The Senate passed the stimulus bill late Friday night and the NY Times reports it was the longest congressional vote in history.
Hopefully, President Obama and the Dems learned that Republicans are not their friends.
The House vote was 246 to 183, with just 7 Democrats joining all 176 Republicans in opposition. In the Senate, the vote, 60 to 38, was similarly partisan. Only 3 centrist Republicans joined 55 Democrats and 2 independents in favor.
What took so long? [More...]
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Here are the final numbers of grants to law enforcement for lock em up programs:
- Violence against women prevention and prosecution programs $225,000,000
- Southern border and high-intensity drug trafficking areas $30,000,000
- ATF Project Gunrunner $10,000,000
- Internet crimes against children initiatives $50,000,000
- Rural drug crime program $125,000,000
- Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants $1,000,000,000
- Justice Department salaries and expenses for administration of police grant programs $10,000,000
- Office of Justice Programs state and local law enforcement assistance (Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants) $2,000,000,000
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The word on the street is that the caps on executive compensation may end up getting removed from the final version of the economic stimulus package. Rather than abandon the idea altogether, James Kwak has a brilliant suggestion (h/t the Left Coaster):
Why not say that all bank compensation above a baseline amount - say, $150,000 in annual salary - has to be paid in toxic assets off the bank's balance sheet? Instead of getting a check for $10,000, the employee would get $10,000 in toxic assets, at their current book value. A federal regulator can decide which assets to pay compensation in; if they were all fairly valued, then it wouldn't matter which ones the regulator chose. That would get the assets off the bank's balance sheet, and into the hands of the people responsible for putting them there - at the value that they insist they are worth. Of course, the average employee does not get to set the balance sheet value of the assets, and may not have been involved in creating or buying those particular assets. But think about the incentives: talented people will flow to the companies that are valuing their assets the most realistically (since inflated valuations translate directly into lower compensation), which will give companies the incentive to be realistic in their valuations. (Banks could inflate their nominal compensation amounts to compensate for their overvalued assets, but then they would have to take larger losses on their income statements.)
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Included in the cuts is a 61% reduction in the proposed $1.2 billion in new drug war funding, a 50% reduction in the $150 million proposed for new Federal prisons, a 50% reduction in the $100 million proposed to militarize the border, a 50% reduction in the $50 million proposed to snoop on your Internet activities.
Not all spending is progressive. Most of the proposed cuts are awful, but some of them we could and should get behind.
And how much other spending on very anti-progressive initiatives wasn't touched by the haphazard Collins-Nelson back-of-the-napkin spending reduction strategy?
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