Janet Yellen sees Nothing Wrong with Massive Entitlement Spending

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

In 2015, about 65% of the entire federal budget of $3.8 trillion was spent on entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, and such. But this can’t possibly be the cause of the national debt and permanent deficit spending. No – of course not. It’s the Trump tax cuts that are killing us. The fact that they’re only months old is completely immaterial.

The socialist Nanny-State has been constructed over a period of about 80 years, where as tax cuts have been few and far between, happening only four times since JFK initiated the first. Yet are we expected to believe that it is not entitlements which are blowing up the budget, but tax cuts.

Now what idiot would believe such a thing? Unfortunately, considering the source of the claim, many will tend to believe such a ridiculous assertion.

And the source is none other than Janet Yellen, former Chief of the Federal Reserve. She also served as Chair of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers – so she’s got that going for her. read more

Podcast – Let’s Not Read the Bill – Let’s Just Pass it

by Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Ah – the Omnibus spending bill. I guess they have to call it that instead of using its proper name. The all-you-eat crap sandwich bill. Or maybe they could’ve gotten more creative and use the old Army slogan: “Be – all that you can be.” Something like: “Spend – all that you can spend.” Unless it’s for a border wall or increased security. Then – tough luck.

The government loves their acronyms. No body likes “omnibus.” Instead of omnibus, why didn’t they use something like:

Creative Revenue Appropriations Proposal, or its acronym: CRAP.

Fact is, Congress and the Senate are just criminals – thieves on the grandest scale. They steal our tax dollars, for all intent and purposes, at gun point, and give it away as they see fit, explaining that is not theft because they are using it for the good of society.

That’s like crooks stealing your car to use as a getaway vehicle for a bank robbery, but it’s all right, because once they’re in the clear, they promise to donate your car to charity… read more

Has the Tariff War Begun?

from Zero Hedge:

Here It Comes: China About To Launch “Tens Of Billions” More In Tariffs

This morning the market has been on edge over, and traders are obssessed with just one question: how will China retaliate to Trump’s trade war and tariffs… further. After all, the initial response of a modest 15-25% tariff on $3 billion in 128, mostly agricultural, products, seemed laughably small and appeared to be more of a warning shot than a real response to Trump’s $50BN in Section 301 tariffs.

One answer was revealed moments ago when as we reported that China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai did not rule out the possibility of scaling back purchases of Treasuries in response to Trump’s tariffs. read more

No Restraint in Massive Republican Spending Bill

from IBD:

The Worst Part Of The GOP’s Massive $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill Is What’s Not In It

Some Republicans are complaining that they don’t know what’s in the massive $1.3 trillion “omnibus” spending bill they will be voting on this week. But it’s what’s not in the bill that’s the most troubling.

Republicans used to love to tout around copies of ObamaCare, pointing out how its massive size — around 2,300 pages — was a sign of runaway government.

The spending bill Congress will approve this week is nearly as big, weighing in at 2,232 pages. And, like ObamaCare, no one who votes on it will have read the bill before casting their ballots.

Then there’s the amount of money we’re talking about. That $1.3 trillion is what will be spent in just the next six months. And it’s represents just a fraction of what the government will spend, since it doesn’t include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, ObamaCare or welfare. read more

Not Close to Full Employment – But It’s Progress

from IBD:

Full Employment? Even With 313,000 New Jobs, We’re Not There Yet

The February gain in jobs — 313,000 — was impressive on a number of levels. But it also confirms something we’ve been saying for some time: We aren’t anywhere near full employment.

 If you’re looking for good news in the latest jobs numbers, it’s hard to know where to start.

First, 313,000 was 50,000 more than expected, and is the biggest monthly gain in jobs in a year and a half.

In fact, since the recession ended in June 2009, there have only been six months in which job gains beat this number — which doesn’t say much for President Obama’s economic performance. read more

Innovation Born of Necessity

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

I am firmly against excessive tariffs. I’ve made that crystal clear on a number of occasions. Reasonable tariffs on imported goods are well… perfectly reasonable. At our founding, it was the source of federal government funding. Reasonable import tariffs (imposts) and duties covered the cost of operating the small federal government budget. It paid for the labor and clerical work of the importation and inspection process. As the feds were responsible for little else constitutionally, tariffs were an adequate funding system.

But these days, tariffs could not hope to cover the cost of operating the federal leviathan. They are now more a measure of protectionism worldwide. And I agree that on the world stage, America has allowed itself to be taken advantage of. Other nations expect America to charge minimal import tariffs and duties for the goods they export to us, but few reciprocate.

Nations like China do in fact take advantage of us. They expect us to treat them fairly, but often charge exorbitant tariffs on products we ship to them. And that’s assuming they accept our exports at all. In many cases, they simply do not. They don’t wish to compete with American imports on their own soil. For a long time, it has been rather one-sided.

And for just as long, the American government has put up with inequity, afraid to make waves. Enter President Trump. read more

Donald J “Smoot-Hawley” Trump – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

Here we are again – our government doing what they do best – picking winners and losers. President Trump has done a lot of good things for this nation thus far, but protectionist tariffs aren’t one of them.

The first protectionist tariff, the “Dallas” tariff, was enacted in 1816. It happened again in 1824, in 1828, the infamous “Tariff of Abominations,” in 1832 to fix the problem in 1828 (which it didn’t), and in 1842, the “Black” tariff.

All these were passed to benefit the Northern States at the expense of the South, and all were major contributing factors in the run-up to the Civil War. No, the Civil War was not just about slavery.

And then there was the infamous “Smoot-Hawley” tariff of 1930. It was named after its authors, Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Oregon Congressman Willis Hawley. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

By the time 1930 rolled around, practically every legislator had added protections to Smoot-Hawley for their states’ industries. The bill ended up with proposed tariffs on 20,000 individual imported goods. Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? It’s why bills are thousands of pages long – to attempt to hide such things.

This time, instead of agriculture, our government has chosen the American Aluminum and Steel industries to be the temporary winners. Yay! read more

How Long Can We Afford Runaway Healthcare Spending?

from the American Spectator:

More Than Half of Food Stamp Recipients Don’t Work

from BREITBART:

Report: 52 Percent of Non-Disabled Parents on Food Stamps Do Not Work

The debate surrounding food stamp recipients focuses on able-bodied adults without children, and a report released Thursday found that more than half of parents without disabilities who receive food stamps do not work.

The report, from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), found that 52 percent of able-bodied parents on food stamps were not working, even though they had no disabilities precluding them from seeking employment. read more

Administration to Cut More Regulations

from the Washington Free Beacon:

Feds to Repeal 298 Tax Regulations

Steve Mnuchin

Treasury seeking to eliminate outdated regs dating back to 1941

The Treasury Department plans to eliminate nearly 300 outdated tax regulations, getting tax rules off the books that in some cases have not applied since the 1940s.

The department announced its proposal to eliminate unnecessary tax regulations this week, in compliance with two executive orders signed by President Donald Trump last year to reduce regulatory burdens and simplify the tax code. read more