Get Ready For Another Budget Battle
When Republicans caved on raising the debt limit last year, we referred to the final Boehner proposal as a ground ball into a double play. Not only did Boehner fail to secure any transformational change in exchange for raising the debt ceiling (except for cutting the military), he actually obviated our leverage in future budget battles. As part of the debt limit agreement, Congress passed | Read More »
Do Republicans Care About the Deficit or Not?
Republicans who seek our support during an election cycle declare emphatically that they will deal with the deficit upon being elected. Once elected, however, they far too often evince nothing but apathy towards efforts to solve our budget crisis. Worse yet, they even work assiduously to create new deficits. Ever since Republicans won control of the House in 2010, instead of looking for spending cuts | Read More »
The Highway Bill and ANWR: It’s a Trap!
Well, it appears that our efforts are paying off. Responding to our charge that the GOP was violating the pledge against bundled megabills, Boehner announced that he will split the proposal into three separate bills; the highway bill (HR 7), pension reform (HR 3813), and expanded oil and gas drilling (HR 3408). This from Roll Call: In a joint statement with Rules Chairman David Dreier | Read More »
, highway bill
, john boehner
Why Are Republicans ‘Evolving’ On Transportation Spending?
Throughout the week, Republicans have expressed their shock and dismay that we would have the unbridled temerity to oppose a highway bill. They want to know why we are suddenly opposed to such basic things as transportation bills, even ones that will leave us with a $70 billion budget shortfall. They are impugning our motives, charging us with opposing everything that emanates from leadership. Well, | Read More »
Alert: Senate Republicans Vote to Raise Taxes With Highway Bill
We’ve directed a lot of attention to the deficiencies of the House version of the highway bill (here and here). We must also work to defeat the Senate version, which is even worse. The 2-year $109 billion Senate bill (S.1813) offers no reform to mass transit and continues to mandate that states use 10% of their funding for wasteful “enhancement projects.” As bad as the | Read More »
The Highway Bill: A Road to Cave City
Last week, several House committees favorably reported the $260 billion 5-year House GOP highway bill to the full body. This 846-page behemoth is now headed to a floor vote sometime next week. Simply put, conservatives oppose the House leadership’s highway bill (H.R. 7) because it continues the failed top-down federal approach to transportation spending, while precluding devolution to the states for at least another five | Read More »
Defeat The Highway Bill
Here we go again. Republicans talk incessantly about the need to cut the deficit, yet they are once again proposing a policy that will actually augment the deficit. On March 31, authorization for transportation spending, along with its accompanying revenue source – the federal gasoline tax – is set to expire. Republicans in the House and a bipartisan group in the Senate have introduced dueling | Read More »
The Earmarxists are Back
It’s another week in the Senate, and there’s another battle over earmarks. Senators Toomey and McCaskill are proposing an amendment to the STOCK Act (“insider trading bill”S. 2038) to permanently ban earmarks in the Senate. Not surprisingly, there is pushback from Harry Reid…and a number of Republicans as well. As always, there are those who argue that earmarks are just inconsequential “drop in the bucket” | Read More »
CBO’s Budget Report: Perennial Debt for Generations
“The rosy predictions for revenues and reduced healthcare spending can come to fruition, but not with the current socialist policies as the baseline.” The budget season has officially commenced today with CBO’s release of its annual budget and economic outlook. Here are some of the major takeaways from the report: FY 2012 Budget The topline figure that the media will focus on is the projected | Read More »
$16.4 Trillion in Debt By End of Year
So this is what the “age of budget austerity” looks like? Yesterday, the Senate voted against a measure to disapprove of Obama’s request for an additional $1.2 trillion of debt. Every Democrat (except for Ben Nelson and Joe Manchin) voted against the resolution. Consequently, pursuant to the Budget Control Act (the “debt ceiling deal”), Obama will automatically get his new credit card. Our debt will | Read More »
They Spent Our Taxes on This?
Our national debt stands at $15.2 trillion, and is growing by roughly $6 billion per day. We have tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unfortunately, we have learned that Republicans lack the gumption to fight for transformational spending cuts and reforms of major entitlements. However, at the very least, one would expect them to oppose silly pork projects like | Read More »
Audacity of Hypocrisy: The Essence of Obama’s SOTU
One of the most salient messages from Obama’s State of the Union Address is that he is unwilling to take responsibility for any of his failures. Instead, he took credit for successful policies that he opposed, and ascribed blame on others for failed policies that he supported. Here is just a partial list of some of his most hypocritical moments: Iraq “For the first time | Read More »
Healthcare Doesn’t Need European Style Austerity Measures; It Needs Free-Market
“If our goal is to be shielded from any cost of healthcare, we will ultimately be exposed to all costs of healthcare.” Nothing typifies the inane cycle of government dependency and poverty more than the issue of healthcare. Given that healthcare constitutes 18% of our economy and that millions of Americans are languishing under its crushing costs, it is important that we articulate healthcare reform | Read More »
Breaking the GOP Cycle of Capitulation
As we forge ahead to the new legislative session, it is important that we internalize the lessons of the dismal failures from last session. Most of the dominant and sundry legislative battles last year can be explicated by the inane cycle of Republican capitulation. It goes something like this: Democrats propose some odious and profligate legislative idea or budget bill. Conservatives advocate that we uproot | Read More »
Will Obama be a Debt Man Walking in 2012?
2011 was a disastrous year for our debt. Yes, the Republican Congress prevented Obama from passing his budget, which would have added $1.6 trillion in new deficit spending. Instead, they passed a budget that added an additional $1.3 trillion to the national debt. Overall, federal outlays in FY 2011 (which ended September 30) were $141 billion more than the previous year. For FY 2012, thanks | Read More »
The Chickens of Debt Ceiling Deal Have Come Home to Roost
Today, the Treasury Department announced that Obama will ask for another $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, carrying our national debt to $16.394 trillion by next year. This will bring Obama’s total share of the debt to $5.77 trillion by the end of his tenure, far more than any other president. Unfortunately, there is not a darn thing we can do about it. Yet, | Read More »
What Does $40,000 Mean to You?
Obama has been running around all day making a fool of himself as he promotes his $40 Social Security tax cut. Yes, the tax plan that will create a new class warfare Social Security Taxable Wage limit in order to accommodate his totally unworkable two-month extension. Obama has even set up a new web page asking people “what $40 per paycheck would mean to you.” | Read More »
Coburn Details $7 Billion in Waste from 100 Dumb Projects
At some point we will need to go beyond merely cutting waste, fraud, and abuse. We will eventually have to wind down the welfare state and close government departments and agencies. However, there is no reason we shouldn’t demand an immediate bipartisan effort to eliminate programs that are just plain dumb, even according to Democrat socialist ideology. Nobody has been more assiduous and instrumental in | Read More »
House Must Decouple Payroll Tax Cut From Broader ‘Extenders’ Package
“The Senate action was akin to grounding into a triple play for Team GOP, yet the underlying bill passed with unanimous consent.” Over the weekend, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans obviated the superior leverage of House Republicans by passing a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, along with a clean extension (no reforms and offsets) of doc fix and unemployment benefits. In a premature | Read More »
The Great Spending Betrayal
Over Friday and Saturday, 61% of House Republicans and 34% of Senate Republicans voted for the omnibus megabus bill. In doing so, not only did they violate their pledge pertaining to bundled (1200-page) bills and the 72-hour layover rule and agree to fund Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Planned Parenthood, the EPA, the PLO and the UN; they actually agreed to spend almost $9 billion more than last | Read More »