Government Still Spending Like Drunken Sailors

My apologies to drunken sailors!

from IBD:

No, Tax Cuts Are Not Driving Deficits — It’s The Spending, Stupid

Are President Trump’s massive tax cuts what’s driving federal deficits upward. Everyone says so. But, it’s not true. It’s just a way for lawmakers to distract the public while they crank up the spending machine. Just like the Senate did this week.

Earlier this week, Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, gave a talk at the Economic Club of New York in which he said that tax cuts aren’t to blame for deficits.

“People are quick to blame deficits on tax cuts, but I don’t buy that,” he said. “The gap is principally spending too much.” read more

Bernie Sanders is a Wealth of Bad Ideas

from IBD:

Bernie Sanders Wants Jeff Bezos To Pay For The Welfare State — What Could Go Wrong?

Bernie Sanders, who never held a steady job until he started getting paid by taxpayers, thinks Amazon should pay its workers more. And if it doesn’t, he wants to tax Amazon for each “underpaid” employee, to finance government benefits. Even Bernie’s friends think he’s off the rails.

Sanders, never one for subtlety, calls his new bill the “Stop BEZOS Act.” It would impose a tax on each worker employed by any company that hires more than 500 people. The tax would cover 100% of the cost of whatever federal benefits those workers or their families might also be getting. read more

Let us Praise the Hawaiian Price Gougers

This is another lesson in Economics 101. And one that the government should meddle in. I discussed this very topic last year in a video podcast. You may view it here. It’s in segment 2 which begins at about minute 19:25. Or you read my article regarding the same here.

from IBD:

‘Price Gouging’ In Hawaii Should Be Thanked, Not Cursed

Hawaii has taken a hit from Hurricane Lane, with an estimated 40 inches of rain and flooding in several areas. It’s an old story: Already, claims of price gouging for everything from propane to airline tickets have emerged. Should Hawaiians curse the gougers? No, they should thank them.

That might seem strange, but it’s true.

First off, let’s concede there are no doubt businesses that are technically breaking Hawaii’s anti-emergency gouging laws, which forbid stores from raising prices on food, water, ice, gasoline, cooking fuel, batteries and generators, chemicals or building materials during a declared disaster or emergency. read more

Turns Out, Free Stuff is Really Expensive

from IBD:

Democratic Socialism: Who Knew That ‘Free’ Could Cost So Much?

Since the Democratic Party took a turn for the worse toward so-called democratic socialism, the party’s leading lights have laid the promises on pretty thick. Free Medicare for all! Guaranteed income! Guaranteed jobs! Subsidized housing! Free college! Universal pre-school! Wow, and all for free.

Well, not exactly. In a devastating piece that appeared on the left-of-center web site Vox (to its credit), Manhattan Institute fellow Brian Riedl went through the simple math of what free actually costs. It’s a lot.

It’s not just the free aspect, but the fact that the democratic socialists have made so many promises that must be paid for that will make it so tough to swallow for most voters. read more

Even the EPA Admits Ethanol is no Good

from IBD:

EPA Says Ethanol Damages The Environment — Isn’t It Time To Kill The Program?

Amid all the media hoo-ha over President Trump’s latest tweets, tariffs and the Russia investigation, you might have missed a significant report — the Environmental Protection Agency says ethanol made from corn and soybeans and added to our gasoline has become an environmental disaster. So why do we continue to make it?

The devastating report — based on, yes, actual “science” — shows that the forced addition of ethanol to the nation’s gasoline is making our air dirtier.

The irony, of course, is that ethanol’s entire rationale is that it would make our air cleaner. read more

Oh There was Collusion All Right

from IBD:

Did Obama, Brennan And Clinton Illegally Collude To Take Trump Down?

As the saying goes, a fish rots from the head down. Well, so do bad governments. Recent revelations about the behavior of President Obama and his CIA director John Brennan in pushing the bogus Russian collusion investigation suggest that’s been the case.

The release of the FISA application by the FBI to investigate alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign and recent comments made by top officials are eye opening.

Not only did President Obama know about the investigation, he seems to have pushed it from the very beginning. read more

When Liberal Ideology Crashes into Reality

from IBD:

Fight Against $15: Democrats Push To Repeal Minimum Wage Hike In Nation’s Capital

“Fight for $15” is the rallying cry for most Democrats these days. But soon after Washington, D.C., voters approved a hike in tipped wages to $15, Democrats on the city council moved to repeal it. That’s what happens when ideology crashes into reality.

On Tuesday, 7 of the 13 members of Washington’s city council sponsored a bill to jettison the wage hike for tipped workers that 56% of D.C. voters had approved by a ballot initiative less than a month before. read more

Drowning in Government Cheese

from IBD:

A Mountain Of Surplus Cheese, Brought To You By The Federal Government

According to the federal government, almost 1.4 billion pounds of surplus cheese now sit in refrigerated warehouses around the country. Yet dairy production is climbing. What gives?

The amount of surplus cheese is growing fast — up 6% in just the past year.

According to news accounts, the reason is that dairy production is climbing, while dairy consumption is falling. Data from the Department of Agriculture show that between 2008 and 2017, milk production in the U.S. climbed 13%.

Over those same years, however, consumption has sagged — with per capita milk consumption down 14%, USDA data show. read more

Housing May be Soon out of Reach for Many

from IBD:

Housing Crisis May Be Inevitable, Thanks To Government Meddling

With home prices soaring in most markets, this is the best time to be a homeowner since 2005. But there’s a downside: Thanks to continued government meddling, the housing market has rarely been more fragile. Is another housing crunch brewing?

We’ve talked before about the strength of the U.S. economy, particularly after tax cuts kicked in. And that’s still true. Unfortunately, 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis, there’s one exception: The housing market, which, despite superficial signs of health, remains dysfunctional. read more

New Internet Taxes Will be a Killer

from IBD:

Supreme Court Opens The Door To Internet Taxes — What Comes Next Could Be A Lot Worse

Whatever you think about the issue of taxing internet sales, the simple fact is that the Supreme Court has just guaranteed that people across the country will now be paying more in state taxes. It’s hard for us to see how this is good news.

In its 5-4 decision on South Dakota v. Wayfair, the court overturned two previous rulings that prevented states from taxing sales of out-of-state companies. That meant a catalog company based in Maine didn’t have to navigate 45 state sales-tax laws to figure out how much each customer owed, and then remit that money to the right states. read more