It’s Not The Income–It’s The Spending

CNS News posted an article today about the tax revenue the government has received in the first six months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of March). The government has collected $7,387,280,000 more in income tax revenue in the first six months of fiscal 2017 than were collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

The article reports:

The federal government also collected $547,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes during the first six months of fiscal 2017. That is about $2,731,820,000 more than the $544,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes (in constant 2017 dollars) that the government collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

Despite collecting record amounts of individual income taxes and payroll taxes, the Treasury still ran a deficit of $526,855,000,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2017. (The emphasis is mine)

No matter how much money we give them, it will never be enough. We need a budget (not continuing resolutions) that does the things that are constitutional for the federal government. All other functions need to be left for the states (as stated in the Tenth Amendment). Spending cuts are needed.

The Problem Is Not The Income

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday about the amount of tax revenue the federal government collected for fiscal 2015. The good news is that the government collected a record amount of money–$3.249 trillion. That is an 8 percent increase in revenues for the year. The bad news is that the government still managed to spend more than it took in. The budget deficit was $435 billion–a decline of $48 billion. The article notes that although the decline is small, it is huge for the seventh year of what the government claims is an expansion. The article also notes that inflation is growing by less than 2 percent.

The article reports:

The reason for the small decline is that spending for the fiscal year climbed 5.2% to $3.685 trillion. That increase came even though defense spending fell $16 billion, or 2.7%, thanks to the drawdown in Afghanistan.

The spending burst included a 16.1%, or $49 billion, increase in Medicaid for the first full year of ObamaCare. Medicaid spending has climbed $85 billion to $350 billion in two years, and that’s with 19 states declining to join.

The Congressional Budget Office also cites a $30 billion, or 51%, spending increase for the Department of Education—“mostly because of an $18 billion upward revision in the estimated net subsidy costs of student loans and loan guarantees issued in past years.” Translation: Mr. Obama’s takeover of the student-loan business is costing far more money than advertised, probably due to growing defaults.

Let’s put these numbers together. Inflation is less than 2 percent. There was an 8 percent increase in revenues collected by the federal government. There was a $435 billion deficit. These numbers are unsustainable. They will assure the destruction of America. We need to elect people to Congress and the White House who will cut government spending. It is a national disgrace to have an 8 percent increase in revenues and still have a deficit. It is time for any rational members of Congress to demand a spending cut.

The Circle Of Money

Why is the federal government giving money to groups that lobby the federal government? This defies common sense. It is, however, a neat deal for those involved–legislators get money for their political campaigns in return for channeling federal money to the organizations that sponsor the Political Action Committees (PAC) that give them the money. It’s a good deal if you are part of it, and a bad deal for America and American taxpayers.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday about this practice.

The article points out the insanity of what is going on:

Latest lobbying disclosure documents indicate Planned Parenthood spends at least $2 million a year directly lobbying Congress and state legislatures. And this year, as PP fights to retain its umbilical cord — no pun intended — to the Federal Treasury, the number’s going way up.

But the official lobbying expenditures don’t include tens of millions of other political spending. According to a recent analysis by Conservative News Service, “Planned Parenthood’s affiliates spent $26 million on public policy this past year, while the national office spent $31.3 million on building ‘advocacy capacity.'”

The mission of all this spending? The answer is obvious: to persuade Congress to continue to provide the organization with federal tax dollars.

So what we have here is an organization that receives at least half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, and some of that money is used to lobby Congress to give them more taxpayer money.

The icing on the cake is that the money is borrowed from Japan and China. We have to pay interest on it.

The article details the problem:

Is it any surprise that under this racket it has become almost impossible to cut the budget or to balance receipts with expenditures? This is a common practice. The unions do it. The legal public aid community does it. Welfare organizations do it.

To be fair, it isn’t just left-wing groups that receive taxpayer dollars and lobby. So do corporations. Defense contractors run lobbying campaigns year-round to persuade Congress to spend more money on this weapon or that. Companies that have received the bulk of the funding for the Export Import Bank are bankrolling the PR campaign to keep the institution from closing down.

We will never curb government spending as long as we allow this kind of abuse of our system. The problem is not lobbying–that is and should remain legal. The problem is government-supported lobbying. That is ridiculous.

Curbing Runaway Spending In Washington

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about spending in Washington. The article included the following chart:

The chart shows the impact that the spending caps have had on the federal budget. The decline in spending is due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. The caps limit both domestic non-entitlement spending and national defense spending. However, it is becoming obvious that the President wants to be free of those restraints.

The article reports:

The White House plan would increase discretionary spending to $1.091 trillion from $1.017 trillion. This $74 billion increase would be split evenly between defense and domestic spending. The 7% hike in 2016 would dish out plums to unions, foreign aid groups, the education blob, government contractors, federal employees, the climate change lobby and other tax guzzlers.

Our Senate sources tell us that Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening in private that if Republicans don’t give Democrats the raise they want, there will be fiscal paralysis in the Senate and another government shutdown Oct. 1 — which, of course, they will blame on the GOP.

Many Republicans are inclined to go along with the great fiscal escape plan. Some have legitimate concerns about more money needed for our military in times of growing national security threats. Already 60% of the cuts are in defense, even though military spending is less than 20% of the budget. But many GOP appropriators just want more domestic pork for their own districts.

I would like to remind every Republican Congressman now serving in Congress. You were elected to bring the spending under control. If you are not able to do that, we need to elect someone who can. End of story.

Ghouls On Parade

The crash of an Amtrak train on Tuesday night was a tragedy. It was also an accident. Sometimes accidents can be avoided; sometimes they cannot. However, it is truly disgusting to see the death of American citizens innocently riding a train used for political purposes. While authorities were still rescuing the injured from the crash scene, Democrats in Washington went to work blaming the accident on Republican spending cuts. First of all, I would like to point out that President Obama has been in office since January 2009. If Amtrak spending were a priority for him, would the President have asked for more spending while the Democrat party had full control of the House and Senate? Would he have asked while the Democrat party had majorities in both the House and the Senate? To blame anyone before investigators have had a chance to begin their search for a cause is simply ghoulish political opportunism. Also, just for the record, where has spending been cut?

The Heritage Foundation posted the following graph of federal spending:

Federal Government Has a Spending, Not Revenue, Problem

There have been no serious budget cuts.

It also posted the chart below:

Where Does All the Money Go?

I don’t believe our problem is that we are not spending enough–our problem is that the politicians in Washington have used taxpayer money to buy so many votes that they don’t have very much left over. I would also like to know where in the U.S. Constitution it states that the taxpayers should be funding Amtrak.

It is a tragedy that people died in a train accident on Tuesday night. It is also really sad that some politicians sought to gain political points through the death of their fellow citizens.

Changing The Subject To Win The Debate

America is safe now–all the politicians have gone home for Christmas. They can do no further damage.

We are headed for the fiscal cliff. That will be at least a short-term problem, but let’s back up a bit and look at what has happened to the discussion. Two years ago we were talking about cutting spending. Government spending is running close to 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Traditionally, it runs about 18 or 19 percent. That is a major reason for the rapid growth of the federal deficit. Plan B, as submitted by the Speaker of the House, was about taxes. The debate has been almost entirely about taxes–raising them–not cutting spending. Somehow, when taxes are raised, spending increases–it very rarely goes down.

Dick Morris points out the change in the debate in an article he posted at DickMorris.com yesterday. The thing that we need to remember here is that President Obama is a very gifted politician. He knows how to play the game without taking any responsibility for the results. I have the feeling that about twenty years from now the generation that will have to pay for all this foolishness is going to look around and say, “How did our parents let this happen? How did this man get re-elected?” Unfortunately, the current voters are not there yet.

Dick Morris’ article concludes:

Take the tax issue off the table and Americans will see the real game going on here: Obama’s commitment to deficit spending which is driving the economy into ruin. No longer will he be able to avoid the blame for the coming economic collapse because he will have had his way on taxes.

Politically, if the Republicans agree on a tax increase but demand spending cuts in return — and Obama refuses to come across with spending reductions (which he will) — then the blame will fall squarely on the president for the ensuing economic breakdown.

Call Obama’s bluff! Make him face up to the need to cut spending and show Americans how he won’t do it.

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Twisting The Numbers To Change The Story

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about Bloomberg News and its reporting of a poll it conducted last week. The poll was taken by an Iowa-based firm and asked Americans how they felt about the coming ‘fiscal cliff.’

The article states:

A poll conducted last week by an Iowa-based firm showed Americans are conflicted about whether or not to support raising tax rates on wealthy Americans to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” But that’s not how Bloomberg News, which commissioned the poll, reported the results Thursday.

Somehow, when the story was reported, the headline read, “Americans Back Obama Tax-Rate Boost Tied to Entitlements.” So what did the poll actually show? The article reported that fifty-eight percent of the people polled thought President Obama was right to insist on raising taxes on the wealthy as a precondition for talks about the fiscal cliff. However, when you take a closer look at the numbers, you find that fifty-two percent responded that they preferred limited tax breaks to a tax-rate hike. Thirty nine percent said that they wanted to see tax rates on the wealthy increase, and nine percent said they were not sure.

Please follow the link above to read the entire story. There is also an attempt in the story to convince the reader that raising taxes to increase government spending is a solution to our current economic problems.

Bloomberg news is a respected financial news source. They do a disservice to themselves and the American people when they do not accurately report the news..

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