Category Archives: U.S. Congress

Emptying tomorrow’s piggy banks

Piggy bank, piggy banks, debt, deficitHave you ever brought your children to the store and had to fend off one request after another to buy something? One effective way to make them stop, and teach them a lesson, is to tell them they can have what they want – as long as they pay for it themselves.

You can see the wheels turn behind their eyes as they’re confronted with the goodies’ cost versus their limited resources. What seemed so important when someone else was paying for it no longer is worth emptying their own piggy bank.

Apparently, many in Washington have never taken their children shopping. Or maybe their parents never took them. Continue reading Emptying tomorrow’s piggy banks

A blue wave is coming. How big, and how wet will Arkansas get?

Alabama, blue waveHistory – both the recent and not-so-recent kinds – suggests a blue wave is coming. The only questions for this column are, how big will it be, and how wet will Arkansas get?

The recent kind of history is that, since President Trump was elected, Democrats nationwide have flipped 35 state legislative seats that were occupied by Republicans. In contrast, Republicans have flipped four seats that were occupied by Democrats.

The latest occurred Tuesday in Missouri, where a 27-year-old Democrat, Mike Revis, was elected in a district outside St. Louis that Trump won by 28 points in 2016. Revis defeated a pro-life, pro-gun Republican.

Continue reading A blue wave is coming. How big, and how wet will Arkansas get?

State of denial

tax, taxes, debt, deficits, spending, trillion, State of the UnionLet’s say you served on a company’s board of directors, and its by-laws required the president to give a periodic report. And let’s say your company was losing money – in fact, a lot of it, and had been for a long time. It’s deeply in debt with no real plan to get out. Worst of all, the company’s structure and culture virtually assure the debt will continue growing until someday its consequences are severe.

The report would have to cover a lot of things. But shouldn’t at least part of it include an honest appraisal of the company’s rising red ink along with a specific plan of action?

That’s what was wrong with President Trump’s State of the Union address, and most of the ones given by previous presidents. The speech stretched for nearly an hour and 21 minutes from the first word to last. It was not a bad speech. But, in all that time, Trump didn’t even mention the national debt. For the record, it’s now almost $20.5 trillion, or more than $62,600 for every American man, woman and child. Continue reading State of denial

Whose fault? This time, Senate Democrats

ShutdownSo now yet another manufactured crisis has ended, and we’ll see if we have another one by Feb. 8.

Here’s how the process should work: Congress should prepare a budget once a year – once – that spells out the nation’s taxing and spending priorities, and then it should make sure its numbers add up. Instead, it lurches from one unnecessary deadline to another, putting off the hard choices and adding debt. This past week’s was the 113th time since 1998 that Congress has passed a temporary funding measure, and this one’s tax cuts will add $31 billion to the deficit – about $100 for every American.

Both sides are at fault for Washington’s toxic atmosphere, but Senate Democrats are mostly to blame for this particular shutdown. They filibustered the funding bill in order to gain concessions for the 700,000 young people brought to America illegally as children – the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. In the end, all they got in return was a promise that the issue will be debated in the Senate, which was probably going to happen anyway. Continue reading Whose fault? This time, Senate Democrats