November 4, 2005
MAKE WAY FOR THE OKIES:
Senate Passes Plan to Cut $35 Billion From Deficit (Jonathan Weisman, November 4, 2005, Washington Post)
The Senate approved sweeping deficit-reduction legislation last night that would save about $35 billion over the next five years by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, while clamping down on fraud in the Medicaid program.
The measure would also open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a long-sought goal of the oil industry that took a major step forward after years of political struggle. A bipartisan effort to strip the drilling provision narrowly failed.
The Senate bill, which passed 52 to 47, is the first in nearly a decade to tackle the growth of entitlement spending, the part of the federal budget that rises automatically based on set formulas and population changes.
It would shave payments to some farmers by 2.5 percent, while eliminating a major cotton support program and trimming agriculture conservation spending. A proposal to limit payments to rich farmers failed yesterday....
It's chump change, but the Right will lap it up and the Left go ballistic. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2005 6:46 AM