With the release of the FY 2013 budget, the administration has announced 15 cross-agency priority goals. Implementation of these presidential priority areas will require active collaboration between multiple departments and agencies because they address long-standing challenges for which no one agency has sole responsibility.
“I firmly believe one big marketplace will result in competition we don’t currently have, and it will also help with premium rates significantly over time,” said the board’s executive director, Mila Kofman, a Georgetown University professor and former Maine insurance superintendent.
For many Catholics, a great deal of hope rests on the new pontiff’s choice of the name Francis, the saint who disdained formal authority, devoted himself to a simple life, cared passionately about the marginalized and saw actions as counting far more than proclamations.
Georgetown University economist and former Labor Department Chief Economist Adriana Kugler criticized the proposal. ”How can people move up the ladder if you are moving people into a more precarious situation?” says Kugler. She points to Ryan’s proposed reduction in spending on Pell Grants, which are given to students whose families fall between 130 and 185 percent of the poverty line. “The Ryan proposal is to keep Pell Grants at the same level for the next 10 years, but tuition costs for colleges continue to go up, so this is being passed on to families,” says Kugler.
It is common in politics to assume that whatever has been happening will keep happening. But a series of events last week suggested that human beings — even those of a highly partisan and ideological sort — bridle at being confined in intellectual straitjackets.
Foolish, indiscriminate and badly timed cuts in the federal budget have begun. The primary reason is that Republicans have refused to budge any further on taxes. Still, Democrats must share some of the blame. By failing to propose more specific cuts to entitlement spending, they have forfeited the high ground and allowed a small but critical set of programs to absorb all of the pain.