The Center for a Free Economy believes that federal spending should come down in order to not exceed federal taxes collected. Higher taxes will result in a vicious cycle of higher spending and calls for more taxes. The only surefire way to balance the budget is to cut spending.
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By Ryan Ellis The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released their new "Budget and Economic Outlook" for 2018. As usual, it has all sorts of facts and figures that policy nerds in and out of Washington, D.C. have been commenting on. One of the biggest fights is about the source of the long term fiscal imbalance everyone agrees will get worse and worse over this century. One side is well represented by a Washington Post op-ed of very prominent Democratic economics luminaries, who blame the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Correcting them in a fairly big way was Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute and Dan Mitchell. Each of them proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that at least 100 percent of the blame must fall on the spending side of the ledger. Calls for higher taxes as an act of fiscal responsibility ignore these facts. [...]
By Ryan Ellis The U.S. Senate this week is considering the FY 2018 budget resolution, a document which is wholly meaningless except in one gargantuan respect--it sets up a process for Congress to consider tax reform under the simple majority, expedited mechanism known as "reconciliation." If that sounds familiar, it should. Congress passed a FY 2017 budget resolution in January, a document which was wholly meaningless except in one gargantuan respect--it set up a process for Congress to consider Obamacare repeal under the simple majority, expedited mechanism known as "reconciliation." The House passed Obamacare repeal, and but the Senate GOP never found a combination of 50 Senators plus Vice President Pence to pass their own bill. Notably, Senator Paul was part of the health care reform coalition on "skinny repeal" but not on "Graham-Cassidy." The failure to pass even one jot or tittle of Obamacare repeal is a festering wound on the [...]
By Ryan Ellis Summer has turned to autumn in our nation's capital. Everyone is back to work, Beltway traffic is as bad as normal, and football is on television. Time, as they say, marches on. Every day that goes by brings us one day closer to the end of the year, the target deadline Congressional Republicans have set to pass a comprehensive tax reform package into law. Every day closer is one day less to pass this very heavy lift. So why the delay? In Congress, process matters. A lot. In tax reform, the process item that starts the whole ballgame is passing a budget resolution into law. A budget resolution does several things, including create a simple majority vehicle called a "reconciliation package." A reconciliation package can be written to change mandatory spending and revenues without having to worry about a 60 vote threshold in the U.S. Senate. If [...]
By Ryan Ellis President Trump revealed his first full budget Wednesday morning, and most of the attention rightly focuses on the very large spending restraint proposals. Dig deeply, though, and there's a lot to chew on when it gets down to taxes. Here are three items that come to mind: Tax reform is on track. For all the Beltway chatter about tax reform fights on this or that policy plank, it's important to remember that the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate are all basically on the same page when it comes to what kind of tax reform they want. This was reinforced in today's budget. The president's budget calls for: revenue neutral tax reform, increasing the likelihood that changes will be permanent lower individual income tax rates than today (the top rate is 39.6 percent) lower business tax rates than today (the corporate rate is [...]
By Ryan Ellis This week, the U.S. Senate and then the U.S. House of Representatives will consider a budget resolution for FY 2017. It has no purpose whatsoever except to create a vehicle for the repeal of Obamacare. Congress should pass this budget resolution. It doesn't commit anyone to any policy choices at this point. All it does is create reconciliation instructions for the chambers to pass Obamacare repeal shortly after President Trump is inaugurated. This budget resolution has nothing to do with the actual budget, unlike any budget resolution in memory. All it does is create reconciliation instructions for the chambers to pass Obamacare repeal shortly after President Trump is inaugurated. It is not itself the reconciliation vehicle--rather, it's the womb that gives birth to reconciliation. All it does is create reconciliation instructions for the chambers to pass Obamacare repeal shortly after President Trump is inaugurated. To vote against this budget resolution is [...]