President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was filled with promises and various other costly legislative items at a time when budget deficits are still running high. According to the National Taxpayers Union, President Obama’s agenda would cost taxpayers $83.4 billion per year:
In President Obama’s most expensive and widest ranging State of the Union Address yet, his proposals weighed in at $83.4 billion worth of quantifiable agenda items, according to National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s (NTUF’s) annual line-by-line analysis of the speech. This figure could grow much higher depending on what the President aims to do to avoid the sequester. In either case, if the President intends to follow through on his promise that his speech would not “add a dime to the deficit,” individuals and businesses may be facing another round of tax increases.
“The speech gave the President the opportunity to preview his forthcoming budget,” said NTUF Director of Research Demian Brady. “And although he said his agenda items would not increase the deficit, he spent far more time detailing new spending initiatives than how they would be ‘paid for.’”
If the sequester plan that the White House has put forward were passed, it would raise the cost of the spending proposals to $100.4 billion. The most costly program that President Obama wants enacted is his cap-and-trade plan, which would cost $56.5 billion each year. NTU also notes that more than half of the proposals mentioned by President Obama in the State of the Union address “could not be quantified.”
You can see the costs of each proposal here.
The Republican primary for Georgia open Senate seat is sure to be an interesting one to watch. It doesn’t seem like anyone currently announced or expected to announce have really done a lot to drive support. This provides a more Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), who has set a mid-May deadline for a decision, has apparently spoken with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) about the race, according to Politico:
Republican Rep. Tom Price met Monday with senior officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to two sources.
The Georgia congressman continues to mull a run for the seat opened up by Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ retirement.
Price, a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, raised more than $300,000 in the two weeks after Chambliss retired and had $1.6 million cash on hand at the end of the year.
There are no details as to what exactly was discussed, but Price would be a formidable candidate if he decided to throw his hat in the ring. But Politico does note something that has been mentioned from people I’ve spoken to in Georgia politics. Price, who was elected to Congress in 2004, currently serves as Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee, behind Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and would presumably be next in line to lead the powerful committee.
With Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) deciding to retire, potential candidates on both sides of the aisle are weighing bids for the open seat, including former Secretary of State Karen Handel and Reps. Paul Broun and Tom Price. A couple of Georgia-based political consultants didn’t waste any time in measuring the strength of the likely crowded Republican field.
- Sonny Perdue: 22.4%
- Karen Handel: 15%
- Paul Broun: 10.3%
- Tom Price: 9.7%
- Lynn Westmoreland: 8.4%
- Tom Graves: 6.3%
- Brian Kemp: 3.4%
- Undecided: 24.5%
With Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) planning to push a new energy bill between the time Congress come back into session and the end of the year, possibly during a lame duck session, the National Taxpayers Union has launched a new campaign to push back against the proposal.
NTU argues, correctly in my view, that the proposal is a double tax on American-owned energy companies and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil and “signal[s] a new wave of punitive tax policies aimed at politically convenient targets.”
On Friday, while booth hopping at the Defending the American Dream Summit, I stopped by to chat with Andrew Moylan and Joshua Culling from the National Taxpayers Union. During our conversation, Andrew asked if I had heard about NTU’s video project.
What NTU is asking folks to do is record a short video (two minutes or less) with a messsage to your representatives in Congress. All video must be sent in by October 9th (tomorrow), so you’ll have to do it fast.
Here are the instructions for submitting a video:
Respond directly to our video on YouTube here. When you do that, please also send a message through YouTube to natltaxpayersunion that includes your contact information (email or phone). If you’d prefer not to use YouTube, you may email your submission (with your contact information) to email@example.com with a subject line: Health care video.
Since they had me cornered, they decided to put me on the spot and ask what I wanted to tell my representatives: