We’ve told you about the simmering fight among Republicans, almost all of whom want to repeal Obamacare in the new administration, over just how that repeal will take place. One side, generally, would like to pass repeal with a set deadline for finding a replacement. The other side prefers no repeal without a replacement plan in place or at least agreed upon.
The latter worries about another “fiscal cliff” scenario playing out. Both sides worry that the other side’s plan will end up with repeal not actually happening.
Writing in Rare, Republican Senator Rand Paul took a clear stance in this nuanced but incredibly important inter-party debate: “If Congress fails to vote on a replacement at the same time as repeal, the repealers risk assuming the blame for the continued unraveling of Obamacare,” he says, arguing that Obamacare will indeed “continue to unravel and wreak havoc for years to come.”
Whichever form the next steps ultimately take, now is a crucial and dangerous time for fiscal conservatives. Obamacare and its failures have real victims, and ensuring fiscally sound solutions for those who need it most will not come without serious work — we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball.
Following the election of Donald Trump, many Republicans are hoping that the President-elect can use his incoming Congressional majority to accomplish long-hoped-for tax reform. Before he even takes office, however, disagreements are bubbling to the surface.
Bloomberg reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have already indicated than any tax-cut package should be revenue-neutral, meaning that no tax cuts can be allowed without changes to ensure that revenue levels are sustained and the deficit does not rise as nonpartisan organizations have warned that it could.
Importantly, Congressional Republicans have also indicated they will incorporate dynamic scoring, which attempts to control for economic growth that could result from tax relief, and vice versa. In other words, attempts to achieve neutrality would have to take into account any economic growth or rising revenues as a result of tax cuts.
Making matters more complicated, another debt limit standoff is coming soon, and Congressional leaders are also signaling their hesitancy to follow along with a major infrastructure package that has been a cornerstone of Mr. Trump’s campaign.
Somewhat lost in this discussion is real consideration of the true root of the problem: Spending. The real goal of making legislation revenue-neutral is to ensure that it is deficit-neutral, and there are two ways to accomplish this important goal.
While the debate over raising other taxes to make up a difference can and will continue, fiscal conservatives should not forget the importance of the other way: Meaningful cuts to America’s out-of-control spending that continues to drive the whole system to begin with.
This article from Politico reminds us all that fiscal conservatism and helping those most at need do not have to be mutually exclusive ideals.
The city is putting the people most at risk of dying on the streets into homes straightaway, which has saved dozens of lives and has realized net savings to the taxpayer of more than $2 million a year. Forward-thinking social service agencies have built successful day labor and job placement programs for homeless people who had little hope of getting work on their own.
“I was looking for some way to make a real difference in homelessness and not just sweep it under the rug or make it punitive,” Berry recalls. “I read that the highest 50 users cost $10 million in services, and one guy was costing $900,000. The light bulb went off that if you do it right, you could save money.
Not only has it worked, it’s saving the city a lot of money: $1.78 for every $1 in costs. When researchers at the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Social Research analyzed the first year’s results they found program participants’ emergency room visit costs had declined 36.2 percent, jail expenses 64.2 percent, and hospital inpatient bills 83.6 percent.
… Numerous random controlled trials have found that 85 to 90 percent of the participants in such programs are still housed two years later.
Read the full story here.
Writing yesterday in FEE, CRS’s Rebekah Bydlak takes on the latest viral news story to hit political circles — and urges fiscal conservatives not to take our eyes off the ball.
Over recent weeks, the nation’s news cycle and news feeds have been dominated by discussions of the relative merits of… targeted tax breaks to corporations.
In stark contrast to the Beltway-centric standoffs over tax extenders several years ago, this time, the debate went mainstream thanks to the involvement of President-elect and human viral article Donald J. Trump.
So much for a post-policy world.
The actual policies at stake, though, are fraught with as many emotions as disputed facts. . .
Ultimately, the Carrier deal is a question of symptoms. As important as these questions are, we cannot allow ourselves to forget the true problem: Runaway government fueled by limitless spending and debt.
Read the full piece here.
Writing yesterday in the Washington Examiner, CRS Founder and President Jonathan Bydlak takes on a troubling new trend in establishment politics: Pretending that losing Obamacare will be a bigger strain on the middle class than having it.
Political observers are still struggling to explain President-elect Trump’s shocking electoral victory. Most explanations, particularly from the Left, fail to realize Trump may have actually offered some policy solutions that voters from red states to the Rust Belt found appealing.
For example, in a Dec. 5 Washington Post opinion piece, Greg Sargent inadvertently sums up this tunnel vision by concern-trolling over the potential that “a lot of people in red states are set to lose Obamacare.” To hear Sargent explain it, red-state voters are about to suddenly discover they will suffer if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. They might even pressure Republicans not to repeal it at all.
But consider this: Before Election Day, a Republican hadn’t won Michigan since 1988 and Wisconsin since 1984. These Democratic strongholds propelled Trump to victory, even as he promised throughout his campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible. Clearly, the threat of repeal wasn’t a boogeyman for blue-state voters, much less Republicans.
Read the full piece here.