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This is one of the reasons I said I dislike this administration so much. Cut programs down then when you need to be reelected, claim you support them.

 

 

White House Is Trumpeting Programs It Tried to Cut

By ROBERT PEAR

 

 

WASHINGTON, May 18 ? Like many of its predecessors, the Bush White House has used the machinery of government to promote the re-election of the president by awarding federal grants to strategically important states. But in a twist this election season, many administration officials are taking credit for spreading largess through programs that President Bush tried to eliminate or to cut sharply.

 

For example, Justice Department officials recently announced that they were awarding $47 million to scores of local law enforcement agencies for the hiring of police officers. Mr. Bush had just proposed cutting the budget for the program, known as Community Oriented Policing Services, by 87 percent, to $97 million next year, from $756 million.

 

The administration has been particularly energetic in publicizing health programs, even ones that had been scheduled for cuts or elimination.

 

Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, announced recently that the administration was awarding $11.7 million in grants to help 30 states plan and provide coverage for people without health insurance. Mr. Bush had proposed ending the program in each of the last three years.

 

The administration also announced recently that it was providing $11.6 million to the states so they could buy defibrillators to save the lives of heart attack victims. But Mr. Bush had proposed cutting the budget for such devices by 82 percent, to $2 million from $10.9 million.

 

Whether they involve programs Mr. Bush supported or not, the grant announcements illustrate how the administration blends politics and policy, blurring the distinction between official business and campaign-related activities.

 

In recent weeks, administration officials have fanned out around the country. Within a 48-hour period this month, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow was in Wisconsin and Illinois, doling out federal aid to poor neighborhoods. Anthony J. Principi, the secretary of veterans affairs, was in Las Vegas to announce plans for a new veterans hospital. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham was in South Carolina to announce a new national research laboratory. And a top transportation official was in Portland, Me., awarding a $13 million grant to the city's airport.

 

In some cases, overtly political appearances are piggybacked onto such trips. Earlier this month, Mr. Principi was in Florida announcing plans for another veterans hospital, in Orlando, with a side trip to Tampa to kick off a national coalition of veterans supporting the re-election of Mr. Bush.

 

A few days earlier, while traveling to Marco Island, Fla., on official business, Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans stopped in Daytona Beach to attend a large prayer meeting, where he praised Mr. Bush as "a leader you can trust 100 percent of the time."

 

The combination of official business and politics is neither illegal nor unusual in an election year, though Bush administration officials were reluctant to provide details. In fact, the Bush administration is using techniques refined by President Bill Clinton. The difference is that in the Clinton years the White House was often trying to add and expand domestic programs, not cut them.

 

The government has byzantine rules for documenting mixed official and political travel. The goal is to ensure that the campaign or some other political group pays for parts of a trip that are purely political.

 

But as the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, has said, "it is often impossible to neatly categorize travel as either purely business or purely political."

 

Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for Mr. Evans, said the Republican National Committee paid for the commerce secretary's stop in Daytona Beach on May 6. A local newspaper, The News-Journal, said the prayer meeting there "evolved into a rousing Republican political rally."

 

The contrast between politics and policy is particularly striking when the administration takes credit for spending money appropriated by Congress against the president's wishes.

 

In April, Secretary Thompson announced that the administration was awarding $3.1 million in grants to improve health care in rural areas of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico and New York. He did not mention that the administration was trying to cut the same rural health program by 72 percent, to $11.1 million next year, from $39.6 million.

 

Mr. Thompson likewise recently boasted that the administration was awarding $16 million to 11 universities to train blacks and Hispanic Americans as doctors, dentists and pharmacists. But at the same time, the administration was urging Congress to abolish the program, on the ground that "private and corporate entities" could pay for training.

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If you dug a bit deeper and didn't take everything as written you'll find a massive number of PD's simply don't bother to apply for the COP money because it ties their hands too much in the way it has to be spent. If less than allocated funding was applied for, then less than allocated funding would be spent - note carefully that the writer never tells you how much in COP funds applications came in did they? As I recall, first year applications after enactment were distinctly underwhelming - something like about 20-30% of those eligible for COP money ever bother to apply for it.

 

With all the "roman candle" Crown Vics, and archaic technology systems in use out there, many would much rather get support for equipment/technology upgrades than more warm bodies. If you read Clinton's original COP legislation from top to bottom (I have) you'll find it doesn't provide for equipping these "new" police, and it only funds them for a very short period leaving the locality 100% holding the bag after about 3 years if they want to keep them on, and heavily restricts the tasks they can be assigned.

Interesting that in the fiscal year 2003 the US Justice Department reports awarding $635 million in grant dollars to law enforcment around the country totaling 1,620 grants in total. The fiscal year 2002 numbers were similiarly high-around $600 million. There cant be that drastic a dropoff in applications for grants money wise. Youre simply premising that law enforcment agencies decided in near unison that this year the program just wasnt worth it?

 

http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=960

 

The fact is the past years have seen large amounts granted to police agencies which must be based on their application for said funds. The proposed amount to award to law enforcment is similiar to that which they have recieved based on that which they have asked for for the past two years. But Bush is the one who cut that amount down by 97%. Did he go around and talk personally to every law enforcment agency in the country and decide they probably didnt want it this year?

 

Yet I shouldnt even be discussing this in such detail. The thrust of the article was that they are touting that which they propose to cut and it isnt just COPS. There are numerous examples. Why only the spin for this program? This administration pretends to be good for the enviroment when they have been horrible for it. Just makes for a good political publicity.

 

And another thing tonyi, Bush has been calling Kerry a flip flopper and has spun Kerry's actions againt him without distinction. Yet everytime someone tries to explain Kerry's actions, they are accused of falling for the Kerry rhetoric. Distinctions and explanations are convienent for Bush when he has to explain things arent they?

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Bush is the one who cut that amount down by 97%.

Civics 101 question - who passes budgets and spends this country's money?

http://www.cbpp.org/3-7-03bud.htm

 

Step One:? The President?s Budget Request

 

On or before the first Monday in February, the President submits to Congress a detailed budget request for the next federal fiscal year, which begins on October 1.? This budget request, developed by the President?s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), plays three important roles.? First, it tells Congress what the President believes overall federal fiscal policy should be, as established by three main components: (1) how much money the federal government should spend; (2) how much it should take in as tax revenues; and (3) how much of a deficit (or surplus) the federal government should run, which is simply the difference between (1) and (2).

 

Second, the budget request lays out the President?s relative priorities for federal spending ? how much he believes should be spent overall on defense, agriculture, education, health, and so on.? The President?s budget typically sketches out fiscal policy and budget priorities not only for the coming year but for the next five years or more, and is accompanied by historical tables that set out past budget figures.

 

The third role that the President?s budget plays is to signal to Congress what spending and tax policy changes the President recommends.? About five-sixths of the budget is made up of spending or taxes that are already part of permanent law, so the President does not need to propose legislative change if he feels none is needed.? Nearly all of the federal tax code is set in permanent law, and will not expire; almost two-thirds of spending ? including the three largest entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) ? is also permanently enacted.? Similarly, interest paid on the national debt is set automatically, with no need for specific legislation.

 

The one type of spending the President does have to ask for each year is:

 

Annual ?discretionary? or ?appropriated? spending, which is spending that falls under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.? Any discretionary program must have its funding, or ?budget authority,? renewed each year in order to continue operating.? Most defense spending is discretionary, as is spending on education, health research, and housing, to name just a few examples.? Altogether, discretionary spending comprises about one-third of all federal spending.? The President?s budget spells out how much he recommends spending on each specific discretionary program.

 

 

The President?s budget can also include:

 

Changes to ?mandatory? or ?entitlement? spending programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and certain other programs (including food stamps, federal civilian and military retirement benefits, and unemployment insurance) that are not controlled by annual appropriations.? For example, if the President proposes adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, he would have to show a corresponding increase in Medicare spending in his budget, relative to what Medicare spending would otherwise be under current law.? Similarly, the President could propose a change in payments to states under Medicaid that would lead to less spending than projected under current law.

Changes to the tax code, including any new tax breaks the President wishes to enact.? Any tax break (or tax increase) would affect the amount of federal revenue expected to be collected in that year or in future years.

In other words, the President?s budget requests a specified level for appropriated programs, and may request changes in tax and entitlement law if desired.

 

 

If you think Bush cant effectuate a higher allocated amount for this particular area then I dont know what to say. Yeah its Congress that passes the budget but the President, especially in this day and age, has immense influence over it.

 

 

 

You sure do like splitting hairs dont you?

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If you think Bush cant effectuate a higher allocated amount for this particular area then I dont know what to say. Yeah its Congress that passes the budget but the President, especially in this day and age, has immense influence over it.

No matter how you dance around it - the president requests or proposes period. Congress has SOLE responsibility for approving or declining the presidents requests.

 

Your beef is with the legislative, not the executive. Great points tonyi. I disagree with the administrations choice to take credit for supporting these programs. But you're right on the money.

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If you think Bush cant effectuate a higher allocated amount for this particular area then I dont know what to say. Yeah its Congress that passes the budget but the President, especially in this day and age, has immense influence over it.

No matter how you dance around it - the president requests or proposes period. Congress has SOLE responsibility for approving or declining the presidents requests.

 

Your beef is with the legislative, not the executive. Congress also engages in taxing powers. So would you rationally claim that Congress is responsible for the tax cut and not Bush? So should Bush stop arguing that Kerry will raise taxes since all Kerry has to say is I cant! Its Congress! :thumbup

 

Cmon dude...youve split the hair so well to avoid the original article and relieve Bush of responsibility.

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