P.S. Watching Democrats apparently give ground yard by yard -- from accepting a reported $32-33 billion in cuts earlier this week to $37-38 billion today, not to say even getting in this range in the first place -- is so baffling that I wonder, by defensive reflex if nothing else, if there isn't more to this than meets the eye. Are some of those billions illusory, i.e. offloaded into areas Democrats don't care about or want to cut? Has the weighting changed in some way that offsets the sticker amount?And how, given the final sticker amount, can Obama find the "audacity" to claim this?
But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs -- investments in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we need to win the future.Here is a Dem answer -- or spin:
“1) $17 BILLION IN ‘CHIMPS’ -- WE SPREAD OUT THE CUTS ACROSS OTHER PARTS OF THE BUDGET. We insisted that meeting in the middle on cuts would require looking beyond domestic discretionary spending—and we prevailed. More than half—or $17 billion—of the final round of spending cuts came from changes in mandatory programs, or CHIMPs. The emphasis on this part of the budget staved off severe cuts to key domestic programs like education, clean energy, and medical research."The CHIMPS," cried Mr. Rochester. "Deuce take me if I did not forget the CHIMPS!"* Or make that Mr. Rogers (David), who explained back on April 3:
With a shutdown looming, budget negotiations this week will rise or fall on two major issues: policy riders demanded by Republicans and an estimated $6 billion to $8 billion in new savings in mandatory programs offered by the White House to forestall deeper cuts in domestic appropriations.As might ours after scrutinizing the CHIMPS.
The administration is prepared to accelerate proposed reforms in the Pell Grant program for low-income college students and cut billions elsewhere from one of the initiatives enacted under health care reform: the establishment of new nonprofit health cooperatives, a priority of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, extending Medicaid coverage to the children of working class families, is a third potential target, together with billions to be saved from rescinding highway contract authority.
As for scrutiny in Jane Eyre, don't get me started..