Already Broke Cities and States Pour Money into Illegal Immigrant Defense Funds

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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The Electoral College drama has ended and Donald Trump is the next president of the United States. Turns out it was much ado about nothing, as there were few surprises. Now it’s on to the implementation of his agenda, and whether his actions will match his campaign and post-election rhetoric.

Front and center of his agenda items will, or should be what brought him to the dance in the first place. I’m speaking of course of illegal immigration. He must build the wall, which he says construction will commence in March, 2017. The other issue will be to begin deportation of illegals.

Although he will get pushback over construction of the wall, it won’t be nearly as virulent as the deportation issue. After all, we get can’t really put a face to the wall, which liberal groups will surely do regarding deportation. The Trump administration had better be prepared for a fight, as cities and states across the country are already preparing what they are calling, “Immigration Defense Funds.”

Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as the States of California and New York intend to flood these “funds” with tens of millions of dollars – money which none of them have. read more

So Why Are We Always Broke?

by: the Common Constitutionalist

A new report appears to show bad news on the financial front  as “the federal budget deficit this year will increase in relationship to the overall size of the economy for the first time since 2009 and continue to grow over the coming decade.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the deficit will grow by an additional $105 billion, totaling $544 billion for 2016.

In August the same CBO estimated the 2016 deficit to be around $414 billion. Still a lot but nowhere near the revised estimate. So what happened between then and now? Simple – a republican sanctioned shopping spree to the tune of an additional $2 trillion in December. Remember that? Oh sure, republicans say they are also instituting spending cuts, but there aren’t.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, whether we add $400 or $500 billion of deficit spending, the difference won’t make a hill of beans worth of difference. Not with a debt load of around $20 trillion and unfunded mandates approaching a quarter of a quadrillion dollars. That’s a two, a five and 13 zeros. What’s a few hundred billion?

It is potentially so bad that the CBO says, “The likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase” without appropriate action,” the CBO study said. “There would be a greater risk that investors would become unwilling to finance the government’s borrowing needs unless they were compensated with very high interest rates; if that happened, interest rates on federal debt would rise suddenly and sharply.” read more

Americans Have No Skin In The Game

by: the Common Constitutionalist

The Democrat debate was not a debate at all. It was a giveaway forum, where the candidates took the stage to spell out there plans to give free stuff to people who didn’t earn it. It was really no different than any other staged democrat function, whether it’s a debate or a State of the Union.

The candidates, mainly Hillary and Bernie laid out everything from free healthcare, to more social security benefits, to free childcare, free college, free/paid family leave and Hillary added free benefits for all illegals.

People should be outraged by democrats proposing that our tax dollars just be given away to anyone with their hand out. And frankly most don’t even have their hands out. Most people, I think, are not necessarily expecting to just be given a free college education. I don’t even think illegals are expecting the benefits that citizens receive – but if someone is going to offer, I’m sure they’ll take it.

Hillary says the rich will pay for all these free goodies. Of course anyone with a brain knows the rich don’t have that kind of money. But then, the ones with a brain will not be voting democrat.

To put this freebie nonsense into perspective, this year’s budget deficit is over $550 billion. In other words, we will spend $550 billion more than we take in. And that doesn’t account for any of the crap the candidates want to add on, which would more than likely push the deficit back above $1 trillion.

But Hillary claims the rich can cover it. read more

Left Coast Stupidity on Display

by: the Common Constitutionalist

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Here in New England we’re freezing our tushies off. It could be worse. We could be living in the Lakes region or Buffalo New York buried under several feet of snow, with more on the way. And winter is still over a month away.

I was speaking with a buddy of mine from Houston Texas a day or so ago. He told me was in the 30s. The 30s – in Houston – where they fry bacon on the sidewalks in May.

In fact the whole country is frozen over, save for maybe the southern tip of Florida.

However, none of this seems to have any affect on the liberal wackos in Berkeley California.

Kristin Bender of the AP writes: “Some of the country’s first gas pump warning labels about climate change are coming to Berkeley, a city with a long history of green and clean policies. The Berkeley City Council voted late Tuesday to draft a proposal by next spring that will put stickers on gas pumps citywide to warn customers that burning fuel contributes to global warming.” read more

Bush: Deficits Bad, Obama: Deficits Required

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

You can always count on genius economist Paul Krugman to tell the truth… as he sees it. He wrote an article last week, published in the “paper of record” (hah), The New York Times entitled “Moment of Truthiness“.

 

Wow Paul; how provocative yet whimsical. What’s life without a little whimsy?

 

The article was regarding the deficit and how voters “are often misinformed and politicians aren’t reliably truthful”. On that point he will get no argument from me. He said how “voters are poorly informed about the deficit”.

 

That may be Paul, but most voters don’t give two hoots about the federal deficit as they go off to their part-time jobs because either their hours have been cut to part-time status due to Obamacare or a part time gig is all they can find.

read more

No Gold at the End of This Moonbeam

Predictably, California has gone from bad (Governor  Schwarzenegger, the Governator) to worse (Gerry Brown, Governor Moonbeam). Who could have predicted this?

How long will it be before California comes to Washington, hat in hand, for a bailout?

Even the NY Times can’t sugar coat this one.

LOS ANGELES — The state budget shortfall in California has increased dramatically in the last six months, forcing state officials to assemble a series of new spending cuts that are likely to mean further reductions to schools, health care and other social programs already battered by nearly five years of budget retrenchment, state officials announced on Saturday.

Gov. Gerry Brown, disclosing the development in a video posted on YouTube, said that California’s shortfall was now projected to be $16 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January. Mr. Brown said that he would propose a revised budget on Monday to deal with it.

“We are now facing a $16 billion hole, not the $9 billion we thought in January,” Mr. Brown said. “This means we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year.”

Mr. Brown disclosed the news in a video that had all the trappings of a campaign announcement. In it, he aggressively accounted for the steps he said he had taken to try to scale back a $26 billion deficit he found upon taking office. And he urged viewers to back an initiative he is putting on the November ballot that would increase sales taxes by 0.25 percent and impose an income tax surcharge on wealthy Californians to try to stave off more cuts.

State officials said Mr. Brown’s proposal would include a package of immediate cuts, as well as others that would be triggered only if voters failed to approve his tax plan. The sales tax increase would expire after four years, while the income tax surcharge would last for seven years.

State officials said the shortfall was a result of disappointing revenue collections in April as California continued to struggle to pull out of the recession. “We are still recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s,” Mr. Brown said.

Still, the state controller reported that the state had exceeded spending by $2.1 billion as well, though Mr. Brown said court rulings and other actions that restricted California from making the cuts were at least partly to blame.

At the same time, the deficit projections — which have been increasing since Mr. Brown and the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved a budget last summer — suggest that the state may have been overly optimistic in estimating what kind of revenue it would take in. That has been a repeated problem in Sacramento as officials have struggled over the past five years with the state’s worst financial crisis since the Depression. Mr. Brown, in taking office last year, pledged to end what he said were the tricks lawmakers regularly used to paper over budget shortfalls.

Attgribution: NY Times

Is That Your 401k?

I recall speaking to some folks a few years ago about the possible confiscation of peoples retirement as the government runs out of money. I also recall, everyone I spoke with called me a crazy person. Well, here we are a few years later and looky, looky. They aren’t proposing full confiscation yet, but it’s a start.

Feds eye retirement-fund tax to cut $16 trillion-plus deficit

By GREGORY BRESIGER

Uncle Sam, in a desperate attempt to fix its $16 trillion-plus deficit, is leering over Americans’ retirement nest egg as its new bailout fund.

Capitol Hill politicians are assessing tax changes that could let the Internal Revenue Service lay claim to a portion of the $18 trillion sitting in 401(k) accounts and other tax breaks used by middle-class workers, including cutting the mortgage tax deduction.

A commission looking for ways to close the deficit, and, noting the extent of 401(k) tax breaks, recommends an examination of the system as one way to prevent government bankruptcy.

Besides 401(k)s, other possibilities include the mortgage-interest deduction on second homes, as well as benefits from employer-provided health insurance, which are untaxed now.

Under current 401(k) rules, total employee/employer contributions can’t exceed $50,000. In the proposed rule change, employer/employee contributions would be limited to 20 percent of the employee’s compensation, with a maximum of $20,000, the so-called 20/20 proposal.

Another proposal being discussed in Congress says all tax deductions on 401(k)s and IRAs to be replaced with an 18 percent credit. The credit, according to a proposal that has been endorsed by economist William Gale, would be placed directly in a person’s retirement account.

“Unlike the current system,” Gale told Congress, “workers’ and firms’ contributions to employer-based 401(k) accounts would no longer be excluded from income and would be subject to taxation, contributions to IRAs would no longer be tax-deductible and any contributions to a 401(k) plan would be treated as taxable income.”

In other words, the employee and employer would no longer get a deduction under the Gale plan, they would qualify for a credit. And the credit would “increase [government] revenues by about $458 billion,” Gale says.

Last week a group of retirement industry experts went to Capitol Hill to criticize these proposed changes in retirement-plan rules. “These changes could have unintended consequences,” warns Lynn Dudley of the American Benefits Council (ABC).

Testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee about the proposals, Randolf Hardock, of ABC’s board of directors, said, “[The idea] could seriously undermine the retirement savings system.”

Jack VanDerhei, research director of Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), believes either of the two proposed 401(k) changes under review would have a “catastrophic” effect on the current retirement saving system.

The 20/20 plan provisions curtailing non-taxable contributions would freeze out many higher-paid employees from signing up for a 401(k), which could lead some companies, according to critics, to question if plans would still be worth offering employees.

Reducing retirement-plan contributions for those at the higher end of the wage scale will inevitably have a bad effect on those in the middle and at the bottom, ABC’s Dudley says.