The midterm elections are just a week away, and with most predicting a Republican sweep on November 4, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is setting his sights on the 2015 governing agenda. But before a new Congress is sworn in, the government's funding for FY 2015 is due to run out on December 11, and Politico's Jake Sherman reports "[McCarthy] would like to use the lame-duck session to pass a long-term government-funding bill, so Washington can begin focusing on big-picture legislating, instead of just trying to keep government's doors open."
The Cato Institute has released its latest Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors. The grade is based on seven items: two spending, one revenue, and four based on tax rates. Governors who cut taxes and spending most received an "A" and those who increased taxes and spending most received an "F".
Congressional Democrats want to kick the can into the post-election, lame duck period, so they can use another anticipated shutdown to their advantage to achieve their budget priorities without having to worry about voter backlash. Yet, Congressional Republicans would be foolish to accept such a deal. But if House Republicans fear a shutdown hurting their chances in November, expect them to get rolled in budget negotiations.
The federal government released the good news that revenue collections have reached an all-time high with total receipts of $1.935 trillion from October 1, 2013 to the end of May. Yet, even with this unprecedented flow of cash into the nation’s Treasury, the October-May deficit is an astounding $436 billion with May’s deficit alone totaling almost $130 billion.
For 100 years, the federal government has usurped powers not delegated to it in our Constitution. What should we do about it? Should we reclaim our existing Constitution and put an end to the usurpations? Or should we “modernize” the Constitution by delegating to the federal government the powers it has usurped – so as to legalize what is now unconstitutional?
While well-intentioned, all existing versions of a balanced budget amendment take the focus off the Article 1 Section 8 constitutional spending of the federal government and assume the federal government can spend taxpayer money on whatever it wants so long as the budget is balanced. This guts the protections the founders built into the U.S. Constitution.
Last August, before a partial government shutdown occurred in the ill-fated attempt to defund Obamacare, House Republican leaders were reportedly urging their conference to just wait for the debt ceiling, that that would be the time to achieve some concessions. Apparently, what House leaders finally determined could be accomplished on the debt ceiling was in fact nothing.
Two of three bills scheduled to be heard in committee dealing with an Article V Constitutional Convention were passed by the South Dakota House State Affairs committee Friday. One called called for a convention to produce a balanced budget amendment, and the other was to limit the authority of convention delegates. The third was deferred until Monday.
The stated purpose of Compact for America, Inc. is to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA) ratified. Here is their proposed BBA. State Legislators recently introduced it in Arizona. The gap between what this BBA pretends to do - and what it actually does - is enormous. It has nothing to do with “balancing the budget” – it is about slipping in a new national sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the existing federal income tax.
In a recent conversation, a member of Congress told me that he thought the original Constitution was flawed because it did not require a balanced federal budget. Therefore, he was in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment and saw this as a way to limit the runaway spending of the Congress. I bring up this conversation as an example of what you might call "over-looking the obvious"—or "not being able to see the forest because all the trees are in the way.”Next Page »
"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all." - Ronald Reagan, Nov. 10, 1964