T Nation

Anybody Regretting Their Vote For Bush Yet?


WASHINGTON - House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.

More politically difficult votes ? to cut Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies ? are on tap Thursday as more panels weigh in on the bill. It was originally intended to cut $35 billion in spending over five years, but after pressure from conservatives, GOP leaders directed committees to cut another $15 billion to help pay the cost of hurricane recovery.

President Bush met with House and Senate GOP leaders and said he was pleased with the progress. He also appeared to endorse a plan by House Speaker
Dennis Hastert's plan for an across-the-board cut in agency budgets, perhaps including the
Pentagon, by the end of the year.

"I encourage Congress to push the envelope when it comes to cutting spending," Bush said.

Dozens of issues are at play as Republicans in both the House and Senate cobble together the sprawling budget bill. The measure is the first in eight years to take aim at the automatic growth of federal spending programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

In the Senate, the Budget Committee voted along party lines to bundle together the work of eight legislative committees into a bill that will be debated next week by the full Senate. The
Congressional Budget Office said the Senate measure would save $39 billion over five years ? $4 billion more than the budget passed last spring.

Pressed to produce more savings than the Senate, House committees took more political chances in drafting the $50 billion House plan, which has become a rallying point for the GOP's conservative wing and its anxiety about hurricane relief worsening the deficit.

The House Education and the Workforce panel, for example, was told to generate $18 billion in savings over five years. On Wednesday it approved squeezing lenders in the student loan program and raising premiums to employers for government insurance of their employees' and retirees' pension benefits.

It also imposes new fees on students who default on loans or consolidate them and higher fees on parents who borrow on behalf of their college-age children. California Rep. George Miller (news, bio, voting record), the senior Democrat on the panel, called the package a "raid on student aid."

The Ways and Means Committee approved on a party-line vote a plan by its chairman, Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., with so many difficult-to-swallow provisions that lawmakers and aides whispered about whether the intent was to make it hard for GOP leaders to win its passage in the full House.

It includes $3.8 billion in cuts to child support enforcement. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (news, bio, voting record), D-N.D., charged that Republicans were appealing to the "constituency of deadbeat dads."

The bill also would tighten eligibility standards for foster care assistance in nine states and delay some lump-sum payments to very poor and elderly beneficiaries of
Social Security's Supplemental Security Income program.

"It was abundantly clear that Thomas didn't want to do this stuff," said an aide to a Ways and Means Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity but cited meetings that occurred behind the scenes. House GOP leaders this month directed Thomas to produce $8 billion in savings, eight times the original target he was assigned.

The Ways and Means plan also would eliminate payments to industries harmed by unfair foreign trade practices. Those payments come from the proceeds of duties on foreign goods "dumped" into the U.S. market.

The House Resources Committee approved a controversial plan to raise $2.4 billion in lease revenues by permitting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Minority Democrats opposed virtually everything that was done, saying Wednesday's actions are part of a broader GOP budget blueprint that also calls for $106 billion in new tax cuts over the next five years.

"They are targeting programs for poor people to pay for tax cuts for rich people," said Rep. David Obey (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis. Once those tax cuts are passed, Obey added, deficits will be increasing again.



Well he was on track for budget before he started screwing around in Iraq. Money doesnt grow on trees and he is forced to cut a lot of social programs like student loans and walefare. While im not going to debate the effiencency of these, i know that overall they are very important for the nation's well-being. Thanks Bush.


I knew before I voted for Bush the second time that I was already unhappy with him, but what was the alternative, vo\te for Lurch, I mean Kerry, who has voted both no and yes to everything Bush has proposed? If the God-Be-Damned Democrats could produce a viable candidate instead of the Retard Parade that they utilized in the last election, maybe Bush wouldn't be in office.


Yup. If it was Bush up for a third go around, I'd be sorely tempted to vote Libertarian.


Given the choice between Kerry and Bush, I would go with Bush again.

The Dems really have to pull their heads out of their asses.

I am tired of one party controlling everything, but the Dems make it really hard to even consider voting for them.


On the contrary, it seems Bush is finally doing something right. You should have voted for Badnarik.



I'm not a fan of popularity contests at all, but polling data shows that the republicans will win the whitehouse again in 2008.


Link please


He's finally showing a little fiscal discpline & cutting the budget. IMO a very positive thing.


I don't have a link. But I referenced a poll in another thread awhile back that showed Guiliani beating Cankles by 6 or 7 points, and Condi in a dead heet with the ever congenial Ms. Clinton.

My interpretation of it is that the Dem's golden girl will be beat by anyone the Republicans send against her.

I don't necessarily think that is a good thing. It makes the right fat and lazy. We hardly have a coherent message right now - I'd hate to think how muddled it could get if we don't even have to try.


That's the real problem.


Which is fine, unless you want to spend tons of money at the same time.


While I admit that I almost gag whenever I see her picture, don't underestimate Hillary Clinton!

Elections are won and lost based upon the actual campaign and how effective that it's run. She is surrounded by battle tested advisors left over from her husbands Presidential days. She has also been through two elections and I don't think she was sitting back baking cookies when the strategy sessions took place.

A few other things: She is female and some moderate republican females might very well cross party lines to side with their own gender. In addtion to that she now passing her self off as a more moderate politician which can only help her in the long run.

Now for the good news: I wouldn't say it's a cake walk for her. I think the real advantage that republicans have is that Hillary will be in a blood bath just to get the democratic nomination. Edwards, Kerry, Gore and a host of other heavy hitters (for the dems at least) will attempt to stop her at every point.


Amen to that I voted for him. I could care less if he's Libertarian though. I was frustrated with the fucktard choices we were given from the two big parties and decided to do the UnAmerican thing and do some research and read more about 30 some of the candidates and felt like he was a genuine person that seemed to care about people/America instead of corporations/business like the two main front runners


Oh please, anybody but Hillary...


Do I regret voting for Bush?



Regret voting for Bush? You mean as opposed to having John "I can't decide what sounds best today" Kerry as the President?


Kang: It's a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us!
Man: Well then, I believe I'll vote for a third party!
Kang: Go ahead! Throw your vote away! Ahahahaha!


I agree with your statement about his tenendecy to not be decisive. But i would still prefer him to somebody that is screwing things up so much it looks like that was his goal in the first place.


There's absolutely no way that there's any accuracy to that unless it's taken for granted that the democrats will not articulate anything between now and then. Since they've basically said nothing so far, the ball remains in their court to put forth polices less favorable than Bush's, continue to say nothing and just criticize, or...do something spectacular. I vote for spectacular. But any articulate, common-sense, well-reasoned, and reasonably appealing policies would be fine.