Time for the big one or: Quo Vadis, America?

Cellos88GT

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After skimming through those hundreds of pages you posted I'd say most of the R&D budged ends up in missile defence, the JSF and FCS programs, and upgrades for the existing squadrons/fleets such as the F22.
Yes, your point being....? Technology trickles down as it always has. There is no down side to any of these projects. Also DARPA has $3.2Bn for it's budget which is mostly research.
 
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Cellos88GT

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My point is NASA and universities do not make a big dent in the military budget. Most is spent on military stuff, surprisingly.
I was talking about R&D in general in which case it does, $100+Bn isn't chump change. I'm also focusing on the fact that the human race has benefitted quite nicely from the money dumped into DOD projects and is still benefitting to this day and well into the future.
 

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US House of Representatives passes debt-limit bill

The US House of Representatives has passed by 269 votes to 161 a last-gasp deal to avoid a federal debt default.

The legislation must now be passed by the Senate and approved by President Barack Obama to become law.

The bill raises the debt limit by at least $2.1tn (?1.5tn), from $14.3tn, making savings of $2.3tn over 10 years.

There were cheers as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made her first appearance on Capitol Hill since she was shot in Tucson in January.

After months of bitterly partisan deadlock, House Republican and Democratic leaders swung behind the bill on Monday, ratifying a deal sealed the night before with a phone call from House Speaker John Boehner to President Obama.

Deadline looms
House Democrats were evenly split on the bill - 95 for and 95 against - while 174 Republicans voted for the measure and 66 opposed.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the upper chamber would vote on the deal at 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

The second vote takes place barely 12 hours before Washington is due to become unable - according to the US treasury department - to meet all its bills.

The House vote was considered the biggest obstacle to the legislation; its approval by the Democratic-controlled Senate is viewed as all but certain.

In a key point for President Obama, the bill would raise the debt ceiling into 2013 - meaning he would not face another showdown with Congress on spending in the middle of his re-election campaign next year.

The compromise deal deeply angered both right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats.
Liberals have been unhappy that the plan relies on spending cuts only and does not include tax rises, although Mr Obama could still let Bush-era tax cuts for the top brackets expire in January 2013.

House Republicans were displeased that the bill did not include more savings.
Ms Giffords - who has undergone a number of operations since she was shot in the head in January - caught lawmakers by surprise when she appeared on the floor of the House on Monday evening.

There was a standing ovation and embraces for the Democratic representative, who voted in favour of raising the debt ceiling.

Ms Giffords, who moved through the chamber with minimal assistance from an aide, blew kisses and said: "Thank you, thank you."

Announcing the deal on Sunday evening, President Obama said though it was not the one he would have preferred, it was a "serious downpayment" on the US deficit.

'Satan sandwich'
Earlier, the White House sent Vice-President Joe Biden to the Capitol to lobby dissenting Democrats in both houses.

The bill was the focus of criticism, some of it anguished, from both sides of the House.
"I did not come to Washington to force more people into poverty," said Democratic congressman Jim McGovern.

His colleague, Emanuel Cleaver, described the deal as "a sugar-coated Satan sandwich" on his Twitter feed.

Republican Representative Mark Mulvaney said: "At the end of the day, Washington's spending still has us sprinting toward a fiscal cliff. And this bill barely slows us down."

The deal would enact more than $900bn in cuts over the next 10 years.

It would also establish a 12-member House-Senate committee charged with producing up to $1.5tn of additional deficit cuts over a decade.

If the panel failed to produce at least $1.2tn in deficit savings, then spending cuts would take effect across much of the federal budget.

The Pentagon would be among those areas affected, but in a concession to Democrats, individual benefits under Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare would be exempt.

The legislation also requires the House and Senate to vote on an amendment to the Constitution, forcing the US to balance its budget.

The political stalemate has unsettled financial markets, endangered Washington's coveted triple-A credit status, and exasperated Americans still grappling with unemployment of 9.2%.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14367754
 

IVIaster

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How will the amendment process work? What is needed to pass an amendment?
 

SpitfireMK461

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The amendment has no chance of actually passing, though, so it isn't even worth the effort. It is a cheap concession by the Dems and is, as has been said before, dead on arrival.
 

MacGuffin

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Well, is this more than a short break to take a breath? As far as I understand, nothing is actually solved yet.
 

argatoga

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It just passed...
Wait the amendment? When did the state governments meet?

Well, is this more than a short break to take a breath? As far as I understand, nothing is actually solved yet.
Meh. None of it will be solved until after the global financial collapse.
 
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rickhamilton620

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Well, is this more than a short break to take a breath? As far as I understand, nothing is actually solved yet.
Pretty much. Whether it's pushing it until during the election season, or just after...it's still a big cloud hanging over our shoulders. I wouldn't be surprised if we see this happen in very short order once more...
 

narf

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It just passed...
I don't think this compromise actually is an amendment :no:

Additionally, only 74% voted yay in the senate, 63% in the house - not enough to propose an amendment as you taught us by posting a wikipedia link earlier.
 
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Cellos88GT

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I don't think this compromise actually is an amendment :no:

Additionally, only 74% voted yay in the senate, 63% in the house - not enough to propose an amendment as you taught us by posting a wikipedia link earlier.
Sorry I should have clarified that the bill passed in the House and Senate to achieve the initial and important goal of raising the debt ceiling. However, the Senate and House only need a 2/3s majority to propose the amendment. For it to be ratified, it needs the approval of 3/4 of the states. The only states that will probably disapprove are the bible belt states.

Wait the amendment? When did the state governments meet?
I meant the bill for the raising of the debt ceiling, my bad.
 
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narf

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Sorry I should have clarified that the amendment passed in the House and Senate to achieve the initial and important goal of raising the debt ceiling. However, the Senate and House only need a 2/3s majority to propose the amendment. For it to be ratified, it needs the approval of 3/4 of the states. The only states that will probably disapprove are the bible belt states.
62% is less than 2/3.
 

Cellos88GT

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62% is less than 2/3.
Right, but they weren't voting on an amendment, just a bill to raise the debt ceiling. We'll have to stay tuned for the illusive Balanced Budget Amendment....
 
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Cellos88GT

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Cause I mistook Spitfire's comment as a response to the article regarding the debt limit bill.
 

GRtak

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Gov?t Asks FAA Safety Inspectors for a Big No-Interest Loan

The latest budget blockade in Congress is forcing inspectors responsible for maintaining safety at the nation?s airports to work for free, and charge work expenses to their personal credit cards, raising the possibility that soon many of America?s biggest airports will have no federal safety inspections at all.

?I?m at a loss for adjectives to describe how tragic, horrible and idiotic this is,? says Chris Oswald, vice president safety and technical operations for the Airports Council International.

About 40 inspectors are responsible for checking everything safety-related at the nation?s busiest airports. They inspect everything from cracks in the runway to whether safety lights are working and fire trucks are ready to go, says Dr. Mike Hynes founder and owner of Hynes Aviation Services, an aviation safety consulting company.

The inspectors are among the 4,000 F.A.A. employees furloughed by the budget impasse. But the agency?s leaders have asked the inspectors to continue working without pay.

To work, the inspectors must travel. Most inspectors visit five different airports every two weeks, Hynes says, wracking up thousands of dollars a week in hotel bills, food expenses and airline ticket costs. Usually those expenses are paid by a government credit card.


But the budget mess leaves the F.A.A. without functioning credit cards. So the agency has asked the inspectors to charge their expenses to their own personal cards, to be reimbursed later.

That may work for a while, Oswald says. But the F.A.A.?s budget crisis cannot be resolved for at least another six weeks, when Congress returns from its summer recess. Will safety inspectors really be able to afford to continue wracking up such big credit card bills for such a long time?

Probably not, say people familiar with the work. Soon, that may mean that the nation?s largest airports will be operating with no federal safety inspection at all. The inspectors? union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, did not return calls seeking comment, nor did the F.A.A.

?They don?t have the resources to pay for all that. And if they exceed their credit limit, the government will not pay them for late fees and interest charges,? Hynes says. ?If I was the employee, I would just say I?m sorry, I can?t do that.?

Having no federal inspectors on hand may not lead to airport safety problems immediately.

?No one needs to worry about safety,? Ray LaHood, the Obama administration?s transportation secretary, said Tuesday in a conference call to reporters.

But in the long term, losing the inspectors could cause problems, aviation safety experts worry.

?Are we going to have a disaster tomorrow? No.? Hynes says. ?But if this goes on any length of time, yes.?


The Federal Aviation Administration has been operating on a temporary budget for over three years because Congress has consistently failed to pass a permanent one. Instead, the agency has been running on what are called ?continuing resolutions,? which allow the agency to continue operating by extending its old budget.

The last continuing resolution expired Tuesday. With that expiration, the F.A.A. lost its ability to charge the 7.5% tax on airline tickets, which funds most of the agency?s functions. That means the agency is losing $200 million a week, according to the American Association of Airport Executives, money that is normally used to pay safety inspectors and improve airport facilities.

The agency also lost its ability to write checks or pay its credit card bills. Which leaves the inspectors to pay their own expenses.

?We just want something passed,? says Sean Broderick, spokesman for the airport executives association. ?The system needs to keep operating.?

There are many different explanations for the impasse. One immediate reason appears to be a disagreement over an F.A.A. program that subsidizes airlines for flying into rural airports.

But that may be simply a political maneuver for Republicans to deal with a deeper problem: A fight over new rules passed by the National Mediation Board that would allow airline and railroad workers to unionize by a simple majority vote. Currently, people who don?t vote in such elections are counted as ?no?s, making it more difficult for workers to unionize. Republican John Mica of Florida attached a rider to the F.A.A. budget bill that would reverse mediation board?s ruling. The rural airports maneuver is ?just a tool to try to motivate some action to get this resolved,? Mica told Aviation Week.
 

British_Rover

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Right, but they weren't voting on an amendment, just a bill to raise the debt ceiling. We'll have to stay tuned for the illusive Balanced Budget Amendment....
A Balanced Budget amendment to the US Constitution is an extremely bad idea. Individual states should have balanced budget articles or amendments to their individual constitutions but the US gov't should not. Individual states do not have their own currencies, they do not have a central bank that can provide monetary policy. They must have balanced budgets but a sovereign nation with its own currency has more flexibility when it comes to budget policy.

The own currency stipulation is one of the problems going on in Europe right now because of the Euro. Greece, Italy, Spain etc. do not have their own currency so their are limits to what they can do with regards to monetary policy. If those countries had their own currencies then they might not be in so much trouble. Well maybe it is more accurate to say they would be in a different sort of trouble. At the very least they would have more options on the table.

A dozen plus years ago I thought that the US should have a balanced budget amendment. We spent way too much and that spending needed to be controlled through something that was strong and difficult to change. I don't think that anymore. A sovereign nation with it's own currency needs the flexibility of operating at a deficit in order to keep the economy rolling. During wartime deficit spending may also be needed.

Also a dozen some years ago I didn't think the one currency issue would be a problem in Europe. I was thinking along the lines of the cost of living adjustments that go on in the US. In some places it just costs more to live so things are more expensive but in other places the cost of living is less so things are less expensive. The dollar works well all over the US in this regional float. I thought Europe could work the same way but now I am not so sure.

The individual states of the United States are not like the individual Euro member countries. The monetary and fiscal relationships among the Eurozone countries is much more complex.
 
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