True Colors

The Progressive-Democrats, especially those in the Senate, have shown their true colors as they voted last Friday to shut down the Federal government, voting to block a temporary funding agreement that would have kept the government open for another month.  I wrote earlier about that shutdown’s practical effects.

Here’s what the Progressive-Democrats voted to kill: six years of funding for CHIP, so now some millions of children in our poverty-level families will have no access to health insurance.  DACA reform so that those illegal immigrant children could have some hope for their future.

Businesses Behind the Tree

California wants the Federal tax reform-saved money for itself, and they want a State Constitutional amendment to make the seizure permanent.

A proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment by Assemblymen Kevin McCarty (D) and Phil Ting (D) would create a tax surcharge on California companies making more than $1 million….

The Progressive-Democrats claim the money would go to “programs that benefit low-income and middle-class families,” but that’s just tear-jerking.  The State’s government would divert the monies to favored programs at convenience.  That’s minor, though.

A Government Shutdown

Louise Radnofsky had a piece early Friday morning—before the Senate vote on a bill that would keep the Federal government running for another month—outlining the costs of a shutdown, based on the Progressive-Democrats’ 2013 shutdown.  Over those roughly two weeks of relative inactivity, the costs were quite trivial.

Those trivial costs are part of why the Progressive-Democrats are so anxious to have the shutdown this time around, too—they know there’ll be small practical impact while having large publicity impact.

Martin Feldstein Thinks the Markets are Headed for a Fall

He’s right, to an extent.  The Price-Earnings ratio for aggregated publicly owned businesses is at historic highs.  His reasoning centers on four factors: the Fed’s raising of its benchmark interest rates, which will make money cost more for businesses; the Fed’s reducing its own government bond holdings, which will contribute to upward pressure on interest rates generally; the Federal government’s needing to borrow to cover its still enormous deficits; and heretofore easy money has made the labor market too tight.

However.

The Party Wants No Deal

The Progressive-Democrats in Congress don’t want a deal, neither on the budget nor on DACA.  They want the Federal government shut down so they can blame the Republicans for it during this fall’s elections.  They also want to keep the DACA situation and immigration in general alive as a debating question for those same elections.

Democrats said Mr Trump’s dismissal of “shithole countries” in Africa in a closed meeting last week with lawmakers positioned him as the person who upset the negotiations.

Poverty and Concern for the Rich

Recall the Progressive-Democratic Party-controlled legislature with their Progressive-Democrat governor who run things in California.  In response to the just-passed tax reform bill’s capping of state and local tax deductions on the Federal income tax form at $10,000, these worthies have introduced a bill that would create a State-run “charity” foundation into which California citizens could make “donations” and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that they could then apply to their SALT requirements that exceed those $10,000.

Never mind that, as The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board pointed out last Friday,

The Rogue EPA

Glider trucks are freight-hauling trucks with used, rebuilt engines and drive trains installed in new cab-chassis.  Then-President Barack Obama’s (D) EPA, led by the paragon of green envy virtue, Gina McCarthy, decided that these used trucks actually were new trucks and held them required to meet that EPA’s emissions standards for new trucks.  After all, the Environmental Protection Act exempted used trucks from those standards, and the Obama crowd and its cronies like Volvo didn’t like that.

In late 2017, in order to prove the legitimacy of the claim, some holdover folks of the EPA ran a test on a couple of glider trucks and found them to meet/exceed EPA standards for new truck emissions.

Projection

Kentucky has decided to take advantage of new Federal Medicaid rules and add a work requirement to those receiving Medicaid payments in order for them to be eligible for continued payments.  Recipients in the typical working age range of 19-64 must do 80 hours—two weeks—of what the State terms “community engagement.”  There are, of course, exceptions for those who cannot work.

As Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin (R) noted in his tweet about his decision to approve the new rule,

There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive. The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.

It’s a Start

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been instructed by President Donald Trump to adjust its rules to allow the States to adjust their own rules to require work for Medicaid payments.

This is a very good start.  There are two remaining steps, though.  The funds transferred to the States in support of Medicaid need to be converted to block grants with no strings attached.  Each State knows its own medical support needs far better than does the Federal government.

The Price of Labor

…is also a cost to labor.  Minimum wage mandates took effect at the start of the year in 18 States and in 20 cities.  These mandates have drastically raised the cost to labor.

Late Monday, casual dining chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) announced that it would eliminate bus boys at 570 restaurant locations, a move that is expected to save the company an estimated $8 million over the course of the coming year. The company’s chief financial officer said the decision was made in order to “address the labor increases we’ve seen.”