Gates: Defense needs $540 billion

USAF graphic By Jim Garamone: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON —Congress must provide $540 billion to the Defense Department for fiscal 2011 or the department will be in danger of not being able to perform its mission, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said. Gates also said he will look at “all legal options” to shut […]

Opinions mixed on new student loan law

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By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer A new law was signed Tuesday gives students a break with more money for Pell grants and only having to deal with one lender when it comes to student loans. President Barack Obama signed the new law this week. The law, tacked on to the health care bill, eliminates […]

DoD pulls plug on records system

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist After spending $1 billion and 12 years of effort, Defense officials have pulled the plug on a hapless plan to bring the four military branches under a single, modern payroll and personnel records system. “This program has been a disaster,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told the […]

White House seeks $125 billion for vets

WASHINGTON — To expand health care to a record-number of veterans, reduce the number of homeless veterans and process a dramatically increased number of new disability compensation claims, White House officials here announced Feb. 1 a proposed $125 billion budget next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Our budget proposal provides the resources necessary […]

Bank fees will trickle down to consumers

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama is said to be considering a special tax (or fee or levy, as some might prefer to disguise it) on financial institutions, though the calculated leaks from the White House suggest the details are still up for grabs. Before he gets much farther it would be a good idea […]

Military update: Money lacking for disabled retirees

By Tom Philpott Active duty and reserve component members are closer to landing a 3.4 percent basic pay raise next January, which would be the 11th consecutive annual increase set higher than private sector wage growth. But in approving a $550.4 billion fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill and $130 billion for wartime operations last week, […]

Big government on president’s true agenda

Freedom New Mexico It is almost difficult to parody the incoherence of the Obama stimulus plan and administration statements about the state of the economy in the past couple of days: Although only 6 percent of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in January has been spent, it has done the trick nicely, and the […]

Government bullied banks into TARP funds

Freedom New Mexico A few smaller banks have begun to repay money loaned to them under the Troubled Assets Relief Program begun with $700 billion in October when the depth of the financial crisis became apparent, and the government decided some troubled financial institutions were “too big to fail.” But interestingly, repayment is not just […]

Editorial: Government bullied banks into TARP funds

A few smaller banks have begun to repay money loaned to them under the Troubled Assets Relief Program begun with $700 billion in October when the depth of the financial crisis became apparent, and the government decided some troubled financial institutions were “too big to fail.” But interestingly, repayment is not just a matter of […]

Tobacco taxes take massive hike

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer Federal taxes get a whopping increase on cigarettes today to help fund a $32.8 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.The bill was signed into law in February by President Barack Obama. And while it expands health insurance to more uninsured children,

Legislators talk with business leaders

By Bob Quick: The Santa Fe New Mexican With a budget deficit of more than half a billion dollars looming over the state, there’s a need to “keep an eye on what’s happening” in Santa Fe during this legislative session, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish told a Tuesday morning gathering of business leaders from around New […]

Jan. 18 Letters to the Editor

U.S. shouldn’t support bloodshed Are we blind? Whose professional military, armed, supported and funded ($3 billion a year in U.S. taxpayer money) by U.S. power, is murdering defenseless people in Gaza?

Budget prey to wasteful spending

By Paul Gessing: Guest columnist New Mexico faces a $454 million budget shortfall. For just the third time in 20 years, revenue is expected to decline during the current budget year. Certainly, the ongoing financial crisis and subsequent rapid drop in oil and gas prices are at the heart of the issue, but the good […]

Bush authorizes Cannon funding

Cannon Connections staff President Bush signed into law Tuesday a military spending bill that authorizes $726 million in construction projects and new aircraft for Cannon Air Force Base, according to a press release from Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. The measure would permit $630 billion in spending for national defense programs in 2009, including $70 billion for […]

Editorial: Risk-takers should suffer consequences

The city of Galveston, Texas, has asked Congress for $2.2 billion to repair hurricane damage to the island city’s port, rebuild infrastructure and housing, restore beaches and give grants to small businesses. It has become traditional, of course, for Congress to appear generous in such instances by appropriating large sums of other peoples’ money in […]

Editorial: Bush plays losing hand with Russia

President Bush has proposed sending $1 billion in economic and humanitarian aid to Georgia to help that small country on Russia’s border rebuild after its disastrous war with Russia last month. Bush’s gesture indicates a certain amount of bravado and a commendable fellow feeling for a country his administration has encouraged. But it doesn’t suggest […]

Cannon doing its part to conserve fuel

By Kevin Wilson: Cannon Connections Most drivers remember the first time filling up their vehicle cost $50. Drivers of larger vehicles wince when the price at the pump breaks $100. Now imagine filling your tank takes $12.7 billion. That’s what Defense Energy Support Center statistics say the U.S. military spent on fuel costs in 2007, […]

BNSF Railway earnings

By Sarah Meyer, Freedom New Mexico BNSF Railway is doing well even as the national economy is stumbling. The company reported record earnings per share, revenues and operating income for the fourth quarter of 2007, and record annual revenues for five consecutive years despite a soft economy, Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman, president and corporate […]

Some uncertain economic stimulus package would help

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico It’s still up in the air whether the United States is heading for a recession. Likewise, it’s in the air if rumored stimulus packages would do anything to slow or stop one. President Bush on Friday pushed for an economic stimulus package, consisting of as much as $150 billion […]

Petty maneuvering delaying budget for fiscal year

If your family or business operated this way it would soon be shunned by creditors and suppliers. But the U.S. government operated without a budget for this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, until now, thanks to petty and sometimes incompetent maneuvering. But this institution that can’t keep its own house in order has no […]