth theater and performing arts innovator; and, the Rev. Robert F. Prevost, OSA, JCD, ’77, former worldwide leader of the Augustinian Order

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President, announced that Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and wife of United States Vice President Joe Biden, will address the Class of 2014 as the University’s commencement speaker. Dr. Biden, a 1991 graduate of Villanova University with a Master of Arts in English, will also receive the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa. The University’s 171stcommencement will be held Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m., in Villanova Stadium. In the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be held in The Pavilion. For more: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/media/pressreleases/2014/0501.html
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. University of Villanova Commencement 2014
Dr Jill Biden – Commencement Speaker
Friday, May 16 @ 4:00 PM ET
Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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VP Biden @ UofSC & FLOTUS @ Dillard 2014 Commencements

05/08/2014

usc biden

Vice President Joe Biden to deliver UofSC commencement address

4/9/2014 By Megan Sexton – sc.edu

Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the commencement address at the Friday, May 9, ceremony at the University of South Carolina.

Biden will address graduates at the 3 p.m. ceremony in the Colonial Life Arena that includes students from the Darla Moore School of Business, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, College of Nursing, South Carolina College of Pharmacy and the Arnold School of Public Health.

The Vice President will receive an honorary degree of doctor of public administration.

Biden has spent his lifetime in public service. At age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for more than three decades. He chaired or served as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, and was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues including the landmark 1994 Crime Bill and the Violence Against Women Act. As chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1997, Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy, working on issues and legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

Biden, a two-time presidential candidate, was tapped by Barack Obama as his running mate in 2008 and the pair were re-elected in 2012. As the country’s 47th vice president, Biden has represented the interests of the United States in every region of the world, traveling to more than two dozen countries. He has also championed many domestic issues, including college affordability, American manufacturing growth and middle class living standards. He is the first sitting vice president to give a commencement address at Carolina.

Also at the Friday commencement ceremony, David Seaton, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the Fluor Corporation and a University of South Carolina graduate, will receive an honorary degree of doctor of business administration.

For more: http://www.sc.edu/uofsc/announcements/2014/04_biden_to_speak_at_uofsc_commencement.php#.U0wbb15rhbw

University of South Carolina Commencement 2014
Vice President Joseph Biden – Commencement Speaker
Friday, May 9 @ 3:00 PM ET
Columbia, South Carolina

 

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DUniv

First Lady Michelle Obama to Deliver Commencement Address at Dillard Saturday, May 10

(New Orleans, LA) – First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the address at Dillard University on Saturday, May 10, when 243 students of Dillard University’s Class of 2014 walk down the Avenue of the Oaks during the commencement ceremony at 10 AM.  

A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become the love of her life.

After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service.

In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed.

Promoting Service and working with young people has remained a staple of her career and her interest. Continuing this effort now as First Lady, Mrs. Obama in 2010 launched Let’s Move!, a campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.

As First Lady, Mrs. Obama continues to work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, promoting the arts and arts education, and fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families across the country.

For more: http://www.dillard.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1712:first-lady-michelle-obama-to-deliver-commencement-address-at-dillard-saturday-may-10&catid=129:dillard-in-the-news&Itemid=564

Dillard University Commencement 2014
First Lady Michelle Obama – Commencement Speaker
Saturday, May 10 @ 11:00 AM ET
New Orleans, Louisiana

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2015 US Government Budget

04/01/2014

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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