Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Budget plans disappoint
The Ryan and Obama budgets both call for deep cuts. Both target the elderly, the very young, the disabled and the very poor — easier targets, I guess, than the big banks and corporations, who are deemed too big to fail, too big to prosecute, and now, it seems, too big to tax (much).
Ryan’s plan is much worse than Obama’s but I won’t endorse either. It’s like asking: Would you rather be shot immediately or starved to death slowly?
Ryan’s plan would repeal the 2010 health care overhaul. And his plan cuts sharply from safety net programs for the poor and contains a plan to turn the Medicare program for the elderly in 2024 into a voucher-like system. It also includes, among other things, consolidating tax brackets from six to two.
Cut in half the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Cut $300 million from community development block grants and limit an expansion of the Pell grant program. Also cut Social Security payments for seniors by changing to the CPI method of computing cost of living increases.
Obama’s plan includes two modest tax hikes for banks and oil companies. It also calls for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2013 and returning the estate tax to its higher 2009 levels.
The Pentagon will see modest cuts in its level of spending, but is 3 percent higher over fiscal year 2011. Another $118 billion is earmarked for wartime spending (?).
Kids called to ‘Soup’
We have extended the application period for Kids Gorge Soup, held May 15. We would love all the help possible to get the word out.
Ticket sales have been doing quite well so I’m hoping we can get more applicants.
Applications are to be mailed and postmarked by April 30, and sent to the following address: Gorge Soup, 14 Oak St., Ste. 302, Hood River, OR 97031. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
For details email email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: please turn to page A2 for details on Kids Gorge Soup.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge