Tag Archives: Republican Party

Omnibus spending bill proves ‘the Swamp’ cannot be drained

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President Donald Trump was elected to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. by eliminating waste and turning away from politics as usual.

But today, the president signed a massive $1.3 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill that not only failed to help drain the swamp, but pumped more muck into it instead.

As reported by Dave Boyer at The Washington Times:

The spending deal will increase the deficit for the current fiscal year to at least $850 billion, up from $666 billion in fiscal 2017. Starting in October, annual deficits are projected to top $1 trillion for the foreseeable future. On that course, the government would add roughly $12 trillion in borrowing over the next decade.”

Of course, this one isn’t all on the president alone. Congresspersons in the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the United States Senate crafted the bill, then voted it through to his desk.

The spending bill passed in Congress by a vote of 256-157, and then passed in the Senate by a 65-32 vote.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a vocal critic who voted against the bill, summed up the feelings of many conservatives very succinctly per Benjamin Brown of Fox News:

“Republicans control the government, yet Congress still follows the Democrats’ playbook. Time and again, spending skyrockets, and conservatives are expected to fall in line to praise the party for making the big-spending status quo worse.”

President Trump had stated as late as Saturday morning that he was considering a veto of the bill. However, in the end he signed off on it, claiming that it provided necessary increases in funding for the military as a primary reason.

Though a staunch supporter of the American military, I find this reasoning disingenuous at best, and a flat-out lie at worst.

After signing, the president referred to the bill as “ridiculous“, and per S.A. Miller at The Washington Times stated that “I will never sign a bill like this again.

Unfortunately, by that time the damage was already done. He signed this one. Why sign this one, knowing while you are doing it that you allegedly will never sign one like it again?

What the president could have, and should have, done in my opinion was to veto the bill. While the bill had passed easily in both Houses of Congress, there was not enough support to override his veto.

With a veto, the Congress would have been forced to go back and make cuts that would allow for the president to affix his signature. That, or with no spending authorization in place, they could simply decide to shut the government down.

This president was supposed to be the one who did things differently. Who didn’t play the same old political games. But here, when he had the chance to back up his tough talk and tweets with some real hardball action, he blinked and signed.

The Trump signature on this bill was a slap in the face to every conservative American who threw their support to him in November of 2016. It was a betrayal of those of us who believed that we finally had someone unafraid to stand up to the Deep State establishment.

There is no sugar-coating this one. President Trump caved in to politics as usual in Washington, D.C., and as a result we as a nation will sink deeper and deeper in debt.

There is no doubt that there is much to like in the spending bill, including those necessary increases for the U.S. military. But there is no funding to “build the wall” that has been promised by the president, and there is no fix to the DACA issue.

There is also no doubt that among the ridiculous 2,232 pages of this massive grab into taxpayer wallets that there is a great deal of money going out to special interest pork barrel projects that the government has no business being involved in funding.

Frankly, I’m tired of vocally backing a president and a party that, when push comes to shove, continually thumbs its nose at the people who elected them to office. They talk about Democrats spending like drunken sailors and promise that they will be different if given the chance. Then when given that chance, they drink the Dems under the table.

No more. I’ll be taking a nice, long, happy break from politics after this piece. It’s on to sports, faith, entertainment, and other less stressful topics in my writing. And that’s a shame.

The election of businessman Donald Trump was supposed to mean an end to business a usual in Washington. Instead, we saw today that he is incapable of nothing more than talk in regards to draining the swamp.

Why Democrats don’t want you to have nice things

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The Republican Party-controlled United States Congress led by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky passed historic tax reform legislation this week. This tax relief will lower the tax burden for nearly every American individual and business.

The Tax Policy Center is a nonpartisan joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. They are an organization made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.

Howard Gleckman at TPC had this to say about the changes:

“About 80 percent of households would get a tax cut while about 5 percent would pay more in 2018 (the rest would pay roughly the same as under current law). Among middle-income households, about 90 percent would pay less and 7 percent would pay more.”

So then why would every single Democratic member of Congress, Senators and U.S. Congresspersons led by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, vote against the legislation? Why would not one single Democrat want middle-class workers and families to keep more of their own hard-earned money?

The answer is simple: control. It is the answer to the same question asked in the headline accompanying this piece. That answer lies in the fundamental difference between today’s American conservatives, found mostly in the Republican Party, and Democratic Party liberal progressives.

Conservatives – and trust me, not all Republicans are true conservatives – want you to keep more of your own money and power. They desire more familial, local, and state control over your finances and your personal lives.

As Republican ad-maker Brad Todd put it per James Hohmann at The Washington PostGod created Republicans to cut taxes. Big bills are always complicated, but in time the truth comes out when something costs them (the American people) more or less money.

Liberal progressives want greater state control. The lib-progs believe themselves to be fundamentally more capable than you to make decisions regarding how your money is spent, what your children are taught, and in fact, what you as an individual should think and feel.

Liberal progressives want businesses taxed and regulated so as to have more control over their product output and direction, regardless of the impact on the economy or society. With taxes lowered and regulations loosened on businesses, the worn and tired lib-prog talking point of Republicans “helping only the wealthy and corporations” is once again foisted on the gullible.

The liberal progressives have taken control of the Democratic Party over the last century. Today they are moving ever leftward, marching towards outright Socialism as publicly proclaimed by one of their most popular leaders, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

(Milton Friedman on capitalism over socialism)

Why don’t publicly proclaimed socialist Democrats such as Senator Sanders want businesses to receive even greater tax and regulatory relief? Why are even supposed “mainstream” Democrats voting against tax relief for middle-class Americans workers and families?

Dems don’t want business to receive such relief because it will mean profits will increase. Profits increasing will result in business expansion and hiring. It will result in job creation and technological innovation. Middle-class tax relief will mean more real money in the pockets of the average American individual and family.

Those are nice things, but not for Democratic Party pols. That’s because they have come out publicly in opposition to the tax cuts and regulatory relief. Republicans will get credit for an increase in American wealth at all levels, resulting in election wins and less power for Democrats.

And there it is, the answer to why the Democrats don’t want you to have nice things. Control. The Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, are giving Americans the Christmas gift of tax relief. It is a gift that returns a measure of control to all of us. It is a gift that has been decades coming, and one that will keep on giving well into the future.


Tax reform postcards from the edge

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The Republican controlled United States Congress is attempting something significant that has not happened in more than three decades. Yet it is something that almost everyone in both parties believes to be grossly overdue.

Updates to the United States tax code have not been accomplished since Ronald Reagan was President.

That long ago legislation passed a voice vote in the House of Representatives in December 1985. It then took another seven months before finally passing the Senate in June 1986. President Reagan then signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 into law on October 22, 1986.

Over the ensuing decades, further changes to the tax code have been discussed and debated in both formal political circles as well as in the media and in academia. Many on both sides of the American political aisle have voiced their concern that tax reform was necessary. Agreeing to the specifics and getting such reform done has been much more elusive.

Charles Rangel is as liberal a Democrat as you are going to find. He served in Congress for nearly five decades before retiring earlier this year. Per Brainy Quotes, Rangel once stated “We all want a simpler code, but tax reform is about much more. It is about ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.

Those final words have usually become the rub. What makes up a “fair share?” Reaching any consensus is becoming nearly impossible now in an era where American politics are as partisan and polarized as any in history. 

That 1986 tax legislation was actually co-sponsored by a pair of Democrats, Congressman Dick Gephart and Senator Bill Bradley. While Republicans held a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, the final vote in support for tax reform was 97-3. 

When the 2017 House vote was taken on November 16, no Democrats voted for it. None. Their mantra, as it has always been, claimed that Republicans were cutting taxes for “the top 1%” of earners, while giving no or little actual relief to the middle class. 

The Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, responded per Naomi Jagoda and Cristina Marcos for The Hill that “Passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy, to restore opportunity and help these middle-income families who are struggling.

The fact is that on most issues, especially the big ones, votes in both the House and Senate now come down rigidly along party lines. Where there used to be a dozen or more “swing” votes to be had, legislators of either party who could be appealed to and lobbied for support, that is rarely the case today. 

There is always an obligatory appeal to the middle class by both parties. Each claims to want to bring relief to those middle income earners. Yet somehow, the two parties can never agree on any issue that will actually help the middle class.

Getting actual tax reform done now is going to come down to one party or the other gaining control of both the House and the Senate. Then they are also likely to need a President of their same party who is willing to sign the new tax proposal into law.

Right now, Republicans have just such control. The GOP holds a slim 52-48 edge in the U.S. Senate, and a tight 239-194 edge in the House of Representatives. And, of course, a Republican now sits in the Oval office for the first time in eight years.

A big election will take place in Alabama in two weeks for a Senate seat. The result of that election will either maintain the Republicans edge, or tighten it even further to a barely noticeable 51-49 advantage.

In next year’s mid-term elections, Democrats will need to defend the seats of 25 of their voting members in the Senate. Republicans have eight seats to defend. All 435 voting Congress persons will also have to defend their seats.

With uncertainty always a hallmark of mid-term elections, now is the time for Republicans to get tax reform done. Having missed out on a chance to repeal and replace Obamacare, the GOP needs to begin showing that it can get major legislative initiatives accomplished.

While the Republican Congresspersons of the House have now passed their plan, the Republican Senators are now preparing to vote on their own tax reform proposal. That vote is likely to take place this week.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, always a key vote in these big issues, today came out in support of the Republican tax plan readying for that Senate vote:

“This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues. I’m not getting everything I want — far from it. But I’ve been immersed in this process. I’ve fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.”

Assuming those Senators actually get their plan to pass a vote, we still won’t have tax relief. Leaders in the House and Senate would need to get together, and hash out some compromise regarding the details of their separate proposals.

Once that happens, which would likely come in the spring, then there would be votes in both Houses on the final legislation. Should that pass both votes, then it tax relief would finally get to President Trump’s desk. It is presumed that the President would sign any tax reform legislation put before him.

Chris Edwards for the Cato Institute opined back in late October that “the GOP plan would give the largest relative cuts to people in the middle. On average, middle-income earners would receive larger percentage tax cuts than higher-income earners.

One highlight of the House reform plan that has been constantly pushed is that most Americans would be able to file their income taxes on a form the size of a postcard. I’ll be curious to see if that actually comes to pass. 

Politics in this country are on the edge right now. The edge of sanity, that is. Next year’s mid-term elections are going to be hard-fought and bloody. Passing tax reform before those elections hit would be a welcome postcard from the edge for American tax payers.

Alabama U.S. Senate election: the problem with not voting for Roy Moore

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The special election for an open U.S. Senate seat taking place in Alabama on December 12 is pivotal for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons is that Alabama residents need to be represented in the Senate by someone who will fight for the values held dear to the majority of the citizens of the state.

The second reason that this election is so vitally important is the continuance of Republican control of the Senate as a voting body.

There are 100 seats available in the Senate, two from each of the 50 states. Currently, the Republican Party enjoys a 54-44 edge with two Independent representatives. Those two, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, are “independent” in formal affiliation only. They are both reliable Democratic Party votes.

So the actual current working makeup of the United States Senate shows a 54-46 voting edge for the Republican Party. Since most important issues are settled by a simple majority these days, Democrats need to flip just five seats in order to take control.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office for 14 of the last 23 years. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives slipped into Democratic Party control three times during the Obama years.

For the majority of the last two decades, the U.S. Senate has been in Republican Party control. However, that control has usually been by a fairly slim margin. Republican senatorial control has been vital to keeping America from slipping down a Liberal Progressive slope

In Alabama, Richard Shelby was elected to one of the two senate seats as a Democrat all the way back in 1986. However, he switched over to the Republican Party in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. Now age 83, Shelby was elected just last year to a new six-year term.

The other Alabama seat was held since 1997 by Republican Jeff Sessions. He became the current U.S. Attorney General in the Trump administration, and Luther Strange was appointed as his temporary successor. Republicans have thus held both Alabama senate seats for over two decades.

Back in September in a hotly contested race, Strange lost a runoff to Roy Moore for the Party nomination to fully succeed Sessions. Moore is now set to face Democrat Doug Jones in the December 12 election. The winner will hold the senate seat formerly held by Sessions through 2020.

Under normal circumstances, Moore might be expected to win this election fairly easily. He is the far more conservative of the two candidates in a state that has gone Republican in Presidential elections for over nearly forty years.

However, these are not normal circumstances. Moore has recently been accused by a half-dozen women of either sexual assault or harassment decades ago. Moore has either denied the accusations, or stated that they were consensual with younger women who were past the age of legal consent.

Moore is a former state judge who served twice as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He has been a colorful, often controversial public figure for decades. His rulings have frequently come down on the side of protecting conservative values.

These accusations have raised questions among some, especially due to their surfacing at this time, with Moore running for such a powerful and influential seat in government.

Folks have had plenty of time to digest these accusations and Moore’s responses over the last few weeks. As I wrote this past weekend, people are going to believe what they want to believe on most of these situations.

Numerous liberal publications and commentators, and even some conservative Republican big names, have called for Moore to drop out of the race. They would prefer to have him step aside willingly, and then install a candidate with less baggage into the race. Moore has stated unequivocally that he will not step aside.

If Moore does indeed stay to the end, then Alabama is going to have a choice to make. No matter what you think of Moore’s conduct decades ago, voters will be left with a fairly simple thought process in making their choice for the December 12 election.

If you choose to vote for Jones, you are voting for a liberal Democrat. While Jones may not be an ideologue, his publicly stated positions are in line with the mainstream Democratic Party. He can be expected to reliably support the Party with his vote.

If you are a Republican who would have normally voted for the Party candidate, but now choose to not vote at all, then you are ostensibly casting a ballot for Jones. You can play semantics in your mind, justifying your position any way you want. But the fact is that you have made it one vote easier for Jones to get into office.

If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for his stated positions. Lower taxes, smaller government, less spending. You vote for a man who believes strongly in the U.S. Constitution, is against activist judges, and thus would support originalist nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for a Vietnam veteran who would be a strong supporter of the U.S. military. He believes that open borders are a genuine threat to our national security and economy. Moore is also against socialized medicine such as Obamacare, which he says should be repealed immediately.

In short, it is Roy Moore who would support all of the values that the majority of the citizens of Alabama claim to hold dear. By not voting for him, they would be helping their state and their nation to head down a path counter to their beliefs.

That is the problem with not voting for Roy Moore. When Alabama residents go to the polls in December, that is what they need to be thinking about when they cast their ballot.

Which candidate, on taking office and heading to Washington, is actually going to represent their values, their positions on the issues most important to them and their families? The answer seems fairly obvious.

Miniumum Wage: Be Careful What You Wish For…You Just Might Get It

Democrats, led by President Obama, are trying to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour up to $10.10 per hour. Many Republicans have come out against such an increase.

Efforts such as raising the minimum wage are attempted, not to help the poor or middle-class, but to wage (pun intended) a continuing political and ideological war within the United States of America. It’s not about compassion. It’s about power, plain and simple.

Democrats believe that their continued, traditional use of buzzwords and terms such as “living wage”, “fairness”, and “equity” will keep certain segments of the population voting their way in elections. They count on it to keep them in power. Their main carrot to garner and control these votes is the oldest in the book: they pay for them.

Many people want, and a surprising number of people even expect, something for nothing. They feel that government owes them something, including money, food, medicine, transportation, and much more, with nothing expected in return. This is the mentality behind the support for a raise in the minimum wage.

Now supporters of that effort will try to sell you that such an increase will help everyone. That minimum wage earners are helped by making more money. And other workers will then have their own wages also raised to keep them ahead of these entry-level and lesser-skilled workers.

Frankly, that is a farce. What does indeed happen when wages are artificially, forcibly increased is that companies cut back and/or raise prices. They hire fewer people, meaning less opportunity. They raise prices on their goods, meaning more money out of the pockets of those who just had their wages artificially raised.

No company is just going to accept any increase, be it in forced wage increases, greater taxes, or anything else, without eventually passing that increase on to it’s customers. Forcing wages up artificially means that we will all pay more. Meanwhile, fewer jobs will be available for that lesser skilled workforce.

President Obama and his Dem cronies will try to tell you that the minimum wage needs to be raised to $10.10 per hour in order for Americans to meet their vision of a certain standard of living. They say that it will be good for everyone. But they ignore a fundamental flaw in their argument.

If $10.10 per hour is good for Americans, why not $11 per hour? Why not $15 per hour? Heck, why not a minimum wage of $25 per hour? If minimum wage workers earned much more, wouldn’t they spend more, helping the economy more? Why is $10.10 just right?

They stop at $10.10 per hour because it is a figure at which their own studies have shown that business will take the increase with a minimum of job cutbacks. There will still be cutbacks, layoffs, and other ramifications. But they will be minimal when compared to the expected political gain of tens of millions flocking to the polls on the Dems behalf.

Meanwhile, back at the minimum wage worker home, many of those actual workers will be losing their jobs, rather than ever seeing that increase. Companies will simply make due with fewer employees. Sure, some workers pay will increase. But how does that help the individuals trying to get a start, or supplement an income, or pay for school books, who once had a $7 per hour job and now have none?

When Democrats pass programs that increase handouts, giveaways, and other “benefits”, their supporters seem to think that it will be the “wealthy corporations”, the “rich”, the “well off”, who will be paying. But what the Dem politicians, labor leaders, and others will never tell them is the truth.

The truth is that every time the government spends more money, something has to give, and that something will be a hit to every single consumer and American worker’s pocketbook. Every time the government forces economic sanctions on the economy, something has to give, and that something is usually jobs.

Every family is hurt by increased prices, higher taxes, fewer jobs. Those are the ultimate prices of forcing changes on the American economy such as an increase in the minimum wage.

Now, am I against people making more money? Absolutely not. Stay in school. Don’t waste your life. Be willing to work hard for minimal pay when young. Get more education, in a field where opportunities are expected to be available. Be flexible in life, willing to go where the opportunities are located. Do not depend longterm on a minimum wage job as the primary source of income for you and/or your family and expect to support cable TV, cellphones, and restaurants.

Minimum wage jobs were not created for, and have never been intended as, the primary lifetime career of the principle wage earner in a family. They were intended for young people just starting out in the work force, for retirees looking to supplement pensions, for management trainees looking to gain boots-on-the-ground experience.

If the federal minimum wage is raised, it will result in fewer jobs, greater unemployment. It will result in higher prices to those who do indeed get to keep their job with that increased wage. Those who want the minimum wage raised should be very, very careful. They just might get what they want. That is going to be very different than what they believe, and what they are being sold by lying politicians.