With the Fed on the verge of a full relent and admission of policy error, the Fed’s “data (in)dependent” monetary policy once again takes on secondary relevance as we progress into 2016. However, even with the overall job picture far less important, one aspect of the US jobs market is certain to take on an unprecedented importance.
We first laid out what that is last September when we said that “the one chart that matters more than ever, has little to nothing to do with the Fed’s monetary policy, but everything to do with the November 2016 presidential elections in which the topic of immigration, both legal and illegal, is shaping up to be the most rancorous, contentious and divisive.”
We were talking about the chart showing the cumulative addition of foreign-born and native-born workers added to US payrolls according to the BLS since December 2007, i.e., since the start of the recession/Second Great Depression.
As usually happens, it is precisely this data that gets no mention following any job report. However, with Trump and his anti-immigration campaign continuing to plow on despite the Iowa disappointment, we are confident that the chart shown below will soon be recognizable to economic and political pundits everywhere.
And here is why we are confident this particular data should have been prominently noted by all experts when dissecting today’s job report: according to the BLS’ Establishment Survey, while 151,000 total workers were added in January, a number which rises to 615,000 if looking at the Household survey, also according to the same Household survey, a whopping 567,000 native-born Americans lost their jobs, far less than the 98,000 foreign-born job losses.
Here is a chart showing native-born non-job gains since the start of the depression:
Alternatively, here are foreign-born worker additions since December 2007:
Putting the two side by side:
And the bottom line: starting with the infamous month when it all started falling apart, December 2007, the US has added just 186,000 native-born workers, offset by 13.5x times more, or 2,518,000, foreign born workers.
If Trump wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, and storms back to the top of the GOP primary polls, expect this chart to become the most important one over the next 10 months.
Dead patriots at Benghazi? Hillary cares not a bit. But redistributing wealth? She is all in on that
Hillary Clinton on Monday proposed a 4 percent tax on the wealthiest sliver of taxpayers who earn more than $5 million per year.
The so-called “surcharge” on the wealthiest 0.02 percent would generate $150 billion over the next decade, according to a Clinton campaign aide.
$150 Billion? Over ten years? Hell that would not pay for Pelosis’ Botox
The suggested tax follows Clinton’s promise last month as she campaigned alongside billionaire investor Warren Buffett to build on the “Buffett rule,” which would establish a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those earning more than $1 million per year. Buffett has criticized tax policies that allow the rich to pay lower rates than the middle class.
Why don’t people like Warren Buffet explain why anyone needs to pay 30% of their income to government? Especially given governments incredible record of waste, fraud, and corruption. Why not CUT needless spending Mr. Buffet? Let those that earn the money keep as much as possible? Why not but out 99% of the exemptions too? Go to a flat or a consumption tax?
“I want to go further and impose what I call a fair share surcharge on multi-millionaires because right now, we’re behind and we need to get the wealthy and the corporations to pay for their fair share, so I can keep my promise, which is I will not raise taxes on the middle class,” Clinton said at a campaign stop in Iowa on Monday.
Miss Hillary, if the U.S. Treasury is “behind” blame Congress for, say it with me, spending too fucking much!
I have often said and written that there are two political parties in America, Big Government Party #1 and Big Government Party #2.
There is one party who is honest enough to admit that they are for big, bloated, and largely unconstitutional government. Then, there is another party, whose politicians campaign as conservatives in order to get elected, but once elected, vote precisely like the Democrats they promised to oppose.
Below are the 27 RINOs in the U.S. Senate who voted to blow the lid off the debt (Marco Rubio did NOT vote), funding illegal and unconstitutionally sanctuary cities, funding Obama’s illegal amnesty and Muslim Syrian invasion, funding Obamacare, funding Planned Butcherhood.
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a constitutional conservative, made the following statement after the bloated bill, a bill Rush Limbaugh called a “Democrat wet dream.”
“What we’ve seen in Congress today is profoundly disappointing. This spending bill does not honor the promises we made to the men and women who elected us. It funds Obamacare. It funds Planned Parenthood. It funds executive amnesty. It fails to protect our national security and stop Syrian refugees from coming to this country. It fails to do anything to stop the Iranian Nuclear Deal. And what does it do? It jacks up yet more low-skilled immigration, which will only drag down wages, kill American jobs, and hurt working men and women.
“This bill is the big-government agenda of Democrats that effectively forfeits our massive Republican victories of 2014 and cements Obama’s priorities for nearly the full remainder of his term. This is the Washington Cartel in action, and it’s precisely why the American people from coast-to-coast are so volcanically frustrated.”
Here are the 27 RINO traitors who voted for the 2009-page, $1.1 trillion Ryan-Obama Omnibus spending bill, furthering the elimination of the congressional power of the purse, effectively giving that power, willingly, to wannabe dictator Barack Obama.
NOTE: For your viewing pleasure and convenience, we have placed an asterisk (*) next to those “Republican” senators who are facing re-election in 2016.
Lamar Alexander (RINO-TN)
Kelly Ayotte* (RINO-NH)
John Barrasso (RINO-WY)
Roy Blunt* (RINO-MO)
Shelley Moore Capito (RINO-WV)
Dan Coats (RINO-IN) retiring in 2016
Thad Cochran (RINO-MS)
Susan Collins (RINO-ME)
Bob Corker (RINO-TN)
John Cornyn (RINO-TX
Cory Gardner (RINO-CO)
Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC)
Orrin Hatch (RINO-UT)
Dean Heller (RINO-NV)
John Hoeven* (RINO-ND)
Jim Inhofe (RINO-OK)
Johnny Isakson* (RINO-GA)
Ron Johnson* (RINO-WI)
Mark Kirk* (RINO-IL)
James Lankford* (RINO-OK)
Mitch McConnell (RINO-KY) *Senate Majority Leader*
Lisa Murkowski* (RINO-AK)
Jack Perdue (RINO-GA)
Pat Roberts (RINO-KS)
Mike Rounds (RINO-SD)
Thom Tillis (RINO-NC)
Roger Wicker (RINO-MS)
So “Obama’s Mitch” McConnell and his cabal of establishment RINO traitors joined with the likes of Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer in supporting the Omnibus.
Speaking of Chuck Schumer (COMMIE-NY), he glowed and gloated in amazement at being a member of the minority party and being able to accomplish so much destruction, exactly the same as if Democrats were still in the majority:
“If you have told me – this year – that we’d be standing here, celebrating the passage of an Omnibus bill, with no poison pill riders, at higher levels above sequester than even the president requested, I wouldn’t have believed it.
But here we are. This bill is a great victory for the principles Democrats stand for.”
As sad as it sounds, Schumer is right. The results we are seeing in the U.S. House and Senate are exactly the same – maybe even worse – than if Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were still in charge.
NOTE: Here are the RINO douchebags who voted for this putrid bill in the House.
Different Republican Speaker – Same Liberal Crap
Now we know why Paul Ryan grew a beard – so he can try to hide from the Republican base.
Republican Speaker Paul Ryan is set to pass a budget chock-full of liberal goodies.
It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for.
The unpopular bill is expected to pass with a Democrat majority of votes.
That’s how bad it is.
Via Drudge Report:
Hands out gifts for NASCAR, racehorses, teachers, college students, more…
MEETS OBAMA PRIORITIES…
Funds for ‘climate’ deal…
Planned Parenthood Praises…
Makes it ‘harder to repeal Obamacare’…
‘Cybersecurity’ bill hacked in…
Conservatives give pass on deal they despise!
SESSIONS: THIS is why voters in ‘open rebellion’…
Isn’t there a conservative out there somewhere who can challenge Paul Ryan in a primary?
A provision regarding guest worker visas quietly added to the omnibus spending bill released this morning by the Senate is something lawmakers hope blue-collar workers won’t notice.
The provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for foreign “guest workers.” That means it would allow more than a quarter of a million foreign workers to enter the United States each year and work in industries including construction, hotel-motel services, truck driving, food processing, forestry and other fields that do not require a college education.
Back in 2013, The Gang of Eight bill proposed a similar increase in the already controversial H-2B visa, which takes work away from American workers by allowing foreigners to fill jobs in the industries noted above.
In the case of construction, there are currently six unemployed American workers for each job opening, according to a study published by the Economic Policy Institute. Still, the omnibus released this morning around 2 a.m. would nevertheless quadruple those visas and bring in foreign workers despite the high unemployment rate in these fields.
This provision was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C, and was inserted at the last minute into the 2,000 page bill.
In an op-ed by immigration attorney Ian Smith that ran in the National Review, he asserts that the bill looks to be a copy of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act.
“Many of these unskilled jobs traditionally go to society’s most vulnerable – including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,” he wrote of the jobs most likely to be affected by the bill.
However, large corporations love the idea because it means bringing in an hiring more foreign guest-workers, which lowers their labor costs.
While two primary concerns of everyday Americans are immigration and unemployment, Senate Democrats and their allies in the GOP establishment are going forward with a plan that completely ignores those concerns.
Sounds about right.
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.
“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.
Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”
Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”
The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.
“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”
To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:
I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.
Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.
Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.
LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”
With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.
“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.
In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.
Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.
LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.
Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.
“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.
But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.
“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.
“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”
Participants: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina
NOTE: Kiddie table debate begins at 7pm and includes the following candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal
The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.
That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.
The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday.
The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached.
At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments.
When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt.
In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day.
This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.
As you probably know by now, the budget and debt ceiling deal I wrote about a few days ago has officially passed the House of Representatives. And while it’s true that it runs contrary to every principle that Republicans campaigned on when they convinced America to give them the majority in 2010, the policy and political implications of this legislation will be far-reaching with severe consequences.
So, how bad is it? In an opinion piece on Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz gives seven reasons why this betrayal will probably be the end of the Republican party:
1. Increases Debt Ceiling Unconditionally
This bill suspends the debt ceiling through March 2017, granting this president another $1.5 trillion in debt authority after already amassing $7.5 trillion in debt. This, at a time when revenue is at record highs. There are now no external constraints on the amount of debt this president can accumulate in his final year.
2. Budget Control Act Permanently Terminated
The bill increases spending by $112 billion, thereby permanently overturning the only meaningful spending victory secured by conservatives over the past five years. There will be little leverage to preserve these cuts in the future. Spending was already slated to increase by $250 billion for the new year (from $3.677 trillion to $3.928 trillion); this bill will bump that increase to over $310 billion for 2016 alone. This is why Republicans have never cut spending. Despite record projected revenue of $3.5 trillion for 2016, they can’t balance the budget and will spend $4 trillion annually for the first time ever. In the era of “austerity,” the federal government is now growing by 8.4% despite the fact that the private economy is averaging 2.5% growth.
3. Rubber Stamps Obama’s Backwards Foreign Policy
Included in the increased spending is an extra $32 billion in war spending on top of existing appropriations. This comes on the heels of reports that Obama is commencing ground operations involving our military in the Islamic civil war in both Iraq and Syria. It is cowardly of Congress to not issue a declaration of war with specific policy demands from Obama dictating our strategic goals. Nobody can identify the mission – who we are fighting and with whom we are allying? Yet, this is Congress’ backdoor means of greenlighting this tepid and aimless effort without taking responsibility for supporting it or blocking it. As we’ve noted before, much of the money we send to the Middle East has wound up in the hands of Al-Nusra in Syria and Iranian-backed Shiite forces in Iraq. This budget allows Obama to invest more in failure, and worse – our enemies – because much of the OCO funds go to the State Department.
4. Paves the Way for More Spending with Enron Style Accounting
It would have been better had Congress not deceived the public with Enron-style accounting gimmicks to “offset” the cost of the bill. As Congressional Quarterly noted today, “Budget Deal Pay-Fors May Provide Template for Future Accords.” The political class thinks that a hodgepodge of notional and intangible offsets spread out 10 years from now are so clever. They will be emboldened to use the same gimmicks to bust even more spending caps, even in areas of the budget they’ve been cautious to do so until now.
5. We are at the mercy of Obama with no leverage
The most under-reported aspect of this deal is that it completely “clears the decks” of any budget bill for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, thereby taking the power of the purse off the table. As bad as the increased spending is for our fiscal solvency, the Obama policies are worse. There will be no budget to leverage against Obama’s growing amnesty, EPA overreach, foreign policy disasters, prison break, and dangerous clemencies. For example, Obama released 66,000 criminal aliens in 2013-2014, who had accrued a total of 166,000 convictions: 30k DUIs, 414 kidnappings, 11,000 sex assaults, and 395 homicides. They went on to commit at least 121 murders after being released. Who knows how high those numbers will go now that Obama has completely suspended deportations. Yet, conservatives will not have an opportunity to leverage DHS and Justice Department funding against his amnesty, which will likely grow more dangerous and lawless in his final year.
6. Paul Ryan Owns This Budget
Even if one buys into Ryan’s defense that he had nothing to do with the budget, a dubious assertion in itself, he clearly owns this deal for two reasons.
* First, the notion that the Speaker-elect cannot speak out against this travesty and demand it be halted is like saying that a newly elected fire chief is powerless against ordering his men to put out the flames of an arson that began the day before. Even if we accept that the debt ceiling deadline was sprung on him and cannot be stopped, there is no reason for him to agree to the budget deal, which does not come due for another six weeks. He certainly doesn’t have to agree to take the debt ceiling AND budget off the table for the rest of Obama’s presidency; he could have opted for a shorter-term bill so that he can show us the magic of his budget work and his amazing messaging skills. Now he will have no leverage to enact all of the fiscal reforms he will so eruditely articulate in the coming months.
* Second, Paul Ryan forged the original Ryan-Murray bill in 2013, which established the precedent that breaking the budget caps is a “must-pass” initiative. Until that point, Republicans had held firm. In that sense, this deal is merely the grandchild of Ryan’s original betrayal.
The fact that Ryan supported this excrement sandwich shows that he has no desire to actually force important conservative changes. He relishes the opportunity to “clear the barn” of any meaningful leverage so that he can discuss policy reforms in the abstract without having to fight for them in any significant way.
7. The Republican Party is Dead
Republicans have checked out from the fight against the consequential societal transformational issues for years: marriage, religious liberty, immigration, law and order, etc. They have made it clear now they will never fight for fiscal conservatism. Unless a true conservative is elected as president, the party is done.
As I wrote a week ago, the ascension of Paul Ryan to the Speaker’s job was reason enough to begin a new Conservative Revolution.The death of the GOP following this travesty of budgetary irresponsibility gives us one more reason to see it begin.
Looks like House Speaker John Boehner is going out with a raise – to the nation’s debt ceiling.
President Obama has struck a deal with Congressional leaders that will again increase America’s debt borrowing limit with no end to the spending in sight…
Boehner, working directly with Obama and his staffers, was vital to the agreement though other Congressional leaders were also involved.
The deal may be voted on Wednesday, which happens to be the same day Paul Ryan may be nominated by the House GOP conference to replace Boehner as Speaker.
According to CNN:
“Bipartisan congressional leaders and the White House struck a major fiscal deal in principle Monday that would raise the debt ceiling and lift budget caps on both defense and domestic programs, according to congressional sources familiar with the deal.
The final details are being ironed out and a bill could be introduced later Monday as negotiators draft the language to prepare for it for vote.
This deal would avoid a potential debt default on November 3, and it would reduce the chances of a government shutdown on December 11.”
Boehner and his office were vital in creating the framework for the debt ceiling increase.
“Boehner’s office negotiated many of the details directly with the White House, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid were also part of the discussions as the framework was developed, according to a source familiar with the talks.”
The article notes House Conservatives vehemently oppose the debt increase deal.
“Conservatives sharply panned the deal.
“It’s emblematic of five years of failed leadership,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recipients of nearly $1.2 million in grants to non-profit and tribal organizations “to address environmental justice issues nationwide.”
“The grants enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority and low-income communities overburdened by harmful pollution,” the Oct. 8 press release stated.
“EPA’s environmental justice grants help communities across the country understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level,” Matthew Tejada, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, said in the press release.”
“Addressing the impacts of climate change is a priority for EPA and the projects supported by this year’s grants will help communities prepare for and build resilience to localized climate impacts,” Tejada said.
“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” thedocument announcing the recipients of the grant funding stated.
“Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal state, local, and tribal programs and policies,” the documents stated.
One of the recipients is the Green Jobs Corps in New Haven Connecticut for “Creating a New Generation of New Haven Environmental Justice Leaders.”
The Greater Northeast Development Corporation in Virginia will use a “community-based participatory approach for southeast community resilience and adaptation to address lung health impacts exacerbated by climate change.”
In certain neighborhoods in Baltimore, Md., the grant funding will “mitigate the impacts of climate change on these communities by increasing the area of ‘green’ spaces…”
The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago will help make the Chatham neighborhood “rain ready” to prepare for an increase of “rain events” from climate change.
Some other projects being funded include:
• A program will install solar panels in the homes of low-income residents in Colorado.
• Teaching Washington state residents about producing “locally grown food with a low-carbon footprint.”
• Educate residents of the Chickaloon Native Village in Alaska about “the connection between coal surface strip mining, transporting, exporting, and consumption in relation to climate impacts, how climate impacts are being experienced locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. “
• Ground Water New Orleans will be “teaching students to design, build, and install solar powered charging benches on or near bus stops in underserved communities.”
This grant funding dates back to 1994, according to the recipient document.
“In 1994, the Office of Environmental Justice established the Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program whose purpose is to assist communitybased/grassroots organizations and tribal governments that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems. Funding specifically supports affected local communitybased efforts to examine issues related to a community’s exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.”
The document stated that the funds are divided equally between organizations in 10 regions across the country designated by EPA.
The federal government took in a record of approximately $3,248,723,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2015 (which ended on Sept. 30), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.
That equaled approximately $21,833 for every person in the country who had either a full-time or part-time job in September.
It is also up about $212,927,100,000 in constant 2015 dollars from the $3,035,795,900,000 in revenue (in 2015 dollars) that the Treasury raked in during fiscal 2014.
Even as the Treasury was hauling in a record $3,248,723,000,000 in tax revenues in fiscal 2015, the federal government was spending $3,687,622,000,000. So, the federal government ran a deficit of $438,899,000,000 for the fiscal year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total seasonally adjusted employment in the United States in September (including both full and part-time workers) was 148,800,000. That means that the federal tax haul for fiscal 2015 equaled about $21,832.82 for every person in the United States with a job.
In 2012, President Barack Obama struck a deal with Republicans in Congress to enact legislation that increased taxes. That included increasing the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, increasing the top tax rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent, and phasing out personal exemptions and deductions starting at an annual income level of $250,000.
An additional 3.8 percent tax on dividends, interest, capital gains and royalties – that was embedded in the Obamacare law – also took effect in 2013.
The largest share of fiscal 2015’s record-setting tax haul came from the individual income tax. That yielded the Treasury $1,540,802,000,000. Payroll taxes for “social insurance and retirement receipts” took in another $1,065,277,000,000. The corporate income tax brought in $343,797,000,000.
On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.
The bill passed easily in the Senate, 78-20:
The bill faced strong dissension in the House, where 151 Republicans voted against it because the bill does not cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood (vote roll call here).
President Barack Obama signed the spending bill late Wednesday.
The vote was notable in the House in that it provided a chance for candidates for upcoming leadership races to weigh in on a controversial issue in the caucus.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the leading candidate to replace Speaker John Boehner, voted for the measure.
His only opponent for speaker, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., voted against the bill, as did Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is one of two lawmakers running for majority leader.
The other majority leader contender, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., voted for the spending bill.
Some House members believed that the vote on the continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, would be telling in how potential new leadership may handle future issues.
Conservatives argued that leadership candidates would be judged on if they stood up to Planned Parenthood in the face of a potential shutdown.
“It’s unfortunate that this thing passed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But I think the most unfortunate thing is we should have back on July 14, when the first [Planned Parenthood] video came out, went full commitment to making this a national debate and really elevating it and going all in. We could have been in a position to win, but we didn’t, and this is the part that frustrates me.”
“Our new leadership has to commit, whoever that happens to be, to the same effort on things that we’ve told the voters we were gonna do – like we all told them we were pro-life, right? – we have to have the same intensity in getting those things done that we did on, for example, trade promotion. We have to demonstrate we are actually fighting on the things we said and have that full debate. And that’s what we are not doing.”
Taking a different view, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told the The Daily Signal that conservatives were wrong to try to hold up the spending measure to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Leadership will look feckless and ineffective if they try to appease the rejectionist members of this conference,” Dent said.
“Going forward,” Dent remarked, “leadership will have to find a way to move forward on five or six measures that must be resolved, including a budget agreement, tax extenders, the debt ceiling, and a long-term transportation measure. All will require a level of compromise required to move beyond the warfare and get to a better place.”
The continuing resolution funds the government at a rate of $1.017 trillion annually for the next two and a half months. Senate leaders argued the deal gives Congress time to negotiate a budget deal with the president, though Obama has been pushing Congress to break the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
The continuing resolution also provides $74.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, E-verify program, and Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Senate Republican leaders introduced a government spending bill last week that included a one-year moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood. The legislation also directed the $235 million in savings derived from the government funding allocated for Planned Parenthood to be directed to community health centers.
That bill, however, was blocked in the upper chamber, after it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.
Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.
Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan – taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28% – by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.
Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist – though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.
“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”
But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.
To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.
A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.
Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral – neither raising nor lowering federal revenues – by the third year and then begin adding revenue.
With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.
Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.
On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.
The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.
But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.
For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.
The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.
The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.
The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.
The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.
All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.
The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.
H/T Right Scoop