Federal Budget

The problem with Speaker Ryan in one headline

Featured image Yesterday’s Washington Post featured an article by Amber Phillips called (in the paper edition) “A dismal congressional session, but a flicker of hope.” According to Phillips, the “hope” lies in the “fresh face” of Speaker Paul Ryan and the bipartisanship he has already demonstrated. That the Washington Post sees hope in Ryan’s emergence tells conservatives everything they need to know about the new Speaker. Moreover, an article like Phillips’ is »

Paul Ryan Explains

Featured image Both here on Power Line and elsewhere Speaker Paul Ryan and congressional Republicans in general have been taking heavy weather for the sorry outcome of the omnibus budget that passed last week. Ryan went on Bill Bennett’s radio show on Tuesday to tell his side of the story, which involves the fact that he inherited from outgoing Speaker John Boehner an unfavorable budget framework, as well as some of the tradeoffs involved »

Thoughts on the Budget Fiasco [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’m still scratching my head about the results of the omnibus budget that passed last week, in which it appears Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. About the only tangible victories were the ending of the ban on oil exports, and the torpedoes launched at Obamacare (i.e., cutting off the insurance company bailout, and postponing the “Cadillac” tax on health plans, though I acknowledge the contrary case that »

Which Republican has hurt conservatism the most?

Featured image By this time next year the answer might be easy: Donald Trump, if you count him as a Republican. For now, Paul Ryan ranks at the top of my list. Your answer will depend, naturally, on how you view conservatism. But when we look at Ryan’s omnibus spending bill, we see a nearly across-the-board sell out on issues that most conservatives view as fundamental. Rick Manning, President of Americans for »

Tom Cotton and Harry Reid Agree On Omnibus Spending Bill

Featured image When Senators Tom Cotton and Harry Reid agree on something, you could call it a pretty strong consensus. And they both see Paul Ryan’s omnibus spending bill as a huge win for the Democrats. Harry Reid ran a victory lap: Senate Democrats on Friday boasted that they successfully managed to get just about everything they wanted in a massive spending and tax cut bill, despite being the minority party in »

GOP leadership caves on Gosar Amendment

Featured image More bad news about the Omnibus spending bill: the Gosar Amendment language has been stripped out. This language would have prevented the Obama administration from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a radical plan to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Apparently, Mitch McConnell »

Ominibus bill rewards Department of Education overreach

Featured image On Friday, the House will vote on the year-end omnibus spending bill, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. As Heritage Action says, the bill should have been an opportunity for conservatives to reassert their prerogatives on a host of important issues, ranging from appropriate spending levels to substantive action on refugee resettlement, executive amnesty, Planned Parenthood, and many more. Instead, the omnibus spending bill falls far short »

Ryan wins GOP Speaker nomination, the sell-out commences

Featured image The Republican House conference held its Speaker election this afternoon and resoundingly selected Paul Ryan for the job. According to this report, Ryan received 200 votes to 43 for Daniel Webster. Marsha Blackman and Kevin McCarthy each received one vote. In other news, the Speaker-to-be has endorsed the awful budget deal that John Boehner secretly negotiated (along with Mitch McConnell) with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The deal passed the »

GOP: Say No To Another Bad Spending Deal

Featured image There are so many things wrong with the spending deal that John Boehner announced last night. Let us itemize a few of them. First, the Left is openly crowing about the fact that the deal is a huge victory for their side. The New York Times headlines: “Obama Wins on Budget Deal as John Boehner Cleans Out the Barn.” How much more do you need to know? The sequester was »

A budget deal Republicans should reject

Featured image In recent days, as John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid negotiated a budget deal behind closed doors, the prospect for mischief has been acute. Today this latest “gang” presented its handiwork to members of Congress. It is, indeed, mischievous. According to this report, the deal would increase federal spending by $80 billion over two years. The spending increase would be shared evenly between domestic and military spending, »

Follow Up on Jeb and Congress

Featured image I’m on airplanes all day today, making my way to Michigan where, it turns out, I’ll be meeting John in a bar late tonight. (This is how conspiracy rumors get started. Stand by for some clandestine video.) Meanwhile, I note a great letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal this morning from Laura Hirschman making the same point I did here last week (“Bush League De-Regulation?“) about Jeb »

Why Not Let Obama Shut Down the Government?

Featured image President Obama has announced that if the Republican Congress does not include $500 million for Planned Parenthood in the upcoming continuing spending resolution, he will veto the legislation and shut down the government. (Of course, for better or worse, only a small part of the federal government will actually be laid off and cease operations.) To which I say: is that a threat or a promise? Republican Congressional leaders are »

From Madisonian Constitutionalism to Wilsonian Statism?

Featured image That is how Dan Mitchell describes America’s fiscal evolution, as chronicled in a new report by the Joint Economic Committee. I will have to delve into the report before long, but for now let’s stay with Mitchell’s analysis: Given my affinity for budget data, I was excited to learn that the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) just released “An Economic History of Federal Spending and Debt.” This new publication is filled »

Observations on President Obama’s Budget

Featured image President Obama has released his FY 2016 budget, an act that fulfills a legal requirement but otherwise has only political significance. It is notable how much attention is being given in the press to a document that has no possibility of resulting in legislation. Still, the budget is revealing in some ways. In the big picture, it confirms–if confirmation were needed–that Democrats have no vision for the future other than »

In Washington, Sessions Holds the Bridge Against Liberal Onslaught

Featured image One of ancient Rome’s great heroes was Horatius, who saved the city by holding a bridge, along with two friends, against an invading Etruscan army. In the end Horatius stood alone against the attackers, as Roman soldiers behind him destroyed the bridge to prevent the Etruscans from crossing. Senator Jeff Sessions reminds me of Horatius. For years, he has stood athwart the ambitious liberalism of those who want to fundamentally »

Per Capita Federal Spending Shows 40-Year Trends

Featured image Veronique de Rugy has performed a real service by compiling the data shown in the chart below, in a manner that I haven’t seen it before. The chart depicts per capita federal spending from 1962 to the present, broken down into three categories: discretionary, mandatory and net interest, and stated in constant 2014 dollars. First the chart, then some comments about it. Click to enlarge: Shown on a per capita »

Did Ted Cruz just pave the way for confirming a wave of Obama nominees?

Featured image The Senate has approved the so-called Cromnibus bill. It did so in a rare Saturday session. According to the Washington Post, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee forced the Saturday session: Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return »