Barack Obama

CBO sees a bigger river of red ink under Obama’s budget

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that budget deficits will be nearly $1.7 trillion greater under President Barack Obama’s budget than the estimates released last month by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The two agencies frequently conflict on budget projections. The OMB sort of takes a guess on what economic growth will look like over a 10-year period and scores a president’s tax and spending agenda based on those estimates. The CBO, however, is more restrained in its approach.

The discrepancy between the two reports is due to the CBO’s assumption that current law remains largely unchanged. The nonpartisan fiscal research agency also believes that tax revenues will be $1.8 trillion lower than the OMB, which is due to less rosy economic projections over the next 10 years (2015-2024).

President Obama’s budget estimates that budget deficits over the next decade will come in at approximately $4.93 trillion (Table S-1 of the OMB report). But the CBO estimates that deficits will be significantly higher, at $6.56 trillion (Table 1 of the CBO report), or $1.64 trillion greater than the administration’s estimate.

Here’s a look at the year-by-year differences:

Two-thirds of voters want Congress to continue IRS investigation

Americans aren’t satisfied with overtures from President Barack Obama that there isn’t a “smidgen” of corruption at the Internal Revenue Service. A Fox News poll released yesterday found that two-thirds of voters want Congress to keep digging until there is accountability for the targeting of conservative groups:

The latest Fox News poll also finds 69 percent don’t feel President Obama has followed through on his vow to “find out exactly what happened on this.”

By a 49-41 percent margin, voters believe the Obama administration “intentionally had the IRS target conservative political groups.” That includes 26 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents and 71 percent of Republicans.

Meanwhile, 67 percent of voters want Congress to keep investigating the IRS until “someone is held accountable.” An all-time high of 78 percent thought lawmakers should investigate the IRS in early June.

The poll shows agreement across party lines: Majorities of Republicans (77 percent), independents (67 percent) and Democrats (57 percent) favor Congress continuing to investigate until “someone is held accountable.”

Good luck with that. President Obama and congressional Democrats have no desire to cooperate with inquiries into the IRS’s actions, despite the fact that conservative groups were explicitly singled out for scrutiny.

Lois Lerner, the disgraced ex-IRS official at the center of congressional inquiries, is the obvious person who could be held accountable, but she’s refused to testify at committee hearings.

63% of Millennials believe Obama often lies to the country

A Fox News poll released this week found that 61 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama lies to the country about important matters, while just 15 percent believe that he always tells the truth.

As one might imagine, Republicans and Democrats have differing views on the question. For example, 85 percent of Republicans believe President Obama lies most or some of the time on important matters, while 59 percent of Democrats believe he lies only now and then or never. Independents, however, are more likely to side with Republicans.

The more interesting figure is the percentage of Millennials who believe President Obama has a lying problem. The poll found that 63 percent of registered voters under the age of 35 believe he lies to them most or some of the time.

Ben Carson should apologize for what?

Ben Carson

Once upon a time, there was an idealistic notion in this nation that the people should speak up when they recognized that government was not serving the people. Politicians theoretically had to answer to constituents, and the press. The press honestly did act as a watchdog, making sure that the government and politicians didn’t overstep boundaries or engage in unlawful practices.

And then the people elected Barack Obama.

Instead of the people speaking freely about the ills of government, it has become “racist” to suggest that the president could possibly make a mistake. Tolerance is acceptable, as long as one agrees with the president’s supporters. Government agencies may be used to harass, monitor, or otherwise bully detractors into silence.

And when someone has the audacity to speak against the president’s agenda in his presence, apparently that person can expect to be asked to apologize for it.

Ben Carson delivered a speech last year that was hailed by conservatives because it shredded quite a few of Obama’s policies, and the hated ObamaCare. The bonus was to watch the president squirm while those words were spoken, and then paint a smile on his face at the end while shaking Carson’s hand. But someone obviously wasn’t amused.

It’s come to light that Carson received a phone call from the White House stating that he should apologize to the president for his remarks. The poor president was offended.

Kathleen Sebelius considering Senate bid in Kansas

Not even a week after she resigned her post in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, The New York Times reports that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is considering a bid for U.S. Senate in Kansas:

Several Democrats said this week that Ms. Sebelius had been mentioned with growing frequency as someone who could wage a serious challenge to Mr. Roberts, 77, who is running for a fourth term and is considered vulnerable. One person who spoke directly to Ms. Sebelius said that she was thinking about it, but added that it was too soon to say how seriously she was taking the idea.
[…]
Democrats say that Ms. Sebelius would be their best hope at winning in a tough state, especially if Mr. Roberts loses his primary to Milton Wolf, a Tea Party-backed radiologist who has alarmed mainstream Republicans with some of his actions, such as when he posted gruesome pictures of gunshot victims on Facebook.

Perhaps more significant, Ms. Sebelius would force Republicans to spend money in Kansas as they tried to fight off her challenge. Her family has a long history in the state, and she was a popular, twice-elected governor. In 2006, she was re-elected with 58 percent of the vote.

Harry Reid doesn’t like citizens standing up to government

Harry Reid

The dispute between the heavily-armed Bureau of Land Management agents and the Bundy family may have deescalated over the weekend, but it’s not over, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). He says Americans can’t ignore the law and get away with it:

“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told NBC’s Nevada affiliate KRNV on Monday. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Bundy gained headlines over the weekend after the BLM rounded up his cattle on federal land, citing unpaid grazing fees. The situation intensified after protesters supporting Bundy — some of whom were reportedly armed — faced off against the BLM. However, on Saturday, the BLM returned Bundy’s cattle “due to escalating tension,” according to The Associated Press.

Here’s the video via the Free Beacon:

Obama administration takes three Muzzle “awards” for free speech suppression

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression released its annual “Jefferson Muzzles” recognizing federal, state, and local governments agencies for the most egregious instances of infringements of the First Amendment in the last year.

Taking the top dishonors in this year’s list of winners is Department of Justice and the White House Press Office. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security share an “award.”

Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice was given the top dishonor for its war on leakers and whistleblowers. This crackdown has put reporters and, by extension, the First Amendment in its crosshairs.

The Thomas Jefferson Center cites the subpoena of Associated Press journalists’ phone records as well as the targeting of Fox News correspondent James Rosen as examples of the Department of Justice’s overreach. Though the department has responded to the controversy by issuing new guidelines, there still could be problems down the road.

“[T]he protections [the guidelines] provide are not absolute and some significant exceptions exist that, if exploited, could result in a repeat of last year’s shameful actions,” the Thomas Jefferson Center explains. “Should such temptation ever arise, we hope this 2014 Jefferson Muzzle will inspire the Department of Justice to fully consider the importance of a free press to our nation.”

Ted Cruz: Eric Holder Should Be Impeached For Defying Congress

The House Ways and Means Committee decided to make their decision to encourage Attorney General Eric Holder to consider charges against Lois Lerner, the disgraced former IRS official, official.

In light of the announcement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took it to Sean Hannity’s radio program on Thursday to urge Eric Holder to meet the House Committee’s concerns with the same level of dedication that congress has put into investigating Lerner’s role in actions that may have been perpetrated against conservative groups.

According to Cruz, Eric Holder should face impeachment if he does not indict Lerner.

Sen. Cruz accused Holder of being the “most partisan attorney general the country has ever had” and President Barack Obama’s administration of appointing a Democrat who had ties to the president’s campaign to head the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives.

According to the committee, there’s evidence that Lerner used her position to push for changes and actions tailored to pose impediments to conservative groups. There’s also evidence that she gave misleading statements to the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration when the IRS watchdog was investigating the accusations. The committee also stated in the letter to Holder that Lerner used her personal email to conduct official IRS business, which could expose taxpayer sensitive information.

Bob Woodward on IRS scandal: “There’s obviously something here”

Bob Woodward

In a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday, Bob Woodward, one of the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal, said that there is “obviously something” to the Internal Revenue Service’s target of conservative groups and that President Barack Obama should take a strong stand rather than dismiss the scandal.

Though Woodward questioned whether some members of the House Ways and Means Committee should be making public declarations that former IRS official Lois Lerner has committed a crime, he declared that “[t]here’s obviously something here.”

“[Y]ou know, we should dig into it. There should be answers. It’s quite correct,” Woodward told host Chris Wallace. “And for the President to take that position is very, very unusual, and say there’s ‘not a smidgen’ of evidence here.”

The House Ways and Means Committee referred Lerner to the Justice Department last week for criminal prosecution, alleging that the disgraced official “impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration” and may have leaked confidential taxpayer information.

Today in Liberty: Cantor unwilling to fight for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, Obama’s 442 tax hike proposals

“It is impossible to enumerate a priori all the rights we have; we usually go to the trouble of identifying them only when someone proposes to limit one or another. Treating rights as tangible claims that must be limited in number gets the whole concept wrong.” — David Boaz (Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties)

— Cantor backing away from cronyism: The Hill notes that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor isn’t going to spend political capital over the reauthorization of the controversial Export-Import Bank, a government-backed entity known for rampant cronyism. (They also read websites which mention them, at least that’s what our Google Analytics reports tell us.) “Cantor…has privately told members he does not intend to get involved this time around,” The Hill reports, “a message that some see as an indication that he is wary of battling conservatives angered by a number of his recent legislative moves.” It looks like House conservatives are going to make Ex-Im reauthorization their big issue this spring, part of a push to end corporate welfare and change the narrative about the Republican Party.

 


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