Tag Archives: federal budget

The Phony White House Charm Offensive

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Not only did the White House disavow the GOP’s 10-year budget plan put forth by House budget chief Rep. Paul Ryan, the White House will not release its budget until early April, a pattern true to the form displayed over Barack Obama’s time in office.

110601_ryan_blasts_obama_ap_328White House press secretary Jay Carney verbally attacked Ryan’s budget, saying it would punish middle-class Americans, cut taxes on the wealthy, and “the burden is doubled or even tripled on everyone else.”

Carney claimed Ryan’s “voucherization” reform of federal programs, including Obamacare and Medicare, “does nothing to deal with the fundamental problem, which is rising health care costs, but actually exacerbates that problem.”

These statements are in direct conflict with Obama’s heavily publicized attempt to convince the public he is trying to work with GOP legislators, which includes dinner with a group of GOP Senators, lunch with Ryan and two visits to Capitol Hill.

The real hope is that Obama’s efforts will boost his poll ratings, which have fallen noticeably since Obama tried to stop sequester cuts to the 2013 federal budget through demonization of their effect and by impugning the GOP’s motives.

Ryan’s plan is actually a reduction in spending, and does not cut federal spending at all.  “On the current path, we’ll spend $46 trillion over the next 10 years [but] under our proposal, we’ll spend $41 trillion,” Ryan wrote in a Wall Street Journal article. “On the current path, spending will increase by 5 percent each year. Under our proposal, it will increase by 3.4 percent.”

http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/12/obama-delays-budget-until-april-slams-ryans-plan/

The GOP would be well advised to proceed at their own risk with every one of their senses on full caution mode.

The current Oval Office occupant has displayed disingenuous intent on more than one occasion and there is no real evidence to assume that his “charm offensive” is anything other than a change in tactics.  The destruction of his political opposition remains the underlying strategy.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/the-phony-white-house-charm-offensive/

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Yes, budget cuts can help the economy

The left tells us that there is no way to keep the economy going if federal spending is reduced – they are wrong.

On a simplistic and illogical level sure, taking any money out of the economy might shrink it, but that is the same short-term thinking that has led to a non-recovery from the prior recession, lackluster employment and seeing manufacturing output in the tank.

In more realistic terms, there are only two things that will allow us to cut the overall taxation of American workers and corporations: 1) broadening the tax base and 2) Cutting federal spending.

As it stands, many Americans have far too little exposure to income tax rates to feel the pain of allowing their government to spend more than it makes. This makes the class warfare rhetoric from the Obama campaign seem attractive. Also, there are not enough wealthy people, by Obama’s definition, in the U.S. to tax at even 100% to cove0r entitlement spending. Spending is the issue, taxes are the symptom – fix the issue, and taxes will follow.

You see, we only need to raise taxes so that Congress can spend more. If we decided that they cannot spend more, they will have no need to increase taxes.

The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Companies like GM are making a large number of their products overseas because it’s financially advantageous to do so. The tax advantage for not manufacturing in the United States is far too great at this time.

Obama would enact penalties for not producing in the U.S. – which could also lead to the trade wars of past Democrat administrations. Romney would lower the overall corporate rate so that company accountants could inform their CFOs that it makes sense to manufacture in the United States again. That’s an actual conversation – unlike Obama’s dream-world scenario.

If federal spending is cut, the government can responsibly cut tax rates. Ergo – if we don’t spend so much, businesses can invest and grow the economy with the money that they used to send to the federal government.

If the base is broadened so that we all share in the cost of the things the government provides, tax rates can be cut. If tax rates are cut, American businesses can again compete in the global economy and we can all get the jobs we need and want. Trickle-down economics isn’t about money flowing from the wealthy to the poor as the left would have American voters believe – it’s about money flowing from employers to employees, businesses to other businesses. That is how an economy is re-ignited.

As Clock Ticks, Democrat Majority Refuses To Address Budget Or Looming Defense Cuts

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“The responsible thing is to fix this problem now and not leave the Defense Department in turmoil. They won’t even send an answer to Sen. Thune and I and McCain’s request for where the cuts are going to occur.”

WASHINGTON, September 13—Sen. Sessions joined Sens. John Thune, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte today on the Senate floor today to discuss several items that the Senate’s Democrat majority has yet to address as Congress prepares to recess ahead of the November elections.

Among the outstanding items are: automatic sequestration cuts scheduled to take effect on January 2, any budget or appropriations bills, and the defense authorization bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the chamber is unlikely to take up any individual spending bills this year (the House of Representatives has passed 7 so far), and this year will mark the first time in over 50 years that the Senate has failed to pass a defense authorization bill to lay out the spending and priorities of the Defense Department.

Meanwhile, it has been 1,233 days since the Senate’s Democrat majority has adopted any budget plan at all.

Sen. Sessions Addresses Last-Minute Cancellation Of Budget Mark-Up

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“I truly believe the president decided, not long after the Simpson-Bowles commission met, that he was not going to make tough decisions on tough spending issues. Harry Reid decided the same thing. For three years—through a systemic, deliberate, planned effort—they have violated the statutory requirement to bring up a budget, avoided having multiple votes that when you move a budget forward you are entitled to have—50 hours of debate and amendments—and it is kind of a sad thing, frankly.”

The GOP Budget: Hope for a Fiscally Conservative Future

The federal government has few constitutional powers and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities that made the Founding Father’s very short list is that Congress shall pass a budget every year. Given how much time our elected officials spend on Capitol Hill, you would think that this responsibility would not be overwhelming.

Apparently, it is. As Conservative Daily News reported last week, it has been over a thousand days since the U.S. Senate passed a budget, and it looks like they will derelict on their constitutional duty this year again.

By refusing to live up to its constitutional responsibility, the Senate leadership has effectively handed the budgeting authority over from the legislative branch to the executive branch. Given that the federal government controls more than one fifth of our economy (including cash entitlement programs like Social Security) this is a serious matter. It is an unconstitutional transfer of power from one branch of government to the other in direct violation of the checks-and-balances principle.

The Senate’s budgetary AWOL strategy is aggravated by the fact that the federal government effectively controls the budgets of almost every state, and indirectly a big part our local government budgets. The fiscal powers thus concentrated (but not vested) in the hands of the president thereby extend to another 15 percent of the economy.

One of the consequences of this breakdown of checks and balances in the budget process is that the executive branch effectively can spend as much as it wants on credit. Congress has not yet punted on its right to tax the American people, and the balance between the Republican-led House and the Democrat-controlled Senate has prevented taxes from going up. But since the White House now de facto has full control over the budget they can choose to spend as much as they want. All they have to do is borrow what they don’t get from taxes.

In short: by refusing to let the Senate pass a budget, the senatorial leadership actively contributes to the nation’s already very serious debt problems.

But there is hope. In the midst of the complete irresponsibility exhibited by Senate Democrats and the apparent desire by President Obama to spend as much as he can get his hands on, House Republicans have actually produced a pretty decent budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

In fact, the new GOP budget is probably the most compelling fiscal-policy documents produced by Republicans in Congress since the 1990s welfare reform. Its main architect, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), deserves credit and respect for a bill that actually tackles the very driving forces of excessive government spending.

What really gives us hope for the future is the fact that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has a budget bill that suggests reforms that in many ways mimic what is in the House budget bill. If both chambers of Congress actually get a fiscally conservative majority after the election in November, things could take a turn for the better very soon in 2013.

One of the most important features of the GOP House budget is that it draws an ideological line in the sand. It wants to break away from the Obama administration’s ambitions to continue America’s march into a European-style welfare state and instead restore the American tradition of limited government.

Conservative cynics will say that Paul Ryan’s efforts are too little, too slow. That is a valid point. However, the main hurdle in the way of returning to limited government is the welfare state. The welfare state is the key cost problem of the federal government. It took liberals decades to build it, and it won’t go away overnight. The GOP budget takes two first steps, though.

The first is, again, a recognition that there are two distinctly different ambitions for the role of government in America:

The first responsibility of the federal government is the safety and security of all Americans. … This overarching governmental responsibility – securing the inherent rights of all Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – is the principle and the purpose that informs this entire federal budget.

The budget then outlines the difference between a redistributive, Scandinavian-style welfare state and a no-fault government safety net. In the Scandinavian model, government takes from one group of citizens and gives to another on a permanent basis, regardless of whether the entitlement recipients can provide for themselves or not.

A no-fault model, by contrast, limits government to providing a safety net for the poor and needy. Two rules determine when benefits kick in:

  • It is established that it is fault of your own that you are suffering financial hardship, and
  • All private options for support and help have been exhausted.

One particularly important point in the GOP budget is expressed on page 37:

[Some] aspects of the [current] safety net impose barriers of their own. For instance, the elimination of certain benefits as income rises has the effect of imposing a tax that discourages some low-income Americans from seeking lives of independence and self-sufficiency. … In particular, it is essential to prevent benefits structures from becoming barriers to upward mobility.

This is precisely what the redistributive, Scandinavian-style welfare state does: it traps the poor in poverty and turns them into perennial welfare consumers.

What makes the GOP budget so compelling is that it also makes an honest effort to turn this good analysis into actionable policy. It echoes some ideas from 1990s welfare reform by emphasizing job training as a way out of life long welfare dependency (p. 41):

If government is to require able-bodied recipients of aid to find work, as it should, then it must also help them return to productive working lives. To that end, federal education and job-training programs need to be modernized to keep the workforce competitive in a 21st century, global economy. Government must do a better job of targeting resources to make sure that America’s workforce can successfully pursue new opportunities and adopt new skills, if necessary.

It also wants to introduce block grants for federally sponsored, state-run welfare programs. There is also a spelled-out ambition to reform Medicare and to keep federal spending within 20 percent of GDP.

Taken together, these proposed policy reforms obviously will not eliminate big government in a hurry. But, again, if you are driving toward the edge of a cliff, it is better to at least stop and turn the car around than to continue straight ahead.

Our current policies are taking us straight into the dungeon that has swallowed Greece, Spain and other European fiscal disasters. The GOP budget shows that we are within reach of evading that dungeon. A fiscally conservative majority in Congress working with a president willing to listen to them could actually get some true spending reform done.

And make sure that America’s future once again is brighter than her past.

Obama’s Budget Squanders the Future

The Senate Republican Budget Press Office released these charts illustrating just how dangerous Obama’s FY2013 budget is for Americans, their families and specifically our children. We are no longer talking about an unbearable amount of debt being put on our grandchildren – it’s much closer to home than that.

President Obama’s formal FY 2013 budget, submitted on February 13th, represents his financial vision for the future, detailed in 2,571 pages as delivered by his Office of Management and Budget.

 

Federal Debt $200,000 per household under Obama's plan

 Feds Would Spend $44,000 per household under Obama's plan

Americans' Lifetime Share of national debt by age group