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The GOP: The Party of Fiscal Conservatives?

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The GOP, led by President Trump, recently passed the most massive tax reform bill in decades. One of the biggest pieces of that bill dropped the corporate tax rate down to 21% from 35%, which had previously given the United States the largest corporate tax in the industrialized world. So cutting this tax and cutting individual taxes was a job well done for fiscal responsibility. It was a CRITICAL first step, but it was only a first step.

The second step was to cut the bloated federal budget. Last night’s budget deal not only failed to do this but in fact increased spending to the deficit levels of the Obama and Bush eras. Liberals claim this is due to the tax cuts, but Senator Rand Paul demonstrated clearly that this has to do entirely with the expensive high Congress gets from spending taxpayer money as well as placing an unconscionable burden on our children.

Republicans made a big to do about deficits and the debt while Barack Obama’s was in power, even coming up with the sequester during the latter half of the Obama Presidency. However, now that they control both houses of Congress and with Trump in the White House, they suddenly have no inclination to cut spending.

“When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party, But when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party. The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty,” said Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who attempted to block the bill last night.

Others in the party also demonstrated their displeasure at the lack of leadership by the GOP on this issue. Missouri Senate Candidate Austin Petersen’s campaign released this statement:

“The spending deal approved late last night, and supported by both Missouri Senators McCaskill and Blunt, was an absolute travesty. The American people are already $20 trillion in debt, and the deficit for the current fiscal year is estimated to be an additional $1 trillion. This is just plain nuts! And it’s a great example of why Austin is in this Senate race: because like many Missourians, he’s sick and tired of sending politicians to Washington who, break their promises. The truth is we don’t just need another Republican elected to the United States Senate — we need a true constitutional and FISCAL conservative — someone who’s going to stick to their guns, stick to their principles, and most importantly, keep their promises. “

Konstantinos Roditis, Republican candidate for California State Controller said, “Hope of a budget with a modicum of fiscal responsibility from D.C. is laughable. The likelihood a fiscally responsible budget will see the light of day in D.C. is as likely as Trump winning California in a landslide in 2020. Here is a perfect example why I say, I’m a Conservative that happens to be a Republican, instead of a Republican that happens to be a Conservative.”

California GOP Senator candidate Erin Cruz had this to say… Those in the House and Senate work for the American people and should put forth a fiscally responsible budget, one which does not put an undue burden on the taxpayer and future generations. Heavy cuts should be made in the area of foreign aid, as well as pet deals congressional members tuck into these bills known as pork. The taxpayer is the boss and they want big change in government, namely reduction in size and scope of government as well as cuts to unnecessary spending. The budget passed is not reflective of what the American people voted into office. Actual change is coming, patriots like myself are standing up to the call to serve the people, there will be a big turn in how D.C. operates. Americans live by budgets and within their means, Congress should as well. Midterms can’t come soon enough for all Americans. Americans must push for a high turn out at the polls this year.

A disappointment for many conservatives is that standard-bearer Ted Cruz (R-TX) “reluctantly” voted for the spending bill, giving away any credibility he might have in the future on this issue. It should be noted that Cruz has filibustered spending in the past, famously reading to his children from the Senate floor.

In stark contrast, there was no surprise that the other Texas Senator, John Cornyn, was vocal about his annoyance with Rand Paul’s efforts to derail the budget process, saying this was an “emergency” while failing to make mention Congress hasn’t had a non-emergency spending effort in years.

It would be easy for some to lay the blame for all this on the self-proclaimed “king of debt,” President Trump. However, those who have actually read the Constitution know the power of the budget comes from Congress. Sure, Trump could lead a bit more on this issue, but at no point has Trump ever made over-spending a priority.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is the former chairman of the House Budget Committee, seems most to blame. Of all people he should know how to cut spending, and yet has failed to do so.

The political fallout will likely be negligible. The average American, when asked, will say they are concerned about the debt, but often not enough to change their vote. And so both major parties keep passing this issue back and forth like a hot potato. The party that will be hurt by the debt is whoever is in power when the economy comes crashing down due to debt. Time will tell on that one.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how we can’t afford our sacred cows, including increased defense spending, and yet we’re increasing defense spending through the roof. You can refer back to it here.

The thing I can tell you for certain is we can’t keep doing what we’re doing. Spending on credit will eventually lead to default as more and more of our budget is eaten up by paying interest on our debt and it leases to Greek-style austerity. We need new leadership with ACTUAL fiscal conservatives.

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Economy

The 1751 machine that made everything

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The 1751 machine that made everything

A short video on how technological innovation born of economic liberty has changed the world.

History is more than dates, places and battles. In many instances it’s technological advances that change the world for the betterment of all mankind. In this case it’s the story of French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson and his creation in France of the first all metal slide rest lathe, the forerunner to all modern machine tools in 1751.

Lathes had been around for centuries, but lacked the precision with hand held cutting tools. The slide rest of the Vaucanson metal lathe that provided the control to produce metal part of exacting dimensions. The lathe is said to be able to produce every other machine and machine tool. This advancement changed everything.

The producer of the video references a profound chart of World Population GCP and per Capita GCP 1 –2008 AD from data of the late Angus Maddison, similar to this produced by the  Visual Capitalist, we credit them for the chart and commentary:
Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

 

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

The video was produced by Machine Thinking last year.

While some may quibble about which particular machine produced this miracle The larger point is that the machines of the industrial age profoundly changed what people could produce.

As the video noted the average person in 1600 was no better off economically than someone thousands of years earlier. This is what is called the Malthusian trap and for seven thousand years, it was inescapable no matter what we did.

Machine tools such as this changed all of that, one person could produce what had taken many. This surplus could outpace births, allowing the economy to grow at an incredible pace as seen in the chart. All from the genius of the mind undergirded by the Economic liberty of the free-enterprise system. This is why this is vastly superior to the societal slavery of socialism.

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Economy

Colion Noir: Exposing the under the table business of homelessness in San Francisco

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Colion Noir Exposing the under the table business of homelessness in San Francisco

Anyone who has walked the streets of San Francisco in the last few years was likely shocked. Unless they came from Seattle or a similar city in which homelessness and drug abuse are rampant on the downtown streets, it was likely a wake up call to anyone seeing how big the problems have become.

For a city with such extreme wealth and both historically and thanks to the Silicon Valley boom, it can be perplexing to witness how little is done to help those who need it so desperately. As we noted before, for some reason San Francisco is so “woke” yet so blind at the same time.

This video by Colion Noir exposes the ugly truth about San Francisco, that no matter how much money is pumped in by tax payers, the hyper-leftist radical progressive government that runs the city is incapable of solving these problems. It’s noteworthy that some of the people Noir talked to called for less government, including one gentleman who believed anarchy was the only thing that can solve the problem completely.

Yes, the city that is known for imposing the largest amounts and most obtuse overreaches of government is the city that seems to be imploding despite an overabundance of tax dollars flowing in. If there is any better testament to the failures that would befall the entire country if socialism is ever implemented more than it already is today, I’m unaware of what city that could be.

San Francisco is a disaster, yet they continue to depend on progressive leadership to somehow fix what they’ve continuously broken for decades.

Not only is the cover up intentional, as Colion Noir concluded, but the system that keeps homelessness and drug abuse prevalent on the streets is intentional. Dealing with poverty for San Francisco’s bourgeoisie is a political industry.

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Economy

Washington has America standing on the precipice of a fiscal abyss

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Washington has America standing on the precipice of a fiscal abyss

Yesterday was Tax Day, an annual reminder that our tax-and-spend government continues to get taxier and spendier.

Fox News is reporting that Donald Trump will be holding campaign events across the country this week to do some damage control in the wake of his unpopular tax cuts, but the destruction being caused by Washington’s spending addiction should be the real headline for Tax Day 2019.

Although, to be fair, many faux conservative media sources have their hands full right now pushing McConnell’s “vote Republican because #notSocialist” 2020 campaign rhetoric, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they’re too busy to be bothered with something as petty as the inevitable bankruptcy of America.

In a report issued last week by the Government Accountability Office titled “The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future,” we were provided with an update on the nation’s fiscal health at the end of FY 2018 and what lies ahead if fiscal policy isn’t changed.

Some of the findings included in the report are:

  • The federal government’s current fiscal path is unsustainable
  • The federal deficit increased to $779 billion — and will reach $1 trillion in the next few years for the first time since 2012
  • Publicly held debt was 78% of GDP at the end of FY 2018 and will surpass its historical high of 106% within 13 to 20 years — sooner than projected last year
  • Other agencies join GAO in saying that the longer action is delayed, the greater and more drastic the changes will have to be

Graphic shows 4 projections of debt increasing

Alexis de Tocqueville, the French legal and political scholar, politician, and historian who is most known as the author of the book Democracy in America (pub 1835 – 1840), has been attributed for this quote: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Whether these are the words of de Tocqueville or not is irrelevant. The reality is they are 100% true as we are witnessing in Washington today.

With Republicans and Democrats always in election-season mode, policies are decided based on how they affect political parties instead of America’s needs. This has given birth to finding new and better ways for them to buy votes, and it’s why we’re seeing Democrats promoting socialist ideas like Medicare for all, paid family leave, and the Green New Deal heading into 2020.

However, despite claims to the contrary, Trump and the GOP are actively pursuing the same socialist programs as they join the Democrats in a scramble to find ways to buy votes.

After decades of taxing and spending, growing the federal government, and pursuing a socialist Utopia, America finds herself on the precipice of a financial abyss with little reason to hope the unibrow party in Washington will save her. In fact, they’re likely to push her over the edge … if it means they can get a vote out of it.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


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.

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