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Economy

Why the GOP refuses to cut spending while cutting taxes

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Cut Spending

Kevin D. Williamson over at National Review made an important point about spending cuts and tax cuts. To sum it up with five of his words, “They could have done both.”

The Republicans are attempting to put together an aggressive tax cut package. From cutting the corporate tax nearly in half to dropping the number of brackets down to three or four, this is an ambitious plan that will likely score points for them in the midterm elections if they’re able to pass it. That’s not a guarantee at this point, but unless they cross some of the red lines drawn by the House Freedom Caucus or conservatives in the Senate, they’ll get it done. They have to. Failure on this front will demonstrate their complete impotence with full control of the legislative and executive branches in DC.

As a fiscally conservative American, I’m both rooting for this to pass and cringing over the fact that it probably will. I’m rooting for it because a cut is a cut. We’re overtaxed and any relief would be appreciated. I’m cringing over the possibility of it passing for three reasons:

  1. It’s still a bad progressive tax. We need tax reform, not just progressive tax cuts. Whether it’s a fair tax, neutral tax, flat tax, or any of a dozen other aggressive tax reform proposals, there are ways to get the nation out of this horribly convoluted system.
  2. No significant spending cuts. If ever there was a glaring reason for limited-government-minded people to ditch the GOP, their unwillingness to dramatically cut spending dramatically. They just passed a budget that’s bigger than all but one of the budgets passed in President Obama’s terms. The GOP needs to come out and admit they’re no longer the fiscally conservative party they continue to claim to be.
  3. The cuts aren’t as aggressive as they’re being billed. We’ll know more once the actual bill comes to light, but much of the buzz surrounding these cuts indicate we’re not really seeing an across-the-board set of tax breaks. They won’t guarantee that some middle-class Americans won’t actually end up paying more. They haven’t gone into detail about which business tax breaks they’re eliminating in favor of a lower standard rate. We have an opportunity to cut taxes so deeply that no American or business ends up paying more, but to do this we’d need the significant spending cuts I mentioned above. Instead, this is seeming more and more like a cut on paper that’s designed to be a win rather than real reform and substantial cuts that are intended to save everyone money.

With these three things in mind, let’s answer the main question: Why does the GOP refuse to cut spending while cutting taxes? The answer is simple.

Spending cuts allegedly lose elections

There’s a myth in DC that has been playing on repeat for over a century. It’s a myth that is readily acknowledged when Democrats meet. When Republicans meet, they only mention it in hushed tones so as not to blow their cover. The myth is this: if you cut spending, you’ll lose the next election.

Government programs are popular. Cutting them is not. Government agencies and departments employee many Americans. Cutting the budgets of these agencies and departments so they’re forced to let go of employees is not a popular move. Giving people something for nothing is an easy way to win votes. Forcing people to do things in order to receive their entitlements is an easy way to lose votes. These are the “facts” of life in Washington DC.

Here’s the problem. We can still call it all a myth because it’s never really been put to the test. Ronald Reagan was the last president to attempt to cut government but, despite the love that conservatives often shower on him, was really only able to slow the growth. Calvin Coolidge was arguably the last president to make net cuts in government during his tenure. Otherwise, every Congress and every President since the turn of the 20th century has utilized more programs, growing agencies, and expanding departments to “fix” America and “help” Americans.

Tax cuts are popular. Spending cuts are not… at least that’s what nearly every politician seems to think.

If the myth holds up, we will have a perpetually growing federal government. It’s already much bigger than the Constitution allows. How can we continue to let it grow? The answer to that question is also simply: we can’t. Unfortunately, too many Americans are stuck in the two-party mentality. Some anti-Republicans (also called Democrats) are actually opposed to expanding government but can’t support the GOP for other reasons. Most anti-Democrats (also called Republicans) are clearly opposed to expanding government but are unable to see past the “lesser of two evils” argument that falsely assumes the Republicans will grow government more slowly than the Democrats. The last 9 months of complete Republican control should debunk that notion.

Where does that leave us? If both major parties are too afraid of losing elections to make real spending cuts and limit government, what’s the solution? It comes down to breaking the two-party system. This is why I co-founded the Federalist Party in the first place. If both major parties refuse to limit DC, then someone needs to step up and replace them. They can’t be fixed from within. They must both lose their majorities before they’ll be willing to do the necessary cuts.

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.

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Economy

Will GOP stop Trump’s trade war as the Constitution requires?

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When Donald Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines back in January, he launched a trade war reminiscent of 1800’s protectionism and laid the foundation for higher prices for American consumers, along with the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs.

Unfazed by historic evidence that such trade wars inevitably lead to economic disaster, Trump proceeded with a second round of attacks on the free market in March by imposing across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum, complete with his personal assurance that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

While Trump initially suspended steel and aluminum tariffs against the EU, Mexico, and Canada–providers of roughly fifty percent of steel imports to the US–he announced this past Friday that the tariffs are back on. And for good measure, he issued an additional threat to Germany that he would completely ban the import of luxury cars if they chose to retaliate with tariffs of their own against US goods.

As was the case in March, members of the GOP are threatening to prove they actually have a spine, and there are indications that they might do something this time around to stop Trump before it’s too late.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)–for the record, that’s a steel state–will be co-sponsoring Sen. Mike Lee’s bill S.177 to end Trump’s abusive practice of using “national security” to impose tariffs and to return tariff authority back to Congress where it Constitutionally belongs.

Other Republicans joining with Toomey and Lee are Sens. Jeff Flake (AZ), Corey Gardner (CO), and Ben Sasse (NE).

Besides the fact that tariffs are simply terrible economic and foreign policy, Trump has used the threat of tariffs against China as leverage for his personal financial gain; essentially extorting money from the Chinese government to finance Trump golf courses and hotels in Indonesia and securing a boatload of trademarks for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China.

If passed, S.177 will give the power to approve or disapprove Trump’s tariffs back to Congress, not to mention that it would save the American people from an economic catastrophe.

The only question is, will Republicans do what required to fulfill their Constitutional duty or will they cave to Trumpism in hopes that it will help them in November? The clock is ticking . . .

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Economy

Obamanomics damaged the economy, and Trumponomics isn’t fixing it

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While Trump and the GOP want you and me to believe that Trumponomics has singlehandedly saved the US economy by reducing taxes and creating jobs, the reality for those of us living in the real world is quite different.

It was Mark Twain who once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When it comes to politicians in an election year, Mr. Twain could have been describing the Washington establishment owned and operated by the Republicans and Democrats.

No doubt you’ve heard the much-ballyhooed news that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2000, coming in at 3.9%. But just as it was when Obama manipulated unemployment numbers to cover his pathetic economic policies, this recent jobs report has been manipulated to hide the truth about our very unhealthy economy.

Unemployment numbers can change for any number of reasons:

  1. People move from the unemployed category into the employed category
  2. The number of employed grows faster than the number of unemployed
  3. You simply add people to the employed category without changing anyone’s status
  4. You simply stop counting people in the unemployed category, making them magically disappear

When we consider that the number of jobs added in April was 164,000 while the number of unemployed dropped by 239,000, we can conclude that reason #4 is how the latest unemployment rate was manipulated to make things look better than they really are. Unemployment went down because the labor-participation rate fell to 62.8 percent after being 63 percent in February and 62.9 percent in March. Three consecutive months of declines.

Quite simply, when you are no longer working or looking for work, the government no longer includes you as a part of the equation to calculate the unemployment report.

Meanwhile, Trumponomics is also creating a slower growth rate than Trump is claiming while his tax cuts and record government spendingdespite the recent rescission cuts—is creating another threat to the US economy, an apocalyptic debt spiral adding trillions to the already unsustainable national debt.

Obamanomics caused a great deal of damage to the US economy, but Trumponomics isn’t doing anything to repair it; in fact, Trump’s plan will likely destroy what’s left of it.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

Forget lowering unemployment, Bernie Sanders will eliminate it!

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During his 2016 Democrat primary campaign, Bernie Sanders was “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea of a universal basic income; however, he felt that his plans for a $15/hr. minimum wage, expanding Social Security to pay for guaranteed healthcare, and providing free college would do more than creating just another government handout.

But now Bernie has apparently found a way to accomplish his goals as well as the goals of the universal basic income crowd.
Yesterday, we learned that the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist is ready to announce a plan that will guarantee every American “who wants or needs one” a lifetime government job paying at least $15/hr. and proving paid family and medical leave plus retirement, health, and vacation benefits.

While the details are still being worked on, Bernie has admitted that he currently has no idea exactly how much his plan will cost or where the money to pay for it will come from. However, if his 2016 campaign is any indication, the cost will be irrelevant, and the money to pay for it will come from “the billionaires and oligarchs” he refers to as the “top one percent of income earners.”

While it would be tempting to shrug off Bernie’s plan as the rantings of a socialist loon living to the left of the left-wing, we should remember how his Marxist beliefs concerning income inequality caught fire with a generation of Constitutionally ignorant voters raised on the socialist ideology taught in today’s public schools indoctrination centers.

And a poll conducted during the 2016 primary season showed that a majority of millennials rejected capitalism.

Democrats would see a huge voter advantage by creating a new state-run workforce dependent upon them for their jobs. And politicians from both parties would have a new voter-bloc to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Bernie’s plan is being called a guaranteed-jobs program, but the only guarantee it gives us is the destruction of capitalism and Constitutional America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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