Archive for the ‘Diane Black’ Category

House Republicans’ Sequester Would Cut 40,000 Jobs in Tennessee

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

SEQUESTER FACTS: House Republicans’ Sequester Will Eliminate Millions of Jobs, Including Nearly 40,000 Jobs in Tennessee

Tea Party House Republicans left the capital last week without any attempt to negotiate a deal on the sequester — a series of deep and indiscriminate cuts that experts estimate will eliminate millions of jobs and could throw the economy back into a recession. Rather than put a stop to the sequester by closing tax breaks for millionaire and corporate special interests, House Republicans — like Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Rep. Diane Black and Rep. Marsha Blackburn — are allowing it to take place.

The cuts will affect areas across the government from defense to domestic spending, including medical research, Army Corps of Engineers projects, federal law enforcement officers, Head Start and services to pregnant women. Republicans have refused to bring up a compromise plan that achieves the deficit reduction by ending special tax breaks for millionaires and corporations.

In Tennessee, Sequester Will Eliminate Nearly 40,000 Jobs
Here is the plan that House Republicans are green lighting:

Study: Sequester Would Cut 39,120 Jobs in Tennessee. According to a 2012 study by George Mason Professor Stephen Fuller, the automatic spending cuts affecting Department of Defense and non-Department of Defense discretionary spending would lead to significant job losses in every state.

• Sequester Would Cost Tennessee $2 Billion in Total Lost Income.[The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on DOD & non-DOD Agencies, Professor Stephen Fuller, 7/17/12]
Study: Sequester Would Slash Critical Maternal and Child Health Services. The American Academy of Pediatrics studied the impacts that sequestration will have on Tennessee and projected that:

• 13,200 mothers and young children would lose access to food assistance and critical health care.
• 4,100 fewer children would receive vaccinations.
• 75,100 fewer women, children and families would receive critical preventive health care.
• $53 million would be cut from the NIH’s research projects based in Tennessee.[American Academy of Pediatrics, 10/1/12]

Study: Sequester Eliminates $46 Million in Education Funding, Affecting Thousands of Tennessee Students. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed how sequestration would impact education in Tennessee and concluded that the state would lose $46,751,000 in federal funding for critical education programs. These cuts include:

• $12 million would be cut from special education funding, affecting 5,660 students.
• $1.2 million would be cut from grants for career and technical education.
• $642,000 would be cut from need-based grants that would help 24,990 low-income Tennessee students pay for college.
[NEA, February 2013]

Nationally, Sequester Will Be Devastating
CBO: Sequester Expected to Eliminate 1.4 Million Jobs Nationally. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that 1.4 million jobs are at stake if sequestration were to go into effect. “According to CBO’s projections, if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by 0.5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013)—reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year. That contraction of the economy will cause employment to decline and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/8/12]

CBO: Sequester Expected to Cut Economic Growth in Half. The sequester is also expected to lead to a recession in 2013 by slashing economic growth in half.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, “Fiscal tightening including the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester would cut U.S. growth in half in 2013 if allowed to go into effect, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a new budget and economic outlook. … CBO said Tuesday that growth would be about 1.5 percentage points faster in 2013 if not for fiscal tightening including the sequester.” [MarketWatch, 2/5/13]

By The Numbers: Sequestration Will Target Women, Child, Veterans, and the Most Vulnerable
According to an analysis by U.S. Senate’s Appropriations Committee on the impacts of sequestration, as reported by the New York Times:

• 4,000 workers would be furloughed every day at the F.A.A., causing flight backups.
• 70,000 children would lose Head Start.
• 14,000 teachers and other school employees could lose their jobs.
• 125,000 families would be put at sudden risk of homelessness because their rental assistance would end.
• 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and severely emotionally disturbed children would most likely lose their treatments.
• 600,000 women and children would lose nutrition aid from the Women, Infants and Children program.
• 251,000 civilians employed by the Army could be furloughed for up to 22 days.
• $3 billion would be the potential shortfall in the military’s health insurance program; some services could be denied for retirees and dependents of active-duty personnel.
• 7,750 Customs and Border Protections agents could be laid off.

Are Republicans Trying to Sabotage the Economy?

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, and Stephen Fincher need to stop playing politics with our nation’s economy.

From the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

It sure looks like Republicans are trying to sabotage the economy for political gain. You might think that sounds like a tin foil hat conspiracy theory until you consider this: Republicans are now opposing measures to boost the economy that they previously have supported. Even TAX CUTS.

Here’s what Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday about Republican opposition to a payroll tax cut to boost hiring:

“It’s pro-business, it’s a tax cut, and many Republicans have been for it in the past. But now all of a sudden they’re coming out against it. … Would Republicans really oppose a tax cut for business that created jobs? This is sort of beyond the pale. So if they’d oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that would help create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.”

Why would Republicans do such a thing? Because they’re more interested in getting re-elected – and getting President Obama out of the White House – than they are in helping the economy get moving again. They’re more interested in their jobs than your jobs. It’s that simple. And we’re calling them out.

With unemployment rising in Tennessee, now is not the time to put party before country. Our lawmakers should stand up for working people and our state’s middle class by supporting common sense tax relief to grow our economy.

‘If China Calls, Let it Go to Voicemail’

Monday, June 6th, 2011

“Congress has rejected raising the debt ceiling, so if China calls, let it go to voicemail.” - Stephen Colbert

“odd political theater”

“just for show”

 

U.S. Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott Desjarlias, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher all voted for a budget that raises America’s debt 60% but voted against raising the debt limit.

FACT: Republican Votes Against Raising Debt Ceiling “JUST FOR SHOW.” Tenn. Republicans are happily playing politics with the full faith and credit of the United States. Republicans urged the defeat of their own measure, while Democrats — who not long ago were seeking just such a vote to raise the debt ceiling without attaching spending cuts — assailed Republicans for bringing it up, saying its certain defeat might unnerve the financial markets. Just in case, Republican leaders scheduled the vote for after the stock market’s close, and in the preceding days called Wall Street executives to assure them that the vote was just for show, to show Mr. Obama that he would have to make concessions in budget negotiations if a debt-limit increase is to pass Congress. [New York Times,
6/1/11]


FACT: PAUL RYAN BUDGET WOULD INCREASE U.S. DEBT 60% (& DESTROY MEDICARE). The Paul Ryan Budget that U.S. Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott Desjarlias, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher voted for, would raise the debt limit over 60%. Republicans are holding the debt ceiling hostage by claiming that “Washington must begin living within its means.” However, the Paul Ryan budget, supported by every Tennessee Republican U.S. Representative, would increase the national debt (61.5%) from $14.3 trillion today to more than $23.1 trillion by 2021. [Los Angeles Times, 4/15/11]

 

NOT RAISING THE DEBT LIMIT WOULD BE ‘CATASTROPHIC’

JP Morgan Chase CEO: Raising The Debt Ceiling “It’s A Moral Obligation.” “The U.S. Treasury will officially hit its credit limit around May 16 for the 10th time in 10 years. If House Republicans prolong the fight over raising the debt ceiling past that date, government officials and Wall Street investors agree that it would cause financial chaos. ‘This chatter about not meeting our obligations, I just don’t understand it,’ JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said late last month during an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Dimon is one of the few business leaders who have been outspoken on the issue. ‘It’s a moral obligation to ourselves and anyone who owns U.S. debt,’ he said. ‘They should know the United States is good for its money, period.’” [NPR, 4/13/11]

Chief Economist For The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Said If Congress Didn’t Raise The Debt Limit The Result Would Be Higher Interest Rates , Financial Uncertainty And Damage To The Nation’s Fragile Economy. “Martin Regalia, chief economist for the [U.S. Chamber of Commerce], agrees that there’s no other option but to raise the debt limit. The chamber is lobbying Congress and educating lawmakers about what it could mean if that doesn’t happen: higher interest rates, financial uncertainty and damage to the nation’s fragile economy. Regalia says the ramifications of a default — or even a close call — can be an eye-opener for lawmakers. ‘It’s no reflection on them that they don’t fully understand the nuances of a budget process that I don’t think anyone fully understands.’” [NPR,4/13/11]

“The Debt Problem Won’t Be Resolved – And May Even Be Made Worse – By Not Raising The [Debt Ceiling.” “A number of lawmakers -- some of whom will speak at a Tea Party rally on Thursday -- have said they will not vote to increase the debt limit because it would be fiscally irresponsible. But their rhetoric is misleading because it conflates two different things. There's raising the debt ceiling, which is a technical necessity. Then there is the country's actual debt problem, which is a political and policy matter. Indeed, the debt problem won't be resolved -- and may even be made worse -- by not raising the ceiling.”  [CNN Money, 4/1/11]

House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling “It Would Be Catastrophic To Have The Nation Default Upon Its Debt.” “Both House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that not raising the debt ceiling is not an option – although they disagree on how future budgets should address closing the budget gap.  ‘What I do think is, yes, it would be catastrophic to have the nation default upon its debt,’ Hensarling said.” [Hill, 4/10/11]

House Speaker Boehner Said Defaulting On The Debt By Not Raising The Ceiling “Would Be A Financial Disaster, Not Only For Us, But For The Worldwide Economy.” “The possibility of the U.S. defaulting on its debt due to congressional inaction isn’t on the table, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday. Boehner said it would mean ‘financial disaster’ for the global economy if Congress were unable to come to a deal to raise the debt ceiling this spring. ‘That would be a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy,’ Boehner said on ‘Fox News Sunday’ of the risk of default. ‘I don’t think it’s a question that’s even on the table.’” [Hill, 1/30/11]

 

 

The Jackson Sun: Voters will reject GOP over needless Medicare cutbacks

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The Jackson Sun opinion editor Tom Bohs recently took Republicans to task for their vote to radically change Medicare into a vulture voucher system. The Paul Ryan, budget wonks say, would increase the out-of-pocket cost of health care for seniors by more than $6,500 a year.

Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander voted for it. As did Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlias, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher.

From The Jackson Sun:

Republicans shot themselves in the foot by proposing to end traditional Medicare and replace it with vouchers for private insurance. If they don’t drop this scheme, it will cost them dearly in the 2012 election cycle.

Not only would privatizing Medicare through a system of insurance premium vouchers wildly complicate the purchase of health insurance for senior citizens, it is unnecessary.

Not only would privatizing Medicare through a system of insurance premium vouchers wildly complicate the purchase of health insurance for senior citizens, it is unnecessary. Seniors already have private insurance options under Medicare through Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The only thing the voucher system would take away is the government option for Part A (hospital) and Part B (doctor services) that seniors know and largely love — talk about biting the hand that votes for you.

Under the voucher plan proposed by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, seniors would be allotted money they could spend on health insurance purchased through private insurance companies. The advantage, according to Ryan and other Republicans, is that people would be able to choose the health insurance that best suits their needs.

That is the biggest false hope I have ever heard perpetrated on old people. What is the best health insurance policy for anyone? The best policy is the one that pays the bills when you get sick without splitting hairs over whether a particular illness, procedure, service, doctor or medication is excluded in the fine print of the insurance contract.

It is a fallacy that different people have different health insurance needs. What health problem don’t you want coverage for? The idea that some people are in better health than others and don’t need as much health insurance is nonsense. No one can predict life’s illnesses and health mishaps, let alone those of old age. It would be like buying car insurance that only covered you on some days of the week.

The other reason Ryan’s approach to privatizing Medicare to save money surprises me is that it is unnecessary. The system is solvent for many years to come. Shortfalls after that easily can be addressed long before they materialize. Ryan is solving a problem that doesn’t exist, and making seniors and other voters angry in the process. He should focus on problems that are real and on the table right now such as the national debt, high unemployment, mortgage defaults and a host of social, military and international affairs challenges we face.

But the thing I find most disturbing about privatizing Medicare is that it complicates the last bastion of senior citizen comfort. People who are old, sick or near the end of life don’t want to be burdened with complicated insurance decisions. Can Republicans not let old people just finish out their years with peace of mind without a lot of rah-rah, take responsibility, every man for himself flag waving? All that’s fine when you’re young or 40 or 50 and still building your lifestyle and personal security. But when you are 70 or 80 or older, the last thing you need is a bunch of insurance companies trying to get their hands in your pocket.

The final problem with Ryan’s Medicare voucher scheme is that it might not – and I would hazard an educated guess it would not – be sufficient to purchase health insurance that would provide anywhere near the coverage afforded by Medicare. What would people do when their benefits ran out? Ryan doesn’t address that. Again, it would be every man for himself. Of course, there might still be Medicaid available to those brought to penury by uncovered medical expenses. But that only puts the burden on others, to say nothing of the emotional and psychological blow it would inflict on seniors.

Good grief. Medicare works. Leave it alone and find something to tinker with that really needs fixing. [Jackson Sun, 5/28/11]

FACTS & BACKGROUND:

 

REALITY: TENNESSEE’S ENTIRE REPUBLICAN U.S. HOUSE & SENATE DELEGATION VOTED FOR THE PAUL RYAN BUDGET

Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander voted for Paul Ryan’s budget to privatize Medicare. [Senate.gov Roll Call Vote, 5/25/11]

Tennessee’s entire Republican delegation (Reps. Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Stephen Fincher) voted to turn Medicare into a voucher system. [U.S. House Clerk, April 15, 2011]

More than 1 million Tennesseans are enrolled in Medicare. [statehealthfacts.org, accessed April 15, 2011]


REALITY: REP. RYAN’S VOUCHER SYSTEM WOULD COST SENIORS THOUSANDS IN OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES

The Economist: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Plan Shifts The Burden Of Risk Onto Seniors By Only Delivering A Voucher For An Amount Ryan Thinks Ought To Be Enough For Health Care, Not Guaranteeing All Care. [Economist, 4/5/11]

Politifact: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan Would Force The Average Senior Receiving Medicare To Pay $6,350 More Out-Of-Pocket For Health Care. [Politifact, 5/6/11]

Center for Economic Policy Research: A Person Born In 1957 At Age 65 Will Require An Additional $182,000 In Retirement Savings In Order To Purchase Private Insurance Rather Than Accept Coverage Through Medicare. [Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Letter to Rep. George Miller”]

 

REALITY: THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET ENDS MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT

Wall Street Journal: “The [GOP Budget] Plan Would Essentially End Medicare.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Los Angeles Times: “Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan Increases Costs, Budget Office Says.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/8/11]

CBO: The Ryan Budget Plan Would Increase Debt In The First Ten Years. [TPM, 4/5/11]

The Fiscal Times: “The Big Winners” In The Republican Budget Would Be “High Income Earners And Corporations, Who Top Tax Rate Would Be Reduced From 35 To 25 Percent.” [Fiscal Times, 4/5/11]

 

REALITY: THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET RELIES ON “QUESTIONABLE ASSUMPTIONS” AND “FISHY FIGURES”

Washington Post: “The Ryan Budget Plan Relies On Dubious Assertions, Questionable Assumptions And Fishy Figures.” [Washington Post, 4/9/11]

National Journal: “Ryan Plan Pushes Optimism To The Outer Limits.” [National Journal, 4/5/11]