Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012

Welfare government’s single largest budget item in FY 2011 at approx. $1.03 trillion
by Caroline May
October 18, 2012

The government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone — a price tag that makes welfare that year the government’s largest expenditure, according to new data released by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.

The total sum taxpayers spent on federal welfare programs was derived from a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on federal welfare spending — which topped out at $745.84 billion for fiscal year 2011 — combined with an analysis from the Republican Senate Budget Committee staff of state spending on federal welfare programs (based on “The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance”), which reached $282.7 billion in fiscal year 2011.

The data excludes spending on Social Security, Medicare, means-tested health care for veterans without service-connected disabilities, and the means-tested veterans pension program.

According to the CRS report, which focused solely on federal spending for federal welfare programs, spending on federal welfare programs increased $563.413 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $745.84 billion in fiscal year 2011 — a 32 percent increase.

Further, spending on the 10 largest federal welfare programs has doubled as a share of the federal budget in the last 30 years: In inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Republican staff on the Senate Budget Committee, the amount spent on these programs has increased 378 percent in that 30 year time frame.

CRS reports that food assistance programs — the third largest welfare category behind health and cash assistance — experienced the greatest increase in spending, with 71 percent more spending in 2011 than in 2008. The agency explained that this spending increase was largely due to the growth in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.

CRS further noted that the largest expenditure category, health, was 37 percent higher in fiscal year 2011 than fiscal year 2008. In that same period, cash aid increased 12 percent, education assistance increased 57 percent, housing and development assistance increased 2 percent, social services increased 3 percent, employment and training remained the same (though fluctuated in intervening years), and energy assistance was 67 percent higher in fiscal year 2011 than fiscal year 2008.

The total federal spending on federal welfare programs vastly outpaced fiscal year 2011 spending on such federal expenditures as non-war defense ($540 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), Medicare (480 billion), and departments such as Justice ($30.5 billion), Transportation ($77.3 billion) and Education ($65.486 billion).

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Who’s up for a focus-group shoutfest about Candy Crowley’s debate moderation?
by Allahpundit
October 17, 2012

Video fun to help wind down the day after. It starts slow but perks up about halfway through. True story: An apolitical friend surprised me today by launching into a two-pronged tirade about the debate. Prong one was him insisting that when O got snotty with Romney about his Benghazi accusations, he came off like a — well, let’s say jerk, although “jerk” wasn’t the word he used. Prong two was him asking me, as a political junkie, to explain how Candy Crowley could have interjected on O’s behalf during the Libya exchange when the moderator’s supposed to be passive and impartial. I didn’t know what to tell him, except to reassure him that Candy herself used to think the White House’s spin about “acts of terror” was lame, and that Obama had all but admitted to an audience member afterward that, yeah, the Rose Garden statement didn’t mean a whole lot. But hey — she wanted a bigger role in the debate and the left wanted more “fact-checking” of Romney since the only reason he won that first debate was because he’s a lying liar who lies, you know, so she chimed in at an opportune moment on their candidate’s behalf. CNN sounds pretty happy about it, which is what’s really important.

Anyway, those are the results of my new poll of undecided voters about the debate. Sample size: One. Exit quotation: “Crowley did her profession a disservice last night and confirmed many American’s deepest suspicions about the media in the process.”

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‘Act of Journalistic Terror’: Limbaugh Rips Candy Crowley’s Moderator Performance
by Madeleine Morgenstern
October 17, 2012

Rush Limbaugh excoriated CNN’s Candy Crowley for her performance as presidential debate moderator, accusing her of committing “an act of journalistic terror.”

Crowley on Tuesday corrected Mitt Romney during his response about the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, saying President Barack Obama “did in fact” call what happened in Benghazi “an act of terror.” Crowley said after the debate Romney had been “right in the main” but had “picked the wrong word.”

Limbaugh on his radio show Wednesday referred to Crowley having to “go back and eat crow.”

“In the real world she would have committed career suicide last night,” Limbaugh said. “In the real world, in the media world I grew up in, her career would be finished. Won’t be now because she — she gave it her all for the good guys, she gave it her all for the right side.”

He continued, “She committed an act of journalistic terror. If there were any journalistic standards, what she did last night would have been the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber, but there aren’t any journalistic standards anymore.”

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FBI Arrests Islamist in Federal Reserve Bomb Plot
by Bloomberg News
October 17, 2012

A Bangladeshi man was arrested for allegedly plotting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan as part of a sting operation by federal authorities who provided the suspect with fake explosives.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested today in an undercover operation after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb, according to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Located at 33 Liberty Street, the bank is just a few blocks from the site of the former twin towers at the World Trade Center, which were destroyed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

‘Terrorists have tried time and again to make New York City their killing field,” New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said today in a statement, adding that the city has faced 15 terror plots since the 2001 attacks.

Some of the alleged terror plots have been, like this one, sting operations in which federal agents identified suspects who were provided with inert explosives and other materials and subsequently arrested and charged by U.S. prosecutors.

Defense lawyers and legal experts have said that such initiatives may constitute entrapment of individuals who were not predisposed to committing a crime.

The FBI said today that Nafis came to the U.S. in January with the intent to explode a bomb on U.S. soil, and sought out individuals to assist. FBI agents posed as co-conspirators as part of the sting operation, the government said.

Nafis is scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, New York later today. Andrea Priest, a spokeswoman for the New York Fed declined to comment.

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