Walter Jones Will Be Missed

Walter Jones was my Congressman. I met him on various occasions. He was a humble man who worked hard to represent the people of eastern North Carolina. I know of more than one instance when he went out of his way to help someone cut through the red tape of government to get help with an issue.

Tonight The Daily Caller posted an article about his death.

The article notes:

Jones, who represented his North Carolina district for over 20 years, was fighting off several illnesses over the last few months, according to Fox News, and was granted a leave of absence in late 2018 after missing several votes on the floor.

A strong supporter of the U.S. Marines, Jones previously served in the North Carolina General Assembly. His district has numerous military bases, and while he initially supported the war in Iraq, he eventually sided with Democrats calling for the withdrawal of troops from the country. 

…Back in 2011, Jones was one of 10 members of Congress to file a lawsuit against President Obama in an effort to stop the U.S. from sending troops to Libya, calling the U.S. bombing an “abuse of power.”

“Libya had done nothing to America,” Jones had said. “I realize they’ve got an evil leader, Qaddafi, but still, you don’t go around the world attacking countries because they have an evil leader.”

Any time a constituent spoke with Walter Jones, he told them how concerned he was about the budget deficit. He would not vote yes on any bill that increased the deficit. He was a man who represented the people in his district well and stuck to his principles.

Things To Notice

On October 15, The Wall Street Journal noted:

The U.S. government ran its largest budget deficit in six years during the fiscal year that ended last month, an unusual development in a fast-growing economy and a sign that—so far at least—tax cuts have restrained government revenue gains.

The deficit totaled $779 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up 17% from $666 billion in fiscal 2017, the Treasury Department said Monday. The deficit is headed toward $1 trillion in the current fiscal year, the White House and Congressional Budget Office said.

Deficits usually shrink during economic booms because strong growth leads to increased tax revenue as household income, corporate profits and capital gains all rise. Meantime, spending on safety-net programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps tends to be restrained.

In the last fiscal year, a different set of forces was at play as economic growth sped up. Interest payments on the federal debt and military spending rose rapidly, while tax revenue failed to keep pace as the Republican tax cuts for both individuals and corporations kicked in.

What you just read is totally misleading. The statement that ‘ tax revenue failed to keep pace as the Republican tax cuts for both individuals and corporations kicked in” is absolutely false. The two major parts of the problem are Congress’ lack of ability or willingness to cut spending and the fact that when the federal reserve raises interest rates, it increases the interest the government pays on the current debt, thus increasing the deficit. As far as the tax cuts are concerned, the facts are quite different from what The Wall Street Journal reported.

On October 16, Investor’s Business Daily reported:

Critics of the Trump tax cuts said they would blow a hole in the deficit. Yet individual income taxes climbed 6% in the just-ended fiscal year 2018, as the economy grew faster and created more jobs than expected.

The Treasury Department reported this week that individual income tax collections for FY 2018 totaled $1.7 trillion. That’s up $14 billion from fiscal 2017, and an all-time high. And that’s despite the fact that individual income tax rates got a significant cut this year as part of President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan.

True, the first three months of the fiscal year were before the tax cuts kicked in. But if you limit the accounting to this calendar year, individual income tax revenues are up by 5% through September.

Other major sources of revenue climbed as well, as the overall economy revived. FICA tax collections rose by more than 3%. Excise taxes jumped 13%.

The only category that was down? Corporate income taxes, which dropped by 31%.

Overall, federal revenues came in slightly higher in FY 2018 — up 0.5%.

Spending, on the other hand, was $127 billion higher in fiscal 2018. As a result, deficits for 2018 climbed $113 billion.

The underline is mine.

It’s the spending, stupid! We need a Congress that will curb spending and a Federal Reserve that will move slowly.

Two Posts About The State Of The Union Speech From Facebook Friends

I will post an analysis of the State of the Union speech later today, but this is a start:

MiliitaryAt SOTUThis screen shot is from bizpacreview. THIS was the exact response of our TOP military leaders at the EXACT moment Obama said that terrorists were not a threat to our nation’s existence. Houston, we have a problem.

The graphic below was posted by another friend:

StateOfTheUnion

Breitbart.com posted the following about President Obama’s claim that he has cut deficits:

“[W]e’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.” This is pure fiction. Obama has doubled the national debt, and it’s not because he cut the deficit. Rather, he spent staggering amounts of money in his first months in office–which he assigns, dishonestly, to the previous fiscal year, under George W. Bush. He “cut” (i.e. spent more gradually) from that spending, but only under protest, after Republicans took the House in 2010.

(Update: It is true that Obama’s 2015 budget deficit was about 25% of his 2010 deficit. But he referred to “deficits,” plural. Until last year, all of Obama’s deficits were worse than all of Bush’s deficits except for the last two.)

More to follow.

Another Reason We Have A Budget Deficit

I can’t believe that I am posting this story during the same week that I posted a story talking about proposed cuts to promised benefits to veterans and their families (rightwinggranny.com).

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story reporting that the U. S. Government has just spent $750,000 of taxpayer money to build a new soccer field for prisoners held at Guantanamo.

The article reports:

The field is reportedly half the size of a standard American football field and has been constructed so that detainees can have “maximum access” to it — about 20 hours a day — including secure passage to the field without a guard escort.

Navy Comander Tamsen Reese told the AP Tuesday the new field replaces a small recreational area in a part of the facility that is no longer used.

According to a Fox Guantanamo source, outdoor activity helps to “reduce behavioral problems” and limits the interaction between guards and prisoners.

Spending $750,000 on Guantanamo prisoners while denying American veterans things they were promised if they served twenty years seems a little lopsided to  me.

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