Tag Archives: Sequester

The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts

Compromise

Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

 

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.

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Hugh Hewitt: The White House West Wing (Staff) Renovation

U.S. Senate

The exit of Stephen K. Bannon completes a restructuring of the West Wing that began almost as soon as the president took office and is now apparently complete. Like the physical renovation of the West Wing, it was noisy, not very attractive … but it was necessary.

What is needed now are successes in cooperation with Congress—beyond confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Veterans Affairs reform bill, and the 14 Congressional Review Act laws that were all enormously significant—but those were low-profile victories, and it seemed like Gorsuch was half a year ago.

What is needed above all is either a tax bill or resurrection of the health-care fix. Slashing the corporate tax rate is probably the easiest (and perhaps most economically significant) bit of legislation to accomplish—but so too must arrive the repeal of the Budget Control Act, which has devastated national security via the “sequester” and hamstrung a key Trump promise, that of a 355-ship Navy.

The staffing reset—along with a rhetorical reset from President Trump himself begun last week—can help get things moving.

 

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