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Politics

Cuts to WNY in federal budget, and Obama on tech and small business

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The president dined with three tech leaders on Thursday.

Jerry Zremski at the Buffalo News has a piece detailing what sort of losses western New York would sustain if Republican cost cutting measures are successful in Congress.  Included in the cuts:

  • high speed rail funding
  • University at Buffalo
  • Great Lakes restoration
  • Head Start

Democrats are protesting the cuts:

Western New York's Democratic lawmakers said, though, that the cuts the GOP is pushing would undermine economic growth not only now, but for years to come. Among the investments that would be repealed entirely would be Obama's signature high-speed rail initiative, which Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, has made a top priority. "This is a critical time in America's history, and if we are to compete with nations like China, to create jobs in the United States and win the global marketplace, we must support our own nation with smart, targeted cuts that will lower the deficit but invest in American jobs," said Slaughter, who sees high-speed rail as a big job producer for New York.

Big spenders
Casey Seiler at Capitol Confidential has a rundown of the state senators whose offices spent the most on personnel and operating expenses.  At the top of both lists: Democrats Pedro Espada, John Sampson, and Carl Kruger.

Obama on tech and small business
President Obama is met with top tech bigwigs yesterday, including Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.  Before the dinner, Michael Shear at the New York Times' Caucus blog reported that the administration was billing the meeting as a conversation about innovation and technology:

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters Thursday that Mr. Obama is hoping to discuss how the successes of the technology sector can be applied to other industries. “This is a part of our of our economy that has been a huge contributor to economic growth,” Mr. Carney said. “It is a remarkable demonstration of the American capacity of creativity and innovation and leadership. It is a model, really, for that kind of economic activity that we want to see in other cutting edge industries in the United States.”

Robb Mandelbaum at the New York Times' You're the Boss small business blog says cuts to the federal Small Business Administration in the Obama budget are trouble:

All told, the Obama administration seeks $985 million in new spending for the agency — or $818 million for small-business programs, after subtracting funds for administering disaster loans, an S.B.A. function that is only marginally related to the agency’s small-business mission (and one that fluctuates wildly in response to events). That is just over half of what it received for these programs in 2010, when the agency was engorged with supplemental stimulus money to spur lending and borrowing.

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