Chad Benson grabs a stool for today’s Three Martini Lunch while Jim is away. Today, Chad and Greg briefly discuss the significance of President Trump becoming the first sitting president to address the March for Life. Then they get a kick out of learning that the House impeachment managers are successfully alienating the group of senators they can least afford to lose – GOP moderates. They also richly enjoy watching a dad who scrimped and saved to pay for his daughter’s college education dissect the progressive lunacy of Elizabeth Warren’s college debt forgiveness plan right to her face. And as Democrats and their media allies dig for dirt on a strengthening Bernie Sanders, they brace for a riveting fight over whether Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders was more racially insensitive in the 1970’s.
Who knew you could have so much fun talking about Elizabeth Warren? Join Jim and Greg as they wade into Warren’s accusation that Bernie Sanders told her two years ago that a woman couldn’t get elected president. They also shake their heads as Warren promises to cancel a lot of student loan debt on her first day in office without ever involving Congress. And they preview tonight’s final Democratic debate before the voting in Iowa and address the liberal concerns that there isn’t enough diversity on stage.
To say it’s been an eventful year in politics would be a massive understatement. So it’s time to start deciding the best and worst of 2019 and today, Jim and Greg begin handing out the their Three Martini Lunch Awards. In this first installment, they offer their individual selections for Most Overrated Political Figure, Most Underrated Political Figure, and Most Honest Political Figure.
As Congress prepares to pass another $1.4 trillion in government spending and President Trump prepares to sign it, why are both parties abdicating responsibility for fiscal stewardship?
The House votes on Tuesday enjoyed support from dozens of GOP members.
Openthebooks.com CEO Adam Andrzejewski says Democrats are open about wanting to spend more and more money and many Republicans often end up being hypocrites who run on fiscal conservatism but vote for bloated appropriations packages like this one.
Andrzejewski details how bad our deficit spending is right now, how soon the U.S. may have to pay the piper at this rate, and what can be done to address the problem.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ended his Republican presidential bid this week but he is more determined than ever to warn the nation of impending financial disaster.
Sanford challenged President Trump in the GOP presidential primary knowing full well his odds of winning were very low. But he launched the bid anyway, seeing it as an opportunity to highlight the fiscal cliff our nation seems determined to fly off of.
So why is Sanford ending the campaign?
“All the oxygen was being sucked out of the room by impeachment, said Sanford, in an interview Radio America’s Greg Corombos. “I’m not into wasting my time or anybody else’s. It was a long shot.”
But Sanford still plans to play a leading role in getting America to pay attention to the nation’s debt and spending problems. It comes at a time when the U.S. is running deficits nearing a trillion dollars under a Republican president. Most Democrats running for president would greatly expand the role of government and the amount of money to be spent.
And don’t even get him started on plans for government-run health care.
“It’s financial insanity. This is why I thought it was so important to try to raise my hand and say, ‘I can’t do this. I know I’m not going to become president but can we at least have a conversation about the fact that we’re literally walking off the plank financially?'” said Sanford.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Sanford explain what awaits younger generations if Washington doesn’t chart a different course, what approach is doable and would actually work, and what it will take for lawmakers to take the tough votes to rein in spending.
Congress is currently engulfed in impeachment hearings, subpoenas, and talking points. But House Republicans say if they regain the majority in 2020, they will reduce the debt and repeal Obamacare.
Should they be believed this time?
Republicans made Obamacare repeal the centerpiece of their campaign messaging from 2010-2016. After winning the House, the Senate, and the White House, Republicans tried to move on Obamacare. Ultimately, GOP leaders did not push a straight repeal. Instead they looked to repeal key mandates and make other reforms. The legislation passed the House but died in the Senate.
The individual mandate was ultimately neutered in tax cut legislation, when the Republicans voted to fine people zero dollars for refusing to purchase health insurance.
However, costs are still rising and Americans are deeply frustrated with their coverage. So would Republicans actually move to repeal Obamacare? What other provisions ought to be part of any plan to remove Obamacare but still cover pre-existing conditions, bring down costs, and address other major concerns?
Greg Corombos asks Chris Jacobs, a longtime health policy expert and the author of “The Case Against Single-Payer.”
As Democratic presidential hopefuls argue about whether to pursue single-payer or keep private insurance but add a government-run public option, Jacobs explains why he believes those candidates are debating distinctions without a difference. He reveals why a pubic option would also eventually lead us to government-run care.
Listen to the full podcast here.
It’s all crazy martinis today! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found to have used blackface on at least three occasions but the maddening part is how the left is urging everyone to calm down with respect to Trudeau when they would have cast a non-leftist to the wolves and even Trudeau himself says these sorts of stories ought to be judges on a case by case basis. They also wait for more information after reports say an intelligence whistleblower is accusing Trump of making a shocking promise to a world leader. Is this a major scandal in the making or just more media hyperventilation? And let’s just say they’re severely underwhelmed as House Republicans make repealing Obamacare and reducing the national debt their priorities if voters return to the majority – particularly when they did neither when they had the chance in the first two years of the Trump administration.
This past week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected annual deficits in this and the next fiscal year will near $1 trillion and that the U.S. will rack up more than $12 trillion in debt over the next decade.
There was virtually no reaction from the White House, Congress, or political figures of any stripe. The media also largely ignored the news.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is trying to sound the alarm about the debt crisis and is seriously considering a GOP presidential campaign to stress the issue since no other candidates are.
Sanford also spent separate three-term stints in the House of Representatives. He was defeated in the 2018 Republican primary after running afoul of President Trump and GOP leaders over government spending.
In discussing the latest CBO forecasts, Sanford began saying the mounting debt is simply a deferred tax on future generations who will have to pay the bills. Then he stopped himself and warned that the current generation could well face it too.
“This is not just a next generation problem. There is a proverbial straw that breaks a camel’s back. We are growing ever closer to that moment.
“I believe we’re walking toward the most predictable financial crisis in the history of man. It is not something that will happen to the next generation, but it’s going to happen in the next couple of years,” said Sanford.
“Think about this: we will spend more on interest (on the national debt) than we do on national defense in 36 months. That’s not a kid or grandkid problem. That is our problem,” said Sanford.
Sanford says he cannot pinpoint what will “light the match that lights the fire” or when exactly that might happen. However, current government estimates suggest Medicare will go insolvent in seven years and Social Security will follow suit in 15 years.
For his part, Sanford worries that increased tariffs will be a recipe for economic trouble. He says trillion dollar deficits are always alarming, particularly so in during a good economy.
“The deficits that we’re running are being run in peacetime and relatively calm economic waters. You reverse the economic waters and the deficits explode,” he said.
If the CBO projections are correct, the official national debt will stand at $34-35 trillion a decade from now. Sanford says the real numbers are far worse.
“The Congressional Budget Office numbers are not real. Those are fairly conservative numbers. This is why a variety of different organizations, like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Government have said those numbers could actually stretch closer to $2 trillion a year in operating deficits,” said Sanford.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Sanford discuss why neither party is serious about reining in federal spending, what action he thinks needs to be taken to return to fiscal stability, and how he is deciding whether to run for president.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have no good martinis today. They wince as the national deficit creeps closer to $1 trillion again and lament that neither party has any intention of seriously addressing the problem before disaster strikes next decade. They also cringe as President Trump rightly slams Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and other far left lawmakers for pushing the anti-Semitic BDS movement but then says says any Jews who vote for Democrats are being disloyal. And they get a kick out of Jill Biden telling Democrats that her husband might not be the best candidate but voters should get on board because he has the best chance to beat Trump.
Eager to avoid a debt ceiling showdown, the Treasury Department and congressional Democrats appear to be on the brink of a budget agreement that could saddle taxpayers with an additional $2 trillion in debt over the next decade.
According to reports, the agreement runs through July 31, 2021. It would effectively end all remaining elements of the 2011 Budget Control Act known as sequester, while adding $350 billion in new spending in exchange for about $75 billion in offsets.
If that seems lopsided in favor of more spending, that’s because it is. But National Taxpayers Union President Pete Sepp says it’s even worse than it looks.
“The things is there are ripple effects past two years. If you do a decade-long total, you’re talking about something closer to $2 trillion of additional spending permitted by this deal,” said Sepp.
Sepp also points out that a lot of new spending never goes away.
“Many of the spending increases called for will be baked into future budgets going down the line even if they try to re-establish the debt ceiling a couple of years from now. So this is a real problem for taxpayers and, unfortunately, it represents the final retreat from the Budget Control Act of 2011, which established that sequester process,” said Sepp.
National Taxpayers Union research shows the sequester process saved the average American household roughly $7,400 by 2017. Sepp says removing those restraints is nothing more than a massive tax hike on future generations and the future is coming sooner than wee realize.
“Deficit spending is really just tax increases on a future type of taxpayer: unborn taxpayers, or young taxpayers, even taxpayers who are currently filing their taxes down the line would face higher taxes to service all of these debts,” said Sepp.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Sepp respond to suggestions that sequestration cuts were “mindless and irresponsible.” He also explains why spending “offsets” are often a mirage, why the Trump administration isn’t demanding more fiscal restraint, and why so few people seem to care about the mounting debt.