budget

Ted Cruz: “I don’t Trust the Republicans or the Democrats”

There has been some squabbling in the Senate over the appointment of members to a conference committee with the House try to iron out the differences between the chambers over their separate version of the FY 2014 budget. Conservative members of the Senate — led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) — have objected to the appointment of conferees over concern that a budget agreement would be used for a backdoor national debt increase.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) once again attacked these fiscal conservatives. “What we’re saying here on this side of the aisle is we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority,” said McCain, according to Bloomberg.

Cruz responded to McCain yesterday on the floor of the Senate, noting that the fiscal mess in which the United States finds itself is the creation of both parties.

“Madam President, [McCain] urged the body to trust the Republicans,” said Cruz. “Let me be clear — I don’t trust the Republicans. And I don’t trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”

“You know, my wife and I have two little girls at home, they’re 5 and 2. When Caroline was born, our national debt was $10 trillion,” he noted. “Today, it’s nearly $17 trillion. In her short five years of life, the national debt has grown by over 60%. Madame President, what we are doing to our kids and grandkids, I think, is immoral.”

Watch the full video of Cruz’s response to McCain below:

Obama’s Gimmicky Budget to Increase National Debt by $5.2 Trillion

Obama's Budget

Many on the Left are praising a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showing that President Barack Obama’s budget, which was submitted two months late, would lower deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years:

President Obama’s most recent budget request would reduce borrowing by $1.1 trillion over the next decade compared with current law — almost entirely through higher taxes on the rich, large estates and smokers, congressional budget analysts said Friday.

In addition to raising nearly $1 trillion in new taxes, the president’s blueprint would also cut spending modestly, according to the analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

So…more tax hikes, which seems to be the end-all, be-all for this White House. Remember, the $1 trillion in new taxes that President Obama wants would come after a tax hike earlier this year that raised taxes on 77% of American households.And President Obama wants to raise your taxes again.

McConnell: “We’re Not Going to be Voting for Anymore Tax Increases”

Mitch McConnell

It’s clear that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats will continue to push tax hikes on hard-working Americans. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is throwing coldwater on their plans.

President Obama managed to get higher taxes rates on Americans earning more than $400,000 per year, which hit many small businesses. But in an interview with FreeEnterprise.com, the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, McConnell stated very pointedly that there will be no more votes on tax hikes in the Senate.

“[At] the end of [last] year, and unfortunately, a lot of small businesses already got a tax increase,” McConnell noted to FreeEnterprise.com. “S-Corps and LLCs were hit with a tax increase from 35% to 39.5%. That’s more than enough. They shouldn’t have gotten that in the first place, and we’re not going to be voting for anymore tax increases.”

McConnell also noted that the Obama Administration is trying to “create a nanny state” with ObamaCare. Noting the 7-foot tall, 20,000-page stack of regulations that have come with the healthcare law, McConnell said, “It’s no wonder we’re having a tepid growth-rate, the government itself is responsible for this slow recovery we’ve had after a big recession.

Senate to Vote on Online Sales Tax Measure

Amazon.com

Before passing its first budget in nearly four years, the Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers that don’t have a physical presence within their borders. With the negotiators unlikely to resolve the differences between their respective budgets, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to bring up the online sales tax bill — the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” — once again, perhaps as early as today:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to move an online sales tax bill directly to the Senate floor, skipping the committee process.

He filed a motion on Tuesday night to begin the process of putting the bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act, on the Senate calendar. The bill could come up for a vote as early as next week.
[…]
Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers that have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, but few do.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would empower states to tax online purchases but would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales.

Americans Unimpressed by Obama’s Budget

President Barack Obama got some bad news this week. A week after the White House released its new budget, which calls for another $1 trillion in tax hikes, Americans don’t seem all that impressed, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Tuesday:

President Obama’s courtship of Republicans hit a critical point last week when he unveiled a budget proposal pitched as an effort at compromise. But a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Americans’ initial reactions to the framework tilting negative, with broad opposition from Republicans and little public support for a key idea to reduce increases in  Social Security payments.

Overall, roughly one-third of Americans offer no opinion on Obama’s budget, but those who do, lean against it (30 percent approve; 38 percent disapprove). The negativity stems from large opposition among Republicans (63 percent) and a negative split among independents (26 percent approve; 41 percent disapprove).

It would seem, at least this time around, that Americans aren’t buying into the the stale class warfare rhetoric that they’ve endlessly heard from President Obama. Unbelievably, the White House is trying to spin this budget as fiscally responsible.

Heritage Foundation’s Guide to Obama’s Budget

President Barack Obama released his budget last week, nearly two months after the legal deadline. We all know that he wants another $1 trillion in tax hikes, but what else does Obama’s budget have in store for Americans?

The Heritage Foundation released a handy infographic last week that shows that Obama’s budget fails to get spending under control, wastes taxpayer money on more “green energy” projects, and doubles down on ObamaCare. The only point of disagreement here is on defense spending. It, like entitlements, will eventually have to be cut for reformed to bring the budget back to a sustainable rate:

Guide to President Obama's Budget

Obama’s Budget Director Doesn’t Know How Much Debt is in the Budget

Jeff Zients

Jeff Zients, who serves as Presidebt Obama’s budget director, apparently doesn’t know how much debt is in the budget the White House just sent to Congress.

During an appearance before the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked Zients about the $7.1 trillion in increased debt in President Obama’s budget proposal ($5.7 of that is new public debt, excluding governmental transfers). Zients tried to shift the narrative, but Sessions pressed him on the numbers. Zients replied, “I don’t…I need to check the numbers.”

“You don’t know your numbers?” retorted Sessions, to which Zients responded, “There are a lot of numbers there.”

Sessions’ office notes that the national debt will climb to $25.3 trillion over the next 10 years — $19 trillion (or 73% of gross domestic product) of that is debt held by the public. In other words, the You can see those numbers below (click to enlarge into a PDF):

Obama Budget -- Debt

Obama’s New Budget is Not a Compromise

The new narrative being pushed by the media is that President Barack Obama’s new budget is an olive branch of sorts to congressional Republicans. Politico ran with the headline, “President Obama’s risky ‘goodwill’ gambit,” which highlighted some of the proposed changes to Social Security.

The Associated Press noted the frustration from some on the Left in its piece, “Liberals balk at Obama’s 2nd term overtures to GOP,” which also focused on the proposed cuts to entitlement programs.

While it’s true that the only real measure of good news from the the White House’s budget is the changes to Social Security, there is absolutely nothing here in terms of compromise or reform. The White House has made that much clear by telling Politico — in a separate article from the one mentioned above, of course — that Republicans can take the Social Security changes in exchange for more $1 trillion in tax hikes or leave it:

And Gene Sperling, the director Obama’s National Economic Council, on Wednesday afternoon emphasized that the proposal is ”not an à la carte menu” for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and congressional Republicans to choose what they like and discard the rest.

“You can’t decide to only pick out the concessions the president has made and not include the concessions from the Republican side that need to be part of a bipartisan deal that can pass both houses,” Sperling said.

Obama’s Budget Means More Tax Hikes

You mad, bro?

After a two-month delay and missing a legally-required deadline, President Barack Obama finally unveiled his budget for FY 2014. The spending plan is, unfortunately, just more of the same from this president:

President Obama’s 2014 budget calls for a trillion dollars in new taxes, almost twice as much as previously thought, The Washington Examiner has learned.

“Of the more than $1 trillion in new taxes, about $800 billion is raised through the individual income tax system, about $125 billion comes from new excise taxes — including new taxes on tobacco and financial companies,” a source familiar with the president’s budget explained. “The remainder comes from reverting back to the 2009 estate tax parameters and other miscellaneous tax increases.”

Despite the talk of deficit reduction, President Obama’s budget doesn’t substantially reduce spending and will never balance. The only constant in is the same, old class warfare rhetoric.

White House confirms: Obama Budget Contains Middle Class Income Tax Hike

Written by John Kartch and Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform. Posted with permission from Americans for Tax Reform.

White House spokesman Jay Carney “not disputing” Obama budget would “raise taxes on middle class Americans.”

During a Friday, April 5 White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney replied “I’m not disputing that” when asked if a particular Obama budget proposal would raise income taxes on the middle class.

The proposal in question is known as “Chained CPI.” The term is a Beltway euphemism for measuring inflation at a different, slower pace.  Many tax and budget items are indexed to inflation, so slowing inflation’s measured rate of growth has both spending cut and tax increase implications.

On the tax side, all income tax brackets are subject to inflation.  Slowing down the inflation rate slows down the annual rate of growth in all income tax brackets.

This means the Obama budget contains a tax increase on 100 percent of middle class taxpayers—anyone who pays the federal income tax.

Many other tax provisions—the standard deduction, the personal exemption, PEP and Pease, IRA and 401(k) contribution limits, and many others—are also tied to how CPI is measured.

Chained CPI as a stand-alone measure (that is, not paired with tax relief of equal or greater size) is a tax increase and a Taxpayer Protection Pledge violation. Various reports peg the tax increase amount as exceeding $100 billion over the next decade.

Video of the press briefing exchange can be found here.


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