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Panetta says Trump budget features 'indiscriminate' military spending hikes

Congressman says funding for defense "should not be at the expense of diplomacy and foreign aid"

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget:

“If implemented, President Trump’s 2018 budget request would take vital services away from American families and workers in order to pay for a large, indiscriminate increase in military and homeland security spending. 

“It is important to provide sufficient funding to defend our country, but it should not be at the expense of diplomacy and foreign aid. This request targets peacekeeping operations and other multilateral development programs by cutting these critical national security tools by nearly one third. Furthermore, it is troubling that this proposal does not properly outline how the defense and homeland security increases would be distributed.says 

“To pay for these defense increases, the proposed budget would cut the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget by 21 percent. This would significantly impact agricultural research and water programs, as well as the National Forest Service. It is appears that this Administration does not understand how important farm programs are for America.

“Additional budget cuts would severely impact job training, housing assistance programs, and federal work-study programs. They would diminish research of lifesaving cures and treatments for diseases, drastically reduce in the federal workforce, and greatly decrease spending for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“I cannot support any budget that harms hardworking American families, rural communities, students, patients, agriculture industries, protected federal lands, and our environment.”

Comments

Submitted by Valerie Egland (valerie egland) on

Thank you, Jimmy Panetta  

Well, could you support a budget that increases the risks to or harms our active duty and veteran populations and their families? Of course not.  Most government spending is shot through with waste, fraud and abuse and that includes both military and non-military spending.  Worst, a lot of the abuses are just political payoffs.

We had scandal after scandal involving the VA hospital system and a recent report dealt with their failures to comply with the laws and regulations regarding the security of narcotics.  Were they being adequately funded?  If the answer was yes, then someone should have gone to jail for making those Vets wait months for an appointment and falsifying the records, but those folks were in the protected class.  If the answer is no, why not?

As a taxpayer I am more than willing for everyone to take their fair share of the cuts, but I do not see anyone stepping up - what I do see is the same-old, same-old, "cut, but don't cut me." 

Just for the record, as a retired vet I gave up my earned "free" medical care entitlement more than 30-years ago because the government said it could no longer afford it.  Now people are getting what is essentially free medical care merely for showing up and Medicare and disability fraud are rampant and this -

U.S. Government report dated July 2015:  "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers Medicare, estimates that last year [2014] some $60 billion of American taxpayer money, or more than 10 percent of Medicare’s total budget, was lost to fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments.

$60 billion a year!

Marty Richman

As an added comment, although I can see that Jimmy Panetta is just playing there partisan game like everyone else, this photograph makes him look like a harsh person, which he is not.  May I suggest that Benitolink pick another photograph to head his press releases.

Marty Richman

To complete the 2015 GAO report to Congress on "improper payments" -

Fiscal year 2014 reported improper payment estimates:

Program Agency Dollars (in billions)

Medicare Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $59.9

Earned Income Tax Credit Department of the Treasury $17.7

Medicaid HHS $17.5

Unemployment Insurance Department of Labor 5.6

Supplemental Security Income Social Security Administration (SSA) 5.1

Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance SSA 3.0

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2.4

School Lunch USDA $1.7

Direct Loan Department of Education 1.5

Public Housing / Rental Assistance Department of Housing and Urban Development 1.0

All together, including what's not listed here, there were about $125 BILLION of easily identified improper payments in 2014 according to the GAO (your own organization), much of it outright fraud. Who's watching the store?

 Marty Richman

Submitted by Robert Gilchrist Huenemann (bobgh) on

125 billion will buy a lot of  votes.

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