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Entries in Spending Cuts (156)

Monday
Jul132015

Jindal For President - Setting the Record Straight on Gov. Jindal's Record of Cutting Government 

Jindal for President

 

Today, Liberal groups and left -leaning reporters are out to slander Governor Jindal’s conservative record of governance. Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, for instance, has a column out with a number of factual mistakes and allegations that don’t tell the whole story.

Let’s take a look out some of Mr. Hunt’s arguments …

Governor Jindal Has Balanced The Budget Every Year In Office, Cut Taxes, Cut Government, And The State Has Received 8 Credit Rating Upgrades

Al Hunt criticizes Governor Jindal for cutting taxes and what he considers as poor budgeting practices.  The reality is that liberals don’t like the fact that Governor Jindal drastically cut government and it has worked.  Louisiana has more people working than ever, with higher incomes. And government is smaller than it has ever been.

Since 2008, The Overall Louisiana Budget Has Been Reduced From Over $34 Billion In FY 07-08 To $25.1 Billion In FY 15-16, A Nearly $9 Billion Decrease, Or A 26% Reduction. (Division of Administration, FY 2008-2009 Budget, http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/opb/pub/FY09/FY09ExecutiveBudget.pdf; Division of Administration, FY 2014-2015 Budget, http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/opb/pub/FY16/FY16_Executive_Budget.pdf; Reuters, “Louisiana's budget a long-term solution: Jindal's office, Reuters, 6/13/15) 

Since 2008, The Number Of State Employees Has Been Reduced From 93,554 To 61,573, A Reduction Of 31,981, Marking A 34% Decrease.   (Louisiana Civil Service Commission Report, March 6, 2015 Weekly Report; “Government Workers Down 30K Over 6 Years,” The Advocate, 11/7/14)

The State Employment Level Is At Its Lowest Level In Over Two Decades. (“Government Workers Down 30K Over 6 Years,” The Advocate, 11/7/14)

Louisiana’s Credit Rating Has Improved Drastically Since 2008, With The State Receiving Eight Credit Rating Upgrades Among The Three Major Credit-Rating Agencies (Moody’s, Fitch, And Standards And Poor’s) Over The Past 6 Years. (State Credit Ratings From Standard & Poor’s, 2001-2014, http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2014/06/09/sp-ratings-2014, 7/9/14; Moody’s Investors Service, “Rating Changes for the 50 States from 1970,” 1/15/15; “Fitch cites state's "solid financial management" in assigning 'AA' rating to Louisiana GO Bonds,” Division of Administration, 2/16/11)

Today, There Are More People Working In Louisiana Than At Any Previous Time In The State’s History. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/7/15)

Louisiana’s Private Sector Has Gained A Net 94,600 New Jobs Since January 2008, Making Louisiana No. 2 In The South And No. 7 In The Nation For Private Sector Job Growth Over That Period. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet, Series ID: SMS22000000500000001, Accessed 6/19/15)

Governor Jindal Upset The Apple Cart In Louisiana When He Passed Big Reforms And Cut Government

Mr. Hunt cites three Louisiana “Republicans” in his story who are critical of Governor Jindal’s conservative record.  What Mr. Hunt leaves out is that all three of these politicians switched parties to become Republicans around the time or after Governor Jindal took office.  Louisiana has trended more Republican since Governor Jindal took office and a big reason for that is Governor Jindal has shown at the state level what true conservative reform looks like when implemented. But, there are many Louisiana politicians who are upset Governor Jindal has brought so many changes to state government and made drastic reductions to the size of government. RedState’s Erick Erickson sums it up best…

RedState’s Erick Erickson: “Jindal is an outsider. … Jindal fixed it [Huey Long’s crumbling welfare state]. For many, it was and is tough medicine.”

Governor Jindal Has Brought Real Education Reform To Louisiana

Mr. Hunt argues Governor Jindal has “fashioned a series of education reforms but didn't adequately fund them,” and “The honors student in biology signed legislation promoting the teaching of creationism in the schools.”

Both of these points are wrong. Governor Jindal has brought transformational reforms to K-12 education. Total funding for K-12 education in the Louisiana budget is more than 15% higher than it was when Governor Jindal took office, and more kids have access to a great education.

Governor Jindal’s Education Reforms Have Turned Around Louisiana’s School Systems:

Since Governor Jindal Took Office, The Number Of Louisiana Failing Schools Has Been Cut In Half. (Louisiana Department of Education, School, District, and State Performance Scores, October 2011)

Now Only 10% Of Schools Operating In New Orleans (2014-15 School Year) Are Considered Failing.  This Is Down From 64% Pre-Hurricane Katrina.  (“New Orleans public schools pre-Katrina and now, by the numbers,” Times Picayune, 8/29/14)

The State’s High School Graduation Rate Has Increased >From 66% In 2008 To 74.6%, An All-Time High, In 2014. (“Louisiana continues to improve its public high school graduation rate, hit record rate of 74.6% in 2014,” The Advocate, 4/9/15; District and State Graduation Rates, Louisiana Department of Education, http://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/data-management/2013-2014-cohort-graduation-rate-file.pdf?sfvrsn=2; )

Saturday
Mar212015

NHDP - ICYMI: Nashua Telegraph Op-Ed: Cuts Won’t Eliminate Problems 

 
 
 
 
 
Key Point: "The House Finance Committee’s proposed budget will essentially shut the door to our region’s most vulnerable children transitioning from school supports to community supports. It will dismantle family-support programs for people with developmental disabilities and cause hardship for those who do a lifetime of heavy lifting by caring for their loved ones. It will chip away at our already overtaxed safety system."

"Please know that this budget will result in young adults losing the supports they need to be become more independent members of society. By cutting transition, or wait-list services, we don’t just lose a program, we lose the long-term benefit – contributing members of our communities."

Nashua Telegraph Op-Ed: Cuts Won’t Eliminate Problems
By Sandra B. Pelletier
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/commentary/1059720-474/nashua-cuts-wont-eliminate-problems.html

(Sandra B. Pelletier is president and CEO of Gateways Community Services in Nashua)

The House Finance Committee’s proposed budget cuts to programs provided through the Granite State’s developmental services system is one of the largest in this year’s proposed budget. These programs provide support and service to some of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in New Hampshire.

Having worked with people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders for more than 30 years, I have seen what happens when short-sighted budget cuts take away services. In all my years in working with people and families in the greater Nashua region, I have never witnessed budget cuts of such sweeping proportions.

The House Finance Committee’s proposed budget will essentially shut the door to our region’s most vulnerable children transitioning from school supports to community supports. It will dismantle family-support programs for people with developmental disabilities and cause hardship for those who do a lifetime of heavy lifting by caring for their loved ones. It will chip away at our already overtaxed safety system.

Please know that this budget will result in young adults losing the supports they need to be become more independent members of society. By cutting transition, or wait-list services, we don’t just lose a program, we lose the long-term benefit – contributing members of our communities.

The loss of services that teach people with developmental disabilities day-to-day living and employment skills means a huge loss, now and in the future. Families of people with developmental disabilities provide food, housing, clothes and oversight for their loved one and rely on relatively small dollars from the state for respite and day supports. By taking this away, will these caregivers be forced to leave jobs or grow so tired they just can no longer do the heavy lifting? If our local system is undercut even further, supports for these people will be an undue burden on their families and the community at large. Just because state support and services go away does not mean the need disappears. We will only downshift House cuts to our cities and towns. A mentor has shared with me this question, “What is the role of government?” I ask you, “Is it not to support our most vulnerable citizens?”

Often, families come to me and ask, “What next?” According to the recommended House budget, my answer may very well be, “You will need to wait.” The proposed cuts will push families and caregivers in critical need beyond their financial, physical and psychological capacities at costs immeasurable by standard accounting, costs that our families know all too well. Undoubtedly tough choices must be made in balancing the state’s budget. The safety, health, and well-being of our most vulnerable children and families cannot be one of them.
 
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Thursday
Mar192015

NHDP - Devastating Bill O’Brien Budget Cuts Continue to Dominate Media Coverage 

Concord, N.H. – Bill O’Brien’s devastating budget cuts are continuing to dominate media coverage as more details emerge about massive cuts to veteran’s programs, state police, the university system, services for mental health and those with developmental disabilities, and road and bridge maintenance.
 
“With drastic cuts on the table for the state’s veterans home, the university system and critical health services, Bill O’Brien and House Republicans have made clear that they are willing to undermine our most critical priorities in order to serve their Tea Party ideology,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Granite Staters will not stand for these devastating and irresponsible cuts.”
 
See below for a coverage recap:
 
WMUR: Veterans, police, university system could face budget cuts
 
CONCORD, N.H. —As budget writers in the House try to come up with a spending plan everyone can agree on, it appears New Hampshire veterans could be at risk of losing services.
 
Cuts suggested Tuesday would have a major impact on those services and others, as the battle to balance the budget is getting heated. Other potential targets for cuts include the Department of Transportation, state police and the university system.
 
In a budget year that is witnessing deep cuts in just about every state agency, the veterans' home in Tilton is the latest to find itself on the chopping block amid a proposal to reduce state funding by as much as $2 million.
 
… From slicing $41 million from the DOT to pulling troopers off the road to reducing state aid to the university system, Republican budget writers on the House Finance Committee are making clear everything is on the table.
 
Click here for full WMUR story.
 
 
Union Leader: House budget writers trim from Health and Human Services
 
CONCORD — House budget writers continued Tuesday to whittle away at social services to meet their target to trim about $180 million in general funds from the Health and Human Services Department’s budget.
 
The day before, the House finance subcommittees decided to eliminate Meals on Wheels and ServiceLink, to reduce money for nursing home long-term care, developmentally disabled services and optional Medicaid services, and to cut $63 million from transportation which would result in more than 300 layoffs, and reduce winter and summer road maintenance.
 
The budget cuts had House Democrats comparing it to the budget slashing when Bill O’Brien was House Speaker, and Gov. Maggie Hassan said Republicans continue to act like the state is in an economic crisis when it is not.
 
Click here for full Union Leader story.
 

 
NHPR: N.H. House Budget Writers Slash H.H.S. Funding
 
The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.
 
So far the House Finance Committee is proposing $115 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.
 
Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”
 
“The actions you have taken  yesterday as well as this morning will absolutely devastate the Medicaid program.” Nihan said Tuesday.
 
Click here for full NHPR story.
 

 
AP: House budget writers to vote on transportation cuts
 
House budget writers are preparing to vote on whether to cut millions of dollars from the Department of Transportation's budget, forcing layoffs and a decline in road maintenance.
 
… Officials say the cuts would have dire consequences on public safety by reducing the department's ability to clear roads and perform bridge maintenance. The cuts could reduce by a quarter the department's workforce, which now has 1,600 positions.
 
Click here for full AP story.

Tuesday
Aug052014

Shaheen For US Senate - We've Made History!

Friends - I just wanted to make sure you saw this note I sent last week about the anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law.

49 years later, the threat to Medicare is very, very real. The Koch Brothers and corporate special interests are fighting every day to turn Medicare into a voucher program. We cannot let that happen.

That's why I'm asking you to add your name and help us get 150,000 grassroots supporters standing up for Medicare.

Thank you,

Jeanne

 

 

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jeanne Shaheen
Subject: Medicare at risk
Date: Tues, July 29, 2014

Dear Friends,

Medicare was signed into law 49 years ago this week. Because of that, 49 million Americans are able to afford their prescriptions, see a doctor and get access to life-saving medical care.

But after 49 years, extremists in Congress want to end Medicare as we know it.

That's why we need your help to get 150,000 grassroots supporters standing with me to defend Medicare.

Click here now to join me and my colleagues today in defending Medicare as we know it.

Granite Staters depend on Medicare. If the Koch Brothers and their corporate special interests get their way and turn Medicare into a voucher program, future seniors would be handed a coupon for critical care. And that coupon may not even cover all their needs. That’s simply unacceptable.

That's why I'm asking you to help join this fight to protect Medicare. After 49 years of helping our seniors afford the care they need, this risk to Medicare is very real. This is why we need all hands on deck to this fight.

Add your name TODAY and help us reach our goal of 150,000 supporters fighting to protect Medicare.

I need you in this fight. Future seniors need you in this fight. It's just too important to sit this one out.

Thank you,
Jeanne

Tuesday
Dec172013

ALG's Daily Grind - Will Senate Republicans filibuster the Ryan-Murray budget agreement?

6

Dec. 16, 2013

Permission to republish original opeds and cartoons granted.

Will Senate Republicans filibuster the Ryan-Murray budget agreement?
Senate Republicans have to decide whether they will allow the Ryan-Murray agreement to move to a vote. Given the controversial provisions in the bill, the requisite for future interparty trust, and Harry Reid's treatment of minority rights over the last several months, the bill's outlook is doubtful.

Obamacare: A death panel for the rule of law 
Obama has shredded the Constitution in favor of the "Easy Button," arbitrarily remaking entire sections of the health care law that deal with its employer mandate, its deductible and co-payment limits, its coverage requirements and — more disturbingly — its power to subsidize health insurance in more than thirty states.

The moral superiority of capitalism
The point is not that capitalists do good things.  The point is that capitalism makes such giving possible.

Strassel: IRS targeting, round two
There is a "growing concern by House Ways and Means Committee investigators that [a new IRS] regulation was reverse-engineered — designed to isolate and shut down the same tea party groups victimized in the first targeting round."