GOP Lawmaker Floats Mechanism to Default Spending to Current Levels to Avert Debt Ceiling Crises

With the nation stuck at its $31.38 trillion debt limit and the Department of the Treasury imposing “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running, one GOP lawmaker is floating a new proposal to default federal spending to current levels to avert recurring standoffs over raising the debt ceiling.

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Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Abolish the State Income Tax

by Cole Lauterbach   Although Arizona’s state income tax recently dropped to one of the lowest in the nation, a rookie lawmaker disagrees with the concept of having an income tax at all.  State Rep. Austin Smith, a West Valley Republican, filed House Bill 2395. He said taxpayers have struggled to make…

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Commentary: Wokeness Is Hollowing Out The Fed

Are you wondering why checking out at the grocery store these days feels like making a mortgage payment? This week’s four-decade-high inflation is a direct result of the Federal Reserve taking its eye off the ball over the last two years. Instead of focusing on its mandate of keeping prices stable, it has been more concerned with financing massive federal deficits and kowtowing to liberal ideology.

But now the Fed chair is claiming just the opposite.

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House Speaker Fight Foreshadows Larger Debt Ceiling Battle on the Horizon for Republicans

The gridlock that paralyzed House Republicans over the past week in their quest to elect a new Speaker could be a foretaste of more to come, with party moderates and conservatives set to tangle in the months to come over raising the debt ceiling and reining in reckless government spending.

Although newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy ultimately prevailed in his bid for the office over a small but determined band of House Freedom Caucus members, his slim GOP majority in the House will be vulnerable if and when conservatives rebel again down the road, as some are predicting, in an effort to reassert debt reduction as a top priority for the party.

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Commentary: The $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education and STEM Spending

The national debt is growing, but Congress’ recent spending bill is a telltale sign that it has no intention of shrinking the deficit.

After receiving bipartisan support in the Senate, the House passed a 1.7 trillion spending bill on Dec 16, avoiding a government shutdown.

The bill allocates funding mostly to defense, including $45 billion to Ukraine, which will assist the country in its war effort against Russia.

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Commentary: Biden Admin Blames the American People for its Own Ludicrous Spending

Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blamed the American people for the 40-year high inflation we have been enduring.

Appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she said that Americans “were in their homes for a year or more, they wanted to buy grills and office furniture, they were working from home, they suddenly started splurging on goods, buying technology.” According to her, this consumer “splurging” caused prices to rise so much.

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Commentary: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for the Washington, D.C. Establishment)

It is Christmas season.  The decorations are hung or need to be. Gifts are being purchased. The Advent Week of peace is being celebrated. Parties are being thrown. And Americans wind down from a long, stressful year.

Unfortunately, while most Americans refocus, the rest of the world doesn’t stop, but in many cases looks at this time as an opportunity to exploit.

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Commentary: The Fed’s Interest Rate Hikes Have only Destroyed $398 Billion of the $6 Trillion It Printed

“Our expectation has been we would begin to see inflation come down, largely because of supply side healing.  We haven’t. We have seen some supply side healing but inflation has not really come down.”

That was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Sept. 21, speaking to reporters following the central bank’s meeting where the Federal Funds Rate was once again increased 0.75 percent to its current range of 3 percent to 3.25 percent in a bid to combat sticky 8.3 percent consumer inflation the past year.

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U.S. Senate Passes Massive Tax and Spend Bill Targeting Carbon Emissions, Prescription Drug Costs, More

The U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a $740 billion new taxing and spending bill that seeks to combat climate change and allow the government to control the price of prescription medications, among other things.

No Republicans voted for the bill, named the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, in the divided 50-50 Senate, forcing Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. The measure must return to the House for a concurrence vote after senators passed several amendments Sunday. The House is expected to take the bill up again on Friday. If the House concurs, President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign it.

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‘It’s An Absurd Argument’: Economists Take Apart One of Biden’s Favorite Talking Points

The Biden administration’s oft-touted talking point that employment has boomed under the administration is misleading and instead simply a natural recovery from pandemic losses, economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Facing consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth, sky-high inflation and plummeting consumer sentiment, the Biden administration has routinely cited a low unemployment rate and strong on-paper jobs creation as positive results of President Joe Biden’s economic stewardship. But the notion that these figures represent booming job creation is misleading since the economy has merely rebounded by adding back jobs that were lost during the pandemic and has still yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, economists told the DCNF.

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Commentary: Recession Predictor 10-Year, 2-Year Treasuries Spread Inverts Once Again Amid Crushing Inflation

The spread between 10-year and 2-year treasuries, a reliable indicator of incoming recessions that has predicted almost every recession in modern economic history, inverted once again overnight Monday amid financial markets turmoil with interest rates rising rapidly, the dollar strengthening and equities markets crashing.

That is almost certainly terrible news for President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats ahead of the 2022 Congressional midterms. The White House has attempted to highlight relatively low unemployment numbers as signs of a healthy economy, with President Biden on June 3 declaring the latest jobs numbers as “good news.”

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City of Dearborn Facing $22 Million Deficit

The city of Dearborn plans to restructure health care benefits and cut spending as it faces a $22 million deficit equivalent to firing 349 full-time employees.

The Metro Detroit city cited rising costs for the deficit, including $3.2 million in wage and benefit increases, $2.7 million for deferred fleet maintenance, and $1.2 million for increased fuel and other supplies.

However, budget details note the city has consistently spent more than it collected in revenue.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud told residents at a public meeting last week: “You are not going to lose benefits,” Fox2 reported. “At no point in time will the rug ever be pulled away from them, we never want to do that.”

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Think Tank: Detroit’s ARPA Spending Unsustainable

Detroit skyline at night

Nine years after declaring bankruptcy, the city of Detroit received more than $826.7 million in one-time federal stimulus money but still projects a deficit in fiscal year 2027.

A Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan (CRCM) report says the city’s plan to spend one-time dollars on recurring programs is unsustainable.

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House Passes Democrats’ Social Spending Bill After Congressional Budget Office Score

Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi

Congressional Democrats passed a $1.75 trillion social spending plan Friday, putting the bill’s fate in the hands of a deeply divided Senate.

The bill funds universal pre-kindergarten, climate change spending, Obamacare subsidies, an extension of the monthly child tax credit payment and more wide ranging spending items. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke more than eight hours on the House floor overnight to delay the vote until Friday morning, but afterward it passed 220-213 along party lines with one Democrat opposed.

“We are very excited for what it does for the children, for the families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a press conference after the bill’s passage.

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Senate Republicans Filibuster Government Funding Bill Over Debt Ceiling Provision With Three Days Until Shutdown

Senate Republicans Monday filibustered Democrats’ bill to fund the government and suspend the debt ceiling, days before a potential federal shutdown and possible debt default.

Republicans vowed for weeks to oppose a debt ceiling increase and urged Democrats to put the provision in their filibuster-proof $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. But Democrats have thus far refused to do so, and with their bill’s failure Monday, Congress now has just three days to pass a new funding bill to avoid a government shutdown set to begin Friday at midnight.

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The Congressional Budget Office Says the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Will Increase Deficits by $256 Billion over 10 Years

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday that the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill will add $256 billion to the deficit over the next decade, undercutting its backers’ claims the spending had been offset.

In FY2020, the deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion. So far in FY2021, the deficit is $2.2 trillion. The national debt is climbing to $29 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.

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U.S. Set to Hit Debt Ceiling Within Four Months, Congressional Budget Office Estimates

The federal government is on track to reach the statutory debt limit in the fall, which would trigger a government shutdown, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.

The U.S. is projected to reach the debt ceiling of $28.5 trillion by October or November, a CBO report released Wednesday stated. If Capitol Hill lawmakers don’t reach an agreement on raising the limit higher, the government could undergo its third shutdown in less than four years.

“If the debt limit remained unchanged, the ability to borrow using those measures would ultimately be exhausted, and the Treasury would probably run out of cash sometime in the first quarter of the next fiscal year (which begins on October 1, 2021), most likely in October or November,” the CBO report said.

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California Spent $13 Million to Guard 120 Empty Homes

Several tents on the side of the street

The state government of California has been revealed to have spent $13 million on providing security for 120 empty houses for five months, even as a homeless crisis ravaged the state, Fox News reports.

In a report broken by local outlet Fox 11, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) paid $9 million to the highway patrol from November 2020 to April 2021, and gave another $4 million to a private security firm over the same period, all for the purpose of protecting the vacant houses in Pasadena.

In a statement addressing the report, CalTrans said that the houses had been purchased by the government 60 years ago, when there were plans for a change in the local infrastructure by connecting the 710 freeway to the 210. However, that project “is no longer moving forward,” the government statement declared.

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Commentary: It is Time to Fight for the Rights of Independent Businesses

As a very young man, I was fortunate enough to start my own company out of my apartment using a small amount of investment capital from friends and family. Over time, that business grew to have over 6,000 employees and revenues in excess of $2 billion. Over nearly a 40-year span, my team and I built what some would consider a remarkable track record, as measured by both sales and profits.

Because of my experience growing that business, I feel a special kinship with small, privately owned businesses and their owners. I also come from a middle-class background, one that shaped me into the person I am today. It is through both the lens of entrepreneur and member of the middle-class that I look through when reflecting upon this Independence Day.

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Commentary: Price Stability, not Inflation, Will Get the U.S. Economy Back to Full Employment Sooner Rather than Later

2020 and 2021 are two sides of the same coin: Price instability brought about by the dollar being either relatively too strong or too weak, which can lead to or exacerbate economic slowdowns, creating higher unemployment and worse if the conditions persist for too long.

In 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, the problems included the global economy being shut down plus local lockdowns resulting in a massive recession and a flight to safety into U.S. treasuries as interest rates collapsed, making the dollar too strong. With the onset of deflation, consumer prices plummeted in March and April 2020, with oil even dropping briefly below zero dollars for the first time in history, and a concurrent rise of unemployment as 25 million Americans lost their jobs.

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Biden’s ‘American Jobs’ Plan Could Cost Taxpayers about $666,000 per Job Created

President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden’s proposed $2 trillion American Jobs Plan could end up costing taxpayers more than $666,666 per job created.

The Washington Post gave Biden “two Pinocchios” for saying the American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure and jobs proposal, will create 19 million jobs. Both Biden and his Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have made the 19 million jobs claim. The source of the statement is a Moody’s analysis, which CNN pointed out had estimated the U.S. economy would add about “16.3 million jobs over the same period if the infrastructure proposal does not get passed.”

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New House Rules Carve-Out for ‘Climate Change’ Bills Exempted from Requiring Projected Price Tag

House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.

Under the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rule, any additional government spending proposed must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts. After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to the necessary economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

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Armstrong Williams Commentary: It’s Time to Talk About Recession

Is America in a recession? It’s an unpopular question to ask, but it has now been over 3 months since COVID-19 restrictions were initiated and it is time for us to get realistic about where we are economically so that we can take the proper steps to minimize further damage to our economy. At this point, the unfortunate reality is that regardless of what we do, it is likely that it will take at least several years to see a partial recovery of economic loss and the time that it will take for a complete recovery remains unknown at this point. 

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Whitmer Creates COVID-19 Spending Oversight Office, Approves $150 Million in Coronavirus Spending

Whitmer MI Capitol overcast

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan COVID-19 Office of Accountability on Monday to provide a check over spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

The office, which resides in the State Budget Office, provides oversight to all spending to fight the coronavirus and will report to the governor and the state budget director.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget will designate a chief for the office.

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Michigan to Face More Budget Cuts as Tax Revenues Plummet

A storm of skyrocketing unemployment paired with plummeting tax revenue have plunged the state budget into a multi-billion dollar deficit.

State Budget Office Communications Director Kurt Weiss told The Center Square in an email that tax revenues for this fiscal year are projected to drop between $1 billion and $3 billion.

There’s another $1 billion to $4 billion projected for Michigan’s next fiscal year, Weiss said.

Over 1 million people have filed for unemployment benefits, more than a quarter of the state’s workforce.

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Commentary: Alexis de Tocqueville’s Lessons in a Time of Pandemic

The immediate challenge of COVID-19 has been cast as an examination of how individual Americans will fare should they be exposed to the virus. The effort to arrest the spread of the virus has brought unprecedented changes in the daily routines of all Americans. The limitation of activity is apparent when one walks outside. There is a marked silence, regardless of the time of day, almost eerie, that gives one pause.

The check on movement is accompanied by images of field hospitals and graphs showing curves and spreads displayed across news sites. While many are changing their daily routines to comply with the requirements of staying at home and practicing social distancing, a broader concern is the effect on our American democratic foundation.

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Commentary: The U.S. Economy Will Weather the Chinese Coronavirus

Tennessee Star

President Donald Trump praised the Federal Reserve for cutting the federal funds rate to a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, and restarting quantitative easing with $500 billion of U.S. treasuries purchases and $200 billion of mortgage purchases in response to the Chinese coronavirus global pandemic.

“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.” Trump has been hounding the Fed for years to cut interest rates to make the dollar more competitive against trading partners’ currencies including the yuan, euro and peso. Now he gets his wish.

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Michigan Budget Talks Stall Again Between Whitmer and GOP Leaders as They Remain Apart on Key Issues

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican congressional leaders did not take any action after Thursday’s meeting to address issues around the almost $1 billion left out of Michigan’s final budget.

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