Ryan Budget: A Good Start, but will it Matter?
The much-anticipated Ryan budget for FY 2013, which also contains a blueprint for the next ten years, has been released. The headline figures of the proposal include the following factoids: it will spend $5.3 trillion less than Obama’s plan and cut $2 trillion more in taxes over the next ten years; it will spend $4.15 less than CBO baseline; spending will be reduced from 24% | Read More »
The Real Franking Scandal With Rick Berg
There has been somewhat of a scandal percolating in the local North Dakota media relating to Rick Berg’s prodigal use of his franking privileges in Congress. Throughout the history of Congress, congressmen were afforded “franking privileges” as a way of facilitating communication between a member and his constituents. In plain English, this refers to the right of members to mail correspondence to constituents at no | Read More »
Kent Conrad’s Budget Folly
Paul Ryan is set to release the details of the House Republican budget resolution tomorrow. While liberals, conservatives, tea partiers, etc. will have plenty to say about the content of the budget, we must all acknowledge that Ryan has worked assiduously to formulate a coherent blueprint for a responsible budget. The same cannot be said for his counterpart in the Senate. Senate Budget Committee Chairman | Read More »
New Record Monthly Deficit 37 Months into Obama’s Presidency
Here’s a headline you won’t see in the media this week: we incurred the largest monthly deficit on record in February. Seven months into a government “reined in” by the Budget Control Act, we are supposed to be reaping the benefits of budget reduction. Yet, according to CBO, we incurred a gargantuan $229 billion $232 billion deficit in the month of February. The conservative Washington | Read More »
A Day’s Work in the House of Lords
Earlier today, the Senate began voting on a series of 30 amendments to the highway bill (S.1813). The three important amendments regarding energy subsidies that we referenced earlier (2 bad, 1 good) were postponed until next week. However, here is a list of other commonsense amendments that were voted down by Democrats. It is truly sad that at a time when gas prices are at | Read More »
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 »