Iowa Rep. Steve King (R) believes that people who want to ban their fellow Americans from seeing dogs and others animals fight against one another have some misguided priorities.
During a tele-townhall event last week, King complained about an amendment to the farm bill that would criminalize attending organized animal fights and would impose penalties on anyone who brought children to one of these events.
“When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that,” the Iowa congressman said.
Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said earlier this month that new legislation was necessary because of loopholes that allowed fight organizers to continue to profit even though federal laws had been strengthened in recent years.
“Spectators are participants and accomplices who enable the crime of animal fighting, make the enterprise profitable through admission fees and wagering, and help conceal and protect the handlers and organizers,” Pacelle said. “Federal investigators who raid large-scale animal fighting operations may soon be able to prosecute the entire cast of characters who sustain dogfighting and cockfighting.”
Somewhere Micheal Vick must be thinking “Where was this King guy back in 2007!?”
The mid-session review from the White House’s budget office, The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), projected a $1.211-trillion deficit this year along with lower economic growth in 2012 and 2013. They also state that we need $195 billion in economic stimulus to address an economy that “still faces significant headwinds.”
The deficit projections are revised down from $1.327 trillion, while growth in gross domestic products (GDP) expectations were lowered to 2.3 percent from 2.7 percent when Obama released his budget in February. 2013 GDP growth was lowered from 3 percent to 2.7 percent while deficits for that year will increase from $901 billion to $991 billion.
“Today’s dreary economic growth numbers coupled with an administration forecast that indicates next year’s deficit will mark a historic fifth year in a row of trillion dollar deficits underscores what the American people already know — that the president’s economic plan isn’t working,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Republicans pointed out that like the February budget, the update adds to the national debt even while assuming that the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy expire.
“President Obama is currently running an ad saying he has a plan to ‘pay down the debt in a balanced way.’ He has made this claim in public remarks as well. But his updated budget — submitted two weeks after the legal deadline — reveals just how dramatically false this claim is,” Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said. He called on Obama to pull the ad down.
“The President’s $1.8 trillion tax increase is not used to reduce the deficit but to fund this massive increase above what we are currently planning to spend,” he added.
Democrats have pointed out that even under the House GOP budget, the national debt would increase.
The lead Senate Democrat on budget matters said the large deficit and poor economy are not surprising, and that Obama should not be blamed.
“History tells us that when a downturn is accompanied by severe damage to financial institutions, the recovery takes longer,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said. “Without a doubt, the Great Recession that President Obama inherited has taken its toll on economic growth and, thus, on the nation’s balance sheet.”
He called on Congress to agree to a balanced deficit package that includes entitlement cuts and tax revenue increases.
“Republicans must yield on revenues, and Democrats must agree to entitlement changes. And it is important that the agreed upon plan be phased-in carefully so that the changes don’t worsen the fragile economic recovery,” he said.
Acting OMB director Jeff Zients in a release blames “Republicans in Congress” for failing to adopt Obama’s jobs proposals. The budget update assumes these will be enacted at a later date than earlier assumed.
The House voted Wednesday overwhelmingly to validate Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) legislative decade long battle to get the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the very private inaccurately named Federal Reserve, despite the central bank’s chairman warning that such action could result in a “nightmare scenario.”
Members of the House passed Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill by a vote of 327-98. Only one Republican, Rep. Bob Turner(NY), voted against the bill. 89 Democrats joined Republicans in passing the bill, including outgoing Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who cited recent reporting by The Washington Post that claims the New York Federal Reserve knew but did not tell regulators about manipulation a key inter-bank lending rate known as Libor.
“The Fed creates trillions of dollars out of nothing and gives it to banks, Congress is in the dark,” he said. “The Fed sets the stage for the subprime meltdown, Congress is in the dark. The Fed takes a dive on Libor, Congress is in the dark. The Fed doesn’t tell regulators what is going on, Congress is in the dark.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), must like being in the dark as he has refused to bring the bill up.
Paul supported a Fed audit in 2010 that was incorporated into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That audit required the Fed to disclose its lending practices during the 2008 financial crisis, revealing that the bank doled out more than $16 trillion in loans and assets swaps to financial institutions all over the world in an effort to stabilize global markets. Paul was not satisfied as he said ultimately the Dodd-Frank audit was a stripped-down version of his original proposal because it did not examine Fed monetary policy negotiations as well.
Speaking last week to the House Financial Services Committee, which is chaired by Paul, Bernanke warned that any effort by Congress to undermine the independence of the Fed would weaken its ability to stabilize the economy in the event of a crisis like the near-collapse of 2008.
“The nightmare scenario that I have is one in which some future Fed chairman would decide to say, raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, and somebody in this room would say, ‘I don’t like this decision and I want the [Government Accountability Office] to go in… and give us an independent opinion of whether or not that would be the right decision,’” he said.
The real nightmare scenario would be the American public actually seeing how the Fed’s manipulative and deceitful actions benefit the few at the expense of the many.
As usual Ben Swann asks the questions the rest of the mainstream media refuses to.
Have a populace you need to terrify in order to push a civil liberties curtailing domestic agenda? Check out The Corbett Report’s “How to Foil Your Own Terror Plot”
The Associated Press conducted a survey of more than a dozen nonpartisan, liberal and conservative economists, think tanks and academics, and found a broad consensus. The official poverty rate will continue to rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, to as high as 15.7 percent, and even if the gain is a much more modest one of 0.1% as some predict, it will still increase the poverty rate to it’s highest level since 1965.
Some 47 million people in the U.S., or 1 in 6, were poor last year. In 1983 the poverty rate was 15.2%, the highest since 1965. The highest level on record was 22.4 percent in 1959, when the government began calculating poverty figures. Poverty is closely tied to joblessness. While the unemployment rate dropped from 9.6 percent in 2010 to 8.2 percent in 2012, the employment-population ratio remained largely unchanged, meaning many discouraged workers stopped looking for work. The number of those collecting assistance for food went up, which is another indicator of the growth of poverty.
Stacey Mazer of the National Association of State Budget Officers said state’s poverty rate increases will be one of the deciding factors in whether states expand their Medicaid coverage. Most states generally assume poverty levels will hold mostly steady and they will hesitate if the findings show otherwise. “It’s a constant tension in the budget,” she said.
Demographers also say:
-Poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for the foreseeable future. Peak poverty levels, 15 percent to 16%, will last at least until 2014, due to expiring unemployment benefits, a jobless rate persistently above 6% will accompany weak wage growth.
-Part-time or underemployed workers, who saw a record 15 percent poverty in 2010, will continue to rise.
-Poverty among people 65 and older will remain at historically low levels, buoyed by Social Security cash payments.
The 2010 poverty level was $22,314 for a family of four, and $11,139 for an individual, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income, before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth, such as home ownership, as well as noncash aid such as food stamps and tax credits, which were expanded substantially under President Obama’s stimulus package.
An additional 9 million people in 2010 would have been counted above the poverty line if food stamps and tax credits were taken into account.
Reid has long been a supporter of the type of proposal being pushed by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and noted that Internet retailer Amazon is behind it.
Reid describes the proposal as “very fair” and said that it would “help these little strip malls we have all over America,”.
Retail groups and other supporters have lobbied for online sales tax measures in both the House and the Senate, saying the current law favors Internet retailers over brick-and-mortar stores.
As it stands, companies only have to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases from customers in states where they have a physical plant or location. Reports suggest that states could bring in billions of dollars in extra revenue with an online sales tax law. Opponents of the measure, including prominent conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), say lawmakers should be finding ways to lower Americans’ tax bills, not devising more ways for people to pay.
Durbin believes support for the measure is solid on the Democratic side, though he said he wasn’t sure Enzi and another prominent GOP supporter, Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), have rounded up the 15 or 20 Republicans needed to pass it through the Senate.
Enzi has also expressed confidence that a measure could get passed this year, and Alexander has said he expects the bill to go through in either 2012 or 2013.