Rep. Steve Scalise Discusses Trump’s Budget (Plus: Maddow Challenge)

  • “President Trump has passed more legislation in his first 100 days than any president since Harry Truman.” — Tom McClintock on Friday, April 28th, 2017 in a radio interview

Michael Medved interviews House of Representatives Majority Whip and representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district, Steve Scalise. Steve responds first to a statement by Rachel Maddow that the House Republicans haven’t done anything since they took office. Then the discussion focused on this administrations work to help the middle-class and lower class get work, leave the dependent lifestyle, and the like.

Food Stamp Mantra[s] from Democrats Rebutted

Michael Medved responds to the food stamp issue that Democrats and the Left are bringing up. I take a clip from yesterday’s show and insert it into the middle of today’s show to give the listener some ammunition when these banal arguments come up. At the 5:17 mark, the caller mentions taxes for the millionaires as part of his argument. Medved Responds well to this challenge at the… and at the 6:24 mark you hear the caller respond with a bumper sticker jingle. In other words, talking about facts matters little to these people, but at least you will be able to influence those around you eavesdropping in on the conversation.

I posted this video on LIVELEAK, and a comment got me “clicking around” the internet to test what the person said. Here is the comment:

For every $1 spent on food stamps there’s a $1.80 stimulative effect to the economy. The poor person spends the funds at the grocery store, which allows the store to employ more people, the store spends the funds to buy more food which helps farmers and food producers. On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy have a negative effect on the economy, it just doesn’t trickle down enough so it drains economic growth. Plus it helps feed poor people that can’t afford to eat. — Warren H.

First, it should be noted that this idea was championed mainly by Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi, a hard-core Keynesian. However, it should be noted that unfortunately “for Zandi, there has never been any empirical evidence of the Keynesian multiplier.  Government doesn’t take one dollar and turn it into more by spending it.  God doesn’t live in the White House, no matter how much Paul Krugman prays.” (AMERICAN THINKER)

HERITAGE FOUNDATION puts it like this:

…The Keynesian argument also assumes that consumption spending adds to immediate economic growth while savings do not. By this reasoning, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and low-income tax rebates are among the most effective stimulus policies because of their likelihood to be consumed rather than saved.

Taking this analysis to its logical extreme, Mark Zandi of Economy.com has boiled down the government’s influence on America’s broad and diverse $14 trillion economy into a simple menu of stimulus policy options, whereby Congress can decide how much economic growth it wants and then pull the appropriate levers. Zandi asserts that for each dollar of new government spending: temporary food stamps adds $1.73 to the economy, extended unemployment benefits adds $1.63, increased infrastructure spending adds $1.59, and aid to state and local governments adds $1.38. Jointly, these figures imply that, in a recession, a typical dollar in new deficit spending expands the economy by roughly $1.50. Over the past 40 years, this idea of government spending as stimulus has fallen out of favor among many economists. As this paper shows, it is contradicted both by empirical data and economic logic…

They then respond to the above:

The Evidence is In

Economic data contradict Keynesian stimulus theory. If deficits represented “new dollars” in the economy, the record $1.2 trillion in FY 2009 deficit spending that began in October 2008–well before the stimulus added $200 billion more–would have already overheated the economy. Yet despite the historic 7 percent increase in GDP deficit spending over the previous year, the economy shrank by 2.3 percent in FY 2009. To argue that deficits represent new money injected into the economy is to argue that the economy would have contracted by 9.3 percent without this “infusion” of added deficit spending (or even more, given the Keynesian multiplier effect that was supposed to further boost the impact). That is simply not plausible, and few if any economists have claimed otherwise.

And if the original $1.2 trillion in deficit spending failed to slow the economy’s slide, there was no reason to believe that adding $200 billion more in 2009 deficit spending from the stimulus bill would suddenly do the trick. Proponents of yet another stimulus should answer the following questions: (1) If nearly $1.4 trillion budget deficits are not enough stimulus, how much is enough? (2) If Keynesian stimulus repeatedly fails, why still rely on the theory?

This is no longer a theoretical exercise. The idea that increased deficit spending can cure recessions has been tested repeatedly, and it has failed repeatedly. The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.

(read it all)

CATO likewise notes that the numbers were fudged to provide exaggerated outcomes:

Food stamps are effective economic stimulus. Led by Mark Zandi and other Keynesian economists, food-stamp advocates have made wildly exaggerated claims about the program’s role in stimulating the economy. Zandi, for instance, claims that “extending food stamps is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”

But aside from the fact that those economic models just as well predict an alien invasion would be a boon to the economy, there is little evidence to support the theory. Even the Agriculture Department’s own inspector general concluded that it was unable to determine whether the additional dollars in the stimulus’s food-stamp expansion were in any way effective in meeting the 2009 Recovery Act’s goals. Three of the four performance measures the program was supposed to use, the office found, “reflected outputs, such as the dollar amount of benefits issued and administrative costs expended” and did not provide any insight into outcomes.

On the other hand, we do know that a failure to get government spending under control will have long-term economic consequences. Food stamps are hardly the major cause of deficits and debt — that distinction lies with middle-class entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — but every little bit helps.

Valerie Jarrett and Nancy Pelosi said similar things:

  • JARRETT: Let’s face it: Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community. And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it’s good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.
  • PELOSI: Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way. It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it…. We have a responsibility to the American people. These are people who have played by the rules, have lost their job through no fault of their own, and need these benefits in order to survive. So we must extend this insurance before the end of the year and we must extend it for at least a year. And I’d like to see that as we go forward before this year ends. Hopefully it could be part of a budget, but it doesn’t have to be part of a budget. It could be in its own vehicle as it goes forward, but it’s something we must consider.

Again, similar responses happened then as well:

Economists at the Heritage Foundation have written about this claim, explaining:

The theory behind extending UI [Unemployment Insurance] benefits as a stimulus assumes that unemployed workers will immediately spend any additional UI payments, instantly increasing consumption, boosting aggregate demand, and stimulating the economy.

This is not a new idea. Economists in the 1960s thought that unemployment insurance could function as an important automatic economic stabilizer. Empirical research in the 1970s demonstrated that this was not the case, and studies since then have concluded that unemployment insurance plays at best a small role in stabilizing the economy. Empirical research at the state level also finds that UI plays a negligible role in stimulating the economy.

Studies that have found that UI stimulates the economy effectively — such as studies by the Congressional Budget Office and economist Mark Zandi — rely on two faulty assumptions, thereby drawing a false conclusion:

They assume that unemployed workers spend every dollar of additional UI benefits almost immediately and that extending unemployment insurance does not affect workers’ behavior. In that case, every dollar spent on unemployment insurance adds a dollar to consumption without any direct effects on the labor market. Both assumptions are false.

Unemployment Insurance Prolongs Unemployment. One of the most thoroughly established results in labor economics is the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployed workers’ behavior. labor economists agree that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer than they otherwise would.

This occurs for obvious reasons: Workers respond to incentives. Unemployment benefits reduce the incentive and the pressure to find a new job by making it less costly to remain without work…..

Michael Medved Discusses Trump’s Budget Proposal

I like Medved’s take because he (unlike many other commentators) takes calls which are negative to his view. A good short article on Trump’s budget is over at POWERLINE talking about the projected GDP. The WASHINGTON TIMES notes that this budget is shocking!

President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal is shocking on two fronts, and both will have denizens of the Washington swamp tearing their hair out.

Backgrounding supporters on a Monday conference call, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney referred to the budget proposal as a “Taxpayer First Budget,” and said, “I imagined myself standing in front of a taxpayer asking him for his money.” Could Mulvaney justify asking any taxpayer to hand over money to pay for health services for disabled veterans, he asked? Yes, of course. Could he justify asking that taxpayer for money to pay for a program that takes college graduates and helps them get graduate degrees, a program that’s been documented to have a 6 percent success rate? No, he could not. Consequently, programs for disabled veterans get funding, and programs with a 6 percent success rate do not.

Shocking, eh?

[….]

But putting taxpayers first isn’t the only shocking thing about the proposed Trump budget.

OMB Director Mulvaney went on to explain a second shocking aspect: The proposed budget attacks waste in government by employing a simple test – if Congress has not authorized a program, it should not be funded. That is, if Congress itself doesn’t deem the program worthy enough of funding to take the time to authorize it, the program isn’t worth the money Congress is spending on it.

[….]

Putting taxpayers first and refusing to illegally spend money on unauthorized programs are shocks to the system. They’re also proof of the political axiom that elections have consequences – and even more proof, for anyone who needed it, that President Trump aims to end business as usual in Washington, and live up to his promise to drain the swamp.

For a more negative review of the budget, see NATIONAL REVIEW’S article by Kevin D. Williamson.

Jerry Brown Fudges Budget

The main reason this is the case — I mean besides the Democrats tendency to “spend-spend-spend,”

HOTAIR tells the story of our fine State’s fudging of budgets:

Hey, $1.9 billion here, $1.9 billion there … pretty soon you’re talking about entirely imaginary numbers. That’s the message that Governor Jerry Brown’s administration sent to the California legislature when they admitted that they had miscalculated their expenditures in the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. The admission came during the new round of budget negotiations, even though the mistake had been known for months:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration miscalculated costs for the state Medi-Cal program by $1.9 billion last year, an oversight that contributed to Brown’s projection of a deficit in the upcoming budget, officials acknowledged this week.

The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.

“There’s no other way to describe this other than a straight up error in accounting, which we deeply regret,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.

So why didn’t the Brown administration notify the legislature immediately? According to the governor’s office, errors traditionally get mitigated in the next budget cycle. Well, okay, but that would apply to errors of a small scale, wouldn’t it? A budget hole this size might prompt the legislature to fix the problems early and limit the damage. Instead, California spent more than it should, and now has to make up the money.

That’s actually not the only problem with the budget, as the Associated Press explains in this report. Not only did California spend more than it projected on Medi-Cal, it also took in quite a bit less than it projected in tax revenues. According to the revenue estimates in Brown’s proposed budget will miss by almost six billion dollars over three budget cycles:

The General Fund revenue forecast has been reduced, reflecting lower growth in wages, proprietorship income, consumption, and investment. As a result, before accounting for transfers such as to the Rainy Day Fund, General Fund revenue is lower than the 2016 Budget Act projections by $5.8 billion from 2015‑16 through 2017‑18.

Figure REV‑01 compares the revenue forecasts, by source, in the 2016 Budget Act and the Governor’s Budget. Revenue, including transfers, is expected to be $119 billion in 2016‑17 and $124 billion in 2017‑18. The projected decrease since the 2016 Budget Act is due to a lower forecast for all three major revenue sources. Over the three fiscal years, personal income tax is down $2.1 billion, sales tax is down $1.9 billion, and corporation tax is down $1.7 billion.

So much for that booming economy that the media insists that Donald Trump will inherit from Barack Obama tomorrow. California’s pursuit of progressive social and economic policies have worked their usual miracle of draining growth from what should be dynamic economic environments…..

MO-MONEY/MO-MONEY ~ Dems Solution to Everything (Elder)

What do Amtrak, public schools, and inner cities have in common? Democrats who abhor economic principles and thinking by spending more money fixes all ills. Larry Elder takes us on a tour of history as he bounces around the tragedy of the recent Amtrak derailment, and the derailing of our schools. The solution according to Democrats?

$$$$ MO MONEY – MO MONEY $$$$

For more clear thinking like this from Larry Elder… I invite you to visit: http://www.larryelder.com/ ~AND~ http://www.elderstatement.com/

The “Hulk” (Mark Ruffalo) Repeats a Liberal Mantra

This comes via The Blaze:

Representing “The O’Reilly Factor,” correspondent Jesse Watters attended the annual Sundance Film Festival to talk some politics and see if any celebrities would admit they are disappointed with President Barack Obama’s job performance.

Actress Marisa Tomei walked away when Watters asked her about Obama, saying “yuck” to the simple question. Meanwhile, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman “abruptly ended his smoke break” when he saw him approaching….

The Right Scoop quickly adds to the HULK confrontation:

  • Jesse Watters went to Sundance Film Festival and spoke to a few actors and actresses about Obama and politics. When he got to Mark Ruffalo, who played the Hulk in Avengers, he brought Benghazi up and this liberal buffoon had the audacity to blame Republicans for Benghazi because he said they cut funding for security – even though we know that is absolutely false based on congressional testimony. Which is why we call him a buffoon.

A while ago, Breitbart put up this exchange in Congress about this very issue:

The Daily Caller makes the point that i will follow up on with an example from the Bush days about veterans benefits:

…“Since gaining the majority in 2011, House Republicans have voted to reduce embassy security funding by approximately half a billion dollars below the amounts requested by the Obama Administration,” the memo reads. “Although the Senate has been able to restore a small portion of these funds, the final appropriations enacted by Congress in the previous two Fiscal Years have been far below the amounts requested by the Administration for embassy security, and far below the levels enacted in Fiscal Year 2010, the last year Democrats controlled the House.”

What Cummings and the Democratic Oversight Committee staff are referring to is the final fiscal year 2012 omnibus appropriations package that included $2.075 billion for the programs – $567.5 million less than the Obama administration’s request.

Cummings and the Democratic staff memo don’t mention that Democrats made those cuts into embassy security funding possible.

This explains why Charlene Lamb

Who Is This Charlene Lamb?

In testimony Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Charlene Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, was asked, “Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”

Lamb responded, “No, sir.”

Recall that Lamb is the person who denied requests from the top diplomatic security officer in Libya to retain a 16-man team of military personnel who had been protecting diplomats.

That would seem to be the end of the story.

(The Daily Beast)

…the woman responding “no” in the video above, said “no”. A tactic used often in politics is to say somethig is “cut” that is merely a decrease IN ACTUAL increases in spending. From the Bush days we heard Democrats harping that Bush “cut” veterans benefits, when they have increased every year till then:

(Only in politics can an increase in a budget be considered a negative.) And this budget graph (below) likewise supports that the State Department got all the monies needed for their security, via Heritage (h/t, Publius1787):

….It is tempting to look for a scapegoat for the tragic events in Libya. However, if one exists, the overall budget for embassy security is not it. Funding for that purpose has risen sharply over the past decade. Moreover, the State Department has considerable latitude in allocating security funds based on current events and intelligence on possible threats. Why that latitude was not applied in Libya deserves further scrutiny.

…read more…

Obama Bragged About Bringing Down the Debt More Than Any Other Administration ~ Rick Santelli Explains the Washington `Shell Game`

  1. Still largest deficit compared to other admins;
  2. Lowered the most because he increased it the most;
  3. see “1”

Three Question Liberals NEVER ask:

  1. compared to what?
  2. at what cost?
  3. what hard-evidence do you have?

 

Ron Kaye, Former L.A. Daily News Editor, Explains L.A.`s Fiscal Waste & Scare Tactics

Video Description:

NBC-LA this morning had a debate on one of the ballot measures to appear March 5th for voting in Los Angeles, “Measure A.” This is a concise soliloquies of the larger debate (here) where Mr. Kaye underlines the main problem in Los Angeles’ fiscal practice for the past 30-years. He points out that “Measure A” will not fix the core issue while also touching on the scare tactics of the city council and Mayor. This micro L.A. level issue is an example of what is ailing California as well as the country. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk)