01/12/2018

The Budget Betrayal That Would Destroy The 2018 Legislative Agenda

Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

Believe it or not, GOP leaders don’t enjoy being in control of Congress. Although they like the increased power and pay-for-play inherent in being the majority party, they have a maniacal fear of responsibility on policy issues. That is because, unlike Democrats, GOP leaders don’t really believe in their campaign promises and are too scared to implement them. Which is why they always hide behind the filibuster as a reason for not fulfilling promises. And that is exactly why Mitch McConnell is now plotting to neutralize the one tool they have to pass good legislation with 51 votes.

The only good thing Congress has done the entire first year of Trump’s presidency is pass the tax bill. One would think that after seeing booming economic news, including Walmart raising wages, as a result of the tax cut, they would seek to expand, not eliminate, the process that afforded them such an auspicious outcome and the ability to circumvent the filibuster. Instead, they are considering doing away with the FY 2018 budget resolution altogether, which would have the effect of scrapping budget reconciliation for this year — the only tool in their arsenal to pass a solid health care reform, a welfare fix, or spending cuts.

Yesterday, Politico reported that Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are considering abandoning a formal budget resolution this year, a move that was roundly criticized by Republicans when Democrats were in charge in 2009 and abdicated their responsibility to pass a budget. The entire point of working off a continuing resolution from the FY 2017 since last October was to take the ensuing weeks to craft a full-year budget that reflects Republican policy priorities, includes GOP spending priorities, and offers the vehicle of budget reconciliation to pass a major policy reform this year without the filibusters.

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In Search Of History

4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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