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Economy

The tax cuts are looking like an improvement, but they’re far from good

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The tax cuts are looking like an improvement but they're far from good

Early responses to the tax cuts from companies across America are demonstrating positive movement. Some companies are already promising to raise wages or increase bonuses. Others will be more capable of hiring than they were before. Despite outrage from big government proponents and their mainstream media proxies, things are already starting to look up for the economy and a majority of Americans.

Unfortunately, this is a case of “something is better than nothing.” We needed tax cuts. While much of the focus has been on how individuals and families will be directly affected by the bill, the real boon for many Americans will come in the indirect effects of the corporate tax cuts. These have been, by far, my favorite component of the bill. Everything else is just a matter of redirecting of funds and sources.

I went into a little Tweetstorm last night explaining why I did not support the tax plan. It can be broken down into two problems: the bill is not true tax reform and they haven’t done nearly enough to rein in government spending. Until those two things are done, every other improvement on the progressive tax system is just a temporary fix.

The incremental ebb and flow of national government in America keeps us in a cycle of mediocrity. We gain a little here, lose a little there. We need to limit government, particularly in DC, and make them work within their means.

As long as DC continues to sidestep the major spending problems we have in this country from waste to entitlements to overreach, any positive move will be countered by negatives. America needs a party to take over that embraces the restraints on government laid out in the Constitution. It’s time for the Federalist Party to rise. If we don’t, we’ll continue in this cycle of ups and downs that act as camouflage for an ever-expanding government.

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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Democrats

With both sides wanting more spending, Wednesday’s government funding discussions end in a stalemate

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With both sides wanting more spending Wednesdays government funding discussions end in a stalemate

There was no movement Wednesday as top Republican and Democratic leaders met at the White House to lay down their ultimatums for funding the government. With two weeks of funding still allotted, neither side seemed to be in a hurry to compromise.

One of the main sticking points was purely political. Democrats wanted something written into the spending agreement that would give certain guarantees to “Dreamers” who they say are having their futures jeopardized by President Trump’s rescinding of President Obama’s DACA executive order. This is purely for show to try to win back some of the Hispanic voters they lost in 2016 and into 2017. With the President showing more compassion for “Dreamers” than anticipated by preemptively demanding that Congress put together a permanent fix, Democrats needed to regain ground and act as if they’re the ones fighting on behalf of illegal immigrants.

Republicans were equally theatrical with their opposition to such an addition to the funding agreement, claiming they wanted to first fund the government, then address DACA before the March deadline. They could just as easily allowed something in the funding agreement, knowing they’re going to pass some variation of amnesty in the next month and a half, but instead chose to draw the red line.

The more alarming sticking point in the funding deal is that both sides want to spend more and are actually leveraging the other side’s spending increases to negotiate for spending increases of their own. Republicans want to raise defense spending. Democrats are opposed unless they can raise non-defense spending as well. In the end, it’s very likely that this “impasse” will result in both sides getting what they want: move spending across the board.

Further Reading

No spending deal after GOP, Dems meet with White House officials Wednesday

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-spending-deal-after-gop-dems-meet-with-white-house-officials-wednesday/article/2644897“It is important that we achieve a two-year agreement that funds our troops and provides for our national security and other critical functions of the Federal government,” the White House, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a joint statement. “It also remains important that members of Congress do not hold funding for our troops hostage for immigration policy.”

“We’ve been clear about these budget priorities from the beginning and hope that further discussions will lead to an agreement soon,” they added.

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Economy

Leon H. Wolf on both major parties growing government and budgets

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Leon H Wolf on both major parties growing government and budgets

Leon H. Wolf, managing editor at The Blaze, is a big fan of limited government. Unfortunately most Republicans and all Democrats on Capitol Hill tend to favor expanding government. It’s no wonder Wolf is opposed to the way leaders in the two major parties are attempting to fund government.

In a recent article, he went after the parties and the whole process being initiated with the new year. One line in particular is worth highlighting:

“It should be noted that almost no one in either branch of government on either side is attempting to actually reduce the size of the government or its budget.”

Source: The Blaze

Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/01/01/republicans-and-democrats-open-2018-by-arguing-over-how-much-to-grow-the-size-of-governmentAs 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.

According to Reuters, the White House is pushing for massive increases in military spending along with a 7 percent increase in overall non-discretionary non-military spending, while Democrats are holding out for an 11 or 12 percent increase in non-discretionary spending.

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Culture and Religion

Why 2018 will be a turning point for America and the world

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Why 2018 will be a turning point for America and the world

In 1988, I watched a documentary detailing the end of the world. The mix of prophecies from the Bible and other religious texts combined with Nostradamus and other fortune tellers truly concerned me. When the 1990s rolled around without massive destruction across the planet, I learned we must be cognizant of potential pitfalls while not allowing fear to paralyze us, or worse, force us to act idiotically. Since then, I’ve tried to remain level-headed about predictions.

It’s ironic that 30 years after my initial experience with bad predictions, I’m ready to start making predictions of my own (though hopefully not bad ones). The writing on the wall is clear to me. We’re in for a crazy year, one that should bring great things and horrible things at the same time. Some would say this describes every year, but it just seems different this time. We’re on the verge of turning points politically, culturally, and religiously.

The perfect storm of major and minor shifts are all coming together now. Individually, they’re business as usually. When they happen together, there’s a good potential for chain reactions to take place that shift the paradigms driving America and the world. Some of these shifts will be wonderful. Others could be terrible. Here are some of the things to watch for in 2018:

Economic downturn prompted by the media

The biggest factor in any election year is the economy. More specifically, how individuals and families are personally fairing helps determine how they’ll vote. It’s more prominent in a presidential election year than in midterm elections, but it still plays a major role.

Today, the economy is looking strong. What many people don’t realize is that the strength of the economy is highly influenced by perceptions of its strength. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy; when the people think the economy is doing well, it does well. When they start fearing their personal fiscal situation or the near future of the national economy, downturns happen.

Most of the power players in mainstream media knows this. They also know that the strength or weakness of the economy can shift elections faster than a Russian email hack. Generally, they support Democrats. This means we’re going to see the frequency of negative economic stories increase in order to paint the GOP in a negative light.

If President Trump, Wall Street, private industry, and the Republicans can put out a powerful counter-narrative, they can survive the media onslaught. If they can’t, the economy will scare itself into a downturn and Republicans will lose control of the Senate and possibly the House.

Turmoil in Israel

Things have been oddly quiet within Israel for a while now even as the rest of the world frets over it. As a small portion of world leaders move to support Israel and its right to name its own capital, the majority of nations and all Muslim countries continue to oppose Israel to various degrees. This is swelling contempt inside and out of the tiny nation. That contempt is going to turn into even more anti-Israel actions.

In 2018, pressure against Israel is going to bring things to a head within the nation itself. Concerns about pop stars cancelling concerts will be irrelevant. Israel will have much bigger fish to fry. One potential bit of turmoil could surround Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is growing more polarizing with each passing month. His supporters adore him and his detractors despise him. A major scandal or event could have Israelis calling for an early election for the Knesset. It’s not scheduled until November, 2019, but pressure from the people could force the government to hold an early election.

It isn’t just the relative quiet that Israel has been experiencing that worries me. Hatred against Israel and the Jewish people seemed to be on a sharp rise before President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as its capital. Now that he’s drawn that particular line, antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment is making its way to the light as political correctness succumbs to decades of pent-up rage. Expect it to prompt worse actions than U.N. resolutions and harsh words from Mahmoud Abbas. If they’re not careful, Israel could become divided ideologically and open the door to turmoil.

Solidifying the shrinking church

There is a lower percentage of American Christians today than ever. The sheer number of people going to church and/or professing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is declining, but there’s a silver lining. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed an increase in the willingness by Christians to be outspoken as well as a return of bold declarations of faith in public.

It seems as if the church is getting tired of being the punching bag of a good portion of the leftwing media and political agendas. Losing on gay marriage, the continued public funding of Planned Parenthood, and an awaking against the lukewarm “prosperity gospel” have forced many Christians to be more aggressive.

Of all the predictions I’m making, this is the one that I’m most hopeful about. It’s also the one in which I’m most likely to be wrong. Complacency is the greatest enemy to passion when it comes to our worldviews. It’s possible many Christians will have their faith chipped away in 2018, but I believe it will turn in the other direction. Will the size of the church grow? No. Will the faith and actions performed by those of faith increase in 2018? I believe it will.

Rise of the church in other countries

While we fight a church in decline in America, the trends are pointing to a rise in churches around the world, particularly in areas where Christianity was previously or is currently not allowed. The power of the true Gospel is magnified in areas where more is at stake than in America or most of Europe. We tend to take it for granted that we can read our Bibles or talk about Jesus Christ with our peers. In other countries, they have to be much more careful.

This is one of the reasons I’m certain the church will continue to expand worldwide even as it dwindles in western societies. The other reason is more direct. I believe the Spirit is moving people around the world. Once again, I have no evidence than what I’ve seen anecdotally, but it seems to be quite clear nevertheless.

Terrorism in America, homegrown or not

We’ve been living on borrowed time when it comes to terrorism in America. There haven’t been a whole lot of attacks since 9/11, Most of this can be attributed to law enforcement, but even they have allowed a few attacks to slip through the cracks.

I’m troubled to admit I don’t believe our good fortune will last in 2018. Whether terrorists find their way across the border or radical Islamic ideology finds its way into the hearts and minds of more people already in America, there is almost certainly going to be a rise in terrorist attacks.

Technology is partially on our side, but it’s also making the problem worse. Terrorists have been learning recently that their use of technology must be more discreet. News of stings against potential terrorists had been kept relatively quiet for a decade and a half, but as leaks and a push to anoint heroes bring these stories to the forefront, terrorists are learning to adapt.

It won’t just be bombing, shootings, or vehicular attacks. Cyberattacks are also going to rise and it won’t just be coming from outside. Having people on the ground isn’t just effective in military conflicts. Local proxies working with hackers domestically and abroad contribute to their ability to commit cyberterrorism. As always, remain diligent.

Expansion of trustworthy new media outlets

One of the reasons we built NOQ Report and The New Americana in the first place was to counter the rise of biased journalism in mainstream media. We were given the choice of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in part by the media. They declared Hillary would be their candidate and Trump would be the easiest person for her to beat, so they helped to isolate our choices.

NOQ Report plans to grow as a beacon of real news, opinions, and quotes to help conservatives and federalists reaffirm their worldviews. As we and others continue to emerge from the shadows where independent media sources have been relegated to for years, more Americans are turning to us to hear the truth big media companies refuse to reveal.

Turkey turns on us

Skeptics of Turkey being an ally of the United States have been screaming about it for years. Now, President Erdogan is becoming more vocal with his opposition to us. He has embraced Russia and is becoming more friendly with other Muslim nations in the Middle East for a reason.

His goal is to revive the Ottoman Empire. Any illusions that this isn’t the case should be wiped away completely in 2018.

We are bound by our NATO agreement to work with Turkey to some extent, but outside of military conflict turned against them or us, there should be very little dialogue with them. It isn’t that diplomacy won’t work, but their government is a snake that will bite us when we get close enough. They will counter us on every move that doesn’t promote them directly. It’s conspicuous that Erdogan was the most vocal of all Middle East leaders other than Abbas in his opposition to the Jerusalem move. He also led the charge to name Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.

Turkey is not our ally other than on paper. We shouldn’t antagonize them without reason, but we can no longer trust them.

Social justice warriors exposed

Lies have two paths over time. They either get told often enough that they become the truth or they get exposed often enough that they become irrelevant. When it comes to many of the social just causes, the latter will happen in 2018.

“Snowflakes” in colleges across the country are having a harder time promoting their narratives because of the contradictions they represent. They’re opposed to free speech when they can label it as “hate speech,” yet they continue to use hateful speech in attempts to quash opposing views. The idiocy of the gender debate is turning into a debacle as dozens of gender identities make a mockery of their argument. As for the NFL kneelers, the worst thing that could happen to them is already happening. They’re becoming irrelevant.

Of all the predictions I’m making, this is the one that is most certain. That’s not to say they’ll end their crusade, but trends are already starting to turn against them. Instead of being the leaders of a revolution as their 1960s predecessors were, they’re embarrassing themselves with just about every action they take. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to avoid taking the bait. They’re establishing dialogues while being shunned by social justice warriors. As long as we continue down this path instead of playing the game on their terms, the court of public opinion will be on our side.

Making Saudi Arabia great again

I’ve been critical of some things and hopeful about other things the Trump administration is doing, but one thing that I’m adamantly opposed to is their wholehearted embrace of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince who will soon be King. Even if we set aside the blatant human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia against its neighbors and its own people, we can’t shouldn’t ignore the economic threat they pose.

Instead of letting them start to crumble under their own weight, expect he United States to lift them up and keep them propped as the biggest player in the Middle East. It makes a little sense since they’re the primary reason the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency, but doing so just keeps kicking the can down the road.

Saudi Arabia will be propelled into a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. They’ll be pushed to lead the Middle East instead of an emergent Turkey or a militant Iran. MBS will be brought to more negotiating tables in a short time than his father ever was.

By the end of 2018, Saudi Arabia will have been propped up so high by the United States that they’ll have more influence on the Middle East and the world than they ever have before. As their dominance in oil fades, their dominance in other aspects of world leadership will skyrocket.

The rise of the Federalist Party

I saved this for last because it’s the one I’m that holds my most direct involvement. 2017 was a good year for the Federalist Party. We got the word out to hundreds of thousands of people, secured support from prominent people in media and government, and learned how to adjust our strategies to the challenges that face an emerging political party.

In many ways, we’re much further ahead than I expected when we launched this year. In other ways, I would have liked to have done more. The latter sets us up for a big push in 2018 as we make plans for more articles, interviews, events, and the true start to fundraising. It takes money to run a party, as I’ve personally learned. The apparatus is being built to get contributions ramped up in our second year.

Conclusion

Conspicuously missing from my list are North Korea, Iran, and Obamacare. On these three issues, I have no predictions. They’re such wildcards on the geopolitical landscape that I won’t even attempt it.

As much as I’d love to go into 2018 with nothing but hope, we have to be cognizant of the challenges we face. Nefarious forces aim to take us down. As long as we keep our eyes open and our hearts focused on making things better, we can overcome these challenges. We just need a little faith to see us through.

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