Yet Another

…Alinsky-esque distraction by the Ctl-Left.  This one is on the matter of Obamacare subsidies to health coverage providers to compensate them “for reducing out-of-pocket costs for some low-income consumers who sign up for plans on the exchanges.”

The Obama administration paid billions of our tax dollars to these providers, the amount for this year alone looks to be in the neighborhood of $7 billion, with the annual payout looking to rise to $16 billion in 10 years.

The House has sued to block further payments because no funds were appropriated for them, and so they’re illegal.  A number of State AGs are seeking to intervene in the suit.

Foolish

President Donald Trump is willing to talk to the Progressive-Democrats in Congress in order to achieve tax reform, and it might seem like a good idea.  In the present situation, though, it’s a waste of time.

As the Trump administration reached across the aisle on tax reform for the first time Wednesday, Democrats communicated some requests of their own regarding the tax overhaul. Those requests included a middle class tax cut and that the overall bill not be part of a reconciliation package….

Senate Democrat Obstructionism, More of

Present Donald Trump, as many of you are aware, has nominated 10 conservative persons to judgeships in a number of Federal districts and Federal appellate courts.  Senate Progressive-Democrats are, of course, objecting.  One of those nominees (David Stras) is a Minnesota judge nominated to the 8th Circuit.  Senator Al Franken (D, MN) is…concerned…because nobody consulted him on the matter, and he’s threatening to block Stras.  There’s no petty, precious arrogance there.  Mm, mm.  Not a bit.

Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) is more broadly “concerned.”

[A]s long as we have the [blue-slip] authority, we’ll use it if necessary.

Going Soft

Senate pseudo-Republicans are balking at one good item that was contained the House-passed American Health Care Act: repeal of Obamacare’s trillion dollars’ worth of taxes.  These guys actually don’t see the value of that repeal.  Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is typical:

I don’t see how you can repeal all of the pay-fors…and still meet the goal of providing health-insurance coverage for people who truly need assistance[.]

Aside from the false premise of needing Federal government “pay-fors” as a default position, rather than a last result, the Lady from Maine and her fellows plainly either don’t understand free market principles, or they have no confidence in free markets.

The Freedom Caucus of No

Daniel Henninger had some thoughts in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on this group’s first 100 days; read the whole thing.  I’m interested in one aspect of the No-ers’ first 100 days that Henninger was too polite to say out loud.  Henninger pointed out

Back in 2016, Speaker Paul Ryan and the House leadership held public hearings, conducted negotiations inside the House conference, and published texts of the proposed legislation to repeal and reform ObamaCare. The American Health Care Act that emerged from this process had both a political and policy purpose.

A Tax Code Proposal

Below is the handout given to the NLMSM at Wednesday’s White House daily press briefing, this time hosted by Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for the purpose of discussing President Donald Trump’s tax reform proposal, which was released today via that handout and press briefing.

Also included, as mentioned during the briefing though not on the handout, is a proposed reduction of the peak capital gains tax to 20%, which Cohn and Mnuchin said will stimulate investment—and, I add, stimulate both productivity and new job creation via that increased investment.

Filibusters

Since the Progressive-Democrats in the Senate are dead set on shutting down the Federal government (I won’t argue the utility of the government being shut down or by how much it actually would be) for the sake of their own petty political egos, it’s time to get rid of the filibuster on all matters relating to the budget, spending, and revenues.

It’s time to put an end to the obstructionism of these Precious Ones.

Full stop.

French Election

With the preliminary selection of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen as the France’s Presidential candidates for the money round, the election of 7 May, it would appear that the popular revolt against establishment politicians, if not practices, is continuing apace.

Neither of France’s mainstream, established parties—the Socialist Party, the party of outgoing (because with his popularity in the ditch, he chose not to stand for reelection) François Hollande, and Les Républicains (whose last elected President of France was Nicolas Sarkozy)—were able to pass a candidate into that second round, a first in the 5th Republic’s history.  (This is not a pure result, though; the Républicains may have lost because voters rejected its candidate due to his personal scandals as much, or more, than they rejected the party’s establishment policies.)

The Congressman Misunderstands

What he misunderstands, though is a very expensive thing to misunderstand: basic economics.  Congressman Joe Crowley (D, NY), Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and member of the House Ways and Means Committee said in an interview with PJMedia‘s Nicholas Ballasy that he’s willing to “experiment” with a VAT in the US, “what effect that will have.”  And

Warnings

The just concluded Kansas special election, held to fill the seat left by Mike Pompeo’s departure to become the CIA MFWIC, was much closer than it should have been, with the Republican Ron Estes winning by a narrower margin than originally expected.  Yet the Republican won, and the Democrat James Thompson lost despite the national effort (albeit a lackluster one) by the national Progressive-Democratic Party to get Thompson elected.