Braced for automatic budget cuts that he described as “dumb” and painful, the president said Friday, “I’m not a dictator” and “if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say ‘I need to go to catch a plane,’ I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?”
At least five states are considering getting rid of the death penalty, but the possible repeals have nothing to do with ethics. A study has shown that executions cost taxpayers three times as much as putting an inmate away for life, and budget shortfalls are making even capital punishment hawks doubt the sensibility of their position.
House Speaker John Boehner’s battle for budget cuts has not won him many points with the cost-conscious tea party, particularly in light of a Congressional Budget Office study that indicates the latest spending bill will not cut the deficit nearly as much as advertised.
On a desperate mission to save California from a $24 billion budget gap, a legislative committee voted to eliminate both the Secretary of Education office, a whopping $2.2 million endeavor, and the Office of Planning and Research ($50 million), while the Waste Management Board, stuffed with ex-lawmakers with six-figure salaries, would see its responsibilities enhanced.