Monday, May 4, 2009

Specter: GOP priorities contributed to Kemp death

Specter: GOP priorities contributed to Kemp death

By Tom LoBianco (Contact) Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Democrat, said part of the reason he left the Republican Party last week was disillusionment with its healthcare priorities, and suggested that had the Republicans taken a more moderate track, Jack Kemp may have won his battle with cancer.

Mr. Specter, responding to a question from CBS's Bob Schieffer over whether he had let down Pennsylvanians who wanted a Republican to represent them, said he felt his priorities were more in line with those of the Democrats.

"Well, I was sorry to disappoint many people. Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn't want me as their candidate," Mr. Specter said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "But as a matter of principle, I'm becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats' approach. And one of the items that I'm working on, Bob, is funding for medical research."

Mr. Specter continued: "If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today.

Honestly, I think the guy may have lost his mind. Republicans killed Jack Kemp.

Between 1998 and 2003, the budget for the NIH doubled.


Congress nearly doubled NIH's budget -- to $27.1 billion between 1998 and 2003

Specter thinks Republicans didn't spend enough money. That is one good reason why he is no longer a republican. From the view from my window, Republicans spent money like drunken sailors. We could do for a few more big government republicans to leave the party or public service altogether.

The graph above shows the projected 2008 budget. When that budget actually came out, funding had actually been increased by $133 million...


The budget measure provides a $133 million, 0.5% increase for the NIH. The figure is adjusted for an earlier bipartisan agreement to transfer $295 million of the institutes' budget to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Biomedical research inflation, however, is expected to remain steady at 3.7% this year, according to the Dept. of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The act includes $65.6 billion in discretionary Dept. of Health and Human Services spending -- about $2.9 billion less than the version Bush vetoed on Nov. 13. Although the president said the appropriations package was more responsible than the earlier spending bills, he said he would have vetoed the measure without its $70 billion in funding for the war on terror.

Bush also chided Congress for including 9,800 special projects, or earmarks, in the legislation at a cost of nearly $10 billion. "These projects are not funded through a merit-based process and provide a vehicle for wasteful government spending," the president said.

Several interesting points here. One is that funding for research competes with other projects. If you have 10,000 earmarks costing 10 billion dollars, maybe that is one reason why you don't have the 10 billion dollars for other things, like research funding.

Another interesting point is that the NIH budget doesn't take into account funding for AIDs. Republicans and Bush put more money into AIDs than ever before. Maybe all that AIDs funding killed Jack Kemp. Maybe the Earmarks killed Jack Kemp. Maybe Arlin Specter's profligate spending crowded out private research that could have saved Mr Kemp. Does Specter have blood on his hands? No. But he is an idiot.

And what about that Aids funding?


The American government donates a substantial amount of money for the AIDS epidemic. In 2007 the United States accounted for more than 40 percent of disbursements by governments.7

In his State of the Union address in January 2003, President Bush announced the creation of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a commitment to significantly increase US spending on HIV/AIDS initiatives around the world.8 Planned to run for five years, PEPFAR intended to direct US$15 billion to places where it is most needed. PEPFAR was renewed in July 2008 with the intention of spending $48 billion from 2009 to 2013 on programmes to tackle HIV and AIDS as well as tuberculosis and malaria.

Looks like we are up to spending $10 billion a year on AIDs. That money has to come from somewhere.

For Specter to act like Bush and the Republicans didn't spend money is absurd. They spent way too much money. I still can't figure out why liberals didn't like Bush. Given his penchant for big government and spending you would think they would love him like one of their own.


Here is another article on funding for psoriasis. We fund some projects at the expense of others, that will always be the case as we set priorities and fight for a piece of the pie. What is interesting is that it charts growth of the NIH from 1995 to 2004. Spending went from "11.3 billion to 28 billion an increase of 148%". It must have been those fiscally conservative republicans cutting all of that spending again...

Specter is a moron.


update with a link of related interest:

The FAIR Foundation was formed because of the inequities in disease research spending by Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and because of America's organ-donor crisis. Examples of bio-medical research inequities are as follows:

The favoritism given AIDS over all other diseases, including the sixteen diseases that kill a million more Americans than AIDS annually, and,

The amounts spent on the “Health Effects of Climate Change,” "Global Warming Climate Change" and "Climate Change" are greater than the funding for each of these: brain cancer, cystic fibrosis, autism, Down Syndrome, SIDS, child leukemia, cerebral palsy, COPD, Huntington's Disease, Hodgkin’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, uterine cancer and over six thousand other illnesses.

This site will demonstrate the need to reform the public policies used to determine funding distributions by the National Institutes of Health and the need for new organ-donor policies.
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Libertarian Advocate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libertarian Advocate said...

Why don't the liberals like Bush? Iraq War (which most dems voted for); The USA PATRIOT ACT which, again, most dems voted for and are now only too happy to keep in place including Obama who voted for its re-authorization, to specify but two reasons.

Extraordinary Rendition comes to mind as well, another Bush favored program, quietly retained by Obama.

Shakes The Clown said...

LA, Welcome to the Cesspool!

Obama and Bush do have a lot in common. When I point that out to my friends who went Obama they cringe.

I don't understand a lot of the political dynamics. If Algore got elected he would have been very similiar to Bush, but Republicans would have fought him tooth and nail. But when Bush is a liberal and pro Big-Government as can be they give him a free pass.

John McCain would have been a disaster too. Although I think Obama may just end up one of the worst ever. I think he actually believes he can reorganize health care, the energy sector, and the big three and his litany of other promises.

The overreach is going to be staggering.