Harris, Democrats announce plans to balance the budget 

OK. So, I’m obviously joking. But now that I have your attention, it looks like we are set to go through the entire 2024 election cycle without a serious discussion on spending, deficits or the debt.   

As depressing as that might be, it is probably what voters want. 

There was an opportunity to discuss the issue a few weeks back. But the debate that ended Joe Biden’s political career will go down in history as just that. It certainly won’t be remembered for any meaningful inquiry into the current fiscal state of the nation.   

When the topic of the debt did come up , neither candidate offered meaningful answers: Donald Trump said that in his first term we were “ready to start paying down debt.” Biden suggested that by simply raising taxes on the country’s thousand billionaires we could “wipe out this debt.”  Trump’s answer probably has enough ambiguity to avoid a complete refutation. Biden’s was nowhere close to being accurate: if you took $1 billion from one thousand people, you’d raise $1 trillion. That’s less than 3 percent of the current debt.  

Social Security was also discussed . Sort of. The program is facing an across-the-board automatic benefit cut of roughly 25 percent by 2035 . And while it hasn’t yet contributed one penny to the national debt (please allow that to sink in) it is certainly a pressing fiscal matter. Biden’s nearly indecipherable response on the issue was that “by increasing from one percent beyond…that one enough will keep it solvent.” When he was able to complete a full sentence, it was only to regurgitate the debunked claim that Trump “wants to get rid of Social Security.”   

Trump’s response was to pivot to illegal immigration.  

The word “spending,” by the way only came up three times in the debate, each time on the topic of aid to Ukraine.  

It’s fair to say that the Republican convention last week didn’t move the needle much on the issue, either. The party platform that was released at the outset of the gathering mentioned spending exactly once: “Republicans will immediately stabilize the Economy by slashing wasteful Government spending and promoting Economic Growth.” 

That’s encouraging, of course. And consistent with Republican orthodoxy. But while the number of words doesn’t necessarily equate to the priority of the topic, it wasn’t lost on budget hawks that the platform spent more time talking about preserving our national parks and “promoting beauty” in public buildings than it did on spending.  

But give Republicans credit. At least their platform mentions spending and deficits. And Trump did mention those topics in his keynote speech. It’s hard to imagine the Democrats doing anything more than using the topic to justify “making the rich pay their fair share.” If they raise it at all. 

There’s a reason for both parties dodging the issue, of course. And it is the same reason we are over $35 trillion in debt: Voters just don’t care.   

A few years back, when Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the White House, I pressed a high-ranking Republican on the issue, arguing that if we didn’t fix things now, no one would. “We could fix it,” he told me. “We could take the drastic action necessary to balance the budget, we could shore up Social Security, and we might even be able to do something about Medicaid. But everyone would hate us, we’d lose the next election. Or the next three or four. And the Democrats would come in and immediately undo everything we did. We’d still have debt, we’d still have monster deficits, and entitlements would still be broken. Everything would be exactly the same, except that taxes would be higher, the economy would tank and we’d be wildly unpopular. Nobody votes for Scrooge.” 

While perhaps depressing, the answer was refreshingly candid in a Washington filled with dodging the issue. 

And he wasn’t wrong. As a leading Republican senator once told President Trump, in reference to the dramatic spending reforms of our 2024 proposed federal budget – one of the last to propose actually balancing the budget:  “No one in this town has ever lost his job for spending too much. People have lost for spending too little.” 

Candidates for office talk about what people want them to talk about. They focus on the issues that are important to the people they represent. And right now, voters don’t care about spending.   

That Republican was right when he opined that any spending restraints implemented by Republicans would likely immediately be undone by the next Democrat government. But the situation is even worse than that.  Even the small gains that were leveraged out of Republican leadership and the Obama White House by the Tea party back in 2011 and 2013 fell by the wayside in the following years. And some of the undoing was at the hands of other Republicans. 

The rules – both of the House and the Senate, and probably more importantly, the ballot box – favor more spending and more deficits. The only real solution, then, is to change the rules. A zero-based budget approach might help. A balanced budget amendment – which used to be wildly popular in GOP circles – would accomplish even more.   

But apparently neither party will be talking about those things this election cycle.  

Mick Mulvaney,  a former congressman from South Carolina, is a contributor to NewsNation. He served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump. 

Click here to see original article

‘They’re Ruining Our Country’: Callers Trash Dems, Kamala Harris on Popular Hip-Hop Show

Listeners to “The Breakfast Club” radio show and podcast called in Tuesday to criticize Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris over policies they said are “destroying” black Americans.

President Joe Biden  dropped out of the presidential race Sunday and endorsed Harris to take his place atop the Democratic ticket after consistently dismal polling and doubts about his mental fitness.

Back-to-back callers to “The Breakfast Club” expressed concern that Democrat policies are harming black Americans , suggesting Harris wouldn’t be a significant improvement over Biden.

WATCH:

“OK, so first let me say I’m so happy to see a woman running for president and I’m grateful for that,” a caller named Iris said. “However, I was on the fence even with Biden running again because everyone talks about, ‘Oh, let’s get the black vote, let’s get the black vote.’ And they get the black vote and nothing changes. When I say nothing, I mean our education system. Our children are suffering in New York City public schools.”

“And let’s talk about services. My brother is a paraplegic; he got hit by a drunk driver. Very hard for him to get services,” Iris continued before touching on illegal immigration . “And I understand that they allow the migrants to come in, but they come in and they just overwhelm them with services, and they forget about the people that are already here. So what’s going to change with that?”

“What are they going to do with the black agenda to help our children that are struggling in New York City public schools?” Iris asked. “They’re not even on the same level as other kids in other countries, and that’s what my concern is. So is something going to change because Kamala is running instead of Biden? Like help me out, we’re confused here.”

The border crisis could worsen under Harris if she becomes president as her past voting record in the Senate, remarks she has made about federal immigration authorities, and moves she has made while vice president indicate a sharp move to the left, border hawks told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday.

“I don’t think America is ready for a female president. You know what, I’m a black man and I absolutely do not want another Democratic president in there,” a caller named Cali said. “I think we should give the Republicans another try. There’s a lot of agendas that the Democratic Party has kind of put into place that I don’t support. I think they’re destroying the black man, they’re destroying the black family, I think they’re ruining our country. If you’re living in New York like I am, man, this place is a financial nightmare, not to mention crime.”

“I think if we put Trump back in there, man, it’s going to be amazing. Kamala cannot do what he’s going to do to bring this country back to where it needs to be,” Cali added. “And this is not a race thing because that’s the No. 1 thing they like to say when they talk about Trump and how he’s a criminal and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think any of that matters. His policy is what we need to focus on, and he’s going to get us back where we need to go. Kamala is not ready.”

Originally published in Daily Caller News Foundation

The post ‘They’re Ruining Our Country’: Callers Trash Dems, Kamala Harris on Popular Hip-Hop Show appeared first on The Daily Signal .

Click here to see original article

What to watch in Netanyahu’s address

{beacon}