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Know the difference between your necessary and discretionary expenses.
Alexa Von Tobel
If you or me go to the gas station to fill up our car and it costs us much more than we expected, it will zap our discretionary income. We won't have the extra money to buy that washing machine or new winter coat-all big ticket items that are important to economic growth.
Governing isn't as easy as you think. Many of you have taken pledges that are contradictory - to balance the budget and cut taxes, for example. You must be honest about the numbers, since our annual deficit now exceeds all discretionary spending combined.
In the budget, the president will call for a five-year freeze on discretionary spending other than for national security. This will reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade and bring this category of spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president.
The American people elected us here to cut spending so we can create an environment for jobs in America. The House has acted. We have demonstrated that we want to see spending, discretionary spending, brought down to levels of 2008. We've seen no counteraction. We have seen no position that has been expressed by the other side at all.
And so we go over the cliff fiscally, and our Republican friends try to pin the blame on discretionary domestic spending, including spending for security. We pass budget resolutions that fall far short.
We have concentrated wealth and capital to such a degree that the vast majority of us don't have the discretionary dollars to make our economy go and grow.
Defense is not like other discretionary spending.
Robert M. Gates
Family entertainment is really very necessary in our culture. Look how profitable they are. It's almost not discretionary. You need to take your family to the movies.
People have their constitutional right to contribute to a campaign and if they have discretionary money that they want to contribute to a candidate, whether a Republican or a Democrat, they should be able to do so.
Domestic discretionary spending on education and health care and the environment has been growing at 2 to 3 percent a year. He says we have to rein it in, but he ignores the spending category that is the big spike in the budget.
It is being alleged that the Federal Government is 'cutting' spending. In fact, we are not 'cutting' anything. Defense spending under this budget would rise by 4.3 percent over last year. Other discretionary spending would also rise.
Craig L. Thomas
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