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$21.5 trillion dollars in debt: The GOP budget plan #MAGA

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The Senate Budget Committee just paved the way for America to sink another $1.5 trillion into the hole. They did it for political reasons so they could pass tax reform through the budget reconciliation process, thereby avoiding a nasty filibuster from Democrats.

Democrats are against anything done by Republicans, even if they’d have done the exact same thing. See, the 2018 budget resolution doesn’t sink, it floats. That’s because fat floats to the top, and this budget is loaded with Grade-A 100 percent pork fat.

The lack of spending discipline, or even adherence to existing budget laws and spending caps is simply breathtaking.

Perspectives

Senate Budget Won’t Let GOP Pursue Full Obamacare Repeal – Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-29/senate-budget-allows-1-5-trillion-tax-cut-not-full-aca-repealSenate Republicans unveiled a fiscal 2018 budget resolution Friday that they intend to use to push through as much as $1.5 trillion of tax cuts in the coming months, but it won’t allow the GOP to pursue a full repeal of Obamacare.

The budget, authored by Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, forecasts a balance in nine years through $5 trillion in largely unspecified spending cuts. Unlike the House budget proposed in July, Enzi’s blueprint doesn’t call for cuts to Medicaid or a partial privatization of Medicare.

Updated: Senate Budget Would Ease Path for $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut

https://www.rollcall.com/news//2018-fiscal-budget-resolution-senate/?utm_source=news-alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newslettersThe 89-page draft resolution would allow the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion during the next decade in order to advance a tax overhaul bill, and sends instructions to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources and House Natural Resources Committees to reduce the deficit by $1 billion during the 10-year budget window, seen as a vehicle potentially to open up a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration. The House and Senate committees are supposed to turn in their recommendations to the Budget committees by Nov. 13.

Senate will rush budget vote to get to tax reform

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/senate-will-rush-budget-vote-to-get-to-tax-reform/article/2635781Senate Republicans are looking to quickly to pass a budget so they can move directly to tax reform, and hope to mark up a budget resolution next week and then pass the resolution the week after that, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Wednesday.

“I really hope we get this done this year before the end of the year, get this signed into law,” he said. “We’re going to have a budget mark-up next week, and so if a budget comes out of committee, that’ll be a big important milestone.”

 

With Tax Cuts on the Table, Once-Mighty Deficit Hawks Hardly Chirp | New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/us/politics/trump-tax-cuts-deficit-republicans-congress.html“It’s a great talking point when you have an administration that’s Democrat-led,” said Representative Mark Walker, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of about 150 conservative House members. “It’s a little different now that Republicans have both houses and the administration.”

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Final Thoughts

I believe that by the time tax reform hits the full Senate, it will be so watered down that very little will be accomplished other than monkeying with child credits, standard deductions, and the lowest tax bracket. The end result will sock the middle class in the gut, while leaving most of the exotic deductions and loopholes used by the rich, and exemptions for the poor, intact. Instead of reforming tax or making it less complex, it will actually make things more complex as families try to figure out their tax bill.

Meanwhile, every penny of that $1.5 trillion in extra spending will be used. Pigs at the trough are never satiated.

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Economy

The best thing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ever said

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The best thing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ever said

The freshman congressional sensation from New York, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has made some pretty awful remarks about the economy. She was so proud of answering, “You just pay for it,” when asked how to pay for the $32 trillion price tag on her proposed healthcare plan that she posted it on social media.

For someone with a degree in economics, her ideas seem to be fueled by something other than economic logic. That didn’t stop her from making a short but incredible statement about the economy.

“I don’t think most of Congress understands how economics works.”

I agree. I also think her presence in Congress isn’t going to raise the level of economic understanding any time soon. Welcome to Washington DC, Congresswoman!

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Economy

Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

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Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

Activist judge Brian Morris in Montana may have just put the final nail in the Keystone XL pipeline project. He suspended construction of the pipeline pending another environmental review. Apparently, he didn’t like the conclusions of the first one he ordered, so he’s asking for a second opinion.

Montana Judge Puts Brakes On Keystone XL

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Montana-Judge-Puts-Brakes-On-Keystone-XL.htmlThe court has asked the government to review its assessment and revise it, taking into account the changes in the oil markets since 2014, the latest in climate change, and the presence of “cultural resources” along the route of the pipeline that was planned to carry heavy oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. The 830,000 bpd pipeline will run from the Albertan oil sands through Montana and South Dakota, ending in Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline network that goes on to the Gulf Coast.

The court’s ruling comes a little more than a month after TransCanada said that construction of the pipeline could begin as soon as next year. The announcement followed an environmental impact review from the U.S. State Department, which concluded the pipeline’s impact on the environment would be “negligible to moderate.”

My Take

Even if the project can exhaust this activist judge’s attempts to stop it, there is growing tension on the Canadian side that is likely to table the deal indefinitely. For all intents and purposes, the Keystone XL pipeline is dead.

This is lunacy. We’re talking about the most modern and safe method of transporting heavy oil from the place it can’t be used to the place it can be used. Instead, we will remain reliant on Middle Eastern oil that comes without the unnecessary baggage snowflakes like Judge Morris impose on North America.

But that’s the mood of the day for the judiciary that continues to side with former President Obama to oppose current President Trump. Their power to maintain demonstrably dangerous policies and subvert progress is one of the main reasons we need judicial reform. These maverick judges can harm the nation at will and in cases such as this, they do.

Canada will be hesitant to cooperate on big projects like Pipeline XL because of our judiciary, and who can blame them? One man swimming in power can harm two nations with the stroke of his gavel. Sadly, he’ll sleep well believing he just saved an oil or two.

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Economy

As China opens up, Trump’s tariffs kick in

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As China opens up Trumps tariffs kick in

China’s imports and exports grew faster than anticipated in October despite harsh tariffs imposed by President Trump. It’s still too early to say the tariffs have not done much to harm China’s economy, but these early indicators do not bode well for the President’s plan.

For full disclosure, I’m against the tariffs. President Trump’s adoration for tariffs has shifted a majority in the GOP to favor “fair trade” over “free trade.” But in the modern world economic structure, the effects of tariffs do more damage to consumers and manufacturers reliant on imports. If this truly is just hardball negotiating tactics by the President that result in a swift agreement with China and others facing his tariffs, I’ll stand corrected. But if they continue for an extended period of time, they are a mistake that will harm American consumers and businesses much more than they help.

The original purpose for tariffs in previous eras was twofold. It was a source of revenue for the federal government, so significant that the founders felt it would be the primary source of revenue before income taxes were imposed. They were also intended to help domestic manufacturers and resource producers to be more competitive against a growing international economy.

China has been attempting to change their image as a closed economy for over a decade. They’ve been sending messages around the world that it’s safe and prudent to not only import from China but to open up export markets to China as well. They are modernizing their economy, but in doing so have made some critical mistakes that keep foreign investors skittish, most notably currency manipulation.

Will China start feeling the heat from the tariffs soon? If they do, it’s likely we’ll see a deal as they cannot afford instability in their huge but fragile economy. If they can suffer through the heat and refuse to make a deal, it’s a sign the tariffs aren’t working.

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