3 Things You Should Know About Federal Spending and the Rescission Process

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably heard something about out-of-control federal spending at some point.

You’ve heard correctly — the federal government’s reckless spending is unsustainable.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts the federal budget deficit will top $800 billion this year.

One reason? Congress recently passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.

As AFP President Tim Phillips recently stated,

The CBO’s projection of America’s rising deficit is a result of overspending, plain and simple, not the product of letting Americans keep more of what they earn. Every major tax cut from both parties has resulted in more revenue to the federal government, yet our deficits continue to climb. That is a symptom that we are spending too much, not taxing too little.

Fortunately, there is a way for the president to work with Congress to curb spending, and we have an opportunity to get started by using a rescission package.

Rescissions: A Primer

What exactly is a budget rescission?

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, “a rescission is a request made by the president to rescind funds previously appropriated by Congress. If Congress approves the president’s rescission proposal, it would mean that particular appropriation would no longer be available to the agency to spend.”

In other words, rescissions are a budget tool to cut wasteful spending that government agencies were set to use.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, the president sends a rescission package to Congress with specific cuts.
  • Then, the Appropriations Committee has 25 days to approve, deny or amend the package.
  • If the committee does not act within those 25 days, members may still bring the bill to the floor for a vote through a technical procedure called a motion to discharge.
  • If no action is taken by Congress within 45 legislative days, the rescission package dies. One key feature of a rescission bill is that the vote gets expedited consideration in both chambers and cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

Using this rescission tool would be an important first step in clawing back some of the irresponsible spending in the omnibus bill. It would also be a down payment on cutting spending in next year’s appropriations bills, which are due by Sept. 30.

The president should take this important step toward putting our nation back on a fiscally sustainable path.

Rescissions in the Past

Rescissions are nothing new.

Presidents have proposed 1,178 rescissions since 1974, according to the American Action Forum. Congress has approved 461, saving taxpayers $25 billion over the years.

In 1981, Congress agreed to 101 rescissions under President Ronald Reagan. Rescissions were last proposed in 2000 under President Bill Clinton.

Why We Need a Rescission Package Now

Since enacting the Budget Control Act in 2011 following the financial crisis, Congress has repeatedly undermined the caps it put in place that were supposed to limit growth in spending.

The out-of-control omnibus spending bill, and the budget deal that came before it, virtually destroyed those caps. As a result, the CBO projects discretionary spending will reach $1.3 trillion this year, while total federal spending will top $4.1 trillion!

This means the discretionary spending funded by the omnibus bill is just a small part of a much bigger problem.

While rescissions are important, they are not enough to curb government spending.

  • The biggest portion of federal spending is entitlements, or “mandatory “spending, and the biggest programs there are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Today, along with other programs like Obamacare, they top $2.5 trillion. And that spending will just keep getting higher and higher – exceeding $4.5 trillion in just 10 years.

This is neither affordable nor sustainable. That’s particularly bad news for younger generations of Americans who will be stuck with the bill.

A rescission package, while not a total solution, would still be an important start for the president and Congress to get serious about cutting government waste and start prioritizing American taxpayers.

The post 3 Things You Should Know About Federal Spending and the Rescission Process appeared first on Americans for Prosperity.

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Michelle Malkin: The ‘Uncle Tom’ Card Is Dead

Here is a short list of prominent conservatives and independent thinkers who’ve been accused by their critics of being an “Uncle Tom” or some other vitriolic variation on the overplayed left-wing theme of being a traitor to their race or gender (“Aunt Tomasina,” “Uncle Juan,” “Aunt Jemima,” “Uncle Wong,” etc.):

–White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

–U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.

–HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

–Rapper Kanye West.

–Lt. Col. Allen West.

–Former Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal.

–Attorney Miguel Estrada.

–Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

–Judge Janice Rogers Brown.

–Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

–Author and CRTV host Deneen Borelli.

–ACT for America founder and author Brigitte Gabriel.

–Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

–Former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

–Attorney and author Ann Coulter.

–Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

–Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

–Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

–Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

–Economist Thomas Sowell.

–Economist Walter Williams.

–Scholar Glenn Loury.

–Turning Point USA activist Candace Owens.

–Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder.

–Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.

–Author Erik Rush.

–Actress Stacey Dash.

–Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

–Former University of California regent and businessman Ward Connerly.

–Former ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

–Conservative activist Niger Innis.

–Tea party organizer Lloyd Marcus.

–Author and columnist Star Parker.

–Author Shelby Steele.

–Social media stars Diamond and Silk.

–ESPN’s Sage Steele.

–Radio host Charlamagne tha God.

–Me.

Surveying this short list, you’ll notice that all of us public enemies of the progressive diversity-mongers possess an incredibly diverse array of life and work experiences.

We are black, white, brown, native-born citizens, immigrants and naturalized Americans.

We are Republican, libertarian, moderate, hard-right and unaffiliated.

We are politicians, diplomats, academicians, writers, economists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, lawyers, doctors and pastors.

Like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty much any “person of color” who doesn’t adhere militantly to Democrat Party orthodoxy has or will face the barbed charge of self-loathing or tribe betrayal.

And legions of women, famous and obscure, wealthy and poor, have been labeled “female impersonators” or “Stepford Wives” for embracing everything from unborn life to gun ownership, high border walls, low taxes and local control.

According to the self-appointed arbiters of color-coded and chromosomal fealty, if you marry outside your race, you’re a traitor. If you adopt your husband’s name, you’re a traitor. If you’re happy with stay-at-home motherhood, you’re a traitor. If you straighten your hair, or culturally appropriate some other culture’s hair, or bleach your hair the wrong color, you’re a traitor.

Lord, what dreary killjoys these p.c. police be.

I catalogued my favorite malicious mutations of the Uncle Tom card for years on my blog, from “white man’s puppet” to “Tokyo Rose” to “Manila whore,” “Subic Bay bar girl,” banana, coconut and Oreo. Instead of dissuading me from espousing heretical opinions, these insults spurred me on. Now, the increasing exposure and public ubiquity of unapologetic and unorthodox women and minorities seems to have triggered the collectivists’ bile production at the highest levels.

Most recently, the White House Correspondents’ Association gave “comedian” Michelle Wolf a lofty platform upon which to denigrate Sarah Sanders’ womanhood by sniping:

“I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? What’s Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Aunt Coulter.”

Ultimately, the problem with the whinnying Wolf’s schtick isn’t that it’s mean and divisive. It’s that it’s boring, unfunny and ineffectual. When everyone qualifies as an “Uncle Tom” in the eyes of the left’s raging resistance, there will be no one left to pretend to laugh at their anemic jokes.

PHOTO: Michelle Malkin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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A Popular Summer Toy sent This Little Girl To The ER, And Now Her Mom Is Warning All

When you’re a parent, you never know what could harm your children. While parents do their best to protect their children from the obvious things that can be a problem – like car accidents and Internet predators – there is no way to protect children from every potential danger. But now one mother is issuing a warning that could hopefully save a few children from harm this summer.

Because her warning involves a popular summer toy that many children love to play with, she hopes her story can shed light on the dangers of pool noodles.

The fun day in the pool with mom Lacey Grace and her four-year-old daughter Elianna went from jubilant to horrible in a matter of moments. And it all hinged on a mundane incident. Elianna and a friend were playing with the pool noodle when a stream of water was accidentally forced down Elianna’s throat.

The little girl threw up the chlorinated pool water. And then she went back to playing without incident. Lacey said her daughter seemed normal for the rest of the day. Lacey forgot all about the incident because her daughter was just having fun with her friend and the pool noodle trick was just part of it.

But Lacey could not forget about a story she read online about the disastrous effects of drinking pool water. And then she watched as her daughter’s health quickly deteriorated.

Lacey revealed her nightmare on Facebook:

“Elianna was playing in the pool with a ‘pool noodle’ on Saturday, and as many children do every day, she was blowing in one end and blowing water out the other. By 100% freak accident, Elianna put her mouth to blow out at the same time someone blew in the other end, causing the water to shoot directly down her throat. She threw up immediately but didn’t really have any other notable things happen…

“Come Monday she developed a fever. Kids get fevers, this is normal. I didn’t think much. Tuesday she slept most of the day but still overall looked fine. Sent her to school Wednesday and got a call in the afternoon that her fever was back. I kept replaying that pool scene in my head and remembered reading a story last year about a Dad in Texas whose son passed away because he went untreated after inhaling a bunch of pool water. I wasn’t going to let that be Elianna…”

But it was too late.

“Wen to the nearest ER where they did a chest X-ray and showed inflammation and infection caused by pool chemicals. Two hours later they transferred her by ambulance to an even larger hospital so they could monitor her around the clock and have pediatric specialists keep an eye on her…

“Elianna has aspiration pneumonia and is now on oxygen and relying on it to breathe.”

“We just pray that the antibiotic takes quickly and her lungs can find a way to get rid of the pool chemicals,” Lacey added.

Because this young girl played with a pool noodle, she needs a machine to keep her alive.

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Seattle council member accuses Amazon of “blackmail” over class-warfare tax proposal

Seattle’s high-tech aspirations may run afoul of their high-tax aspirations. The city council wants to impose an employment tax on the city’s biggest businesses in order to raise $75 million to solve their homeless problem. That came as news to Amazon, which had previously committed to adding a skyscraper to the city, along with 7,000 new office jobs to an already massive employment profile in the city. Amazon called a halt to those plans and told the Seattle city council exactly why:

Amazon.com Inc said it has halted planning for a new office building in Seattle and might sub-lease rather than occupy another future tower downtown, pending a city council vote on a proposed tax on top businesses.

Amazon’s decision puts a question mark on more than 7,000 new jobs at those buildings that council members might be loathe to cost the city. Construction work and other businesses that would have catered to the world’s largest online retailer could be at risk too.

“Pending the outcome of the head tax vote by City Council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sub-lease all space in our recently leased Rainer Square building,” Amazon’s Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

That didn’t sit well at all with some of the council members, who apparently expected Amazon to ignore business costs in choosing expansion locations. One called it “blackmail”:

Mayor Jenny Durkan vowed to seek common ground, while council members pushing the measure gave no indication they intend to back down. Councilmember Kshama Sawant accused Amazon of attempting “blackmail.”

“I’m deeply concerned about the impact this could have on a whole range of issues,” Durkan said in an interview about Amazon’s play, declining to say whether the company gave her advance notice. “Everyone should be.”

Another lamented that Amazon didn’t want to pony up and be a team player:

“It’s obviously a little disconcerting when a major business says, ‘We’re rethinking our strategy here,’” Councilmember Mike O’Brien, a sponsor of the tax measure, said Wednesday before a meeting on the proposal at City Hall.

“If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation. But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street.”

Well, just how much will it cost Amazon to be a team player? According to the local Chamber of Commerce, the extra tax will cost Amazon over $20 million per year, thanks to their head count of 45,000 employees in the city. That’s only through 2020, though, because after that the city will impose a 0.7% payroll tax on companies grossing $20 million or more annually in the city. That new rate is expected to drive Amazon’s costs even higher.

That could well prompt Amazon to rethink even its current presence in the city, let alone any additions. As the Seattle Times notes, its presence in the city occupies ten million square feet of office space, which comes to 10% of the city’s capacity. They own four buildings and are developing the two others that are being “paused” as the issue unfolds, but they lease or plan to occupy much more space in the city. It wouldn’t be difficult for Amazon to relocate a large number of existing jobs to less costly locations, either in the area or somewhere else entirely. That kind of exodus could completely wreck the city’s economy, which the city council seems determined to do anyway with their track record of very bad business mandates. Remember this?

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

It’s been easy to slam Amazon as it has pitted cities against each other to get tax breaks based on the size of their business. They’ve hardly been innocent of the kind of crony capitalism that undermines competition and unfairly penalizes start-ups. This, however, is a different kettle of fish. Amazon has invested heavily in Seattle even with its nutty politics on the basis of cost-to-benefit ratio decisions made previously to this new proposal. Seattle’s city council is about to dramatically change those calculations in a greedy bid to grab Amazon’s money — and in doing so is making it very attractive for Amazon to write off those investments. They’d be insane not to react to the changing incentives, even more insane than the city council has been in proposing them.

If Seattle wants to cut its own economic throat, then Amazon is under no obligation to offer up its own neck as well. Maybe Seattle residents should ask themselves why that $15 minimum didn’t have much impact on homelessness, and whether massive amounts of empty office space might make that situation even worse as other businesses follow Amazon out of Seattle’s jurisdiction.

The post Seattle council member accuses Amazon of “blackmail” over class-warfare tax proposal appeared first on Hot Air.

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Man Can’t Take It Anymore, Leaves Home over What Leftists Have Done to City

A casual glance at most major urban centers across the country reveals that the vast majority are run by Democrats and currently face a slew of problems brought about by Democrat-imposed policies. The city of Seattle, Washington, is one of those Democrat-run urban centers. Unfortunately, the leftists who have imposed their progressive agenda on the…

The post Man Can’t Take It Anymore, Leaves Home over What Leftists Have Done to City appeared first on Conservative Tribune.

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‘PSYCHOTIC’! W. Va. GOP Senate hopeful Don Blankenship’s new ad must be SEEN to be believed [video]

West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship would like you to know that he approves this message. And he might be the only one.

Take a gander at his electoral pitch:

Well …

You know what? It really is. It really, really is. And he’s not even trying to be subtle about it. So … any takers?

Hey, Milton Waddams may have been a firebug, but at least he wasn’t a flaming racist.

***

Related:

He said WHAT? W. Va. GOP Senate hopeful Don Blankenship is HIGHLY problematic (no, seriously)

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Boeing Offers Behind-The-Scenes Look At New $240 Mln KC-46 (VIDEOS)

Chicago-based aerospace and defense firm Boeing has given us a sneak peek at the new $240 million KC-46 Pegasus tankers that have been beset by functionality and security vulnerability problems.

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Roseanne Barr: Kanye West Right About Obama Failing to Fix Chicago’s ‘Corrupt Establishment’


Roseanne Barr is offering her support of hip-hop star Kanye West, in his criticisms of former President Barack Obama’s inability to fix the vexing problem plaguing the city of Chicago.

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‘LIE the Friendly Skies’! Does United Airlines seriously think THIS GUY will solve their PR problems?

United Airlines has gotten a pretty bad rap over the past few years. And to be quite honest, they deserve it. So, what they really need is someone who can turn PR lead into PR gold. Which is why they’ve hired … Josh Earnest?

More from the Washington Examiner:

United Airlines has hired Josh Earnest, President Barack Obama’s former press secretary, as its chief communications officer and senior vice president, the airline announced Thursday morning.

“Josh is a proven leader and world-class communications strategist who has thrived when the stakes are the highest — and the margin for error is the smallest. He’ll play a crucial role on our leadership team as we position our brand and this company for success,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a press release.

United said Earnest’s two decades of working in strategic communications and representing the White House to the media during his eight-year tenure indicate he will be able to “shape the airline’s public image.”

Uh-huh.

Ha! The evidence is irrefutable now!

If United Airlines is placing their faith in Josh Earnest, they’re gonna need more help than we thought.

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