Tag Archives: government spending

Congress’s lack of fiscal restraint hurts taxpayers

Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“With the divisiveness of tax reform now hidden behind the closed doors of a conference committee, Congress has returned to the only thing that restores bipartisanship on Capitol Hill: spending money. After pushing the deadline off for another two weeks, Congress must now act by December 23 in order to avoid the by-now-routine threat of a partial government shutdown. That means we should expect the usual threats and predictions of disaster, all just in time for the holidays. Current reporting suggests that Congress is likely to gather the courage to extend the deadline all the way to mid-January, just in time for us to go through it all a second time.” (12/13/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/congresss-lack-fiscal-restraint-hurts-taxpayers

Senate sends funding bill to Trump to avert fake shutdown theatrics

Source: The Hill

“The Senate on Thursday easily cleared a two-week stopgap funding bill, one day before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown [sic]. Senators voted 81-14 on the legislation, which cleared the House earlier in the day. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it. Six Republicans, seven Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted against the legislation.” (12/07/17)

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/363857-senate-sends-funding-bill-to-trump-to-avert-shutdown

Time to shut it down

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“The specter of a government shutdown is looming once again, since funding of the federal government expires on Friday, December 8. But in a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-ranking Republican senator, stated, ‘There shouldn’t be any discussion about shutting down the government. We can make this thing work.’ … Contrary to Senator Thune, there should be a discussion about shutting down the government. The federal government’s annual budget is currently about $4 trillion. When Thune talks about making things work and negotiating he is talking about how a small portion of this $4 trillion will be spent. Democrats and Republicans are united in agreement about the vast majority of federal spending. What is never discussed is the constitutionality and legitimacy of all federal spending.” (12/06/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/time-to-shut-it-down/

Schumer, Pelosi cancel meeting with Trump after Twitter attack

Source: Politico

“House and Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday abruptly withdrew from a scheduled White House meeting about averting a government shutdown after President Donald Trump publicly slammed them and cast doubt on the negotiations. Trump tweeted early Tuesday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) ‘want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes,’ adding, ‘I don’t see a deal!’ Pelosi and Schumer responded by canceling their plans to meet with Trump and GOP leaders to discuss a deal to keep the government open, raising the prospects of a shutdown as government funding expires next week.” (11/28/17)

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/28/schumer-pelosi-cancel-meeting-with-trump-262853

US House passes $692 billion corporate welfare … er, “defense” … bill

Source: The Hill

“The House on Tuesday easily passed the 2018 fiscal year’s nearly $700 billion defense policy bill. The House voted 356-70 to approve the $692 billion compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reached after negotiations between the House and Senate. The compromise version would authorize $626.4 billion for the base defense budget and $65.7 billion for a war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. The money would go toward a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, an increase of 20,000 active duty and reserve troops across the services, bulked up missile defense, increased operations in Afghanistan, and more ships, planes and other equipment.” (11/14/17)

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/360362-house-passes-692b-defense-policy-bill

Sorry, Republicans: If you’re not cutting spending, you’re not cutting taxes.

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders rolled out their new tax plan on November 2. Since all bills must have titles, they’re calling this one ‘The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.’ Republican ‘tax reform’ theatrics have worn thin over many months of waiting, but I still prefer a more theatrical title. ‘A tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing’ rings true. Four centuries later, Shakespeare’s MacBeth is a better description of the matter than any coming out of Washington, DC. Yes, there’s plenty of quibbling across the aisle over everything from top rates to the home mortgage interest deduction, but neither party’s politicians seem willing to tackle the most basic, indisputable, and relevant fact: Since Congress isn’t cutting spending, Congress won’t be cutting taxes either.” (11/03/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/11772

The “Amazon Amendment” would effectively hand government purchasing power over to Amazon

Source: The Intercept
by David Dayen

“This week, representatives of three major internet platforms — Google, Facebook, and Twitter — are testifying before Congress about their role in facilitating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But a fourth giant sat comfortably removed: Amazon. Instead of getting yelled at by lawmakers, Amazon is on the verge of winning a multibillion-dollar advantage over retail rivals by taking over large swaths of federal procurement.” (11/02/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/02/amazon-amendment-online-marketplaces/

Aren’t Republicans supposed to care about the deficit?

Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“Do you remember when Republicans at least pretended to care about government overspending? Last week the Congressional Budget Office announced that the budget deficit for 2017 will top $665 billion, the highest level since 2013. Worse, while the deficit in 2013 was still being driven in part by one-time spending items, including TARP and the stimulus bill, the current tide of red ink appears to be more structural in nature, the result of rising entitlement costs and routine overspending. In fact, the federal government will actually take in more in taxes this year than it did last year, the result of increased economic growth. But those increased revenues are more than offset by $130 billion in higher spending.” (11/01/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/arent-republicans-supposed-care-about-deficit

US House narrowly passes budget, paving way for $1.5 trillion tax cut

Source: Washington Post

“House Republicans set the stage Thursday for an intense sprint toward a landmark tax overhaul, overcoming internal dissension and Democratic opposition to move forward with legislation that could cut revenue by up to $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. Budget legislation passed Thursday will allow the GOP to pass its tax plan without Democratic help, but the close 216-to-212 House vote reflected ongoing tensions about the tax push among Republicans — and many expect the qualms to grow once draft legislation is released next week.” (10/26/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/house-narrowly-passes-budget-paving-way-for-15-trillion-tax-cut/2017/10/26/49867544-ba50-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html

To really cut taxes, we must cut government spending

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Sheldon Richman

“[I]f tax revenues drop while government spending remains constant or grows, real taxation — the extraction and consumption of resources from the industrious sector — will not have been reduced. If government does not take the resources openly, it will do so by stealth, disguising the extraction in arcane tax-code provisions that obscure who really pays the taxes; by acquiring purchasing power at the expense of the bulk of the people by printing money; or by borrowing, which pushes the burden onto future generations. Borrowing not only burdens our descendants, it also diverts resources from productive use today. That creditors choose to lend the government money should not blind us to the fact that they do so only because the government can tax someone to repay the loans.” (10/24/17)

https://www.aier.org/research/really-cut-taxes-we-must-cut-government-spending