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Mr. President, tell the “Big Six” to meet with the Freedom Caucus on tax reform

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There are times for closed-door meetings. Crafting tax reform, a key portion of the Trump agenda, does not qualify as one of those times. If the President wants to pass meaningful tax reform in his first term (and potentially before the midterm elections), he should force the “Big Six” to meet with the Freedom Caucus and conservative members of Senate. Otherwise, tax reform will quickly shift from being a slam-dunk piece of legislation into a major failure for the administration and GOP Congress.

For complete transparency, I don’t trust the Big Six: Paul Ryan, Kevin Brady, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Steven Mnuchin, and Gary Cohn. They are all major promoters of big-government policies. Putting tax reform in their hands is like asking fast-food restaurant managers to craft a healthy diet plan. Tax reform needs wholesome fruits and vegetables. The Big Six love serving Big Macs and milkshakes.

For even more transparency, I’m a Federalist which means I don’t fully trust any members of the Democratic-Republican establishment in DC, but at least the House Freedom Caucus and a handful of Senators have demonstrated a willingness to embrace fiscal responsibility. Until my party has people in office, we’re going to have to rely on Mark Meadows, Mike Lee, and their conservative cohorts.

True tax reform requires rethinking the revenue system itself. The federal government relies too heavily on taxes to fund their pet projects. Thankfully, the solution is to build a surplus by doing two things: encouraging economic growth through tax cuts across the board and dramatically reducing the budget. The first portion should be a no-brainer, though talks of expanding revenues through other measures should concern us. Regardless of how they skew the ways dollars change hands, invariably it will be Americans who pay. Tariffs, BATs, VATs… they all find ways to pull money from American businesses and/or taxpayers.

It’s the second portion of meaningful tax reform that makes me most worried about the Big Six. Reducing costs and eliminating waste are actions that run contrary to everything these six men have demonstrated in their careers. Sure, they’ve all talked about cutting costs during election time or in board meetings, but they’ve never actually done it.

For tax reform to be both meaningful and successful, the President needs fiscal conservatives to have a seat at the table. This joint effort between the White House, Congress, and the Senate is an exercise in futility if these six men are the only ones involved. They will only do what’s necessary to keep their jobs, not what is required to fix the fragile financial situation the nation and its people currently faces  For the Big Six, keeping their jobs means passing something, anything, so the President can sign it before the 2018 or 2020 election. That should terrify every American because it means their incentive has nothing to do with “meaningful” or “successful.” The reason they’ve been so hesitant to even meet with the Freedom Caucus is because they realize their plan doesn’t represent fiscal responsibility. It will include tax cuts designed for votes rather than the impact on the economy. When votes are on the line, you cut from the biggest base – middle class America – and make it up by increasing taxes on businesses and the wealthy.

To most, this probably doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Unfortunately, the benefits of tax cuts for the middle class will be insignificant compared to the economic carnage associated with the rest of their “reforms.” Increased tax burdens on businesses mean loss of jobs, cuts in productivity, and increases in prices. That’s just scratching the surface on the problems associated with those types of “reforms.”

Everything we’ve heard so far from these six men can be pieced together to demonstrate a populist and in some cases leftist plan that will only be meaningful for votes, not fixing the economy or saving money for Americans. We need eyeballs on the legislation and voices in the room while it’s being crafted. Today, those voices belong to the Freedom Caucus and Senate conservatives.

Put them in the room, Mr. President. You’re the legendary businessman. You should recognize the need for tax reform and budget cuts that will bring us to a better economic place. If you leave it up to the Big Six, the result will not be what you want.

Then again, maybe that’s exactly what the President wants.

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Economy

Frontier Flight Attendants vote to authorize strike

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Frontier Flight Attendants vote to authorize strike

Frontier Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), today voted 99 percent to authorize a strike.

“Frontier Flight Attendants sent a strong message today that we are united in our fight for the contract we have earned,” said Jennifer Sala, AFA Frontier President. “We are ready to do whatever it takes to get the contract we deserve.”

Frontier Flight Attendants have picketed at Frontier-hub airports over the last six months. Frontier Pilots recently announced a tentative agreement, but Flight Attendants still face labor unrest.

Negotiations are overseen by the National Mediation Board and are scheduled to continue at the end of November. Lack of progress could lead to the National Mediation Board (NMB) declaring that negotiations are deadlocked and releasing both parties into a 30-day “cooling off” period leading to a strike deadline. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight. The union decides when, where and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.

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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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