Tag: Spending

Join Jim and Greg as they explore some of the ideas on China that ought to unite conservatives, moderates, and even some Democrats. They also shudder as Bernie Sanders is about to become chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and plans to use the reconciliation process a lot to avoid Senate filibusters. And they unload on Don Lemon for demonizing all Trump voters because some repulsive figures supported him too.

Carol Roth goes solo to cover her biggest post-election concerns, regardless on who wins, encompassing the size of government, spending, the Fed, the state of small business and more.

You can connect with Carol on Twitter @CarolJSRoth.

Steven Malanga and Brian Anderson discuss how the economic shock resulting from the coronavirus—the closing of large sections of the American economy, the plunge of stock markets—is likely to undermine state and local budgets around the country.

Even as states are searching for extra funds to help battle Covid-19, the loss of tax revenue during the crisis will be devastating. “States that rely on meetings, conventions, and tourism, or that derive substantial economic growth from energy production, or that depend on big gains in the financial markets from wealthy individuals, will be among the biggest losers unless the economy turns around fast,” Malanga writes.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Our Debt Nightmare Got Worse

 

The rascals did it again. Last December, Congress passed a gigantic spending bill that digs the debt hole deeper, using a devious process intentionally designed to be opaque. Americans, never that fascinated with budget issues, were well into the holiday season. Media attention was focused on impeachment and the perpetual horse race.

So, non-nerds may not yet realize that late at night on December 16, Congress released a 2,313-page bill with a cool $1.4 trillion in spending and another $500 billion in tax cuts and favors for special interests.

It’s New Hampshire primary day! Get prepared with your Tuesday installment of the Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for telling her fellow supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment that the effort died in 1982 and they need to start over again if they want to see it succeed. They also cringe as CNBC reminds us that Bernie Sanders would more than double federal spending every year due to his big government plans for health care, education, climate change and more. Meanwhile, Jim discusses the calculation from many on the right calculation that a Sanders nomination means an easy win for President Trump. And they roll their eyes as Tom Steyer tries to one-up the Democratic field by calling for a $22-per-hour minimum wage.

Member Post

 

Listening to local talk radio the other day on my way home from work, the host was talking about how spending under President Trump was 13% higher than it was under President Obama at the same point. Setting aside whether this is correct or not – trust no one and verify everything – the host […]

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Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the French people for forcing their government to suspend implementation of new fuel taxes, although their tactics leave a lot to be desired. They also shake their heads as Congress punts any tough spending decisions to Dec. 21 and appears unwilling to do much of anything to rein in spending. And the liberal site Slate draws an avalanche of condemnation for trashing the late Pres. Bush’s service dog, suggesting there should be no sentimental reaction to the dog since Bush only had him since June.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome President Trump’s efforts to cut $15 billion in federal spending and prod Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pursue the plan. They also need a shower after recounting the horrific allegations of physical abuse lodged against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman by four ex-girlfriends, one of whom says she was urged by friends not to go public with the assaults because it would be bad for Democrats. And they bite their fingernails as they wait to see if West Virginia Republicans nominate a sensible candidate for U.S. Senate or follow in the footsteps of many other states that blew recent chances to win Senate seats by choosing troubling and unelectable nominees.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are encouraged that six months before the midterms, DNC Vice Chairman Keith Ellison is promising that people will die if Democrats don’t win. It’s an indication that Democrats don’t have much of an agenda to run on other than fear and opposing President Trump. They also throw up their hands as congressional Republicans reportedly have no plans to try to pass a budget this year because it will be really hard to pass in the Senate. They react to Sean Hannity being named as one of Michael Cohen’s clients, and while there may be no legal scandal, Hannity is definitely wrong to have not disclosed this connection. And Jim has some theories about the man in the sketch released by Stormy Daniels.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see FBI Director Christopher Wray conclude there was no political agenda at work in the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. They also react to Facebook’s weak explanation for how user data ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica and Jim details how the right and left are furious with social media outlets for very different reasons. And they shake their heads as HUD Sec. Ben Carson tells lawmakers his wife helped pick out the $31,000 dining set after he had rejected expensive furniture.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America briefly grouse about D.C.area drivers in inclement weather before sipping their martinis. Then, they welcome the end of the Austin mail bombing horrors as the suspect apparently blows himself up as police close in on him. They also fume as the GOP-led Congress pursues yet another omnibus spending bill with virtually no fiscal restraint in sight, leading Jim to declare that “fiscal conservatism is dead.” And they sigh as President Trump defies his staff to congratulate Vladimir Putin on “winning” his election and because a disgruntled Trump staffer then leaked classified information to the media.

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America pause to cheer the Falcon Heavy rocket launch by Space X this week and David hopes it sparks more aspirational innovation that our nation so sorely needs. They also grimace as Republican majorities are preparing to jack up spending significantly over the next couple of years, even though some positive elements are included in the budget bill. And they sigh as Nancy Pelosi uses part of her marathon floor speech on immigration policy to say her young grandson blew out his birthday candles and wished he could look like his friend from Guatemala.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America relish enjoy watching the credibility of the Steele dossier implode even further now that disreputable Clinton fixer Sid Blumenthal is being implicated for feeding information to Steele. They also shake their heads as President Trump says he would love a government shutdown unless he gets his way on border security just weeks after Republicans successfully convinced Americans that funding the government should not be contingent upon passing an immigration bill. And they have no problem honoring the U.S. military with a parade as President Trump wants to do, but Jim says there are more pressing national security concerns, including long-term funding and pay raises.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Education Spending and Results: An Idaho Story

 

So does spending more per student improve outcomes in Idaho? In a word, no.

I have a graduate-level background in statistics. I was asked by a local conservative think tank to see whether increased spending on secondary education on Idaho has a meaningful effect on student outcomes. Idaho periodically administers its own ISAT achievement tests to elementary and secondary students. The 10th grade science test from 2014 was the latest set of results that I could obtain with a broad sampling of students with the longest exposure to public schooling. Public schools in Idaho also submit their annual budgetary information on a standardized set of accounts, 2013 was the latest available. I extracted the operating portion of districts’ budgets (educational and overhead expenses) and scaled that by the average daily attendance (ADA) in each district, showing how much was being spent per student.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. In a Pickle Over Regulations

 

On my first trip to DC, an immigrant cabbie pointed out buildings to college-aged me. As he highlighted the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and every other building I already knew, we drove by an imposing monolith near the mall. “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh, that’s the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

As it turned out, it was just the south building of the USDA, the largest office building in the world until the Pentagon was built. Next door is the USDA’s massive Jamie L. Whitten Building, which covers four acres by itself. What on earth do they do in there? I wondered.

Well, now I know. Over the weekend, I read just one of their regulations — 23 pages dedicated to pickles. Your tax dollars paid bureaucrats to mandate that a “small gherkin” must be less than 2.4 cm in diameter, whereas a “large gherkin” can have a diameter of up to 2.7 cm.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Progressively Bankrupt

 

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal foretells a grim financial future for Connecticut, the wealthiest state in the union by per capita income. Its great wealth, however, does not translate into financial stability. For this coming year, the state expects a $400 million shortfall in tax collections that will only compound its looming budget deficit of some $5.1 billion, attributable to the usual suspects: service on existing debt, a lowered credit rating, surging pension obligations, runaway health care expenditures, and a declining population. In both 2011 and 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy sought to fill the fiscal gap by engineering two tax increases on the state’s wealthiest citizens, so that today the state’s highest tax bracket is 6.99 percent. Under the state’s tax pyramid, about one-third of the state’s $7-billion budget is paid by the several thousand people earning over $1 million per year.

But reality has finally set in. Kevin Sullivan, head of Connecticut’s tax commission, has conceded that “you can’t go back to that well again.” Determined progressives may claim the path to prosperity remains blue. But sooner or later, the bubble has to burst. Even the well-heeled individuals willing to pay high taxes for superior services will cut back their business activities or flee when fleeced. Massive government wealth transfers cannot succeed if those whose wealth is to be transferred end up leaving the state altogether. Indeed, in some cases, the departure of just one billionaire can lead to a hole in the budget, as with David Tepper’s departure from New Jersey.

But if Governor Malloy has thrown in the towel on higher taxation, he has not offered any alternative program that will allow Connecticut to escape from its economic doldrums. Yet there is a path forward. His state can return to financial health if it reverses its policy course and removes many of its vaunted restrictions on labor and real estate markets. Fortunately, states have no power over interest rates and the money supply, so in order to survive, they are forced to look inward to make the necessary changes.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of the Democratic National Committee arguing in court that it can’t be sued for fraud because everyone knew the 2016 nomination process was rigged. They also grumble at Republicans for giving the Democrats virtually everything they wanted on the latest spending bill. And they express frustration with the media for running breathless headlines every time Pres. Trump says he’s considering something, but they also wonder what other things they could get Trump to publicly mull over.

Richard Epstein examines the principles that should guide efforts to reform America’s tax system.