Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government
As the holiday season comes to a close, Republicans and Democrats are opening the new year by resuming debate over a measure to fund the government through the end of 2018. The two sides failed to reach a compromise before the end of the year on such thorny issues as protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and funding for a wall on the southern border. But in addition to these sticking points, the two sides also appear to disagree over exactly how much the government should grow. read more
In his surprise deal with the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling last week, President Trump went one step further: He proposed getting rid of the debt ceiling entirely. It’s not a bad idea, but only if you control future spending.
“The president encouraged congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Her comments came as the Senate voted 80 to 17 to approve the deal that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government running until Dec. 8, while spending $15.25 billion on emergency relief. read more
During the 2014 elections in my home state of Maryland, there were problems with some of the ballot machines, whereby many ballots cast for Republicans “coincidentally” were automatically rendered as Democrat ballots. With the omnibus deal forged at 2 a.m. last night in Congress, this is essentially what has happened on a national level.
People voted for a revolution – to drain the swamp – and out popped a Democrat budget. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find anything different about this budget from the one we would have gotten if Hillary had been elected. read more
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
You May Want To Be Sitting Down For This One – Maybe Have a Drink Or Two Or Three…
by: the Common Constitutionalist
What is the refrain of the left whenever anyone suggests tax cuts? Naturally it is, “How are you going to pay for them?”
And what about cutting government spending? Well, Democrats will cry, in unison, that there is no where to cut. By cutting spending, we will be ripping food out of the mouths of needy children, or some such nonsense.
Remember this statement – “There Is No Where to Cut“.
And we can’t forget the “Tried and True”, tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires will only hurt the middle class.
As a rather obvious aside: paying for tax cuts bugs the crap out of me. Why should we have to “pay” for a tax cut? It’s our money in the first place. But the government naturally treats our money as theirs first, and if there is anything left over, which they claim there never is, they will consider giving it back to us, the people.
The article begins: “There was some debate over whether House Republicans would offer any spending blueprint for fiscal year 2015, as some argue it would only hand Democrats ammunition ahead of the midterm elections. In light of the Ryan-Murray compromise spending caps that last for two years, why bother advancing a detailed budget?”
Yes, we wouldn’t want to hand the Democrats any ammunition. That would be terrible. But I guess “some” would be right, assuming the “some” are the establishment Republicans who cower at any mention of a spending cut, real or fake, and who can’t argue in favor of cuts because they don’t believe in them – unless of course they’re the fake kind.
Benson goes on to catalogue the Republican “Path to Prosperity”. According to Paul Ryan; his “Path to Prosperity” balances the budget in 10 years.
Okay, to the average citizen, that sounds good, but we are not average. We follow this stuff closely, so we know that’s a lie and if not an out right lie, Ryan knows it won’t happen. He must. The next Congress can and will simply rewrite it and if not that one, then the next and so on.
It’s like saying global warming will kill us all in 20 years. You don’t have to prove it. You can just say it. read more
Buried deep in a section of President Obama’s budget, released this week, is an eye-opening fact: This year, 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals, an all-time high.
In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP. read more
In a recent interview at Yahoo! News, Amity Shlaes discussed her new book entitled “Coolidge”. The interview began with Yahoo news announcer Lauren Lyster, explaining that one of the big issues of Obama’s second term was tax reform and what could be learned from Calvin Coolidge.
Shlaes explained that: “The cutters; Reagan, Kennedy and going back to Coolidge all ended up with more money on the books due to extra business activity.”
These are irrefutable facts. Most every conservative and I have used the same argument for years. Cutting tax rates spur economic activity and growth, which leads to more jobs, more taxpayers and more revenue for the government. So let’s cut tax rates. It’s a proven winner. If you are a conservative, you know you’ve also use this argument.
Even Lindsey (woolsey) Graham, hardly a conservative, stated recently that flattening the tax code amongst other things could generate an additional $600 billion for the government coffers.
And there you have it. Graham has properly summed up the whole flawed tax cut argument in one sentence.
Well, I’m here to confess that I’ve been wrong. All these years of hammering tax rate reductions. I am man enough to admit it.
Now all you liberals reading this; don’t get too excited. To my conservative friends, buck up. I have not gone over to the dark side.
What I have had is an epiphany of sorts. It dawned on me that us freedom lovers have actually been arguing all these years for bigger government.
Think about just we’ve been advocating for; cutting taxes to get more tax revenue. Well, what will that additional revenue be used for? To grow government of course. So we are at least partially to blame for the growth of government.
In fact, we may be more to blame. Liberals and progressives are voted into office, raise taxes and ruin the economy. Then, what happens?
They are thrown out, conservatives are voted in, cut taxes, decrease regulations and voilà, increased revenue to the government. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
In my humble opinion, the only way to save this country is not through tax rate reductions; capital gains rate cuts and the like. We know what will occur with their proper implementation; additional food for the beast.
We need to begin to advocate for smaller government. Decreasing the size of government is the only way of reining in spending at this point.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for keeping as much money as I can, but I think we are beyond that point.
By shrinking government’s size, the rest may take care of itself. It’s been too often proven that we can’t starve it. Government will always find more money somewhere.
**Note** What have we always said, A Big Government Progressive is a Big Government Progressive. Sides of the aisle do not matter.
You can’t say we haven’t been warned. Despite the high debt price tag resulting from the government intervention and arbitrary price controls designed to “spur the economy” during the American Great Depression, modern politicians on both sides of the aisle are more than willing to repeat the same mistakes. Interestingly, just as Herbert Hoover is blamed by leftist historians (but I repeat myself) for leading us into the Depression with his so-called free-market policies, so is George W. Bush blamed for his “capitalistic” tendencies. This is nonsense of course, both Hoover and Bush implemented interventionist economic policies that were exactly the antithesis of free-market capitalism. And both were succeeded by men who took their economic strategies (i.e. political compromises) and opened them up to full-throttle. What Hoover and Bush began, FDR and Obama have respectively finished.
In his book, America’s Great Depression, Murray Rothbard sets the record on Hoover in proper perspective:
Hoover’s role as founder of a revolutionary program of government planning to combat depression has been unjustly neglected by historians. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in large part, merely elaborated the policies laid down by his predecessor. To scoff at Hoover’s tragic failure to cure the depression as a typical example of laissez-faire [meaning “allow to act,” or free-enterprise] is drastically to misread the historical record. The Hoover rout must be set down as a failure of government planning and not of the free market.
Let us put aside reality for a bit. What reality, you say? The reality that the pending disaster that is Sequestration, or automatic spending cuts, are spending cuts at all. That reality.
Read my lips! No spending will be cut! How can I say that with such certainty? Easy. It’s called Baseline Budgeting.
What is Baseline Budgeting you ask?
Baseline Budgeting is how our government calculates the budget every year. All departments get automatic increases; sometimes as much as 10%. If the budget doesn’t increase by as much as originally intended, it’s considered a spending cut (usually draconian). So when you hear that those in Washington are going to cut the budget, you best believe it’s a lie. It doesn’t matter what they say or how they spin it. If you spend more than last year you haven’t cut your budget, and as our government spends more every year, the budget has not and will not be cut. Don’t be fooled by the lies.
Here’s a quick baseline budget cut scenario. This guy has a job (I know… What’s that?) He works hard and gets noticed by his boss. The boss comes to him and says he deserves a raise and he’ll make it happen within a few weeks. He is told the raise is likely to be 5%. That night he rushes home to tell his wife (or husband in some states) the good news. She says that additional 5% will sure come in handy. A few weeks pass and sure enough, he gets that raise. The boss however, says he could only afford 3%. The guy is still thankful that he received a raise at all and a 3% increase is still pretty good. He goes home and shows his wife his paycheck. Unfortunately the wife had already calculated and spent the equivalent of the expected 5% increase. She takes one look at his check and with great disappointment exclaims, “What is this? Your boss cut your pay by 2%?” And that folks is a baseline government budget cut.
Continuing with the suspension of reality. President Obama was the one who wanted and proposed the sequestration spending cuts in the first place. He even threatened those in Congress, to veto anyone tried to fight against the sequestration spending cuts. Now he wants to, in effect, veto himself. All of a sudden, the sky is going to fall if we have to cut $85 billion (and it’s actually $45 billion) from a $3.8 trillion budget. And remember, it’s just a decrease of the proposed increase.
To add insult to injury, Obama gets to choose what will be cut. Of course, no one is telling us this little factoid. He can choose to cut nonessential services and personnel, but he instead proclaims he will have to cut the most essential. If he didn’t want Headstart to be cut, he could choose something else, but the fact is, Obama wants to threaten to cut Headstart, air traffic controllers, first responders and any other high-profile public program that will further the damnation of the Republicans and hasten their extinction. After all, this kabuki dance is not about budget cuts. The end game of Obama and his minions is the total destruction of Republican opposition. As long as no one (or very few, e.g. Rand Paul) has the courage to stand up and proclaim that we are being lied to, he and the complicit media will just continue to push the envelope of deceit.
Regardless of party affiliation, government officials are always saying that they just can’t cut the budget. Politicians claim anyone that even suggests it must be the devil, a racist, Hitler and so on. Well I found a simple way to cut the budget tomorrow. Below is just a partial list of money the government throws away every year, due to waste, fraud and abuse (funny that they know it’s occurring, but it continues year after year):
Agriculture: $4.3 billion
Defense: $30 billion
Education: $4.7 billion
Health and Human Services: $55.1 billion
Homeland Security: $3 billion
Housing and Urban Development: $1.5 billion
Labor: $12.3 billion
Medicare: $44 billion
Treasury: $12.3 billion
Transportation: $1.5 billion
Veterans Affairs: $1.2 billion
Social Security Administration: $8 billion
In total, approximately 7% of all government spending is wasted. Just this partial list is more than $170 billion. I’ve seen reports as high as about $228 billion each year. Now let that sink in for a minute.
Okay, now tell me the bloated federal budget can’t truly be cut. I would opt for the Harding/Coolidge cut to the bone budget plan, but maybe a more reasonable approach is the Mac Penny Plan.