Federal Budget

Bartiromo: ‘Mind-boggling’ There’s a $47 Trillion Budget Over 10 Years and Can’t Find $25 Billion for the Wall

During Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends Sunday,” Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo called it “mind-boggling” that there is a $47 trillion budget but no money readily available to be spent on building the United States-Mexico border wall. “[I]t’s perfectly natural to think that OK, if it hasn’t been used, this money is sitting there maybe we can clawback $15 billion, and again, the president is saying that he is willing to go to bat even though it’s very close to the mid-term elections, by the way, to shut down this government until this funding is done,” Bartiromo said. “It is a little mind-boggling that you have a $47 trillion budget over 10 years and you can’t find $25 billion for the wall for that.”

Maria is exactly right!  With all of the trillions and trillions of federal government waste of our hard earned tax dollars, and they can’t cough up enough (with GOP control of both chambers of Congress, no less) money for a wall to secure our border…which would help to stem the tide of illegal aliens and drugs and so on…which cost us billions and billions each year..   It’s beyond ridiculous.   Thanks Maria!!      🙂

Federal Spending Set Record During Shutdown

Federal spending for the fourth Monday in January set a record of $16,596,000,000 for that day in January even though the federal government was shut down, according to the Daily Treasury Statement. The House of Representatives did not pass the current short-term continuing resolution to fund the government and end the latest shutdown until 6:09 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday. That was after the close of the business day in Washington, D.C., which made Monday the one federal-government business day effected by the lastest shut down. (The other two days of the shut down were a Saturday and a Sunday.) But the $16,596,000,000 that the federal government spent on Monday–when it was shut down–was more in constant inflation-adjusted dollars than the federal government has spent before on the fourth Monday in January, according to the Daily Treasury Statements (going back to 1998) that are posted on the website of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The second highest federal spending on a fourth Monday in January came on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009—six days into Barack Obama’s presidency. On that Monday, the federal government spent $14,667,000,000 in constant December 2017 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator). The third highest federal spending on a fourth Monday in January came on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, when the government spent $13,761,140,000 in constant December 2017 dollars. In 1998, the earliest year for which the Bureau of the Fiscal Service has posted Daily Treasury Statements online, the federal government spent $7,725,230,000 on the fourth Monday of January (Jan. 26, 1998) in constant December 2017 dollars. Although the federal government spent a record $16,596,000,000 on the fourth Monday in January this year—and even though the federal government was shut down that day—the federal government did not run a deficit on that day. That is because it brought in $17,117,000,000 in tax revenue. That was not a record for tax revenue for the fourth Monday in January. On Jan. 23, 2018—the fourth Monday in January of last year—the federal government brought in $17,117,000,000 in tax revenue in constant December 2017 dollars. The largest expenditure the federal government made on Monday—when it was shut down—was $3,746,000,000 in “marketplace payments,” which are subsidies for health insurance plans purchased on the Obamacare exchanges. The second largest expenditure was $1,971,000,000 for Medicare and other Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services expenses. The third largest was $1,764,000,000 spent on Department of Education programs.

House narrowly passes Senate budget in Republican quest for tax reform

The House voted Thursday to adopt the Senate’s budget blueprint in whole, officially kicking off a monthslong sprint to pass a massive overhaul of the tax code and have something to show to voters by next year’s elections. The plan allows for up to $1.5 trillion in new tax cuts as part of the overhaul, giving lawmakers far more room than the original House budget — but also leaving them open to accusations that they’re ruining the government’s finances in the quest for tax reform. House members voted 216-212 to approve the budget, which also sets out fiscal year 2018 discretionary spending levels at about $1 trillion, and envisions deficits of $641 billion this year. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, the House’s top tax-writer, said the plan is now to release a tax bill next Wednesday, Nov. 1, and start marking it up in committee the following week. “Today is a historic day — and we are ready to deliver tax relief that improves the lives of middle-income Americans and struggling families who have been left behind in our slow-growing economy,” said Mr. Brady, Texas Republican. House GOP leaders pushed the Senate budget through rather than spend weeks hammering out a compromise with the Senate, figuring it was more important to build momentum for tax reform than to argue over specific numbers in the plan. “This budget acknowledges that our economy is in desperate need of a jolt, and the tax cuts included in the Senate-passed budget hold the promise of doing just that,” said Rep. Diane Black, who chairs the House Budget Committee. “President Trump is with us on this, and I agree that we must move quickly,” said Mrs. Black, Tennessee Republican. In a signal of the vote’s importance, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan voted “yes,” even though the speaker typically abstains. Mr. Ryan also eyed the chamber’s giant boards displaying how all the members voted as Republicans approached the magic number to get them over the hump. The White House cheered the vote, saying it sets the stage for Congress to ultimately pass tax cuts and tax reform. “President Trump has always made cutting taxes for hard-working American families, creating more jobs for American workers, and simplifying the rigged and burdensome tax code a priority, and he looks forward to further cooperation with Congress to advance the administration’s pro-growth and pro-jobs agenda,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This is a HUGE step.  But, only a step.  We’ll, of course, take it….for now.    🙂

Senate passes $4 trillion budget in crucial step for Trump’s tax overhaul

Senate Republicans powered their budget through Thursday night, adopting a fiscal year 2018 plan that would clear the path to get a massive tax deal done relying only on GOP votes, setting the stage for Republicans’ next big-ticket agenda item. The budget passed on a 51-49 vote. While the vote is far from a guarantee of success for tax reform, it’s a crucial first step that GOP leaders had to clear. “Tonight we completed the first step toward replacing our broken tax code by passing a comprehensive, fiscally responsible budget that will help put the federal government on a path to balance,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Already months overdue — the fiscal year began Oct. 1 — the budget calls for about $1 trillion in discretionary spending this year, and envisions deficits of $641 billion. But even Republicans said those numbers were probably irrelevant, and it will take a bipartisan deal later this year to set actual spending levels for 2018. Instead, the goal of the budget was to set up what’s known as the “reconciliation” process, which allows big financial measures to pass the Senate by majority vote, without having to overcome a filibuster. Democrats used reconciliation to ease passage of Obamacare in 2010, and Republicans used it to pass tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. The GOP also tried to harness it for the Obamacare repeal effort earlier this year, but were unable to get enough support from within their own ranks.

This is a HUGE first step.  But, only a step.

Per Capita Federal Spending Up Sevenfold Since 1941

Real per capita federal spending has increased more than sevenfold since fiscal 1941, which concluded on June 30 of that year — or about five months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. In fiscal 1941, real per capita federal spending was approximately $1,718. In fiscal 2017, which concluded at the end of September, it was about $12,239. Back in 1941, at the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unprecedented third presidential term, the federal government spent $13,653,000,000, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Although that was a massive increase from the $4,598,000,000 the federal government had spent in 1933, when Roosevelt first took office, it was a pittance compared to what it would spend in the years to come. The national population was about 133,402,471 in 1941, according to the Census Bureau, which means the approximately $13,653,000,000 shoveled out by the Treasury that year equaled $102.34 per capita. Converted into September 2017 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, that equals $1,718.33 in real per capita federal spending. Over the next four years, as the United States fought a world war in both Europe and the Pacific, real per capita spending understandably escalated. In fiscal 1945, at the height of the war, federal spending hit $92,712,000,000 while the national population reached 139,928,165. Per capita spending that year was $662.57 or $9,035.08 in 2017 dollars. Federal spending initially tailed off after the war, but it did not return to prewar levels. By fiscal 1948, it was down to $29,764,000,000. With the population at 146,631,302, that equaled about $202.99 in per capita spending or $2,078.91 in 2017 dollars. That $2,078.91 in real per capita spending in fiscal 1948 was still $360.58 (or about 21 percent) higher than the real per capita spending of $1,718.33 in fiscal 1941. In fiscal 2017, the federal government spent $3,982,000,000,000, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s Monthly Budget Review. With the Census Bureau estimating that the population was 325,344,115 as of July, that makes per capita federal spending in fiscal 2017 about $12,239.35. That is $3,204.27 (or about 35 percent) higher than the $9,035.08 in real per capita spending in fiscal 1945 — at the height of World War II. It is more than seven times greater than the $1,718.33 in real per capita spending the federal government did in fiscal 1941 — the last fiscal year before World War II. Measured against the population of the country, the federal government is now seven times bigger than it was when FDR started his third term. Is it seven times better? What are Americans getting for this massive increase in the federal government?

Some really good questions…  To read the answer to those questions, and the rest of the article, click on the text above.  Our federal government is WAY too big and out of control.  We need to demand from our federally elected officials that they reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and return to a more “limited government.”  Of course, one way to do that is to make massive tax cuts.  After all, the money we send to Washington, D.C. is their source of power….over us.  So, next time there is an election, vote for that candidate who will cut your taxes the most.

Big Government Republicans Rebuke Trump Budget

Kentucky Republican congressman Hal Rogers, who has spent more than three decades on the House Appropriations Committee, including six years as the chairman, rejected President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget as Congress begins consideration of the president’s rearrangement of priorities. “While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the President’s skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive,” said Rogers, one of the so-called “cardinals,” the nickname for the lawmakers controlling how federal money is spent. Rogers said he was concerned about cuts to programs in Kentucky. “In particular, the Appalachian Regional Commission has a long-standing history of bipartisan support in Congress because of its proven ability to help reduce poverty rates and extend basic necessities to communities across the Appalachian region,” he said. “Today, nearly everyone in the region has access to clean water and sewer, the workforce is diversifying, educational opportunities are improving, and rural technology is finally advancing to 21st Century standards. “We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse. As the full budget picture emerges in the coming weeks, I am optimistic that we can work with the Administration to responsibly fund the federal government, including those agencies which serve as vital economic lifelines in rural parts of the country that are still working to overcome substantial challenges. Another top House Republican and the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Mike Conaway, took shots at the president’s cuts to the agriculture programs. “At first blush, I am pleased that the administration is working to restore the strength of our nation’s armed forces to make sure that our men and women in uniform have the equipment that they need to defend our country and our interests around the world,” said Conaway, a Texas Republican who also sits on both the Intelligence and Armed Services Committee. “On the USDA budget, I am concerned that the cuts, while relatively small in the context of the total federal budget, could hamper some vital work of the department,” he said. “I think it is very important to remember that net farm income is down 50 percent from where it stood just four years ago. America’s farmers and ranchers are struggling, and we need to be extremely careful not to exacerbate these conditions. In fact, we need to do all we can to be there to help our farmers and ranchers. The work they do is critical. “I think it is very important to remember that net farm income is down 50 percent from where it stood just four years ago. America’s farmers and ranchers are struggling, and we need to be extremely careful not to exacerbate these conditions. In fact, we need to do all we can to be there to help our farmers and ranchers.” Another Republican taking on the president’s budget cuts is Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a critical tool in our efforts to help protect and restore Lake Erie, and when the Obama administration proposed cuts to the program, I helped lead the effort to restore full funding,” he said. “I have long championed this program, and I’m committed to continuing to do everything I can to protect and preserve Lake Erie, including preserving this critical program and its funding.” When he announced the president’s budget, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, explained that his budget request was based on Trump’s own speeches and campaign promises. “Knowing what you know about the President, you could imagine what that budget would look like before you even see it..”

Indeed!  It’s disappointing to see SO many Republicans like these otherwise quality legislators giving in to their inner-liberal, knee-jerk need to give their respective districts the pork they’ve been so used to giving them…in order to buy their votes.  The size and scope of the federal government has progressively grown for decades.  And, now, we actually have a President who wants to trim the fraud, abuse, and waste of federal taxpayer dollars from the federal budget, just as he promised he would.  As Mr. Mulvaney rightly suggests, this should be NO surprise to anyone.  This is just Trump keeping another one of his promises; in this case, to “drain the swamp.”  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Debt ceiling lifted, and the same day, debt jumps $339B

The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling. That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place. The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday. The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached. At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments. When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt. In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day. This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.