sternness or severity of manner or attitude.“he was noted for his austerity and his authoritarianism”
extreme plainness and simplicity of style or appearance.“the room was decorated with a restraint bordering on austerity”
conditions characterized by severity, sternness, or asceticism.plural noun: austerities“a simple life of prayer and personal austerity”
difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, especially by reducing public expenditure.“a period of austerity”
You’ve heard the word used a lot. Austerity can only work effectively in a poor economy if participated in by all its citizen. But as usual, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan wants austerity to ride on the backs of the middle class and the poor in a proposal he feels will balance the federal budget in 10 years without raising taxes any further. He proposes to do this by executing $4.6 trillion in additional government spending cuts. Same story as last year Mr. Ryan. No one liked it then, no one’s going to like it much now.
Ryan plans to unveil the House Republican budget today, and the details haven’t changed much from the last time he proposed the same cuts for the middle class with no mention of closing loopholes for the rich or reform of the Bush tax cuts which allows the rich to hold onto their dollars at a greater rate than the average citizen.
The House Republican Budget Plan,
- Calls for the U.S. government to spend a total of about $41 trillion through 2023, a 3.4 percent annual increase. That compares to the current spending trajectory of $46 trillion over 10 years, a 5 percent annual increase.
- Will grant approval to the northern portion of the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, which he contends will create 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 indirect jobs.
- Will seek to convert Medicare health care for the elderly into a voucher-like system under which seniors receive a subsidy to purchase private insurance or traditional Medicare –with no changes for those 55 or older,– so that the plan contributes savings to achieve balance in a 10-year window.
- Will again seek to turn control and funding for Medicaid health care for the poor and food stamps over to states.
- Proposes tax reform, with the goal of just two tax brackets: 10 percent and 25 percent.
“Because the U.S. economy will grow faster than spending, the budget will balance by 2023 and debt held by the public will drop to just over half the size of the economy,” said Ryan. Of course it’s a budget the Obama Administration will not be able to sign-off, continuing the stalemate.
Austerity my ass! ♦
A new study headed by Dr. Robert E. Bristow, director of gynecological oncology at the University of California, says that there are widespread, persistent flaws in the care of women with tovarian cancer, which kills 15,000 a year in the United States alone.
About 22,000 new cases of this disease are diagnosed annually, and most of them are being discovered too late for even aggressive treatment to do much good. Worldwide, there are about 200,000 new cases a year.
Oncologists around the country say the main reason for the poor care is that most women are treated by doctors and hospitals that literally lack expertise in the complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life.
“If we could just make sure that women get to the people who are trained to take care of them, the impact would be much greater than that of any new chemotherapy drug or biological agent,” said Dr. Bristow
The study found that about a third of patients received the best possible care, confirming a women’s best course of action would be to consult physicians in hospitals that offer treatment of the disease as their primary care. ♦
Alex Rodriguez is now embroiled in a family feud, as he faces a lawsuit from his cousin Yuri Sucart, who is reportedly seeking $5 million in damages relating to the Yankee superstar’s claim that Sucart provided him with performance-enhancing drugs. He has consulted with his Miami attorney about filing a lawsuit against Rodriguez.
All on the heels of a recent Major League Baseball and DEA investigation into whether A-Rod and cousin Yuri were involved in obtaining performance-enhancing drugs from a Coral Gables anti-aging clinic operated by Anthony Bosch, a name that’s come to be synonymous with the words ‘Big Sports figure accused of using performance enhancing drugs.”
Sports Illustrated reported in February 2009 that Rodriguez had tested positive for anabolic steroids during the 2003 season, when MLB and its Players Association conducted surprise testing to see if the drug had inundated the sport. When Rodriguez tested positive, he dragged Sucart into the controversy.
And the plot thickens… ♦
Up until now the White House has steered clear of mentioning China by name when discussing cyber crime. Not anymore! President Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, demanded Monday that the Chinese government stop the data theft from American computer networks and begin to play by the rules.
“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Donilon said in a wide-ranging address to the Asia Society in New York.
Lukewarm warming words from the big boys on the block, but I suppose one’s government has to be delicate in such matters.
The U.S. “demand” came two days after Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, rejected mounting evidence that his country’s military was involved in cyber attacks on American corporations and some government agencies.
At a daily news conference in Beijing, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, repeated her government’s position opposing internet cyber attacks and said she wanted nothing more than to have an open “constructive dialogue” with the United States and other countries about cybersecurity issues. Perhaps China can create some type of innovative software to help America protect against…Chinese…cyber atta…ok, scratch that. ♦