Updated: 1/5/09; 7:39:05 PM

 Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Postwar Deaths of U.S. Troops in Iraq Exceed Combat Toll

A total of 141 American soldiers died from May 1 to today, compared with 137 from March 19 to April 30, according to a spokesman at Central Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Of the total since May 1, 63 Americans were killed in action and 78 died in nonhostile incidents, the spokesman, Lieut. Ryan Fitzgerald, said.

The total number of American deaths since March 19 are 175 killed in action and 103 from nonhostile action, Lieutenant Fitzgerald added. Later, Central Command said a Fourth Infantry Division soldier died in a traffic accident on Monday, bringing the tally of nonhostile deaths to 104.
- Posted by Gary Secondino - 5:39:04 PM - trackback []

US Sinks in Sea of Red Ink

Congressional Deficit Estimate May Exceed a Half-Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office has already alerted lawmakers that it will try two different approaches in estimating those costs, which are currently running at about $4.9 billion a month, just under $60 billion a year.

The first method will assume no special war costs at all, because existing laws make no allowance for spending in Iraq beyond this fiscal year. Nobody suggests that this approach is realistic, but it complies with the Congressional Budget Office's legal requirement to base estimates only on existing laws.

The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update-August 2003

Estimate for '04 Deficit Is Increased to $480 Billion

The federal government is in store for at least eight more years of budget deficits, including a record $480 billion shortfall in 2004, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office also warned that the numbers will become more dire if the White House gets its way on tax cuts and Congress fails to rein in spending.

They said the budget outlook ``has worsened substantially'' since its last review in March, when it put next year's deficit at $200 billion. Much of that is the result of subsequent acts of Congress to cut taxes and increase spending for defense and the war in Iraq, it said.

The CBO, a nonpartisan group, said the budget will edge back into the black in 2012 and 2013, but will record an accumulated deficit of almost $1.4 trillion in the 2004-2013 period. In March, it predicted a surplus of $891 billion in that period.

Democrats seized on the report as proof that the Bush administration policy of cutting taxes while demanding more for defense and homeland security was threatening the nation's economic viability.

"I think this is a moral problem more than an economic problem,'' said Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

He said the administration was draining the government's ability to pay for Social Security and Medicare at a time when 77 million baby boomers are approaching retirement, while saddling future generations with repayment of a national debt that could double to $7 trillion by 2013.
- Posted by Gary Secondino - 12:42:16 PM - trackback []

Report finds EPA lacked data to support its claims for relaxing air pollution rules

Congressional investigators say the Environmental Protection Agency relied on anecdotes from industries it regulates, not comprehensive data, when it claimed that relaxing air pollution rules for industrial plants would cut emissions and reduce health risks.

Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., the No. 2 senator on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the report was another indication that the Bush administration's weakening of the Clean Air Act was unwarranted.

"This report should be the final nail in the coffin of environmental credibility for this administration," he said.
- Posted by Gary Secondino - 12:23:55 PM - trackback []