President Obama and Jack Lew Are Lying About Whose Idea The Sequester Was–So Says Washington Post’s Bob Woodward–The Sequester is Stupid–Stupid Is As Stupid Does–Obamaquester — Videos

Posted on February 23, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

bob_woodward

the-price-of-politics

sequestration

stupid

obama_debt

fiscal_year_2013_budget

2013%20sequester%20impact

budget-control-act-680

verochart

how_congress_spends_your_money

Total Federal Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the gross US federal government debt is expected to be 17.548 trillion dollars. Of this gross amount, debt “Held by the Public” amounts to 10.560 trillion dollars and debt “Held by Federal Government Accounts” amounts to 4.911 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

Projected and Recent US Federal Debt Numbers

Fiscal Year Gross Federal Debt Debt Held by Public Debt Held by Federal Reserve
FY 2013* $17.5 trillion $10.6 trillion $2.1 trillion
FY 2012* $16.4 trillion $9.7 trillion $1.9 trillion
FY 2011 $14.8 trillion $8.5 trillion $1.7 trillion
FY 2010 $13.5 trillion $8.2 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2009 $11.9 trillion $6.8 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2008 $10.0 trillion $5.3 trillion $0.5 trillion

“Gross Federal Debt” is the total debt owed by the United States federal government.\

It comprises “Debt Held by Public”, including foreign governments, debt held by federal government accounts such as IOUs owed to the Social Security trust fund, and “Debt held by Federal Reserve,” debt bought by the Federal Reserve System as part of the monetary base.

Total Government Debt since 1900

At the beginning of the 20th century total government debt was equally divided between federal and state and local debt, totaling less than 20 percent of GDP.  After World War I, the federal debt surged to 35% of GDP.  But by the mid 1920s federal debt had declined to below 20 percent of GDP with state and local debt rising to 16 percent of GDP.

Then came the Great Depression, and President Roosevelt decided to spend his way out of trouble, boosting federal debt to 40 percent of GDP.  So did the local governments, with state debt peaking at over 5 percent of GDP in 1933 and local debt peaking at over 28 percent in 1933. Government debt, including federal and state and local debt rose to 70 percent of GDP.

But it was in World War II that the US really entered new debt territory.  Starting at 45 percent of GDP in 1941 federal debt zoomed, reaching almost 122 percent of GDP in 1946 after the end of the war, with state and local debt adding another 7 percent.  For the next 35 years successive governments brought down the debt, but then came President Reagan.  He increased the federal debt up over 50 percent of GDP to win the Cold War.  President Bush increased the debt to fight a war on terror and bail out the banks. President Obama is increasing the debt to fund a plan to revive the economy in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008.

Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

usgs_chart4p03

 Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

Total US Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the total government debt in the United States, including federal, state, and local, is expected to be 20.541 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/

Bob Woodward Tears Into Obama: ‘Madness That I Haven’t Seen In A Long Time’

Bernanke Warns Sequester Could Slow Economic Recovery

Dr. Coburn on Fox News Sunday Regarding Sequestration

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

Our Lying President – Debate lie on sequestration

Nightline from ABC News:        Obama Revealed: Bob Woodward’s Explosive New Book

Bob Woodward’s ‘The Price of Politics’ Goes Inside the Debt Crisis

The Obama Sequester: He Was For It, Before He Was Against It

Bob Woodward on Fox News Sunday: Sequestration was Obama’s idea

Fox News Sunday Panel Plus – Sequestration » 02-17-13

POTUS’ Sequester Should Be Replaced w/Cuts & Reforms Leading to a Balanced

Boehner to Obama: You Built the Sequester – WSJ Opinion

Hilarious! Hannity Mocks Obama’s Melodramatic ‘Mayan Sequester Apocalypse’

Rand Paul: Many Ways To Handle Sequester Without Losing Jobs – On The Record w

Replacing President Obama’s “Sequester”

Limbaugh on “Sequester Crisis”: “For the First Time in My Life I Am Ashamed of My County

CBO Director Lays Out Dangers Of Obama’s Debt-GDP Ratio

CBO Director On Obama’s $7 Trillion Budget Deficit Over The Next Decade

Will Taxing the Rich Fix the Deficit?

What If the National Debt Were Your Debt?

Funding Government by the Minute

What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt?

Don’t let him lie to you: sequester was Obama’s idea – Woodward says so 

Bob Woodward on ‘The Price of Politics,’ Fiscal Fight 

Obama’s sequester deal-changer

By Bob Woodward, Published: February 22

Bob Woodward (woodwardb@washpost.com) is an associate editor of The Post. His latest book is “The Price of Politics.” Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this column.

Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?

The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later.

There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

A majority of Republicans did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer, which included the sequester. Key Republican staffers said they didn’t even initially know what a sequester was — because the concept stemmed from the budget wars of the 1980s, when they were not in government.

At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew’s nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Lew about the account in my book: “Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Lew responded, “and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States.”

“Did you make the suggestion?” Burr asked.

“Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator [Phil] Gramm and Senator [Warren] Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action.”

In other words, yes.

But then Burr asked about the president’s statement during the presidential debate, that the Republicans originated it.

Lew, being a good lawyer and a loyal presidential adviser, then shifted to denial mode: “Senator, the demand for an enforcement mechanism was not something that the administration was pushing at that moment.”

That statement was not accurate.

On Tuesday, Obama appeared at the White House with a group of police officers and firefighters to denounce the sequester as a “meat-cleaver approach” that would jeopardize military readiness and investments in education, energy and readiness. He also said it would cost jobs. But, the president said, the substitute would have to include new revenue through tax reform.

At noon that same day, White House press secretary Jay Carney shifted position and accepted sequester paternity.

“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney said. Walking back the earlier statements, he added carefully, “and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”

This was an acknowledgment that the president and Lew had been wrong.

Why does this matter?

First, months of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)

Second, Lew testified during his confirmation hearing that the Republicans would not go along with new revenue in the portion of the deficit-reduction plan that became the sequester. Reinforcing Lew’s point, a senior White House official said Friday, “The sequester was an option we were forced to take because the Republicans would not do tax increases.”

In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.

So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.

Read more from PostOpinions: Bob Woodward: Time for our leaders to delegate on the budget Robert J. Samuelson: The lowdown on Lew Jennifer Rubin: Jack Lew’s truth problem Eugene Robinson: The sequester madness

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bob-woodward-obamas-sequester-deal-changer/2013/02/22/c0b65b5e-7ce1-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_print.html

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In Four Years Barack Obama Bankrupts American People With $5 Trillion In Budget Deficits and Increased Debt–Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Dead On Arrival–Videos

Posted on February 11, 2012. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

http://www.federalbudget.com

BUDGET OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

Issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President’s budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other related and supporting budget publications are included, which may vary from year to year. About the Budget of the United States Government

GPO has signed and certified the PDF files to assure users that the online documents are official and authentic. The digitally signed PDF files should be viewed using Adobe Acrobat or Reader version 7.0 or higher. Download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

U.S Debt Clock Real Time

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Fair share? – Each American’s share of debt up $16,000 under Obama

Monday Hangover: Obama’s Budget ‘Fictitious Dream’

Top 15 Holders of US Public DEBT – Whom does the US owe?

National Debt- How Much Is A Billion Dollars? Dave Walker

What Does A Trillion Dollars Look Like?

David Walker – America at a Crossroads

Ron Paul Interview On The Kudlow Report (1-30-12)

Ron Paul Highlights at the Thanksgiving Family Forum (Family Leader Debate)

They tell Us that Ron Paul is a Lunatic?

 
Here is what we are told that a lunatic wants:
Obeying The Constitution- keeping the oath the every President swears
Sound money
Freedom, liberty, and justice for All
Peace
No Wars Unless We are Attacked, and then only when Congress declares war.
Protecting Our Own Borders
End the Income Tax
No Entangling Alliances
Minding our own business
Keeping our money at home to take care of our own needs.
Decrease our militarism in other countries. Stop conquest and nation building.
HERE IS WHAT ALL THE OTHER “SANE” CANDIDATES WANT:
United Nations resolutions, Agenda 21, NAFTA, World Trade Organization.
Indefinite detention of American citizens; without a charge, trial, or a lawyer.
Federal Reserve printing unlimited fiat paper money
Debt
Government control over everything
Government regulation of every aspect of life.
CONTINUOUS UNDECLARED WARS
Protecting Borders in other countries, but not our own.
HIGH Taxes of all types.
Entangling Alliances, Global Governance
Policing the world
Borrowing money from big dictatorships, and then giving it away to small dictatorships.
Build a military base and colony on the moon, and make the moon the 51st state.

Ron Paul . I will cut $1 Trillion first year as President

Ron Paul Plan To Restore America Press Conference

Ron Paul Ad – Secure

Ron Paul Ad – Plan

Ron Paul – “The one who can beat Obama”

GPO and OMB to Distribute President Obama’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Friday, February 10, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

WHAT:
The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are releasing President Barack Obama’s Budget for the U.S. Government, FY 2013. Printed copies are available through GPO’s retail and online bookstore. The Budget is also available electronically on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) www.fdsys.gov.

WHEN:
Monday, February 13, 2012 11:15 a.m. EST

WHERE:
U.S. Government Printing Office 710 North Capitol Street, NW (GPO Bookstore Entrance) Washington, D.C. 20401 (North Capitol and G Streets)

COST:
Hard copies of the Budget may be purchased through GPO’s retail and online bookstore. There will be no complimentary hard copies for the media.

American Express, Visa, MC, Discover are accepted. Please make checks payable to Superintendent of Documents. Orders may also be placed online: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/collections/budget.jsp

Budget of the U.S. Government $39
Budget Appendix $76
Analytical Perspectives $53
Historical Tables $50
CD-ROM $27

ONLINE:
The authentic online version will be available through a direct link on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) after 11:15 a.m. EST. www.fdsys.gov

http://whattheythink.com/news/56184-gpo-omb-distribute-president-obamas-budget-fiscal-year-2013/

Obama’s 2013 budget proposal launches election-year debate

By Lori Montgomery,

“…President Obama will send Congress a 2013 spending plan that would raise taxes on the rich and pump nearly $500 billion into new transportation projects over the next decade, launching an election-year debate over the budget that promises starkly different visions for managing government debt and the sluggish economy.As they prepare to face voters in November, neither the president nor congressional Republicans are expected to roll out many new or potentially painful prescriptions for slowing the rise of the $15 trillion national debt. After failing repeatedly last year to forge a bipartisan consensus, few in either party see much point in trying again now.

1638

Instead, Obama will on Monday reprise recommendations he unveiled last fall that seek to reduce borrowing by more than $3 trillion over the next decade while spending more in the short term to bring down persistently high unemployment.

The president’s blueprint calls for reductions in spending on federal health programs and the military, a small raise for federal workers and more than $1.5 trillion in new taxes on corporations, hedge-fund managers and the wealthy, in part through the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts on annual incomes of more than $250,000.

Obama also has called for changes to the tax code that would require households earning more than $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes, but senior administration officials said Friday that the blueprint will provide no additional details on how such a levy would be structured.

To achieve his debt-reduction goal, Obama would rely on an accounting maneuver that permits him to claim about $850 billion in savings over the next decade by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a move Republicans have rejected as a gimmick. Obama would use a portion of those savings to finance new road and rail projects, rather than dedicating the full sum to lower deficits.

Obama’s budget also calls for new investments in education, manufacturing and federal research and development, and it would devote an additional $350 billion to boosting economic growth. That sum includes extending a temporary payroll tax holiday and emergency unemployment benefits through the end of the year. Both are scheduled to expire at the end of this month and are currently the focus of intense debate in Congress.

The president’s plan would push this year’s deficit above current projections, with the budget gap growing to $1.33 trillion — slightly higher than last year’s $1.3 trillion deficit and $200 billion more than congressional budget analysts recently projected for the fiscal year that ends in September.

The deficit would fall to $900 billion in 2013, and government borrowing would continue to slow through 2022, leaving the debt elevated by historic standards but no longer growing faster than the overall economy. …”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obamas-2013-budget-proposal-looks-to-tame-national-debt/2012/02/10/gIQALfaC5Q_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop

2013 United States federal budget

2013 Budget of the United States federal government
‹ 2012 ·  · 2014 ›
Submitted February 13, 2012 (expected)[1]
Submitted by Barack Obama
Submitted to 112th Congress
Total revenue $2.964 trillion (projected)[2]
Total expenditures $3.693 trillion (projected)[2]

“…The United States federal budget request for government operations in fiscal year 2013 (October 2012–September 2013) is expected to be submitted by President Barack Obama in February 2012, according to the budget process. The actual appropriations for fiscal year 2013 must be authorized by the full Congress before the budget can take effect. Under current law, the Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates caps on discretionary spending levels. In addition, several temporary tax cuts are currently scheduled to expire at the beginning of the 2013 calendar year, including the Bush tax cuts on income and capital gains taxes, and cuts to the estate tax, due to the expiration of provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

History

 Implications of the Budget Control Act

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed in August 2011 as a resolution to the debt-ceiling crisis. The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget is the first to be affected by the second of two rounds of budget cuts specified in the act. (The first round of cuts has already been applied to the ten years beginning in FY2012.) For this second round of cuts, the Budget Control Act had formed the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, sometimes referred to as the “supercommittee”, to identify at least $1.2 trillion in cuts over the ten years beginning with FY2013, and specified automatic across-the-board cuts if no such budget reduction legislation was passed by Congress.[3]

On November 21, 2011, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced that it did not reach a deal on the budget-cutting legislation, raising the possibility that the automatic cuts would be activated if the full Congress could not enact its own deficit reduction legislation by December 23, 2011. The supercommittee’s lack of an agreement was attributed to the refusal of Republicans to consider any tax increases, combined with Democratic insistence on including these revenue increases such as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which under current law expire at the end of 2012.[4]

The automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion over ten years would be split equally between security and non-security programs, and include $500 billion in cuts to the Department of Defense. The FY2013 defense budget would be reduced 11%, from $525 billion to $472 billion, after already having been cut from $571 billion in the first installment of cuts in the Budget Control Act. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta initially gave the total cut figure as 23%.[5] The planned cuts include reductions in troop levels, a modest limit in pay raises for soldiers starting in 2015, an increase in health fees for veterans, delays in the construction of new naval ships and in the purchasing of new fighter aircraft such as the F-35, and the possibility of a round of base closings within the United States, but cuts to special operations, cyberwarfare, and intellegence programs were avoided.[6] Initial reports had also suggested that the number of carrier battle groups might be reduced from 11 to 10,[5] although it was later determined that the number of aircraft carriers would not in fact be cut.[7] Some Republicans in Congress advocated reversing the cuts to the military, citing the effect on national security, and Secretary Panetta has opposed the cuts, calling them “devastating” and raising “substantial risk of not being able to meet our defense needs.” President Obama has promised to veto any legislation seeking to avoid the cuts, and House Speaker John Boehner also indicated his commitment to following the cuts in the Budget Control Act.[4][8]

The Budget Control Act also specifies automatic cuts of 7.8% to domestic programs and 2% to Medicare, while Medicaid and Social Security will be unaffected. These entitlement programs were protected from cuts in return for the absence of new revenues in the Budget Control Act.[9]

The automatic cuts to domestic programs would include cuts of up to 11% to science research and development agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the U. S. National Laboratories run by the Department of Energy. It is anticipated that this could cause federal grant acceptance levels to fall into the single digits, a consequence which has been called catastrophic for academic institutions by Michael Lubell of the American Physical Society. The cuts could also endanger politically controversial research such as climate change research programs in NASA and NOAA.[10] Due to the role of scientific research in economic growth and job creation, and given international competition in this field, the cuts have been opposed by professional and academic organizations, and federal support of research and development has been called “an area of U.S. investment too critical to be cut” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[11][12]

 Total revenues and spending

As of September 2011, the Obama administration projected that the FY2013 budget would contain $2.964 trillion in receipts and $3.693 trillion in outlays.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget

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The Super Committee Sham

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National Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Recent US Federal Deficit Numbers

Obama Deficits

Bush Deficits

FY 2012: $1,101 billion

FY 2009: $1,413 billion

FY 2011: $1,299 billion

FY 2008: $248 billion

FY 2010: $1,293 billion

FY 2007: $161 billion

The federal deficit is the amount each year by which federal outlays in the federal budget exceed federal receipts. But the gross federal debt increases each year by substantially more than the amount of the deficit each year. That is because a substantial amount of federal borrowing is not counted in the budget. See here.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

Joint Statement of Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, and Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management And Budget, on Budget Results for Fiscal Year 2011

Table 1. Total Receipts, Outlays, and Deficit (in billions of dollars)
Receipts
Outlays
Deficit
FY 2010 Actual
2,162
3,456
-1,294
    Percentage of GDP
15.1%
24.1%
9.0%
FY 2011 Estimates:
    2012 Budget
2,174
3,819
-1,645
    2012 Mid-Session Review
2,314
3,630
-1,316
FY 2011 Actual
2,302
3,601
-1,299
    Percentage of GDP
15.4%
24.1%
8.7%
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
                                                  STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
             TABLE 1.  SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)

                                                        ACCOUNTING DATE:  10/11

   PERIOD                                                                     RECEIPTS                OUTLAYS    DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+  ____________________________________________________________  _____________________  _____________________  _____________________
   PRIOR YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   145,951                286,384                140,432
     NOVEMBER                                                                  148,970                299,364                150,394
     DECEMBER                                                                  236,875                315,009                 78,134
     JANUARY                                                                   226,550                276,346                 49,796
     FEBRUARY                                                                  110,656                333,163                222,507
     MARCH                                                                     150,894                339,048                188,154
     APRIL                                                                     289,543                329,929                 40,387
     MAY                                                                       174,936                232,577                 57,641
     JUNE                                                                      249,658                292,738                 43,080
     JULY                                                                      159,063                288,439                129,376
     AUGUST                                                                    169,246                303,388                134,143
     SEPTEMBER                                                                 240,153                301,699                 61,546

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                          2,302,495              3,598,086              1,295,591

   CURRENT YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   163,072                261,539                 98,466

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                            163,072                261,539                 98,466

http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts1011.txt
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Newt Gingrich’s Optional 15% Flat Tax Plus 15.3% Social SecurityTax–More Taxes Than Cain’s-9-9-9 (27%) Tax Plan But Less Than Perry’s Optional 20% Flat Tax Plus 15.3% Social SecurityTax–Videos

Posted on October 31, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Cult, Culture, Education, Employment, Energy, Farming, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Talk Radio, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich: My Opponent is Barack Obama

Newt Gingrich on the Fair Tax

21st Century Contract with America

PART 1: LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

Executive Summary

  1. Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
  2. Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
  3. Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs,  stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
  4. Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
  5. Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
  6. Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
  7. Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
  8. Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
  9. Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
  10. Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.

2. Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.

Government does not create jobs. The American people create jobs.

Ronald Reagan understood this truth.  His bold series of tax cuts and deregulatory measures upon taking office ended the economic stagnation of the 1970s for good by freeing American businesses to create nearly 20 million new jobs in less than a decade. In September 1983 alone the Reagan recovery led the American people to create 1,100,000 new jobs, more jobs than the first eight months of 2011 combined.

We understood these principles when we won the first Republican majority in the House in 40 years in 1994. Balanced budgets, streamlined government and the biggest capital gains tax cut in history led to unemployment falling to under 4% by 2000.

My administration will build on this time-tested model: A profound restructuring and reduction of the tax and regulatory burden on Americans, with the very achievable goal of 4% unemployment and millions of new jobs within only a few years.

JOBS AND PROSPERITY PLAN:  LOWERING TAXES

First, I pledge to veto any tax increase. American families and businesses deserve certainty and predictability, and I will work to make permanent all current rates of taxation that would otherwise increase automatically in 2013.

My Jobs and Prosperity plan will then make four major tax cuts:

    • Reduce the Corporate Tax to 12.5%.  Reducing the corporate income tax, currently the second highest in the developed world, will make America the number one destination in the world for foreign investment and the millions of jobs that will accompany this designation. Most of the $1.4 trillion in profits locked up overseas by the current 35% tax rate will come home to be reinvested and distributed at a 12.5% rate.
    • Abolish the Capital Gains Tax.  Lowering the cost of investment means hundreds of thousands of more jobs will be created. It happens every time we lower the capital gains tax. At a zero percent rate, hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments will pour into the United States to create new firms and build new factories.
    • Abolish the Death Tax.  This law is economically misguided and morally indefensible, and it is time for the government to stop destroying family wealth. Abolishing the death tax ensures family-owned businesses can focus on creating jobs and growing rather than on dealing with tax law.
    • 100% Expensing. We want American workers to have the most modern and most productive equipment in the world, and we can encourage this development by allowing companies to write off all their new equipment in one year.

JOBS AND PROSPERITY PLAN:  TAX SIMPLIFICATION WITH AN OPTIONAL FLAT TAX

My legislation will also include an optional flat tax of 15% or less.  All tax filers would be given the option to pay their income taxes subject to current income tax provisions or to pay under a lower single rate of taxation with limited deductions.  A revenue neutral flat tax reform would save hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs each year and would eliminate the need for taxes on savings, dividends, and capital gains.

This optional flat tax system will create a new personal deduction of $12,000 for every American. This deduction is well above the current poverty level, ensuring that this new system does not unfairly target the poor. The current $1,000 tax credit for each child aged sixteen or younger would also apply, as would the current earned income tax credit (EITC).

An optional flat tax reform will be simple: tax returns can be done on one sheet of paper. Subtract from income a standard deduction and deductions for charity and home ownership, multiply the result by the fixed single rate of taxation of at most 15%, and the process is over.

Gone will be the stressful hours spent figuring out whether your military service or marital status will adversely affect your return. No more headaches trying to determine where estimated tax payments go. Tax preparation fees could be money spent on something more rewarding.

Such an optional flat tax system would create a new standard deduction, which would be above the established poverty level, meaning an optional flat tax would not unfairly target the poor.

An optional flat tax would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. And if a person had twice as much income as another, he or she would be taxed twice as much. Furthermore, a single rate tax structure would eliminate taxes on savings, capital gains, and dividends. Saving would increase and businesses would expand to create new jobs.

This concept of an optional flat tax would give American taxpayers an opportunity to choose simplicity versus complexity and a single rate over a lot of deductions.

Because the flat tax is optional, it does not raise taxes on a single person or unfairly impact seniors, lower income workers, or the poor.

http://www.newt.org/contract/legislative-proposals#Two

Let’s Bump Plans: A Comparison of Gingrich and Perry’s Flat Tax Plans

http://www.newt.org/news/lets-bump-plans-comparison-gingrich-and-perrys-flat-tax-plans

Gingrich’s Plan Far Bolder than Perry’s Plan and Will Lead to Far More Robust Job Creation and Capital Investment in United States

Gingrich Perry Verdict: Gingrich Plan Better
Rate 15% 20% Gingrich has advocated for several years an optional flat tax rate of 15%, which when coupled with Gingrich’s bold entitlement and regulatory reforms, will usher in another era of booming economic growth and new, higher-paying jobs. The Perry rate of 20% is higher than the 17% that Steve Forbes proposed in his 1996 and 2000 presidential campaign.
Who Gets to Make Deductions for Charitable Giving and Home Ownership?? Everyone Families making less than $500,000/year By creating two separate classes of taxpayers, the Perry plan buys into the same class warfare that characterizes the Obama and Romney economic plans. The fact that there are still two brackets – even under a supposed “flat tax” plan – calls into question whether this is really a flat tax at all.
State and Local Tax Deductions Not deductible in optional flat tax plan Deductible in optional flat tax plan The Gingrich plan has a lower rate so less need for state and local deductions.  The deduction is a federal subsidy for states to adopt higher state and local taxes. Removing the subsidy would lead states to reduce state and local taxes, or adopt their own flat tax reforms. The Perry plan erodes states’ competitive advantages by making state and local taxes deductible in his optional flat tax plan.
Who Benefits from Elimination of Capital Gains Tax? Everyone Depends whether capital gains is long term or short term.  Perry’s plan eliminates cap gains only for long term. The Gingrich plan maximizes the capital investment and job creation that will accompany the elimination of this tax. The Perry plan only goes halfway, and by levying up to 35% tax on short-term capital gains, it will discourage investment, venture capital, and new jobs creation.
Corporate Income Tax 12.5% 20% The Gingrich plan will create a boom of new American entrepreneurship by dramatically cutting the corporate tax rate to one of the lowest in the developed world. The Perry plan relies upon a short term “tax holiday,” then only drops the corporate tax rate to 20% — only average in the developed world, and still over 20% higher than our closest economic competitor Canada, which has a rate of only 16.5%.  Gingrich rate makes U.S. more competitive than Canada.
Payroll Taxes Eventually replace payroll tax with personal accounts, financing better results No change in existing payroll tax Gingrich supports personal savings investment and insurance accounts that would eventually be expanded to finance all of the benefits now financed by the payroll tax, allowing that tax ultimately to be phased out altogether.
Family Deductions Under Flat Tax Plan $12,000 personal deduction for every individual. Both the EITC and the Child Tax Credit are preserved in Gingrich’s optional flat tax system. $12,500 personal deduction for every individual. No information provided. Preserving the EITC and Child Tax Credit are critical to ensure that the optional flat tax system does not unfairly target low-income Americans. Gingrich passed the first child tax credit as Speaker in 1997, and will preserve this credit and the EITC under his optional flat tax system.
Record in Achieving Dramatic Jobs and Economic Recovery at the National Level? Yes. Substantial. See record at right. None. Speaker Gingrich’s Record (1995-1999):•    Eleven Million New Jobs
•    Four Straight Balanced Budgets for the First Time Since the 1920s.
•    Unemployment rate of 4.2%.
•    Federal Spending Held to the Slowest Growth Rate Since the Early 1950s (avg. of 2.9% a year).
•    Venture capital investments grew 500% in three years and manufacturing sector grew to 17.43 million jobs.
•    Bipartisan Welfare Reform that Lifted Millions from Poverty.
•    Over $400 Billion of National Debt Paid Down
Gingrich Romney Verdict: Gingrich Plan Better
Personal Income Tax Choice of current system or 15% flat tax with personal, homeowner, and charitable deductions Maintain current tax rates The Gingrich plan gives Americans a choice to continue to file under the existing system, or to eliminate compliance costs and hours of paperwork by filing with a flat rate of 15%. The Romney plan hopes to make taxes “flatter” in the future, but offers no immediate choice and no immediate relief.
Capital Gains Tax for Individuals Eliminate tax completely Depends how much money the taxpayer makes.  Romney’s plan eliminates capital gains taxes for those making less than $200,000/year, but maintains the current system, with rates of up to 35%, for the rest. The Gingrich plan maximizes the capital investment and job creation that will accompany the elimination of this tax, and acknowledges that a tax reform is only fair if all Americans receive relief. The Romney plan determines that some Americans should pay no taxes on a particular investment, while other Americans should pay taxes of up to 35% on the same investment.
Capital Gains Tax for Corporations Eliminate tax completely Maintain current system The Gingrich plan is modeled on the success of the 1997 capital gains cut, which spurred job creation and a 500% increase in venture capital in just 3 years. The Romney plan maintains the corporate capital gains tax, an unequivocal burden on American job-creators who need to be freed to grow, prosper, and compete in a 21st century global economy.
Corporate Income Tax 12.5% 25% The Gingrich plan will create a boom of new American entrepreneurship by dramatically cutting the corporate tax rate to one of the lowest in the developed world. The Romney plan will still be average-to-high compared to the rest of the developed world, and still over 50% higher than our closest economic competitor Canada, which has a rate of only 16.5%.  Gingrich rate makes U.S. more competitive than Canada.
Payroll Tax Eventually replace payroll tax with personal accounts, financing better results No information Gingrich supports personal savings investment and insurance accounts that would eventually be expanded to finance all of the benefits now financed by the payroll tax, allowing that tax ultimately to be phased out altogether.
Medicare reform Choice between the traditional system or opportunity to purchase private insurance with premium support No information Under the Gingrich Plan, any American who wants to enjoy the existing Medicare system will be able to do so. Americans can also opt to transition to a more personalized system in the private sector with greater options for better care, where they would receive premium support to purchase private insurance.

http://www.newt.org/news/lets-bump-plans-comparison-gingrich-and-romneys-tax-plans

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United States Office of Management and Budget

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Law, Life, Links, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , , , , |

Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

United States Office of Management and Budget

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/organization/

United States Office of Management and Budget

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/appendix/

United States Office of Management and Budget

“…The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is a Cabinet-level office, and is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP). The current OMB Director is Peter Orszag and was appointed by President Barack Obama on the 15th December 2008[1] and confirmed by the Senate on the 20th January 2009.

History

The Bureau of the Budget, OMB’s predecessor, was established as a part of the Department of the Treasury by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. The Bureau of the Budget was moved to the EOP in 1939, and reorganized into OMB in 1970 during the Nixon administration[2]. The first OMB included Roy Ash (head), Paul O’Neill (assistant director), Fred Malek (deputy director) and Frank Zarb (associate director) and two dozen others. In the 1990s, OMB was reorganized to remove the distinction between management staff and budgetary staff by combining those dual roles into each given program examiner within the Resource Management Offices [3].

Mission

The OMB’s predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. In helping to formulate the President’s spending plans, the OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities. The OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony, and proposed legislation are consistent with the President’s Budget and with Administration policies.

In addition, the OMB oversees and coordinates the Administration’s procurement, financial management, information, and regulatory policies. In each of these areas, the OMB’s role is to help improve administrative management, to develop better performance measures and coordinating mechanisms, and to reduce any unnecessary burdens on the public.

Structure

The Office contains significant numbers of both career and politically appointed staff; OMB staff provide important continuity within the EOP since several hundred career professionals remain in their positions regardless of which party occupies the White House. Six positions within OMB – the Director, the Deputy Director, the Deputy Director for Management, and the administrators of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and the Office of Federal Financial Management are presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed positions.

The largest component of the Office of Management and Budget are the four Resource Management Offices which are organized along functional lines mirroring the U.S. federal government, each led by an OMB associate director. Approximately half of all OMB staff are assigned to these offices, the majority of whom are designated as program examiners. Program examiners can be assigned to monitor one or more federal agencies or may be assigned a topical area, such as monitoring issues relating to U.S. Navy warships. These staff have dual responsibility for both management and budgetary issues, as well as responsibility for giving expert advice on all aspects relating to their programs. Each year they review federal agency budget requests and help decide what resource requests will be sent to Congress as part of the president’s budget. They perform in-depth program evaluations using the Program Assessment Rating Tool, review proposed regulations, agency testimony, analyze pending legislation, and oversee the aspects of the President’s Management Agenda including agency management scorecards. They are often called upon to provide analysis information to any EOP staff member. They also provide important information to those assigned to the statutory offices within OMB, which are Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Office of Federal Financial Management, and the Office of E-Government & Information Technology whose job it is to specialize in issues such as federal regulations or procurement policy and law.

Other offices are OMB-wide support offices which include the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Budget Review Division (BRD), and the Legislative Reference Division. The BRD performs government-wide budget coordination and is largely responsibly for the technical aspects relating to the release of the president’s budget each February. With respect to the estimation of spending for the executive branch, the BRD serves a purpose parallel to that of the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress, the Department of the Treasury for the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, and the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress.

The Legislative Reference Division has the important role of being the central clearing house across the federal government for proposed legislation or testimony by federal officials. It distributes proposed legislation and testimony to all relevant federal reviewers and distils the comments into a consensus opinion of the Administration about the proposal. They are also responsible for writing an Enrolled Bill Memorandum to the president once a bill is presented by both bodies of Congress for the president’s signature. The Enrolled Bill Memorandum details the particulars of the bill, opinions on the bill from relevant federal departments, and an overall opinion about whether the bill should be signed into law or vetoed. They also issues Statements of Administration Policy that let Congress know the White House’s official position on proposed legislation.

Current Key Staff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Management_and_Budget

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United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

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United States Office of Personnel Management

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , |

Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.” 

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

US Debt Clock 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 

 

United States Office of Personnel Management

http://opm.gov/

 

United States Office of Personnel Management

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/opm.pdf

 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/opm.pdf

Office of Personnel Management

“…The current Federal Government civilian workforce is approximately 1.8 million employees (not counting postal workers). The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is the President’s agent and advisor for the Government’s human resources management systems. OPM’s key responsibility is to ensure these systems support agencies in recruiting, hiring and retaining the merit-based, high-quality, diverse workforce necessary to meet the needs of the American people.

OPM’s strategy is to provide human capital leadership and services for all agencies, in a manner that blends and balances flexibility and consistency across Government. Specifically, our strategy is to serve the interests of the Government as a single employer by sustaining essential Governmentwide values, such as merit system principles and accountability, veterans’ preference, workforce diversity and family-friendly policies. And, at the same time, we equip agencies with the flexible policies and systems necessary to recruit, retain, train and manage employees in a manner appropriate to each agency’s unique needs. We also administer Governmentwide compensation, earned employee benefits and automated information systems. These systems help attract and retain high-quality employees and serve the Government’s best interests as an employer, offering economies-of-scale only available when designed and managed on a Governmentwide basis. We provide assistance and services to agencies through an effective and efficient mix of appropriated, trust and reimbursable funds.

In carrying out its functions, OPM relies heavily on its own expert staff, broadly applied cutting-edge technology and effective partnerships with a wide range of stakeholder groups who represent many points of view. These include: Federal agencies and their employees; employee unions; professional and management associations; Federal annuitants and their organizations; job-seekers; veterans and their service organizations; minorities, women, and persons with disabilities and their organizations; colleges and universities and their organizations; and insurance carriers.

http://www.opm.gov/gpra/opmgpra/sp2002/opm.asp 

“…

The Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) mission is to helpagencies build an effective Federal civilian workforce based on
merit system principles. OPM leads Federal agencies in the
strategic management of their human resources, proposes and
implements human resources management policy, and provides

agencies with ongoing advice and technical assistance to implement

these policies and initiatives. OPM also supports veterans’

preference in Federal hiring and manages the process for personnel

security and background checks for suitability and national

security clearances. OPM continues to honor the Government’s

commitment to employees by managing the trust funds that

support the retirement and insurance benefits they earn, and

delivering excellent benefit services and support to civil servants

both during and after their Federal careers. The 2010 Budget

will permit OPM to pursue long-term human capital strategies

that deliver results and enhance the values of the civil service.

New human resources management strategies will streamline

the Federal hiring process, decrease time to hire, and change

how Federal employees’ job performance is evaluated. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/opm.pdf

 

United States Office of Personnel Mangement

“…The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government. The current Director is John Berry and the Deputy Director is Christine Griffin. 

History 

OPM was originally founded as the United States Civil Service Commission by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. The commission was abolished and replaced by OPM on 1 January 1979 following the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783). 

Function

 

The OPM is partially responsible for maintaining the appearance of independence and neutrality in the Administrative Law System. While technically the employees of the agencies they work for, Administrative Law Judges (or ALJs) are hired exclusively by the Office of Personnel Management, effectively removing any discretional employment procedures from the other agencies. The Office of Personnel Management uses a rigorous selection process which ranks the top three candidates for each ALJ vacancy, and then makes a selection from those candidates, generally awarding an extreme preference toward any United States veteran who is a candidate. 

The OPM is also responsible for a large part of the management of security clearances(Federal Investigative Services Division aka FISD conducts these investigations) for the United States Government. Separate programs for each executive department have gradually been merged into a single, Government-wide clearance system. the OPM is responsible for investigating individuals to give them Secret and Top Secret clearances. SCI compartments, however 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Office_of_Personnel_Management 

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United States Social Security Administration

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United States Social Security Administration

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Security, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

 

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

United States Social Security Administration

http://www.ssa.gov/

United States Social Security Administration

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/ssa.pdf

Social Security: A Program and Policy History

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v66n1/v66n1p1.html

 

Social Security Administration – $11.6 bullion +$1.1 billion from the Recovery Act

The Social Security Administration is indispensable to seniors, survivors, workers and the disable, but unfortunately the SSA can only pay full benefits until 2041. The 2010 Federal budget does not plan for 2042, but instead provides a 10% increase to help process claims more quickly. The budget also intends to help improve framework to extend the viability of the program as best possible.

Highlights of the 2010 Social Security Administration Budget

 

Social Security Administration Budget

 

Program Integrity and Operation

  • Increase staffing at the SSA to help process claims and appeals more quickly – exact amount not disclosed
  • Increase Social Security card processing and Social Security Number distribution – exact amount not disclosed
  • Increase integrity of SSA to ensure efficient government spending – $759 million

 

United States Social Security Administration

The United States Social Security Administration (SSA)[2] is an independent agency of the United States federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits. To qualify for these benefits, most American workers pay Social Security taxes on their earnings; future benefits are based on the employees’ contributions.

The Social Security Administration was established by a law currently codified at 42 U.S.C. § 901. Its current commissioner is Michael J. Astrue, who was sworn in on February 12, 2007 and whose six-year term expires on January 19, 2013.

SSA is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, just to the west of Baltimore, at what is known as Central Office. The agency includes 10 regional offices, 8 processing centers, approximately 1300 field offices, and 37 Teleservice Centers. As of 2007[update], about 62,000 people were employed by the SSA.[3] Social security is currently the largest social welfare program in the U.S., constituting 37% of government expenditure and 7% of GDP.[4]

…”

“…History

The Social Security Act created a Social Security Board (SSB),[5] to oversee the administration of the new program. It was created as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal with the signing of Social Security Act of 1935, August 14, 1935.[6] The Board consisted of three presidentially appointed executives, and started with no budget, no staff, and no furniture. It obtained a temporary budget from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration headed by Harry Hopkins.[5]

The first Social Security office opened in Austin, Texas, on October 14, 1936. Social Security taxes were collected first in January 1937, along with the first one-time, lump-sum payments.[6] The first person to receive a Social Security benefit was Ernest Ackerman, who was paid 17 cents in January 1937. This was a one-time, lump-sum pay-out, which was the only form of benefits paid during the start-up period January 1937 through December 1939. The first person to receive monthly retirement benefits was Ida May Fuller of Brattleboro, Vermont. Her first check, dated January 31, 1940 was in the amount of US$22.54.[7]

In 1939, the Social Security Board merged into a cabinet-level Federal Security Agency, which included the SSB, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and other agencies.[8] In January 1940, the first regular ongoing monthly benefits were begun.[6]

In 1946, the SSB was renamed the Social Security Administration under President Harry S. Truman’s Reorganization Plan.

In 1972, Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) were introduced into SSA programs to deal with the effects of inflation on fixed incomes.

In 1953, the Federal Security Agency was abolished and the SSA was placed under the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. HEW became the Department of Health and Human Services in 1980. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law 42 U.S.C. § 901 returning the SSA to the status of an independent agency in the executive branch of government.

Coverage

The SSA’s coverage under the Social Security program originally covered nearly all non-government workers in the continental U.S. and the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands below the age of 65. All workers in interstate commerce and industry were required to enter the program, except railroad, state and local government workers. In 1939, the age restriction for entering Social Security was eliminated. When it was introduced, all of these people were brought into Medicare as well.

Railroad workers were covered by the Railroad Retirement Board before Social Security was founded; they still are, though a portion of each railroad pension is designated as “equivalent” to Social Security. Railroad workers also participate in Medicare.

Most state and local government workers were eventually brought into the Social Security system under “Section 218 Agreements“. A Section 218 Agreement is a voluntary agreement between a state and SSA. The original 218 interstate instrumentalities were signed in the 1950s. All states have a Section 218 agreement with the Social Security Administration. For more information see Chapter 10 of the Social Security Handbbook.[9] The Social Security handbook chapter 10, section 1002 defines what is an “interstate instrumentality.[10] The provisions of Section 218 of the Social Security Act and the instrumentalities agreement and subsequent modifications determine social security and medicare or Medicare-only coverage for state and local government employees enrolled in state and local government retirement systems. To determine if your state has signed a 218 agreement contact your State Social Security Administrator. A list of State Social Security administrators that administer section 218 agreement is maintained on-line at[11] All State and local government hired since 1986, or who are covered by section 218 agreements, participate in Medicare even if not covered by Social security.[12] How State And Local Government Employees are covered By Social Security And Medicare see The Federal-State reference guide appendix[13] Other local and state employees were brought into coverage under a 1991 Social Security law that required these employees to join Social Security if their employer did not provide them with a pension plan. It is believed that some state and local governments continue to maintain their own pension plans and have not executed Section 218 agreements; if so, their workers do not participate in Social Security. (If those workers also have service in Social Security, however, their Social Security benefits are reduced by a rule known as the Windfall Elimination Provision; there is also a similar Government Pension Offset for their spouses.)

Old Age, Survivors and Disability

The SSA administers the old age, survivors, and disabled social insurance programs, which provide monthly benefits to retired or disabled workers, their spouses and children, and to the survivors of insured workers. In 2004, more than 47 million Americans received approximately US$492 billion in Social Security benefits. The programs are financed by mandatory contributions which employers, employees, and self-insured persons pay. These revenues are placed into a special trust fund.

The SSA administers its disability program partly through its Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), which has regional offices and hearing offices across the United States. ODAR publishes a manual, called HALLEX, which contains instructions for its employees regarding how to implement its guiding principles and procedures.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSA administers the SSI program, which is needs-based, for elderly, blind, or disabled persons. This program was originally called by its separate names, Old Age Assistance (originally Title I of the Social Security Act of 1935), and Disability Assistance (added in 1946). In 1973, these assistance programs were renamed and reassigned to SSA. SSI recipients are paid out of the general revenue of the U.S. In addition, some states pay additional SSI funds. Approximately 7 million persons are covered by SSI.

Medicare

The administration of the Medicare program is a responsibility of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but SSA district offices and program service centers are used for determining eligibility, processing premium payments, and for some public contact.

Operations

To ensure consistent and efficient treatment of Social Security beneficiaries across its vast bureaucracy, SSA has compiled a giant book known as the Programs Operations Manual System (POMS) which governs practically all aspects of SSA’s internal operations. POMS describes, in excruciating detail, a huge variety of situations regularly encountered by SSA personnel, and the exact policies and procedures that apply to each situation.

Automation

 
A few of the hundreds of keypunch operators SSA employed throughout the late 1930s and into the 1950s.

While the establishment of Social Security predated the invention of the modern digital computer, punch card data processing was a mature technology, and the Social Security system made extensive use of automated unit record equipment from the program’s inception. This allowed the Social Security Administration to achieve a high level of efficiency. SSA expenses have always been a small fraction of benefits paid.

Baby name popularity report

Each year, just before Mother’s Day, the Social Security Administration releases a list of the names most commonly given to newborn babies in the United States in the previous year, based on applications for Social Security cards. The report includes the 1,000 most common names for each gender. The Popular Baby Names page on the SSA website provides the complete list and allows searches for past years and particular names.[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Administration

Background Articles and Videos

 

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United States Department of Agriculture

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United States Department of Energy

United States Department of Health and Human Resources

United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of State

United States Department of Transportation

United States Department of The Treasury

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

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United States Department of Homeland Security

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

United States Department of Homeland Security

http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm

United States Department of Homeland Security

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/dhs.pdf

Department of Homeland Security: History

http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/history/

“…Department of Homeland Security – $42.7billion+$2.8billion from the Recovery Act

The Department of Homeland Security budget focuses on safeguarding transportation systems, strengthening border security and immigration services and increasing research and development for cybersecurity.

Department of Homeland Security

Major Department of Homeland Security Expenses

Transportation

  • 15 new Visual Intermodal Protection Response teams to increase in random force protection capability – $50,000,000
  • DHS and DoT Planning and modernization of freight infrastructure linking coastal and inland ports to highway and rail networks – $25,000,000

Cybersecurity and Technology R&D

  • Increase resilience and security of private and public sector cyber infrastructure – $355,000,000
  • Ongoing support and improvement of surveillance technologies to detect biological threats – $36,000,000

Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Services

  • Expansion of exit pilot and key land points of entry and general border secutiry priorities – $45,000,000
  • Support of existing Customs and Border Protections – $368,000,000
  • Expansion of electronic employment verification system, E-Verify, that hlps US employers to comply with immigration laws – $110,000,000

State Homeland Security Activities

  • Addition of state and local level intelligence analysts – $260,000,000

…”

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“…Department of Homeland Security

The missions of the Department of Homeland Security are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and respond to and recover from incidents that do occur. The third largest Cabinet department, DHS was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, largely in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The new department consolidated 22 executive branch agencies, including the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

DHS employs 216,000 people in its mission to patrol borders, protect travelers and our transportation infrastructure, enforce immigration laws, and respond to disasters and emergencies. The agency also promotes preparedness and emergency prevention among citizens. Policy is coordinated by the Homeland Security Council at the White House, in cooperation with other defense and intelligence agencies, and led by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

…”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of Homeland Security

“…The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Cabinet department of the United States federal government with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters.

Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism.[3] On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Federal Protective Service falls under the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.[4] Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy.

The creation of DHS constituted the biggest government reorganization in American history, and the most substantial reorganization of federal agencies since the National Security Act of 1947, which placed the different military departments under a secretary of defense and created the National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency. DHS also constitutes the most diverse merger of federal functions and responsibilities, incorporating 22 government agencies into a single organization.[5]

…”

“…

Structure

Organizational chart showing the chain of command among the top-level officials in the Department of Homeland Security, as of July 17, 2008.

The Department of Homeland Security is headed by the Secretary of Homeland Security with the assistance of the Deputy Secretary. The Department contains the components listed below.[6] Not all subcomponents are listed; see the linked articles for more details.

Agencies:

  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services – Processes citizenship, residency, and asylum requests from foreigners
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Staff border checkpoints, collect tariffs, and patrol the border
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Long-term investigations of border violations
  • Transportation Security Administration – Responsible for aviation security (domestic and international, most notably conducting passenger screenings at airports), as well as land and water transportation security
  • United States Coast Guard – Maritime security, national defense, maritime mobility, and protection of natural resources (assigned to Department of the Navy during times of war or at the president’s direction)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – Disaster preparedness, response, and recovery
  • United States Secret Service – Protective services for important officials and protection of the U.S. currency

(Passports for U.S. Citizens are issued by the United States Department of State, not the Department of Homeland Security.)

Advisory groups:

  • Homeland Security Advisory Council – State and local government, first responders, private sector, and academics
  • National Infrastructure Advisory Council – Advises on security of public and private information systems
  • Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee – Advise the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.
  • Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council – Coordinate infrastructure protection with private sector and other levels of government
  • Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities
  • Task Force on New Americans – “An inter-agency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, and become fully American.”

Other components:

  • Domestic Nuclear Detection Office – Develop nuclear threat detection capabilities at all levels of government and in the private sector
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center – Interagency law enforcement training facility
  • National Protection and Programs Directorate – risk-reduction, encompassing both physical and virtual threats and their associated human elements
    • Federal Protective Service – Federal law enforcement and security for federal buildings, properties, assets, and federal government interests
    • National Communications System
  • Directorate for Science and Technology – Research and development
  • Directorate for Management – Responsible for internal budgets, accounting, performance monitoring, and human resources
  • Office of Policy – Long-range policy planning and coordination
    • Office of Immigration Statistics
  • Office of Health Affairs – Medical preparedness
  • Office of Intelligence and Analysis – Identify and assess threats based on intelligence from various agencies
  • Office of Operations Coordination – Monitor domestic security situation on a daily basis, coordinate activities with state and local authorities and private sector infrastructure
  • Office of the Secretary includes the Privacy Office, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Office of Inspector General, Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of the General Counsel, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement (CNE), Office of the Executive Secretariat (ESEC), and the Military Advisor’s Office.
  • National Cyber Security Center
  • …”

“…

In response to the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) to coordinate “homeland security” efforts. The office was headed by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who assumed the title of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. The official announcement stated:

The mission of the Office will be to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. The Office will coordinate the executive branch’s efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.[10]

Ridge began his duties as OHS director on October 8, 2001.

The Department of Homeland Security was established on November 25, 2002, by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It was intended to consolidate U.S. executive branch organizations related to “homeland security” into a single Cabinet agency. The following 22 agencies were incorporated into the new department:[11]

  • Customs Service – Treasury
  • Coast Guard – Transportation
  • Secret Service – Treasury
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service) – Justice
  • United States Border Patrol (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service) – Justice
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service) – Justice
  • United States Federal Protective Service – General Services Administration
  • Transportation Security Administration – Transportation
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center – Treasury
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Agriculture
  • Office for Domestic Preparedness – Justice
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Strategic National Stockpile and the National Disaster Medical System – HHS
  • Nuclear Incident Response Team – Energy
  • Domestic Emergency Support Teams – Justice
  • National Domestic Preparedness Office – FBI
  • CBRN Countermeasures Programs – Energy
  • Environmental Measurements Laboratory – Energy
  • National BW Defense Analysis Center – Defense
  • Plum Island Animal Disease Center – Agriculture
  • Federal Computer Incident Response Center – GSA
  • National Communications System – Defense
  • National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) (formerly the National Infrastructure Protection Center) – FBI
  • Energy Security and Assurance Program – Energy

Prior to the signing of the bill, controversy about its adoption centered on whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency should be incorporated in part or in whole (neither were included). The bill itself was also controversial for the presence of unrelated “riders”, as well as for eliminating certain union-friendly civil service and labor protections for department employees. Without these protections, employees could be expeditiously reassigned or dismissed on grounds of security, incompetence or insubordination, and DHS would not be required to notify their union representatives.

The plan stripped 180,000 government employees of their union rights.[12] In 2002, Bush officials argued that the September 11 attacks made the proposed elimination of employee protections imperative.[13]

Congress ultimately passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 without the union-friendly measures, and President Bush signed the bill into law on November 25, 2002. It was the largest U.S. government reorganization in the 50 years since the United States Department of Defense was created.

Tom Ridge was named secretary on January 24, 2003 and began naming his chief deputies. DHS officially began operations on January 24, 2003, but most of the department’s component agencies were not transferred into the new Department until March 1.[10]

After establishing the basic structure of DHS and working to integrate its components and get the department functioning, Ridge announced his resignation on November 30, 2004, following the re-election of President Bush. Bush initially nominated former New York City Police Department commissioner Bernard Kerik as his successor, but on December 10, Kerik withdrew his nomination, citing personal reasons and saying it “would not be in the best interests” of the country for him to pursue the post. On January 11, 2005, President Bush nominated federal judge Michael Chertoff to succeed Ridge. Chertoff was confirmed on February 15, 2005, by a vote of 98–0 in the U.S. Senate. He was sworn in the same day.[10]

In February 2005, DHS and the Office of Personnel Management issued rules relating to employee pay and discipline for a new personnel system named MaxHR. The Washington Post said that the rules would allow DHS “to override any provision in a union contract by issuing a department-wide directive” and would make it “difficult, if not impossible, for unions to negotiate over arrangements for staffing, deployments, technology and other workplace matters.”[13]

In August 2005, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer blocked the plan on the grounds that it did not ensure collective-bargaining rights for DHS employees.[13]

A federal appeals court ruled against DHS in 2006; pending a final resolution to the litigation, Congress’s fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill for DHS provided no funding for the proposed new personnel system.[13] DHS announced in early 2007 that it was retooling its pay and performance system and retiring the name “MaxHR”.[10]

In a February 2008 court filing, DHS said that it would no longer pursue the new rules, and that it would abide by the existing civil service labor-management procedures. A federal court issued an order closing the case.[13]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security

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United States Department of State

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

 

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

United States Department of State

http://www.state.gov/

United States Department of State

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/sta.pdf

Department of State History

http://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/

“…Department of State and Other International Programs

The United States needs to renew its leadership role in the world. The 2010 budget for the Department of State and Other International Programs aims to increase foreign aid to help education children in some of the poorest nations, increase global food supply and security, and stabilize post-conflict areas.  The budge also includes an increase in funding for global health programs and non-military assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. No exact numbers are given in the budget as to where the money will go. There is a very large discretionary budget.

Department of STate

Plan highlights

Foreign Policy Goals

  • Increase funding for global health programs that commbat HIV/AIDs, malaria and TB – no specific amount given
  • Funding the first year of a multi year counterterrorism and law enforcement program – no specific amount given
  • Promotion of safe civilian uses of nuclear energy – no specific amount given

International Support

  • Expansion of diplomatic and development ties by increasing the number of state and USAID Foreign services officers – no specific amount given

…”

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“… Department of State

The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. Major responsibilities include United States representation abroad, foreign assistance, foreign military training programs, countering international crime, and a wide assortment of services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seeking entrance to the U.S.

The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 180 countries — each posted by civilian U.S. Foreign Service employees — as well as with international organizations. At home, more than 5,000 civil employees carry out the mission of the Department.

The Secretary of State serves as the President’s top foreign policy adviser, and oversees 30,000 employees and a budget of approximately $35 billion.

…”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of State

“…The United States Department of State (often referred to as the State Department), is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries. The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.

The Department is headquartered in the Harry S. Truman Building located at 2201 C Street, NW, a few blocks from the White House in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Department operates the diplomatic missions of the United States abroad and responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the United States and U.S. diplomacy efforts.

The Department is led by the Secretary of State, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The Secretary of State is the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession (fourth overall, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate). The current Secretary of State is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The U.S. Constitution, drafted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787 and ratified by the states the following year, gave the President the responsibility for the conduct of the nation’s foreign relations. It soon became clear, however, that an executive department was necessary to support the President in the conduct of the affairs of the new federal government.

The House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation to establish a Department of Foreign Affairs on July 21, 1789, and President Washington signed it into law on July 27, making the Department of Foreign Affairs the first Federal agency to be created under the new Constitution. This legislation remains the basic law of the Department of State. In September 1789, additional legislation changed the name of the agency to the Department of State and assigned to it a variety of domestic duties.

These responsibilities grew to include management of the United States Mint, keeper of the Great Seal of the United States, and the taking of the census. President George Washington signed the new legislation on September 15. Most of these domestic duties of the Department of State were eventually turned over to various new Federal departments and agencies that were established during the 19th century.

On September 29, 1789, President Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, then Minister to France, to be the first United States Secretary of State, although John Jay had been serving in that capacity as a holdover from the Confederation since before Washington had taken office and would continue in that capacity until Jefferson would return from Europe many months later.

The Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and its head, the Secretary of State, is the President’s principal foreign policy advisor, though other officials or individuals may have more influence on their foreign policy decisions. The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency (specifically, the Special Activities Division), and the U.S. Agency for International Development. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.

All foreign affairs activities—U.S. representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering international crime, foreign military training programs, the services the Department provides, and more—are paid for by the foreign affairs budget, which represents little more than 1% of the total federal budget, or about 12 cents a day ($44 a year) for each American citizen. As stated by the Department of State, its purpose includes:

  • Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad;
  • Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace;
  • Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts.
  • Keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials.
  • Providing automobile registration for non-diplomatic staff vehicles and the vehicles of diplomats of foreign countries having diplomatic immunity in the United States.

The Department of State conducts these activities with a civilian workforce, and normally uses the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad. Employees may be assigned to diplomatic missions abroad to represent America, analyze and report on political, economic, and social trends; adjudicate visas; and respond to the needs of American citizens abroad. The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with about 180 countries and maintains relations with many international organizations, adding up to a total of more than 250 posts around the world. In the United States, about 5,000 professional, technical, and administrative employees work compiling and analyzing reports from overseas, providing logistical support to posts, communicating with the American public, formulating and overseeing the budget, issuing passports and travel warnings, and more. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Department of State works in close coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Commerce. As required by the principle of checks and balances, the Department also consults with Congress about foreign policy initiatives and policies.

Organization 

United States Secretary of State: Chief executive officer of the Department of State, member of the United States Cabinet, answers directly to the President of the United States. Secretary of State organizes and supervises the entire department and its staff:

  • United States Deputy Secretary of State: The Deputy Secretary (with the Chief of Staff, Executive Secretariat, and the Undersecretary for Management) assists the Secretary in the overall management of the department. Reporting to the Deputy Secretary are the six undersecretaries and the counselor, along with several staff offices:
    • Chief of Staff
    • Executive Secretariat
    • Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (which produces the Country Reports on Terrorism)
    • Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
    • National Foreign Affairs Training Center (which houses the Foreign Service Institute)
    • Information Programs
    • Office of the Legal Adviser
    • Office of Management Policy
    • Office of Protocol
    • Office of the Science and Technology Adviser
    • Office of War Crimes Issues
    • Bureau of Intelligence and Research
    • Bureau of Legislative Affairs
    • Bureau of Resource Management
  • Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs: The third-ranking State Department official. Becomes Acting Secretary in the absence of the Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of State. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, coordinating American diplomacy around the world:
    • Bureau of African Affairs
    • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
    • Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
    • Bureau of International Organization Affairs
    • Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
    • Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
    • Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • Under Secretary of State for Management[1]: The principal adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on matters relating to the allocation and use of Department’s budget, physical property, and personnel. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, planning the day-to-day administration of the Department and proposing institutional reform and modernization:
Hierarchy of the U.S State Department. Click the image to enlarge.
    • Bureau of Administration
      • Office of Allowances
      • Office of Authentication
      • Language Services
      • Office of Logistics Management
      • Office of Overseas Schools
      • Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
      • Office of Multi-Media Services
      • Office of Directives Management
      • Office of Commissary and Recreation Affairs
      • Office of the Procurement Executive
    • Bureau of Consular Affairs
    • Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS)
      • U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)
      • Office of Foreign Missions
    • Bureau of Human Resources
    • Bureau of Information Resource Management
    • Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
    • Director of Diplomatic Reception Rooms
    • Foreign Service Institute
    • Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation
    • Office of Medical Services
    • Office of White House Liaison
  • Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs: The senior economic advisor for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on international economic policy. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, dealing with trade, agriculture, aviation, and bilateral trade relations with America’s economic partners:
    • Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs
  • Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: This Undersecretary leads functions that were formerly assigned to the United States Information Agency but were integrated into the State Department by the 1999 reorganization. This position manages units that handle the department’s public communications and seek to burnish the image of the United States around the world:
    • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
      • Internet Access and Training Program
    • Bureau of Public Affairs
      • Office of The Historian
    • Bureau of International Information Programs
  • Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs: This Undersecretary coordinates the Department’s role in U.S. military assistance. Since the 1996 reorganization, this Undersecretary also oversees the functions of the formerly independent Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
    • Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
    • Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
    • Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
  • Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs: The office of Undersecretary of Global Affairs was created by the Clinton Administration to manage diplomatic efforts on emerging worldwide issues, such as the environment, that could not be addressed at the bilateral or regional level. The office was renamed Democracy and Global Affairs in 2005, reflecting an increased focus on democracy promotion in American foreign policy.[2]
    • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
    • Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
    • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
    • Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • Counselor: Ranking with the Under Secretaries, the Counselor is the Secretary’s and Deputy Secretary’s special advisor and consultant on major problems of foreign policy. The Counselor provides guidance to the appropriate bureaus with respect to such matters, conducts special international negotiations and consultations, and undertakes special assignments from time to time as directed by the Secretary.
  • Office of Global AIDS Coordinator: President’s main task force to combat global AIDS The Global AIDS Coordinator reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Since the 1996 reorganization, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), while leading an independent agency, has also reported to the Secretary of State, as does the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (also known as the Permanent Representative). …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_State

Background Articles and Videos

 

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

United States Department of Agriculture

United States Department of Commerce

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United States Department of Energy

United States Department of Health and Human Resources

United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

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United States Department of Labor

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United States Department of Defense

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Medicine, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 

 

United States Department of Defense

http://www.defense.gov/

United States Department of Defense

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/mil.pdf 

 

DOD 101: An Introductory Overview of The Department of Defense

http://www.defense.gov/pubs/dod101/ 

 

Department of Defense – $663.7 billion+$7.4 billion from the Recovery Act

The Department of Defense receives the lion’s share of the Federal Budget to be used both internally and externally. $533.7 billion is requested for specific programs with another $50-100 billion earmarked should the Department of Defense need it. The budget will cover the draw down of US troops from Iraq, the aid of struggling states like Pakistan and the funding of programs that help to monitor cyber, biological and nuclear threats. Overall, a large amount of funds are not detailed

Department of Defense 2010 Budget

Major Budget Allocations for the Department of Defense

Military Operations

  • Military Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan – $130 billion
  • Money that currently has no allocation but is budgeted should the Department of Defense need it – $50 billion

Soldiers

  • Pay for service members that will keep pace with or exceed private sector jobs – exact amount not provided
  • Expansion of military retired pay and Veterans Disability Compensation to all retirees receiving disability retired pay – exact amount not provided
  • Expansion on integrated mental health professionals with deployed unites – amount not provided
  • Improved medical care and housing for Wounded, Ill and Injured Servicemembers – amount not provided
  • Quality of life improvements for American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines include modernization of barracks – amount not provided

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/ 

“…Department of Defense

The mission of the Department of Defense (DOD) is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department’s headquarters is at the Pentagon.

The DOD consists of the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as many agencies, offices, and commands, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DOD occupies the vast majority of the Pentagon building in Arlington, VA.

The Department of Defense is the largest government agency, with more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, nearly 700,000 civilian personnel, and 1.1 million citizens who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Together, the military and civilian arms of DOD protect national interests through war-fighting, providing humanitarian aid, and performing peacekeeping and disaster relief services. …” 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch 

United States Department of Defense

“…The United States Department of Defense (DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military. The organization and functions of the DOD are set forth in Title 10 of the United States Code.

The DOD is the major tenant of The Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and has three major components– the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force. Among the many DOD agencies are the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). The department also operates several joint service schools, including the National War College.

History

During 1945, specific plans for the proposed DoD were put forth by the Army, the Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified Department of National Defense. A proposal went to Congress in April 1946, but was held up by the Naval Affairs Committee hearings in July 1946, which raised objections to the concentration of power in a single department. Truman eventually sent new legislation to Congress in February 1947, where it was debated and amended for several months.

DoD was created in 1947 as a national military establishment with a single secretary as its head to preside over the former Department of War (founded in 1789) and Department of the Navy (founded in 1798; formerly the Board of Admiralty, founded in 1780). The Department of the Air Force was also created as a new service at the same time (it had been part of the War Department as the United States Army Air Force), and made part of DoD. DoD was created in order to reduce interservice rivalry which was believed to have reduced military effectiveness during World War II.

On July 26, 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the National Military Establishment to begin operations on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. The Establishment had the unfortunate abbreviation “NME” (the obvious pronunciation being “enemy”), and was renamed the “Department of Defense” (abbreviated as DOD or DoD) on August 10, 1949; in addition, the Secretary of Defense was given greater authority over three of the branches of the military (Army, Navy, and Air Force). Prior to the creation of the National Military Establishment / Department of Defense, the Armed Forces of the United States were separated into different cabinet-level departments without much central authority. The Marine Corps remained as a separate service under the Department of the Navy, and the Coast Guard remained in the Department of the Treasury, ready to be shifted to the Navy Department during time of declared war (as it was in both world wars).

The Department includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, as well as non-combat agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, including the NORAD base in Colorado Springs. The DoD’s annual budget was roughly $786 billion in 2007.[2] This figure does not include tens of billions more in supplemental expenditures allotted by Congress throughout the year, particularly for the war in Iraq. It also does not include expenditures by the Department of Energy on nuclear weapons design and testing.

Civilian control over matters other than operations is exercised through the three service departments, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy (which includes the Marine Corps), and the Department of the Air Force. Each is led by a service secretary, who are below Cabinet rank.

In wartime, the Department of Defense has authority over the Coast Guard; in peacetime, that agency is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to the creation of DHS, the Coast Guard was under the control of the Department of Transportation and earlier under the Department of the Treasury. According to the U.S. Code, the Coast Guard is at all times considered one of the five armed services of the United States. During times of declared war (or by Congressional direction), the Coast Guard operates as a part of the Navy; the service has not been under the auspices of Navy since World War II, but members have served in the undeclared wars and conflicts since then while the service remained in its peacetime department.

The Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense is protected by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency which ensures law enforcement and security for The Pentagon and various other jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region (NCR).

Command structure

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, though in that position he is a civilian and not a member of the military.

Main article: Structure of the United States Armed Forces

The command structure of the Department of Defense is defined by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (PL 99-433), signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on 1 October 1986. The Act reworked the command structure of the United States military, introducing the most sweeping changes to the Department since it was established in the National Security Act of 1947. Under the act, the chain of command runs from the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commanders (COCOM) who command all military forces within their area of responsibility. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the service Chiefs of Staff are responsible for readiness of the U.S. military and serve as the President’s military advisers, but are not in the chain of command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States. Each service is responsible for organizing, training and equipping military units for the commanders of the various Unified Combatant Commands.

 National Command organizational chart

 

 Components

2008 Office of the Secretary of Defense Structure.
Defense Agencies within the Department of Defense.

United States Secretary of Defense

  • United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
    • Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization
      • Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee
      • Office of Net Assessment
      • Pentagon Force Protection Agency
      • Office of General Counsel
        • Defense Legal Services Agency
      • Office of Inspector General
        • Defense Criminal Investigative Service
    • Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
      • Defense Intelligence Agency
      • Defense Security Service
      • Counterintelligence Field Activity
      • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
      • National Reconnaissance Office
      • National Security Agency
    • Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
      • Defense Security Cooperation Agency
      • Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office
    • Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
      • Defense Technical Information Center
      • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
      • Missile Defense Agency
      • Defense Contract Management Agency
      • Defense Logistics Agency
      • Defense Threat Reduction Agency
      • Office of Economic Adjustment
      • Defense Acquisition University
      • Business Transformation Agency
      • Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate (DOT&E)
    • Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
      • Defense Commissary Agency
      • Defense Human Resources Activity
      • Department of Defense Education Activity
      • Department of Defense Dependents Schools
      • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
      • Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
      • Office of the Chancellor for Education and Professional Development
    • Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller
      • Defense Contract Audit Agency
      • Defense Finance and Accounting Service
    • Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation
    • Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration
      • Defense Information Systems Agency
    • Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
      • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Internal Communications
    • Washington Headquarters Services
    • Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
      • Military Health System[2]
        • TRICARE Management Activity[3]
  • Military Departments
    • United States Secretary of the Army
      • Department of the Army including the U.S. Army
      • United States Army Corps of Engineers
    • United States Secretary of the Navy
      • United States Department of the Navy including the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps
    • United States Secretary of the Air Force
      • Department of the Air Force including the U.S. Air Force
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael G. Mullen (USN)
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright (USMC)
Chief of Staff of the United States Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. (USA)
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz (USAF)
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead (USN)
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway (USMC)

The United States Naval Observatory falls under the Chief of Naval Operations. In 2003, the National Communications System was moved to the Department of Homeland Security, but only for executive purposes. The National Communications System still centralizes its activities within the Department of Defense, since the human resources required by NCS (example: Military Departments) still reside within the Department of Defense, or for retention of practical maintenance.

Unified Combatant Commands

See also: Deployments of the United States Military

There are ten Unified Combatant Commands; six regional and four functional. United States Africa Command became initially operational in October 2007.

Command Commander Home Base Area of Responsibility
United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) General Victor E. Renuart Jr. (USAF) (also Chief of NORAD) Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado North American homeland defense and coordinating homeland security with civilian forces.
United States Central Command (CENTCOM), General David H. Petraeus (USA) MacDill Air Force Base, Florida Egypt through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia; handing over responsibility of Horn of Africa to AFRICOM.
United States European Command (EUCOM) General John Craddock (USA) (also Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), Belgium (USEUCOM HQ in Stuttgart, Germany) Europe, including Turkey, and Israel
United States Pacific Command (PACOM) Admiral Timothy J. Keating (USN) Camp H. M. Smith, Oahu, Hawaii The Asia-Pacific region including Hawaii.
United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Admiral James Stavridis (USN) Miami, Florida South, Central America and the surrounding waters
United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) General William E. Ward (USA) Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany for now; to be relocated to African continent Africa excluding Egypt
U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Admiral Eric T. Olson (USN) MacDill Air Force Base, Florida Provides special operations for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) General James Mattis (USMC) Naval Support Activity Headquarters (Norfolk) and Suffolk, Virginia Supports other commands as a joint force provider.
United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) General Kevin P. Chilton (USAF) Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska Covers the strategic deterrent force and coordinates the use of space assets.
United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) General Duncan J. McNabb (USAF) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois Covers global mobility of all military assets for all regional commands.

The Geographic Commands

 

 

In 2007, a new geographical command for Africa was authorized. This proposed significant changes to the areas of responsibility for other adjacent geographical commands as shown in the accompanying graphic. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense

 

 

Background Articles and Videos

  

 

  

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United States Department of The Treasury

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.” 

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  

  

Department of Veteran Affairs – $55.9 billion + $1.4 billion from the Recovery Act

United States Department of The Treasury

http://www.ustreas.gov/

 

 United States Department of The Treasury

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/tre.pdf

 

 

The United States Department of The Treasury: History

http://www.treas.gov/education/history/

 

 

 

Department of the Treasury – $13.3 billion + $300 million from the Recovery Act

The Department of the Treasury exists to promote economic prosperity and financial security of the United States. The 2010 budget supports the Financial Stability Plan, emphasizes transparent and accountable program management. In addition to the 2010 Budget, there is a $250 billion contingent reserve for further efforts to stabilize the financial system. 

Department of Treasury 2010 Budget

Highlights of the Department of Treasury Budget

IRS Services 

  • Additional funds to assist the IRS with tax collection abroad – exact amount not specified
  • Improve quality of taxpayer experience – exact amount not specified

Lending and Community Development 

Additional Point of Interest 

  • Funds are set aside as a reserve to be used in and when necessary to stabilize the financial system – $250 billion

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/ 

“…Department of the Treasury

The Department of the Treasury is responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the soundness and security of the U.S. and international financial systems. 

The Department operates and maintains systems that are critical to the nation’s financial infrastructure, such as the production of coin and currency, the disbursement of payments to the American public, the collection of taxes, and the borrowing of funds necessary to run the federal government. The Department works with other federal agencies, foreign governments, and international financial institutions to encourage global economic growth, raise standards of living, and, to the extent possible, predict and prevent economic and financial crises. The Treasury Department also performs a critical and far-reaching role in enhancing national security by improving the safeguards of our financial systems, implementing economic sanctions against foreign threats to the U.S., and identifying and targeting the financial support networks of national security threats. 

The Secretary of the Treasury oversees a budget of approximately $13 billion and a staff of more than 100,000 employees. …” 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch 

United States Department of The Treasury

“…The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet. 

The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, who was sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was asked by President George Washington to serve after first having asked Robert Morris (who declined, recommending Hamilton instead). Hamilton almost single-handedly worked out the nation’s early financial system, and for several years was a major presence in Washington’s administration as well. His portrait is on the obverse of the U.S. ten-dollar bill and the Treasury Department building is shown on the reverse. 

Besides the Secretary, one of the best-known Treasury officials is the Treasurer of the United States, who receives and keeps the money of the U.S. Facsimile signatures of the Secretary and the Treasurer appear on all modern U.S. currency. 

The Treasury prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments. 

History

The U.S. Treasury building in 1804. This building was burned by the British on August 25, 1814.

The Office of the Treasurer is the only office in the Treasury Department that is older than the Department itself, as it was originally created by the Continental Congress in 1775.[1] Michael Hillegas served as the first Treasurer of the United States[2] and throughout the American Revolution until Congress created the Department of the Treasury on September 2, 1789: 

And be it…enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to digest and prepare plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit; to prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures; to superintend the collection of revenue; to decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts and making returns, and to grant under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law; to execute such services relative to the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, as may be by law required of him; to make report, and give information to either branch of the legislature, in person or in writing (as he may be required), respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office; and generally to perform all such services relative to the finances, as he shall be directed to perform.[3]

The current law, 31 U.S.C. § 301, reads as follows (in part):

(a) The Department of the Treasury is an executive department of the United States Government at the seat of the Government.(b) The head of the Department is the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Responsibilities

 
Treasury Department official, surrounded by packages of newly minted currency, counting and wrapping dollar bills. Washington, D.C., 1907.

The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury include: 

  • Managing federal finances;
  • Collecting taxes, duties and money paid to and due to the U.S. and paying all bills of the U.S.;
  • Producing all postage stamps, currency, and coinage;
  • Managing government accounts and the United States public debt;
  • Supervising national banks and thrift institutions;
  • Advising on domestic and international financial, monetary, economic, trade and tax policy – fiscal policy being the sum of these, and the ultimate responsibility of Congress.
  • Enforcing Federal finance and tax laws;
  • Investigating and prosecuting tax evaders, counterfeiters, forgers, smugglers, illicit spirits distillers, and gun law violators.

With respect to the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, Treasury serves a purpose parallel to that of the Office of Management and Budget for the estimation of spending for the executive branch, the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress. 

The term Treasury reform usually refers narrowly to reform of monetary policy and related economic policy and accounting reform. The broader term monetary reform usually refers to reform of policy of institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. 

Organization

 
The Office of Foreign Assets Control and the main branch of the Treasury Department Federal Credit Union is located in the Treasury Annex in Washington, D.C.
  • Secretary of the Treasury
    • Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
      • Treasurer of the United States
        • United States Mint
        • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
      • Under Secretary for Domestic Finance
        • Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
        • Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets
        • Assistant Secretary for of Fiscal Service
          • Financial Management Service
          • Bureau of Public Debt
      • Under Secretary for International Affairs
        • Assistant Secretary for International Affairs
      • Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
        • Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing
        • Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis
        • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
      • Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy
      • Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
      • Assistant Secretary for Management
      • Chief Financial Officer
      • Chief Performance Officer
      • Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
      • Direcor of policy planning
      • Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy
        • Internal Revenue Service
        • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
      • Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Official website
      • Office of the General Counsel
        • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
        • Office of Thrift Supervision

The Office of the General Counsel is charged with supervising all legal proceedings involving the collection of debts due the United States, establishing regulations to guide customs collectors, issuing distress warrants against delinquent revenue collectors or receivers of public money, examining Treasury officers’ official bonds and related legal documents, serving as legal adviser to the department and administered lands acquired by the United States in payment for debts. This office was preceded by the offices of the (1789–1817), First Comptroller of the Treasury (1817–20), Agent of the Treasury (1820–30), and 1830–1934. 

2003 Reorganization

Congress transferred several agencies that had previously been under the aegis of the Treasury department to other departments as a consequence of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Effective January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which had been a bureau of the Department since 1972, was extensively reorganized under the provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The law enforcement functions of ATF, including the regulation of legitimate traffic in firearms and explosives, were transferred to the Department of Justice as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The regulatory and tax collection functions of ATF related to legitimate traffic in alcohol and tobacco remained with the Treasury at its new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). 

Effective March 1, 2003, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service were transferred to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). On March 14, 2003, the United States Coast Guard also became a part of DHS. …” 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Treasury 

 

 

Background Articles and Videos

  

Treas. Sec Geithner Faces Poss. Criminal Charges

 
 

  

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United States Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

Department of Veteran Affairs – $55.9 billion + $1.4 billion from the Recovery Act

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

http://www.va.gov/

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/vet.pdf 

 

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs: History

http://www4.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp

 

 

Department of Veteran Affairs – $55.9 billion + $1.4 billion from the Recovery Act

Over the next 5 years, Obama plans on increasing funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs by $25 billion. Unfortunately the budget does not focus on the exact details of where this $25 billion will go. The budget focuses on increasing high-quality health care for veterans, the developments of Centers for Excellence and increased access to mental and cognitive health care. It also provides for a pilot program with non profit organization to help veterans avoid homelessness.

 

Department of Veterans Affaits

 

Major Department of Veterans Budget Expenditures

Increased Funding and Benefit Expansion 

  • General expansion of services and budget increases – $25billion increase over 5 years
  • Restoration on health care eligibility for modest income veterans – no amount provided
  • Enhanced outreach and services related to mental health and cognitive injuries for veterans – no amount provided
  • Supports quick implementation of comprehensive education benefits – no amount provided
  • Supports effective implementation of post-9/11 GI Bill – no amount provided

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/ 

“…Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering benefit programs for veterans, their families, and their survivors. These benefits include pension, education, disability compensation, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivor support, medical care, and burial benefits. Veterans Affairs became a cabinet-level department in 1989. 

Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly three of every four served during a war or an official period of hostility. About a quarter of the nation’s population — approximately 70 million people — are potentially eligible for V.A. benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans. 

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs oversees a budget of approximately $90 billion and a staff of approximately 235,000 employees. …” 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch 

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

“…The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors.

The benefits provided include disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, medical benefits and burial benefits.[1] It is administered by the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

History

The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. This benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony.

The Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War by providing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. Direct medical and hospital care given to veterans in the early days of the Republic was provided by the individual States and communities. In 1811, the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans was authorized by the Federal Government. In the 19th century, the Nation’s veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for veterans, but also their widows and dependents.

After the Civil War, many State veterans homes were established. Since domiciliary care was available at all State veterans homes, incidental medical and hospital treatment was provided for all injuries and diseases, whether or not of service origin. Indigent and disabled veterans of the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, and Mexican Border period as well as discharged regular members f the Armed Forces were cared for at these homes.

Congress established a new system of veterans benefits when the United States entered World War I in 1917. Included were programs for disability compensation, insurance for servicepersons and veterans, and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled. By the 1920s, the various benefits were administered by three different Federal agencies: the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to “consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans.” The three component agencies became bureaus within the Veterans Administration. Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, who directed the Veterans Bureau for seven years, was named as the first Administrator of Veterans Affairs, a job he held until 1945.

The VA health care system has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930, to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 domiciliaries. VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care. The responsibilities and benefits programs of the Veterans Administration grew enormously during the following six decades. World War II resulted in not only a vast increase in the veteran population, but also in large number of new benefits enacted by the Congress for veterans of the war. The World War II GI Bill, signed into law on June 22, 1944, is said to have had more impact on the American way of life than any law since the Homestead Act more than a century ago. Further educational assistance acts were passed for the benefit of veterans of the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, Persian Gulf War, and the All-Volunteer Force.

In 1973, the Veterans Administration assumed another major responsibility when the National Cemetery System (except for Arlington National Cemetery) was transferred to the Veterans Administration from the Department of the Army. The Agency was charged with the operation of the National Cemetery System, including the marking of graves of all persons in national and State cemeteries (and the graves of veterans in private cemeteries, upon request) as well and administering the State Cemetery Grants Program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established as a Cabinet-level position on March 15, 1989. President Bush hailed the creation of the new Department saying, “There is only one place for the veterans of America, in the Cabinet Room, at the table with the President of the United States of America.”

Function

The primary function of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to help veterans by providing certain benefits and services.

Veterans Benefits & Services include: Health Benefits, Services Appeals, Burial and Memorial Benefits, Compensation for injury and Pension Benefits, Education Benefits, Home Loan Guaranty Services[2], Insurance Benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment Services and Veterans Small Business Loans.

The medical aspect of the VA is a health-care system,[3] the American government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense.[4] With a total 2009 budget of about $87.6 billion, VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs lists several benefits for veterans including education, home loans, deferred compensation, pension, survivors’ benefits, burial, vocational rehabilitation, employment, and life insurance.

Organization

The Department of Veterans Affairs is headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The current Secretary of Veterans Affairs is Ret. General Eric Shinseki.

The Department has three main subdivisions, known as Administrations, each headed by an Undersecretary:

  • Veterans Health Administration – responsible for providing health care in all its forms, as well as for medical research, Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), and Regional Medical Centers.
  • Veterans Benefits Administration – responsible for initial veteran registration, eligibility determination, and five key lines of business (benefits and entitlements): Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Education (GI Bill), and Compensation & Pension
  • National Cemetery Administration – responsible for providing burial and memorial benefits, as well as for maintenance of VA cemeteries

Costs for care

As is common in any time of war, recently there has been an increased demand for nursing home beds, injury rehabilitation, and mental health care. VA categorizes veterans into eight priority groups and several additional subgroups, based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, and one’s income and assets (adjusted to local cost of living).

Veterans with a 50% or higher service-connected disability as determined by a VA regional office “rating board” (e.g., losing a limb in battle, PTSD, etc) are provided comprehensive care and medication at no charge. Veterans with lesser qualifying factors who exceed a pre-defined income threshold have to make co-payments for care for non-service-connected ailments and pay $8 per 30-day supply for each prescription medication.

VA dental and nursing home care are more restricted. Reservists and National Guard who served stateside in peacetime settings or have no service-related disabilities generally do not qualify for VA benefits.[5] VA in recent years has opened hundreds of new convenient outpatient clinics in towns across America, while steadily reducing inpatient bed levels at its hospitals.

VA’s budget has been pushed to the limit in recent years by the War on Terrorism.[6] In December 2004, it was widely reported that VA’s funding crisis had become so severe that it could no longer provide disability ratings to veterans in a timely fashion.[7] This is a problem because until veterans are fully transitioned from the active-duty TRICARE healthcare system to VA, they are on their own with regard to many healthcare costs.

The VA has worked to cut down screening times for these returning combat vets (they are now often evaluated by VA personnel well before their actual discharge), and they receive first priority for patient appointments. VA’s backlog of pending disability claims under review (a process known as “adjudication”) peaked at 421,000 in 2001, and bottomed out at 254,000 in 2003, but crept back up to 340,000 in 2005.[8]

No copayment is required for VA services for veterans with military-related conditions. VA-recognized service-connected disabilities include problems that started or were aggravated due to military service. Veteran service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans, as well as state-operated Veterans Affairs offices and County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO), have been known to assist veterans in the process of getting care from the VA.

In the United States Federal Budget for fiscal year 2009, President George W. Bush, requested $38.7 billion – or 86.5% of the total Veterans Affairs budget – for veteran medical care alone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Veterans_Affairs

 

Background Articles and Videos

 

 

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United States Department of Agriculture

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United States Department of Education

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United States Department of Health and Human Resources

United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of State

United States Department of Transportation

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United States Department of Interior

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

 

United States Department of Interior

http://www.doi.gov/

United States Department of Interior

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/int.pdf

The United States Department of Interior: History of Interior

http://www.doi.gov/whoweare/history.cfm

Department of the Interior – $12billion + $3 billion from the Recovery Act

The U.S. Department of the Interior budget supports programs that expand environmental education activities, strengthen Native American communities and promote renewable energy. Obama’s budget also includes provisions to close loopholes that give oil companies excessive royalty relief.

 

Department of the Interior

Major Programs Receiving Money From U.S. Department of Interior Budget

US Natural Resources

  • National Park Service will receive funds to protect and maintain natural resources – $25 million
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund – $420 million
  • Create a dedicated funds to fight wildfires – $75 million

Clean Energy

  • Research and testing for renewable energy – $50,000,000
  • Wetlands conservation – $10,000 budget increase

Strengthening Native American Communities

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“…Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nation’s principal conservation agency. Its mission is to protect America’s natural resources, offer recreation opportunities, conduct scientific research, conserve and protect fish and wildlife, and honor our trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and our responsibilities to island communities.

DOI manages 500 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, and manages hundreds of dams and reservoirs. Agencies within the DOI include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Minerals Management Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The DOI manages the national parks and is tasked with protecting endangered species.

The Secretary of the Interior oversees about 70,000 employees and 200,000 volunteers on a budget of approximately $16 billion. Every year it raises billions in revenue from energy, mineral, grazing, and timber leases, as well as recreational permits and land sales. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of Interior

“…The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, and to insular areas of the United States.

The Department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Interior, who is a member of the Cabinet of the President. The current Secretary is Ken Salazar of Colorado.

Despite its name, the Department of the Interior has a different role from that of the interior ministries of other nations, which are usually responsible for functions performed in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security primarily and the Department of Justice secondarily.

History

A department for domestic concern was first considered by the 1st United States Congress in 1789, but those duties were placed in the Department of State. The idea of a separate domestic department continued to percolate for a half-century and was supported by Presidents from James Madison to James Polk. The 1846-48 Mexican-American War gave the proposal new steam as the responsibilities of the federal government grew. Polk’s Secretary of the Treasury, Robert J. Walker, became a vocal champion of creating the new department.

In 1849, Walker stated in his annual report that several federal offices were placed in departments which they had little to do with. He noted that the General Land Office had little to do with the Treasury and also highlighted the Indian Affairs office, part of the Department of War, and the Patent Office, part of the Department of State. Walker argued that these and other bureaus should be brought together in a new Department of the Interior.

A bill authorizing its creation of the Department passed the House of Representatives on February 15, 1849, and spent just over two weeks in the Senate. The Department was established on March 3, 1849, the eve of President Zachary Taylor’s inauguration, when the Senate voted 31 to 25 to create the Department. Its passage was delayed by Democrats in Congress who were reluctant to create more patronage posts for the incoming Whig administration to fill. The first Secretary of the Interior was Thomas Ewing.

Many of the domestic concerns the Department originally dealt with were gradually transferred to other Departments. Other agencies became separate Departments, such as the Bureau of Agriculture, which later became the Department of Agriculture. However, land and natural resource management, Native American affairs, wildlife conservation, and territorial affairs remain the responsibilities of the Department of the Interior.

As of mid-2004, the Department managed 507 million acres (2,050,000 km²) of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States. It manages 476 dams and 348 reservoirs through the Bureau of Reclamation, 388 national parks, monuments, seashore sites, etc. through the National Park Service, and 544 national wildlife refuges through the Fish and Wildlife Service. Energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about 28% of the nation’s energy production.

Native Americans

Within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs handles some federal relations with Native Americans, while others are handled by the Office of Special Trustee. The current acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is George Skibine. The Department has been the subject of disputes over proper accounting for Indian Trusts set up to track the income and pay-out of monies that are generated by trust and restricted Native American lands. Currently there are several cases that seek accountings of such funds from the Departments of Interior and Treasury.

Operating units

The hierarchy of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management (DAS-LESEM)
      • Office of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management (OLESEM)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Federal Executive Boards
  • Interior Museum
  • Minerals Management Service
  • National Park Service
  • Office of Insular Affairs
  • Office of Surface Mining
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • United States Geological Survey

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Interior

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United States Department of Agriculture

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United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of State

United States Department of Transportation

United States Department of The Treasury

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

United States Office of Management and Budget

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United States Department of Commerce

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Taxes, Technology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

 

United States Department of Commerce

http://www.commerce.gov/

United States Department of Commerce

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/com.pdf

 

The United States Department of  Commerce–Milestones

http://www.commerce.gov/About_Us/Milestones/index.htm

 

Department of Commerce – $13.8billion+$7.9billion from Recovery Act

To help the Department of Commerce with its mission to create jobs, Obama’s proposes a budget increase for the Department of Commerce from $9.3 billion in 2009 to $13.8 billion in 2010. Money will be divided among several projects like an increase in funding for weather satellites and climate centers, Technology Innovation Program and Manufacturing Extension Partnership to fund regional economic development and entrepreneurship in distressed areas.

Department of Congress Obama Budget Allocation

Expenditure Highlights

Competitiveness and Innovation

Environmental Monitoring and Management

  • Weather forecasting and global climate monitoring – $1,300,000,000

2010 Census

  • Resources to conduct Census efficiently – $7,000,000,000

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce is the government agency tasked with improving living standards for all Americans by promoting economic development and technological innovation.

The department supports U.S. business and industry through a number of services, including gathering economic and demographic data, issuing patents and trademarks, improving understanding of the environment and oceanic life, and ensuring the effective use of scientific and technical resources. The agency also formulates telecommunications and technology policy, and promotes U.S. exports by assisting and enforcing international trade agreements.

The Secretary of Commerce oversees a $6.5 billion budget and approximately 38,000 employees.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of Commerce

“…The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed to the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, and its bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor.

The organization’s mission

The mission of the department is to “promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.” Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issuing patents and trademarks, and helping to set industrial standards.

Administration

The Department of Commerce is administerred by the United States Secretary of Commerce, the office of which is currently held by Gary Locke. Locke is the first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce, and the third Asian American in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the most of any administration in United States history. From 1903 to 1913, it was administered by the United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

Employees of the Department serve under the Competitive Service and Excepted Service. Most domestic positions are Competitive Service and most foreign positions are Excepted Service. In accordance with the Foreign Service Act of 1980, the Secretary is entitled to use the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad.

Operating units

  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
  • Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
    • Bureau of the Census
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • International Trade Administration (ITA)
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • National Weather Service (NWS)
    • Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps (NOAA Corps)
  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Transportation

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United States Department of Health and Human Resources

United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

United States Department of Labor

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United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Homes, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/hud.pdf

HUD History 

http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/about/hud_history 

Department of Housing and Urban Development – $47.5billion+$13.6billion from the Recovery Act

“…The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a lot of ground to cover with its $47.5billion budget. Key goals for the money include creating sustainable communities, combating mortgage fraud and predatory lending and fully funding the Community Development Block Grant program. The budget also provides initial funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Budget Highlight from the U.S. Department of Housing ad Urban Development

Safe and Affordable Housing

  • Through the Affordable Housing Trust fund, the Obama budget tackles development, rehabilitation and preservation of affordable housing for very low-income residents – $1 billion
  • Increase government funding for rental assistance – no monetary value given
  • Combat mortgage fraud – no monetary value given
  • Help communities to invest in and expand economic opportunities for low-income families – $4.5billion

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“…Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency responsible for national policies and programs that address America’s housing needs, that improve and develop the nation’s communities, and that enforce fair housing laws. The Department plays a major role in supporting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families through its mortgage insurance and rent subsidy programs.

Offices within HUD include the Federal Housing Administration, which provides mortgage and loan insurance; the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, which ensures all Americans equal access to the housing of their choice; and the Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps communities with economic development, job opportunities, and housing rehabilitation. HUD also administers public housing and homeless assistance.

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development oversees approximately 9,000 employees on a budget of approximately $40 billion. …”  

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch  

 United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

“…The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD, is a Cabinet department in the Executive branch of the United States federal government. Although its beginnings were in the House and Home Financing Agency, it was founded as a Cabinet department in 1965, as part of the “Great Society” program of President Lyndon Johnson, to develop and execute policy on housing and cities.

History

The department was established on September 9, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act[1] into law. It stipulated that the department was to be created no later than November 8, sixty days following the date of enactment. The actual implementation was postponed until January 13, 1966, following the completion of a special study group report on the federal role in solving urban problems.

HUD is administered by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Shaun Donovan, a former New York City housing commissioner and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the current Secretary, having been confirmed by the United States Senate unanimously on January 22, 2009.[2]

  • July 1947 – The Housing and Home Finance Agency established
  • July 1949 – The Housing Act of 1949 is enacted to help eradicate slums and promote redevelopment
  • September 1959 – The Housing Act of 1959 allows funds for elderly housing
  • September 1965 – HUD is created as a cabinet level agency by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act
  • April 1968 – The Fair Housing Act is made to ban discrimination in housing
  • August 1969 – The Brooke Amendment establishes that low income families only pay no more than 25 percent of their income for rent
  • August 1974 – Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 allows community development block grants and help for urban homesteading
  • October 1977 – The Housing and Community Act of 1977 sets up Urban Development Grants and continues elderly and handicapped assistance
  • July 1987 – The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act gives help to communities to deal with homelessness
  • February 1988 – The Housing and Community Development Act provides for the sale of public housing to resident management corporations
  • October 1992 – The HOPE VI program starts to revitalise public housing and how it works
  • October 1992 – The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 codifies within its language the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 that creates the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and mandates HUD to set goals for lower income and underserved housing areas for the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • March 1996 – The Housing Opportunity Program Extension Act give public housing authorities the tools to screen out and evict residents who might endanger other existing residents due to substance abuse and criminal behavior
  • October 1998 – Government laws are proposed which would allow local housing authorities to open up more public housing to the middle class
  • November 2007 – HUD initiates program providing seller concessions to buyers of HUD homes, allowing them to use down payment of $100

Operating units

HUD has experimented with Enterprise Zones granting economic incentives to economically depressed urban areas, but this function has largely been taken over by states.

The major program offices are:

  • Community Planning and Development: Many major affordable housing and homelessness programs are administered under Community Planning and Development. These include the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the HOME program, Shelter Plus Care, Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG), Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program (Mod Rehab SRO), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).
  • Housing: This office is responsible for the Federal Housing Administration; mission regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; regulation of Manufactured housing; administration of Multifamily housing programs, including Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) and Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811); and Healthcare facility loan insurance.
  • Public and Indian Housing: This office administers the public housing program HOPE VI, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly – yet more popularly – known as Section 8), and housing block grants for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiians and Alaskans.
  • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: This office enforces Federal laws against discrimination against minority households, families with children, and persons with disability.
  • Policy Development and Research (PD&R): This office is responsible for maintaining current information on housing needs, market conditions, and existing programs, as well as conducting research on priority housing and community development issues through the HUD USER Clearinghouse.
  • Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
  • Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
  • Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (developed in 1998)

Programs

The 203(k) program offers low-cost loans to allow low-income participants or nonprofit groups to buy and renovate a house. A scandal with the program arose in the 1990s in which at least 700 houses were sold for profit by real estate speculators taking the loans; at least 19 were arrested,[3] and the situation devastated the housing market in Brooklyn and Harlem and resulted in $70 million in HUD loans going into default.[4] Critics said that HUD’s lax oversight of their program allowed the fraud to occur.[5] In 1997, the HUD Inspector General had issued a report saying: “The program design encourages risky property deals, land sale and refinance schemes, overstated property appraisals, and phony or excessive fees.”[6]

One of the most successful HUD programs over the years has been the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program. Each year since 1992, HUD has included in its Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA), a specific allocation of dollars to allow sponsors and owners of HUD multifamily housing for the elderly the opportunity to hire a Service Coordinator. The Service Coordinator provides case management and coordinative services to elderly residents, particularly to those who are “frail” and “at-risk” allowing them to remain in their current residence. As a result, thousands of senior citizens throughout the United States have been given the opportunity to continue to live independently instead of in an institutional facility such as a nursing home. Professional organizations such as the American Association of Service Coordinators provide support to HUD Service Coordinator through education, training, networking and advocacy.

Due to HUD’s lending practices, it occasionally takes possession of a home when a lender it insures forecloses. Such properties are then generally sold off to the highest bidder through the HUD auction process. Buyers of HUD homes as their primary residences who make a full-price offer to HUD using FHA-insured mortgage financing receive seller concessions from HUD enabling them to use only $100 down payment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Housing_and_Urban_Development

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United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

United States Department of Labor

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United States Department Of Health And Human Resources

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

United States Department of Health And Human Resources

http://www.hhs.gov/

United States Department of Health And Human

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/hhs.pdf

 

Historical Highlights

The roots of the Department of Health and Human Services go back to the earliest days of the nation:

http://www.hhs.gov/about/hhshist.html

 

Department of Health and Human Services

 $76.8billion+$22.44billion from the Recovery Act

We all know that the US health care system is broken. Obama’s 2010 budget attempts to lay the groundwork for a full scale American health care reform.  Major points in his plan are:  aligning incentives towards quality health care, promoting efficiency and accountability, encouraging shared responsibility.  Obama also sets up a $630 billion 10year reserve fund to help finance the reform. Interesting provisions include several billion dollars to improve Alaskan Natives health care.

Department of Health Budget

Highlights from the Department of Health and Human Services Budget

More Effective Health Care

  • Increase health care providers in certain areas – $330 million
  • Increase resources to detect, prevents and treat HIV/AIDs domestically – no monetary value stated

Funding  for Research

  • Support and eventually double cancer research withing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – $6 billion
  • Increase funding for research into cause and treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders – $211 million

Support for Families and Youth


Additional Provisions

  • Improvement of Native American and Alaskan Natives healthcare – $4 billion
  • Improve access to and quality of health care in rural areas – $73 million

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“…Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Agencies of HHS conduct health and social science research, work to prevent disease outbreaks, assure food and drug safety, and provide health insurance.

In addition to administering Medicare and Medicaid, which together provide health insurance to one in four Americans, HHS also oversees the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services oversees a budget of approximately $700 billion and approximately 65,000 employees. The Department’s programs are administered by 11 operating divisions, including 8 agencies in the U.S. Public Health Service and 3 human services agencies. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch 

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

“…The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is “Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America”. Before its education functions were spun off in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

President Harding proposed a Department of Education and Welfare as early as 1923, and similar proposals were also recommended by subsequent presidents, but for various reasons was not implemented.[1] It was only enacted thirty years later as part of the Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 1953, transmitted to Congress by Dwight D. Eisenhower on March 12, 1953. This was the only department of the U.S. government to be created through presidential reorganization authority, in which the president was allowed to create or reorganize bureaucracies as long as neither house of Congress passed a legislative veto. This power to create new departments was removed after 1962, and in the early 1980s the Supreme Court declared legislative vetoes unconstitutional.

The department was renamed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 1979,[2] when its education functions were transferred to the newly created United States Department of Education under the Department of Education Organization Act.[3] HHS was left in charge of the Social Security Administration, agencies constituting the Public Health Service, and Family Support Administration.

In 1995, the Social Security Administration was removed from the Department of Health and Human Services, and established as an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States Government.

HHS is administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The United States Public Health Service (PHS) is the main division of the HHS and is led by the Assistant Secretary for Health. The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the uniformed service of the PHS, is led by the Surgeon General who is responsible for addressing matters concerning public health as authorized by the Secretary or by the Assistant Secretary of Health in addition to his primary mission of administering the Commissioned Corps. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigates criminal activity for HHS. The special agents who work for OIG have the same title series “1811”, training and authority as other federal criminal investigators, such as the FBI, ATF, DEA and Secret Service. However, OIG Special Agents have special skills in investigating white collar crime related to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. Organized crime has dominated the criminal activity relative to this type of fraud.

HHS-OIG investigates tens of millions of dollars in Medicare fraud each year. In addition, OIG will continue its coverage of all 50 States and the District of Columbia by its multi-agency task forces (PSOC Task Forces) that identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals who willfully avoid payment of their child support obligations under the Child Support Recovery Act.

In 2002, the department released Healthy People 2010, a national strategic initiative for improving the health of Americans. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Health_and_Human_Services

Background Articles and Videos

Cardinal George warns Obama against moving U.S. towards despotism

HHS Secretary Sebelius Takes Questions from BlogHer on Health Reform

Floor Statement: Sen. Cornyn Talks About Concerns With Kathleen Sebelius for HHS Secretary – Part 1

Floor Statement: Sen. Cornyn Talks About Concerns With Kathleen Sebelius for HHS Secretary – Part 2

Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius at CHC09 (Part 1)

 

Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius at CHC09 (Part 2)

 

Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius at CHC09 (Part 3)

 

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United States Department of Homeland Security

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United States Department of Interior

United States Department of Justice

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United States Department of Education

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

United States Department of Education 

http://www.ed.gov/ 

 

United States Department of Education 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/edu.pdf

 

“…Department of Education
The mission of the Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for competition in a global economy by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access to educational opportunity.

The Department administers federal financial aid for education, collects data on America’s schools to guide improvements in education quality, and works to complement the efforts of state and local governments, parents, and students.

The U.S. Secretary of Education oversees the Department’s 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

“…Department of Education – $46.7billion+$81.1billion from Recovery Act

Obama’s commitment to bettering the US educational system can be seen through the $81.1 billion he dedicates to education in the Recovery Act as well as the $46.7 billion in the 2010 federal budget. He wants to strengthen public schools, reward effective teaching and expand opportunities for higher education.

Department of Education Budget Breakdown 2010

Department of Education Budget Highlights

Innovative Solutions

  • Expand access to high quality early childhood education – no monetary value given
  • Funds education research – no monetary value given
  • Increase funding for charter schools – no monetary value given

College Access and Completion

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

United States Department of Education

“…The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. Created by the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88), it was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979 and began operating on May 16, 1980.

The Department of Education Organization Act divided the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education.

It is by far the smallest Cabinet-level department, with about 5,000 employees. The agency’s official acronym is ED (and not DOE, which refers to the United States Department of Energy.)

Department of Education is to create programs to generate funds for education and enforcement of privacy and civil rights laws.

On March 23, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 584, which designates the ED Headquarters building as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building.[2]

  • Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO)
  • Office of the General Counsel (OGC)
  • Office of Inspector General
  • Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs (OLCA)
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
    • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
      • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
      • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
  • Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Office of Management
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
    • Budget Service
  • Risk Management Service
Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Under Secretary (OUS)
  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)
  • Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE)
  • Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA)
  • President’s Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCU)
  • President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU)
Office of the Deputy Secretary (ODS)
  • Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
    • Office of Migrant Education
    • President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
  • Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA)
  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
    • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
    • Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
    • Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
  • Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS)
  • Office of Innovation and Improvement
Associated federal organizations
  • Advisory Councils and Committees
  • National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB)[3]
  • National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)[4]
  • Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE)
Federally aided organizations
  • Gallaudet University
  • Howard University
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Education

Background Articles and Videos

U.S.: Obama Announces Education Secretary

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United States Department Of Labor

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

 

 

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

 

United States Department of Labor

http://www.dol.gov/

 

United States Department of Labor

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/lab.pdf

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/

 

History of Department of Labor

http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/main.htm

 

“…Department of Labor

The Department of Labor oversees federal programs for ensuring a strong American workforce. These programs address job training, safe working conditions, minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.

The Department of Labor’s mission is to foster and promote the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.

Offices within the Department of Labor include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government’s principal statistics agency for labor economics, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which promotes the safety and health of America’s working men and women.

The Secretary of Labor oversees 15,000 employees on a budget of approximately $50 billion. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

 

Department of Labor – $13.3billion+$4.8billion from the Recovery Act

The 2010 budget for the Department of Labor focuses on modernization and reform on the Unemployment Insurance system, building green jobs and the improvement on American working conditions.

Department of Labor Budget

Highlights from the 2010 Department of Labor Budget

Improve Unemployment Insurance System

  • Reduce improper payments and employer tax evasion by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years through modernization of system – no monetary value given

Increase labor standards

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

United States Department of Labor

“…The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. Many U.S. states also have such departments. The department is headed by the United States Secretary of Labor. Hilda Solis is the current secretary of labor. Seth Harris is the current Deputy Secretary of Labor.

 

The Frances Perkins Building, the Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Labor (DOL) fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support. The department is housed in the Frances Perkins Building, which gained its name in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter renamed the facility in honor of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933–1945 and the first female cabinet secretary in U.S. history.[1]

The U.S. Congress first established a Bureau of Labor in 1888 under the Department of the Interior. Later, the Bureau of Labor became an independent Department of Labor but lacked executive rank. It became a bureau again within the Department of Commerce and Labor, which was established February 15, 1903. President William Howard Taft signed the March 4, 1913 bill establishing the Department of Labor as a Cabinet-level Department.

President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to consider the idea of reuniting Commerce and Labor.[citation needed] He argued that the two departments had similar goals and that they would have more efficient channels of communication in a single department. However, Congress never acted on it.

In the 1970s, following the Civil Rights Movement, the Labor Department under Secretary George P. Shultz was instrumental in promoting racial diversity in unions.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Labor

Background Articles and Videos

 

President Obama Personnel Alert: U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

 

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United States Department Of Transportation

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Regulations, Technology, Transportation, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

United States Department of Transportation

http://www.dot.gov/

United States Department of Transportation

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/dot.pdf

The United States Department of Transportation:
A Brief History

http://dotlibrary.dot.gov/Historian/history.htm

Department of Transportation – $72.5billion + $48.1billion from the Recovery Act

The Department of Transportation is to use their budget to improve safety and reduce congestion as well as provide a financially viable system for the government.  These improvements should also lead to new jobs for Americans. The money under the authority of the DOT increases from $17 billion to $70 billion. Overall, very few details are given as to why and exactly where the money is going

Department of Transportation

Major Expenditures

Modernize Traffic Control

  • Improve rural access to the aviation system as demand for subsidized commercial airspace increases – $55million
  • Improve the efficiency, safety and capacity of air traffic control through the Next Generation Air Transportation System – $800 million
  • Supports moving from ground-based radar surveillance to satellite surveillance – no amount provided

High-Speed Rail Networks

  • Creation of a high speed rail network as an environmentally friendly alternative to flying or driving – $5billion over 5 years

http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

“…Department of Transportation

The mission of the Department of Transportation (DOT) is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people.

Organizations within the DOT include the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Maritime Administration.

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation oversees approximately 55,000 employees and a budget of approximately $70 billion.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of Transportation

“…The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or just DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966 and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is administered by the United States Secretary of Transportation.

Its mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.”

History

Prior to the Department of Transportation, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation administered the functions now associated with the DOT. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency, suggested to President Lyndon Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, and that the FAA be folded into the DOT.

Divisions

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Office of Climate Change and Environment
  • Office of Inspector General
  • Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
  • Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
  • Surface Transportation Board (STB)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Transportation

Background Articles and Videos

Obama Announces Another Republican for his Cabinet, Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood

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United States Department of Agriculture

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Agriculture, Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Farming, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, Law, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Resources, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813

US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  

United States Department of Agriculture

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome

United States Department of Agriculture

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/agr.pdf

United States Department Of Agriculture

FY 2010

 BUDGET SUMMARY AND ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN

  http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY10budsum.pdf

Department of Agriculture – $26billion + $6.9billion from Recovery Act

The $26billion budgeted for the Department of Agriculture is aimed at helping family farmers and rural Americans. Some of the more notable plans are expanding broadband to rural areas,  development of renewable energy and to provide strong support for childhood nutrition.

deptagricobama1

Major Expenditures

Rural and Farm Economic Growth

  • Five Rural Development Programs –  $61,000,000
  • Increase rural broadband – $1,300,000,000
  • Increase national supply of home-grown renewable fuels – $250,000,000
  • Rural teaching incentives and lands grants for minority-serving institutions     – 70,000,000

US Natural Resources

  • Forest Protection – $50,000,000
  • Wildfire Protection – $1,382,000,000
  • Land conservation – $119,000,000

Food Safety and Nutrition Assistance

  • Child Nutrition Reauthorization – $1,000,000,000

 http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/federal-budget-broken-down/

US Department of Agriculture

“…Department of AgricultureThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) develops and executes policy on farming, agriculture, and food. Its aims include meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers, promoting agricultural trade and production, assuring food safety, protecting natural resources, fostering rural communities, and ending hunger in America and abroad.

The USDA employs more than 100,000 employees and has an annual budget of approximately $95 billion. It consists of 17 agencies, including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Food and Nutrition Service, and the Forest Service. The bulk of the department’s budget goes towards mandatory programs that provide services required by law, such as programs designed to provide nutrition assistance, promote agricultural exports, and conserve our environment. The USDA also plays an important role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries.

The United States Secretary of Agriculture administers the USDA. …”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch

United States Department of Agriculture

“…The United States Department of Agriculture (informally the Agriculture Department or USDA) is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.

The head of the department is the Secretary of Agriculture, who is a member of the Cabinet. The current Secretary is Tom Vilsack. …”

“…Origins

Early in its history, the economy of the United States was largely agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds, plants, and animals for importation to the United States. In 1836 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State. He soon began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839 Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for “the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes.”

Ellsworth’s interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the various new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, the preparation of statewide reports about crops in different regions, and the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth’s agricultural focus earned him the sobriquet of “The Father of the Department of Agriculture.”

In 1849 the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring.

Formation and subsequent history

On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a Commissioner without Cabinet status.[1] Lincoln called it the “people’s department.” In the 1880s, varied interest groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, and farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was killed in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. Finally, on February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level.

In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 then funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics and related subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state.

During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans. The Department of Agriculture was crucial to providing concerned persons with the assistance that they needed to make it through this difficult period, helping to ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisting with loans for small landowners, and contributing to the education of the rural youth.

Allegations have been made that throughout the agency’s history it discriminated against African-American farmers, denying them loans and access to other programs well into the 1990s.[2] The effect of this discrimination was the near total elimination of African-American farmers in the United States.[3] In 1999, the USDA settled a class action lawsuit (Pigford v. Glickman) alleging discrimination against African-American farmers.

Today, many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. It also regulates the amount of methane produced by cows. The USDA also concerns itself with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both a domestic and on the world market. It plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved non profit organizations. The Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 (b) and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, also known as Public Law 480 or Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Cabinet

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