Archive for the ‘cuts’ Category

Even if Obama’s Perfect, Economy May Continue to Drag

November 9, 2008

This is one hell of a way to win.

Barack Obama owes his victory in large measure to the prospect of the longest and deepest economic downturn in a quarter-century and perhaps since the Great Depression. If he performs well, he could become a great president. If he flubs it, he could get the same reception as Jimmy Carter. In the crassest political terms, it was good luck to have the financial crisis hit so close to the election. But Obama’s lucky streak will end in a hurry if he can’t find a way out of this mess. He will also have to manage expectations: Even if he does everything perfectly, we probably won’t turn the corner for 18 months, and the downturn could last far longer than that.

By Joseph Stiglitz
The Washington Post
Sunday, November 9, 2008; Page B03

The first task facing President-elect Obama, after eight years of misguided economic policies, will be to begin the recovery — or at least forestall a further decline. It won’t be easy. Some 1.2 million jobs have already been shed this year, and some three-quarters of a million Americans are about to exhaust their limited unemployment-insurance benefits. By October, only 32 percent of unemployed Americans were receiving unemployment checks. To make matters worse, when Americans lose their jobs, they typically lose their health insurance, too. Meanwhile, 3.8 million homes are under foreclosure, and states are facing massive revenue shortfalls; without assistance, they will have to cut spending, plunging the economy deeper into recession.

Obama keeps people guessing on missile shield amid Russian threats
AFP/File/Stan Honda

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
6/AR2008110602997.html?hpid=
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Pentagon Expects Cuts in Military Spending

November 3, 2008

After years of unfettered growth in military budgets, Defense Department planners, top commanders and weapons manufacturers now say they are almost certain that the financial meltdown will have a serious impact on future Pentagon spending.

By Thom Shanker and Christopher Drew
The New York Times
.
Across the military services, deep apprehension has led to closed-door meetings and detailed calculations in anticipation of potential cuts. Civilian and military budget planners concede that they are already analyzing worst-case contingency spending plans that would freeze or slash their overall budgets.

The obvious targets for savings would be expensive new arms programs, which have racked up cost overruns of at least $300 billion for the top 75 weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office. Congressional budget experts say likely targets for reductions are the Army’s plans for fielding advanced combat systems, the Air Force’s Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy’s new destroyer and the ground-based missile defense system.

Even before the crisis on Wall Street, senior Pentagon officials were anticipating little appetite for growth in military spending after seven years of war. But the question of how to pay for national security now looms as a significant challenge for the next president, at a time when the Pentagon’s annual base budget for standard operations has reached more than $500 billion, the highest level since World War II when adjusted for inflation.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Afghanistan's ...
Above: U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates. AFP/Pool/File/Haraz N. Ghanbari

On top of that figure, supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has topped $100 billion each year, frustrating Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress. In all, the Defense Department now accounts for half of the government’s total discretionary spending, and Pentagon and military officials fear it could be the choice for major cuts to pay the rest of the government’s bills.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/03/washington/
03military.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

NBC To Cut $500 Million

October 20, 2008

By Michael Schneider
Variety

NBC Universal is prepping another round of major cuts, slashing spending by $500 million next year.

Conglom topper Jeff Zucker announced the reduction Friday via a memo to staffers. Cuts would equal 3% of the company’s budget, according to Zucker.

 

In the memo, Zucker blamed the current economy, arguing that NBC U needed to take precautionary steps despite coming off eight consecutive quarters of growth and profit.

“We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges….

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http://www.variety.com/VR1117994262.html

Obama’s Claim of Medicare Benefit Cuts Suspect

October 18, 2008

Medicare has become a new focal point in the presidential campaign, with Democratic nominee Barack Obama accusing Republican John McCain of seeking “cuts in benefits, eligibility, or both.”

Elderly voters are sure to take notice of such statements being made in a 30-second television ad that the Obama campaign will air in some crucial swing states. Obama hit the same theme in a campaign appearance Friday in Virginia.

But Obama’s charge is built on a shaky foundation. The campaign’s evidence that McCain would make such cuts relies on a Wall Street Journal article where no specific cuts were mentioned.

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_on_el_pr
/fact_check_mccain_obama_health