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If you thought Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan was too big, Democrats say, “hold my beer”

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In recent months I’ve held my tongue regarding President Trump’s upcoming proposal for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. While it goes against my firm beliefs in reining in the federal government and reducing budgets rather than increasing them, it’s premature to oppose it wholeheartedly. After all, his promise to make private investments the bulk of the funding may not turn out to be another “Mexico is going to pay for it” moment.

The Democrats aren’t waiting before condemning the initiative. They decided to double it with no pretense of shifting burden away from taxpayers. Their plan calls for $200 billion per year for a decade fully funded by the public.

Few would argue the infrastructure doesn’t need improvement and interstate travel falls squarely in line with the federal mandate which is why I’ve held my opposition to Trump’s proposal until we see it. With that said, I don’t need to see a single detail of the Democrats’ proposal beyond the price tag. $2 trillion is so far west of crazyville it’s insane more conservative blogs aren’t up in arms. Between the Paris accords and the London attack, it’s probably just so far down the news food chain. Besides, they couldn’t pull it off, could they?

Actually, yes. If the economy turns south in the next year, it’s very likely this proposal could become one of the rallying cries the Democrats use to gain control of the House and Senate. Dubbed the “21st Century New Deal for Jobs,” they hope to invoke the huge government expansion of FDR to drive support. Like President Obama’s stimulus, they’ll use it to promote the concept of “shovel-ready jobs” to help put Americans back to work.

Here’s the problem. Americans are going back to work already. The economy is looking so much stronger now than it did just a couple of years ago that the Democrats would have to hope for a near-collapse in order to make their case an important one for the 2018 elections. Granted, the economy isn’t as strong as public numbers show, but more people are working today than they were last year and if the GOP’s agenda pans out as expected, we can expect the jobs numbers to stay strong.

There are still many pitfalls the GOP needs to overcome in order to maintain their majorities. Obamacare repeal and tax reform are right there at the top. Jobs are the perennial concern, so if the GOP delivers, the Democrats will have to try to spook voters instead of winning them over with their New Deal. The further we can push away from FDR’s legacy of expansive government, the better.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

Economy

Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

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Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

Mitch McConnell gets a much deserved bad reputation, but by all means, he is far from the worst Republican Senator. The worst is John McCain, easily. Number two arguably is split between Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski sports a 22% Liberty Score. The low rank is partially attributable to her lack of support for repealing Obamacare. Murkowski wasn’t even supportive of “Skinny Repeal.” So when Murkowski announced her opposition to the Obamacare individual mandate, I couldn’t help but read that with a certain sense of disgust. In her article published in a local newspaper, Murkowski begins by saying:

have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed. That is the fundamental reason why I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception and also why I cosponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate tax penalty starting as early as 2013. And that is why I support the repeal of that tax today.

If this is true where was she when Conservatives were trying to repeal? It is absolutely disgusting when Senators say they oppose something they voted to keep in place. She does address that in the next paragraph.

Over the course of this year, the Senate has considered bills that would have repealed Medicaid expansion, completely transformed the base Medicaid program, converted the individual exchanges into a block grant program, cut Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid reimbursement for a year, and other measures. All of those bills went far beyond the fundamental problems presented by the ACA and would have unnecessarily taken away access to care from those who need it most.

So basically, she opposes conservative healthcare reform. I’m not Trumpcare was a conservative solution, but we can certainly count her out voting yes on the free market solution. But in this paragraph she shows her pro-abortion colors in a support for Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer dollars to kill babies and fund democrats. Nevermind that Planned Parenthood is an easily replaceable part in actual women’s health. Murkowski then delves into both a defense and critique of Obamacare. She states that the ACA has helped so many Alaskans and Alaskans pay the highest premiums. She tops it off by saying:

Repealing the individual mandate simply restores to people the freedom to choose. Nothing else about the structure of the ACA would be changed. If you currently get tax credits to help pay for your insurance, you could still receive those credits if you choose to buy an exchange plan. If you are enrolled on Medicaid or received coverage under Medicaid expansion, you could still be enrolled if you choose to be. The only difference would be is if you choose to not buy health insurance, the government would not levy a tax on you.

Let’s for a second, recall that it was the Supreme Court that rewrote the ACA to make the individual mandate a tax. It was clearly a fine, even Obama said it wasn’t a tax. The fine was hardly the worst thing about Obamacare. In fact, the fine is the only possible way Obamacare could work, which is why it was written into law in the first place. Obamacare is a halfway step to a government healthcare system. Without the mandate, rising premiums will further incentivizing people to not buy health insurance causing more rising premiums. It’s a spiral.

Murkowski does delve deeper into healthcare reform touting a bipartisan bill supported by fellow RINO Lamar Alexander, Liberty Score 17%.

Protecting the gains we’ve made with provisions of the ACA while providing greater control to states and options for individuals is why I have been working for bipartisan solutions to the health care challenges we face. Instead of taxing people for not being able to afford coverage, we should be working to reduce costs and provide options. That is precisely what the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, which I have cosponsored, achieves.

While I support repealing the individual mandate, I strongly support enacting the bipartisan compromise Alexander/Murray legislation into law as fast as possible to stabilize our markets, provide more control to states and more choices to individuals.

Murkowski goes on full betrayal of her promise to her constituents. Instead of opposing Obamacare, she is actively sponsoring it’s “rescue” sponsoring the Murray/Alexander plan. Sometimes there’s beauty in compromise. This is not one of those times. Murkowski went back on what she promised to do. Even now, she states no opposition to Obamacare, merely it’s core mandate. To hear her oppose the penalty is seething with irony. So while Republicans may have her vote on their latest tax reform bill, any Obamacare repeal efforts will need her replacement in 2022.

Further Reading

Alexander-Murray Health Care Deal Shouldn’t Go Through

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452885/no-alexander-murrayIn other words, the Alexander-Murray deal is a solution to an overblown problem. The deal is being sold as a short-term fix, appropriating funds through 2019. But in all likelihood it would wind up being permanent, like most government spending, with Congress simply renewing it when its time runs out.

In exchange for appropriating the Obamacare funds, Republicans would get . . . nothing much. No Hyde Amendment–type protections are included on the CSR subsidies, for instance, meaning the funds could go to insurance plans that cover abortions.

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Economy

House passes tax cuts

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House passes tax cuts

By a 227 to 205 vote, the House passed the GOP’s tax cut package. That was the easy part. Now they have to try to pass a tax cut in the Senate.

If they can pull it off, it would be the first major piece of legislation Congress has been able to put on President Trump’s desk since he took office. After failures with Obamacare repeal, passing these tax cuts is an absolute must. It doesn’t matter whether it was rushed, sloppy, or directly contrary to many traditional Republican policies. They need a bill signed before heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

Watch Speaker of the House Paul Ryan make his plea before Congress:

Further Reading

BREAKING: Voting Results Are In From Tax Reform Bill Vote

http://www.dailywire.com/news/23678/breaking-voting-results-are-tax-reform-bill-vote-ryan-saavedraThe House of Representatives passed a massive tax reform bill on Thursday aimed at cutting taxes for businesses and individuals, which is a major step in the Trump administration’s effort to overhaul the tax system.

The bill, which passed with “227 votes in favor and 205 against,” had to survive opposition from several House Republicans as 13 of its members ultimately voted against the plan.

House Passes Tax Bill

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453803/house-passes-tax-billMinutes ago, the House passed its version of tax reform, which expands the standard deduction, shrinks the amount of individual tax brackets from seven to four, and cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The vote was 227–205, with 13 Republicans voting against the bill and no Democrats voting for it.

All but one of the Republicans who voted against the bill represent California, New York, or New Jersey, states with high income-tax rates whose residents could be affected by the elimination of the state-and-local-tax deduction. The onus now falls on the Senate to pass its version of tax reform, and on Republicans to negotiate the differences between the two bills.

House easily passes $1.4 trillion tax cut

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/16/house-easily-passes-14-trillion-tax-cut/No Democrats backed the bill.

“This is the most irresponsible bill I will have been confronted with in 37 years,” said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat who said the massive deficits — as much as $2 trillion, when interest costs and other extensions are included — are a betrayed of what Republicans have long argued for

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Economy

Ron Johnson opposes tax plan, says it favors corporations over other businesses

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Ron Johnson opposes tax plan says it favors corporations over other businesses

Senator Ron Johnson has a point. He’s the first Republican to officially declare his opposition to the Senate’s tax plan, citing evidence the plan greatly favors corporations while continuing with oppressive taxes on sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, S corporations, and partnerships whose owners pay taxes based on individual income tax rates for the owners rather than the corporate rates.

In an interview with WSJ, Senator Johnson was clear with his opposition to the plan:

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson Opposes GOP Senate Tax Package

https://www.wsj.com/articles/republican-sen-ron-johnson-opposes-gop-senate-tax-package-1510777290“If they can pass it without me, let them,” Mr. Johnson said in an interview Wednesday, adding that the plan unfairly benefits corporations more than other types of businesses. “I’m not going to vote for this tax package.”

In addition to his concern about the details of the Republican proposal, he also complained about a process that he said has been closed to his input and also misleads the public about the nature of the tax overhaul.

“I don’t like that process,” Mr. Johnson said. “I find it pretty offensive, personally.”

The Senator from Wisconsin is correct in his assessment. This makes one wonder why GOP leadership didn’t take this into account before they started promoting it as a pro-growth plan. The majority of businesses in America will not qualify as true corporations and therefore will not receive the big tax breaks promised by its champions. In fact, many businesses will end up paying more under this plan.

Could it be that the GOP simply hoped nobody would call them out on this little detail? Yes. Though the number of businesses that qualify is lower than the number that don’t, the corporations that do qualify employ more total Americans. This means that when viewed through a lens of overall economic growth, it’s still a beneficial plan for most Americans in that it will increase the number of jobs available and make room for increased wages. Nevertheless, the millions of Americans who will be hurt by this are not an insignificant minority.

Can it be fixed? Probably not. To do so would mean reworking a huge chunk of the overall bill in order to keep it from being so massive of an overall revenue cut that the government would run into shortfalls. Of course, they could always cut expenses rather than passing a massive budget, but that doesn’t seem to be on the GOP’s agenda anymore. Perhaps it never was.

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