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Old 11-17-2002, 03:09 PM   #1
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Cut the Pork fund Universal Health

OK....I have been thinking. It would be interesting to start a thread actually looking at what congress spends our taxes on. John McCain is one of my favorite people in Congress, not because he is a Republican, but because he is one of the premier leaders at identifying and cutting pork from our budget.

He does not identify pork based on the merits or the the cause, but he looks at bills that:

*contain unauthorized appropriations
*unrequested funding specifically for localy specific earmarks and research facility-specific funding, and funding that circumvents the normal competitve award process
*budget add-ons to bills
*transfer of federal property that do not follow the exhisting law
*new items added to bills after the bill passed through committee


Examples of pork for 2002 include according to Mr. McCain (remember it is not based on the merits of the spending but the manner in which it was attempted to sneak the funding through) are:

1.6 Million for Midland College in TX for a safety program for students thinking about entering the oil industry

$6 million for the Thayer School of Engineering for the nanocrystalline materials and biomass research initiative

$2.2 million for the Center for Cooland Cold Water Aquaculture in Leetown, West Virginia

$4.5 million for the US Vegetable Laboratory in Charlestown, SC

$100, 000 for the Weed IT Now intiative in MA, NY, and CT

$320,000 for ANIMAL WASTE management in Oklahoma

$600, 000 for the tri-state joint peanut research project in AL

Lest you think the Senator does not look at Military Spending:

One bill contained a $2.6 billion per year ( WOW....per year over 10-years) apropriation to lease 100 767 Aircraft. Congress added 4 737 aircraft to the bill for their own travel use.
McCain points out that this leasing plane is 5X more expensive
than it was to just buy the planes. These planes were to be leased from Boeing. On top of it all, this was not even on the top 60 things the AIr Force requested funding for. By itself this appropriation would have funded 30% of the Air Forces top 60 priorities. The planes according to McCain do not even appear in the 6-year plan for Air force needs.



You may not like conservatives, and you may not like the things McCain stands for.......

But......if you want to figure out how to pay for Universal Health......

This is one person that I have faith in to figure out what to cut. It makes sense to start here........with fighting wasted money before threatening to raise taxes.


I am wondering how many of you have ideas or look into how your money and mine is spent frivolously. Please share them if you have them.....

Thanks

Peace to all.


Link to McCain's site:


http://www.mccain2000.com/contents/mccainreport/
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Old 11-17-2002, 03:42 PM   #2
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Here is the problem, though. I agree with McCain here in theory, but the reality is that, when push comes to shove, McCain and his fellow moderates will give up their own agenda in favor of the hard-line conservative agenda that the Republican Party leadership expouses--all for a show of unity.

If McCain is actually serious at cutting out pork, then I support him. But he, and the rest of the Republican moderates, need to speak up for once!

Melon
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Old 11-17-2002, 03:44 PM   #3
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The intent of the thread is to find pork. If you have something you think is pork please share it. I was not asking if you agree with , like, or think McCain is right wrong or whatever....

His outspokenness cost him the election.
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Old 11-17-2002, 05:12 PM   #4
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Here is some absolutely disgusting pork to be ordered up by the administration.

we should not be wasting money starting a new arms race.


That tax refund was a sucker's bribe, for the beginning of huge deficits.
Quote:
Posted on Fri, Nov. 15, 2002



U.S. ponders resumption of nuke-weapons test

BY DAN STOBER and JONATHAN S. LANDAY
San Jose Mercury News

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is laying the groundwork for the resumption of nuclear testing and the development of new nuclear weapons, according to a memo obtained by Knight Ridder.

The memorandum circulated recently to members of the Nuclear Weapons Council, a high-level government body that sets policy for nuclear weapons, urges the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories to assess the technical risks associated with maintaining the U.S. arsenal without nuclear testing, which President Bush's father halted in 1992. In addition, the memo suggests that the United States take another look at conducting small nuclear tests, a policy rejected by the Clinton administration.

"We will need to refurbish several aging weapons systems," writes council chairman E.C. Aldridge Jr., the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. "We must also be prepared to respond to new nuclear weapons requirements in the future" - a reference to a push to develop "earth-penetrating" weapons that might destroy buried stocks of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons in countries such as Iraq.

"It's recognizing that the stockpile that we designed 25 or 30 years ago for the Cold War really might not be the stockpile for the war on terrorism," a senior Pentagon official said Friday. "The rest of the world realized after Desert Storm that if you could be seen, you could be killed."

The memo is backed up by little-noticed language in the defense authorization bill that Congress approved this week. The bill suggests that the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories - Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia - should be ready to resume testing with as little as six months notice.

Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the memorandum demonstrates the Bush administration's intention to end the testing moratorium.

"The administration is chipping away at the barriers to a resumption of testing," said Kimball. "They are doing their best to establish a rationale to resume testing, either for reliability problems or for new weapons. The reality is that there is no scientific nor military basis for a resumption of testing, and to do so would be an enormous strategic blunder that would invite a wave of proliferation that could swamp the entire non-proliferation regime."

New testing could prompt the Russians, the Chinese, Indians and Pakistanis to do likewise, or harden North Korea's refusal to abandon its nuclear program, he warned.

But a Pentagon official said there is no movement afoot to resume testing.

"It was just time to go back and collect our thoughts" after 10 years of maintaining the nuclear stockpile without tests conducted beneath the Nevada desert, said Frederick Celec, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for nuclear matters. "Let's take stock and see where we are. What are the risks involved in not testing?"

Democrats in Congress say that the interest in resumed testing comes not from the uniformed generals or the physicists in the weapons labs, but primarily from conservative civilian leaders, such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and advisers such as former defense official Richard Perle and John Foster, a nuclear weapons designer.

Since 1992, weapons scientists in California and New Mexico have used a multibillion-dollar system of supercomputers and large-scaled technology to understand the underlying physics of bombs and missile warheads. The Aldridge memo suggests that this Science Based Stockpile Stewardship program may not be enough. It requests studies "to assess the potential benefits that could be obtained from a return to nuclear testing with regard to weapons safety, security and reliability."

The memo suggests another look at the potential benefits of a "low yield" testing program, which might produce a nuclear explosion equivalent to only a few hundred pounds of conventional explosives. Such tests might involve small amounts of plutonium - not in bomb form - at the Nevada Test Site, according to a well place defense official. So-called sub-critical tests are now designed to produce no nuclear yield at all.

Portions of the defense authorization bill passed Wednesday require nuclear weapons scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and elsewhere to report if nuclear explosions beneath the Nevada desert might be "helpful" in resolving reliability questions about existing nuclear weapons, even if the tests are technically "unnecessary."

"I don't know of any reason why we can't" maintain the stockpile without testing, Bruce Goodwin, the head of the nuclear weapons program in Livermore, told the San Jose Mercury News. Testing might be required "if somebody came along and said we needed a completely new, ultra-lightweight weapon," he said. "But I don't see anything like that on the horizon."

Although some nuclear weapons scientists unsuccessfully sought permission to conduct low-yield nuclear tests after the testing moratorium began in 1992, Goodwin said he sees no need for it now. "I don't think I would ask for that today. We know a lot more, we're a lot more capable," he said.

Congress this week authorized the three nuclear weapons labs to create preliminary designs for a weapon known as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, designed for underground targets. The project involves strengthening existing hydrogen bombs, rather than creating new designs. Livermore weapons designers say they don't expect the project to require nuclear tests.

But critics fear that development of such weapons could increase pressure to resume nuclear testing. The defense bill includes language, inserted by Democrats opposed to the earth penetrator such as Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., that specifically prohibits the scientists from beginning work until a list of written questions is answered, involving the bomb's purpose and targets, and an assessment of whether such targets could be destroyed using non-nuclear weapons.

The authorization bill also tasks the labs to study the costs and benefits of reducing the time required to prepare for a nuclear test to six months, 12 months, 18 months or 24 months. The current "readiness" time is two to three years. In March, an influential Pentagon advisory panel chaired by former defense official and Lawrence Livermore director John Foster recommended a lead time of "no more than three months to a year."

A veteran nuclear weapons physicist said a test designed, built and tested in only six months would be a "political test" rather than a science test. "Historically, in order to do a test in six months you pretty much had to have the device picked out already and have preliminary plans on what to do. How can you predict a problem in advance?"
How many billions will this costs?
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Cut the Pork fund Universal Health

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
$600, 000 for the tri-state joint peanut research project in AL
Hey now! Peanut crops are an important part of the economy in the Wiregrass Region of Southeast Alabama, Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia!

Serioulsy though, I agree in principle with Senator McCain's anti-pork platform, but there are some pork expenditures that other Senators will fight tooth-and-nail to protect, on all sides of the political spectrum. Democrats in West Virginia would put up a fight if anyone tried to block funding of the expensive and mountainous Senator Robert Byrd Freeway that goes from Charleston to nowhere. Alabama Republicans and Democrats alike lobbied Senator Richard Shelby to secure federal dollars for the restoration for the statue of Vulcan on Birmingham's skyline.

I do agree that streamlining of government operations and expenditures would be a way to set aside more money for healthcare for people that do not have insurance (sorry, folks, but you won't convince me to support a universal socialist medical system).

~U2Alabama
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Here is some absolutely disgusting pork to be ordered up by the administration.

we should not be wasting money starting a new arms race.


That tax refund was a sucker's bribe, for the beginning of huge deficits.
How many billions will this costs?
I do not know...I read the whole article...and it has nothing to do with pork. Unless you can find the figures....LOL
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Cut the Pork fund Universal Health

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama


Hey now! Peanut crops are an important part of the economy in the Wiregrass Region of Southeast Alabama, Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia!

Serioulsy though, I agree in principle with Senator McCain's anti-pork platform, but there are some pork expenditures that other Senators will fight tooth-and-nail to protect, on all sides of the political spectrum. Democrats in West Virginia would put up a fight if anyone tried to block funding of the expensive and mountainous Senator Robert Byrd Freeway that goes from Charleston to nowhere. Alabama Republicans and Democrats alike lobbied Senator Richard Shelby to secure federal dollars for the restoration for the statue of Vulcan on Birmingham's skyline.

I do agree that streamlining of government operations and expenditures would be a way to set aside more money for healthcare for people that do not have insurance (sorry, folks, but you won't convince me to support a universal socialist medical system).

~U2Alabama
Bama....again...not against Peanuts....McCain most likely went after it because it was attached to a bill and not reviewed in committee.

As for Universal Health....not my cup of tea either...but it may be something that could be achieved if we were looking at the way our money is being spent.

I had been asking and asking in another thread......how can you fund it without raising my taxes. I still have had no responses. Cutting the military, stopping upgrading of weapons, ect....is not an acceptable answer to me.......However......Saviong a tankload of money by leasing unnecessary planes.....is a start!





Peace
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Old 11-17-2002, 07:05 PM   #8
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Congress' taste for pork has become so common place that some expenditures are no longer questioned. For all the money we spend on tobacco subsidies, etc.

Politicians benefit the most from the status quo. Any effort to change this can be picked apart by an opposition party.
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Old 11-17-2002, 07:13 PM   #9
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dreadsox:

I saw your other thread about Universal Healthcare and I agreed with everything you stated; in fact, I didn't post in it because you stated my own opinions better than I could have myself.

I have found that a lot of the supporters of universal healthcare would also line up to stop spending cuts in other government "services" (with the obvious exception of defense spending). There is a huge trend of overlap in government agencies and sub-agencies, but most administrations and legislatures realize that streamilining will result in making some jobs obsolete, and there you have a new crisis. Some even think it is the role of government to "create" more government jobs, which will only happen if we "expand the role of government." People would rather force us to pay more taxes to bring this to fruition than to revise budgets and re-prioritize itemized spending.

Have you ever had any peanuts from South Alabama?

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Old 11-17-2002, 07:15 PM   #10
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I am not familiar with specific pork items. I will, however, detail what I think our problems are:

1) Corporate welfare. So much for laissez-faire capitalism. I think that all forms of corporate welfare should be abolished, all the way from taxpayer-funded professional sports stadiums to programs that help American multi-national corporations increase penetration in foreign nations. Amtrak should be privatized, as public funding for the past 30 years has still failed to make this business remotely relevant.

2) Military spending. It astounds me how some individual aircraft can actually cost over $1 billion a piece to make. Of course, the military also used to get jokes for spending $90,000 a piece on toilets, along with the recent default on large amounts of credit card debt. There is so much taxpayer waste in this sector of the economy that a complete audit and overhaul is long overdue.

3) Bureaucracy. How many bureaucrats and departments do we really need? Since when do we need a completely separate Department of Veterans Affairs? Truthfully, some of these departments really could use some redefining, and, if determined to be necessary, combine some departments. But, considering we are on the horizon of creating a Department of Homeland Security (I don't see why this couldn't be a function of the Department of Defense), I see the bureaucracy is going to only get bigger.

4) Politics. Our senators and representatives really have no incentive to cut down on spending, as they just look at the U.S. Treasury as their own private piggy bank.

What would I like to see happen?

1) Free college education.
2) Complete urban rebuilding and renewal. I'm tired of having cities that are disgusting and overpriced to the point that no one can afford to live in the nice sectors of them. We are encouraging urban sprawl with these policies.
3) Universal health care of some form. Not necessarily government bureaucracy, but maybe legislation that forces the private sector to pick everyone up.

Melon
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Old 11-17-2002, 07:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Politicians benefit the most from the status quo. Any effort to change this can be picked apart by an opposition party.
This is a very good point.

~U2Alabama
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Old 11-18-2002, 04:57 PM   #12
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I am a little disappointed. Given all of the people who wrote about Universal Health care.......

I would thing more people would be interested in finding money to pay for it.

Either that or we believe that they are spending our money wisely.


This is quite disappointing.........


Oh well.....I will continue to fight to not have my money taken from me.
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:41 AM   #13
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All of the intelligent people that come here.....

and this is the best we can do ???????????


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Old 11-19-2002, 10:44 AM   #14
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http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/...ity/index.html

This should interest people here. Sen. McCain shows his opposition to the Homeland Security bill, due to the pork that the Republican House added to the bill. But let's see how his fellow "moderates" votes...spineless fools.

These are some of the games that prevent me from voting Republican currently, as I'm sure the Republican leadership will be commenting on how unpatriotic the Democrats are for blocking this bill, when, in fact, the Republican Party ruined the bill on their own actions.

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Old 11-19-2002, 02:41 PM   #15
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John McCain=a "RINO"
ie-


R-epublican
I-n
N-ame
O-nly

We have more consertative Republicans -gay conservative Republicans -more Republican than McCain who I voted for in this state..

The only thing cool about mcCain is his war nostalga..and he has a wife 25 yrs younger than him

DB9
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