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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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Economy

Nicolás Maduro, stop being obtuse

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Nicols Maduro stop being obtuse

By Friday, there will be 190 metric tons of aid ready at the border between Colombia and Venezuela ready to be delivered to a people who desperately need it. The only thing standing in the way is the ego and ineptitude of a failed leader who is more concerned about his own power than the lives of the people he supposedly serves.

Contested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has set up a military blockade to prevent the aid from reaching the people. His reason: the aid is just an excuse for the United States to invade Venezuela. This is ridiculous, and the United States plans to get the aid to the people one way or another.

Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is hoping Juan Guaido, who the United States recognizes as the leader of Venezuela, will be able to assert enough control over the situation to bypass or remove the blockade and allow the aid to reach the people.

“That really is up to Juan Guaido and his people and his team,” Green told Fox News. “We are working with them to try and pre-position that assistance and give them the tools to lead their people and provide hope.”

For the last couple of years, the collapse of Venezuela’s economy has been pointed to by fiscal conservatives in the United States as an example of how socialism fails, even for a country as well-off as oil-rich Venezuela once was. But we’re now well beyond calls to condemn socialism. It has obviously failed and it’s up to the international community to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in which masses of people could die.

Yes, the situation is rapidly deteriorating that badly.

Whether through Guaido or Maduro, this insane refusal to help the people must be averted immediately. It’s odd that starving Venezuelans must somehow bypass their own government’s idiotic pride in order to receive the aid that’s ready and waiting for them.

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How the United States goes about forcing the aid into the country is a delicate proposition. If they don’t want it, there’s nothing we can do to force them to take it. The question is, who is “them” in this equation? If the vast majority of the people would welcome the aid, as I suspect, then we must coordinate with the international community and Guaido to secure passage and distribution of the aid to where it’s needed the most.

Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of information hitting mainstream media about the situation on the other side of the border. Is it as bad as we think? If so, then something short of a U.S.-backed coup should be considered. We must continue to respect Venezuela’s sovereignty and just because we believe Guaido is the rightful leader doesn’t make it so. It’s up to the people of Venezuela to say they’re done with Maduro.

But if Maduro continues to control the military, it’s a moot point. There’s no recourse for the people or Guaido in the immediate future. They’ll have to continue to fight Maduro’s regime through information and revolt in order to sway the military to Guaido’s side. Outright civil war seems impossible at this point because Maduro’s forces are too strong. Waiting them out seems untenable as well because the people are dying today. They may not have time for a slow, steady revolution.

It comes down to someone convincing Maduro to stop being obtuse. We’re not invading Venezuela Aid that we would deliver is just as good if not better than what they can receive from Russia or other Maduro-friendly countries and it’s clearly more abundant; Maduro said Russia was sending 30 metric tons of aid “soon.”

Maduro has two choices: Maintain power and let his people die or give up power and help his people live. It’s insane that he seems to be leaning towards the former, but that’s the nature of despots.

 


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Democrats

Beto O’Rourke is throwing crazy ideas against the wall and some seem to be sticking

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Beto ORourke is throwing crazy ideas against the wall and some seem to be sticking

Ever since the 2018 midterm elections, I’ve considered Beto O’Rourke to be one of the biggest threats to President Trump in the 2020 election. The obvious counter to this notion is that he lost his race for Senate to Ted Cruz, but here’s the thing. He got close, much closer than anyone would have thought possible a year before, and he was able to raise more money than any Senate candidate in our nation’s history.

For a hyper-leftist Democrat to come within a few percentage points of victory in deep red Texas tells us this is someone who knows how to campaign, raise funds, and draw a crowd.

Lately, he’s been acting like a lost puppy trying to get back some of the attention he lost when others announced their candidacy. Before Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar announced their candidacies, O’Rourke was being played up as the guy who could challenge Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden if they entered the race. Now that Sanders has, O’Rourke finds himself on the outside looking in.

I still consider O’Rourke to be one of the four candidates who should concern President Trump the most, but there’s a caveat I must add. If he continues to throw out ideas that make no sense, such as taking down the 700 miles of wall currently built along the southern border or offering amnesty to pretty much everyone already here illegally, he may fade quickly.

Then again, it may propel him to the top of the list.

It’s important for conservatives to never underestimate the leftward lurch that’s happening across America today. The combination of scholastic indoctrination, media propaganda, and a strange spirit of deception spreading across the nation have resulted in a growing American populace that is open to the untenable ideas of socialism, open borders, and expanded government control over our lives. This is why instead of counting O’Rourke as being down for the count, we should probably watch the responses and start taking him more seriously.

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There seems to a trend emerging. The crazier they get, the more they’re loved.

A decade ago, it would have been unfathomable for even half of the Democrats to embrace taking down portions of the border wall that are already built. It’s one thing to not want to spend money on more wall, but to spend money on taking down current walls is pure stupidity. And yet, there’s no rebuke from the left. No Democrats are saying, “stop this lunacy.” No Democrats are out there calling for common sense to prevail.

Instead, they’re saying, “Yes, that might work.”

Do not get caught up in the notion that socialism, open borders, and oppressive government could never happen in America. Three or four years ago, I might have thought that. Today, it seems more than possible. It must be stopped.

 


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Democrats

Conservatives railed against the NY-Amazon deal before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thwarted it

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is partially right about the Amazon deal

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote an op-ed in November defending the decision to offer Amazon $2.8 billion in incentives to build their second headquarters in Long Island City, there was an interesting condemnation you don’t often see.

“The extreme conservatives and the socialists both now vehemently oppose incentives for Amazon,” Cuomo wrote.

Of course, “extreme conservatives” and “socialists” are on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, so what was it about the deal that made it so unappealing on both sides of the fence? It comes down to the incentives that were being offered and the inherent “quick fix” mentality of politicians near the center of the ideological spectrum.

Where conservatives and socialists split on this issue is in how the money should have been used, but both extreme sides agree that using it as an incentive for a company like Amazon is simply lazy governance. Fiscal conservatives understand that in a city like New York City, there’s less of a need for big companies to come in and a much bigger need to plant small businesses throughout. Crowded cities that already have multi-billion dollar corporations get much less benefit from another multi-billion dollar corporation setting up shop than they would from a similar infusion of small businesses. From a fiscally conservative perspective, it’s better to use incentives to bring 250 companies that employ 100 people each than one company that employs 25,000.

Smaller cities without infrastructure or housing issues are the opposite. It makes sense to try to get an Amazon to become a central hub to attract other businesses. These smaller cities do not have to suffer through the same problems a city like NYC has to contend with when there’s such a massive infusion into an already-crowded housing market and an already-crumbling infrastructure.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez skips a few steps when she says the money for Amazon could be used to fix other problems already facing New Yorkers, but technically speaking she’s correct. If New York utilized incentives to bring in smaller companies that would generate more tax dollars in the long run, her programs could be initiated as a result if properly earmarked. That’s not to say I agree with all of the programs she’s referring to and the money “saved” from the collapsing Amazon deal couldn’t be used directly for them, but combined with conservative fiscal principles and a focus on small businesses, her ideas are doable.

Conservatives balked when the deal was announced. Now, suddenly, many of the same conservatives are laughing at Ocasio-Cortez for being the catalyst that made the deal go away. This is disingenuous. We can debate with her the semantics of how the incentives should be used, but let’s not switch sides and call the deal a winner when we were universally calling it a loser three months ago.

As always, conservatives should stay consistent and not do as the leftists do by picking a side against a politician for the sake of that politician. Conservatives were complaining about the Amazon deal well before AOC became the face of the opposition.

 


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