Reclaiming Common Sense

The big news is the that we had the best December

New Construction Month Since 2008

Okay, the big news is that at the time of the writing of this article the House of Representative have passed a continuing resolution. That, in and of itself is not big news because we have been working on a continuing resolution basis since 2010.  We have not passed a budget since the 2010 budget was adopted. What happened during 2010? The TEA Party revolution. The Democrats had 58 votes in the Senate during President Obama's first two years in office, according to Wikipedia. Due to an arcane rule in the Senate you need 60 votes to pass a bill. We have not been able to get sixty adults to agree to a budget since 2010.  The only thing that was able to get passed, other than the continuing resolutions, was the Budget Sequestration Act of 2013. This has caused cuts to military (Defense Department) budget, or at least cuts in the growth of spending.

There were no "real" budget cuts, just cuts in the growth of spending. We managed to spend $10 trillion dollars more than we took in in revenue between January 20th 2009 and January 20th 2017. (Some TARP money issued under President George W Bush was repaid under President Obama's Administration. None of the Quantitative Easing Money issued under President Obama had been repaid by the time he left office.  He left office with $19.962 Trillion in debt. He "doubled" the "unpatriotic and irresponsible" debt during his eight years in office - it could be that he increased it even more than that because he was a United States Senator prior to becoming President.

January, April, June, and September are Surplus Months. The deficit that we had this December was 23 billion dollars. Last year we had a $27 billion deficit for December. The months where businesses pay quarterly taxes we see surpluses. This was not one of those months.

On Budget Spending Exceeded On-Budget Revenue by $48 Billion. If we had "on-budget" deficit spending of $48,000,000,000 and a total monthly deficit of only $23 billion dollars, where did we find over $25,000,000,000? Off-Budget Revenue. "Off-Budget Revenue" isn't truly off-budget if the off-budget surpluses are used to reduce on-budget deficits. On-budget spending has exceed on-budget revenue by $227 billion. Off-Budget  Revenue is $186 billion so far this fiscal year. Off-budget spending is $183 billion year to date. We have an off-budget surplus of $3 billion. Some in the media claim that "entitlements" are draining our bank accounts. This column has written numerous article on how the government has been raiding Trust Fund Piggy Banks, most recently "Uncle Sam: Trust Fund Baby Gone Bust." We are still mortgaging our future. We are creating "Shadow Debt."

We are Projected to spend $503 Billion dollars on the Interest on the Debt this year. The largest expenditures are Department of Health and Human Services (1.136 trillion,) Social Security (1.054 Trillion,) and Department of Defense (630 billion.) There will be a time when the amount of money we spending on the interest will exceed the amount that we spend on National Defense. Here's the thing: Social Security has its own budget. It has it's own source of revenue. Another thing is that Medicaid and Medicare have their own funding source. Health and Human Services has taken in less money this year than last year. Social Security has taken in more money this year than last year.

Individual Taxes are up - Corporate Taxes are Down. This is not a big surprise. This column has mentioned in numerous articles that corporate revenue was falling and personal revenue was rising. More people are working full-time jobs this year than last year. This should mean higher incomes and higher income taxes. Companies are investing in Capital Expenditures and reducing their taxable incomes. Income taxes on individuals are up from $352 billion to $390 billion for Fiscal Year to date. Corporate taxes are down from $75 billion to $62 billion. We pay 86% of the taxes raised, adding the corporate and individual taxes.

The Schumer Shutdown. We don't have a revenue problem - We have a Spending Problem. There was an article on that said that we are spending $135 billion a year on illegal aliens. President Trump wants roughly $20 billion this year for building the wall at the southern border. President Trump and the GOP have produced a continuing resolution that includes a six year extension to the CHIP Child Health Insurance Program. Senator Chuck Schumer is willing to shutdown the government over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. These children have been brought here illegally. They are illegal aliens. Senator Schumer want to place illegal aliens before legal citizens.  Could we reduce our spending by $135 billion a year by no longer encouraging illegal immigration?

Let's enforce laws, especially the Budget Act of 1974. A budget is to be submitted by February 15th. (Sec. 202e)(Budget Control Act) This budget was supposed to be adopted by June 30th of 2017. It is now January 19th, 2018.

How to fix it:

  • Lock in Congressional pay for Staff, Senators, and Members of Congress to the most recently adopted budget pay level
  • Refuse to pay Members of Congress and their staff if a budget is not adopted by June 30th.
  • When a government shutdown occurs, no pay for Congress or staff. Everyone is required to take vacation days until government restarts. No back pay.
  • Set the Spending for the current Year on the revenue of the previous year.
  • Require congressional action to spend more money than budgeted.

The Schumer Shutdown, or the Schumer Showdown, matters. It takes nine Democrats to pass a continuing resolution. It takes nine Democrats to pass a Budget. Let's pass a budget.  Ten Democrats are up for re-election this election cycle. Let's get this fixed.

It's the economy.