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Italy’s populist government is fulfilling its promises and risks economic collapse in the process

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Italys populist government is fulfilling its promises and risks economic collapse in the process

The populist wave of the last three years in countries across the globe has not caused the turbulence that many expected. Italy may prove to have the first populist government that sends its economy into a tailspin as it attempts to fulfill lofty campaign promises.

Italy’s populists challenge EU with plans to boost deficit

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-budget/italy-raises-deficit-target-defies-eu-and-rattles-markets-idUSKCN1M80UDAfter tussling with Economy Minister Giovanni Tria for weeks, the four-month old government on Thursday proposed a 2019 deficit that is, at 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), three times the previous administration’s target.

The spending is meant to finance the campaign promises of the ruling parties – the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing League – to lower the retirement age, cut taxes, invest in infrastructure and boost welfare.

The rub is that Italy has the largest debt among big European Union economies, at 131 percent of GDP, and it is under pressure from the EU to rein in spending amid fears it could sow the seeds of a new debt crisis in the euro zone.

If Italy chooses to clash with the EU, it could be the first time the country brings into question who’s really in charge of their economic future. There isn’t much the EU can do directly, but member nations could act on their behalf.

My Take

The problem with populism is that it’s aligned with leftist notions that fiscal responsibilities can be kicked down the road. That’s the reason leftist and populists often have an easier time winning elections than those espousing conservative economic principles. It might not make sense to spend beyond a government’s means, but the people love the goodies they get as a result.

On the other hand, the temporary “hardships” that often come with fiscal responsibility don’t make for good campaign slogans. In today’s society, many voters really don’t care about repercussions as long as they get their benefits today.

Democrats

PragerU: What’s wrong with government-run healthcare?

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PragerU Whats wrong with government-run healthcare

This latest video from PragerU details how another vote-buying pipe dream from the Left can never work.

A new video from PragerU features policy expert Lanhee Chen from the Hoover Institution at Stanford, who explains how ‘Free Healthcare’ can never work in the real world. As is the case with most Leftist vote-buying schemes, the ‘The Medicare for all’ fiction is long on promises and short on how it will be funded. The tax burden for such a scheme would destroy the economy and would have to be levied on almost everyone. This kind of national socialized healthcare would also take away the incentive for innovation, which has made for the best healthcare system in the states and the rest of the world.

One often suspects that these assurances of freebies are never meant to operate as promised. Witness the much vaunted Obamacare that was supposed to eliminate the uninsured, but did nothing of the sort. Such is also the case with their push for Liberty control, since it never works as advertised.  In most cases, it should be apparent that the Left doesn’t care if their schemes will work or not. If they did actually care, they would try something else, something that actually works.

For the Left, their ‘Ends justifies the means’ mantra extends to most of their agenda. It doesn’t matter if their system of societal slavery works or not, only that it brings them the power they crave.

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Economy

Wayne Dupree on cutting entitlement programs

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Wayne Dupree on cutting entitlement programs

When the truth goes against the narrative, it’s hard for many to swallow. Entitlement reform, which has been on the Republican platform for decades, has been in the perpetual state of always getting promised but never getting delivered. The reason it keeps getting kicked down the road is because it’s simply too hard to take away things that millions have gotten used to receiving.

At least President Trump was honest enough to say from the beginning that he wasn’t touching entitlements.

What Democrats don’t want you to know and what Republicans only want you to remember on election day is that entitlements are crippling the economy. We can no longer say they’re going to hurt our children and grandchildren. It’s now to the point that we can’t make fiscal decisions as a country without considering the huge chunk that encompasses entitlements.

Conservative Radio Host Wayne Dupree has been fighting this battle for a while. He rightly contends that the pain we’d feel today if entitlements were cut is small compared to the pain we’ll feel in the near future and beyond if they’re not cut.

Yes, it’s hard to make cuts to something that supports millions of Americans, but there are ways to reform the system and still protect the most vulnerable. Kudos to Wayne Dupree for fighting this unpopular battle.

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Economy

Trump’s best fiscal move yet: Telling his cabinet to shave 5% off their budgets

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Trumps best fiscal move yet Telling his cabinet to shave 5 off their budgets

I’ve been harsh towards the President when it comes to budgets and deficits. At times he has seemed more like President Obama, albeit reluctantly, with outrageous budgets signed and deficits that would make Democrats blush. His latest move is one that I can support wholeheartedly.

He just told his cabinet to shave off 5% from their 2020 budgets.

Trump asked members of his cabinet to figure out how to cut 5 percent of their budgets

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/10/17/trump-asked-members-of-his-cabinet-to-figure-out-how-to-cut-5-percent-of-their-budgetsI’m going to be ask each of you to come back with a 5 percent budget cut from your various departments, whether it’s a secretary or administrator, whatever. I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting. I think you’ll all be able to do it. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be. If you can do more than five, some of you will say ‘hey, I can do much more than 5.’

Most conservatives would point to last year’s tax cuts as his best fiscal move, but it was really an action by Congress. The White House gave input and helped sell it to the people, of course, but it wasn’t really a “move” made by Trump. We’ll give him some credit for it, but most of the heavy lifting was done on Capitol Hill.

Telling his cabinet to cut 5% across the board is a Presidential move and by far his best fiscal decision to date. The key to this will be follow-up; if he doesn’t hold his team accountable, then it was simply a soundbite. If he holds their feet to the fire and dishes out repercussions to those who don’t comply, then this will represent a seismic shift in the way the White House operates.

It’s a business move made by a businessman who has had to make this move many times in the past. He brought several things to the table shifting from the boardroom to the Oval Office. Second only to his deal-making skills are his skills in operating a sound financial operation. This is indicative of his experience.

To be fair, this is more of a campaign move than an expression of conservative fiscal values, but we’ll take it no matter what motivated the move. 2020, the target for these cuts, is his reelection year. Hitting the stump and talking about how he forced every agency and department to cut their budgets by 5% will go a long way towards wooing conservatives.

One of the biggest reasons Americans put Donald Trump in the White House is because of his business acumen. This move exemplifies why millions trusted him to sit in the Oval Office. With budgets where they are, DC must cut, cut, and cut some more.

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